© SUBMITTED PHOTO
Stratford Mayor David Dunphy, left, is shown with Doug Kelly, Sandy McMillan, the 2015 Brown and Hood Heritage Award recipient, and Michael Farmer at a recent celebration to mark Heritage Week.
The Town of Stratford recently celebrated Heritage Week by hosting Uncovering Stratford's Heritage, an event which included the presentation of the 2015 Brown and Hood Heritage Award.
At the event, the town's heritage sub-committee displayed the original Lot 48 deed, which it recently acquired after learning of its availability. The deed covers the area on which the town of Stratford presently sits and dates back to 1769. Aubrey Bell of Gallery 18 Ltd., who aided the town in acquiring this piece of its history, was on hand to provide a historical talk from the era surrounding the deed. In addition, many maps were on display throughout the evening with Michael Farmer, the chairman of the committee and a former mayor, providing some history of the area.
The deed has since been returned to storage for safe keeping; plans are for it to be professionally flattened later this year.
"Once this happens a digital impression of the deed will be made, and the committee will then need to decide what to do with the original," Patrick Carroll, director of planning, told the audience.
Options include having it displayed and stored within the town at an appropriate location or donating it to the provincial archives.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2015 Brown and Hood Heritage Award to Dr. Colin and Sandy McMillan. The award is given annually by the Town of Stratford to an individual, group, organization or company who strives to preserve Stratford's heritage, whether in the form of built architecture, the written word or through volunteer efforts to promote the values of heritage.
"Colin and Sandy have widely contributed to the preservation of our heritage in Stratford," said Doug Kelley, who presented Sandy with the award. "They have hosted gala dinners which have raised thousands of dollars in support of Stratford's heritage and have opened their own heritage home on numerous occasions to celebrated authors and leaders who have been guests of the Town of Stratford."
Sandy oversaw the formation of the heritage sub-committee during her time as a Stratford town councillor, as well as initiated the veterans' banner program and began the Stratford Heroes Project, both of which continue annually as part of the Town's Remembrance Day commemoration. She was also a lead contributor to the development of the Town's Heritage Strategy. Both she and Colin remain committed to preserving and promoting the heritage of the town.