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Elliot Lake to establish local Historical Society

Group aims to bring area history together, showcase what's been done
Elliot Lake Historical Society meeting
Rob Leverty and Marie Murphy-Foran spoke with an enthusiastic group at the founding of the Elliot Lake Historical Society.

Plans to establish an Elliot Lake Historical Society are moving ahead.

About 30 people attended a meeting Tuesday evening at the Mt. Dufour clubhouse to discuss founding a local chapter and decided to start plans to establish the Elliot Lake Historical Society. It is the first such chapter in Elliot Lake’s history. The community was first established in 1955 as a uranium mining town.

The group heard from guest speaker Rob Leverty, executive director of the Ontario Historical Society, who talked about the steps to bring the plan to fruition. The meeting was set up by residents Edo Ten Broek and Marie Murphy-Foran, who have been working on projects for an Elliot Lake Historical Society chapter for some time.

Murphy-Foran told ElliotLakeToday before the opening of the meeting that the pair hoped it would see the conference take the first step as part of the “inauguration” to make the chapter a reality.

Leverty told the enthusiastic crowd that establishing a local chapter would see it incorporated through the Ontario Society, which would provide mentorship, advice, and promotion. A board of volunteers would be elected to direct the operation, and an annual membership fee would be collected to cover the costs of maintaining the organization. The cost to have the local chapter would be around $460, which Broek said is already available, even though former Elliot Lake Mayor George Farkouh said he was willing to underwrite the cost.

Murphy-Foran said the eventual membership fee would still have to be decided when the future five-person board for the non-profit corporation is set up.

Local lawyer Douglas Elliott said he could assist in putting together the chapter’s constitution and incorporation papers.

The mandate of Elliot Lake Historical Society would cover several initiatives that have taken place and helped shape the city and its history. It would include Elliot Lake and the surrounding area with the involvement of Serpent River First Nation.

In its mission statement, the society would work:

  • To research, gather, present and promote the heritage of our multi-cultural and resilient community
  • To recognize the contributions made by individuals and organizations during the city’s evolution
  • To involve members of the community, businesses, and First Nations in preserving the history of the region.

“The idea is to bring our history together and also to celebrate and showcase what we’ve done,” Murphy-Foran said about histories from well-known families who have been part of Elliot Lake’s development. A workshop on Elliot Lake history is tentatively planned for the fall.

At the meeting, it was told that some historical archives with the city were lost in the mall collapse in 2012, and some have been lost from poor storage conditions for the documents. Efforts are underway to restore and catalogue archives.

The group decided to move ahead with plans to document Elliot Lake’s history as one of its first projects. A small group of five volunteered to assist in that effort.

Overall, the incorporation process was also approved by those attending the meeting.

Leverty urged those attending to “have fun” charting Elliot Lake history.



About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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