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Another award for Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church restoration

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

The Ontario Historical Society has presented the 2016 President's Award to the Township of Oro-Medonte for its support of restoration efforts of the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church.
IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

The Ontario Historical Society has presented the 2016 President's Award to the Township of Oro-Medonte for its support of restoration efforts of the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

ORO-MEDONTE TWP. (STAFF) – Another award has been received by the Township of Oro-Medonte in regards to its ongoing support of restoration efforts of the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The historical church, located at Line 3 and Old Barrie Road, had been in a state of disrepair for years but has recently been brought back to life thanks to community efforts.

The Ontario Historical Society recently presented the 2016 President’s Award to the Township of Oro-Medonte for its restoration of the church.

The award recognizes an outstanding contribution to heritage conservation in Ontario’s recent past, according to society spokesman Daniel Dishaw.

“Oro-Medonte Township undertook a highly successful fundraising campaign to save the building,” he said in an Ontario Historical Society statement. “That campaign drew vital attention to the history of the early Black settlers of the area, many of whom defended Upper Canada during the War of 1812.”

The conservation project re-established the building’s structural integrity, moving it onto a new foundation.

“Much of the original fabric of the building was saved and the church’s early appearance restored,” Dishaw stated.

The award was presented at the annual general meeting of the Ontario Historical Society in Toronto last week.

Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes said he applauded the efforts of everyone involved.

“This was a full community effort from local volunteers and from people across North America who had an interest in seeing this church restored,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Excellence in Conservation Award and the Community Leadership Award for the Oro-African Church preservation project was presented by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

During June, as well as September and October, tours of the church are available on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. courtesy of the Simcoe County Museum.

In July and August, those hours are extended to Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

imcinroy@postmedia.com



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