Pakenham residents, Toby and Al Barratt, will be recognized for their community-minded efforts during an appreciation ceremony Jan. 26 at the Stewart Community Centre. The event serves as part of the annual Pakenham Frost Festival festivities. – Submitted photo– read the rest here
Toby and Al moved to Pakenham in 1972 on County Road 29, previously owned by Bill and Emma Hogarth. They had two children, Utta and Norman, and their youngest daughter, Natalie, was born a year later at Almonte General Hospital. At present, their family now totals three children with spouses and seven grandchildren.
During Al’s high school years, his family lived at the Pakenham CPR train station. His father, Sid, worked there as the station agent. Al knew Pakenham well, but it did not take Toby very long to fit into the life of the Pakenham Township. The couple were soon curling and having fun at the community dances, as well performing at Thora Pugh’s famous skits and plays.
The library held a special attraction for Toby, and she soon was helping with storytime and became a member of the board. This led to becoming the first paid part-time librarian. After she gave up the librarian’s position, she continued to be a board member and helped shape the library during the transition to the Mississippi Mills Pakenham branch. To this day, she still volunteers at her beloved library.
They renovated their house into a larger home and started a business venture in 1978. Al became a self-taught harness maker. He made mainly draft horse harnesses, but repaired any leather items, even suitcases and shoes that came in surreptitiously after dark. At this time, Al also volunteered at the fire department. He then became its chief for three years.
Al became a member of the Lanark County Plowman’s Association and became its president for two years. He then was instrumental in the bid to get the International Plowing Match to Lanark County in 2003. He organized the logistics and accommodations for all the horse plowing aspects of this match. read the rest here
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