We rarely stop to consider that history is everything that has happened before today.
Consequently we often fail to record current events that future generations will find significant.
As a new immigrant to Canada, Canon George Bull recognized the need for recording those historical events that Canadians had accepted as the insignificant details of daily life. Local residents on Lundy’s Lane had provided accessibility to the site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and built towers so that tourists could view the former battle field and the river and falls beyond it, but their interest was in catering to tourist curiosity rather than writing down the experiences of the people who had lived through this time of warfare on the Canadian Frontier.
George Bull was born in Dublin, Ireland. He came to Canada and received his education at Victoria College in Coburg, Ontario and at Trinity College in Toronto. He married Elizabeth Farmer of Bridge North, Shropshire North, England.
Following his graduation from Trinity, Bull became rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Barton, now part of Hamilton, Ontario. From there he became rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Glanford, Ontario. He was made a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton. In 1885 he came to Niagara to be the third rector of All Saints parish in Chippawa. He served in
that capacity for seventeen years resigning in 1902 for health reasons.
In addition to his ministry as rector of All Saints Church, Canon Bull became the driving force in the preservation of local history. He was one of the founders and the first president of the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society.
Over the years the Drummond Hill Cemetery had been neglected. In 1887, Canon Bull decided that this site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane during the War of 1812 was an important historical location that ought to be preserved. The Lundy’s Lane Historical Society that he had just founded petitioned for a historical monument to mark the scene of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.
On 26 July 1895, the 81st anniversary of that battle they unveiled the monument with a great deal of ceremony.
Canon Bull’s monument still stands atop the battlefield. Perhaps more importantly the Historical society that he brought into being still studies and promotes the recording of history. And every year on the anniversary of that significant battle, the members of the society gather at the monument for a ceremony of honour in recognition of the significance of that battle in the history of Canada.
Drummond Hill Cemetery Tours
Justice 4 Black Lives Book Club
FILM SERIES: ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
Recordings from the Museum Collection