Windsor Park United Church – Beginnings
In 1957, Windsor Park was a new development, but with about 400 houses occupied. An August of that year, six couples met at the home of Joyce and Wilkie Collins, at 43 Briarwood Bay, to explore the possibility of establishing a United Church in Windsor Park. They were joined by Dr. Fred Douglas from the United Church Extension Division and the Rev. Bruce Johnson, Presbytery Chairman. Surveys were done in the community. In November 1957, Presbytery was asked to provide a temporary church building and an Implementing Committee was formed in December.
Donald Ross was appointed by Presbytery to Windsor Park as a student minister from May 1958. He became a familiar sight cycling (in the mud!) around the district, visiting families as new homes became occupied. Reverend Doctor E.G.D. Freeman was invited to become minister in September 1958, at a monthly salary of $200. The official constitution of Windsor Park United Church took place on November 9, 1958 and 81 persons were received and signed the Historic Roll as members. As of 2008 (our 50th anniversary year), 10 of those persons remained on our Roll.
In November 1958, Dr. Freeman baptized 2 adults, Mrs. Pauline White and Mrs. Winnifred Gregg, at the Gregg home, 14 Alderwood Road. The first Baptism in the temporary church building took place the following month when 15 children were baptized by Dr. Freeman. They were Sherri Cheales, James Gault, Bradley Fraser, Margaret Wright, Nancy Wright, Andrea Hill, Thomas Sidebottom, Marylou Muir, Michael Clayton, Grace McKeevor, Candace Keilback, Allan Huppe, Leslie Foden, Douglas Machuk and Stanley Machuk. Between November 1958 and April 1962, 153 persons were baptized, an indication of the age and growth of the community.
Dr. Freeman wrote in 1959 about “60 people standing on Easter Sunday…and a man outside warning latecomers to go home!…full house each Sunday…impossible to keep ahead of the calling….We’ve had to carry in extra chairs from nearby houses…it’s a bit like having a tiger by the tail!”
The original 81 members of Windsor Park United Church were:
Marjorie Jackson, Asher Jackson, Al Beveridge, Joan Beveridge, Shirley Rayner, W. Rayner, Mrs. H.A. McKeever, Geo. McKeever, John A. McInnes, Dorothy McInnes, Cliff Cheales, Margaret Hill, Bruce Hill, Mrs. W.O. Dunsmore, Marion Reimer, Elvera Machuk, Lou Hennessey, G.D. Combe, Helen Davis, Lloyd Davis, Joyce Gosling, Phyllis McLaughlin, George McLaughlin, Thomas Sidebottom, Lorraine Farkas, Kenneth Profit, Claire Logan, Betty McEwan, T.W. McEwan, Arla Sidebottom, Margaret Kremer, Gordon E. Harrower, David A. Kent, Dorothy Profit, Charles Milton, Bruce Clark, Nickolas Hrynko, Ann Hrynko, Sheila Keating, Jack Keating, Ada Freeman, Albert J. Church, Roy Gosling, Ethel Kavanagh, Patrician D. Lewis, H.M. Lewis, Bernice Caughlin, W.L. Caughlin, Mrs. David Logan, Mrs. Grant Wade, Eva Young, Mrs. W.C. Trenholm, Elizabeth Huppe, Harold Huppe, Winnifred Gregg, Gladys Thompson, W.C. Trenholm, Pauline White, Eric Patterson, Yola Patterson, Freda Todd, Allan R. Todd, Gertie Kingdon, Margery L. Church, Ellen M. Boyce, Mary Milton, Vernon H. Kingdon, Elinor N. Kent, Lily Robinson, Lucille I.G. Thompson, Donel H. Bell, Mrs. G.D. Combe, Lois Bell, Margaret Mansfield, Joyce Collins, Emily Bergman, H.A. Bergman, W.D. Dunsmore, Jean Cheales, Mervin Kremer, Frank Hay.