Thank you to Bolton valley resident Valerie Mackie, of the Albion Bolton Historical Society, for the following submission to Just Sayin’ Caledon.
Early in 2020, the Albion Bolton Historical Society nominated Heather G. Broadbent for a Volunteer Service Award. She was subsequently selected for the Town’s highest volunteer award, Community Champion.
As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Award Event was cancelled; however, on August 26th, 2021, Heather’s award was presented to her by local Council member Tony Rosa.
Some highlights from her nomination:
Heather is a founding member of the Albion Bolton Historical Society, was the Society’s second Chairperson and has been a member for the past 47 years. During her long tenure on the Society’s Board of Directors, she has helped uphold the society’s objectives, suggested speakers and shared local heritage with its members and with the community.
Heather is a regular local speaker herself and over the past few years has spoken at Bolton Probus, Ebenezer Historical Society, Albion Bolton Historical Society, Caledon East and District Historical Society and has led discussions with indigenous young people at Bolton Camp and with school children at Allan Drive Public School.
Heather was born in England and lived close to the coastline not far from Southampton. She has vivid memories of what it was like to live through the war years. She has now lived in Caledon for the past 52 years and happens to be a relative of Jane and Joseph Silverthorne, the young couple who are credited with being the first family to settle, in 1807, in what is now Peel County.
Heather volunteered for ten years as the Town’s Heritage Resource Officer before being hired as a town employee from 1985 until 2000 in that same role. As a volunteer, she started organizing her trademark heritage bus tours of which she has conducted over 60, always without notes!
However, both before and after her period of employment at the town, she volunteered in the town and regional community in many other ways. In fact, she has spent most of her life here, and prior to that in the UK, as a volunteer with many different heritage-related organization as well as local community groups. Some of the highlights include her being:
- Chair of Caledon’s Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) as well as being instrumental in their formation in other municipalities
- Chair of the Peel County Historical Society (later PAMA)
- Director of what is now the Ontario Heritage Trust
- Member of Ontario Archaeological Society (continues to hold Provincial conservation license)
- Member of the Humber River Watershed Taskforce
- President of the Ontario Historical Society
- Vice-Chair and Hearing Officer of the Conservation Review Board of Ontario
- Director of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario
- Member of Bolton Community Action Site where she spearheaded the creation of heritage kiosks at Glasgow and in Bolton’s Heritage Park along the Humber River
She has been and still is a wonderful ambassador for the Albion Bolton Historical Society, the Town of Caledon and the community at large.