The Settlers Trek 2016 a resounding success
The re-enactment of the to commemorate the bicentennial of the arrival of the first settlers to the Perth Military Settlement in 1816 has been completed!
The members of the original Trek were government-sponsored civilians from the British Isles and decommissioned soldiers from the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic conflicts.
Starting on Sunday, May 15, 2016, the participants left the Courthouse Green in Brockville, traveling by horse and wagon and by foot northwards through the communities of Lyn, Athens and Delta to Portland. At each of these five sites, local organizers presented daily civic celebrations that included music, dinners, dances, children’s games, gospel singalongs, church services, military encampments and skill demonstrations reflective of that period. After Lyn on Sunday, the Trek resumed at Athens on Monday for a family oriented program, approaching Delta on Tuesday evening and Portland on Wednesday.
From Portland, another group of re-enactors paddled the Rideau Canal to join the Trek at Rideau Ferry and paddled Tay waterway, meeting the Trek for the concluding grand finale Friday, May 20 at the Perth Basin.
The video below is an excellent summary of the experience:
We are so grateful to the communities and townships for their support, the generous financial contributions of the sponsoring organizations, and the steadfast effort of all the volunteers who worked so hard for so long to make this happen. A special thanks to the wagoneers and outriders who contributed so much character, enthusiasm and colour to the event. And most importantly, to the trekkers themselves whose driving interest in their heritage fueled the whole adventure and found their rewards in the experience.
Finally, to the Athens Lions Club who provided an umbrella sponsorship that really kicked the event into high gear. No provincial or federal government funding was required in the preparation and execution of this event and no bureaucrats were harmed. The horses were loved to death.
This Settlers Trek 2016 event is a credit to the descendants of those determined and hardy first settlers who learned to work together to forge the foundations of our Canada. Their legacy is ours to preserve and protect.