As its mission, the Héritage Sutton historical society seeks to preserve the history of the Sutton area as well as of the persons and families who have written it. It manages collections and archives, publishes booklets, offers educational activities and contributes to exhibitions presented by the Musée d’histoire et des communications de Sutton.
Héritage Sutton is incorporated as a non-profit organization administered by its volunteer members. The Board of Directors is comprised of: Jeanne Morazain, President; Georges Létourneau, Vice-President; Alexandrine Poissant, Secretary; Carole Kierulf, Treasurer; Claude F. Gagnon, Lynda Graham and Jean Chevarier, Directors.
All the activities, including research, indexation, digitization and editing are performed on a volunteer basis.
There are many ways to help Héritage Sutton fulfill its mission:
– Become a member of Héritage Sutton. Each annual membership includes the two issues of the sketchbooks published during the year of membership and one free consultation of the archives.
– Become a volunteer and participate in the various activities of the society.
– Submit an article for a future issue of the History Sketchbooks.
– Donate documents and photographs that could enhance the history of Sutton and the Eastern Townships.
Acting on several fronts
At the last annual general meeting, held on November 26, 2016, Heritage Sutton President, Jeanne Morazain, reported on the last year’s activities and presented the priorities agreed upon by the board of directors for 2017.
Report of Activities in 2016
2016 was a very important year in Héritage Sutton’s history because we moved into the new and enlarged Town Hall. We had expected to move in the spring, but it finally took place in October. The delay meant that certain activities were put on hold while we waited to move, the move itself being the main event.
HS has been given several mandates by the Town of Sutton. Those concerning the three new tourist circuits, the story telling and the historical buildings, took a great deal more time and effort than anticipated, and it must be clearly stated that the fees disbursed to HS in no way reflect the amount of hours of work involved.
The mandate to research the First World War and the cemeteries created several activities: a dossier on the war was created on our website and an article was written for our History Notebook No. 25. The mandate regarding the cemeteries produced a conference which filled the hall to overflowing, and an article appeared in History Notebook No 24.
Requests for information or verification coming from private citizens or organizations have continued to increase, and we have been able to provide the answers within a reasonable amount of time. Donations to the archives have increased a lot. Several families have offered their archives to have them indexed/catalogued This means that more and more time is needed for the indexing and cataloguing of documents
HS has signed an agreement or “Convention de don” with the Boulanger family and the new owners of the Mont Sutton ski centre. The archives to be obtained are those of the enterprises of the Boulanger family since their arrival in Sutton in 1945. This body of documents is noteworthy for its coverage and depth, and 90% of it concerns the ski centre. It includes almost ten thousand photographs, maps and videos, and about seven metres of texts. It’s a real gold mine of of information which follows Sutton’s history and that of its ski centre, whose opening started Sutton on a new period of development.
Informing the public is our chief concern: we have published History Notebooks 24 and 25; adding dossiers to our website; a growing use of social networks; an article in Le Tour or the magazine Histoire Québec.
And finally, bringing in new members less than 50 years old is a problem which needs some attention. A third of our members- more than thirty people- are volunteers in many diverse ways, which is wonderful. However, their help is irregular, and we need more people who would be willing to work with more continuity, such as being an administrator, being in charge of a project, a committee or a dossier.
Priorities for 2017
Presented by Jeanne Morazain, President.
Our relocation now completed, we can plan an event for the greater public at the town hall. It will be centred on archive donation: an invitation to come and meet us and bring documents, agree to digitization terms, advice for the preparation of archives for use by future generations (identification, dating, localization, etc.) In order to maximize participation, the event will be held in the spring (probably in May) over a weekend.
via archives will be the principal theme for 2017. For sure, there will the processing of the fonds station de ski Mont-Sutton bequeathed by the Boulanger family and the new owners of the ski centre. A funding request has been filed with the Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec; another will soon be filed with the National Archives of Canada. A fund-raising campaign aimed at skiers and other lovers of the mountain has begun. We are confident that the necessary funds will be collected to complete the sorting and the indexing of the contents of this fonds which will allow us the opportunity to develop value enhancement projects as a result. We have the enormous good fortune of having one of our members, André Vigneau, a professional archivist, to orient and plan this work.
A funding request was filed with the New Horizons elders programme in order to support our efforts to encourage the sharing of family archives and memories by the means of donations, interviews and generational and intergenerational meetings, thematic or not. The request includes funding for the processing and the value enhancement of text, iconographic and audio archives.
The oral history committee plans to continue the collection of oral testimonies by elders. It has, however, concluded that the Fonds d’histoire orale, built over the years by Héritage Sutton (approximately 100 interviews), is underutilized due to the lack of transcription and indexing. A funding request has thus been filed jointly with the Comité de gestion de la salle communautaire de Sutton Junction within the section Soutien aux actions communautaires of QADA (Québec ami des aînés). Other than the transcription and indexing of the interviews, the two-year project plans for the enrichment of the fonds, its enhancement and the integration with our archive practices of user-friendly tools for the conservation, analysis, consultation and content research, notably those developped by the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling of Concordia University in Montreal.
If we are successful with our funding requests, Héritage Sutton will eventually have substantive, well-organized and interesting collections useful to researchers and the general public.
Héritage Sutton’s mission includes giving assistance to local organizations document their interventions when these have a historical aspect. We therefore continue to work with the Town to trace the evolution of the buildings patrimony, with the Museum, with Sutton Junction Community Hall, with the Tour de Sutton, etc. A partnership with D’Art et de rêves is starting within the project Les chemins de l’histoire.
And of course, should, over the course of the year, projects come to the fore, notably in relation to youth, or in partnership with other local organizations mandates are proposed, Héritage Sutton will participate if they are compatible with its mission and the necessary resources are available. In parallel, Héritage Sutton will continue to publish its History Sketchbooks (25 so far, a success story), add to its web site, answer queries, increase our presence on social media and multiply its efforts to recruit new members and volunteers in the hope of adding younger blood.