The meeting opened at 9:55 am with President Julian Sale welcoming everyone including today’s guest speaker, Bonnie Durtnall. Also welcomed was as a new guest was John Bullock. With sadness Julian announced the passing of member Gil Taves and Rev. David Chesney who would often visit with club members at the outset of many of our meetings.
Further announcements by President Sale were that for the first time in the Club’s history the Board has made the decision that we need to increase membership fees from $80 to $85 per year effective April 1, 2020 when fees are due for the next year. Julian also thanked all the Club’s volunteers and indicated that there are a couple of positions in need of being filled for next year.
Activities – Ken Marchant - upcoming activities in the near future are the RCMC Anniversary Luncheon on April 2nd with 35 members currently signed up; - the tour of the Waterloo International Airport is scheduled for Tues., May 19th with a cost of approximately $12 per person for the bus and depending on how many people sign up;
Coffee Gathering – Andy Curtis - Next Thursday at the Symposium Restaurant and the Airpark Café.
Bio: Bonnie M. Durtnall, a local labour/working class/union/industrial historian was born in Toronto. She graduated with a BA in English/Latin and a Masters in History from the University of Guelph. Her career has included a stint as a waitress as well as music director and programmer at two campus radio stations. She has also co-curated a major exhibit at the Guelph Civic Museum – Labouring All Our Lives, as well as provided the material for several case exhibits on Guelph industries. In addition, she has provided research items on her favourite area of expertise and was influential in having the current museum include aspects of 19th century working class conditions and the darker side of Guelph in its permanent displays. Bonnie has written several prize winning articles for the Guelph Historical Society as well as material for Guelph: Perspectives on a Century of Change. She was commissioned by the Guelph & District Labour Council for a limited run of a labour history of Guelph. Her written contributions include articles/blogs for the now defunct Guelph Mercury, her web site www.labouringallourlives.ca and for various online websites and hub pages. Her latest effort - Bawdy Houses, Bums and Illicit Booze: Prostitution, Vagrancy & Murder, Guelph 1953 represents a break from her usual focus – local labour history.
Bawdy Talk: History tends to be treated seriously. Its topics are weighty and writers often focus on the mighty and the great. Although, locally, a fair amount of research is available on Guelph industrialists, major persons of the community, the development of Guelph and its cultural life, little has been written about the flip side of respectability. Bawdy Houses takes readers on a romp through Guelph’s underbelly. It introduces people to Lena: the Unrepentant Madame as well as Guelph’s strict Magistrate, Frederick Watt and the notorious Veronis. Bonnie Durtnall takes us on a walk on the Wild side of Guelph’s history.
Upon conclusion of Ms. Durtnall’s talk, John Sneyd thanked her for her presentation and gave a token of the Club’s appreciation.
Next meeting: Thursday, March 19th with Alexandra Elliot: The Importance of Footcare for Health