By Vivian Collings
A lot has changed in a century, but the Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association’s devotion to keeping their lake safe and beautiful remains as strong as ever.
The Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association (GLCA) celebrated their 100 year anniversary at their Annual General Meeting on Sunday, May 22 at Kilcoo Camp in Minden, situated on Gull Lake.
The event featured registration and a meeting for members, followed by lunch and cake to commemorate their first 100 years as an association.
“There is a lofty and worthy heritage for over one hundred years,” said former owner of Miner’s Bay Lodge Russ Wunker. “The goals we have as an association are quite similar to what they were when we first started. In this centennial year, may we renew our efforts to reflect the objectives outlined by our first executive committee.”
The GLCA’s main focus is to promote a healthy, safe lake environment and bring together the Gull Lake cottagers and residents to ensure that the lake and surrounding land can be enjoyed for the next 100 years and on.
In the GLCA spring 2022 newsletter, Wunker highlighted a brief history of the association, explaining that the current association was created 50 years ago, but “the roots of the organization go back to 1920.”
In 1920, a year after the influenza pandemic, the Miner’s Bay area of Gull Lake saw growth in seasonal visitors and a surge in summer cottage break-ins and burglaries. The Miner’s Bay Property Owners Association was formed to protect the properties of out-of-town residents.
At the north end of Gull Lake, the Kawartha Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association was formed for the same purpose, and “an early feature [of the association], that has continued to the present, was an annual regatta, held at the University of Toronto Camp,” Wunker said.
Current GLCA regatta commodore Tracey D’Alessio explained that the creation of the regatta followed some tragic drowning incidents on the lake.
Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association interim president Judy Ingram said, “The association originally created the regatta in 1922 to promote water safety to encourage people, especially children, how to swim and be safe on the water.”
The regatta has occurred every year since, said D’Alessio, and is now a social event with games and water sports for all ages such as swimming and canoeing. It is still held at the University of Toronto Survey Camp.
Ingram said that the GLCA’s main priority is still health and safety, but has shifted to focus on the health of the lake.
“It’s vital! We are working on educating residents on the shoreline and how they can help create a healthier lake environment,” said Ingram. “The 100th anniversary is launching a climate change initiative to help study and learn how we, as seasonal and full-time residents, can help to lessen our impact on climate change for future generations.”
In 1972, the Miner’s Bay Property Owners Association and the Kawartha Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association joined together, uniting both ends of the lake and creating the current Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association.
Wunker said the objectives outlined by the association 50 years ago were to prevent pollution, have clean lake water, and “promote an atmosphere of friendliness and respect for the rights of others,” much like the principles of the present GLCA.
The association will be hosting their regatta, a golf tournament, and a rock bass derby this summer. For more information, visit glca.ca.
“I know I am looking forward to a long hot summer,” said Ingram in her president’s address in the GLCA newsletter. “See you all on the lake!”