As my last official act I’m pleased to announce our Annual General Meeting which will be held at the United Church on the Hill in Alexandria on Thursday, May 1. As has been our custom the meeting will include a potluck supper which will be served at 6:30 PM after a half hour of socializing and then followed by our business meeting at 7:30 and a special presentation on the Sir John Johnson Manor House of Williamstown by the President of the committee, Brent Lafave. Please consult the enclosed press release for more information about the presentation and Brent. Also, mark your calendars for Thursday, June 12, when our annual picnic will be hosted by Frances Fraser and the Dalkeith Historical Society.

An important part of our AGM will be the election of a new Board of Directors. Graham Wells will still be accepting nominations to the Board. At this point, seven individuals have volunteered to serve, more are needed. They include returning Directors Frances Fraser, David Anderson, Don Wood, Marlie Tilker, Michael Cowley-Owen, and Allan MacDonald. Robin Flockton has also agreed to serve. Graham, Gay Hamilton, and I will not be returning. Gay and Graham were stalwarts over the past three years as members of the Board and of the special ad hoc committee that examined and recommended changes in the structure of the GHS. Through their efforts, and others, the difficult process of transition was much smoother than it might otherwise have been. Gay will also be stepping down as Chair of the Nor’westers and Loyalist Museum, having stabilized and guided that Museum through its own difficult transition after the death of Joan P.

I have been a member of the Board of the GHS since 1990, serving as Treasurer for four of those years and more recently as Interim Chair. While I will continue to be an active member in the Society, it is time for me to step aside and devote my energy to other volunteer activity. These next years will be important ones for the GHS as it faces what could become a serious shortfall in funding and a similar shortfall in leadership unless members become more involved in fundraising and assuming leadership responsibility. In fund raising I return to the regular pleas I made when Treasurer, that members remember the Society or one of the Museums, as I have, in their wills or through specially earmarked donations. Without the generosity of our own members the Society and/or the Museums will face serious hardship. There are far fewer opportunities for obtaining government grants than once was the case.

Thanks for all your support and for the strong attendance we have had at meetings since the beginning of the year. I hope to see you with your potluck dish on May 1 in Alexandria. Let’s all celebrate Spring which finally seems to have arrived with its flooding and “mud lusciousness” everywhere.

Bill Gilsdorf