President’s Message (April 2021)

So it’s April! Spring is definitely here – the weather’s been really mild – even warm – so trees are in bud, the grass is greening and I’ve seen lots of Robins. I’m sure we’re in store for some rain, but we need it. It’s great to have winter behind us.

One thing we don’t have behind us is the pandemic. Covid-19 is not only still with us, it seems to be at its worst! Variants of Concern are clearly contributing to the latest surge, and our health care system and all the people who work in it are once again being put to the test – big time. Thankfully, vaccines are being rolled out, and more and more people are getting their shots. I know I’m thankful that both Marion and I have had our first shots (Pfizer, in our case), and it’s good to see that more and more opportunities are being provided to access vaccinations. Between vaccinations and the latest “stay at home” order, we can only hope that we can gain some ground on the pandemic and begin to see a degree of normalcy reappear.

Now onto Historical Society stuff.

My first order of business is to admit to forgetting to send you the link to access the presentation I made at our February meeting about my time in Gros Morne National Park in the early 1970s. Marj Andre and others had encouraged me to send a recording of the presentation out to the whole membership, but I simply forgot! So here’s the YouTube link – have a look. I hope you enjoy it.

Our next regular meeting – by Zoom – is scheduled for Monday, April 19th, at 7:30 PM. Our speaker will be Jason Burgoin, whose presentation will be: “Raising Canadian Standards; The Colorful World of Canadian Heraldry.” Jason is a member of the Toronto Branch of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. Among other things, I’m sure Jason will be happy to tell us just how his Society came to be a “Royal” Society. If you are interested in attending, send us a message at r.hillhistsoc at

Speaking of speakers. I’m sure that many of you are aware that our Publicity Director, Marj Andre, is a very busy advocate in Richmond Hill for keeping its residents connected and finding opportunities to bring informative and educational material to our attention. One of those opportunities is a Speaker Series that has been in place for some time, but that has had to adapt, like everything else, to the realities of the pandemic. Marj is keen to let you know that the Speaker Series is back in a Webinar format available through Zoom. There is currently a series of four great talks scheduled:

  • April 15, 2021 – 10:00 AM to Noon – Dr. Barbara Perry speaking on “The Resurgence of the Extreme Right”
  • April 22, 2021 – 10:00 AM to Noon – Dr. Suzanne Evans speaking on “The Taste of Longing: Ethel Mulvany and Her Starving Prisoners of War Cookbook”
  • April 29, 2021 – 10:00 AM to Noon – Denise Bolduc, Mnawaate Gordon-Corbiere & Rebeka Tabobondung speaking on “Indigenous Toronto: Stories That Carry This Place”
  • May 13, 2021 – 10:00 AM to Noon – Dr. Olivier Courteaux speaking on “The Forgotten History of Those Women Who Helped Win World War II”

Marj tells us that you can purchase tickets for all four lectures ($30.00) or for individual lectures ($12.00), and that more information is available at or at You could also reach Marj at 416 822 5139.

A topic that I have been a bit of a pest about is Society memberships. You will recall that we decided early on that, given the pandemic circumstances, we would offer members the opportunity to simply roll over their 2020 membership fees into 2021 – our activities, after all are forced to be minimal. Many of you have chosen to pay your normal 2021 fees anyway, for which we thank you, but I want to reiterate that you have that choice. Also, for those who wish to pay their 2021 fees, we have set up an e-transfer arrangement through our bank. Though there have been a few glitches in this process, I have been assured that everything has been fixed, so that option is certainly open to you. Some of you have also chosen to pay by cheque, which is also totally acceptable.

It is important, though, that you let us know if your preference is to roll over your 2020 fees, so that we can track our membership and keep everything up to date. So, if you intend to roll your fees over, or indeed, if you intend to pay your 2021 fees, please let us know before June. We will need this information to plan for the rest of the year, report on our activities and apply for annual grants.

Well, that’s enough for this message. Stay safe, everyone. I’ll send you a reminder about the April 19th meeting a day or two in advance.

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