• Craig Baird

When A Vermilion Resident Gave A Big Donation

The Vermilion library has been one of the most important places for residents to visit for years. Through the years, it has helped teach children to read, help students complete book reports, and offer residents an escape to amazing worlds created by authors.

The library has existed through government funding, but also generosity and few times has anyone been more generous to the library than George Whitnell in 1950.

For years, Whitnell was a well-known citizen of Vermilion who had lived in the area for many years during the first years of the community. While he lived in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1950, his love of Vermilion was still strong.

Mayor J.W.G. Morrison was a friend of Whitnell for many years and he had the honour of presenting the current mayor, S.C. Heckbert, with a cheque worth $10,000 from Whitnell for the library. That may not seem like a huge sum these days, but today that amount of money would be $114,065.

Whitnell gave the money to the library to show them appreciation for the many courtesies they extended him during the pioneer days of the community. For years, the International Order of the Daughters of the Empire handled library services, but it was limited and not suitable for the growing community.

The donation would help to build the new library facilities and provide more material for the reading public.

Under the agreement for the donation, a deed of trust was created so that the money could be put into a trust fund and administered by a committee composed of Mayor Heckbert, as well as A.M. Watt, the manager of the CIBC.

The committee would then get to work with the selection of a site and the construction of the new library that would become an important place for generations of Vermilion residents.

I put out a history magazine that highlights many aspects of Canadian history. It is free and is delivered to your inbox. E-mail me to subscribe at craig@canadaehx.com

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