In 2018, the Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society will host various lectures on history.

Our lectures take place on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

Everyone welcome. 

Free for members; $2 for non-members
Become a member for $5 per year 

InformationContact us

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Interethnic Relations in the Great War;

Demystification of the Oppressed French-Canadian Soldier's Myth

Speaker: Céleste LalimeW1 096
When: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where:  Centennial Hall,
       288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4

Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

The First World War inevitably brings back painful memories in the province of Quebec. Quebeckers have a negative recollection of the war, viewing themselves as victims. Events related to the Great War such as the conscription crisis, the Easter riots and the inhospitality expressed by the Canadian Forces towards French Canadians are emotionally-charged memories that have nurtured this conception. Integrated in both the historiography and popular beliefs, the idea of the oppressed French Canadian will be questioned through this lecture. This presentation aims at re-examining this idea by surveying contemporary sources: the Anglophone press and testimonies from soldiers. Its objective is to reassess the attitude and perception of Canadian Anglophones towards French Canadians, and more broadly the nature of interethnic relationships in the army during the First World War.

Céleste Lalime is a historian, speaker and history teacher. She received the highest distinction for her master’s thesis in history at Université de Montréal. She has worked on First World War battlefields at Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel as a guide-interpreter and research agent in history. She participates in the elaboration of a work about the Mont-Royal Fusiliers led by the National Defense, teaches history at College Bourget and collaborates to international and interuniversity conferences and seminars about World War 1.

The Boer War 1899-1902

Speaker: James (Jim) Vanstone, M.A., Ph.D.
When: Thursday, November 15, 2018
Where:  Centennial Hall,
       288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2018 11 15JimVanstone BoerWarConcentrationcampIn 1899 the South African Boer War begins between the British Empire and the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. The Boers, also known as Afrikaners, were the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of southern Africa. Britain took possession of the Dutch Cape colony in 1806 during the Napoleonic wars, sparking resistance from the independence-minded Boers, who resented the Anglicization of South Africa and Britain’s anti-slavery policies. In 1833, the Boers began an exodus into African tribal territory, where they founded the republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The two new republics lived peaceably with their British neighbours until 1867, when the discovery of diamonds and gold in the region made conflict between the Boer states and Britain inevitable. Minor fighting with Britain began for the second time in the 1890s, and in October 1899 full-scale war ensued. By mid-June 1900, British forces had captured most major Boer cities and formally annexed their territories, but the Boers launched a guerrilla war that frustrated the British occupiers. Beginning in 1901, the British began a strategy of systematically searching out and destroying these guerrilla units, while herding the families of the Boer soldiers into concentration camps. By 1902, the British had crushed the Boer resistance, and on May 31 of that year the Peace of Vereeniging was signed, ending hostilities. The treaty recognized the British military administration over Transvaal and the Orange Free State and authorized a general amnesty for Boer forces. In 1910, the autonomous Union of South Africa was established by the British. It included Transvaal, the Orange Free State, the Cape of Good Hope, and Natal as provinces.

James (Jim) Vanstone was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. While majoring in History and Philosophy at the University of Windsor, Jim was elected President of the history society called the Lord Acton Club. Graduating with an Honours B.A. and the University’s gold medal in history Jim went to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario majoring in “Imperial”, now more popularly called Third World history. He obtained his M.A. (1967) and Ph.D. (1974) from Queen’s. Doing research for his Ph.D. in Southern Africa (1969-1970) Jim spent a year in Africa. Returning to Queen’s, Jim taught Imperial History for one year before going to John Abbott College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue in 1972 where he taught history for 45 years until he retired in 2017. Jim was elected member of the Academic Council of John Abbott College (1974-2017), Chairperson of the Faculty Professional Development Committee (1975-2017), on the college’s Board of Governors (1979-1985), served on the Academic Programs Coordinating Committee, as well as being involved over the years in the United Church of Canada. Jim is also member of the Board of Governors of the United Theological College of McGill University and is currently the Chair of the Montreal School of Theology of McGill University.