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The ‘Everett and Florence Doherty Family Bursary’

Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund Donation November 24, 2010

BURSARY BOOST. Rotarian Ken Little, chair of the Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund, accepts a donation of $25,000 from Ev and Florence Doherty on behalf of the Doherty family at Monday’s club luncheon. The funds will be used to assist needy Gravenhurst students in pursuing a post-secondary education.

Everett William (Ev) Doherty was born September 10th 1932 and grew up on a farm in Ryerson Township. When he was very young his father was taken to the Orillia Hospital for sever constipation. (Likely a bowel obstruction) Unfortunately he died 2 days later on the 1st of January.

The family moved to Burks Falls soon after his father’s death. His mother remarried and there were 5 children in the family. For Ev the family was not the same without his father. The farmer across the road named Frank became a friend and Ev helped Frank with the chores until the farmer’s death in a farming accident. After Frank died Ev moved in with another local farmer and finished high school the next year. The Burk’s Falls public school consisted of 6 classes including 2 grade 9’s and only 5 teachers. Among his schoolmates, in this small village school, came a doctor, lawyer, 2 CEO’s, 2 V.P’s, 2 bankers, 2 judges and several teachers.

His high school teacher, Mr. Agnew, brought to his attention the ‘Dominion Provincial Bursary’, available to needy students, and in 1950 he was awarded the bursary. His tuition, books and board for the University of Guelph was $400.00 and the bursary was for exactly $400.00.

After his first year of university he worked 4 ½ months during the summer with the intent of returning to university. Unfortunately he was unable to earn enough by the end of the summer. Colonel McNally, at the University of Guelph, heard of his plight and he helped him by giving him an additional $190.00. At a later date, Ev tried to repay Colonel McNally but he would not accept the payment, but wished him well.

In 1966, 12 years after graduating from the University of Guelph, Everett Doherty sat down with 5 other individuals to form an ‘Alumni Endowment Fund’ for the University of Guelph. Their goal was to raise $100,000.00 the first year. Much to their delight they raised over $113,000.00. The University of Guelph Foundation set higher and higher yearly expectations and by 1975 they were raising over $1,000,000.00 each year.

Ev graduated from the University of Guelph in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.Sc.A.) He started with Ralston Purina of Canada Ltd as a salesman. He lived in London, Toronto and Woodstock. Promoted to Vice President of the company he was responsible for the Ontario Agricultural Products Division and also looked after the poultry division across Canada for three years. In 1977 he became President of Cold Spring Farms Ltd and lived in Thamestord . This company grew turkeys on farms, built several buildings and had an annual pre-tax profit of as much as $7,000,000.00 in Canada. They raised over 100,000 hogs each year in South Western Ontario and Michigan, 15,000 head of cattle in South Western Ontario, Michigan and Florida. There were 150 employees when he started with the company and over 850 employees when he retired in 1993.

In retirement he volunteered with the Lutheran Church, with whom he had a long association. His recreational time was spent at a cottage in Muskoka, on Peninsula Lake near Huntsville, and in the winter he and his wife spent time at their condo in Florida.

In 2002 Ev and his wife Florence moved into the retirement community of Pine Ridge, here in Gravenhurst. Shortly thereafter began to worship at St. James Anglican Church.

His life was influenced by a generous opportunity afforded to him by a very successful business man, when he was just a teenager. That man was Garfield Weston, of Weston’s Bakery, who sent 50 boys who were considered promising students, to England for 6 weeks. Ev was 16 and chosen to be one of those students. It was a trip of a lifetime. He remembered the ship ‘Franconia’ being stranded on a sandbar at one point and the children were flown to Britain where they toured England and Scotland. This is one of the acts of kindness that influenced his own generosity during his lifetime and for which you benefit today.

Everett Doherty died April 12th 2012 at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.

Everett never forgot those that helped him – the farmer across the road named Frank, Garfield Weston’s generous opportunity to travel or Colonel McNally support at the University. He wanted to give back and he chose most recently to do it through The Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund. Prior to passing away Everett and Florence donated enough to form their own ‘stand-alone’ bursary. It will provide a bursary each year to a needy child in Gravenhurst. Ev hoped the recipient of their family bursary would always remember his common refrain: “Education is the way out of poverty”

Florence Lorain Doherty (nee Gross)

Of German-Welsh descent, Flo was born in Kitchener Ontario April 8th 1929 as the depression enveloped Canada. Her grandfather owned the ‘button’ factory for uniforms such as the boy scouts and girl guides. Kitchener was also affectionately called Buttonville because of several well known button factories . Her grandfather was the mayor of Kitchener, which at the time was called ‘New Berlin’. He was also a friend of Sir Adam Beck and together they brought Ontario Hydro to Kitchener. The farmers market in Kitchener was started in part by her family, prior to the Mennonites now famous ‘St Jacobs’ market.

Florence attended St. Margaret Avenue Public School and Suddaby Public School before going on to attend the Kitchener Waterloo High School. She attended the Euler Business School after high school and was a classmate of Howie Meeker who would later play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. She worked during the summer at the fabulously famous Rotunda Dance Hall at ‘Bigwin Inn’ on the Lake of Bays in Muskoka as a waitress and remembers being chastised for not wearing ‘stockings’ at this highly respected and very formal resort.

She went to the University of Guelph and worked at Windermere House on Lake Rosseau during the summers. It was at the university where she met Everett on a blind date. Their first date was the movie theatre followed by a dance. They would be married September 18th 1954 after Everett graduated. They moved to London and in October Hurricane Hazel hit Ontario and flooded their basement apartment. They bought their first home in 1955 and had two boys Jamie and Thomas here. Later they moved to Lambeth and had a girl, Jill, and then they moved to Thornhill and had another girl, Jacqueline, before moving to Woodstock.

Florence has taken great pride in being a good mother, providing opportunities to her children to attend University or Seminary. She was very active in the Lutheran Church choir and enjoyed sewing throughout her life. In 2012 she was enjoying the fellowship of St. James Anglican Church in Gravenhurst.
In 2011 Everett and Florence donated $25,000.00 to the Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund and the interest from that bursary will benefit you this year. It is their wish that you, as the recipient of their family bursary remember to ‘give back’ when the appropriate time comes in your life.

Wishing you every success,
Ev and Flo Doherty

The picture below was taken at St. James Anglican Church in Gravenhurst.