Director Name: Joanne van Dreumel
Taxidermy Beaver - accession # 1986.123.1
The items on display within our temporary seasonal exhibit “Gananoque 150” are synonymous with Canada and our national pride. The Royal Canada Mounted Police Red Serge and memorabilia, as well as the beaver on display were chosen because they are iconic symbols of Canada. The uniform is on loan from local resident of Gananoque, Sgt. Tom Petch (Ret.) who served on the force for 26 years. The RCMP is famous for their distinct Red Serge (a scarlet ceremonial uniform with a Stetson hat with a wide flat brim and high boots) and their Musical Ride.
The RCMP, the first established police force, was formed in May 1873 by Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, to police the newly acquired western territories of Canada. They were soon named the North West Mounted Police. The force added "Royal" to its name in 1904. It merged with the Dominion Police, the main police force for all points east of Manitoba, in 1920 and was renamed as the "Royal Canadian Mounted Police".
While creating the 150 exhibit we chose to look at the local community members and the stories that they have to tell. Tom’s story is one of many that bring a sense of pride to our community and it gives us a chance to reflect on the history and background of the people here. Canada 150 gives us a chance to celebrate and recognize our diversity.