Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's an Honour

At the Muskoka Heritage Foundation AGM on Saturday, awards were presented in a number of categories to celebrate those who steward and save our heritage in many different ways.

Lake of Bays showed quite well -- the Sild's, who live on Menominee Lake near Baysville, were recognized for their many years of outstanding stewardship on their land.

Sunset Cottage, on Rebecca Lake, and the Tea Room on Raynor Island were both recognized for their wonderful histories and the efforts their proud owners have made to preserve them.  Sunset Cottage, built in 1915, has such delightful features as the hand-carved mantelpiece that was crafted by the owner while on his honeymoon there. It reads "Chop your own Wood: it will warm you Twice."  The cottage is located so the summer solstice sends its rays straight through the cottage and into the back yard. It's a joyous, beautiful, peaceful place.

The Tea Room got going during the steamship era when Margaret Spaulding built the structure in 1911 and operated it for many years, providing afternoon tea to the guests at the area resorts such as the WaWa, Bigwin, Britannia.  Someone (or a group of someones more likely) slogged a grand piano up to the cottage. It weighs in at about 800 pounds, and given that there was never anything than a rough twisty walking path up from the dock, it must have been a tremendous accomplishment just to get it there. It won't leave anytime soon -- getting it back to the dock would be just too difficult.

Richard Tatley was honoured (and surprised, god bless him) to receive the Robert J. Boyer award honouring individuals who demonstrate significant commitment to the cultural and historical heritage of Muskoka. The award is named after Bob Boyer, a local historian with a life-long commitment to the unique cultural heritage of Muskoka, and was created through the generosity of Ms. Vicki Billingsley, Mr. Boyer's daughter. Mr. Boyer was a politician, an author, a publisher, and a tireless promoter of Muskoka to the rest of the world. He wrote the quintessential book of Bracebridge's history, A Good Town Grew Here, and he was instrumental in the restoration of Woodchester Villa. For a time, Mr. Boyer acted as a trustee for the Royal Ontario Museum. Mr. Boyer was a founding patron of the Muskoka Heritage Foundation and was an honourary patron until his death in 2005.Sadly, his daughter Vicki, passed away in 2004. The award is maintained through the generosity of her children, Johnston and Martha.

Richard is a worthy recipient -- he has 'written the book' on the Steamship era in Muskoka.   The Steamboat Era in the Muskokas (Volume one and two!); Port Carling: Hub of the Lakes; Northern Steamboats; Segwun and Windermere are among his published works.  He has appeared in several videos/movies on the history of Muskoka (along with cameo clips of both Brian and Nancy in Life on the Edge, a production of the Ontario Visual Heritage Project.
If that's not helping to preserve our history, we don't know what is.  We've got a Bondi connection to Richard Tatley -- he was instrumental in helping us move our beloved Ditchburn motor launch, Pine Bark, to the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa where she has been refinished, restored and placed on rotating display.

So, here is a round of applause for all the award winners, and a special clap for Richard. Well done, all of you.  It has been said that Europe has too much history, Canada has too much geography, but you might be surprised by the history we do have, and it is well worth the celebration.

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