Victoria Hall Volunteers honour a pioneering spirit

By Cecilia Nasmith

An evening of local history on May 15 will leave audience members better informed on a legendary settler, as Victoria Hall Volunteers present an evening called Susanna Moodie, Fact And Fiction.

Susanna Moodie, an early 19th century pioneer in Hamilton Township, is an influential and important early Canadian author. Roughing It In the Bush, her personal account of pioneer life in Upper Canada, is a staple in so many universities' Canadian literature courses.

Two authors who have examined her life and times will offer a discussion on their findings, moderated by Hugh Brewster - an historian and playwright whose play Last Day, Last Hour was the centrepiece of Cobourg's Armistice 1918 celebrations last fall.

Author Cecily Ross was a local resident more than 30 years ago, known to the community through her work as a reporter for the Cobourg Daily Star. Now a resident of Creemore, Ont., she went on to become an award-winning writer for The Globe and Mail, Macleans and Harrowsmith, and has now authored The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie,

Michael Peterman is Professor Emeritus at Trent University Professor Emeritus Michael Peterman has long had a keen interest in pioneer sisters Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, writing several books on the subject. His latest is Susanna Moodie: A Life.

The evening promises to be an exciting discussion about a woman who made her mark upon her time (and ours) in the heritage treasure of a building that was erected in 1860 as a prospective national capitol.

Your host, the Victoria Hall Volunteers, strive to bring meaningful events to the community as a means to raise funds for the upkeep and enhancement of this building, from the purchase of grand pianos for the Concert Hall to the recent refurbishment of the building's foyer.

Victoria Hall is located at 55 King St. W. in Cobourg, and the event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and include complimentary refreshments.

Get your tickets at the Victoria Hall Concert Hall box office (905-372-2210 or

For more information, call 905-373-1432, or visit