On Oct. 23, the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library welcomed special guest speaker Clint Lovell to its Cookstown branch. He is the author of two books, The Boys from Barrie and Regret to Inform You, as well as an educator who has studied and taught in Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Lovell has a master’s degree in history and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. He has also received a commendation from the federal veterans affairs minister for his work in bringing veterans and students together to enrich the next generation’s understanding of history.
Throughout the course of the evening, Lovell shared a number of moving accounts from the First World War that he learned while doing extensive research for his two books, including stories of teary-eyed mothers and wives who would wait in front of their houses, dreading to see who might receive a telegram bearing terrible news from overseas. To bring that connection closer to home, Lovell shared the story of the Douse family of Lefroy. They had five sons enlist and serve, but only two returned home. Other topics included a discussion of the inventions that were borne out of necessity during the war that are still used today, as well as how he has inspired students to learn about the individuals who served from the Barrie and Innisfil area by incorporating these projects into his curriculum. A number of artifacts and recreations, including helmets, shell casings, a locket and various medals and badges from Lovell’s personal collection were also on display.
Main photo: Author and historian, Clint Lovell assists an audience member in a search for her relative. Inset photo: Artifacts from Clint’s personal collection.