TIA Breakfast and AGM are Back!

By: Allison Burchell-Robinson

Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2022

The Thousand Islands Association Annual General Meeting ((AGM) will be held July 23, 2022, at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque. This will be a live event, as opposed to the last two years, when the meeting was held via ZOOM.
“We thought the 2019 meeting was eventful due to the high waters returning again after 2017. We didn’t realize it would be eventful as well, in that it would be two years before we could meet again in person” said Peter Fitton, President of TIA.

TIA began life in 1934 as The Summer Residents Association of the Township and Lansdowne. Early on, the Association recognized that the shoals in the St. Lawrence River were dangerous and a menace to navigation, so the Association marked the shoals with planks of wood painted a bright orange, which were soon replaced by tin and plastic barrels. In the 1980’s, the Coast Guard decreed that shoal markers had to be uniform in shape and markings. The cost went from $10.00 a barrel to $100.00 each, plus the cost of anchor and chain. Today that cost, including the placing and retrieval is close to $350.00.

Today's shoal markers cost $350, including the placing and retrieval service. However all mariners are ever grateful. [Photo courtesy TIA]

Along the way, TIA decided to incorporate and the new name became the Thousand Islands Association for the Preservation of River Safety, Inc. In the US, the legal name is the Thousand Islands Association, Inc. TIA is not just occupied with shoal marking. In past years, they have addressed the issue of garbage disposal, parking, vandalism on the islands, water levels, neighborhood watch, eradication of the spongy moth larvae (formerly known as gypsy moth), defibrillators at local marinas, and pushed for funding for local US and Canadian fires stations to acquire essential equipment.

But how best to let the audience know what TIA was doing? Before today’s social media world existed, there were press releases, interviews, newsletters, and events. But who was the audience and were they paying attention? Attendance at the AGM was small, a smattering of people.

Then, in the early 2000’s, when Barbara Butts was President, the idea of a shore breakfast before the meeting was launched. Attendance grew and the news spread. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, an opportunity to socialize, to meet old friends and to make new ones, to enjoy a delicious shore breakfast, and catch up on the news and happenings of the TIA.

Janet Smith-Staples, a Board member, said it well, “the AGM is your chance to gather and appreciate our special River Community.” The breakfast became a social event, the meeting a success, and a tradition was born! In the words of Peter Fitton, “the return of the TIA AGM to the waterfront playhouse is a sign of the return to the good old days.”

Thousand Islands Association Hot Breakfast & Social followed by TIA’s Annual General Meeting

Saturday July 23rd @ 8:30am at the 1000 Islands Playhouse
Save the Date & Get Your Breakfast Tickets Now! thousandislandsassociation@gmail.com.

By Allison Burchell-Robinson

Allison Burchell-Robinson's great grandfather built a cottage on Wyoming Island in 1910 and five generations have followed. She spent her childhood summers in the River, on the River or by the River. Eventually, she and her husband moved to an island in Ivy Lea Group. She joined the Board of the Thousand Islands Association several years ago serving as President and today she is the Secretary-Treasurer. She is happy to return every summer to enjoy, relax and rejuvenate in an area her son referred to as the most beautiful place in the world. She says her small contributions to TIA make her smile.

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2022, News Item, Nature

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