BOAA, Bowmanville, Life in canada, Myrtle The Purple Turtle

It’s a Purple Wave!

Blog Photo - BOAA - Lady holds Myrtle Book and smiles

Blog Photo - BOAA - People coming in for Signing

I didn’t count, but a lot of people wore purple in Bowmanville, Ontario last Tuesday! 

Blog Photo - BOAA Purple Lunch crowd

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple Lady seated reading book

I was one of them. I found a partly-purple scarf and a decades-old, no-longer-stylish jacket in my closet for a massive book-signing event, held in honour of Myrtle the Purple Turtle.

Blog Photo - BOAA - Cynthia signs book for Beth

 Staff, volunteers and members of the BOAA (Bowmanville Older Adults Association),  were in fine form.Blog Photo - BOAA - Cynthia signs Book with volunteersThen Dolly (below) showed up in her purple wig and had me beat.

Blog Photo - BOAA Dolly with Purple Hair

There were purple scarves, purple coats, purple shirts and sweaters, purple earrings, purple everything! And so many different shades of purple.

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple Ladies waiting for book sign

Blog Photo - BOAA Cynthia and Lady seated with Myrtle

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple Scarf and Earring

Blog Photo - BoAA Book signing - Purple lady with books

But I can tell you that everyone wore a smile. BOAA is that kind of place. You show up and you’re immediately made welcome.

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple Ladies 3 shot

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple shirt Gentleman with Myrtle

Grandparents, great aunts and uncles, great-grands and others from the community showed up to get their copies signed for the children in their lives. (And a few bought the book just for themselves.)

Blog Photo - BOAA - Purple Ladies waiting for books to be signed

Many were BOAA members; some had read about the event in the regional newspaper.

There was turtle jewellry.

Blog Photo - BOAA - Turtle ring

Blog Photo - BOAA Book signing - turtle Brooch

Executive director Angie Darlison set the tone, appearing as a purple turtle, complete with shell!

Blog Photo - BOAA Angie the Purple Turtle2

Blog Photo - BOAA Angie the Purple Turtle

 She also shared some turtle jokes.

  1. What do turtles use to communicate? A shell phone!
  2. What do you get when you cross a turtle and a porcupine? A slow-poke!

Blog Photo - BOAA Purple Couple Benny

The couple above, by the way, are Benny, the creator of the BOAA Christmas Village, and his wife Agnes.  It was a pleasure to meet them.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village red house and track

Thanks again, BOAA!  It was turtally wonderful.

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Photos by Chelsea Wolf.

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A Good Home, Bowmanville, Heritage Trees, Trees

Wondrous Wednesday

This tree, which I ambitiously tried to hug — in my own special lop-sided way — is a mighty oak indeed. It stands tall and wide in the front-yard of a beautiful brick home, and though the home is old, the oak is older.

I recently met the owners of house and tree at their home in the gorgeous heritage district of one of Canada’s nicest small towns: Bowmanville, Ontario. They’ve lived here for decades and have learned much about their home, the town, and of course, the tree.

“It’s more than 300 years old,” the husband told me. “Many people stop to take photos.” 

As did my husband and I.  I’ve even told friends about this tree, and directed them to it!

It is, indeed, a wondrous tree. 

blog-photo-trees-three-trunks-in-autumn-e14165477151391

There are other large trees on this beautiful street. Maples, magnificent beeches and others. But none as massive and wondrous as the oak.  Which is ironic as the street is called Beech.

Here’s to the mighty oak!

 

A Good Home, Architectural Conservancy, Architecture and Design, Canadian Homes, Canadian life, Homes

The Fabulous Ravenscraig

PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE

RESEARCH BY KIMBERLY VANEYK

Mrs. Strike lives in Bowmanville’s beautiful historic district, near Toronto. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Mrs Strike at Jigsaw puzzle Her home, Ravenscraig, is outstanding – for its design as well as the people associated with it.  Blog Photo - House - Ravenscraig Two former mayors lived here.  This grand home hosted many receptions, dinner parties, Rotary gatherings and afternoon tea. Guests included prominent members of society.

How heartwarming then, that Mrs. Strike’s fondest memories focus not on those powerful people, but on the places in her home where her three sports-loving sons played. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig the Strike Sons Historian Kimberly Vaneyk and I had the pleasure of visiting Mrs. Strike recently to learn more about her home. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Mrs. Strike Kim and CynthiaWe loved the stories about her sons’ escapades. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Mrs Strike in Upper Hallway The grand entrance hallway where uniformed servants greeted dinner-party guests, took their hats and coats and ushered them inside? Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Entranceway That’s where the Strike boys played basketball during winter, breaking only one piece of precious stained glass with their Nerf ball. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Beautiful Upstairs Hallway The living-room/ballroom where guests danced? Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Stained Glass lady Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Mrs Strike laughs with Kim and Cynthia That’s where the boys practiced hockey. (They also played in the basement.) And why do you suppose Mr. and Mrs. Strike bought this grand home back in 1963? Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Mr and Mrs Strike Photo “Seems silly,she says, smiling, “but our boys were in hockey and it was near the rink!”

The Strikes even built a skating rink for their sons and friends.

“Our own south lawn was always a big rink every winter since 1963.  For the sides of the rink, we used doors, old boards, anything that could stop the puck! Everybody knew that rink.”

There was also the “Wounders’ Tournament” – won by the player who managed to throw most of his friends into/over the boards. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig side view from sidewalk

THE DESIGN

In a town of grand homes, Ravenscraig is one of the grandest. Blog Photo - House Ravesncraig Turret The house’s Queen Anne style is rare even here in the historic district. Its turrets are eye-catching. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Barn Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Feature 2 Fireplace carving Interior features are also distinctive. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Newel Post Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Feature 2 Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Stained Glass Lady 2 Designed for wealthy families who entertained a lot, special attention was paid to the movement of servants – and the flow between hallway, kitchen, dining-room and living-room. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Dining Room

RAVENSCRAIG’S FABULOUS PAST

Ravenscraig attracted the famous and the fabulous, the wealthy and influential, the good and the great. Bowmanville’s former mayor, Dr. Hillier, and his family had Ravenscraig built in the late 1800’s. Blog Photo - House Trees and Historic sign They entertained dignitaries from religion, medicine, law, business and politics and held fundraisers to support the community.

Mrs. Hillier herself knitted 500 pairs of socks for local soldiers during World War 1. Subsequent owners included the Schon’s, who fled Austria just before World War 2.

Ravenscraig became a focal point for the arts. Guests included well-known musicians, painters and European actress Methchild Harkness, the Schons’ houseguest. 

A second mayor, Morley Vanstone, and his family lived here after the Schons. The Vanstones were a wealthy family who owned the local mill. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Fireplace Each family left its mark… especially true for Dr. Hillier, whose initials are carved in the fireplace mantel. Blog Photo - House Ravenscraig Hillier Signature in Mantel

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Warm thanks to Mrs. Strike for her gracious welcome, to historian Kimberly Vaneyk and to Hamlin Grange for the photos.