"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill, naval officer, public servant (b at Guelph, Canada W 7 July 1855; d at Portland, Ont 15 July 1935). He joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1869, served in the Sudan in 1884 and as British vice-consul and agent at Zeyla, Aden. He rose to captain by 1898 and subsequently commanded ships on the Australia, China and Home stations. In 1908 he retired from the Royal Navy as a rear-admiral and took charge of the Canadian Marine Service. He played a prominent role in the founding of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910, and, as vice-admiral, became the first director of the Naval Service. He commanded the RCN throughout WWI and was promoted admiral in 1917.
In 2017 Members of PRHS constructed and installed the Admiral Kingsmill flagpole in Hannah Park In Portland. The flagpole with a visible light at the masthead provides a beacon for the approaches into the harbour of the village of Portland on Big Rideau Lake. Often referred to as the "father of the Canadian Navy", Admiral Kingsmill was hooked by the beauty of the Big Rideau and established a home on Grindstone Island. He now resides permanently in a local cemetery. Kingsmill was the first Director of the Canadian Naval Service (which later became the Royal Canadian Navy).
The former Emmanuel Anglican Church is a landmark for Portland, overlooking the village and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal and Big Rideau Lake.Built in 1861, the former church has been an active contributor to the community for over 150 years.
Should this mission to save the church be successful, it will continue to be an active contributor to our community in the years to come, perhaps as the site of a new library, visitor centre or museum.
This Dock Shelter project recalls the days when steamships plied the Rideau Canal bringing cargo and vacationing visitors to the bustling harbour of Portland on Big Rideau Lake. A shelter was erected on the public dock to provide cover for waiting passengers. It was for many years the signature landmark of Portland. The design here relies on a Scissor trust to enable removing centerline support posts in the old dock shelter.