Online panel to compare current crisis with 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic

Taken about 1900, this dramatic image was used to advertise the photography studio of John Philip Barron, an early and prolific Sarnia photographer. Photo credit: Lambton County Archives Holland Paisley Photographic Collection, H101-13.

Journal Staff

The Spanish Flu pandemic and how it compares to today’s crisis will be the focus of a new digital panel presentation.

On May 28, a panel of local historians will speak about different aspects of the deadly 1918 flu outbreak and share stories from residents in different parts of Sarnia-Lambton.

“This is not the first time we have been gripped by a public health emergency,” said Dana Thorne, supervisor of the Lambton Heritage Museum.

“Our panel has been researching the local impact of the Spanish Flu in 1918. How were the lives of ordinary people changed one hundred years ago?”

The session will also be an opportunity for the community to help the county document the current crisis.

“Our local museums and archives are interested in your experiences,” Thorne said. “We want you to share how COVID-19 has impacted your life.”

Other speakers include Nicole Aszalos, Lambton County Archives; David McLean, Forest-Lambton Museum; Kailyn Shepley, Sombra Museum; Glenn Stott, Arkona Lions Museum; Greg Stott, Historian, University College of the North; and Alan Campbell, Ontario Genealogical Society.

The museum representatives are part of the local Heritage Sarnia-Lambton network.

The session takes place Thursday, May 28 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. You must pre-register for the free event online through Zoom. If you can’t attend, the panel presentation will also be recorded and made available online at https://www.lambtonmuseums.ca/heritage-sarnia-lambton/.