Bios

Biographies of our Bloggers

 

Leah Abaza

Historian and Archivist

As a recent graduate of Art History and Museum Studies at Western University, cultural preservation has been at the core of my academic training for four years. At Western, I have learned that history is a malleable subject, one that is interpreted based on both its tangible and intangible qualities. A few years ago, I visited Vincent van Gogh’s grave just outside of Paris, France. Knowing that I stood in front of one of the world’s most notable artists, I felt a curious urge to look into other stories of people who could share tales about him beyond what I knew as an art historian and what we could see in his paintings. Of course, these memories are buried along with those who would have been acquainted with van Gogh and I was left with only my curiosity to take their places. This summer, I look forward to uncovering the forgotten memories and lost stories of the Woodland Cemetery so that London’s legacies can continue to grow. Some previous work that I have completed include the curation of two exhibitions at local London galleries, both with my peers at Western, which gave me a practical application of my otherwise theory-based studies. I have also worked in the collections and archives at the Collingwood Museum, where I handled and preserved many of the town’s artefacts. After completing my Master of Arts in Art History at Western this coming academic year, my dream is to (eventually) become the director or curator of a mid-sized art gallery.

Hannah Foulds

Monument Conservator

Hannah Foulds is a recent graduate of Western University’s School of Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities, where she specialized in International Relations with interests in First World War history. Working at the Woodland Cemetery as a Monument Conservator was a natural decision for Hannah. Since 1930, her family has owned a funeral home in the small-town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, so talking about cemeteries has always been a routine part of conversation. Growing up with this piece of family history, Hannah has gained a strong appreciation for cemetery monuments and graves. She enjoys knowing who is buried where and next to whom because with each stone is a life’s worth of memories. Hannah takes pride in uncovering stories of those who would otherwise be forgotten in situations where they did not have any next-of-kin or where their monuments have fallen and been buried in the ground. Hannah hopes to carry over a heightened level of appreciation and respect as she continues into her role as an elementary school teacher. After all, teaching students about respecting where they came from and where they are going will create conscientious and empathetic individuals.

Levi Hord

Hi, I’m Levi and this is my fourth summer working at Woodland in the Historian/Archivist position. In past years, I’ve organized our Victoria Day Disaster Memorial walking tour and our “They Are Not Here” WWI Soldiers walking tour. I’ve also produced six self-guided tour brochures and produced two mini documentaries for Woodland (one on Annie Pixley and one on Londoners in WWI) which can be found on the cemetery website. I have recently completed my undergraduate degree at Western University in the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities, and hope to forge a future career based around the public humanities. In the Fall I will be attending Oxford University in England where I will complete my Masters degree in Women’s Studies. In my spare time I compete as a slam poet and enjoy reading through my never-ending bookshelf. I’m excited to continue the work of unearthing London’s lost history and sharing these local treasures with Londoners!

Thomas Sayers

Historian and Archivist (in training)

Hello! I’m Thomas, and this is my first summer at Woodland Cemetery. I’m currently training with Levi so that I can take over their role as Historian and Archivist in the fall. I’ve only just tuned in to London’s rich and storied history and I want to share this past with as many people as possible. I write occasionally for LondonFuse, a media collective with a focus on arts and heritage. I hope to figure out some neat ways to make Woodland’s history more accessible and engaging!

Rachel Sharp

Monument Conservator

As an undergraduate student in Carleton University’s Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering program, Rachel Sharp looks forward to using her expertise in her role as a Monument Conservator. She is interested in the position because working with her hands and being able to see the process toward a finished product is quite informative, if not rewarding. So far, Rachel has breathed life back into a few stones, taking them from soil-covered to enhanced and legible. After finishing her degree, Rachel hopes to work at a large architectural firm, perhaps in Europe, where she will restore old buildings and cathedrals. Until then, she is excited to be a part of preserving London’s history at the Woodland Cemetery!

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