In all of the discussion and publicity surrounding the plans for the old Kemptville College lands, one group are feeling hard done by. The Kemptville College Alumni Association represents graduates of the College, and, over the many decades, the Association has gathered a large collection of memorabilia: photographs, correspondence, and other material detailing the history of the College and those who went to school there.
The collection was stored at the College and, after the University of Guelph withdrew from operating the institution, the memorabilia remained stored in the College under contract with the Alumni Association. A new building is being erected at the Lombardy Fairgrounds to house the collection, and to be the location of future Alumni gatherings. The Association would like to regain possession of their memorabilia in order to complete plans for the new building.
However, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs [OMAFRA], who have possession of the collection, have not yet returned the material to the Association.
According to Alumni Association President, Audrey Baker, and Past President, Ron Burgess, “From March 16, 2018 to the present date, OMAFRA will not respond to our lawyer’s request for a date to be set before April 30, 2018, to release the memorabilia. OMAFRA has now involved the Municipality of North Grenville and forwarded the information and documentation to them without our lawyer’s consent”.
The NG Times contacted the Municipality of North Grenville to see what their attitude will be towards the Alumni collection, but we received no response before going to print.
There are differing views as to what should be done with the memorabilia. While the Alumni clearly wish to maintain ownership of the collection and store it in the proposed Lombardy building, there are others who believe that it should be kept locally, in North Grenville, where the College was located, and where the collection was originally gathered. Talks had taken place with the North Grenville Historical Society in an effort to keep the collection in the community, but they produced no agreement on the matter. However, until the legal issues between OMAFRA, the Municipality of North Grenville and the Kemptville College Alumni Association is clarified, no decision will be made about the permanent destination of the decades of memories contained in the collection.