Meeting Elizabeth Milner, 150th Anniversary Of The Hillary House

Meeting Elizabeth Milner, 150th Anniversary Of The Hillary House

May 20, 2012
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I did not have the name and I did not have the close up picture. I had a story and I knew that someone will put it all together. Family, friends and neighbors commented on the last post identifying the barn guide as the young remarkable 13 year boy, Geoffrey Sharp.

I just want to acknowledge his efforts again and how wonderful it was to see all the support and encouragement he received from his family and friends.

Hillary House

The visit to the Hillary house wasn’t just seeing the Hillary House after all. By the end of the day I looked back – it was all about the people and the Hillary House made it happen – interesting phenomena that worked.

Elizabeth Milner Signing My Book

That day I came to the Hillary House to meet Elizabeth Milner for the first time. She didn’t know I was coming and I didn’t know if I will be there. When I finally arrived, I brought my own copy of Elizabeth’s book Aurora 1945-1965 An Ontario Town at a Time of Great Change to be signed. After all it was through her book we connected and have been corresponding since last year September.

What can I tell you about her? We all know that Elizabeth is a historian, teacher and writer but do we know that she is also a very friendly, funny, charming and charismatic lady. Yes I do know now and I am telling you that she is.

I wish that all my past history teachers were like that as I wouldn’t have any difficulty with all the dates, events and leaders memorization. There is a lot to learn when comes to European history so may be that is why the European system had us to learn history right from grade four in elementary school.

Elizabeth Milner with David Heard

As you can see I wasn’t the only one meeting Elizabeth for the first time. David Heard met Elizabeth for the first time that day and I over heard that he read her book ONLY four times.

Musician Performing At Hillary House

Looking at the picture of the musician performing that day at the Hillary House it only make sense to share with you an important musical history event Elizabeth shared with me via email.

She wrote: ‘The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Louise McDowell, actually Sara Louise McDowell, who lived in Aurora at various times, and was related distantly to the Willis family, was taught piano by Edward Fisher the founder of the Conservatory. She was one of the first students at the Conservatory which opened in Septenber of 1887.

In her last years she lived on Reuben Street on the north east corner of Temperance Street. I wrote about her in Aurora 1945-1965 on pages 31 to 34. I called her Aunt Louie, but she wasn’t actually my aunt. She died at 93 in 1965 and is buried in Aurora Cemetery.

This is only an excerpt from Elizabeth’s book about Louise McDowell, who was a musician, teacher and writer as well. Yes Louise McDowell also wrote a book, Past and Present: A Canadian Musician’s Reminiscences, potentially the next book on my list to read.

Hillary House

Speaking of writing books, Elizabeth Milner is working on the second book consisting of stories about Aurora during the same period 1945-1965, and in the near future it will be great addition to my Aurora books collection. A collection of two books only – second being AURORA A History in Pictures by W. John McIntyre.

John McIntyre Talking To Elizabeth Milner

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.

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