After my last entry that contained information out of the Howard Township Council meetings from the 1850s, the text jumps to this information from 1908.
After the Women’s Institute was organized in 1908, they began looking about for a meeting place with the result that the community began the renovations of the old Town Hall. It was decided to move the existing building up the street to the lot at the corner of Talbot and Main Street. Here a new section was added and other changes made. By 1914 it was ready for the official opening.
Following is the account of the opening which appeared in the press:
The opening of the new hall at Morpeth last evening was attended by one of the largest crowds that ever assembled in the old historic village. The villagers and farmers with their wives, sons and daughters from a wide radius were out in force to honour the occasion in spite of the storm.
At least four hundered persons sat down to the fine spread provided by the ladies and all enjoyed the feast of good things on the bill of fare. There was an abundance of everything for everybody and enough left over for a second supper to be served this afternoon.
For the programme the auditorium, which will accommodate 400 persons, was taxed to the limit. Despite the crowd there was not the slightest disorder during the evening which was one of the most enjoyable imaginable.
Mr. P. H. Bowyer occupied the chair and in his opening address congratulated all concerned in the erection of the new hall which he pronounced the largest and best equipped rural hall in the county, a credit to the people of Morpeth and the southern part of the Township of Howard. With its spacious auditorium, small meeting room and spacious cloak rooms all heated and lighted with free natural gas, the new building would long stand as a monument to the enterprise and perseverance of those who conceived the project and carried it to successful completion. In this good work the Morpeth Women’s Institute had played a leading part and deserved the thanks of the community.
Among the speakers called on and who delivered brief congratulatory addresses were the Rev. Mr. Hopper, Reeve Leatherdale, Deputy Reeve Shewburg, Councillor W. A. Walters (a former reeve), Clerk McDonald of Howard and ex-Warden W. C. Sifton. The Rev. Mr. Hawkins, who was down for an address, was unable to be present.
Mr. and Mrs. Goulet in songs and duets, Misses Wilkinson and Guilds, supplied the vocals and instrumental music part of the programme in a most pleasing manner, and Miss McPherson’s readings were much appreciated, all receiving numerous encores.
The proceeds, with the tickets at the low price of 25 cents, amounted to about $100. The Hall opening from every point of view was a great success.
Following is a copy of an official document of the Township of Howard. It was written in 1912.
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENT that the Municipal Corporation of the Township of Howard, send Greeting:-
WHEREAS the herinafter described lands have been conveyed to the said Corporation upon the understanding and conditions set forth hereunder and the said Corporation desires to declare its will concerning the same.
NOW KNOW YE that the said Municipal Corporation of the Township of Howard doth hereby acknowledge and testify and declare that it holds the following lands to wit. All and singular that certain parcel or tract of land and premises situate lying and being in the Village of Morpeth in the Township of Howard in the County of Kent, and Province of Ontario, being composed of part of Village lots numbers One and Two, on the North side of Talbot Road in the said Village of Morpeth being part of lot number Ninety one, North of Talbot Road, west in the said Township of Howard, and which said part may be better known and described as follows: that is to say commencing at the most Southerly angle of said lot ninety one, on the corner of Talbot and Main Streets, thence north forty five degrees east thirty-nine feet and four inches, thence north west parallel with Main Street, ninety-nine feet to a point thence South forty-five degrees west thirty-nine feet four inches more or less to Main Street, thence South east along the Eastern boundary of Main Street ninety nine feet more or less ot the place of beginning, containing by a measurement Thirteen and one-fifth perches more or less, upon the following trusts namely That the siad property shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of without the consent of a majority of the ratepayers at the time being in what is now Polling subdivisions numbers five and six, Howard.
Second: That the Hall on said lands shall be controlled by a Board of Three Trustees to be appointed by resolution of the Council of said Municipality, of Howard, Three Trustees for the present year 1912, and they shall decide by lot which one shall retire at the end of each of the Three years, and the Council shall appoint one annually to take the place of the one retiring (said Trustees to be elected or recommended by the ratepayers of subdivisions numbers five and six.)
Third: That the use of this Hall shall be free for all Municipal and Political purposes and for meetings of Women’s Institute, Farmers’ Institute, and all similar gatherings of a purely public character, and that charges for use of the Hall, except those mentioned as free be left with the Trustees and the said monies be held for the Maintenance of said Hall.
Fourth: Said Hall to be kept insured by the Council of the said Municipality and in case of destruction by fire or other causes, the proceeds of insurance shall be applied to rebuilding of same.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the said Municipal Corporation has set its Corporate seal and the hand of the Reeve and Clerk, this Ninth day of April, one thousand nine hundred and twelve.
Signed, sealed and delivered
in the presence of
E. Brien, Reeve.
Geo. McDonald, Clerk
April 9, 1912
Certified true copy