Each year the Marine Heritage Society (MHS) holds its annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ to start off the summer season in Southampton.
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The MHS has grown from the original Propeller Club to an organization of more than 200 volunteers that maintains the historic Chantry Island Lighthouse and Pioneer Park at Southampton Harbour.
The group, that formed in the late 1900s by a group of Southampton retirees, was dedicated to restoring the Chantry Island Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters to its historical context of the 1800s.
Chantry Island is, today, a migratory bird sanctuary regulated under the Federal Government and only the Marine Heritage Society is allowed to conduct tours with restricted numbers, to the Island.
The tours have created not only a world-wide destination for lighthouse enthusiasts but has also meant an economic boost to the local community.
In July each year, the Society also hosts the Marine Heritage Festival that features a weekend of marine activities, including the famous Cardboard Boat Races at Southampton Harbour on Lake Huron.
The highlight of this year’s Volunteer Appreciation was a performance by renowned Canadian composer, record producer and entertainer, David Archibald. His work on Great Lakes marine heritage Spirit of the Inland Sea has been featured at National and Provincial Parks as well as the Blyth Festival and his music has been featured on CBC radio programs such as The Vinyl Café, Morningside, Fresh Air, Ontario Morning, Radio Noon and more. Archibald has been a long-time supporter of the Marine Heritage Society and has often performed at fundraising concerts for the organizations.