A newspaper clipping from 1982: DELEGATES. Members of this area's horticultural societies attended the provincial horticultural conference in Thunder Bay recently. These are the members of the Gilford club. From the left are Molly Laceby, Ruth Bolt, Ida Sturdy and Lila Bell.

A newspaper clipping from 1982:
DELEGATES. Members of this area’s horticultural societies attended the provincial horticultural conference in Thunder Bay recently. These are the members of the Gilford club. From the left are Molly Laceby, Ruth Bolt, Ida Sturdy and Lila Bell.

Lila Bell, who back in 1979 took the initiative to start the Gilford & District Horticultural Society wrote the following piece.

The beginning, by Lila Bell:

“While working for the Bradford Witness, I met Vi Peacock who wrote the Thornton news each week and all the news about the Thornton Horticultural Society. I started asking questions about the Society and she invited me to attend a meeting and flower show. I was really impressed with the entries and the information about the various plants during the course of the meeting.

I thought this would be great for Gilford as we had a lot of new people coming into the area in subdivisions. Since I wrote the Gilford News, I could reach a lot of people and afford the Society news each week of events.

Armed with information from Thornton, District Director Madeline Hobson and Allistair McLean, the Ontario Director, told us how to get a Society started. I began knocking on doors throughout Gilford to try to obtain 100 signatures (she got 101 signatures). I included articles in the Gilford News with information on a Horticultural Society and asking prospective members to call Lida Alle and Ida Sturdy for further information.

Charlie Oliver had a greenhouse and we thought he’d be ideal for our first president.

We held our first meeting in the Fall of 1979 with Madeline Hobson as our first speaker on flower arranging.

Luise Alle and Johanna Chudzinski were great gardeners and supplied many specimens and arrangements for our future shows.

Bill Markwick moved from Bond Head to Gilford and joined our Society as well as keeping his membership in Bond Head. He was a great help to us – he even sold an old car and donated the proceeds to our Society.

Ruth Bolt was an early member and can propably tell you some history. When Molly Laceby joined she brought a wealth of knowledge regarding plants, and roses in particular.

We had a Junior Society to which Bill Markwick, Audrey Miller and I devoted time. We had permission from Sam Neilly to use part of his field for growing vegetables. Unfortunately, the children didn’t keep up the gardens, so growing was not successful. The Junior Society was started again at Killarney Beach School. Molly looked after this group.

As you know, we started meeting at Gilford Community Hall, moved meetings to the Lefroy United Church Hall and thence to the Churchill Community Centre.

Hope this helps, Lila”

Past Presidents

Charles Oliver, President in 1979 and 1980

Ruth Bolt, President in 1981

Lila Bell, President in 1982 and 1983

Molly Laceby, President in 1984 and 1985

Bill Markwick, President in 1986

Evelyn Royce, President in 1987

Bill Markwick, President in 1988

Molly Laceby, President in 1989 and 1990

Arthur Evans, President in 1991 and 1992

Margaret (Boo) Major, President in 1993 and 1994

Al Zammit, President in 1995

Joan Harper, President in 1996 and 1997

Tony Ward, President in 1998 and 1999

Ruth Bolt, President in 2000

Mona Rea, president in 2001 and 2002

Sharon Wice, President in 2003 and 2004

Judith Rogers, President in 2005 and 2006

Kathy Barraclough, President in 2007

Mona Rea, President in 2008

Eveline Teras, President in 2009 and 2010

Judith Matchett, President in 2011 and 2012

Lifetime Members

Molly Laceby, Lifetime Member 1998

Norma Boddy, Lifetime Member 1998

Ruth Bolt, Lifetime Member 1998

Lila Bell, Lifetime Member 1999

Arthur Evans and Bill Markwick,
Lifetime Members in 2001

Luise Alle, Lifetime Member in 2004

Sharon Wice, Lifetime Member in 2005

Johanna Chudzinski, Lifetime Member in 2006

Ida Sorensen and Phyllis Caulton,
Lifetime Members in 2008

Art and Joan Harper,
Lifetime Members in 2009

Earle and Helen Gilmore,
Lifetime Members in 2010

Wynfred (Billie) Gill,
Lifetime Members in 2012

Charter Members – (1979)

Alle Luise Dukes Jennifer Laceby Robert Rowley Sharon
Allen Kay Firth Elda Lawlor Donald Rozendaal Jannette
Ambrose Judy Firth Fred Lawlor Rhea Saunter Jean
Angus Carolyn Fleur Betty Lou Madigan Marilyn Sawyer Alice
Bell A.M. Fry Suzanne Madigan Ron Scott Doris
Bell Betty Ann Gassler Wilma McEown Jill Silavs Alma
Bell Helen Gibbons Edmund McLaren Bob Stewart Elsie
Bell Lila S. Gibbons Marie McLaren Judy Sturdy Ed
Bell Linda Gilligan Sandy Morgan Rellie Sturdy Ida
Bell Sandra A. Gilmore Helen Morris Lee Taylor Cathy
Blommaert Jan Gliddon Gwen Morris Rick Thompson Liida
Bolt Ruth Gorham Vimy Morris Sharon Tunstall Marilyn
Bond Eileen Hallik Hilda O’Reilly Sheila von Graffen Anita
Bricis A. Hambly Marg Oliver Alice Wagg Joanne
Brockie Phyllis Hamilton Jean Oliver Betty Watson Virginia
Camilleri Denise Hathaway Colin Oliver Charles Weber Kay
Cannom Mary Hathaway Dolores Partelpoeg Linda Welsh Agnes
Crawford Alistair Hathaway Valerie Reid Buzz Welsh Wesley
Crawley Bill Hobson Madeline Reid Eleanor Weyman Hazel
Crawley Ena Hordyk Greta Reid Eva Weyman Ted
Dales Betty Hughes Marion Reid Evelyn Whalley Margaret
Daoust Kathy James Gail Reid Verna Whalley Winnifred
Davis Helen King Elsie Reive May Wice Sharon
Doe Patricia Kuzmyk Liz Romat Audrey Wilkins Audrey O.
Dowling Louise Laceby Molly Rosewell Ann Yakiwchuk Lois
Dukes Edwin

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