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Recognition Award

Renaissance Brome Lake instituted this award to publicly recognize the remarkable contribution of an individual, a group of citizens, an organization, an activity or a project that seeks to improve the quality of the water in Brome Lake and its ecosystems and wetlands, whether through the restoration or conservation of ecosystems and vulnerable areas, promoting community awareness and public education about sound environmental practices, or enhancing the eco-tourism potential of the territory.

2017: Peter F. Wade

Renaissance Brome Lake as well as several other associations in our region could not have been better served over the years than they have been by someone as dedicated and knowledgeable as Peter Wade. For over half a century, he has been a living example of the volunteer stewardship our lake and other natural areas have needed to survive. His personal and burgeoning archives represent an incredible source of information and history, despite the fact that his dear wife Joan is anxious to get some of the house back. Entering his office is like entering Ali Baba’s cave.   

Peter has been part of every fight, every challenge to the health of Brome Lake: protection of wetlands, unbridled urbanization, mostly since 1987, studies and acquisition of knowledge about the lake and its ecosystems.

In 1964, Peter Wade and his family were among the first to settle at Domaine Brome, initially as summer residents and later, in 1988, on a permanent basis. He soon developed a lasting friendship with another pioneer, Marc Decelles, his lake soul mate, and Yves Roy, his neighbour.

Peter has a Ph.D in management and is an expert in statistics and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Statistics. These assets and a willingness to contribute them to the cause have all served us well over the years. For example, the 1989 survey to put in place navigation restrictions (150 metre zone – 10km/hr), and the statistical findings from water sampling work. Peter still collects and analyses weather data and you will frequently see him in his boat during the summer months, measuring water transparency.

In 1987 Peter, along with 3 other residents, all passionate environmentalists concerned about protecting wetlands, co-founded the Brome Lake Land Foundation and at one time or another has served as board member, treasurer and president. 

In 1989, Peter was nominated as a member of the newly created environment commission by the town council along with three other friends, Yves Roy, Peter Kerrigan and Geoffrey Hudghson. This commission was a spin-off of great citizen participation called “Imaginaction”, a concept in which Peter was actively involved.

Between 1965 and 1999, he was a member and president of the Brome Lake Conservation Association, during a period of intense urbanization and sensitive issues such as the Inverness condo project, the condos at 400 Lakeside, the deviation of Rte 243, the sewer system on Lakeside, Forum 50 etc…

In 2006, he was one of the main artisans of the rebirth of Renaissance Brome Lake: he organised public meetings to raise awareness and acted as scientific vice-president. He was part of the RBL board from 2002-2009 and along the way made many contributions to the Chamber of Commerce, Tempo magazine and the Trail Committee.

Thank you Peter, for all the many services and numerous hours you have given to your community, never allowing yourself to be discouraged by indifference or lack of consideration. You’ve been patient, you’ve been unwaveringly present! Thanks for being our friend and especially a friend of Brome Lake !

See Peter Wade’s reply.

2017: James A. Wilkins

James is a child of Brome Lake; He spent his childhood and his youth, among other things at Bondville Beach and at the Terrace Inn, place of all the extravagances! In 1978, James became involved with Peter White, Peter Wade, Marc Decelles and Yves Roy in the Brome Lake Conservation Association. Epic battles then took place, notably for the upgrading of the Duck Farm, which finally materialized in 2002. He was president of RLB from 2009 to 2016, after being Tresurer for 2 years.

 

 

 

 

2016: The Fisher-Kerrigan Family

Left to right: Michel Delorme, Pierre Beaudoin, Marie-Andrée Leblond (artiste), Claire Fisher-Kerrigan, James Wilkins

Left to right: Michel Delorme, Pierre Beaudoin, Marie-Andrée Leblond (artiste), Claire Fisher-Kerrigan, James Wilkins

Five generations of Fisher-Kerrigans have lived – and still do – on the shores of Brome Lake. During this considerable period of time they have helped sustain the evolution of the lake and its ecosystems and, more globally, our community in general. In 1873, Sydney Arthur Fisher, acquired a vast tract of land of some 400 acres on the eastern shore of the lake, to the north and south of Fisher Point, extending east to the limit of the Township of West Bolton. The condos situated at 400 Lakeside today are part of this territory. Quickly under the leadership of Mr. Fisher, well-known farmer and political figure, the farm became a model in its day. Its operations revolved around the use of emerging scientific methods and it was certainly the embryo for the network of experimental farms across Canada.

 
At the time of his death in 1921, Sydney Fisher had created a philanthropic fund for the purpose of youth education and rural life, two values he deeply believed in. In today’s dollars his investment would amount to about $1million. Ninety-five years later, in 2016, the fund still exists and annually awards bursaries to students. His nephew Philip inherited the house, known as Alva House, and a large piece of the property. Alva Farm and the balance of the property was bequeathed to his farm manager, Arthur Carter. A World War 1 aviator and hero, Philip Fisher had a profound attachment to Brome Lake. He wanted to protect it and was probably one of the first to sail on its waters. From 1969 to 1992 he (and then, his son John) took daily measurements of the level of the lake, to help better manage it. In 1941, Philip Fisher was an important player in the renovation of the Foster Dam along with the Southern Canada Power Company; the renovated dam helped better control the level of the lake.

 
He and his wife, Margaret Linton Southam had six children. Several of these children built homes along the shores of the lake near their maternal home, Alva House and still live there today. Among these is Claire Fisher. Mrs. Fisher, who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University has always applied her skills and talents to help those less fortunate in our community. This was the model of community action that eventually inspired the creation of the CLSC network. Mrs. Fisher was also the founding ”soul” of the town newspaper Tempo of which today she is still one of its most committed contributors. It was in this same community spirit that the Brome Lake Conservation Association was created and Peter Kerrigan, husband of Claire, became its first president. The organization spared no effort to help improve the quality of the lake most notably its campaign for the installation of a municipal waste disposal network, which didn’t see the light of day until 1974 after the 1971 merger.

In 1996, Philip’s other two daughters, Sydney Duder and Martha Hallward, donated a significant portion of its original lands to conservation in perpetuity.  This is an exceptional wooded area of some 80 acres today known as Boisé Fisher Woods, donated to the Brome Lake Land Foundation and which serves as an outdoor haven for those who like to walk amid natural surroundings. Even today, many members of the Fisher-Kerrigan family are found near Brome Lake and at least five of them actively support the protection of the lake. We are pleased today to recognize the exceptional contribution of the Fisher-Kerrigan family to the quality of life the entire community enjoys and for their contribution to the protection of Brome Lake and its ecosystems.