2022 (04) July/August Newsletter

Hello Members,

You may have noticed that you haven’t heard from us for a little while. The July/August newsletter that was ready to go was accidentally overlooked and did not get sent out. We regret the oversight. We didn’t want you to miss out on the great content, however, so we are sending it out now. We figure it’s better late than never! Stay tuned for the September/October newsletter coming soon.     

The newsletter team (Karin, Nancy, Chris and Faye)Summer has been very exciting here at The OPP Museum. After several months of long hours and hard work, we were so happy to open our doors to the public on Monday, July 25th. Welcoming back our guests and sharing our new exhibits has been wonderful experience, and we could not be more please with the kind words of praise we have received.

The Museum has also been very busy receiving hundreds of interesting treasures into the collection. An extensive collection from Gordon Lee was donated to the Museum before his passing in February, 2022 at age 94. His career spanned four decades as he served communities in Kenora, Dryden, Cobourg, Lindsay, Bowmanville, and eventually retiring as a Corporal in Newcastle. Our favourite items from this incredible collection include his forensics kit that he used as an Identification officer and Photographer. This kit was integral to the collecting and photographing evidence at crime scenes, the writing of reports and to identify fingerprints for use in court. Some of this kit is now on display in the Museum gallery in exhibit case #44.

2022.9.4 Gordon Lee’s OPP Forensic Kit

This past June, during National Indigenous History Month, the Indigenous Policing Bureau (IPB) highlighted the five Haudenosaunee communities across Ontario; Akwesasne, Tyendinaga, Six Nations, Oneida and Wahta. The Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, consist of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora people. Through poster installations along OPP General Headquarters’ “Public Street,” two displays in partnership with the OPP Museum and a five-session online learning series, IPB and honoured guest speakers from the community shared the unique history, culture and contributions of Haudenosaunee people and communities, as well as personal stories and lived experiences. Members of the OPP and invited policing and community partners were welcomed to join presentations on the History of the Great Law of Peace and the Confederacy, Art, Music and Ceremony, A Story of Resiliency, Lacrosse and Sovereignty, and Policing in Haudenosaunee Communities.

Items on Loan from OPP Indigenous Policing Bureau

Coming this October, we will be hosting a Grand Opening for our exhibit. Event details will be released soon, and it is sure to be a fantastic time for all in attendance!

We look forward to seeing you all at the Museum very soon!

Chris arranges body armour for display
Some helpful Recruits moved our Remote Mobile Investigator (RMI)
to its new display location

OPPA Credit Union History
By Sherri deGroot
Director of Brand and Business Development OPPA Credit Union

The idea of a credit union for OPP employees came from a group of members of the OPPA in the late 1960s. These members, including Ian Robertson, Bill Phillips, Bob McAfee and Jim Hard, felt a financial institute focused solely on helping OPP members would be a benefit to its officers and their families.

On July 16, 1971 the Minister of Financial and Commercial Affairs granted incorporation to the OPPA Credit Union and on September 14, 1971 the credit union was officially recorded as a corporation in the records of the Province of Ontario’s Department of Financial and Commercial Affairs.

Initially, the credit union operated in the area known as Police District No. 7, with its office located within the OPPA offices in Barrie. It took only a short time for the credit union to catch on amongst officers, by June of 1972 interest in the OPPA Credit Union had grown so much that the boundaries of operation were expanded to cover the entire Province of Ontario. After its first year of operation, the OPPA Credit Union’s assets stood at $79,000.

Initially operating with two part time employees, and offering only the basics; shares, savings and small loans. It wasn’t until 1973 that the first full time employee, Dorothy Robertson was hired as a bookkeeper. By 1975, assets stood at 1.2 million.This success and growth led to the addition of a full time General Manager position which would be filled by Bob McAfee in 1978.

Credit Union President Horne presents a cheque to Brother J.L. Madigan whose deposit brought Credit Union’s assets to $1 million, circa the 1970s

Through the years the OPPA Credit Union employees and Board worked hard to bring additional services and benefits to the members. On October 4th, 1995, the OPPA Credit Union became the first credit union to join the national link of automatic teller machines (ATM’s). This important advancement allowed members to access their accounts at more than 3500 ATMs across Canada.

The OPPA Credit Unions success continued, in 1996 it was time for a large expansion, building its own office next door to the Association. This is where the credit union resides today. Housing 27 full time employees, including five Financial Advisors. Serving 8000 members with assets of over $225 million.

Credit Union Staff, circa the 1980s

Our vision of “providing the OPP family with a lifetime of superior financial experiences” remains at the forefront of each employee’s mind as they provide full financial services from day-to-day banking, investments, mortgages, financial and estate planning. Our focus is always on our members, and we strive to be a place for them to turn when they need advice they can trust.

1980s Advertisement of the Credit Union office. It has since moved to 123 Ferris Lane

Keeping peace on the water
By OPP Museum Staff

The year was 1934. Provincial Constables E.F. Hartlieb and H.O. Finger had a problem – an increasing number of summer cottage break-ins on Georgian Bay. To do the job, they had to get out onto the water. Like all provincial constables, Hartlieb and Finger had to use their ingenuity and the resources at hand. The answer came in a dollar-a-day boat rental and a small outboard motor that was provided by the Liquor Board. This was characteristic of the OPP’s early years in marine patrol.

The inauguration of a provincial police marine service in 1949 meant that the OPP could begin to be self-sufficient patrolling northern waters. This was made a reality with the purchase of two, 22 foot long, cabin cruisers. Built by Shepherd of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the cruisers (appropriately named Temagami and Kenora), were destined for service on Lake Temagami and the Lake of the Woods. A third boat was added three years later. By 1955, eight large vessels made up the OPP marine fleet.

2001.90.43 OPP boat Temagami, also known as Boat #1, was named for the lake it patrolled. Harry Morel was the operator.

At this time, the provincial force had no statutory responsibility for policing boating on waterways as that fell under the federal enforcement of the Canada Shipping Act. Boats meant that officers could reach islands and other isolated areas to carry out their task of law enforcement on land. Onshore policing was the order of the day.

Law enforcement on inland waterways in Canada became the responsibility of the OPP in 1961 with the amendment of the Canada Shipping Act. This transformation concretely meant that most of the 78,747 square miles of inland waterways now came under Provincial Police jurisdiction, not only for onshore policing but also for actual watercraft enforcement. The OPP had not foreseen this legislative change and so were literally ill-equipped to deal with this new responsibility but responded to the task at hand.

In one dramatic example, the OPP came to the rescue during the summer of 1970. In the early hours of July 14, the Eastcliff Hall ran aground and sank in the St. Lawrence River near Morrisburg. Provincial police saved twelve members of the crew, while unfortunately nine others perished. Police divers were able to recover eight bodies from inside the ship, under extremely dangerous circumstances. The personnel involved in the rescue effort all received a special commendation for their courageous and prompt action.

Temagami during restoration 2010-2011

Today, the OPP has a province-wide Marine Program utilizing over 150 marine vessels of either aluminum or fibreglass construction. They range from as small as 14’ to as large as 38’, some having a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour. To operate these, the OPP enlists 380 specially trained police officers from detachments and specialty units all over the province, patrolling the waterways and enforcing the Canada Shipping Act of 2001, all with a focus on the safety of commercial and recreational boating.

Did You Know? Fast Facts about the OPP
By OPP Museum Staff

• The OPP is one of only three provincial forces in Canada, along with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Surete du Quebec.
• The OPP’s innovative flasher light system, attached to the roof bar on a cruiser, has been adopted throughout North America.
• Early cruisers were referred to as “Holsteins” thanks to their black and white bodies and fenders.
• The term “cop,” British slang meaning to arrest or catch, was first used in reference to a police officer in the 1800s.
• Motorcycles won out over horses as the preferred method of transportation for OPP officers in the 1920s.
• Patrick Kelly was issued the first official OPP badge, #1, in 1922, 13 years after he joined the organization in 1909.
• OPP officers seized 92 gallons plus 22,314 bottles of whisky, 293 bottles of gin, 6 kegs plus 219 bottles of beer, and 58 ¾ gallons of alcohol in 1919.
• In 1910, Colt Police Positive revolvers were the first firearms issued to Provincial Constables at a cost of $15.00 each.
• The OPP Canine team was formed in 1965 and initially trained in Maryland.
• The northern-most OPP detachment is located in Pickle Lake.

2022 Run with Friends Fundraiser Update

Run packages have been sent to participants! If you have not received yours, please let us know. Please contact us at support@oppmuseumfriends.ca if you have any questions.

Don’t forget to share your glory! Send us your photos and videos- we would love to share them for future events. Please email them to support@oppmuseumfriends.ca

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you all again in the future!

We would like to share a grateful thanks to our generous sponsors:

Calling all Volunteers!
The Friends are always looking for volunteers to assist with upcoming events and outreach programming. For more information, please email volunteers@oppmuseumfriends.ca

The weekend of July 9-10 saw Friends attend the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia. It was our first community outreach event following the pandemic. Among the volunteers staffing our booth are pictured (left to right) Judi Armstrong, Volunteer Coordinator, volunteer Julia McCuaig, and Elfie Nunnikhoven, Friends’ Treasurer. Thanks to Dave Osborne, Sandy Loos and Peggy Onlock, who also helped out over the weekend as did members of the Orillia Auxiliary Unit.

Wishing you the very best for the fall,
The Communications Committee

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