Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Box 430, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0
The Hon. Michael D. Harris
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Bldg, # 281
1 Queen's Park Cres. South
September 23, 1999
The year 2000 is fast approaching and most Ontarians will find the dawn of the new millennium reason enough for festivity. The community of Niagara-on-the-lake will have even more reason to celebrate as the year 2000 will mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of the first public library in Upper Canada in the settlement known then as Newark. Our library will be the first public library in Canada to celebrate a Bicentennial.
We are planning a year long schedule of special events, but none will be more important than the gala evening planned for January 29, 2000. We would like to invite you to be our special guest on this occasion.
The theme for the evening will be Once upon 200 Years and a 6pm symposium will be followed by a Call to Victuals (1800 style) at 7pm. Following dinner and greetings, a re-enactment of the meeting at which the library was founded will be staged and will include this stirring declaration as recorded in the first record book:
"Sensible how much we are at a loss in this new and remote country for every kind of useful knowledge, and convinced that nothing would be of more use to diffuse knowledge amongst us and our offspring that a library supported by subscription in this town; we whose names are hereunto subscribed hereby associate ourselves together for that purpose ...."
We know that the founding 200 years ago of this first ever public library in Upper Canada had great import and significance for all that followed after. We feel that it is cause for great celebration and nothing would make the occasion more significant than your presence amongst us as we acknowledge the debt and foresight we owe to our ancestors.
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We sincerely hope that your busy schedule will allow you to find the time to be our honoured guest for this commemorative celebration of a very important event in this history and evolution of Ontario.
Bob Allen, Chairman
Niagara-on-the-lake Public Library Board