World War II Honour Roll of Palermo Volunteers
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- The World War II Honour Roll of Palermo Volunteers that originally held a place of honour in the Palermo Hall has been returned to the Palermo community by Halton Region Museum in 2015. It will hang in the stairwell of the old Palermo Schoolhouse under the care of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society. It names the volunteers of the Palermo community who fought "For King and Country", 1939-1949. The document is illuminated, beautifully decorated with the symbols of Canada and pays great honour to those Palermo men.
At the bottom, slightly right of the centre, the initials "AJC" appear. A.J. Casson, the youngest of the Group of Seven was thought likely to be the artist behind these World War Two Honour Rolls. In May 2016, informal correspondence with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection librarian/archivist told us about the design and the artists of these Honour Rolls.
We learned that the original calligraphy of the names in this example is not likely the work of A.J. Casson. However, he was the designer of the Honour Roll format.
"A.J. Casson worked for the Toronto design firm of Sampson-Matthews from the 1920s-50s. Following the Second World War, he designed an Honour Roll on which were lettered the names of the servicemen from a particular church/parish, school, etc. Casson designed the original scroll and these were mass-produced. For the most part, the individual calligraphy was not done by Casson but by one of many commercial artists at Sampson-Matthews who were employed to do lettering. If there was a particular school, church, etc. with special importance or of a personal connection to Casson, he may have done the calligraphy himself."
Casson died in 1992.
- The community of Palermo started as early as 1806. By 1835, the town had developed enough to boast its own post office, churches, schools, stores, blacksmith and surrounding mixed farming. The active community started the Palermo Sons of Temperance in 1850 and this group was the genus of the community hall.
The last "Palermo Public Hall Corporation" building (as the hall was legally called) was built in 1912 on Lot 31, 1st Con SDS. The building was totally funded by the people of Palermo and the events held in it - no government money aided the Hall. The Hall saw many social, sporting, political, religious events over the next 61 years.
In 1973, the building was demolished to widen Bronte Road.
When the cornerstone of the demolished building was lifted, it held a surprise. On the back of the stone, it was carved with the death date and misspelled name of Mary Inglehart. The Tweedsmuir History scrapbook has a newspaper clipping about this, as people thought that the stonemason's error ("Ingelhart") meant he had to redo the gravestone for the family, so his shop later used the stone for a purpose where the error was not likely to be seen.
Other commemorative Palermo tributes hung in the Hall including a plaque honouring Mr. Henry Heeks. Another plaque was prepared, perhaps to be used in a gazebo commemorating the Hall, and it says, "This building erected from the proceeds of Palermo Community Hall 1912 - 1974". A flag pole was erected out front of the Hall in memory of Dr. Anson Buck. All of these items are now displayed in the collection of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society at the old, one-room schoolhouse in Palermo and photographic records of them can be found by searching further in this online collection.
- For King and Country Members of Palermo Community who have volunteered for active service with Canada's fighting forces 1939-1945 World War II
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- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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Latitude: 43.43341 Longitude: -79.78293
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Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton