Message from the President (January 8, 2021)

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope that you all found a way to celebrate the Holidays in the midst of lockdowns and Covid-19 protocols. I expect that this year was much quieter than usual, and that our wishes for the future were based on the arrival of vaccines and the hope they represent for a return to more normal times. I think we all hope that next year at this time, we’ll be describing festive family gatherings on Christmas Day and New Year’s celebrations with family and friends. From the Society’s point of view, I know that I will be looking forward to our traditional Christmas party complete with good food and great entertainment. Our Zoom event last month was a lot of fun, and Santa Claus was wonderful, but it couldn’t compete with the real thing.

The main purpose of this message is to remind you that our next meeting is coming up on January 18th, and, as usual, it will be our Annual General Meeting. What won’t be usual, of course, is that it will be a Zoom meeting, and the reports from the various Executive members will be much shorter than usual – not much happened, after all. It will still be important that as many of you attend as possible, though, as we will still have to nominate and vote on our 2021 Executive. A big job of the new Executive will be to figure out how to get the Society up and running again when we finally have the opportunity to meet again in person, and we can begin planning for speakers, fund-raising events and simply how to renew connections.

As usual, at our AGM, we will be including a “Bring and Brag” opportunity on the agenda, where members bring items of historical value to them and brag about the item’s origins and its place in their lives. The variety and value of the items never fail to be interesting, so please give some thought to what you would like to brag about, and bring it to the meeting. It’s a Zoom meeting, so you just have to carry it to your computer!

So, please mark your calendar for the Society’s AGM on Monday, January 18th, at 7:30 PM.

We need to know if you will be attending so please let me know if you will be attending by emailing r.hillhistsoc at

One item of Society business that I would like to report on is our successful effort to set up an opportunity for members to use e-transfers. We were particularly interested in making it easier for members to pay their annual membership fee, rather than trying to pay cash as you try and get into the hall at one of our regular meetings. I know that e-transfers won’t work for everyone, but we feel that even if a few can take advantage of it, the process at the entrance to the hall will be eased. We’ll provide more details, later.

In the interest of helping us keep busy through the next few months, I have been able to gather together some information on events that are scheduled in Richmond Hill this winter – all virtual, unfortunately, but I’m really pleased that the organizers have figured out how to carry on with these events in spite of lockdowns.

The first item involves Zoom talks being presented by our Richmond Hill Public Library, that we thought might be of interest. On Jan. 13th at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM, the Library is presenting Virtual City Tour: Toronto, and on Jan. 16th at 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM, they are presenting British Home Children: Sharing the Stories. You have to register to participate in these presentations, so I am including the links, below:

Virtual City Tour: Toronto | Richmond Hill Public Library

British Home Children: Sharing the Stories | Richmond Hill Public Library

The library also encourages participants to fill out a survey regarding their experience with library activities, so I have included a link for this purpose, as well: Survey

The Village of Richmond Hill Business Improvement Area has developed an event that you might well find interesting, and it will actually get you outdoors. Known as “The 2020 Skillage in the Village Scavenger Hunt,” the BIA has created a virtual scavenger hunt that contains several clues, all regarding unique time periods in the history of Richmond Hill. The event will be available until the end of January, and looks like it would really be worth considering. I have included, below, some material from the BIA on how to play:

Who? Play alone or as part of a small team (physically-distant). All ages.
What & Where? Go back in time, solving over 100+ clues from Richmond Hill’s past & present.
Locations in the vicinity of Yonge Street (Major Mackenzie Dr. to Crosby Ave.)

How? Click the link.
• Register to play. Create a profile.
• Start playing. Once signed up, select an image.
• Each image will have something missing from it.
• Your job is to go to the location, find & fill in the missing answers.
• Correct answers = points.
• Team/person with most points at end of the Scavenger Hunt wins.


FUN! Learn about Downtown Richmond Hill – the Village that became a City.


Winner(s) get 1 of 2 Gift Certificates ($250 each) for a BIA member store of Your Choice (see Business Directory on website)

Taking pics? Tag us #skillageinthevillageRH

Only available until January 31st, 2021. Sign Up Now & Start Playing!

One event that I know is still in the planning stages is Richmond Hill’s Annual Winter Festival. We do know, of course, that the Festival will have to happen in a virtual format this year, so please keep your eye out for details on this event. It has been a fixture in Richmond Hill for many years, so I am sure that the tradition will continue, in spite of Covid-19.

Another event that we have come to associate with the end of winter in Richmond Hill is Councillor David West’s annual Maple Syrup Festival. It too will be in a virtual format this year, and is scheduled for Sunday, March 21st, 2021, so please save the date, and watch for details.

Thanks for your patience – this message is a bit longer than most of my messages, but I was anxious to let you know about a few events that might help make the winter months this year a little more interesting, and I particularly wanted to remind you about our AGM on Jan. 18th at 7:30 PM. We’re keen to get a good turnout, so please keep it in mind, and don’t forget to let me know if you will be able to attend.

I’ll see you on the 18th at 7:30PM. And don’t forget to let me know if you will be attending or not.


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