“Thank Heavens the dream has been realized!”
Those were the words expressed by Gerry Boyce to a crowd of 100 before he cut the ribbon on the new $262,000 state of the art Belleville and Hastings County Community Archives at a celebration at the Belleville Public Library on Pinnacle Street Thursday.
As a charter member of the Hastings County Historical Society, Boyce has been working towards a safe and secure location for tens of thousands of historical documents for since October 1, 1957.
For his almost 60 years of dedication to the project the retired teacher and former Belleville city councillor was honoured with a Gerry Boyce Reading Room at the archives.
Orland French was the Historical Society president when the group made the proposal for a new facility March 2007. He said it’s been a long and winding road but absolutely shares Boyce’s sentiments that the new archives are more than he ever dreamed they would be.
Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher offered opening remarks at the ceremony, thanking the Historical Society and numerous volunteers.
Hastings County Warden Rick Phillips also praised the hard work of volunteers. Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Belleville City councillor Garnet Thompson and Hastings County Historical Society President Richard Hughes also offered warm remarks.
The archives are now open on the second floor of the Belleville Public Library at 254 Pinnacle Street.