Pickering historian honoured with Carnochan Lifetime Achievement Award from provincial body

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Published November 25, 2022 at 8:18 am

A co-founder of the Pickering Historical Society and the author of several books on Pickering’s past has been honoured with the Carnochan Lifetime Achievement by the Ontario Historical Society.

John Sabean authored Time Present and Time Past, A Pictorial History of Pickering, Ontario, as well as serving as editor for A Boy All Spirit: Thoreau MacDonald in the 1920s, a book about the noted wildlife painter who was the son of Group of Seven leader J.E.H. MacDonald – and named after his father’s favourite author, Henry David Thoreau.

Sabean, who also served as Chair of Heritage Pickering, has been a long-time advocate of preserving Pickering’s history, notably in the Airport Lands where the federal government has been razing historic buildings acquired during the expropriation period in the early 1970s.

A line in Sabean’s report to council from 2011 on preserving many of the homes on the airport lands sums up his time working to save Pickering’s history as Sabean cautioned the Council of the day about the importance of “restoration and preservation, not about demolition.”

“The bottom line: there is no real urgency in removing structures from the airport site; there is an urgency in protecting our heritage. “

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