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Elliot Lake Horticultural Society going with new form of governance

The organization will be governed by committee until November 2024
Dianne Vlahovic demonstrates the effectiveness of a new garden knife at the general meeting of the Elliot Lake Horticultural Society

Members of the Elliot Lake Horticultural Society voted on a new form of governance for the operation of their organization for a one-year period at their general meeting held at the Masonic Heritage Hall on Sept. 27.

The society will be governed by committee until November 2024, when membership will decide whether to continue with governance by committee or return to the election of officers, made up of a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

Joyce Melbourne, a committee member, explained the need for change was due to the fact that their long-time president, Margaret Vivyurka, passed in the spring and there was no vice president trained to take over as president.

Margaret Dean, a society member for 15 years, spoke against the motion for a governance committee, stating that the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act states that not-for-profit organizations must have articles of incorporation and by-laws that include specific information about such things as elections. She said the whole purpose of voting for an executive is so that members can vote for nominees they feel will do best in each executive position.

Ann Beveridge, secretary, said she had been in touch with the Ontario Horticultural Society numerous times over the summer and was told that there are horticultural society chapters in Ontario that are presently operating under governance by committee.  

A vote was taken and the majority of the 21 members present voted in favour of the governance committee, which will be made up of the previously elected treasurer, Allaurien Cousins, and previously elected secretary, Ann Beveridge, as well as eight members already holding positions in the society: Pat McCaffrey, convenor of Westview Park Gardens; Joyce Melbourne, newsletter and membership; Shirley Wilson, hospitality; Dianne Vlahovich, advertising and public relations; Marg Reckhan, committee at large; Diane Forest, committee at large; Claire Paquette, greeter; and Charlotte Vlahovich, greeter.

After the formal portion of the meeting, Judy St. Dennis, an Elliot Lake resident since 1996 and retired landscaper, gave a presentation on tips for successful landscaping.

Dianne Vlahovich brought in a mystery plant, asking members to identify it, and passed around samples of plants from her garden that were examples of healthy plants and those that were damaged. She also demonstrated a new garden knife used for cutting stems. As the committee member in charge of public relations, she encouraged members to bring a friend to the October meeting.  

The Elliot Lake Historical Society meets the fourth Wednesday of each month from February to June and September to November. Membership is $10 for a year.