Local residents, library board and staff and Mississippi Mills council members gathered today at the Almonte Public Library to honour Don Wiles, founder and leader of the Almonte Lecture and Learning in Almonte series which have contributed to the intellectual and cultural fabric of Mississippi Mills. Dr Wiles, Professor Emeritus at Carleton University, started the Learning in Almonte series in 2008 with a total of 5 courses and 85 participants. Since then, a total of 830 participants have taken part in the courses of 17 presenters. The curriculum has included psychology, geology, chemistry, literature, history, gardens, theatre and music, art and infectious diseases. What started as Learning in Retirement morphed into the Almonte Development Society and now Learning in Almonte.
What started as Learning in Retirement morphed into the Almonte Development Society and Dr Wiles has elected to become Honorary Chair and to turn the series over to three women, Claire ApSsimon, Marny McCook and Glenda Jones.
Glenda Jones paid tribute to Dr Wiles and also thanked Rob Lockwood, Mel Turner, Duncan Abbot, Paul Watters, Ryan Hunt, and Rod Stoddart for their contributions, ranging from technical assistance to financial oversight. She noted that none of this would have been possible without Don Wiles’ passion for learning and his valuable contacts.
Marnie McCook presented a plaque and Chief Librarian Pam Harris and Library Board Chair Mary Lou Souter praised Dr. Wiles’ contribution. Ms. Souter said that he had changed the culture of Almonte and has left a golden legacy. As for Dr. Wiles, he told the Millstone that he has thoroughly enjoyed it all.