After saving the house of Ontario’s first bishop from the wrecking ball, a small private trust is now racing against the clock to raise funds to restore the heritage building and resurrect the memory of Bishop Alexander Macdonell.
The Glengarry Fencibles Trust must raise $1 million (£823,700) before the end of March to qualify for a matching grant from Parks Canada.
“This whole proposition of raising a million dollars is a little daunting in the time frame we have,” said Brenda Baxter, president of the trust’s seven-member board.
If the trust is successful, the heritage building in the small town of St Raphael’s, Ontario – about 60 miles southeast of Ottawa – will become an interpretative centre to recount the multifaceted contribution to Canadian history by the first bishop in English-speaking Canada.
When Great Britain and France went to war in 1794, then-Fr Macdonell, a Scot, contributed to the establishment of the first Catholic regiment in the British army. As chaplain of the newly formed Glengarry Fencible Infantry that fought in the Napoleonic Wars, his duties included caring for the wounded.
Picture: The Glengarry Fencibles Trust hopes to raise $1 million (£823,700) by the end of March to qualify for matching funds from Parks Canada to restore the house of Ontario’s first bishop, Bishop Alexander Macdonell. (CNS photo/Canadian Catholic News).