Where It All Began...
On October 31, 1962 twenty members of the
Canadian Iris Society (CIS) met at the Richmond Hill Library, in Richmond Hill,
ON to discuss the formation of the Toronto Region.
The following is an excerpt from the letter
sent by Mrs W.A. Harris, Secretary/Treasurer, to Mrs. Bruce Richardson
(Alberta), Secretary of the CIS, advising her of the details of the inaugural
“I have been instructed by members of the
Executive of the newly formed regional group in Toronto, to send the following
information to you.
The meeting was held in the Library,
Richmond Hill, on Wed. evening Oct. 31.
Mr M.D. Smith acted as Chairman, gave a short review of what the group
hoped to accomplish, asked for suggestions as to the number of meetings
necessary. Mr Davison of King, Ont.
suggested four, this motion was passed. The four meetings – General, Iris show, Iris
Mr Little moved that we hold our first show
in conjunction with the Richmond Hill Hort. Society, to take over the Iris
section of the show. Approved. Mr. Gordon Caldwell to make necessary
Mr M.D. Smith suggested a display garden,
members were in favour. A committee
headed by Mr. R.D. Little will have the task of finding suitable site.
Hopes of having a(n) auction again this year
were expressed, subject to approval of the C.I.S.
Twenty members were present namely:
Mr & Mrs C. Copeland, Mimico, Ont.
Mr & Mrs F.W. Caulfield, Aurora, Ont.
Mr. & Mrs Davison, King, Ont.
Mr & Mrs B.G. Palmer, King, Ont.
Mr & Mrs M.D. Smith, Toronto, Ont.
Mr R.D. Little, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Mr G Caldwell, Richmond Hill, Ont
Mr T McKend, Willowdale, Ont.
Mr E.V. Peck, Toronto, Ont.
Mr H. Hayes, Newmarket, Ont.
Miss V. Laurin, Willowdale, Ont.
Mrs. Beatty, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Mrs E. Bartlet, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Miss S. Peck, Toronto, Ont.
Mrs W.A. Harris, Toronto, Ont
Election of an Executive followed, the
following were elected.
Vice Chairman Mr B.G. Palmer.
Show Chairman Mr G. Caldwell.
Display garden Mr R.D. Little.
The letter finishes off with the following comment:
“We hope to get rolling and am sure the rest
of the Toronto and district members are behind us, a few I know are opposed to
the regional group idea, but as it has been said so many times “we cannot
please everyone”, however we shall try anyway.”
In 2002 the Toronto Region Iris Society became an affiliate of the American Iris Society (AIS) - Region 16. When AIS Region 16 was dissolved in 2010, and AIS affiliates in Canada were realigned with existing AIS regions in the U.S., the Society became an affiliate of AIS Region 2. At the same time, due to increasing pressure from its members and the general public, the Society changed its name to the Ontario Iris Society.