President’s Message (February 2022)

Well, here it is February, of 2022, no less, and after a really fun Christmas meeting, the Holidays, and our January AGM, it’s time to get back into our regular series of meetings. As usual, the main purpose of this message is to remind you that our next meeting is coming up on February 21st, 2022 at 7:30 PM via Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend this virtual meeting is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

Our speaker for this meeting is Pamela Vega, Richmond Hill’s Heritage Planner – a speaker that we have been hoping to arrange for some time, and I am pleased that Kevin has made it happen. Pamela is going to talk to us about “A Day in the Life of a Heritage Planner,” and I know that she is anxious to not only bring that story to us, but to also get to know us, so I would like to encourage you to ask questions and have a conversation with her. I’ll send out another reminder about the meeting just before the 21st.

Further to my reference to the January AGM, I thought it went very well. A few more members would have been better, but the AGM is always a bit of a hard sell for attendance, and the members that did join us certainly participated. Cheryl Butler did her normal great job of leading us through the election process, which resulted in a new slate of Directors for 2022. The “Bring and Brag,” session, a regular feature of our AGMs, saw a number of interesting treasures displayed, and, as usual, generated a fair amount of discussion.

At our Executive Meeting earlier this week, we confirmed the roles of the various Directors for the coming year:

 President - Jim Vollmershausen
 Vice President - Andrea Kulesh
 Secretary - Vera Tauchtaul
 Treasurer - Laura McMullen
 Publicity - Marj Andre
 Membership - Karen Dance
 Programming - Kevin Dark
 Heritage Centre Advisory Committee - Jim Vollmershausen
 Heritage Richmond Hill - Marj Andre
 Director-at-Large - Cameron Telch

We also acknowledged:

 Auditor - Norm McMullen
 Website/Newsletter Volunteer - Peter Wilson
 Facebook Volunteer - Vera Tauchtaul

I’m sure that you noted that we do not have a Social Director on the list – Joan Lund, who has served as Social Director for quite some time since she stepped into the role on a temporary basis ten or eleven years ago simply found herself too busy, and something had to give. Joan did a great job for us, looking after our refreshments at our regular meetings, and making all of the arrangements for our annual Strawberry Socials and Christmas parties – THANK YOU JOAN!!

So……if someone out there would like to volunteer for the Social Director role, or if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Joan picked a good time to step back, as meeting refreshments, socials and parties just can’t happen right now, but hopefully, we’ll be back to them soon, and we’ll need the help. So, please give it some thought.

One item at our AGM that I was particularly pleased about, was Karen Dance’s report on Membership. We have obviously been receiving significant numbers of membership renewals, mostly through e-transfers, but also through cheques, and I want to thank you all for your attention to this important piece of our annual efforts. I know that Karen is reviewing the current state of our membership, and she may be getting in touch with some of you as we try to confirm the current roster of members.

The last thing I wanted to mention was that we just submitted our most recent article to the Liberal – “A Rail Link with Toronto”. I noticed it is already in the Liberal’s on-line edition, so keep your eye out for it. At our recent Executive Meeting, we discussed the notion of authoring three or four of these articles as part of our 150th Anniversary efforts in 2023 – perhaps looking at our first Council and Reeve, what life was like 150 years ago, the industries of the day, and perhaps the state of Churches at the time. Stay tuned.

That’s more than enough. See you on the 21st.

President’s Message (January 2022)

Well, here it is – 2022 – a year we all hoped would be much better than 2021 or 2020, and a year that might yet meet those hopeful expectations. Experts are telling us that the Omicron variant could soon be peaking and that new cases and hospitalizations could start moving down. We can only hope that they are right and that with more and more people being vaccinated and boosted, we can start to imagine getting back to some form of normal. I certainly have my fingers crossed – I have a real hope that “some form of normal” will be with us soon.

I do hope that you were all able to enjoy the holidays. I know that, in our case, we found ourselves coping with testing and hoping the results were always negative, and cheering the right result that allowed us to spend quality Christmas and New Year’s time with children and grandchildren.I think we appreciate and value that time more, now, when we can’t assume that we can get together whenever we want.

As usual, the main purpose of this message is to remind you that this coming Monday, January 17th, 2022 at 7:30 PM is our regular meeting time, and that this month, it is also our Annual General Meeting. This is an important meeting, as it provides an opportunity for the Executive of your Society to report on the past years’ activities and for our members to vote on a slate of Directors to manage the affairs of your Society for the coming year. I’m sure no one will be surprised to see that our activities over the past year have been really limited, but that makes it even more important that we ready ourselves for a year to come that will hopefully see the Society begin to transition back into its normal robust and face to face self.

After the reporting and the voting, we will again devote some time to a “Bring and Brag” session, when we will have a chance to present and describe some family treasures that we think our colleagues might enjoy. I know that the “Bring and Brag” session last year went really well. We saw some really interesting material and some of us got some new information about our treasures. This year, I thought I would share a couple of items from my Banff days.

So – please join us for our AGM. Any guests wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

On another subject that I tend to deal with in each of these messages, I am pleased to see that membership fees for 2022 are coming in, mostly by e-transfer. This is certainly the most convenient way for us to receive these funds (no trips to the bank, in particular), and it must be more convenient for our members, as well. So please keep it up. If you haven’t paid for your 2022 membership yet, please consider doing it through an e-transfer to our account with the TD Bank. You will need our email address – r.hillhistsoc at, and it would be really helpful to include information about the year the dues are for, as well as your address, email address and telephone number – all information that will help us stay in touch.

Thanks for your attention. I do hope to see you there.

President’s Message (November 2021)

Hi everyone:

The main purpose of this message is to remind you about the Society’s regular meeting coming up soon – on Monday, Nov. 15th, 2021, at 7:30 PM. It will be a Zoom meeting, and our speaker will be one of our members, Chris Robart, who will be talking about some of the Richmond Hill veterans commemorated on our Cenotaph. Anyone wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

There are a few other items of interest that I wanted to share with you:

I have been hearing from some members about the likelihood of soon getting back to face-to-face meetings. I have also heard from others who are quite hesitant about face-to-face meetings. While there is nothing to report yet, we have been in touch with the Church to inquire about Wallace Hall, and have learned that their long-time custodian has just retired – they won’t be in any position to open the hall up for some time. We agreed to get back in touch with them in the new year. In the meantime, we will also be exploring other options, and we’ll keep you posted. I’m personally hoping that a face-to-face Strawberry Social will be possible in June.

I’m pleased to report that we’ve been making real progress in terms of our memberships for 2022. We’ve received a number of fee renewals through the e-transfer process – I’m really pleased that we seem to have fixed all the difficulties with this process (thanks, Karen!!), so I would like to encourage you to use the e-transfer process if you are considering paying your 2022 membership fees. As a reminder the fee is $25.00 for a single membership and $40.00 for a family. Our account is with the TD Bank, and you will need our Richmond Hill Historical Society email address – r.hillhistsoc at

We have begun planning for our Xmas meeting/party. As usual, we will hold it early – on Monday, Dec. 13th, 2021, so it’s not so close to the 25th. We had a pretty good time last year, and we’re hoping that Santa can fit us into his schedule again. We’ll have more details for you well in advance!

We have also begun planning for the Society’s Annual General Meeting, when we report out about our past year’s activities, and vote in a new Executive Committee for the coming year. Our AGM this year will be on Monday, Jan. 17th, 2022, and in addition to the formalities, we will be having our usual Bring & Brag, that gives us an opportunity to share some of our treasures with the Society’s members.

Finally, I would like to encourage you to regularly check our website. I know there will soon be a posting highlighting Richmond Hill Public Information Sessions dealing with a review of Residential Infill Development and Zoning. I know that many of you have real interest in this subject. I would also like to encourage you to visit the Library’s website. I have highlighted some of their programs in the past, and I know they have some new and interesting programs in the works.

That’s plenty for now. Thanks for your attention.

President’s Message (October 2021)

by Jim Vollmershausen

I’m forever amazed at how fast time slips by. It seems like I just finished a message to you, and here it is, time to write another one. It’s a good thing I enjoy doing them, though I wish I could type faster. My kids laugh at my two-finger style.

The main purpose of this message, as usual, is to remind you about our regular meeting coming up on Monday, October 18th, at 7:30 PM. Kevin Dark has arranged for Richard Fiennes-Clinton to speak to us. Richard has been involved in Toronto’s heritage community for about 30 years and will be speaking to us about Victorian mourning practices – an appropriate topic for October. Anyone wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

During our last Executive Meeting, we learned a bit about the planning that is going into the renewal of Mill Pond Park, and that the City had launched a consultation process to gather comments and suggestions about the future of the park. I know that this park is highly valued by Society members, and I thought that you might want to weigh in on this planning process. The current stage of this process closes on Friday, Oct. 15th, so I would encourage you to visit Richmond Hill’s Website and find the material on the Mill Pond Park Renewal Project. This material will point you to a presentation and a survey that they will ask you to fill out.

In my last message, I asked you to consider paying your 2022 dues soon, so that, early in the new year, we will be able to sit down and create a comprehensive membership roster after a confusing couple of years. I know that there was some trouble with the e-transfer process at our bank, but Karen Dance and I went there last week and we think we got it straightened out. So keep trying the e-transfer process, using the Society’s email address: r.hillhistsoc at If you prefer to pay by cheque, you can simply make it payable to the Richmond Hill Historical Society and send the cheque to Karen Dance at 52 Roseview Ave., Richmond Hill, Ont., L4C 1C7. As a reminder, the fees are $25.00 for a single membership and $40.00 for a family.

Finally, we began thinking about getting our Newsletter up and running again at our last Executive Meeting, and Peter Wilson, our volunteer editor, will be looking for items of interest. One suggestion was to renew our effort to recount our personal stories about coping with the pandemic. A few of us did this in our last Newsletter. So if you are interested in sharing any of your “coping” stories, please send something to myself or Peter (at rhhsnewsletter at, and we’ll see that it makes it into the Newsletter. If there is anything else you think Society members might be interested in, pass that along, as well.

That’s it for now. I’ll send you a reminder about the meeting a day or so in advance.

Thanks for your attention.


President’s Message (September 2021)

As promised, this is a note to remind you about our upcoming regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 29th, 2021, at 7:30 PM. This is our first meeting since June, and as much as I would have preferred an in-person meeting, our view is that it’s just not time for that yet. We’ll keep you posted about the possibility of in-person meetings, but, in the meantime, I think we’ve learned that Zoom meetings work. We’ve been able to continue to arrange for interesting speakers, and the meeting on Sept. 20th is no exception. Our Programming Director, Kevin Dark, has arranged to have Mr. Wayne Morgan, President of Community Heritage Ontario, speak to us about “Heritage Conservation in York Region – A Personal Journey.” Anyone guests wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

In my last message, I also referenced the Fall 2021 Richmond Hill Speakers Series. They have a series of 6 excellent speakers lined up beginning with Nina Munteanu on September 23rd, who will be speaking about “….water and what it means to us.” I’d like to encourage you to check the Speaker Series out. You can find more information at Fall 2021 Richmond Hill Speaker Series: OnRichmondHill.

I’m reluctant to raise the issue of Membership dues, but it has been a confusing issue as we’ve been trying to cope with the restrictions Covid-19 has placed on our ability to conduct normal business. As I noted above, I’m pleased that we have been able to take advantage of Zoom technology (many thanks, Marj) to keep our meetings going, even if we have to forgo the pleasures of mingling and refreshments. I also have to note, though, that most of our expenses continue: honoraria for speakers, insurance, P.O. Box rental, website costs, and more. Thankfully, the church has been very helpful by letting us off the hook for rent. We do need Membership revenues, though to keep us going.

It will be really important, then, if members could arrange to pay their 2022 dues, starting now. We’re hoping that, by Jan. 1, 2022, the bulk of our memberships will be up-to-date and we can prepare a new and current membership roster. Just to remind you, our fees have not changed. A single membership is $25.00 and a family membership is $40.00. Payment can be by cash, though we’re not expecting that to happen until we can finally meet face-to-face. Until then, of course you can pay by cheque, and the easiest way is to make the cheque payable to the Richmond Hill Historical Society (see or Membership page). Finally, you can pay by e-transfer directly to our account with TD Bank. You will need our email address to do this – r.hillhistsoc at I know that many of you successfully did this for your 2021 fees.

Finally, I mentioned in my last message that we’re beginning to think about projects that we can undertake to help Richmond Hill celebrate its 150th anniversary. Two projects that I can tell you a bit about are, first – the collection of all of our Liberal articles over the last few years into one digital archive which we would make available through our website and perhaps other digital locations. We are also looking into a series of similar articles that were published some years ago, as well as wondering how we could make a series of seniors’ interviews conducted by Bert Hunt a few years ago more readily available. Secondly, we’ve begun to explore the notion of a Heritage Summit in 2023 that would bring heritage supporters, developers, planners and other officials, homeowners and interested citizens together for a day to discuss the state of heritage resources in Richmond Hill.

We’ll keep you posted on these projects and others that may arise as more planning takes place. As I mentioned in my last message, any thoughts you might have about this celebration would be appreciated.

That’s more than enough for now. I’ll send out a reminder about the Sept. 20th meeting a day in advance.

I hope to see you there.

Many thanks


President’s Message (June 2021)

Well, here it is the middle of June, and we should be talking about arrangements for our annual Strawberry Social. I guess we’re in the same boat as we were last year at this time – maybe next year! This time, though, it looks like next year may actually be possible. With the vaccination roll-out working away and more and more people getting their first shot, and even their second shot, and reopening starting to kick in, its actually possible to start thinking about this pandemic being behind us – though I do think some restrictions will be with us for quite awhile yet.. I’m certainly happy to report that both Marion and I got our second shots last week.

Getting back to our June meeting, it is scheduled for Monday, June 21st at 7:30 PM. I’m really looking forward to our speaker this month – it is Mr. Trevor Parkins-Sciberras, and he will be talking to us about “Railcar Restoration,” and I’m sure we will learn a lot about the railcars that were regular visitors to Richmond Hill in years past. Anyone wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

This meeting will be our last get-together until September, and I just don’t know at this point what position we will be in by then. I’ve heard very little about when large-ish indoor gatherings will be permitted again, and even if that kind of restriction is lifted, I think we’ll be canvassing our membership to see just how comfortable people will be to return to Wallace Hall. We’ll simply have to play things by ear, and be ready to continue with Zoom meetings for a while longer.

I’ve mentioned membership fees several times over the last few months, and I’m pleased that many members have renewed their membership, either by e-transfer or cheque. I also know that others have opted to simply roll their 2020 membership over to 2021, an option that we were happy to offer. I expect that, in September, the Executive will be reviewing the status of our membership, and discussing how to rationalize the situation as we move through the fall of 2021.

Thanks for your attention. I’ll send out a reminder before the meeting – and hope to see you there.

President’s Message (May 2021)

Hi everyone,

So we are really into Spring now, though it’s certainly been cooler than we would like. A definite sign is that I mowed the lawn for the first time yesterday – it was very necessary. It’s hard to believe that it’s the second spring of the Covid 19 pandemic, but here we are, still under a lockdown and still trying really hard to stay safe, and watching the vaccination numbers slowly (it seems) rising. I received my first shot at Richmond Green in late March, and was told that my second shot would happen in July. I’m really hoping that vaccine supplies become enough that the July date happens much sooner!

The main purpose of this message, as usual, is to remind you that our regular monthly meeting is coming up on May 17th at 7:30 PM, by Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend this virtual meeting on Zoom is invited to contact us at r.hillhistsoc at

Our speaker will be Mr. Don Holmes, whose topic is Canadian-made hand tools: there must be a better way. I expect that we’ll learn some things that we just never knew!

I sent you a special message last week about an opportunity to tell the city that Heritage Matters, as part of a consultation process regarding a new Master Plan for Richmond Hill. A series of virtual workshops have been scheduled, dealing with specific areas in the city, and I know that some of you have been participating. The first two dealt with the Bathurst Street and Highway 7 area and the Yonge Street and 16th Avenue area. The next one is scheduled for tomorrow night (May 11th) at 7:00 PM and deals with the Village and Richmond Hill GO Station area. You can register on the City website for that session.

The last three workshops are the Bayview and Highway 7 area on May 13th, the Oak Ridges Centre Area on May 18th, and the East Beaver Creek and Highway 7 area on May 20th. The link to register can be found at Official Plan Update – City of Richmond Hill. I would encourage you to participate – this is an important opportunity.

I hope many of you spied Mary Jane Celsie’s article in the Liberal last week, describing the history of Richmond Hill’s Spring Fairs. Mary Jane did a great job on this latest in the series of articles – what I call Heritage Vignettes – that the Historical Society has been preparing for the Liberal over the last few years. I hope you are enjoying them – we’re working on the next one as we speak.

At our last Executive Meeting we discussed a suggestion from Cameron Telch that, as we think about getting back to normal and having regular newsletters again, we consider sharing some members’ stories about their pandemic experiences and how they coped. We could include them over a number of newsletters. So please give some thought to what you might be able to contribute – I think we could all benefit from this kind of sharing

Thanks for your attention, everybody. Don’t forget our next meeting – Monday, May 17th, at 7:30 PM.

Please stay safe.


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.

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.


President’s Message (February 2021)

Here I am again, reminding you about our upcoming regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 15th, at 7:30 PM.

Our last meeting, our Annual General Meeting, went really well. We had a great turnout, we heard reports from our various Executive members, though most of them were much shorter than usual, and Cheryl Butler led us through the election of our new Executive. The “Bring and Brag,” at the end of the meeting was terrific! There was a real variety of items presented, and their accompanying stories made them particularly interesting.

At our Executive meeting, a week ago, we were able to confirm the roles of our Executive for the coming year:

  • President – Jim Vollmershausen
  • Vice-President – Andrea Kulesh
  • Treasurer – Laura McMullen
  • Secretary – Vera Tachtaul
  • Membership – Karen Dance
  • Programming – Kevin dark
  • Publicity – Marj Andre
  • Social – Joan Lund
  • Director-at-Large – Cameron Telch
  • Representative to Heritage Richmond Hill – Marj Andre
  • Representative to Heritage Centre Advisory Committee – Jim Vollmershausen

As you can imagine, our collective wish for the coming year is to find ourselves able to get together in the same Hall and start getting back to normal. I don’t really have any idea about just when that might happen, though I personally wouldn’t expect to see it before the fall. The most important thing, at the end of the day, is to respect all of the protocols and stay safe! Vaccines are coming, slower than I would like, but I really hope that the Government’s goal of having anyone vaccinated who wants to be by September is met.

In my last message, I talked about a few events that were underway or planned in Richmond Hill that could help us have some fun and get through the rest of the winter. I hope some of you were able to participate in the “Skillage in the Village Scavenger Hunt,” which ran until the end of January, and I know that there was a lot of interest in the annual Winter Festival, which happened, virtually, of course, over this past weekend. I would like you to keep an eye out for information on Councilor West’s annual Maple Syrup Festival, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 21st. I know that there are lots of virtual and on-line events and activities being planned, so more information should be available soon

I’m pleased to see that a few e-transfers have been used to pay for 2021 membership dues, and it certainly does make life easier for us. I would like to encourage you to use this method of payment. If you would like further information, please contact us at r.hillhistsoc at Also, please remember that if you wish to roll your 2020 dues that you’ve already paid over to 2021, please let us know.

Finally, back to the beginning. Please remember that our next regular meeting is this coming Monday, Feb. 15th, at 7:30 PM. The speaker will be – get ready for it – me. I’ve been asked to speak about my time in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, from 1973 to 1975. I’ll be using my own old slides from that time, and my memory, to talk about that remarkable place – not only its beauty, but also a bit about the culture and the people that I found there.

For meeting Zoom meeting details, contact us at r.hillhistsoc at