It seems only fitting, in this photo of my niece Meaghan Ryan that she is standing in front of a building familiar to many of us from the former Bathurst Township, (now Tay Valley Township), in Lanark County, Calvin United Church. She is seen here with her husband, Sean Christie, in front of the building where her parents were married on the 21st of May 1966. It is the same church where her grandmother Audry Stafford brought me, and my four siblings each Sunday, when we were children.
Calvin United Church was opened for worship in September of 1896, built on the property of Mr. John Cameron. The first elected officers in the church were Andrew Gamble, William Scott, Andrew Palmer, George Miller, Andrew B. Miller, Andrew W. Miller, W.J. Palmer, John Jordan, Nichol Stewart, Alex Palmer and Sydney Miller.
Although because of the times, men held the offices in the church, women have also played an important role going back to 1894 with the ‘Ladies’ Aid’. Later, there was a ‘Women’s Mission Society’, and even later the U.C.W., or United Church Women. In 1962 the younger women formed the Calvinettes.
Some of the women who stood out for their dedication over the years were Lillian Cameron, Ethel Scott, Ethel Korry, Jean Korry, Mae Miller, Bertha Stewart, Edith Miller, Mary Miller and Mabel Palmer. Some of the other women members of Calvin Church who worked tirelessly for the church over the years were: Marge Cook, Wilma (Scott) Peckett, Eleanor Conboy, Jean Jordan, Audry Stafford, Ona Closs, Maxine Jordan, Mabel Palmer, Isobel Cameron, Frances Dixon, Betty Johnston, Wilma Munro, Mary Jordan, Betty Miller, Margery Conboy, Kathy Patton, Marion Majaury,Doris Popplewell, Agnes Stiller, Carmel Jordan to name a few.
There were also members of Calvin United Church who served their country during times of war: Lloyd Henry Cameron, Helen Muriel Jordan, Hugh Boyd McLellan, John Grey Palmer, Harold Earl Radford, James Stewart Scott, Earl Alexander Tysick, Edwin Cecil Popplewell, John Ernest Miller, Donald Edwin Jordan, George Bertram Fyfe, Kenneth Arthur Kirkham, George Elwood Palmer, Howard William Radford, John Adam Scott, Andrew William Stewart, Raymond McIntosh Blackburn, Andrew Gordon Miller, William Arthur Stewart.
In 1979 Calvin Jordan was presented with an award for serving the church for over half a century. The award was presented by Charlie Patton and Alan Jordan for his outstanding service.
Calvin United Church has a rich history, and solid presence in the community for over a century. It’s a short drive from Perth out the third line to DeWitt’s Corners, turn right onto the Cameron Side Road, and a quick drive up the road from there. If you are visiting the area, stop by, and feel the sense of the history, and of the generations who have passed before you in this pretty church on the hill.