Helen Harrison was born in Hamilton in 1905, graduated from Loretto Academy and took a job as a secretary at Firestone. Her first big summer holiday was a trip to New York City, but when she married Chester Morgan Harrison, the couple fell in love with the tranquility of Ontario’s north, especially Algonquin Park. “Parts of the park were quite inaccessible, so Helen and Chester would hire a guide for canoe trips in the remote areas. She really loved to get out doors and leave civilization behind,” recalls her cousin Mary Lees.
An amateur artist, Mrs. Harrison did pen and ink drawings of plants and animals. She was also an accomplished pianist with tastes ranging from classical to jazz. Although an intensely private person, her home was always open to family visitors according to her nephew Peter Brown. “My aunt was an avid Scrabble and card player who also loved crossword puzzles. Uncle Chester and I had lively discussions about Shakespeare, ” he reminisced. Predeceased by her Husband, Mrs. Harrison lived the last seven years of her life at Highgate Manor in Ancaster. After remembering many family members and charities in her will she left a share of her estate to the Foundation.
Excerpt from 1997-1998 Annual Report