There are many kinds of teachers in the world. When we think of the word “teacher”, often we have images of someone standing in front of a classroom teaching young learners literacy and numeracy.
Teachers come in many forms. Some of the greatest teachers are those of history.
Every community has a history. That is a commonality we all have no matter what country we come from, whether we’re from an urban area or a rural hamlet. Our communities have histories.
With regional population migrations, often we see the more rural areas of countries such as Canada grow smaller and sometimes even disappear. Sadly, the histories of places like that are at risk of disappearing too.
Thankfully there are passionate men and women around the world who work diligently to ensure that those local histories are not lost. My father, William O’Shea is one of those people.
In this post, I will be sharing one of his books “The Louisburg Brass Bands – by William A OShea.” (Please Download for FREE)
The three Louisburg brass bands, organized between 1903 and 1935, or local expressions of the Citizen’s Band Movement that developed in Europe and North America during the last half of the 19th century. Brass bands were composed of varieties of brass instruments with a small percussion section. They tended to be organizations of volunteer enthusiasts as opposed to professional bandsman. This does not diminish the quality of the music of brass bands, but I did present some special challenges in recruiting, continuity of membership, training and financial support.”
The Louisburg Brass Bands – by William A OShea. It is of course about specific regional history, but it is good to have the histories of small towns live on.
My father worked very hard throughout the years, on his personal passion project of documenting the history of the modern town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada. As a professional researcher and manager for Parks Canada / Heritage Canada, he had the right skill set to effectively compile local histories through research and personal interviews with people from the community.
In recent years I realized that my father had a great body of important research that now existed, for the most part, in boxes and bookshelves in his own house.
I decided that more people need access to his research and the history of an important place in Canada. I’m taking it upon myself to digitize and share his work with the world. I’m sure there will be researchers, university students and local history enthusiasts who will appreciate this work being digitized and made accessible.
Over the next few weeks, more books by William A. O’Shea will be digitized and shared for free. Also, a remarkable series, known as “Heritage Notes” from an organization he helped found, the Louisbourg Heritage Society will be digitized and shared.
There will be a website specifically for this coming down the pipe soon.
Those who record our history and share it with our communities and the broader culture are teachers who are crucial to our societies. Who are we if we have no idea where we came from and how we got here?
William A. O’Shea is a retired researcher, historian, and manager for Parks Canada / Heritage Canada. His professional life was dedicated to learning more about and teaching Canada about the history of our country. One of his personal passions has always been to learn more about local histories and share them with the broader community. He was a founding member of the Louisbourg Heritage Society, Deputy Mayor of the Town of Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and wrote many books and articles about the town of Louisbourg and the surrounding area. He called Louisbourg home for more than 30 years. He now resides in Cornwall, Ontario near his home town of Long Sault, Ontario.