Alex Ross is a second year Journalism student at Durham College. He is completing his placement at the RMG as a communications intern.
Over the past two years in my program I have started to narrow down my niche as a reporter for the school newspaper, the Chronicle. I have taken the spot as an arts reporter in the class and even my teachers have gotten in contact with me about artistic events happening around town.
I had never been to the RMG before I started at Durham College because I only moved to Oshawa three years ago. Living in a new city can be difficult because I didn’t know anybody from Oshawa and all of my friends from my old town were away at university in places like Waterloo, Windsor and Kingston. Being a part of the arts scene in Oshawa, and the RMG, helped me make contacts I never had the chance to before.
The RMG is a local treasure that some people don’t even know about. There are so many important connections the Gallery has that help bring people from the community together.
Part of my job here was to schedule some special day posts for May. These special days included a Throwback Thursday for each week of May, as well as a Window Wednesday for each week. For the Throwback Thursday, the gallery has chosen to dig into its extensive collection of the Thomas Bouckley Collection. There is no theme to the Throwback Thursday so all I had to do was go through the collection and pick some of my favourite photos.
After scrolling through the thousands of photos in the Thomas Bouckley Collection, it soon became one of my favourite collections in the gallery. A couple images stood out to me in particular, one of an “amusement device” sitting on the lakefront in Oshawa and another of a plane crash right downtown at King and Simcoe.
These images caught my attention because of their oddness. Ocean Wave is odd because the men on the ride are all wearing suits, despite the leisurely activity. The plane crash is astonishing because of the proximity to the community. If a plane crashed today there is no way it would simply be suspended in the electrical wires running along the street and only knock a few bricks off a building.
The Thomas Bouckley Collection is one of my favourite collections because it gives young people like me a look into the past. Being young makes me feel like I don’t have a connection to the history of the town because as far back as I can remember is the old Famous Players and Zellers that used to be in the Oshawa Centre. Being able to look back at specific events through the Thomas Bouckley Collection gives me a sense of community and connection to the history of my town.
The late Thomas Bouckley donated the Thomas Bouckley Collection to the RMG. He was a collector and history enthusiast of Oshawa and Durham Region. The collection contains more than 3,000 photographs of Oshawa and surrounding communities. The collection is a good source for understanding Oshawa’s past and helping people engage with the history of Durham Region.
The RMG is an integral part of the Oshawa community and it is certainly a great place full of great people, not only staff, but the visitors as well. Being an intern at the RMG is a great experience for anybody that has an interest in arts, in any department of the Gallery.