Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Toronto Branch at the ROM...

The morning of March 16th was no ordinary morning. With the help of Toronto Branch Vice President David Steeves, transported and unloaded the paraphernalia which formed the Society's heraldry display area for the duration of March Break at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) from March 16 to the 20th. This is the third year in which the Branch has actively been engaged with the ROM, executing the mission of the Society with ease as literally thousands of people passed through the area, many stopping to ask questions, and/or their children wishing to pause for a few minutes to colour their own personal coats of arms.
View of the presentation tables with the children's arms drawing table in the foreground left
The presentation area was setup this year adjacent to the glass case housing a cuirass (16th century), halberd, two-handed sword and other medieval artifacts. It was an appropriate back-drop for the heraldry display and presentation. Featured at this year's display included the hand-made by Society member, Donald Black, the coats of arms of the previous Governor General and the current Governor General. Featured as well, was a wooden carving of the City of Toronto coat of arms which was on loan at last year's March Break.

A young visitor to the ROM, diligently working on her personal coat of arms
The ever popular "kids' table" manned by ROM volunteers, provided opportunities for the kids visiting the museum to take some time out and focus on drawing and colouring their own personal coat of arms, under the guidance of the very knowledgeable Branch volunteers manning the display area. Frequently, as the children are busy drawing and being well behaved, the parents would take the time out to discuss Canadian heraldry with whomever was available at the display, often surprised to learn that heraldry is alive and well in Canada.

The five day affair concluded with some volunteers from the Toronto Branch actively participating in the second annual armoured tournament held by AEMMA in cooperation with the ROM and the RHSC. The tournament was nothing short of glorious.

The Toronto Branch wishes to thank the volunteers manning the display area, which includes Tom Doran, who was there each and every day, David Rumball, John Wilkes, Ilona Jurkiewicz (Branch President), and David Steeves.