The weather was not the best with snowing and drifting snow for the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Maryhill Historical Society which was held on Sunday, November 20th at 2 p.m. in the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre. The 43rd and 44nd annual General Meeting were done virtual because of the pandemic and only the president report and treasurers reports were given at that time.
Guest speaker was rych mills who gave a very informative and light-hearted talk with lots of chuckles from the audience on inns and hotels in the township of Woolwich. He also spoke on name changes in Woolwich and street names in Kitchener and Waterloo area. There was interaction with the 25 people present as they recalled the stories rych was telling. It was a very entertaining, knowledgeable and a nostalgic afternoon.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Linda Kennedy welcomed everyone and said how nice it was to meet in person this year instead of virtually. 2022 started off with a big question mark as to whether the Society would be able to open to the public and whether or not we would be able to plan Canada Day and Heritage Day as well as have Open House every Sunday throughout the summer. As it turned out we were able to open and we had successful events which were supported by the Township Mayor and Council, our MP, MPP, Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League, Maryhill Firefighters, Maryhill Market and St. Boniface’s new pastor, Father Peter, and many residents of Maryhill and surrounding area as well as from farther away.
This year the Edward Halter House was used for several meetings and they enjoyed seeing all the historical items displayed.
Many of this year’s visitors commented positively on the changes to the Resource Centre and Library that were achieved during the past two years of shutdown. To complete the renovations we used the grant from Woolwich Township as well as adding from our own bank account to finish. This year as in past years, we have been generously remembered by families of deceased members, and by many other donors who have an interest in the preservation of the history of Maryhill area. They are instrumental in keeping us a viable entity in the community.
We continue to receive donations of historical items which keeps us busy updating inventory.
She thanked the Board of Directors and members for their hard work and support. They made a difference in The Society’s success this year. She thanked those who have decided not to return to the Board and thanked them for their long time hard work. Their work was appreciated and they will be missed but not forgotten. She also welcomed new volunteers who will be elected to the Board and looking forward to hearing their ideas.
SECRETARY’S REPORT – Marg Drexler had sent volunteer hours into the Ontario Historical Society. The Halter House had extensive painting done to all the rooms and the family genealogy wall has been total redone. Everything is very well organized now and all family names are easily accessible for research.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Ron Zinger during the fiscal year 2022 he paid bills and deposited receipts and recorded these transactions. Attended regularly executive and board meetings reported on the finances of the society and provided year to date actuals vs budget numbers. He worked with an accountant who reviewed the books and prepared the financial statements.
ARCHIVIST & GENEALOGY – queries for archival materials, provided research assistance electronically and in person to 34 families:- Adis / Anstett / Beechey / Beilstein / Benninger / Berberich / Bitschy / Brennan / Ertel / Fischer / Goetz / Groh / Hahn / Huck / Hummel / Huss / Jaeck / Jaeckle / Martin / May / Meyer / Molson / Moyer / Olinski / Reinhart / Roth / Schlosser / Schumacher / Sherrer / Spitzig / Thomasing / Von Hatten / Waechter / Weiler. Helped someone with information on Maryhill History and on Father Breitkopf.
BIRTHDAY CLUB – cards had been sent throughout the year for those celebrating 80 and plus years The over 80’s club are also recognized at our Heritage Day. There are currently 92 people on the Birthday List.
CATALOGUING PROJECT – has gone along well and hopefully in the winter months will complete the inventory and verify all the items in each room.
CEMETERY – Decorated the 25 Veterans graves with Canada Flags for Canada Day & Remembrance Day. Helped a family find the grave of a loved on in the “Old Walled Cemetery”.
Ron Schmuck was pleased to report that the restoration work he started in 2015 at the “St. Boniface Old Walled Cemetery” is now completed as of Oct 15, 2022. In 2015 he found that many of the monuments had been damaged over the years, and moved to the walls of the cemetery , so the next 3 years were spent taking each headstone from where they had been set along the edge of the four walls, one at a time, and finding its original location in the cemetery. Most often the stone had to be repaired with a new lower section, which had broken, as well as a new foundation.
Also during this time many monuments (still in their original location) were repaired, straightened and stone crucifixes (which had fallen off, and placed at the back wall of the OWC) replaced, including new stainless steel pins etc.
Over 20 new stone crucifix’s were cast in cement and replaced on monuments when the original stone crucifix had vanished.
In 2019 his work then moved to the restoration of the 90 + Iron Crosses or “Tree of Life ” as they were referred to. Most had been damaged by both time and the lawnmower.
Each and every one was repaired with first making a new holder for the small name and date stones, which had fallen from the cross, ( but were most often still in the grass below the Iron Cross.)
Then the elaborate iron scroll was refastened and new iron scroll work made when the old parts no longer existed.
New name stones were made when the original stone had vanished, and knew the information that was on the original was in the cemetery records.
In 2020 all of the black Iron Crosses restoration was completed, including a new coat of paint.
He found a number of these iron crosses had been painted a blue color when they were installed back in the 1870’s, and assumed this color could be ordered from the local blacksmith when purchased which was applied over the original black paint that the blacksmiths used, Over time much of the blue paint had worn out. He had the blue identified as “French Blue” he then made a special order for 24 spray cans of this original Blue color, which was used to paint the remaining 35+ Iron Crosses back to the original color they had when installed over 150 years ago.
The last big project was to restore the large crucifix in the center which took an entire summer in 2021 to carefully strip the old, well worn black paint from the corpus, make repairs to several areas and repaint the crown of thorns and wounds. He left the cross as it was originally, which was well worn and fits perfectly with the monument now .
He invites everyone to please come and visit the St. Boniface Old Walled Cemetery now that it is restored or visit the web site https://st-boniface-owc.weebly.com/
CHURCH – A survey had been taken on Christmas Masses which this year will be held on Christmas Eve Family Mass 4 p.m. & evening Mass at 9 p.m. Christmas Day at 10 a.m.
It was recorded that 9 baptisms, 2 marriages, 17 deaths, 6 burials and 14 Confirmations had taken place this past year. 7 people took part in the Right to Life Walkathon in the village.
A new organ for the church had been purchased and the dedication took place on St. Boniface Day, Sunday, June 5, 2022.
St. Boniface Day festival was a huge success. Wonderful turnout.
“Hospitality Sunday’s” after Sunday 11 a.m. Mass are going well, with people visiting and socializing.
On March 30 the parish learned Father Grayson Hope would be leaving and we are tobecome a Mission. Father Hope left on Wednesday, June 29th at 12 noon. Father Peter Meyer from St. Teresa’s Elmira is looking after both parishes.
Organisations have been encouraged to use the Rectory as often as possible for meetings – Knights of Columbus – Catholic Women’s League – Cemetery Committee, etc.
Rosary and Litany of the Day begins at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday mornings with Mass at 8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at 11 a.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, rosary and litanies at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursdays parishioners gather for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Litanies, Readings, Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel. They begin and end with a hymn with Tim Vegh playing the guitar.
In October Mass times changed to Wednesday & Friday mornings with Rosary and Litany of the day at 8:40 a.m. (20 to 9 a.m.) and Mass at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning Mass remained the same at 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings start at 9 a.m. as well.
Updated and indexed Baptism, Marriage and Death records for 2022. The years Baptism 1918, Marriages 1937 and deaths 1947 are now available in the Historical House. This is according to the Archives of Ontario.
Updated Confirmation pictures for 2021 & 1st Communion pictures for 2021 & 2022. Children made their 1st Communion on May 5th
COMMUNTY – The park purchased a corn hole game and a table tennis table both out of concrete. They currently play “Pickle Ball” every Tuesday at the Maryhill Heritage Park. Card games of Euchre & Solo have resumed .The St. Boniface School continues to be used for storage.
MEMBERSHIP – We have 289 member households. Yearly membership is $25, Lifetime is $50. Membership year is the calendar year.
NEWSLETTER – are sent out 3 times a year to the 289 members including 180 receiving by email.
RESOURCE CENTRE – although the Open Houses weren’t as well visited during the summer as previous years we did have visitors up to the Fall months. Received several large donations of books. Received an update to “The Joseph & Catherine Canada Anstett family” , the Tweedsmuir History of Bloomingdale book and “Mining the memories” memories of Suzanne Sloan early life. Decorated the windows for Christmas, Canada Day and Halloween. Was open for Halloween for the children. Continued looking after the flowerbeds, bell cairn and grotto.
SCHOOL – Looked after the School flowerbed. Attended the Grade. 8 Graduation at St. Boniface in Breslau on Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. Plaques awarded for – Spirit Award, Athletic Award, Overall Academic Award, Umbrella Project Award. 20 students graduated. Class of 2022 graduation ceremony pamphlet & information added to school information. The K. of C. held their annual BBQ for the school’s meet the Teacher Night. This is the 5th time and 1st time at the new St. Boniface in Breslau. The school had their 1st school mass on Oct. 12th at 10:30 a.m. The School Board has installed upgraded filters to increase fresh air supply, added HEPA and/or UV air cleaners to all learning spaces and upgraded key HVAC systems to support healthy learning environments.
The new executive for 2023 are: President – Linda Kennedy, Vice-President – Frank Rider, Secretary – Erin Parsons, Treasurer – Ron Zinger, Past President – Tom Schell. Board members – Marg Drexler, Betty Hinschberger, Doug Keller, Carol Neumann, Diane Strickler