Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kemble Women's Institute Lookout/Parkette

Last Saturday, my sister and I stopped at the Kemble Women's Institute Lookout/Parkette on our way to Keppel Croft Farm and Gardens for Art in the Park. Keppel Croft is beautiful. It is worth a visit. If you live too far away, check out the web site for the beautiful photographs.

The Parkette is found at the top of Grey Road 1, formerly known as the Island View Drive and the 'S' band of the Kemble Rock road. Island View Drive is a picturesque way to go to Wiarton, but don't be in a hurry. The road winds it way near the shore.
The Parkette is a memorial to the members of the Kemble Women's Institute, past and present, and it celebrates the 110th anniversary of the organization.
In a past post, I talked about the Tweedsmuir histories, a major project of the Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario and in the other provinces. For anyone doing genealogical research, especially in rural Ontario, this resource should be on your list to check. You may find information on your family. The photographs can be quite helpful in answering some of your questions. It solved a problem for one of my past clients. He had a photo that matched one in one of the Tweedsmuir histories. It named those in the photograph that he did not know.

The Township of Georgian Bluffs provided the land for the Parkette. Dick Davidson, landscape architect drew up the plans for the lookout. With the assistance of the Trillium Fund and local donations, funds were received to pay for the cairn. On the plaque are the known names of fourteen of the original members, a bas relief of Clara Gardner, the founder and the wording of the Mary Stewart Collect. Marnie Cheyne designed and sculpted the unique tea service and open book. The open book has the words of the Mary Stewart Collect. The chair welcomes you to sit down to read the words of the Collect and to have your photograph taken.

While we were there a gentleman stopped by and offered to take our photograph together. He commented that if everyone read the words of the Mary Stewart Collect everyday, there would be fewer problems in the world.

It is a beautiful spot to stop, take a breather, take some photographs and read the words of the Collect before continuing on your way to your destination.

Mary Stewart's Collect
(A Collect for Club Women) Mary
Stewart (April 1904)
Keep us, oh God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding
And leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
And meet each other face to face,
Without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
And always generous.
Let us take time for all things;
Make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
Straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is
The little things that create differences,
That in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know
The great, common human heart of us all.
And, oh Lord God, let us forget not to be kind!

Information about the lookout -- Joyce Robinson "Kemble Women's Institute Lookout/Parkette" The Grey County Historian, Newsletter No. 17, November 2007, p. 38-39.
Photographs owned by Janet Iles, taken 12 July 2008
Novia Scotia Agrictulture - Women's Institutes of Nova Scotia, "Mary Stewart Collect" ( : accessed 17 July 2008)


  1. We were just there and will be putting some imgaes on my blog at:

  2. Joe, I am glad you had a chance to visit the cairn. It is a beautiful spot to take a breather and take photographs.

    The cairn and the Kemble Women's Institute are being recognized by the Grey County Historical Society and will receive the 2012 Hertiage Certificate of Recognition


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