Local federal Members of Parliament Eric Duncan (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry) and Francis Drouin (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) have announced that the Glengarry Fencibles Trust has recently received a federal contribution of $98,572.02 in support of the conservation of the Bishop’s Residence within the Ruin of St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church, a National Historic Site of Canada.
The project focuses on the conservation of the three north-facing stone walls of the Bishop’s Residence, equating to about 2,000 square feet of wall area. The volunteers of The Glengarry Fencibles Trust are also investing in the rehabilitation project through local fundraising and donations. The two MPs visited the site to see the work in progress and recognized the economic impact this site has on their joint communities. Heritage sites, like those in St. Raphael’s provide direct spending, visitor spending and spin-off economic activity. The federal contribution will ensure that the effects of this program will be felt for years and generations to come.
These celebrated landmarks are the source of great local and national pride. “We are very fortunate that Glengarry County takes such pride in preserving our local history. The Bishop’s House is another great example of volunteers stepping forward to save a historic site and turn it into both a cultural and economic opportunity. It is appreciated that the hard work and fundraising efforts of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust has been recognized nationally with this funding,” said MP Eric Duncan.
“The Bishop’s Residence in St. Raphael’s is not only a historic monument, it is a place where we, in eastern Ontario, can learn about our history. A year ago, the federal government, through Parks Canada, invested in this historical site, to ensure that generations to come will have access to this piece of our history,” said MP Francis Drouin.
Conservation architect Mona Lamontagne advised the project on heritage masonry styles, and then oversaw the stonemasons’ materials and progress. “We were conserving the building’s most weathered walls — including the 1808 northern exposure, so such attention to technique and historical accuracy was critical. Supporters trust us to use their funds carefully. When they see the results of this grant, it will solidify that trust,” said Brenda Baxter, President Glengarry Fencibles Trust.