Order Of the Municipality of Whitestone

Order of the Municipality of Whitestone

This will be the seventh year for the Order of the Municipality of Whitestone.  It is awarded to a deserving person who has enriched the lives of others in our community and it all starts with the public taking the time to nominate someone who deserves this special recognition.  (Please note that serving Federal, Provincial, and Municipal politicians and judges are not eligible and as well as current staff members.  No posthumous appointments are made.)

All residents of the Municipality of Whitestone and contributors to the Municipality of Whitestone are eligible for the Order of the Municipality of Whitestone – our Community’s highest honour for achievement.  The Mayor of the Municipality of Whitestone is the Chancellor and Principle Companion of the Order. The motto of the Order of the Municipality of Whitestone is: 

“A community thrives by its dedicated individuals”

words which many volunteers bring to life. 

 Our Order of Whitestone recipients 

2016 to 2022

2022 - Jan Hill

Jan has deep roots in the Whitestone area and spent the first two years of her life in the Village of Dunchurch after which her family moved to Parry Sound.  Her father was born and raised on the family farm on Nelson Clelland Road (originally purchased by her Great Grandparents in the early 1880’s).  Her mother was from Magnetawan.  

 After Kelvin and Jan married, they moved around a lot because of Kelvin’s military career but home was always the family farm in Whitestone or the house in Parry Sound.

 Within a month of moving back to Whitestone for good in 2002, Jan was Chairperson of the Air Cadets Sponsoring Committee in Parry Sound and became one of the founding members of the Dunchurch Horticultural Society. Jan joined the Diners Club and that led to the Nursing Station Community Advisory Committee.  Jan has been an enthusiastic and tireless fundraiser for the current building expansion project.  

Another passion of Jan’s is the Magnetawan-Dunchurch Legion where she has been on the executive since 2007.  She is currently the Branch Treasurer as well as the Treasurer for the Legion Ladies Auxiliary.  Jan can be seen volunteering at many Legion sponsored events– the annual Fish Fry, Pig Roast, Pancake Breakfast as well as helping to cater weddings and celebrations of life.

 Jan has been part of the Recreation Committee for many, many years and through the Committee has organized the much-loved annual Christmas Craft Sale.  Jan can always be counted on to help out at Recreation events and she enjoys participating in Walk-Fit.  

 Jan played a central role in planning and managing the first crock pot cooking classes. She created and curated a massive binder of recipes, tips and advice for successful slow cooking. The best part was that she recognized the classes weren’t just about learning to cook – they were about meeting other residents, socializing a bit and learning about the services for seniors within our community. 

 As a professional jam-maker Jan is willing to share her “award-winning” expertise with everyone, as evidenced by the frequency of “Jammin’ with Jan” sessions. 

 And if that’s not enough Jan finds time to be an active member of the Agricultural Society and volunteer her time and efforts at the annual Fall Fair.   Jan was always front and center helping with annual UCW Thanksgiving dinners and in the past was a dedicated volunteer at the Thrift Shop.

 We are very fortunate to have Jan as part of the fabric of Municipality of Whitestone Community.  The prestigious 2022 Order of Whitestone Award is well deserved.  Congratulations!


2021 - Andrew and Marie Houser

 As active members of the Whitestone Historical Society, Andrew and Marie have been instrumental in documenting the history of the Municipality of Whitestone and area, through the annual historical calendar and through the researching, compilation, and publication of the following books: 

  • Dunchurch, The Story of Newcombe
  • Whitestone from Gordon Lake to the Bunny Trail
  • Butler's Creek to The Hardscrabble Including Maple Island and Glenila
  • Ardbeg, Boakview and the Bunny Trail
  • Dunchurch to the McKellar Township Line (a two book set)
  • Ahmic Harbour to Dunchurch and Much More; and We Must Not Forget, the Story of Those who Served (a two book set)
  • Ahmic Harbour - The Story of Crosswell's Landing

 These books document the rich and diverse history of the Whitestone area and ensure that the early settlers and families of the region are not forgotten. In addition to the books, Andrew and Marie, as members of the Whitestone Historical Society, are regular presenters at the Dunchurch Fall Fair, creating displays of local history and providing an opportunity for descendants of early settlers to learn more about their family.  They, together with Society members Fay Clelland, Goldie Ladd and Orma Quinn, and numerous contributors, work hard to ensure that the information published in their books is accurate and true.

 The award of The Order of the Municipality of Whitestone is based on the continuing commitment to the Whitestone Historical Society and documenting the history of our region. 

 We are extremely fortunate to have Andrew and Marie devote their time and energy to the history of the Municipality of Whitestone and the prestigious 2021 Order of Whitestone award is well deserved.  

 Congratulations Andrew and Marie Houser!

A photo of 2020 Order of Whitestone Recipient, Elizabeth Hamilton.

2020 - Elizabeth Hamilton 

In the early 1990’s, Elizabeth and her husband John moved to Ladd’s Road from southwestern Ontario.  They started a firewood business where they supplied firewood to many residents in the community of Whitestone as well as the Ontario Teachers camp. Elizabeth is not afraid of hard work!  She was raised in a farming family and she thoroughly enjoyed splitting wood and loading the firewood for delivery. Elizabeth has volunteered in Whitestone for over 26 years.  For many years she served in numerous capacities at the Whitestone Public Library and founded the “Friends of the Library” group.   Elizabeth and John began collecting aluminum cans to raise funds for the Library and also started a very successful book sale which became a major fundraiser.   She served as a very active Library Board member and anyone who has attended a council meeting in the past 2 or 3 decades will recall seeing Elizabeth in the audience.

In addition to her Library work, Elizabeth has been a member of the Maple Island Thrift Shop committee for many years where she currently holds the position of Secretary - Treasurer. Being a stickler for numbers made Elizabeth the perfect person to handle the financial end of the daily operation of the thrift shop.  Her commitment to the ongoing operations at the thrift shop have been admirable.  She works tirelessly with and for the people and does her best to accommodate everyone.  Elizabeth has been instrumental in recruiting volunteers which are the backbone of both the Thrift Shop and the Library.  

Elizabeth likes to be busy, whether it’s cooking 35-pound turkeys for the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, shopping for supplies for Library events, baking and distributing her Gumdrop cakes at Christmas or playing cards at the Legion many times during the week.  She has put many miles on her vehicle and has touched the lives of many in our Municipality. We are very fortunate to have Elizabeth in the Municipality of Whitestone and the prestigious 2020 Order of Whitestone award is well deserved.  Congratulations Elizabeth!!


A photo of 2019 Order of Whitestone Recipient, Martin Bridges.

2019 - Martin Bridges

For those of you that don’t know Martin, his English accent is sure to give him away.  Martin came to Canada as a young fellow, met his wonderful wife Mary and became a Canadian Citizen.  Throughout his years living at the end of Canning Road, Martin and his family worked and cared for many neighbours.  Whenever someone needs a little help, Martin is there and has been especially helpful volunteering for the Knox United Church and helping with the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Martin has been a member of the Dunchurch Agricultural Society for many years, serving as the President for the last 20.  He wears his kilt with pride in the annual Fall Fair Parade and his enthusiasm for the Junior and Senior Farmers Olympics is contagious as can be seen and heard in the smiles and laughter of all those participating and watching.  Thank you, Martin, for your energetic commitment to the Ag Society and for helping to make it the envy of neighbouring Ag Societies.  

Participating in the Recreation Committee, Martin is always there to lend a hand, is a committed volunteer and is genuinely concerned about the well-being of our tight knit community. Martin has coached the Recreation Committee’s Summer Soccer Program for a number of years, he is very involved and well loved by all the children.  When Christmas comes, Martin is right there playing Santa Claus as well as cooking breakfast at Easter time for all the children and their families in the community.  We are very fortunate to have Martin in the Municipality of Whitestone and this prestigious award is well deserved.  Congratulations Martin!!


A photo of 2018 Order of Whitestone Recipient, Muriel Stiles.

2018 - Muriel Stiles

Muriel Stiles has been volunteering for the Municipality of Whitestone for almost 40 years, such an amazing accomplishment and in part the reason for Muriel receiving the 2018 Order of Whitestone award.  From the Cemetery Board to volunteering at Whitestone Lake Central School and everything in between, Muriel is an outstanding member of the Community. Muriel has been a long-time volunteer of the Cemetery Board, recently putting in work to map out the Cemeteries in the Community.  Volunteering for the Whitestone Historical Society Muriel contributed a large deal of historical information to the recent book printed by the Whitestone Historical Society called “Whitestone”.  Muriel’s love of children can be seen in her volunteering for the Whitestone Lake Central School, first when her own children were students and even now with her grandchildren students there.  Either in the classroom, helping with the Breakfast Program or inviting the students to her own sugar bush to teach them how to make Maple Syrup, Muriel is a very active role model for the students of Whitestone Lake Central School.

Keeping fiddle and “old time” music alive can be heard at Ardbeg Music Nights.  Muriel has not only contributed to keeping this tradition alive but has passed down her musical talents to her grandchildren as well.  A very talented family indeed. 

 We are extremely proud to have Muriel Stiles as part of the Whitestone Community. Congratulations Muriel, this prestigious award is well deserved!!


A photo of 2017 Order of Whitestone Recipient, Larry Samis.2017 - Larry Samis

For those of you that do not know Larry, you are sure to recognize him as he is extensively involved in many community groups.  As President of the Whitestone Conservation Association (WCA), you would have seen him at the Dunchurch Agricultural Society’s Fall Fair, and Canada Day Celebrations, educating community members on water safety and conservation.  If you are a Bingo lover, you would recognize him as a committed volunteer fundraising to support our local Whitestone & Area Nursing Station.  You may also recognize Larry as a member of the Whitestone McKellar Lion’s Club, helping run the Crown and Anchor Table, working at our Landfill Sites sorting bottles through their fundraiser there, or as a judge assisting at the bike rodeo, helping kids develop safe biking skills.  The first to step in and lend a hand, Larry is a committed volunteer genuinely concerned about the well-being of the community.  This fall, Larry spent hours of his time helping make a home more accessible so a person in our community could remain in their home.  We are fortunate to have Larry enjoying his retirement in our community and sharing his time with us!


2016 - Donelda Hayward 

A photo of 2016 Order of Whitestone Recipient, Donelda Hayward.For those of you that do not know Donelda, she has been a long-time volunteer with the Ardbeg Community Club.  She has lent her amazing baking and crafting talents to the club for decades.  There isn't a cottager on WahWashKesh Lake that hasn't been touched in some way by the Hayward family, whether it be going to their store, or getting a helping hand around the lake.  Cramadog Snowriders has benefited for years through the family's generosity in allowing them to use the Hayward property in Ardbeg, which is in close proximity to the snowmobile trails, to store their groomer and sleds.  Donelda is not one to draw attention to herself, but she represents what makes this community and her generation special.  She is a role model for us all, in her quiet way of being there for the community.  It is fitting that Donelda Hayward be the first recipient of this award.  She sets an example to which we can all aspire of how we can treat each other well and help where help is needed.  We thank Donelda for her many years of contributing to her community.  They speak volumes!