On May 2 - 4, the Niagara Slovak Historical Society took part in the Ontario Genealogical Society's annual conference at Brock University in St. Catharines. Although the NSHS is not a genealogical society per se (although it will assist members who wish to pursue their family history), the venue provided opportunities to exchange ideas with various organizations interested in researching, recording, and presenting the history of immigrants to Ontario.
The NSHS's purpose is to research and document the history of families from Slovakia who settled in the Niagara Area. To date, the OGS was composed mostly of groups of English, Scottish, and Irish heritage. At the conference, the NSHS became involved with a move to establish a special interest group within the OGS that would focus East European origins. In the last picture - depicting three people sitting at the table are the prime movers behind the NSHS: Mary Sirotnik (nee Kosco), Anne Smith (nee Kosco) in the middle, and Stephen Reistetter. Missing from the picture is Jennifer Marcoux.
Societies such as NSHS are an invaluable tool not only to make visible the contribution of Slovak settlers to the development of Ontario and Canada, but also let our new generations, born in Canada, to know their roots and the real stories of their ancestors.
Photos and Text: Stephen Reistetter