Continuing a Century of Tradition
Ralph Connor House is an important Canadian legacy, a Winnipeg heritage treasure and valuable educational and community resource.
The House is named for Ralph Connor, the pen name of Reverend Charles W. Gordon, a prolific and popular writer who gained international acclaim, for best selling novels Black Rock, The Man From Glengarry, Glengarry School Days and many others, but also as a Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of the United Church of Canada.
Today, the House is owned by the Friends of The Ralph Connor House, that has launched a 21st Century Campaign to ensure the legacy of the Gordon family continues, as well as the good work of the University Women's Club of Winnipeg, who have called Ralph Connor House home for over 70 years.
To preserve Ralph Connor House as a meeting place that keeps alive the spirit and legacies of Rev. Charles and Helen Gordon, their family and the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg, and to continue service to the greater community.
To be a centre and meeting place that fosters the work of people who are committed to education, social justice, healthy communities, human rights, music, art, literature and intellectual activity.
Heritage House Conservation Committee
This committee grew out of an early version in the 1990's which operated under the mantle of the UWC. It is now a standing committee of the Friends of Ralph Connor House.We have several annual events designed to form regular connections with the community outside the Club plus displays and tours as required.
For example each autumn we set up a display for teachers at SAGE ( Special Area Groups in Education) where we publicize our Living History Program. The program is drawn from the Social Studies curriculum and is designed for Grade Six students. This house tour allows the boys and girls to visit with eight women in the year 1917 where they are given insights to the changes in women's lives caused by WW1 and what life was like in that year. Over 200 students usually take part.
The Living History Tour is offered once a month for classes who make a reservation. Sometimes it is performed both morning and afternoon if necessary.The costumed performers are all members of UWC/FRCH volunteering their skill and time.
Tours with a docent are available all year long by making a reservation with the Club Administrator.
Visitors may also include a dinner, luncheon or afternoon tea.
In May of every year FRCH sponsors Doors Open at Ralph Connor House. This committee finds volunteer guides for the 400 - 600 visitors on this one day event.
We set up a display for the Signature Spring Luncheon each spring with the spotlight on "Ralph Connor" ( Dr, Charles W. Gordon), his novels, films and the House.
We will be at the Scottish Pavilion this summer to showcase Dr. Gordon, his work, the House and the book about the House - "54 West Gate - the stories of Ralph Connor House. We will be encouraging visitors to the pavilion to "Come and see Ralph Connor House".
Our present work in progress is a second book - this one about the Gordon women, Helen King Gordon and her six daughters. The book will be launched in September 2014.
All of our work is intended to increase knowledge and create attention for the House, It is only made possible by the splendid work of the volunteers from UWC/FRCH and the financial support of the Board of FRCH.
Irene Legg - Chair
click on images to view the slideshow ...
Visit the Friends of Ralph Connor House
UPDATE FROM FRIENDS OF THE RALPH CONNOR HOUSE, Inc, (FRCH)
Bob Darling, President FRCH
Look out! - Adventures Coming!
Summer is supposed to be a restful time! The operative word this year appears to be "supposed". Summer was anything but restful from our viewpoint.
You will note a number of repairs, alterations and upgrades to the exterior of Ralph Connor House and the grounds. The cost of some of this was partially covered by grants from Community Places (lintel over the entrance, window ledge repairs etc), repairs to the Coach House including upgraded electrical service and safety features, as well as improvements to the grounds. A lot of these latter changes were made possible by generous donors who assist us with tax deductible donations —- people like you. Thank you! We are indebted to Pamela McFarlane and Jan Christie for their efforts in arranging all of this.
Just finished is the very successful display at Folklorama's Scottish Pavilion - seven nights of hosting visitors to our "booth", talking about the House and its history, answering questions and handing out brochures for the Christmas Market. Irene Legg was magnificent and seemingly tireless in managing the whole week and ensuring that proper staffing was in place and that the volunteers were properly fed and watered. A huge "tip 'o the bonnet" to Irene. Thank you to all our volunteers. It looks like we'll be back next year so why not plan on being part of the fun? Very satisfying indeed.
So - what's next??? Nothing much except a celebration on the lawn (weather accommodating - a tent will be raised in any event) on Sunday, October 5th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. sponsored by the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (successor to Winnipeg's 79th Cameron Highlanders of which the Reverend Charles Gordon was the Padre), the St Andrew's Society of Winnipeg and Friends of the Ralph Connor House. Plans include some remarks by grandson Charles Gordon, plenty of piping and drumming, good Scottish food and drink and great ambiance. Details will be coming in the near future together with an opportunity to purchase tickets. Admission will be by ticket only and tickets will be limited by space. So - get your orders in early to avoid disappointment.