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Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Description : Area Historical Society Formed
The first major steps to preserve the heritage of the Scotch Settlement and area were taken last week when about 20 people officially founded a historical society.
Known as the Scotch Settlement and District Historical Society, it will seek to preserve the historical record of not only the struggles of the Scottish settlers but those of Bradford and West Gwillimbury as well.
Philip Baker, a representative of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation was on hand to describe the procedure in setting up a historical society, the grant structure, and the initial problems that will have to be faced.
He told the group that the common mistake of most historical societies is to concentrate all activities on one particular project in the beginning and then disintegrate when it is completed.
He urged members to set up a variety of projects that could be tackled over the years.
The next step in the formation of the group is to adopt a charter, Mr. Baker said, and consider affiliation with the Ontario Historical Society.
He commended the society for its decision not to concentrate activities only on the Scotch Settlement, because of the danger that it would then be too limited and not self-perpetuating.
Funds for the immediate future would present the group with its first major hurdle.
Grants from the ministry and Wintario are of the matching variety and the group will first have to acquire funds on its own.
With this in mind, the society will probably ask the councils of Bradford and West Gwillimbury for a grant.
The maximum grant available from the ministry is $550 a year.
Mr. Baker said other grants are available through Wintario, but also on a 50-50 basis.
The society elected its first officers that same evening, with Eleanor Reid as president, Andrew Rettig secretary-treasurer, George Brown in charge of architecture and historical buildings, and Ruby Fairs, program director.
A fee structure was also approved, with a $5 annual fee for a family, $3 single, and $1 student.
Don Beatty of the Innisfil Historical Society was also present at the meeting, and he related experiences of his own group, especially financial and the difficulty of maintaining an adequate number of members.
The society will meet again later in the fall at a date to be announced.