President’s Message (March 2021)

Hi everyone,

Well, here we are in March. Covid 19 has been with us for a year, now, and I’m sure we’re all suffering from what I’ve come to call “the Covid rut.” I’m also sure that we’re all really looking forward to getting out of that rut and back to normal. We’re getting good news about vaccines, though I’m trying, with some difficulty, to be patient about where and when, and even how, my turn will come. It will sure be nice when our TV news reports and newspapers aren’t full of all the data – and tragedies – generated by this pandemic.

March, of course also means that spring is on its way. I don’t want to jinx our weather, but, all in all, this winter hasn’t been too bad. Snow shoveling hasn’t been terrible, so far, and until recently, it hasn’t even been really cold. More recently, it’s even warm! But I’m still looking forward to spring. I’m just not a winter person!

Our next regular meeting – by Zoom, of course – is Monday, March 15th, at 7:30 PM. Our speaker this month is Alexander Gates, the Executive Director and Curator of the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa. His presentation is entitled: “120 Years of Fear and Fascination with the Automobile.” I’ve checked out the Museum’s website, and I think we’ll be getting a really interesting look at the history of cars in Canada – and a big chunk of that history happened just down the road, in Oshawa. I would like to encourage you to search out their website. It’s really worth a look. The address is:

This is also an opportunity to remind you that guests are welcome to our Zoom meetings, just as they are to our regular meetings. At those regular meetings, we have been seeking a $5.00 fee for each guest, which has been well-received. I would encourage any guests at our Zoom meetings to consider a $5.00 donation to the Society – this is easy to do through an e-transfer process that I’ll be speaking further about shortly. For the Zoom link, please contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

I’ve mentioned before that we have set up the opportunity to make membership payments to the Society through e-transfers, and I’m pleased to report that it’s working well. We’ve received a number of payments this way, and I must say that it’s really convenient. I would like to remind you that you have the option of rolling your 2020 fees over to cover 2021 – the choice is yours. If your choice is to pay the normal 2021 fees, I would encourage you to use an e-transfer. I know different banks have different processes, but our account is with TD, and you will have to use the Society’s email address to make the payment. Our address is: r.hillhistsoc at . Another reminder: the annual fees are $25.00 for a single membership and $40.00 for a family membership.

I began this message by talking about March and the imminent arrival of spring, but it also means the imminent arrival of Councillor David West’s annual Maple Syrup Festival. The Richmond Hill Historical Society has been associated with the Festival from the beginning, and we’re certainly pleased with how it has grown. In 2020, the Festival had the misfortune to be the first City event to be cancelled because of the pandemic, but this year, it’s going ahead, albeit in a virtual format.

Join us for the 5th Annual Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival, a virtual celebration hosted by Councillor David West. Sunday, March 21, 2021 10 am to 12 pm. Highlights: Join us for a free online experience to learn about Canada's sweetest national treasure, maple syrup! Attend an educational and interactive webinar. Learn how to tap a maple tree in our maple-themed resource centre. Participate in various activities for your chance to win a prize. Register today! In partnership with Richmond Hill Historical Society, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, City of Richmond Hill.
5th Annual Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival Poster

Marj Andre and I have been part of the planning process for the Festival’s agenda, and I believe it’s shaping up to be a significant event, virtual or not. A big part of the Festival will be an educational and interactive webinar from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Sunday, March 21st. I would really encourage you to register for the Webinar on David West’s website – – and continue to offer the Festival the kind of support it deserves. The Webinar’s agenda includes:

  • Indigenous participation
  • Music, that was always a big hit
  • Maple artifacts
  • A maple beverage demo, and
  • An ecology presentation by TRCA.

Also available through the website will be opportunities to view maple syrup videos (tapping trees, boiling sap, storytelling) and to participate in a variety of activities, including maple-oriented arts and crafts, recipes – beyond pancakes – and a scavenger hunt. There is also a resource center available that will contain maple syrup facts and trivia.

So take advantage of this opportunity – participate in the webinar and get involved in the videos and other activities that are being made available. It’s a great chance to support our community and Councilor West. I’ve included the poster that has been created to support the festival below.

Thanks for your attention. I hope to see you on March 15th, at 7:30 PM.


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