News Column

MEDIA ADVISORY - British Home Children honoured at 100th anniversary of World War I

July 21, 2014

-The British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association and Black Creek Pioneer Village host a special commemorative ceremony honouring British Home Children who served during World War I-

TORONTO, July 21, 2014 /CNW/ - On the 100th anniversary of the First World War a special commemorative ceremony will take place honouring British Home Children who served. The ceremony is being held in partnership between the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association (BHCARA) and Black Creek Pioneer Village. Speakers include CBC Commentator Don Cherry, descendant of British Home Child and First World War veteran Richard Palamountain. Black Creek will also celebrate the opening of its exhibit, Breaking the Silence: Stories of the British Home Children, 1869 -1948.

From 1869 -1948, up to 118,000 children, known as British Home Children, were sent to Canada from Great Britain primarily to work as indentured farm labourers and domestic servants. During the First World War, up to 10,000 British Home Children enlisted as soldiers. Approximately 1,000 British Home Children lost their lives.

Join us at Black Creek Pioneer Village for this special commemorative ceremony to honour the British Home Children who served and gave their lives during the First World War. The ceremony will include presentations by members of the BHCARA as well as the unveiling of the 'British Home Child Honour Role' plaque.

Following the morning's ceremony, at 2:00 pm there will be an official opening celebration of the exhibit, Breaking the Silence: Stories of the British Home Children, 1869 -1948. Through photographs, family stories and artifacts loaned from Ontario community members and museums, the exhibit explores this historic child emigration movement and the effects it had on the Home Children in Canada.

Running throughout the exhibit are fascinating and sometimes troubling accounts from the descendants of Home Children, which shed light on the uncertain futures they faced in Canada. Also of interest are unique artifacts on display, which include hand-made travel trunks, medals the Home Children earned, an early 1920s saxophone and many other reproduced documents such as letters and indentures.

A special section dedicated to the contributions of Home Children in the First World War is also displayed. Here, the public can see the signal flags Home Child Arthur Clarkson used while serving, a set of meticulously recorded diaries documenting Home Child Joseph Treend's efforts to find and reunite with his siblings during the First World War and a Next-of-Kin Memorial Plaque issued to Cecil Bennett's Canadian family after he was killed in action at Vimy Ridge.

Breaking the Silence: Stories of the British Home Children, 1869 -1948 was created by Black Creek Pioneer Village in partnership with the BHCARA. It is on display in the McNair Gallery at Black Creek Pioneer Village from July 28, 2014 to December 23, 2015.

Black Creek Pioneer Village and the BHCARA will again host special events on British Home Child Day in Ontario (September 28), to celebrate the lives and history of British Home Children in Ontario.

What:World War I 100th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony honouring British Home Children and exhibit opening of Breaking the Silence: Stories of the British Home Children, 1869 -1948.

When: Monday, July 28th. Ceremony begins at 9:50 a.m., and ends at 12:30 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Exhibit opening begins at 2:00 p.m. (Media are invited to preview the exhibit at any time)

Where:Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto

Who:Don Cherry, CBC Commentator for Hockey Night in Canada; former MPP Jim Brownell, Honourary Lieutenant Colonel of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders; Lori Oschefski, Founder and CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association; Sandra Joyce, Executive Director, Canada BHCARA and author of The Street Arab – The Story of a British Home Child and soon-to-be released Belonging; George Bradshaw, surviving BHC and Second World War veteran; Marjorie Kohli, author of The Golden Bridge: Young Immigrants to Canada, 1833 -1939; York Regional Police Male Chorus; Colour Guard provided by Cadets from Camp Borden; Ceremonial Unit of Commissionaires Great Lakes; Pipers from the White Heather Pipes and Drums, Top First World War Military Collector Carl Black; Padre Gillian Federico; Karen Mahoney, Regional Director, BHCARA and Glenna Smith-Walkden, Secretary-Treasurer BHCARA.

Admission:  Admission includes ceremony and entrance to Black Creek Pioneer Village. Doors open for the ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

• Adults (ages 15 - 59) $11 before 12:00 p.m. (After 12:00 regular admission of $15)         

• Children (ages 5 -14) $11 (Kids get in free Monday – Friday, July and August. Valid with the purchase of an adult or senior admission. Must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Limited to four kids per paying adult.

• Seniors (ages 60+) $11 before 12:00 p.m. (After 12:00 p.m. is regular admission of $14)

• Students (15+ with ID) $14

• Children 4 years and under (when accompanied with a parent) are FREE

• Members Free

• Parking $7 per car/day

About Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto's premier outdoor living history museum. Visitors can explore 40 heritage homes, shops and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). Visit

SOURCE Black Creek Pioneer Village

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Source: Canada Newswire

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