An educator, a pillar of St. John’s Presbyterian Church, the Bond Head & District Women’s Institute, BWG Local History Association, and a supporter of almost every cultural, historical and charitable event in Bradford West Gwillimbury – Leila Lloyd celebrated her 80th birthday this week.
She was at the Presbyterian church, working with the Turkey Pie Detail on May 29, when Mayor Rob Keffer dropped by to present a certificate of congratulations from the town.
The Turkey Pie Detail, kitchen volunteers at St. John’s, held their own special salute, with flowers and some of Leila’s favourite sweet treats at coffee break time.
Lloyd has every reason to be intrigued by Bradford West Gwillimbury's local history. The daughter of Alberta and Hulse Stoddart, theStoddart family can trace its roots in West Gwillimbury back to William and Margaret (Wilson) Stodders, who settled in the Middleton area in 1818.
In 1960, Leila married Edgar William Lloyd, the descendant of another long-time West Gwillimbury farming family who settled in the area in the 1890s.
Lloyd attended S.S. #3, a one-room schoolhouse located at 5 Sideroad and Line 6, starting in Grade 1. (And funnily enough, the year she married was the same year her parents bought that schoolhouse and transformed it into a house.)
The school had a tiny enrolment of only eight; without Leila and her brother, it would have had only six students and might have closed.
“I was the only one in my grade from one to eight, with the exception of two short periods of time when Mary Culbert joined me for a couple of months in Grade 1, and Adell Fisher the same in Grade 6,” Lloyd wrote in Governor Simcoe Slept Here: The Legacy of West Gwillimbury. “I had the same teacher, Miss Janet McLeod for all my elementary education.”
The one-on-one attention was an inspiration, and Lloyd became a teacher.
She started her career at Schomberg Public School, then taught part time at Hon. Earl Rowe Public School and Sir William Osler Public School in BWG. Once her children were older, she taught full time at Sir William Osler, "the most wonderful school and community anyone could ever wish to be employed in!"