Bishop’s House Gala remembers Iona

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Bishop’s House Gala remembers Iona
From left, speaker Allan MacDonald and event organizer Brenda Baxter (Shawna O'Neill/TC Media).

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ontario – The third Bishop’s House Gala Dinner celebrated the historical building in South Glengarry on Saturday, April 13, with a packed crowd of inspired and reminiscing attendees.

“We did well last year, and we decided that it was worthy of another. We have sold more tickets than ever…so I’m pleased,” said Brenda Baxter, event organizer.

For a ticket of $85, guests could enjoy cocktails, dinner and conversation throughout the evening at the Char-Lan Recreation Centre. Speeches were made sharing memories of the building, and Archivist Allan MacDonald took guests on a trip through time, highlighting the various purposes of the building since its creation in 1808. A live auction also took place later in the evening.

During the evening, Lloyd and Marie Barbara of Toronto stepped forward to donate $10,000 towards the event. Another anonymous donor honoured to match the value earned of each and every auction item sold.

“We were able to raise, before doubling, $3,420 (with the auction)…so the auction therefore earned $6,840. It was a wonderful evening,” said Baxter.

“Our theme for the evening is memories of Iona,” explained Baxter, as the building housed the renowned Iona Academy in 1924.

In 2015, the Glengarry Fencibles Trust acquired the Bishop’s House, and in 2016, the Trust had raised $100,000 for a cost-sharing grant with Parks Canada to restore buildings on national historic sites. In 2017, the restoration process began with installing a new roof.

According to Baxter, proceeds raised from the Gala will go towards various restoration projects within the building, specifically window work. Baxter was thrilled with everyone who attended and donated.

To find out more about Bishop’s House and learn about its history, visit the official website here. 

Share this article