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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Beach History Preservation Rejuvenated

By John Ellis

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On October 29, a standing-room only crowd turned out at the Beaches Library meeting room for the first public meeting of The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society ("BETHS") to be held in three years. As President of the Interim Board of Directors, I welcomed the guests and then Glenn Chadwick, Program Convenor, introduced local historian, Gene Domagala.

During the next hour, Gene showed several hundred slides documenting the highs and lows of Beach and Leslieville history over the past two hundred years, augmented with personal anecdotes about area pioneers and their descendants. He was still going strong as library staff signalled closure. The audience would gladly have stayed for another hour.

BETHS was founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1979 under the auspices of the Ontario Historical Society ("OHS"). Mary Campbell was a founding member, soon joined by Barbara Myrvold, both noted historians for their co-authorship of "The Beach in Pictures", the definitive reference for local history. Together and alternately, they served as President and Vice-President along with a few others during the next thirty years, when energy began to flag. Older, long-time members passed on or moved away, and the society became dormant.

In August, a group of local residents met to discuss breathing new life into the society. With counsel from Barbara Myrvold and Mary Campbell, we formed a new, Interim Board of Directors, learned that there is a bank account sufficient to restore membership in good standing with the OHS, and an understanding of the way the former society worked.

Since then, the Interim Board has: Adopted a Membership Fee of $20 per annum and launched a membership campaign, drafted a revised Constitution, Bylaws and Nominating Committee Terms of Reference, called two public meetings, is planning a newsletter and web site and an Annual General Meeting for Spring 2014. The next public meeting will be held February 26th at the Beaches Library.

Members of the Interim Board are: John Ellis, President; Uwe Semhrau, Vice-President; Patrick Shipton, Secretary; Wayne Clutterbuck, Treasurer and Membership Secretary; and Mary Campbell, Past-President.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting initiative to "arouse interest in, and to preserve material and information relating to the history of the east end of Toronto", please contact me: ellisjohn@rogers.com.