Director at Large – Betty Chish-Graham,
103 Steamship Bay Rd., Suite 404,
Gravenhurst, Ontario, P1P 1Z9
Past President (2009-2011) – Bill Darker
Bill Darker was born in 1934 and spent most of his early life on Sparrow Lake at Grandview Lodge. Grandview was built and operated by his grandfather Otto Roehl, who was of one of the early pioneer families that settled on Sparrow Lake in 1863. His mother and father bought the resort in 1938 and operated it until 1972. He graduated from Queens University in 1959 with an Engineering degree in Geological Sciences with a geophysics specialty, and then joined the Observatory Branch of the Dept. of Mines & Technical Surveys, Division of Geomagnetism. His job of Seismic & Magnetic Observer took him to the Arctic for the next four years, including a 14-month stint at the Alert Weather Station. In that time he carried a theodolite & magnetometer across the tundra, flew with a magnetic survey from Iqualuit, NWT to Fairbanks, Alaska, and analysed Seismograms (recording earthquakes) and Magnetograms (recording variations in the Earth’s magnetic field). In 1963 Bill returned to Ottawa to work for the Ottawa Magnetic Observatory and received his Professional Engineer (APEO) designation.
His family sold Grandview Lodge to him and his wife Gayla in 1972 and they operated Grandview till 1987 when Gayla’s illness made it difficult to continue. Gayla died in 1990. Their three daughters all studied engineering at Queens Uinversity and received their P.Eng designations. He remarried to Helenmaria in 1995, and they have an extended family of 5 children and their spouses, 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Bill has always been interested in history. The stories his family told him about our forefathers and the publishing of E. Chish-Graham’s Book “A Legacy Almost Lost” made him realize that joining the Sparrow Lake Historical Society would allow him to help preserve the history of Sparrow Lake, where ordinary people have accomplished extraordinary things.
Past President (2005-2009) – James Stanton
Jim Stanton grew up at the former Stanton House Resort in Port Stanton and went to Hamlet School, Orillia District Collegiate, then 4 years at University of Toronto and the College of Education to complete his formal education. At age 22, Jim took his first teaching job at Stratford Central Collegiate, teaching English and History. These were very formative years–he and Mary Lou were married in November of his first year teaching, and both their children, Cathy and Bob, were born during the six years they lived there. In 1962, the family moved to Newmarket where Jim spent the rest of his career at Newmarket High. Mary Lou built a successful piano teaching studio, which she still maintains after 50 years.
Jim completed 33 years of teaching in 1989 and found time to take a greater role in the Historical Society as vice-president. In that job, he helped to organize several of the annual events, including the annual summer outings to some of the historic cottages on the lake–Jim Maguire’s century-old property on Lovey’s Point, the Cruise’s historic Armscourt, the Sparrow Lake Camp point where the Stanton story began in 1874, Robert Clipsham’s Uneeda Rest and Tom and Betty Graham’s fine old summer home on Maclean’s Bay among them. Perhaps the highlight of Jim’s work with the Society was planning and organizing the Youdan Stanton Art Show in August of 1994. Often unrecognized in his own community, Youdan’s oil paintings and watercolours of the area were drawn together for the first time and generously displayed at Pinecroft, the summer home of the Hopper family. Jim and Mary Lou remain active members and supporters of the Society and enjoy their summer retirements at their 50-year-old cottage in Port Stanton.
Founding President (1984-2005) – David Stanton
Dave Stanton retired as SLHS President in 2005 after 21 years in office. Having grown up on the lake at his parents’ resort, The Wildwood Inn, David returned to the lake after pursuing a career in aviation as a pilot for Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada.) He flew out of Toronto International Airport and lived in nearby Brampton, Ontario. Starting in 1953, he flew DC-3’s, Vicker Viscounts, Vickers Vanguards, Douglas DC-9s, and Lockheed 1011 jumbo-jets. Retiring after 27 years service with the airline, David and his wife Ann built their own home on their cottage site in 1981 and have been enjoying life on the lake ever since. They have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren who live nearby in the Orillia and Washago area.
David kept his hand in aviation affairs and in 1990 completed a homebuilt “Renegade Spirit” biplane aircraft which he flew out of a farmer’s field for recreation. Using Visual Basic 4.0 he wrote a software program to assist in weighing and balancing light aircraft so they fly right. This program can be downloaded at http://www.simtel.net/pub/win95/engin/wtbals12.zip . He sold this biplane aircraft in 2002, but continued to devote time to his other hobbies until his death in 2015, primarily radio-controlled model aircraft building and flying, Ham radio, playing the organ at summer church services, and RC-model sailboat racing with a M12 sailboat and a Soling class model sailboat. David also worked as Automation Coordinator at both Provincial and Federal elections, managing the district computer department and printing the upgraded voters list for polling day.
SLHS Elections are held every 2 years at the Spring general meeting.
Annual membership is $15 (Family $25)
Ten-year membership is $125 (Family $200)