AUGUST 23/2012, TORONTO -A constellation of stars from science fiction, movies, television and comic books kicked off the annual FAN EXPO CANADA extravaganza being held at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto with more than 80,000 fans expected to attend this four day event.
Long time residents of Westmount in Montreal, the Bloomfield family has long been associated in supporting causes to protect children, animals and the environment. Nancy devotes her time, love and energy volunteering for a number of social causes, including caring for animals at her local animal shelter and is the proud Mom of three rescue dogs she and her family adopted. Harry, a lawyer, also holds a degree from Harvard and is the managing partner of Bloomfield & Avocats. Serving on the Boards of a wide range of government commissions, corporations and charities, he has received a number of prestigious awards from humanitarian organizations.
The journey to establish the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a rich tapestry and a story of how a small dedicated group of people simply refused to give up: “While the first society seeking to improve the lot of animals was the Society for the Suppression and Prevention of Wanton Cruelty to Animals formed in Liverpool in 1809, it was not until the Irish Member of Parliament, Richard Martin, steered a Bill through Whitehall in 1822 giving protection to domestic animals in the United Kingdom. In that same year, the Vicar of Bromley-By-Bow, the Reverend Arthur Broome, set out to create a society who would assist the police in the enforcement of this animal welfare act which had been nicknamed “Martin’s Act”,” explains Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. “In fact, one of Martin’s ancestors now lives in British Columbia.” Modeled after the British law, that same year, Nova Scotia became the first jurisdiction in North America to pass a law to protect animals from cruelty, the forerunner of a Canadian federal law to protect animals in 1892.
In 1824, the Society held its first meeting where it was resolved “that a Committee be appointed to adopt measures for Inspecting the Markets and Streets of the Metropolis, the Slaughter Houses, the conduct of Coachmen, etc.” For the next several years the society struggled to raise money and to raise awareness amongst the magistrates, with the help of MP Richard Martin, on the importance of prosecuting animal cruelty. Slowly growing momentum, in 1832 the Society was able to employ two Inspectors to investigate cruelty cases.
With the letter from Kensington Palace in 1835, came the acknowledgement of the soon-to-be Queen’s Patronage. Queen Victoria permitted the Society to use the prefix “Royal” to its name, agreed to the establishment of a Queen’s Medal, and even assisted in the design of the medal.
“With the Society gaining acceptance, branches were open in other major urban centers in England and Ireland as well as forming a pattern for the establishment of other societies in Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Holland and the United States. It was the American SPCA in New York which was the first Society to successfully bridge the gap to assist children in need, successfully arguing in court on behalf of an abused child.The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed soon after, and when the news travelled back to England, provided the impetus for the Secretary of the London RSPCA to found the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The founder of the NSPCC is quoted in saying “the RSPCA, has given birth to a kindred institution whose object is the protection of defenseless children”.
"On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am pleased to award you the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne. In granting you this honour, I thank you for your dedicated service to your peers, to your community and to Canada. The contribution you have made to our nation are most commendable and deserve our praise and admiration. I wish to convey to you the heartfelt congratulations of your fellow Canadians to which I add my own, Honourable David Johnson, Governor General of Canada."