Peterborough, Ontario recently celebrated the arrival of the first Irish immigrants – way back in 1825.
The British government had, some years before, come up with a plan to transport poor Irish families to Canada, which was to be managed by one Peter Robinson. The town, then called Scott’s Plains, was later named for Robinson.
The year 1825 saw 1,878 Irish immigrants moved, mainly from Cork city, to Canada. More would follow.
One of the 70 people who turned up was Bob Allen, who still owns the 100 acres of land his ancestor, Edmund Allen, was given when he arrived. Allen arrived in 1825 on a boat called The Resolution. “It's such a historical honour. I'm proud of it," Allen told the Peterborough Times.
Also there was Brendan Moher, a director of the Peterborough Canadian Irish Club. His ancestors arrived seven years after the original shipment, in 1832. Moher told the Peterborough Times that it is "vital to remember" the history of the Irish settlers.
"So many people in this area are of Irish heritage and so many people in this area can trace their lineage back to the over 2,000 (original settlers) ... and in the years that followed during the potato famines that were going on in Ireland."
Peterborough is 85 miles northeast of Toronto, along the main route between Canada's biggest city and its capital, Ottawa.