SDG — The St. Lawrence Parks Commission has given a ‘road’ to the memory of British Home Children after the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry declined to do so.
British Home Child Lane — the laneway leading into Crysler Marina and the nearby Aultsville train station — will be officially dedicated with its new moniker on Sept. 30.
British Home Child (BHC) descendants Carol Thompson Goddard — spearhead of the initiative — and Judy Neville recently managed to achieve the designation as an alternative to Goddard’s failed pitch to United Counties Council in June. Those local politicians rejected her idea of renaming County Rd. 12 for the thousands of British children shipped off to Canada between 1869 and the 1940s.
However, the United Counties government is contributing a road sign indicating the new British Home Child Lane at its County Rd. 2 entrance. It’s due to be unveiled 4 p.m. at 13480 County Rd. 2.
British Home Children were impoverished or orphaned children from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland sent to this country, often to serve as indentured farm and house labour. Ranging from three to 18 years of age, an estimated 130,000 or more children arrived in Canada, toiling in a similar number of households.
SD&G has become an epicentre of British Home Child commemorations. Former MPP Jim Brownell — Neville’s brother — successfully spearheaded legislation at Queen’s Park marking Sept. 28 as British Home Child Day in Ontario. Upper Canada Village, in partnership with the Ontario East British Home Child Family organization, also hosts a free display on the topic inside the old Aultsville train station.