Awards Received

The J.D. Coulson Award for Outstanding Achievement

Awarded to GVHS President Marc Cockburn by the Regional Association of West Quebecers in November 2015 for his volunteer work.

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Marc Cockburn

Marc, originally from Northern Ontario, is a long-time resident of Wakefield. He works at Library and Archives Canada as a Cartography Archivist. His strong interest in Canadian history led to him joining the Board of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS) in 1999 and he has been President since 2004.

As a Board member of the Society, Marc began with editing the Newsletter and participated in planning and coordinating various Society events such as the Annual Auction and the Chelsea Remembrance Day Service. While President, Marc has designed and developed unique archival exhibits and presentations, and under his leadership, the GVHS has endeavored to open up its resources to researchers through digital means, and to increase the Society’s huge outreach with public events, and assistance to the wider heritage community.

Marc has worked tirelessly to ensure that the heritage of the Gatineau Valley is preserved, known, and appreciated.

He also brings the same enthusiasm as the Group Commissioner for First Wakefield Scouts, and as a Coach for the Ottawa Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team.

Wakefield’s Fairbairn House Heritage Centre considers GVHS its most important partner and their President, Michael Cooper, describes Marc as “the ever-present and ever-reliable face of the GVHS” and notes “his longstanding professional, enthusiastic and innovative work deserves all our recognition”.

Chelsea's volunteer award for Art, Culture and Heritage

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Award presented to Carol Martin on April 24, 2015.

Congratulations to Carol Martin for winning the Chelsea 2014 Volunteer Award for Arts, Culture & Heritage.

The following article has been copied from the qahn.org/news/gatineau-valley-historical-society-wins-richard-evans-award Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN).

Gatineau Valley Historical Society Wins 2012 Richard Evans Award

Author: Sandra Stock
--May 17, 2012.

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Louise Schwartz and David Yuill (left) accepted the 2012 Evans Award on behalf of the GVHS from Sandra Stock and Richard Evans of QAHN. (Photo - Matthew Farfan).

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the GVHS, whose mission is to promote the history and heritage of the Gatineau Valley. The founders of this organization have been involved in many dynamic projects over the years, including playing a leading role in the Fairbairn house project.

The GVHS has organized local historical walking tours; an annual "Heritage Paddle" down the Gatineau River culminating in a lumberman's supper and historical display; a community Remembrance Day ceremony; and an annual antique auction. In Cantley, La Pêche, Chelsea, and Wakefield, the GVHS has assisted with descriptions of historic houses and the installation of plaques. The GVHS has been active in the ownership and maintenance of the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery. And members of the historical society founded the Old Chelsea Protestant Burial Ground Committee which works with the municipality to support that 200 year old site.

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society has collaborated with other groups in local anniversary celebrations (Low) and assisted new groups (Cantley 1889) to set up their own organizations. There have been displays for libraries and other public places, school projects in local communities, and loans of artifacts to organizations such as the Logue Museum in Maniwaki and the Aylmer Heritage Association.

For the past 38 years, the GVHS has published Up the Gatineau, a local historical journal to which over 120 authors have contributed.

And finally, the Gatineau Valley Historical Society maintains an excellent archive at the municipal library in Chelsea. Volunteers respond to research inquiries in person, by email or by telephone. For more on the GVHS, visit www.gvhs.ca.

The following article has been copied from the qahn.org/news/wakefields-michael-cooper-wins-phelps-award Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN).

Wakefield's Michael Cooper Wins 2012 Phelps Award

Author: Sandra Stock
--May 17, 2012.

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Michael Cooper (left) and QAHN Vice-President Simon Jacobs at the recent QAHN AGM at Champlain Regional College in St. Lambert. (Photo - Renee Arshinoff).

The Marion Phelps Award is presented each year by QAHN to an outstanding volunteer in the heritage field. This year, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of this award is Michael Cooper.

Michael is the co-president of the Fairbairn Heritage Centre in Wakefield, which opens this year. He has worked "hands on" (literally) with hammer and nails, and, along with other committee members, has overseen the project and met with local and regional politicians to raise awareness and funds.

The Fairbairn house, which dates to the 1860s, was the home of William Fairbairn, the founder of Wakefield. As a heritage centre serving the Gatineau Valley, the house will serve as a meeting place for members of the community and visitors. It will offer exhibits, an archive, and space for workshops, school activities, and other events. It will also serve as a rest stop on the Trans-Canada Trail and a launching point for tours of the area. The story of the Fairbairn house, from its near destruction and its eventual restoration as a heritage centre through the efforts of community volunteers like Michael Cooper, is an inspiration to all heritage volunteers.

Michael Cooper's other volunteer activities include membership in the Gatineau Valley Historical Society. He has worked as a consultant for the Western Quebec School Board, and has sat on numerous committees of Quebec's Ministry of Education, working tirelessly to promote Canadian and local history.

In 2000, Michael served on the steering committee that founded the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network. For several years, he was a member of the QAHN board, including a stint as vice-president. QAHN salutes Michael for his past and ongoing efforts on behalf of heritage and history in Quebec.

Marion Phelps Award - Carol Martin

Year of Award: 2011

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Carol Martin with 2011 Marion Phelps Award.

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is very pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2011 Marion Phelps Award is Carol Martin of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

Since 1991, Carol has been the editor of Up the Gatineau, the annual local history journal of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society. To date, she has edited twenty-one volumes of this publication. Carol has been a member of the GVHS executive in various capacities since 1976. She has been a long-time volunteer archivist at the Chelsea Library and has been responsible for assisting the public with a variety of inquiries related to local genealogy, cemeteries and census records. In addition, Carol has volunteered with the annual GVHS antiques and collectibles auction, and has served as a citizen member on the Heritage and Culture Committee of the Municipality of Chelsea.

Over the years, Carol has shown exceptional organizational skills and has contributed much towards the preservation and publication of the history of Chelsea in particular and the Outaouais region in general. Her enormous contributions to heritage were acknowledged by her fellow historians of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society and the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre, as well as by the Municipality of Chelsea, all of whom nominated her for the 2011 Marion Phelps Award.

See more pictures on our Flickr account.

Marion Phelps Award -Norma Geggie

Year of Award: 2005

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Norma Geggie awarded 2005 Marion Phelps Award.

In 1954, Norma Geggie came to Canada from her native Australia to fill a nursing position at the newly created Gatineau Memorial Hospital in the village of Wakefield, Quebec. In the 50 years since then, she has been a dedicated contributor to her adopted community. A few years after her arrival in Wakefield she married Dr. Stuart Geggie whose family had deep roots in the Gatineau Valley. Together they developed a keen interest in local history and soon began to record their findings in books, articles, and through the collection and display of artefacts at the local museum of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

The Geggies' first book, "La Peche:A History of Wakefield and its Surrounding Areas", was published in 1974, with an expanded version in 1980. This was followed in 1976 by "Unto the Hills", a history of the local churches. In 1987 the Geggies published "The Extra Mile", from the jounals of the hospital's founder, Dr. Harold Geggie, a fascinating 132-page account of medicine as it was pracitsed in rural Quebec between 1885 and 1985.

Mrs. Geggie has written a number of local history books on her own. These include "Wakefield and its People:Tours of the Village," (1990); "A Place A part: A Search for the Pioneer Cemeteries of the Lower Gatineau Valley", (1999); and "Wakefield Revisited" (2003). She has also published numerous articles in the Society's periodical, Up the Gatineau.

For many years, Mrs. Geggie served on the Municipality of La Peche's Heritage Committee with emphasis on the built history of the region. She has been honoured with a life-membership in the Gatineau Valley Historical Society, where she is a volunteer in the Archives and has served on its board for several terms.

Besides her role as a researcher, writer and editor, Mrs. Geggie has worked with youth, as a literacy tutor and as an activist promoting affordable housing for senior citizens.

List of Awards presented to the GVHS

Group of the Year 2001

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Group of the Year
Inauguration of the Chelsea War Memorial
(Historical Society of the Gatineau)
In recognition of your involvement in the community


Group of the Year 2000

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Group of the Year
Historical Society of the Gatineau
In recognition of your involvement in the community



Gala Award presented to the Historical Society on November 28, 1997 for its Remembrance Day Service organized for the past 12 years in the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetary at the grave of Private Richard Thompson. (Newsletter 1998 01)

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Historical Society of the Gatineau Remembrance Day Service
In recognition of your involvement in the community and for the preservation and promotion of our history



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Historical Society of the Gatineau
In recognition of your involvement in the community and for the preservation and promotion of our history


Group of the Year - 1995

Group of the Year award presented to the Historical Society at the 5th Annual Chelsea Excellence Gala on December 1, 1995 in recognition of its contributions to the community over the years. (Newsletter 1995 December)

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Group of the year

Historical Society

In recognition of your contribution and involvement in the community



Plaque commemorating 100 years of postal service in Old Chelsea. (Newsletter 1985 September)

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En hommage
au bureau de poste de
In Tribute to
the Post Office of

Old Chelsea
qui célèbre
son centenaire
en 1985.

Le précident-directeur général
its Centennial
in 1985.

President and Chief Executive Officer

R. Michael Warren