The Halls and Hawk Lakes Property Owners Association (HHLPOA) is celebrating their 75th Anniversary with a Founder’s Day event at Elvin Johnson Park at Halls Lake on Saturday, July 16.
The celebration will feature free food, live music, games, a commemoration of the association’s founding families, and fire safety demonstrations.
President of HHLPOA Peter Dadzis said, “Our 75th anniversary is a testament to the fact that today’s group of association members have the same desire to be good stewards of the lake environment as those that were the first settlers and to stay informed about issues affecting our lake environment.”
Some families have been on Halls Lake, Little Hawk Lake, or Big Hawk Lake for more than 100 years, so the event will award families with milestone certificates.
Joan Hamilton has been a cottager on Big Hawk Lake for 42 years and has a deep interest in the history of the area.
“I have enjoyed getting to know people and their stories as I researched for my book, Lure of the Lakes,” Hamilton said.
She explained that the association originally formed in the 1940s due to concern over the high water levels in the three lakes.
“Cottagers and business owners banded together to lobby the Trent Severn Waterways about the extreme water levels. While drawdown was the biggest concern, water quality, fish habitat, and healthy shorelines were and remain important issues,” she said.
Big Hawk and Little Hawk Lake had their own association until they joined together in the 1970s.
Dadzis added that there wasn’t any infrastructure in place to support property owners in the area, so neighbours came together to hold social events in addition to raising concerns about the environment.
Since becoming president of HHLPOA in 2013, Dadzis said his position is very rewarding.
“As a volunteer, non-profit organization, it has been a rewarding experience to see our efforts come to life through our shared belief that we should cherish our good fortune of having property in this spectacular environment and know that all of us should leave it the same for future generations,” Dadzis said.
The HHLPOA also hosts an annual regatta, fishing derbies, challenges, contests, golf tournaments, and much more.
At the Founder’s Day event, the fire safety demonstration will be put on by Algonquin Highlands Fire Services, and the Ministry of Natural Resources Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Services will be providing balloons, Frisbees, displays, and fire tools.
A 50/50 draw will be held, and HHLPOA board member Hamilton’s book, Lure of the Lakes, will be available for purchase. Music performances will be put on by Keyth Sievert and John Fitzgerald from Little Hawk Lake and musical duo, Nick and Benton, will be performing before the release of their first EP. If you plan on attending, HHLPOA asks that you register on www.eventbrite.ca/e/founders-day-family-picnic-tickets-358816127697.
Hamilton is looking forward to welcoming new people and getting to enjoy the event with others after two summers of COVID-19 health measures.
“Who doesn’t like a party? I’m looking forward to celebrating the families that have settled in the lake communities at least 25 years ago, to thank those that have volunteered to be directors of the lake association in the past, to mix and mingle with our neighbours, and to enjoy the music and a delicious lunch,” Dadzis said.