PRESIDENT’S PONDERINGS, SEPTEMBER 2016 We hope that you have all had an enjoyable and restful summer in spite of the heat and the lack of rain. I managed a fair amount of time at my cottage on West Bay of Lake Nipissing but the highlight of the summer was a trip to Quebec City which I had only visited briefly a long time ago. It was refreshing and invigorating to touch on all of the deep history of the location set amidst the dramatic backdrop of the mighty St. Lawrence. Equally rewarding were the two days spent in Trois Riviere, a city of only 80,000 that has recovered from a declining economy by showcasing and preserving its history so well, from the Saint Maurice iron forges, to the extensive museum in the old water filtration plant that depicts the history of the pulp and paper industry and the famous river drives each spring. For entertainment, overlooking the water, they have built a magnificent amphitheater that can be opened to the air with the likes of Celine Dion about to appear.
PROGRAMME In conjunction with the Simcoe County Historical Association our fall programme has now been finalized.
On ThursdayOctober 27, Barrie City Hall, 7:30 pm Susan Antler will give a presentation on the Utopia Grist Mill and Conservation Park. Built on the ruins of the first mill in 1903, the present mill survived Hurricane Hazel and was an integral part of the community until abandoned in 1965. Ms. Antler and a dedicated group of volunteers have led a long campaign to preserve and restore this historic structure and its working machinery. http://www.utopia.on.ca/gristmill.htm
On TuesdayNovember15, Simcoe County Museum, 7:30 pm This will be a joint meeting with the Barrie Legion. Master Warrant Officer Dean Henley of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters will speak to us about his many tours of duty in Bosnia and later Afghanistan. This promises to be a fascinating and informative evening. There will also be an opportunity to view the Museum display commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters.
There are only two meetings this fall but we are presently working on the three meetings for the spring. No meetings in December, January or February. Too many members are away and we always face the hazards of inclement weather.
Annual General Meeting: We concluded the year with the Annual General Meeting on May 31. Unfortunately, the speaker was contending with illnessbut it was stillan enjoyable evening with a delicious meal prepared once again by the ladies and men of the Midhurst United Church.Other Events: Perhaps some of you were able to attend the opening of the restored Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church this summer. By all reports it was a highly successful endeavor. I was away at the time but just this week did attend the launch of the Barrie Historical Archive, a free online database of photos, videos and documents started by Travis Doucette, Deb Excell and a hardworking group of volunteers. Although this is a separate organization we did donate funds to this initiative and heartily support their project. It will be of great service to the community and will continue to grow as material continues to surface.
Memberships: Keeping track of memberships has been difficult over the last few years, partly because we do not have a membership secretary. So we are going to go back to the calendar year. What this means is if you have paid a membership anytime during 2016 you are paid up to December 31, 2016. In the spring newsletter of 2017 we will ask for renewals. This should make the bookkeeping much easier. The cost will still be $20 for a single or a family. Memberships can beobtained or renewed at any time by mailing to: Jim Willis at 94 Lillian Crescent, Barrie ON L4N 5H7. You can also renew through Paypal on the BHA website.