Ready for a ‘weekend to remember’

NiagaraThisWeek

  • Melinda Cheevers
  • |
  • Oct 04, 2012
  • Battle of Queenston Heights commemorative events to span three days

    Organizers behind next weekend’s Battle of Queenston Heights commemoration weekend outlined the schedule of events during a briefing on Tuesday at the Queenston Heights Restaurant. Taking place Oct. 12-14, scheduled events include an education day for students, historic battlefield tours, a large battle re-enactment with more than 900 volunteer re-enactors and a funeral procession and commemorative service honouring Major General Sir Isaac Brock.

    There’s a battle brewing in Queenston and things have already become a little testy.

    Next weekend marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle of the War of 1812. Occurring on Oct. 13, 1812, the battle saw British forces, Canadian militia and Native allies work together to stave off an American attack, rebuffing the United States regulars and New York militia forces led by Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer and their attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The British lost its commander, Major General Sir Isaac Brock early in the battle.

    During a media briefing on Tuesday at the Queenston Heights Restaurant, Niagara Parks Commission’s superintendent of heritage Jim Hill was put on notice and dressed down by re-enactment soldiers representing both the US and British forces.

    “Hill, I got a problem with you. You go on and on about these Brits, you go on and on about them pinning us down there but you don’t say a damn thing about us coming up here and taking these Heights,” said Daryl Learn, after interrupting Hill’s retelling of the battle, saying the ‘officer under the Crown’ was besmirching the US army. “All he does is rant and rave about the British propaganda.”

    However, the British didn’t seem to be any happier with Hill. Redressing him for ‘talking to American soldiers’, Peter Martin reminded Hill what happens to traitors on the Grand River.

    “I’m keeping my eye on you,” he warned.

    The impromptu visits during the event announcement served as a reminder to many that there are often conflicting views on either side of the border about the War of 1812 and the events that occurred throughout the three-year engagement.

    The Niagara Parks Commission, along with partners like Parks Canada, Friends of Fort George, Niagara 1812 Legacy Council, and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 1812 Bicentennial Committee have organized a weekend of events to commemorate the historic battle. Things kick off with an education day on Oct. 12 that will see hundreds of school children descend upon Queenston Heights park for a day of battlefield tours, historical demonstrations and a first-hand look at what life would have been like in 1812 through period merchants, entertainment and re-enactors.

    On Oct. 13, in addition to tours, demonstrations, and more there will also be a battle re-enactment at 3 p.m. More than 900 volunteer re-enactors have signed up already for the event. Following the re-enactment there will also be a commemorative ceremony at the base of Brock’s Monument to highlight the significance of the battle, followed by musical entertainment, tours and demonstrations as well as a fireworks display at 7:15 p.m.

    Commemorations continue on Sunday with a funeral procession and commemorative service for Brock and his aide-de-camp Lt.-Col. John Macdonell. The procession will start and finish at Fort George, winding through Old Town with stops at St. Mark’s Anglican Church and the Old Court House.

    “It’s going to be a weekend to remember,” promised Jarred Picher, manager of National Historic Sites Niagara for Parks Canada, who said the battle helped to define the nation.

    Other commemorative ceremonies and events are planned throughout the weekend. For a full schedule of events visit www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca.

     There’s a battle brewing in Queenston and things have already become a little testy.

    Next weekend marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle of the War of 1812. Occurring on Oct. 13, 1812, the battle saw British forces, Canadian militia and Native allies work together to stave off an American attack, rebuffing the United States regulars and New York militia forces led by Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer and their attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The British lost its commander, Major General Sir Isaac Brock early in the battle.

    During a media briefing on Tuesday at the Queenston Heights Restaurant, Niagara Parks Commission’s superintendent of heritage Jim Hill was put on notice and dressed down by re-enactment soldiers representing both the US and British forces.

    “Hill, I got a problem with you. You go on and on about these Brits, you go on and on about them pinning us down there but you don’t say a damn thing about us coming up here and taking these Heights,” said Daryl Learn, after interrupting Hill’s retelling of the battle, saying the ‘officer under the Crown’ was besmirching the US army. “All he does is rant and rave about the British propaganda.”

    However, the British didn’t seem to be any happier with Hill. Redressing him for ‘talking to American soldiers’, Peter Martin reminded Hill what happens to traitors on the Grand River.

    “I’m keeping my eye on you,” he warned.

    The impromptu visits during the event announcement served as a reminder to many that there are often conflicting views on either side of the border about the War of 1812 and the events that occurred throughout the three-year engagement.

    The Niagara Parks Commission, along with partners like Parks Canada, Friends of Fort George, Niagara 1812 Legacy Council, and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 1812 Bicentennial Committee have organized a weekend of events to commemorate the historic battle. Things kick off with an education day on Oct. 12 that will see hundreds of school children descend upon Queenston Heights park for a day of battlefield tours, historical demonstrations and a first-hand look at what life would have been like in 1812 through period merchants, entertainment and re-enactors.

    On Oct. 13, in addition to tours, demonstrations, and more there will also be a battle re-enactment at 3 p.m. More than 900 volunteer re-enactors have signed up already for the event. Following the re-enactment there will also be a commemorative ceremony at the base of Brock’s Monument to highlight the significance of the battle, followed by musical entertainment, tours and demonstrations as well as a fireworks display at 7:15 p.m.

    Commemorations continue on Sunday with a funeral procession and commemorative service for Brock and his aide-de-camp Lt.-Col. John Macdonell. The procession will start and finish at Fort George, winding through Old Town with stops at St. Mark’s Anglican Church and the Old Court House.

    “It’s going to be a weekend to remember,” promised Jarred Picher, manager of National Historic Sites Niagara for Parks Canada, who said the battle helped to define the nation.

    Other commemorative ceremonies and events are planned throughout the weekend. For a full schedule of events visit www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca.

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One Response to Ready for a ‘weekend to remember’

  1. Peter Mykusz says:

    HD video of the fireworks display is at

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