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East York people, places, events & insights

Historical society celebrates its own 35-year heritage this month

East York Historical Society (EYHS) logo

East York Historical Society (EYHS) logo

– By Tony Wright –

An organization dedicated to preserving history in East York will celebrate a historical event of its own this month.
The East York Historical Society will hold its 35th anniversary dinner on April 5 with Michael Prue, former mayor the Borough of East York and a past Beaches-East York MPP, featured as the event’s guest speaker.
The EYHS was formed in 1980 and incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Ontario Historical Society with the aim of bringing together people interested in the heritage of East York to research, retain, preserve and present historical data pertaining to the area.

East York Historical Society board members (front row, left to right) Ron Chamberlain, Ron Brown and Kay Horiszny. Back row (left to right), EYHS President Pancheta 'Pat' Barnett, John Michailidis, Justin Van Dette, Margaret McRae, Val Dodge. -TONY WRIGHT

East York Historical Society board members (front row, left to right) Ron Chamberlain, Ron Brown and Kay Horiszny. Back row (left to right), EYHS President Pancheta ‘Pat’ Barnett, John Michailidis, Justin Van Dette, Margaret McRae, Val Dodge. -TONY WRIGHT

The late John S. Ridout was the first president of the EYHS, board member Margaret McRae said in an interview at the March meeting of the organization held in the auditorium named after him at S. Walter Stewart Library on Memorial Park Drive.
“John Ridout was the president for many years,” Ms. McRae said, after which other former presidents include herself, Martin Rainbow and Jane Pitfield, while the current president is Pancheta “Pat” Barnett.
In addition to regular meetings at which topics of interest are presented and discussed, the EYHS takes part in a variety of other activities. Those include leading historical walks in East York, collaborating with community groups to research, publish and promote East York’s history, attending consultations and advocating for heritage and cultural issues, participation on community liaison committees and arranging for plaques to commemorate historic people and sites.
Furthermore, the EYHS is an annual participant in the East York Canada Day Parade and Doors Open Toronto at Todmorden Mills. “We will be leading a walk in an evening in June to discuss the historic buildings in Todmorden Village,” said McRae.
At the society’s March meeting, George Kouronis, an East York resident and producer of the TV show “Angry Planet”, regaled club members with a presentation chronicling his adventures in remote parts of the world.  In addition, Agnes Macphail Public Speaking Contest winner Manny Szeptycki, a Grade Eight student at Westwood Middle School, gave a captivating presentation on “Food Waste”.
The organization’s 35th anniversary dinner will be held on April 5 at the York Masonic Banquet Hall, 1100 Millwood Rd. at Overlea Boulevard, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The group is also holding a rare afternoon meeting this month starting at 2 p.m. on Wed. April 19, also in the Ridout room at the library at 170 Memorial Park Drive, at which the topic will be the history of east TO institution Providence Healthcare.
For more information on EYHS and its events, email: eyhs@eastyork.org.

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