About the book

This commemorative book was envisioned by the Crescent Circle and compiled by Betty Larter. The church is fortunate to have had Betty Larter and others who expended considerable effort documenting its history. While the print quality suffered (remember - this was the age of reproducing by mimeograph!), this publication is a treasure trove of memories of the early days of Westminster-St. Paul's.

The Presbyterian Women's Association

About 19 pages are devoted to the history of the Presbyterian Women's Association (PWA).

The Presbyterian Women's Association was a vibrant part of church life. You can find a year by year history of Westminster-St. Paul's PWA in these pages. There is also a description of the women's circles that worked tirelessly to support the new and growing church. Originally these circles were to have membership from specific geographical areas (e.g. east & north of the church), but this changed over the years as individual and church needs changed. These circles included:

Goodwill Circle - from the amalgamated St. Paul's congregation.

McKay Circle - named after Miss Marjorie McKay - members from east and north of the church

Crescent Circle - members from west of the church

Victoria Circle

The booklet also includes numerous photos of fashion shows, teas and bazaars held by the women's groups.

An examination of the Board of Managers Minutes shows that the PWA was instrumental in raising funds for the church and especially in times of need.

Church History

About 53 pages are devoted to the history of the church. The beginnings of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the late 1950s, are documented. As well, there is historical information about St. Paul's Presbyterian Church which was founded in the late 1800s.

The history of the church has a list of charter members and also includes numerous news clippings of church events.

Church groups

About 9 pages are devoted to the various groups and activities operating in the church: the choirs, Christian education, Sunday school, Children of the Church, cradle roll, sponsorship of a boat family, bible study, couples club, youth group, Canadian Girls In Training, Explorers, Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides, Brownies, and a 1966 Variety Night.

The historians

Betty Larter compiled two histories of the church covering the first 25 years and the second 25 years. She and her sister Gladys Robson, maintained two file cabinets containing the historical documents of the church.

In addition to her work at WSP, Betty also compiled a history of the Guelph Township Horticultural Society. link

BETTY LARTER biographical details

Betty Lou McGillivary was born on November 14 1927 and passed away on January 10, 2018. She was the oldest of seven children born to Jack and Lorraine McGillivary.

Betty grew up on the farm in Egremont Township in Grey County. On the farm she loved horses and all animals. Eventually the McGillivary family moved to Mount Forest and then Guelph in the Fall of 1943. We attended Knox Presbyterian Church on Quebec Street. Dad was employed by W. C.Woods on Arthur Street.

Betty married Steve Larter in 1945 and they moved to a log cabin on County Road 51 in Guelph Township. There she grew chickens and would take all the stray cats in. Eventually they were able to build a new house on their 50 acre property. They had two children Bob and Janice. Bob passed away in 1982.

Betty loved attending the Guelph Biltmore Hats hockey team games in Guelph and watched baseball on television.

Betty was a charter member of Westminster-St. Paul's-Presbyterian Church.

Betty was always interested in history and took a few courses through the Women's Institute. She was a member of the Guelph Township Horticultural Society.

Westminster-St. Paul's had their 25th anniversary and Betty compiled the first history book entitled " The First Twenty-five Years." She compiled the second history book for Westminster-St. Paul's in 2008. I assisted Betty on the second book.

Gladys McGillivary Robson