JANE MEAGHER, CHAIR OF THE MASSAWIPPI FOUNDATION
Jane seen here tagging the property with Appalachian Corridor biologist.
Jane is an outdoor enthusiast who loves nature and walking. You can see her striding through the village and walking on our trails year round. She has always loved walking and especially enjoys showing her visitors the Massawippi Trails when they come to stay in the region.
She is as intimately entwined in the history of North Hatley as is fellow board member Tom Wilcox. Jane is a permanent resident of North Hatley since retiring from her law career with the Federal government. Born in Sherbrooke, she grew up in Montreal and spent all of her summers in the village. Her great grand-father’s family bought their first summer home here back in 1920. Jane remembers summers spent in her family home, enjoying the independence which came with her 3 ½ horse power boat which she took across the lake each day to reach the North Hatley Club. In the 1960’s her father bought a large farm property in the Canton de Hatley where he planted trees and conserved the land. It was here that she took long walks with him and sometimes explored the land on horseback. She came back regularly to the property in the late 1990’s when she built some trails for walking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Jane became involved with the Massawippi Foundation fairly early on as the Board was being formed in 2012. She was invited to join in 2013 and today she is its Chair. The passion and respect of the original group is as strong today as it ever was. None of them are environmentalists, but they all share a deep love for the natural beauty of the region and want to do what they can to protect it for future generations.
When asked if she found the area had changed over the years she says, “Not really, the buildings haven’t changed, only the businesses on the inside.” She remembered the general store and hardware where the Pilson now stands, Earl’s was the Dep, and the Hob Nob, (now the Mercantile) where her family always picked up hot dogs and fries for supper when arriving from Montreal on Friday nights. Of course LeBaron’s was and still remains today.” The biggest change was when the railway was sold.” Thinking back she remembers when she used to walk along the tracks to get from one side of the village to the other, sometimes jumping off the bridge into the water, in order not to get run over by the noontime train. The walkway and gazebo are what remain today. A lovely place to get a view of the lake and the ridge behind it.
When the Sentier Massawippi opened its trails, Jane was there with her sister. She realized then that this would be the special place to walk keeping in mind that George Wardman Sr. had been a good friend of her Father. The Meagher farm property was sold in 2018 and Jane and her husband Jean bought an Airstream thereby joining a new community. Their choice reflects their love of nature. The Sentier Massawippi trails in North Hatley and Sainte- Catherine, are her preferred local places to walk. She likes the beauty of the trail and the views of the lake. Jane makes sure to speak about the Foundation and its conservation mission with visitors.
When asked if she is an environmentalist, conservationist, or nature lover, Jane chooses the latter, saying she loves nature and tries to do her bit to help the planet and her community. Her son has recently bought a property in the area and so the family tradition is continuing.