A labour of love is nearing completion. Three volumes of local history are being painstakingly compiled to be preserved for future generations. The countdown clock on the website is running: the book launch for North Dorchester Township: Toil, Tragedy and Triumph is June 11, 2016, and advance book sales officially begin on September 8.
“It’s very, very exciting,” says heritage book project co-chair Susan Ralyea. “It seems like we started yesterday.” In actual fact, it got underway in 2012.
A total of 1,000 copies of the 1,600-page set will be printed at first. You can buy the book online at northdorchestertownship.com by PayPal or credit card, through designated sales people and also at special events in the coming months. People can save if they buy the set in advance. Gift certificates will also be available.
Ralyea says that the small group of dedicated people who have been driving the project are experiencing a range of emotions: a sense of pride, accomplishment and also relief. “It was an opportunity to meet people we never would have met before.”
Volunteers worked hard and spent countless hours interviewing people for the family histories, researching, scanning pictures, and checking facts. The response to the project was so successful, that it grew from a planned two volumes and 1,000 pages. The process has run smoothly, and the release of the set will be six months earlier than originally anticipated.
Almost all of the information that will be included is in. The painstaking editing process has begun. Project editor Patti Wallace has some of the chapters out for proofreading. The printer should receive volume one in November, then it comes back to the committee for more proofing and indexing. The timeline for the two books of family stories is January.
“Basically, everything has to be finalized by March,” Ralyea explains.
To get residents excited about the project, a display of “now and then” photos will be put in the community corner case at the FlightExec Centre in Dorchester.
Ralyea says that the committee is very thankful for all of the generous donations that have been made so far. Individuals can still contribute and make submissions for the “in memoriam” page. If they would like to be acknowledged in the book, donations must be made by October 9.
Volunteers will be working to package up the volumes once they arrive and mail them out for an extra shipping charge if the customer wishes. Ralyea is very grateful that the municipality has agreed to hand out books at the FlightExec Centre office once they come in.
Advance sales of the heritage book will be taking place next month in Dorchester on Wednesday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Scotiabank in the Village Centre plaza on Dorchester Road; Sunday, September 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. during the Mossley Post Heritage and Citizenship Society’s beef barbecue at Harrietsville-Mossley United Church in Harrietsville; at the TD Bank on Catherine Street on Friday, September 18 from 12 to 2 p.m. and at the LCBO on Hamilton Road on Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. until noon. More dates and locations will be announced shortly. Phone orders will be accepted starting on September 8 by a number of people, including Ralyea at 519-268-7819 and co-chair Ken Humphrey at 519-268-3867.