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 The History of the Fort Irwin Residents' Association


  Throughout the 1970's, many of the residents around Haliburton Lake met in their homes to play cards, quilt, and enjoy pot luck dinners.  In 1981, neighbours and friends met at the home of Larry and Alma Barjarow to discuss the formation of the Fort Irwin Residents' Association.  Joan Filman was elected the first president of FIRA.  Much of the evening centred around a discussion of applying for a grant to build a meeting place.  Joan was instrumental in the research for this grant. 
The group applied for New Horizons funding and in October of 1981, their grant of $21,072 was approved.  The original grant covered about 50% of the cost of constructing a 24 by 40 foot frame building, including the cost of completing the inside and acquiring furnishings for the meeting area.   

 During the winter of 1981 - 1982, the group organized many activities to raise the additional funds that would be needed.  As well, some members of the group donated their own funds to make the project work. 

   The land, leased from the Township for $1.00 a year, was cleared by member volunteers and the back-breaking work of the construction was begun in the spring of 1982.
   Aside from a few trades (when equipment or direction was required), all the work was volunteered by the members.

 Finally, the big day arrived ...

Opening Ceremonies - June 1983

   Murray Fearrey cuts the ribbon assisted by Lil Haight and Mayme Douglas.
 John Aikens, Glen Hodgson, Murray Fearrey, Shirley McCarthy, and Bill Scott.  
   Bill Scott presents a picture of the Queen to FIRA.
 Shirley McCarthy welcomes everyone to the celebration.  
   By the summer of 1991, as with all successful ventures, the activities had outgrown the facility.  Once again, the members were called upon to raise funds and provide the labour.  Many of the original builders, as well as new members, went to work and the front addition was completed in 1991.
 FIRA activities in the early years
  The first New Year's Eve party in 1982 - Murray & Mayme Douglas, Ernie Oliver, Gord Hore, and Lil Haight.
1983 Dancersize class - (back row) Dorothy Howe, Alma Barjarow, Shirley Hodgson, Mayme Douglas, June Watson, May DeYoung, Ev Robertson, (front row) Joan Filman, Marj Barnett, Dorothy Hewitt, and Fran Bradbury.  
  1983 - Secret Pal Luncheon - Dorothy Palmer, Lil Haight, Kathy Burns, Jean Feirheller, Nora Summers, Alma Barjarow, Dorothy Hastings, Louise Adair.
1983 Halloween Party ...  recognize anyone ?  


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