Catherine Raven - Posies, Posteriors and Posterity 


Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm. Meetings start informally around 7:00pm and the meeting starts at 7:30pm. Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions! Note: Our AGM was originally planned for this evening but has now been postponed to January 26, 2015.

The legacy of the gardens at Colborne Lodge is broader than you might think and the personalities behind this remarkable achievement stretch from the Howards themselves to the members of the Hort today. If that doesn’t entice you, perhaps more than a hint of the paranormal will!


It’s not just anyone who can point to herself seated in an official portrait, mere feet away from the Prince and (the late) Princess of Wales. “You did have an important job”, conceded a former colleague of Catherine Raven’s when he accidentally came across the portrait. Important is an understatement, but Catherine the great—multi-tasking, resourceful organizer, talented writer and former editor of many award winning issues of our Hort’s fine journal—is rather modest about it all. “The logistics of organizing for a royal visit is the same as if your mother was coming for tea,” she states, matter-of-factly. Right.

From working on Parliament Hill for nine years as a researcher and a logistics and communications specialist dealing with major events, she has brought to each position thoroughness and clarity—making it a priority to have a good overview about how everything works, a big picture you might say. Catherine has applied these skills in all of her various professional and volunteer roles.

It is fitting that Catherine will have a place in ‘history’, as you might have it, with her presence in the portrait with the Wales’, taken when they came to Canada to open Expo ’86. Fitting given that history permeates most of her activities. Many of us have heard about her work at the Museum of Naval History, home to a real submarine (HMCS Ojibwa). It is a satellite of the Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas where she is Director of Education and Research. But she is also currently a part time interpreter at Colborne Lodge with responsibility for the heritage gardens.

This month, Catherine will take us on a photographic tour of the gardens and give us an update on the progress of re-creating this historic home’s original gardens, giving us what she promises will be a portrait of its Posies, Posteriors and Posterity.

—Maria Nunes

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