Museum Exhibit Musings -- 1912 Quote -- What do you think of us now?

So far the feedback is to use a boosterism slogan for the title. I’m glad – any opportunity I have to use grandiose and verbose verbiage is a most sought after situation.

I found the quote below on the last page of a 1912 Board of Trade Souvenir Picture book for Lethbridge.

In 1885 Galt said
"Let there be Lethbridge,"
And there was Lethbridge;
What do you think of her now?

There is something to me so very Canadian in this quote. It starts out with bravado – the power to control and create – and then it ends with worry about how people think about us. Please, please like us. Have we Canadians always wondered how we’re viewed by others and what they think of us? (okay, maybe too much psychology for a history exhibit).

There’s also, though, the recognition of how very much Lethbridge has changed in just 27 years. That awareness, certainly, fuelled the rampant belief in growth that people had in the early 20th century – so much had been achieved and they didn’t see the growth ending any time soon. Gee, does that sound familiar? Why do people always forget that what goes up, must come down?

An idea came to me to use this quote on the introductory panel for the exhibit. Because, really, the exhibit is about studying this time period in-depthly and each person deciding for him and herself exactly what he or she does think of Lethbridge 1906-1913 The natural extension, of course, is to also then ask yourself what you think of Lethbridge today? The real trick with this exhibit will be to not only to explain this period but to show its importance to today. So, how can I make YOU care about 1906-1913? Some more ideas on that next time....