Historical and Genealogy Society holds AGM

Société historique et généalogique de Smoky River president Carmen Ewing speaking at the genealogical society’s AGM on May 16.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

Société historique et généalogique de Smoky River (SHGSR) held its AGM at its location in Donnelly, on May 16.

In her president’s report, Carmen Ewing outlined the accomplishments and concerns of the past year and the Society’s aspirations for the coming year.

Ewing began by reaffirming the Board’s commitment to offer Society members and visitors to the Centre the best possible experience.

Carmen Ewing also talked about an interesting development when Paul Pelchat and members of the Societe Genelalogique Nord Ouest (SGNO) in Edmonton got in touch with SHGSR and travelled from Edmonton to Donnelly to visit the Centre.

“They were very impressed with the collections of family histories and genealogies, community books, resource library we have to offer researchers,” says Ewing.

In November, the Societe Genealogique Nord Ouest invited Carmen Ewing and SHGSR vice president Diane Theriault to give a presentation about the Smoky River Genealogical Society at the SGNO AGM, a presentation that was well received by those in attendance.

The two genealogical societies are also combining their efforts to establish a province-wide awareness of Franco Albertan genealogical Societies.

Two local schools, Ecole Heritage in Falher and Ecole Quatre Vents in Peace River, made their first visits to the Genealogical Society Centre this year to conduct research.

The president’s report also addressed the more mundane but important matters regarding maintenance, utilities etc and the challenges those matters present.

SHGSR experienced a setback this year when it had its STEP grant application denied, but on the positive side, since sending out a letter informing Society members of the unsuccessful STEP application, the Society has received over $1000 towards making up the shortfall.

The Genealogical Society’s ongoing fundraising initiatives include gift cards, bottle collection, book sales, and the sale of bags.

Carmen Ewing gave a “heartfelt thank you” to Esther Picard who has resigned as the Society’s librarian after four years in that position.

“Esther contributed her energy, experience as a fundraiser to our society for 4 years and we wish her well,” says Ewing.

The Smoky River Genealogical Society is a research centre for genealogy and local history located in the Village of Donnelly. The mandate of the Society is the preservation and conservation of the French culture in the region but with changing demographics, there may be some discussion in the future about serving newcomers.

Genealogical Society members can avail of birth, marriage and death registers for northern Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, United States and more.

The society also has First Nations and Métis History with indexed photographs and negatives, and photos of many communities in Northern Alberta.

Jackie Hockey, Chair of the Falher Regional Inter-municipal Library Board was the guest speaker at the Genealogical Society AGM.

The newly appointed board is as follows: Carmen Ewing, president – Diane Therriault, vice president –Corona Dionne, secretary and Wendy Gagnon, Treasurer.

The directors are Lucille Bussiere, Elizabeth Bohnke, Yvonne Sawchyn, Marie Guenette and Laurie Morin.

Jackie Hockey, Chair of the Falher Regional Inter-municipal Library Board was the guest speaker at the Smoky River Historical and Genealogical Society’s AGM

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