History Centre at Goulbourn Museum named in honour of John Curry

(The official ribbon was cut on October 27, 2023 for the opening of the History Centre at Goulbourn Museum named in honour of long-time historian and journalist John Curry. L-R: Jennifer Rowland (Board Director, Goulbourn Museum); Sara Mackenzie (Executive Director of the OMN); Jane Hill (John’s sister); Jim Curry (John’s brother); Tracey Donaldson (Executive Director, Goulbourn Museum); Tanis Cappello (Board Secretary, Goulbourn Museum); Councillor David Brown; Jazmin Lopez Muga (Board Director, Goulbourn Museum), Phil Sweetnam (Board Treasurer, Goulbourn Museum); and, Sarah Holla (Registrar, Goulbourn Museum). Photo: Sue Woodford, Goulbourn Museum)

October 17th was a very special day at the Goulbourn Museum. Long-time Stittsville resident, historian and journalist John Curry was recognized with an honour for which he would be proud, yet humbled. The newly created History Centre at the Goulbourn Museum was dedicated in John’s name. John loved history and he loved writing about our local history in the former Goulbourn Township, Richmond, Stittsville and area. John was a founding member of the Goulbourn Museum. He had written a book on the history of Richmond and was gathering material for another on the history of Stittsville.

(The plaque for John Curry located in the History Centre. Photo: Sue Woodford)

John’s name was synonyms with history and the news that he brought into our homes from 1975 to 2021 as the owner, editor and publisher of the Stittsville News and later as a journalist with Community Voice. Sadly, John passed away in February, 2022.

John Curry’s brother, Jim Curry, and sister, Jane Hill, both of whom now live in Almonte, were on hand for the October 17 dedication.

(Tracey Donaldson, Jane Hill and Jim Curry prepare to officially open the John Curry History Centre. Photo: Phil Sweetnam)

The newly created John Curry History Centre features new shelves that proudly house every issue of the Stittsville News from its first edition in December, 1957 until January 11, 2018 when the last issue was delivered to homes after John sold the paper. John had the issues carefully bound and upon his passing, his family donated the many red and blue bounded books to the Museum.

John Curry will be remembered for his love of local history that is now found at the Goulbourn Museum for the public to access. Visitors can look back on life in Stittsville from past years captured in these bound issues of the Stittsville News.

(Goulbourn Museum staff members – l-r: Jessica Parsons, Matthew Davidson, Rachel Kraus and Sarah Holla. Photo: Sue Woodford)

John’s sister, Jane shared with Stittsville Central, “John would be so pleased with the opening of the history centre at the Goulbourn Museum and so proud that the centre is named in his honour. It is a wonderful tribute to him and recognizes his long-standing interest, dedication and contribution to the chronicling of the  history of Goulbourn Township…as owner, editor and reporter at The Stittsville News and then reporter for the Stittsville Community Voice,  John covered all the happenings in Goulbourn Township from 1975-2021. These weekly newspapers are now part of a documented history of the area. John’s family is grateful for this special honour.”

At the opening, Tracey Donaldson shared in her words to the attendees, “we lost a great person in February, 2022. John will be remembered for his integrity and dedication and as a founding member of the Goulbourn Museum.”

(Sarah Holla, Registrar at the Museum, delivers a few words on the new heating/cooling system assisting in the preservation of the artefacts. A long time from when a woodstove – with a risk of smoke damaging the archives – was used to heat the former Goulbourn Township council building. You can see John’s bounded copies of the Stittsville News behind Sarah. Photo: Sue Woodford)

And with the recently installed HVAC heat pump system at the Museum, with over 10,000 artefacts all of the historic documents and artefacts will be temperature controlled for many more years of preservation. To date, 120,000 words from documents have been transcribed by 32 community volunteers and digitized since the start of the digitization project in 2020.

Phil Sweetnam told us, “John certainly deserves our recognition of him as a community builder! I still often recall things that John has done to make Stittsville and Goulbourn better communities.”

John Curry is so worthy of this tribute for his dedicated work as a historian, journalist and author and an inaugural member of the Goulbourn Museum’s board of directors.

To discover more about the Goulbourn Museum visit https://goulbournmuseum.ca/. You can also visit the History Centre in person or virtually – https://goulbournmuseum.ca/collections-research/research-library/. To book a time to perform research send an email – info@goulbournmuseum.ca.


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