Terry Fox photos from St. Marys to be featured in...
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Mar 12, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Terry Fox photos from St. Marys to be featured in national museum

St. Marys Journal Argus

Stew Slater

St. Marys Journal Argus

GATINEAU, QUEBEC — Two photos of Canadian hero Terry Fox that appeared in the July 20, 1980 edition of the St. Marys Journal Argus will be on display as part of an upcoming exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization) in Gatineau, Quebec, across the Ottawa River from the Parliament Buildings.

The photos, although not credited to a particular photographer in the newspaper, were almost certainly taken by former Journal Argus publisher, the late Ted Rowcliffe.

“The Canadian Museum of History . . . is preparing an exhibition (that) will explore Terry Fox’s heroic Marathon of Hope through a unique exhibition marking, in 2015, the 35th anniversary year of his cross-Canada run,” explained an email to the Journal Argus from the museum’s copyright officer, Eva-Maria Houde. The email was seeking permission from the Journal Argus for the use of the photos — one of which was taken from atop the steps of the Town Hall as Fox was about to ascend from a veritable sea of spectators; the other showing Fox at the top of the steps bearing a wide grin and gazing directly at the camera while then St. Marys Cancer Society publicity chair, the late Janice Ford, looks over the crowd.

According to Trisha McKibbin, director of the St. Marys Museum — which owns the rights to photos through its role as archives holder for the Journal Argus — permission will be granted for use. The exhibition is set to open on April 3 and run to Jan. 24, 2016.

“A wide array of artifacts and special installations will allow (visitors) to share what Terry experienced during his 147-day, 5,000-kilometre journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Thunder Bay, Ontario,” explained the email from the Museum of Civilization’s Houde. “ A North American tour is envisioned, as well the possibility of a catalogue and e-book.”

One interesting catch in the story is that the St. Marys Museum, in an effort to provide the most high-quality versions of the photos possible for the exhibition, discovered that the original film negatives from the photos are missing. The Museum has negatives for other photos taken during Fox’s historic visit, but not those exact images.

Not only that, but the original copy of the Journal Argus from July 20, 1980, is also missing from the Museum’s archives. The only copies of the images in the St. Marys Museum’s possession are in the form of the microfilm reproduction of the old newspaper.

With these gaps in the archives in mind, McKibbin requested that a message be sent to the public asking if anyone has any of their own photos, or copies of the newspaper from that day. If they do, the St. Marys Museum would love to have a look.

McKibbin can be contacted at 519-284-3556 or museum@town.stmarys.on.ca.

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