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QAHN Presents Annual Awards

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--September 23, 2010

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) handed out two awards at its tenth anniversary conference in Orford this month, and this year recipients from the Eastern Townships made a clean sweep.

larger_IMG_3189.JPGThe first award, the Marion Phelps Award, which is named after the long-time archivist of the Brome County Museum, is given annually to an individual volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the protection, preservation and promotion of Anglophone heritage in the province of Quebec.

The winner of this year's Phelps Award was Phyllis Emery Skeats of North Hatley. Skeats, a long-time reference librarian at Bishop's University, was recognized for her long-term volunteer commitment to numerous causes related to the heritage and history of the Eastern Townships.

Cited among Skeats' accomplishments were a lifetime of genealogical research; the writing of several books on local history; and involvement on numerous volunteer organizations, namely the North Hatley (now Lake Massawippi Area) Historical Society, Heritage Huntingville, and the Old North Church Cemetery Association.

In an emotional, heartfelt acceptance speech, Skeats said that she was deeply honoured and touched by the recognition. She urged everyone present to never give up working to preserve our history for future generations.

larger_IMG_3194_0.JPGTo mark its tenth anniversary, QAHN has initiated a new award this year. Named the Richard Evans Award, in honour of the organization's founding president (and one of its leading lights over the years), the prize will be presented annually from now on to a volunteer organization (as opposed to an individual) working in the province to preserve and promote Anglophone heritage.

This year's recipient (the first) of the Richard Evans Award was the Austin Cultural Committee. The committee, represented by members Madeleine Saint-Pierre, Donald Fisher and Serge Wagner, was praised for a decade of work in preserving local heritage sites in Austin, and for its series of informative, bilingual publications on topics of local historical interest.

Committee members in turn said that they were extremely proud that their organization was being acknowledged, calling attention to the fact that some leading members of the committee, such as Kate Williams and current Austin mayor Lisette Maillé, could not be present at the ceremony. They also congratulated QAHN for its ongoing efforts to raise the profile of heritage-related issues in the province of Quebec.