WESTMOUNT HISTORY

Did you know?

  • 1954 – Westmount began as an outgrowth of St. Paul’s United Church’s “Forward Movement” campaign.
  • 1948 – Miss Helen Langman donated property at the corner of Linwood and the Fourth Concession (known today as Westmount Drive). Subsequently, the adjacent property was purchased.
  • 1953 – These properties were exchanged for a larger piece of property two blocks north and across the road (the present location). This property held a barn and a very small house. Deaconess Phyllis Sykes resided in the house, better known as ‘The Cottage”, where she organized the Sunday School and midweek activities. The barn was renovated to accommodate the many groups of the church as attendance grew.
  • 1954 – The barn was bulging with people and a new larger building was needed. Plans for a new building to accommodate 300 people were completed. The building would be 35 feet wide and 75 feet deep with an estimated cost of $40,000.
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  • 1954 – July 13th, the sod was turned for “Westmount Hall”.
  • 1954 – September 10th, Rev. W. B. Bugden laid the Corner stone.
  • 1954 – Rev. Harold Davies, Assistant Minister at St. Paul’s United Church held the first regular 11:00 am service at Westmount and in July of 1955 was called to Westmount.
  • 1957 – Presbytery was requested to recognize Westmount as a self-supporting pastoral charge in Simcoe Presbytery.
  • 1958 – The property and building were transferred from St. Paul’s to Westmount. The power of vision, faith and willing workers resulted in 233 “Original Signers” on the Westmount Charter Roll and June 15th officially became the Anniversary date as a congregation.
  • 1959 – January 28th, the first congregational meeting of Westmount was held.
  • 1961 – New Conn organ dedicated.
  • 1964 – The church’s interior was renovated including installation of pews and carpets and removal of the original stage, where the back pews are now located.
  • 1964 – Cubs and Scouts was sponsored by the Westmount Men’s Club.
  • 1968 – New Assembly Hall addition was completed.
  • 1969 – First “Westmount Views” Church Newsletter was published and the Church Directory of family photographs was compiled.
  • 1970 – First Congregational Picnic was held.
  • 1971 – New Hymn Books purchased.
  • 1972 – Official Board was changed to a “Council”.
  • 1972 – Westmount transferred from Simcoe Presbytery to Muskoka Presbytery.
  • 1973 – A portion of the back property was sold.
  • 1974 – First United Church Women (UCW) Bazaar was held.
  • 1975 – Hi-C youth group and l and ll Adult Social Clubs were organized.
  • 1976 – Public address and recording system was installed, sermons were taped and the Church library was opened.
  • 1977 – Task force formed to set-up Telecare.
  • 1978 – 20th Anniversary celebrated and an upright piano was purchased.
  • 1979 – 25th anniversary of the Sunday School, Student Minister Michael Hart was hired for the summer and a church baseball team was formed.
  • 1980 – Westmount sponsored the Mac family from Vietnam and their baby was born 2 days after their arrival. In 1983 the family received their Canadian citizenship papers.
  • 1981 – A weekly worship and Sunday School, supported by Westmount, began at Warminster Community Hall.
  • 1981 – Summer ministerial assistants Rudy and Marny Pohl were hired.
  • 1981 – The “Couple’s Club” changed to “Westmount Club” to include singles.
  • 1982 – Irene Ramsay hired as summer assistant.
  • 1982 – “Inclusive language” and “Confessing Our Faith” were studied thoroughly by Westmount.
  • 1984 – Current entrance to the Church was constructed.
  • 1985 – Updated public address system installed.
  • 1986 – Wheel chair lift was installed.
  • 1986 – “Mission Alive!” held first Mission Fair in support of Sleeping Children Around the World.
  • 1987 – Carpeting installed in sanctuary and Westmount’s float won first prize in the religious category in the Orillia Santa Claus Parade.
  • 1988 – Non-smoking policy adopted and auditorium steel chairs replaced with fabric-covered chairs.
  • 1988 – Declaration of Dissent and Intention forwarded to Muskoka Presbytery with respect to 32nd General Council’s “New Statement on Membership, Ministry, and Human Sexuality”.
  • 1990 – Pew cushions and air conditioner installed and Westmount Church designated an Emergency Shelter for Bestview (now Oak Terrace).
  • 1991 – New organ purchased and members participated in the Bible Society Walk-a-thon.
  • 1991 – “Statement of Faith” booklet completed.
  • 1991 – United Church Women withdrew from Muskoka Presbytery and became Westmount Church Women (WCW).
  • 1992 – Church was renamed “Westmount Congregation” declaring our theological beliefs within the United Church of Canada. Westmount Congregation joined the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations.
  • 1992 – New hymnals, “The Worshiping Church” were purchased and the organ was replaced. First “Strawberry Shortcake Take-out” was held.
  • 1993 – “Coats for Kids” program was organized by Mission Alive!, computer and laser printer purchased, installation of stained glass windows.
  • 1994 – Baby grand piano purchased, Michelle Brotherton (sponsored candidate for ordination – ordained in 2000) formed the Westmount Youth Group, outdoor church sign erected, new Photo Directory published.
  • 1996 – Choir presented an original Christmas Cantata.
  • 1997 – Revised Constitution for Council was adopted, “Westmount After School Program” (WASP) formed.
  • 1998 – First participated in Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Program and central window at the front of the church was replaced with brick, wooden crosses were installed, with spotlights to highlight them.
  • 1999 – First Penny Jar fundraiser for Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW).
  • 2000 – New Statement of Faith adopted: “We Are A Growing Family Serving Christ”.
  • 2000 – Shuffleboard Court installed.
  • 2001 – Partnered with Forest Home and Regent Park United Churches to sponsor one unit in the outreach project of Couchiching Jubilee House.
  • 2002 – First Westmount Gloryfest was held, an evening of Christian musical entertainment for the community.
  • 2003 – Produced “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with the help of Ted Duff and many friends, participated in the Community Prayer Walk, new sound system and new steel roof installed.
  • 2004 – Fire Code Retrofit renovation began.
  • 2005 – Participated in “Love Orillia”, an outreach to encourage random acts of kindness, new Photo Directory published.
  • 2006 – Fellowship Hour started, installed air conditioner for the sanctuary.
  • 2007 – Westmount Congregation’s Constitution revised, newsletter became available via e-mail and new carpeting installed in the lounge.
  • 2008 – Celebrated 50th Anniversary of Westmount Congregation, dedication of 50th Anniversary Quilt made by Westmount Quilters, Kathy Godfrey designed the 50th Anniversary logo.