Local amateur historian to meet the Prince of Wales – given the chance he might tell the Prince about the role Burlington played in 1812 War.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  May 17, 2012  As a kid, I knew it as 24th of May – firecracker day.  For Rick Wilson it will certainly be a crackerjack day.  He will be meeting the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla at an event taking place at Fort York on the holiday Monday.

The Royal event is part of the Commonwealth celebration of the Queen’s 60th year on the Throne. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

Rick Wilson points to the error in fact on a provincial historical plaque. Will he get a chance to ask Prince Charles to help him change this mistake?

Wilson, who is a serious amateur historian, a member of the Burlington Historical Society and a member of Heritage Burlington, the city’s  advisory committee on heritage matters in the city.

Wilson has a very keen interest in the history of the province and thinks there is a very significant error on one of those historical plaques the governments of the country put up.

The plaque that bothers Wilson is in Hamilton and was put up by the provincial government.  Wilson approached Mike Wallace and asked if his office could do anything about the mistake on the plaque.  Wallace tried but when his office learned that it was a provincial matter there was nothing he could do.   Wilson has not been able to get his telephone calls to Jane McKenna’s office answered never mind getting any help.  We are hearing that complaint from a number of people.  The Lady Jane, who represents us at Queen’s Park is still getting her office organized.

Rick Wilson will, if he gets a chance, tell the Prince of Wales that ships of war did not sail into the body of water west of the Skyway bridge.

Wilson won’t get his 15 full minutes of fame when he shakes the hand of the Prince of Wales, which is fortunate for the Prince,  because Wilson knows his history and he could keep the heir to the Throne standing there for hours while he talks about the War of 1812 and how a serious mistake has been made about how that war was won and what was done right here in Burlington to bring about the victory.

Rick Wilson believes he is standing near where the British ships retreated to and in doing so really won the War of 1812 for the British. There was a battle at Stoney Creek but the real fight, the one that mattered and resulted in mastery over the Great Lakes happened offshore from Burlington.

Wilson is both informed and intense.  If you want a conversation with him on things historical – you better know your stuff.

Meeting the Prince of Wales, who is also known as the Duke of Cornwall and a number of other titles,  will be a huge day in the life of Rick Wilson.  Little does the Prince know that had he the time Wilson could tell him all kinds of things about the war that surrounded the building, the burning and the rebuilding of the fort where the introductions will take place.

The current duke of Cornwall is Charles, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch. Charles was officially proclaimed Duke of Cornwall at Launceston Castle in 1973. As part of his feudal dues there was a pair of white gloves, gilt spurs and greyhounds, a pound of pepper and cumin, a bow, one hundred silver shillings, wood for his fires, and a salmon spear.

But Rick Wilson already knows that and when he meets the Prince and his wife he will be polite and make Burlington proud that he was one of the few that got to meet the Prince at Fort York in Toronto to take part in the celebration of the 60th year that Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne.


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