Zorra Now - Community Events & Services Magazine -Spring 2023

Zorra Now | Spring 2023 29 FEATURE ARTICLE the president of Cold Springs Farm, and other activities. They also included a “biography” of sorts written by Cold Springs Corporate Secretary Fred Wisdom under the title “Cold Springs Farm Limited: First 50 Years.” With all this information digitized, she now had to figure out how to make it available to the public. She decided on the https:/lulu.com selfpublishing website. For editing assistance, she credits Cheri Handy as well as Linda Schwientek fromJC Graphics, and her book is adorned by three paintings by Dorothy Adams – who was commissioned in the early 2000s to create murals chronicling the company’s heritage. “It was verbatim,” she says of the information contained in her book – entitled simply “W. Harvey Beaty Memoirs”. “I never even changed sentence structure. I wanted it to be presented just as Harvey had written it.” Weir was working in the office at the time some of the events and business dealings took place but she admits she wasn’t aware of many of these upper-level dealings. “There were things in the book I knew nothing about,” she said. “You didn’t always realize it while you were working there but it was such an incredible company, so vertically integrated. I don’t think you’ll ever see another company like that again.” Even the descriptions in the memoirs about Harvey Beaty’s partial paralysis were a surprise to her. The truth is that Beaty broke his spine in 1943 after falling from a ladder but “it was never talked about. I assumed he got polio . . . He called himself ‘crippled’ but it never affected the way he did business.” Harvey Beaty used a wheelchair or walked with the help of crutches for the rest of his life. All the while, Weir had been thinking a memorial should be put up in honour of Beaty and his wife. She originally thought it should be put on the site of the original farmhouse attached to the original farm but the changes and development that subsequently took place in that vicinity made her reconsider. Then she learned from a fellow member of the Thamesford Lions Club that Cold Springs Farm had also at one time owned – and subsequently donated for use as a park – the property now home to the Lions River Park. So her focus shifted there. Weir decided to sell copies of the book to raise money for the memorial. The Lulu website offers a publish-on-demand model and, through that, she has so far sold approximately 400 books with approximately $10 from each book going towards the memorial. Already, a stone with an engraving and accompanying sign are in place at the park. A garden has been created and Weir plans on adding to that garden when the weather allows. She also looks forward to the coming months when she hopes the Township of Zorra is able to expand the pathways in the park to include a path past the memorial. “It’s been fun. I feel like it’s so important that I do this, because I don’t want people to forget Mr. Beaty.” He put a lot of money and in-kind donations into Thamesford, she stresses. In the winter, he would send someone over to clear the snow from the arena parking lot. Cold Springs employees watered flowers and cut grass on some municipal properties. “Because that’s just what you did. Or at least that’s what HE did.” Harvey Beaty has been honoured in various ways both while he was alive and since his passing. Perhaps most notably, he was inducted in 2018 into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame – with the first two paragraphs of his biography reading as follows: “William Beaty was the founder and chairman of Cold Springs Farm Ltd., an enterprise that he started in 1949 in Thamesford on 100 acres. By 1994, it had grown to include 60 farms and nearly 9,000 acres for producing hogs, turkeys, chickens, beef cattle and crops, along with a feed mill, grain elevators, processing plant, fertilizer plant and more.” “Harvey was renowned for his business acumen, his concern for the environment, his support for Supply Management and his generosity towards countless people and organizations, a generosity which continues today through the Erma and Harvey Beaty Endowment Fund.” But Weir believes many Thamesford residents aren’t aware of his legacy. Asked what she thinks set Harvey Beaty apart and set him on a path to creating this legacy, Weir believes work ethic played a part. She knew a onetime neighbour of Beaty who would see Harvey at his desk at 10:30 p.m. writing. Weir imagines