Hazen Price

Rotary Club celebrates Park House’s National Historic Significance status



The Rotary Club of Amherstburg has stepped forward again in the public interest, most recently achieving for the Park House Museum the federal designation as a structure of National Historic Significance.

The Park House pre-dates the American revolution in 1776 as a former trading post and was relocated to Amherstburg in 1796 when the British forces decamped from Fort Detroit to Amherstburg. Its design typifies a trading post with numbered logs for disassembly.

The building survived the American invasion during the War of 1812 and later acquired the Park name from prominent merchants.

In 1972, the building was slated for demolition when rescued by the Rotary Club led at that point by then-president Hazen Prize and it was moved to King’s Navy Yard Park. Ownership was given to the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, presently led by president Bill Wark. Annual funding comes from the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

Bill Wark (left), president of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, stands with Rotarians Terry Hall and Hazen Price. The latter have saved the Park House so that it is a site of National Historic Significance.

To seek federal funding, Rotarian Terry Hall proposed an application to the Government of Canada for designation as a National Historic Site, similar to Fort Malden. The application’s success required extensive assistance from the Park House curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak.

At the Rotary Club’s meeting last Wednesday night, Wark thanked Hall and Pouget-Papak for their work in ensuring the success of the application.

“We’re certainly thankful for their good work,” he said.

Wark noted that Hall helped lead efforts to apply for the National Historic Significance designation while Pouget-Papak did a lot of research to support the application.

The Park House Museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St. Their phone number is 519-736-2511 and their website is www.parkhousemuseum.com.

Hazen Price recognized for his 95th birthday, seven decades in Rotary



By Ron Giofu


The Rotary Club of Amherstburg paid tribute to its longest-serving member last week though he was a little taken aback at being the centre of attention.

“I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to live up to the expectations,” quipped Hazen Price, as he addressed fellow Rotarians and guests last Wednesday night at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented a special celebration in Price’s honour as Price has now been a Rotarian for 70 years. He also was honoured for his 95th birthday, which actually arrived last Saturday.

Despite honours from dignitaries and fellow Rotarians, Price remained humble and said after the celebration that he was “very embarrassed to say the least.” He said he has always enjoyed the fellowship within the club.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Rotary Club and I probably wouldn’t be here as long if I didn’t,” he said.

Councillor Leo Meloche (right) presents Hazen Price with recognition on behalf of the Town of Amherstburg. Price has been in the Rotary Club 70 years and just turned 95-years-old.

Price pointed out the saving of the Park House Museum as one of his major accomplishments, though his name has also been attached to the Gibson Gallery, Gibb House, John R. Park Homestead and a second pensioner’s cottage. The progress made to eradicate polio is another accomplishment Price has seen in his years in Rotary.

There have been changes to the club itself in his seven decades, Price noted. When he started, women were not allowed to be members. Attendance was also important early on, as regular meeting attendance was required but that has since been relaxed.

Price said he was the young member of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg when he first joined.

“Ol’ Doc Hutchinson Sr. came to the farm and asked if I would consider joining,” he recalled. “I was 20 years younger than everyone else.”

Despite being in an uncomfortable position as the guest of honour, Price said he was grateful for the kind thoughts and gifts.

“I appreciate their thoughts about the work I’ve done,” he said. “It’s really nice to be appreciated.”

Patti Hayes, outreach and community assistant with Essex MPP Taras Natyshak’s office, represented both Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“Your volunteerism is an inspiration to everyone,” said Hayes.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt (right) bestows praise on Hazen Price April 25. Price just turned 95-years-old and has been a Rotarian for 70 years.

Councillor Leo Meloche, representing the Town of Amherstburg, said he researched what it means to be a Rotarian, with his research concluding that “being a Rotarian is a way of life and can be a satisfying lifelong adventure for those who are willing to give of themselves to enjoy and benefit from all that Rotary has to offer.”

Meloche added that “Hazen Price truly exemplifies what a Rotarian is.”

Police chief Tim Berthiaume thanked Price “for all that you do” and said many don’t realize how much the Rotary Club accomplishes in the community. Price was presented a “Chief’s Award of Excellence” with Berthiaume stating that Price would have earned such recognition 50 years ago.

Assistant Rotary District Governor Peggy Little also thanked Price for his accomplishments and for his dedication with past District Governor Neil McBeth pointing out Price was one of the first people he met in Rotary.

“It is because of dedicated members like you that we are Rotarians making a difference,” said McBeth.

Laura George, a past president of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, pointed out that a $100 donation was made to the Park House in Price’s honour. She called Price her biggest supporter and that when she was deciding whether or not Rotary was for her, Price gave her helpful advice.

“You have a very special place in my heart,” George told Price.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt also had kind words for Price.

“He is a very special man,” said Hunt.

Hazen Price celebrating 95th birthday and 70 years as a Rotarian


By Terry Hall, Special to the RTT


Described by some as a “living pioneer” and our “bona fide historian”, Hazen Price is being feted by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg tonight for his 95th birthday and 70 years as a Rotarian.

A former resident of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Master of Science degree, he moved to Amherstburg in 1946 where he met and married Beryl Kemp, whose ancestor designed Fort Malden and served in the War of 1812.

Hazen Price will be
celebrating a pair of milestones at tonight’s Rotary Club meeting. (Special to the RTT)

Saving historic buildings has been his forté: the Park House Museum,  Gibson Gallery, Gibb House (British Army Pensioner’s Cottage), the John R. Park Homestead, and a second Pensioner’s Cottage.

He lives the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” by founding or serving with various volunteer organizations, the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, Fort Malden Guild of Arts & Crafts, Harrow Farmers Co-op, Meals-on-Wheels, Care-A-Van, AAM Social Planning Council, and especially on the board of directors of the Park House Museum.

Awards have followed with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Governor General’s Medal from Heritage Canada, Ontario Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award, Amherstburg Citizen of the Year (with Beryl), John R. Park Homestead Award, and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Park House Museum receives cheques from Ribfest Committee, Rotary



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, the board that operates the Park House Museum, received some good financial news last Tuesday night.

The board received a $5,000 cheque from the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and an additional $1,114 from the Ribfest Committee, the latter being a sub-committee of Rotary. The latter cheque was the share designated for the Park House from the 50/50 draws held during the July festival.

Bill Wark, president of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, was happy to receive the cheques.

“We are very thankful for the support from the Rotary Club,” said Wark. “The donations are critical to the operation of the Park House.”

Wark added the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association (AHSA) has a great partnership with the Rotary Club and wants to see it continue.

Rotary Club president Laura George said the service organization may be undertaking an event to assist the Park House Museum, noting they “feel the pinch” as well as they need volunteers and help with projects.

“More hands make for lighter work,” said George.

The Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, which operates the Park House Museum, received a $5,000 from the Rotary Club and a $1,114 cheque from the Rotary’s Ribfest committee last Tuesday night. From left: Bert McLellan, Janet Gardiner, AHSA president Bill Wark, Hazen Price, Rotary president Laura George, Peter Mingay and Fred Roberts.

Park House Museum curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak agreed that the donations are “crucial” in helping the museum operate and offer programs. She said upcoming events include their All Hallow’s Eve event and a “ghost tour,” the latter having “a lot of buzz” surrounding it.

Pouget-Papak also pointed out the Park House Museum will also continue its school tours and Christmas programming in the coming months.

Wark said the Park House Museum did well with its “Music off the Back Porch” series this summer. The museum will also be holding a fundraising dinner Oct. 21 at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 with $20 tickets being available at the Park House Museum.

Wark pointed out the event starts with a social at 4 p.m. with the dinner being at 5:30 p.m. There will be a raffle and prizes as well, he added.

Hazen Price, whom Wark called “one of the main cogs” of both the AHSA and Rotary, said the link between the Park House Museum and the Rotary Club of Amherstburg dates back many years.

“The Park House was a Rotary project to begin with,” said Price.

For more information on the Rotary Club, visit http://www.amherstburgrotary.com, e-mail George at rotary.amherstburg@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

For more information on the Park House Museum, visit www.parkhousemuseum.com or call 519-736-2511. The museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St.

Gibson Gallery holds AGM, former president guest speaker


By Ron Giofu


The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts, the board the operates the Gibson Gallery, held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week with a former president recounting their history.

Hazen Price was the guest speaker at last Tuesday night’s meeting at the Richmond St. gallery, with the 93-year-old recalling both the guild’s history as well as the building itself.

Dave Cozens, the guild’s current president, introduced Price and pointed out Price’s background, which includes being born and raised in Detroit and getting masters degrees from the University of Michigan in botany and chemistry.

Price and wife Beryl came to Amherstburg where they had a farming operation in Malden. He became the president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts in 1951 and represented the guild on the town’s recreation committee from 1965-67. He was also the guest speaker’s at the guild’s AGM in 1969.

The Prices were named “Citizens of the Year” in 1991 and were recognized in 1999 when the Gibson Gallery’s current site celebrated its 30th anniversary as an art gallery.

“I didn’t expect it to be ‘This Is Your Life, Hazen Price’,” he joked when he stepped up to the lectern.

Price said the guild first started meeting at Fort Malden National Historic Site in 1950 and speculated that is where the name of the guild came from. David Botsford was the first president with Price being the second.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery's Richmond St. property.

Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts president Dave Cozens (left) presents a plaque to Hazen Price as part of the Jan. 17 annual general meeting at the Gibson Gallery. Price and his late wife Beryl were honoured for their contributions to the gallery. The plaque will be mounted on the gallery’s Richmond St. property.

They would meet on what was known as the McGregor House on the Fort’s grounds and would put on small shows.

Price dealt with the farmer’s co-operative that was behind the gallery’s current location and, as the president of the guild again, was asked if they wanted to buy it for the group.

“As president, the railroad came to me and asked if we wanted to buy this building as an office for the group,” said Price.

A $500 cheque later, the building belonged to the guild. Price said it was Florence Gibson who made the donation.

Repairs were made to windows, furnaces, the roof, floor and electrical work with the building also receiving a paint job.

Valerie Buckie said Price’s wife Beryl’s family dates back to 1796 in Amherstburg. She said the two married in 1946 and she learned to weave and perform other arts and crafts. Beryl joined the stitchery group in 1969 and kept going to the gallery until she became ill in 2014.

Buckie said Beryl wanted the arts to continue at the gallery and left a “sizable donation” after her death.

“I’m very proud to have known her,” said Buckie.

Cozens said the Prices gave over 100 years combined to the gallery and unveiled a plaque on the property to commemorate that. He added her donation helped with the craft room, indoor and outdoor lighting and other renovations.

The Gibson Gallery currently has 112 members. Cozens outlined 2016 accomplishments as being renovations to the interior and exterior including the new lighting and a new fence. He said the 50th annual Art by the River was a success despite the thunderstorms that cut both days short.

The Gibson Gallery was TWEPI’s choice as best art gallery, awarded one scholarship to a St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School student and hosted several community events, he said. The gallery also received a donation from Susan Whelan of a model train that used to be in her father Eugene’s Ottawa office.

Goals for 2017 include deciding what to do with the train, creating a procedural and operational manual and painting on the exterior of the building.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their phone number is 519-736-2826 and their website is www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.