Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Onley

Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Onley Visit Grand River Branch

July 2008 was an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time for the executive and the members of Grand River Branch. We had known for a few weeks that we might have the honour of hosting the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and his wife. It was difficult to plan for the event without telling the members, but we were sworn to secrecy until we had been given the ok from the Lieutenant Governor’s office. All we were able to say at our earlier meeting was that we might have a special guest at our July meeting. It was also a little nerve wracking for the Waterford Museum staff where we were planning the event. They were aware that we might have these very special visitors, but they too were sworn to secrecy. 

After visits from the Ontario Provincial Police, we did pass muster, and were delighted to welcome the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley and his wife, Mrs. Onley. 

There was more excitement. We had learned that Mrs. Onley had Loyalist ancestors. We managed to keep this a secret from Mrs. Onley until we presented her with two certificates, one for Loyalist Timothy Culver and the other for Loyalist Lucas Dedrick. 

It was also rather fitting that we had a visit from a branch of the Culver family, as well as Governor and Mrs. Simcoe. 

Marilyn Branch, a Culver descendent told the story of the meeting between the Culvers and Governor and Mrs. Simcoe, while the Governor was visiting in Norfolk. The Culvers heard that the Simcoe’s were in the area and decided to go and meet with them in the hope that Mr. Culver would be given permission to build a mill. The Culvers are reported to have taken watermelons and fresh white bread with them.

Governor Simcoe was reportedly so impressed with the gifts, and especially with the white bread which they had not had in some time, that he declared that whenever he passed this way in future that he would look forward to receiving loaves of bread. The Culvers, it is reported, were given permission to build the mill. 

As you might guess, lunch included slices of fresh Norfolk watermelon and raisin bread.

Submitted by Sue Hines UE, President, Grand River Branch.

Bill Terry welcomes Lieutenant Governor Onley and Mrs. Onley.
Lieutenant Governor Onley and Mrs. Onley with her Loyalist Certificates
Lt. Gov. Onley,and Mrs.Onley who was presented with a Bouquet of Flowers
Gov. and Mrs. Simcoe and the Culvers (Grand River Branch Members in Period Clothing)
With Special Luncheon Bread