College Alumni archives

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The issue of what is to be done with the memorabilia and records of the Kemptville College Alumni Association, which was raised in this paper a few weeks ago, has generated some discussion on our Facebook page. With the legal title to the collection still undecided, and its eventual home in dispute, readers have taken opposing positions. One contributor was quite definite: “[the collection] should not be removed from the area. There must be somewhere it can be displayed at the College now. So much is taken or destroyed that has been part of NG… people never learn…. history belongs…. it is important.”

Others favoured letting the Alumni decide, as it is their memorabilia that is in question here: “Kemptville College students came from all across the province of Ontario, not just North Grenville. The Kemptville College Alumni is maintaining the history of the Alumni, not the history of the buildings of the college. Where would the memorabilia be if the Alumni had not collected and stored it?”

There was some agreement on this point: “This is my personal Opinion and I might get some ‘angry faces’, but here I go anyhow. If the collection belongs truly to the Alumni Association, why is this even a discussion? It is theirs to do what they want. Everybody else should mind their own business. OMAFRA, the municipality, and the historical society have no rights to the collection.” It should be noted that the North Grenville Historical Society is making no claim to the material, but has only offered to house and maintain it.

One possible compromise was suggested: “Two of my best friends graduated from Kemptville College. It is the students that made the College. Without the students, there would not have been a college. Let the Alumni have class pictures, trophies, etc., and let North Grenville Municipality keep the pictures of the buildings.”

The dispute continues unresolved right now, as the collection is in the possession of the Municipality, while the Alumni Association seeks to have it returned to their keeping and their title recognised in law.

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