LONG SAULT – The first British Home Child Day in Canada and the eighth British Home Child Day in Ontario will be celebrated September 29, at the Lost Villages Museum located just outside Long Sault.
Over 120,000 British Home Children came to Canada between 1869 and the 1940’s to work as indentured servants on the farms and in the homes of Canadians by several philanthropic organizations in Great Britain.
Ranging in age from infancy to 18 years, these youngsters who had suffered due to the socioeconomic conditions of industrial England came to this country with all their belongings in travelling cases and their hearts full of hope for the future.
To honour the history of these people, 2010 was declared by the Canadian Federal Government to the Year of the Home Child. In 2011 the Ontario Legislature passed the British Home Child Day in Ontario which saw September 28 designated as British Home Child Day in Ontario.
This year, September 28 was declared by the federal government as British Home Child Day in Canada.
The Ontario East British Home Child Family has been working since 2011 to ensure September 28 is celebrated in Eastern Ontario and the stories of these little immigrants are told. Some of their work has involved holding an annual British Home Child Day event at various locations throughout Eastern Ontario.
This year the event will be held at the Lost Villages Museum in South Stormont on Saturday September 29. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 and be followed by a BHC Tree dedication, displays at various locations through the museum site, guest speakers as well as four authors of books written on British Home Children who will do readings and sign copies of their books.
One of the new events is a Trunk Talk. The Trunk Talk will provide information on the different trunks provided by the children by the various sending agencies involved in the Child Migration Scheme such as Quarrier’s or Barnardo’s.