Over the years Héritage Sutton has collected dozens of testimonials and life stories from seniors (aged 70 and up at the time of their interviews). The end result is an invaluable oral history collection.
In 2018 we received a grant of more than $100,000 from QADA (Québec ami des aînés) for a two-year project titled La parole des aînés. The six-pronged objective was to make our material available in digital format; to transcribe and index the entire body of work; to tape additional testimonials; to disseminate information about people’s life experiences and to share our seniors’ considerable wisdom and know-how. Eventually, this oral history collection will contain about 125 testimonials. It will include individual and group audio and video interviews, and life stories and discussions involving themes such as Filtex, frontier life, the railroad and schools, etc.
The showcasing aspects of the project are well underway. The history of the Filtex mill was presented on June 12 and October 27, 2019 at the Salle AGP. It involved audio and video recordings and photos taken directly from our archives. The room was full. Under the banner of des Journées de la culture 2019, held at the end of September, immigrants from diverse backgrounds discussed their long road to Sutton and shared views on intercultural dialogue. Articles in the latest History Sketchbook were inspired by interviews with our seniors.
Similar events are planned so that our seniors can share information with Sutton residents about things like frontier life, and what transpired in yesteryear at school and on the farm, etc,. Virtual presentations are also being prepared; these are in the final stages of editing.