Why the Name?
Technically, it’s pronounced Bastárd (emphasis on the second syllable).
John Pollexfen Bastárd was a British Member of Parliament from Devonshire, England. He was a good friend and neighbor of the 1796 Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe. Simcoe named the township after the Bastárd family.
In 1994, a local real estate agent claimed that due to the crude name, he was unable to sell any property in Bastard Township. He proposed a name change, resulting in a global protest. Literally. People from as far as South Africa, China and Australia expressed disapproval. Very few people supported it and so Bastard remained.
In 1998, Bastard Township became part of the Bastard and South Burgess Ward of Rideau Lakes after it and multiple other smaller townships in the area amalgamated into one.
Longtime residents of the area continue to be proud of their Bastard roots though. Many still have their “Proud to be a Bastard” buttons after all these years. Just ask them.
To all you Bastards: this would not be possible without your endless support, encouragement and enthusiasm. Thank you so very much.
Newspaper clipping courtesy of Anna Greenhorn.
Proud To Be A Bastard pin photo courtesy of Cathy Livingston