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Board Of Directors

David HemmingsDavid Hemmings, President

David joined the Board of Directors in 2015.  He moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2008 after 40 years in the IT systems and services business, primarily for large government applications.  Since this change of focus, David has written 8 local history books, given numerous talks and run a small publishing house.  He is a member of the Municipal Heritage Committee and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake UNESCO Committee.  He also conducts public sessions of Practical Genealogy & Family History at the NOTL Library, and assists the Town in historical and other projects.  .

Faith BellFaith Bell, Past President

Faith joined the Board of Directors in 2013. She was born and raised in St. Catharines. After attending the University of Waterloo she lived in numerous communities in Canada and US with her husband, David. Over that time she raised three children and had several diverse careers including being owner/operator of a retail store in Toronto, and has been involved in many not-for-profit organizations.  Faith returned “home” to Niagara and with David operates AquaBella B&B in NOTL.

Denise AscenzoDenise Ascenzo, Vice-President Society

Denise joined the Board of Directors in 2013. She moved to Niagara-on-the-lake in 2010 after living in Unionville, Ontario for over 35 years. Upon moving, the first organization she joined was the Niagara Historical Society.  Denise has volunteered for the society for three summers now, conducting tours for the War of 1812, Town tours and acting in the A Walk Through History vignettes. Prior to moving to NOTL, Denise had been a volunteer for the York Region Interlocking Girls Soccer League as a Director and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets as a Director with the Ontario Provincial Committee. Denise also worked for five years, prior to her move, for the Bel Canto Foundation, raising funds to assist Canadian opera students to study in Italy. The main fundraiser was the annual Bel Canto Gala where she was Chair of the Gala Committee for four years.

"A natural affinity with historical perspectives, combined with an opportunity for travels to distant lands, has heightened my awareness of the importance of the past and it's preservation. To experience it first hand in local surroundings, while being able to recreate it for the enjoyment of others, has allowed me to continue and share these worthwhile pursuits."

Ron DaleRon Dale, Vice-President Museum

Ron Dale joined the Board of Directors in 2016.  After graduating with a degree in history from the University of Guelph he began a 38 year long career with Parks Canada, working in the Regional Office as a planner and historian, and at Fort Wellington National Historic Site.  From 1992 to 2007, Ron managed Niagara National Historic Sites including Fort George, Butlers Barracks, Fort Mississauga, Navy Island, Navy Hall, the Commons and Brock’s Monument.  In 2007, he took on the role of National Project Manager for the War of 1812 Bicentennial, planning federal commemorations of that conflict.  On retiring from Parks Canada in 2013, Ron worked for several months for the Department of Canadian Heritage to research the names of Canada’s war dead for inclusion of a new War of 1812 Book of Remembrance that will be installed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. He is the author of books on the history of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War. 

Mona BabinMona Babin, Treasurer

Mona was born in Ottawa and lived 32 years in Markham/Unionville before moving to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2015 with her husband.  She worked 24 years as a Sales Rep/Manager for Procter & Gamble in the Toronto area.  There, she held several roles, including Account Executive and Manager of the National Merchanding organization.  She then spent 4 years as the Executive Director of l’Association des francophones de la région de York, a French non-profit organization whose mission was to promote better access to quality French services in York region.  A proud franco-Ontarien, since moving to the Niagara region, she has worked as a supply teacher at l’École élémentaire St-Antoine in Niagara Falls.  In her spare time she is involved in the Village Community Association, volunteers with the library, and sits on the events committee with the Shaw Guild. 

“We have so many guests that come to visit us here in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and I love to tell them about the history of the Town.  This is why I initially joined the Niagara Historical Society.  I have learned so much by going to lectures, walking tours, ghost walks, and visiting exhibitions.  I actually really enjoy attending the Annual General Meeting, because I learn about the society.  Joining the Board of Directors is a natural next step, and a privilege for me.  My objective is to increase membership and better meet the needs of the Niagara-on-the-Lake residents.”

Clark Bernat,Ted Rumble, Secretary

Ted Rumble is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who has split his time between Toronto and his home in Niagara on the Lake for the past 20 years. He has recently retired, and is now living full time in Niagara, along with his wife Rona Gray. He has had a longstanding interest in history, especially military history, and is looking forward to volunteering with the Niagara Historical Society and Museum


JulianJohn G. Sayers, Director

John joined the Museum Board in 2014. He has been Treasurer and a Board member of The Ephemera Society of America for many years, and has also served for several years on the Council of the British Ephemera Society. Prior to retirement, he had a long career in public accounting and management consulting, and many years of volunteer service on various professional committees, leading to his election as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. 

John’s wife, Judith, has been a serious collector of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Camp material since their move here some 14 years ago, and John is a long-time collector of ocean liner ephemera. John has written many articles about ephemera, including for the past several years a regular monthly column, Ephemera Detective, in the New England Antiques Journal.

As a History major from the University of Toronto, John has a passion for a wide range of ephemera. “When something speaks to me, I want to acquire it to listen to the entire message, and then share that message with others in the articles that I write. The challenge is to capture that message and ensure that it will be available to be heard by future generations of scholars and researchers. 

Chris PrattChris Pratt, Director

A native of London U.K. Chris joined the Board at the end of 2016.Seeking a better quality of life brought about a move from Toronto to Niagara on the Lake in 2011. His career, which started in London, spans 37 years in the sales and marketing senior management field, with a large multi-national industrial chemical company, his responsibilities encompassed working in the regions of Europe, Mid-East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.

“Living in Niagara on the Lake has enhanced my awareness and interest in the historical significance of the area, and I look forward to utilizing what skills I bring to the ongoing expansion and growth of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum”.

Gill Mukkar Gill Mukkar, Director

Gill joined the Board in 2018. He was born in Punjab, India and after graduation with a Bachelor degree in Agriculture, emigrated to Kenya, East Africa, in 1977. He managed a farm, started a business as a retailer, and got initiated into Free Masonry and Round Table. Their pet project was Ngala School for the deaf, which he chaired for two years. He emigrated with his young family to Canada in 1990 and settled in Oakville. Gill started a retail building in 1993 selling Scandinavian European Furniture and operated it until 2015 when he retire to Niagara-on-the-Lake. He has volunteered at RiverBrink Art Museum and presently at St.Catherines Museum at Lock 3. He is also affiliated to Niagara Lodge # 2 in Free Masonry.

"I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve in Niagara Historical Society and Museum bringing my experiences from different organizations to this society."

Clark Bernat, Jim McArthur, Director
Jim has been a member of the Niagara Historical Society since 2005. He is a former resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake (1999-2013) and currently resides in Beamsville with his spouse Sandra. Together they have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Jim has been the Director of Properties at Albright Manor in Beamsville since 1991. He has volunteered with the St. Catharines Rowing Alumni Association since 1992 and has been a Board member with that organization since 2011. Jim is currently Chair of the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society Ontario Chapter.

Paul Harber, Director

® Image: View of Fort George, Oil on canvass, C. Kreighoff 1823