November 2011


An interesting article was sent to the Archives this year by Jim McVicker of Vancouver. It was published in the Napanee Beaver on July 1, 1959 and records a key event in the history of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory: the issuing of the first cheque by the Band Council. Up to this point, as the article explains, bills had been paid by the Federal Government’s Indian Affairs Branch, through the local Indian Agents (based at the Deseronto Post Office). According to this article, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte were the first Band to gain control of their finances in this way.

The cheque was for fire services and is being presented by Treasurer Mrs Donald (Phyllis) Green to James McVicker (Jim’s grandfather) in the photograph. James was Deseronto’s postmaster and fire chief for many years. The Deseronto Fire Department covered the town and the Territory until the establishment of the Mohawk Fire Department in the early 1970s.

Postscript, December 3, 2013: Phyllis Green was the first employee of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. She died on December 2, 2013.

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At the musical evening held as part of the Library’s 125th anniversary celebrations John Hall, the Organist and Director of Music at  Christ Church and the choir of the church sang the following song as a tribute to the work of Frances Smith, Deseronto’s current librarian, and her team. We’re hoping to get a video made of a repeat performance to share here, but in the meantime, here at least are the words (with apologies to W. S. Gilbert) to give a taste of the event (and for re-use and adaptation, should you feel so inclined!).

I am the very model of a modern-day librarian
I’ve books for every baby and each septuagenarian
I’ve online databases and I’ll get you what you need to know
And if you need the washrooms then I’ll tell you where you have to go.

I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters bibliographical,
I understand MARC records and all issues biographical.
About our library catalogue I’m full of interesting facts,
We’ve books on everything from kangaroos to paying income tax.

We’ve books on everything from kangaroos to paying income tax.
We’ve books on everything from kangaroos to paying income tax.
We’ve books on everything from kangaroos to paying income tax.

I’m very good at knowing how to help each Des’rontonian
On matters scientific, Galilean  or Newtonian,
In short in matters notional and utilitarian,
I am the very model of a modern-day librarian.

In short in matters notional and utilitarian
She is the very model of a modern-day librarian

Our staff are very friendly and our hours egalitarian
We’ll help you all from pastry chef to parl-i-a-mentarian
We’ll help you with your homework and we’ll show you how to find a book
If you want to build a house or simply just learn how to cook.

I answer every question asked, I’m very inspirational
For finding work, for college or just simply recreational
We’ve DVDs, computers and a heap of fascinating texts
We’ll even help you out if you forgot to bring your reading specs.

We’ll even help you out if you forgot to bring your reading specs.
We’ll even help you out if you forgot to bring your reading specs.
We’ll even help you out if you forgot to bring your reading specs.

Our job centre’s fantastic and our archives are historical
Our books are always sorted in an order categorical
In short in matters notional and utilitarian,
I am the very model of a modern-day librarian.

In short in matters notional and utilitarian
She is the very model of a modern-day librarian

Thanks to everyone who attended this and all the other events which marked this anniversary. This is a difficult time for libraries and it was wonderful to see so much support for the service.