Orangeville women of distinction

May 12, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Recently my 15-year-old daughter Morgan discussed woman’s rights in her Civics class at Orangeville District Secondary School. International women’s day occurs each March with the theme in 2017 being “Planet 50/50 by 2020. To me, it is essential that young women such as my beloved daughter have strong female role models to serve as mentors. We are lucky here in Orangeville to have many strong local female community leaders. After my discussions with Morgan about historical female leaders,  I started to think about whom I admire within our area currently. Who are the women that I would encourage Morgan to look up to? I decided to make a small list of people that impress me, those individuals that truly go beyond that of which is expected of them.

In no particular order, here are a few:

Darla Fraser, Orangeville’s Chief Librarian, is a smart, patient, persistent person. She carefully thinks things through before speaking and acting. The library staff benefits from her wonderful leadership and the town is rewarded via compelling community programs such as “I am a girl” and “Paws to read”. Darla is perhaps the most humble person I know.

Councillor Sylvia Bradley is most likely the most prepared member of council. She understands the issues and dives deep to ensure all aspects of an issue are reviewed. A passionate leader of the Orangeville Sustainability Action team, Ms. Bradley tireless fights for all things that are good for the environment. The councillor is knowledgeable, tenacious and impressive.

Corrie Trewartha is a former small business owner in Orangeville who in her mid-thirties decided to make a career change. Ms.Trewartha realized her goal of becoming a member of the Ontario Provincial Police. Life was wonderful and then diagnosed with colon cancer at 42. All cancer patients have a story. Thankfully, Corrie’s story is still being written. Sometimes strong people have to go through difficult times with the sole purpose of inspiring the rest of us with their pleasant disposition and zest for life.

Bernadette Hardaker is a former journalist at the CBC who also worked as a freelance writer pursuing ordinary folks’ “life stories”. Bernadette would interview average folks and write about their life. The stories uncovered were absolutely fascinating! Recently Theatre Orangeville hired Bernadette to be their new General Manager. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting the theatre in Orangeville. If you happen to see Bernadette ask her about running for town council, her experiences with the Green Party, or the great works put forth by the Dufferin Child & Family Services. She is a fascinating conversationalist!

Lisa Post is a blogger, Rogers TV host, and former town council candidate. Ms. Post is approachable, gutsy, and savvy. Lisa is passionate about Orangeville and truly wants to make things better. I wholeheartedly believe that Lisa Post  is a future leader within our town. She will be one of the people that will decide what Orangeville will look like over the next couple of decades. I find it comforting to know our future is in good hands Toosje Asselbergs – A large part of Toosje’s personal life has been dedicated to events put forth by the Optimist Club of Orangeville. Mrs. Asselbergs was voted in as a lifetime member of the Orangeville Optimist Club and has served as President of the local chapter. Toosje has also taken a turn as governor for the region. (Big job!)  Toosje’s pleasant disposition and determined nature creates followership. She is an unassuming leader and the glue that keeps the Optimist Club churning out wonderful community events for the town of Orangeville. I find myself continuously amazed by her abilities and contributions. I think what inspires me are those people that put forth their ideas and actions in a fashion that makes our town better. They open themselves up to criticism by doing things differently than most of us would. If you are going to lead organizations such as the library, town council, health woes, the theatre, movements for change, or a local service club you must have qualities such as persistence, vision, and common sense. It is hard to be a leader. It is even more difficult to find people that will follow your ideas and initiatives. People follow others simply because they are inspired by the vision of what things can be.

In a lot of ways I wish we did not need to celebrate International Women’s Day. What I mean is, I hope the world that my daughter will live in is an equal opportunity society. I expect her to have a fulfilling career and be able to give back to the community that she lives in. Mostly, I hope that she and her friends will live a wonderful life and that she is inspiring to the next generation of leaders. We are all fortunate that Orangeville has such a wonderful group of people to look up to.

50/50 in 2020 can’t come soon enough!


Written by Todd Taylor

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.