Loyalist Township shares local stories in historical documentary

Image via Loyalist Township website.

Loyalist Township is capturing and documenting stories of local history as part of an oral history project called Legacies of Loyalist. The shared stories depict an array of both simple and significant moments in time from our community’s past that you cannot find in a history textbook, the Township stated.

According to a release from Loyalist Township, this initiative is intended to capture insight into the daily lives of those before us. The first oral history project under the Legacies of Loyalist umbrella was released in 2023 by Loyalist Township thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area Grant. SPARK, a local professional videographer team, was hired and helped to create a 75-minute documentary which showcased six individual interviews that spoke to the communities within Loyalist Township and pieces of their unique past.

“Every one of us has a story to tell,” the Township stated. “It is important to understand how and why we are here today, and listening to other people’s stories gives us this chance.”

Interviewees for the first Legacies of Loyalist documentary. Image via Loyalist Township website.

Loyalist Township said it hopes this video is just the beginning, with plans in the works to create a second series of oral history documentaries. The Township is hoping that viewers are inspired to have conversations, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of those around them. These stories, if untold, will one day be lost forever. The public is encouraged to submit their own stories through the online portal at www.loyalist.ca/legacies.

Loyalist Townships Deputy Mayor Nathan Townend attended the private screening held for the documentary stakeholders and local dignitaries.

“Legacies of Loyalist is a rich and moving tapestry that weaves together some two hundred years of life in our communities. The non-chronological, narrative emphasis of the film highlight the importance of understanding history as lived experience, and as belonging to all, not simply to its academic or political curators. Indeed, by telling the story of Loyalist through the memories and experiences of esteemed members of our community, the film appropriately reminds us that our particular story is not monolithic, nor is it found in great sagas or tomes, but rather in the lives of the many people who have laboured here, raised families, played sports, volunteered, and built a life here. In this way the film offers all residents an opportunity to meaningfully situate their own lives as important parts in our vibrant, unfolding story,” Townend shared after the viewing.

The Loyalist Townships Heritage, Culture and Tourism division is committed to collecting and celebrating our local stories, according to the release. The film can be accessed through the Loyalist Township website at www.loyalist.ca/legacies. Additional public viewings will be scheduled throughout the Township in partnership with volunteer organizations in the coming months.

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