Media Advisory - Provincial plaque commemorates Puce River black community

    TORONTO, Aug. 14 /CNW/ -

    Date:              Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 10:30 a.m.
    Location:          Site of the AME Church and BME Church and Cemetery
                       Highway 42, approximately 1.5 km east of the Puce
                       Road, west of Concession 4 Lakeshore, Ontario
                       Please note: Visitors are asked to park at the John
                       Freeman Walls Historical Site and Underground Railroad
                       Museum Village at 859 Puce Road. Shuttle buses begin
                       at 9 a.m. to take guests to the cemetery for the
                       plaque unveiling.
    Special guests:    Tom Bain, Mayor, Town of Lakeshore
                       Bruce Crozier, MPP, Essex
                       Jeff Watson, MP, Essex
    Photo opportunity  Unveiling of a provincial plaque
    Contact:           Catrina Colme
                       Marketing and Communications Coordinator
                       Telephone: 416-325-5074

    Join us on Saturday, August 18 at the historic British Methodist
Episcopal (BME) Cemetery in Lakeshore as the Ontario Heritage Trust, the
Lakeshore Black Heritage Committee and the Town of Lakeshore unveil a
provincial plaque to commemorate the Puce River black community and to mark
the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.
    The Puce River black community is significant to Ontario's heritage for
its associations with early black settlement and the struggle for freedom. The
community grew as a result of support from the Refugee Home Society, an
abolitionist organization founded in the early 1850s. The society gave former
slaves and their families the opportunity to purchase 25-acre farms in
Sandwich and Maidstone townships, ultimately helping to settle more than 60
black families who escaped slavery in the United States by way of the
Underground Railroad. Today, one tombstone in the BME Cemetery is the only
physical reminder of the community.
    The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over
1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

                         Aussi disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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