Another Successful Kemptville College Alumni Reunion

By Joe and Grace Allison -year ’68

Graduates of Kemptville College descended upon their new Alumni home at Lombardy Fairgrounds for the annual meeting on Saturday, August 19th. Graduating years were represented from 1949 to 1998/99. Years ending in 03 or 08 were honour years, which are celebrated every five years. The 2022 reunion saw years ending in 00, 01, 02, 05, 06, and 07 featured in order to catch up for COVID cancellations.

Class of 1968 - Photography by Margaret Link
Photography by Margaret Link

Seventy-two grads and partners enjoyed lunch, followed by 154 attending a delicious chicken dinner prepared and presented by the Lombardy Fair board ladies. The evening program included tributes to Ron and Joyce Burgess for their significant contribution toward the historical building planning, construction, and curating, as well as recognition of Isabel and Don Kinnear for their outstanding fundraising activity.

Allan Earle, on behalf of year ’73, presented a cheque in the amount of $4000.00 toward the Kemptville College Alumni scholarship fund, which had been raised at their 50th reunion event held on April 27th. This generous donation, in combination with the evening’s auction results, saw $6036.00 raised in total for the Alumni scholarship fund.

Year ’68 turned out in force with 56 for dinner, including 35 grads. Once again, they claimed the ‘spirit award’ until 2024’s gathering decides the next year’s trophy holder. All Kemptville Alumni are welcome and encouraged to attend each annual celebration, not just their honour 5-year increment. It is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and keep abreast of Alumni developments.

Mark August 17th, 2024 on your calendar now. Years ending in ’04 and ’09 will be honoured but remember everyone is welcome to attend. 2024 Scholarship forms will be on the web shortly. Check out .

Fifty-Year Reunion Blast from Glen House Resort

The Kemptville College Alumni Association extends a thank you to all who supported the Scholarship Fund and to Allan Earle, the year rep for ’73, for all his hard work!  Hopefully, some ’73 grads will be able to attend the reunion in Lombardy on August 19th. 

Fifty-Year Reunion Blast from Glen House Resort

On April 27th, 55 people gathered at the Glen House Resort in the 1000 Islands to celebrate the 50th Year Reunion of KCAT class of ’73’. The group included 40 classmates, including two couples that traveled from Alberta. During the dinner, a fun auction raised $4,000 for the KCAT ALUMNI Scholarship Program as a Tribute to KCAT!

Donors and buyers were: Jim &Lynne Finn, Brian and Marg Bourke (Shannon), Tom and Marilyn Fahey, Ed and Bridget Hunt (Lawless), Gail Reeves(Yuille), Ruth Miller, Elwin Earle, Allan & Cathy Earle, Terry & Paula McElroy (Turner)

Thanks to all contributors: Ainslie and Joan Read (Reddick), Eric and Sandy Johnston, Richard and Anne Berube, Barry and Louise Lynch, Ed and Laura Robinson, George and Linda Robinson, George and Louise Pyke, Paul and Nicole Bourgeois, John and Connie Gould, Dave and Joan Dorland, Jim and Marg Althouse, Wayne and Dianne Little, Les and Marilyn James, Peter, and Geraldine Matthews, Kevin and Sharon Darling, Lorraine Barr (Cox), Ann Bradley (Gooch), Evelyn Sprigings (Sparrow), Pam Somerville, Catherine McKeough (Lapointe), Brian Findlay, Kipper Trevorrow, Peter Harper, Dave Garrah, Dale Hughes!

Memories, reflections, and 50 years of laughs were shared. A tribute was paid to the classmates that we have lost – gone But Never forgotten: Peter Verhallen, Bill Teasdale, Kevin Hunt, Barry Sprigings, Reg Barr, Brett Reeves, Jim Nelson, Al Somerville, Joan Dickinson, Janice Fellows, Pat Barr, Tom Carling.

(apologies to the ones we have missed)

Scholarship Recipients

The Kemptville College Alumni Association recently presented their two scholarships.

Scholarship Recipients 2023

Pictured are the two recipients and the presenters. ( Gordon, Dylan, Arden & Mel )

Gordon French, Alumni President, presented Dylan Wallace, from Kemptville, with his scholarship. Dylan is in his second year at the Perth Campus of Algonquin College in the Business Agriculture Program. Dylan hopes to eventually take over his family’s cash crop farm and logging operation.

Mel Shannon, Alumni Vice President, presented Arden McWilliams from Navan with his scholarship. Arden is in his second year of a three-year Farm Management & Technology Program at MacDonald College in Saint Anne de Bellevue. Arden plans on working as an agronomist and helping on the family farm.

Congratulations to Dylan and Arden for applying and receiving the $1000 scholarships.

February Spotlight: Extraordinary Tree Planter – Bob Dobson  1962 Grad

In the 1950s when Bob Dobson was a boy, the Ministry of Agriculture was encouraging farmers to cut down trees to increase the efficient use of lands. At that time, Bob remembers walking down a shady, cool lane to fetch the cows at milking time. It was so much cooler than the surrounding open fields. On hot summer days it was a pleasant task to walk in the shade of the trees.

After graduating from Kemptville Agricultural college in 1962, Bob lived in Toronto for a few years. Maybe trees, grass and shade were in the back of his mind when he bought the family farm in 1967. Since that time, Bob has planted over 40,000 trees. He remembers his first purchase of trees when he bought three thousand trees for $30.00 – one cent a tree!

Very early he noticed the water quality in the streams on the farm where he had planted tree buffers was much cleaner. This has lead to more squirrels, birds, muskrats and the odd beaver. Bob’s sense of humour is very evident when he mentions,“ The squirrels are helping with the planting now since oak trees are now appearing where he didn’t plant them!”

Bob’s stewardship efforts have been widely recognized. In 1995 he won the first Environmental Stewardship Award from the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association. The award recognized outstanding projects on the Dobson farm that enhance and protect waterways, create bird and wildlife habitat and provide shade and protection for both cattle and grassland. In 1996, Bob was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Ontario Institute of Agrologists and he was inducted into the Renfrew County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2003. Over the years, Bob has provided hundreds of tours to farmers, students, agrology professors and others interested in learning about his innovative environmental stewardship initiatives. Delegations from as far away as China, Korea and Mexico have visited the farm to learn and be inspired.

Taking care of the land and enhancing biodiversity have been long-term goals on the Dobson farm. Bob believes we must be good stewards of the land in order for our way of life to be sustainable well into the future. He strongly feels that human health is directly related to the environmental health of the farms that feed us.

As well as taking care of the land, Bob values his friendship with his 1962 fellow grads. Each year they get together at a yearly reunion. The picture above shows the grads who were able to attend in 2022. Fifty-one years of planting trees and sixty-one years of keeping friendships with fellow grads shows us that Bob is certainly a grad that is proud to foster sustainable ecosystems and friendships!