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Waterford museum receives $30,000 bequest

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The Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum has a pleasant problem on its hands: What to do with a $30,525 windfall contained in the last will and testament of a local educator.

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That would be the late Marion Anderson, a former principal and senior teacher at the former Hartford School between Waterford and Hagersville. At Anderson’s request, $30,525 from her estate was earmarked for the museum to use as it sees fit.

“I don’t think anything has been decided,” Waterford Coun. Kim Huffman said during a break at the Nov. 3 meeting of Norfolk council.

“Any time money for heritage and culture is bequeathed it is always welcome.”

Anderson arrived in Norfolk County from Kincardine in 1944 after answering a want ad for a teacher-administrator in Hartford. At the time, her name was Marion Mackay.

Last year, on the occasion of her 100th birthday, Anderson said her bank account was dwindling at a time when there were few opportunities for ambitious young women in her native community.

Anderson went on to serve as a teacher-administrator at the school house in Bealton. She was the inaugural principal at Boston Public School when it opened in 1960. Anderson lived out her final years at the Golden Pond Retirement Home in Waterford. She died last fall.

“The bequest directed that this money should be used for the benefit of the museum,” Melissa Collver, Norfolk’s manager of heritage and culture, said in a note to council announcing the bequest. “The finance department has placed the proceeds into a museum reserve account until such time as it is required.”

As a teacher in the Waterford area, Marion Mackay met local farmer Donald Anderson of Bealton and married him. Anderson was a truck driver for the former Villa Nova Dairy on Villa Nova Road.

The bequest to the Waterford museum wasn’t Anderson’s only act of generosity in her sunset years.

When her tenure at Hartford School was up, the community made a gift to her of the school house’s pendulum clock. Before her passing, Anderson donated the clock to the Wilson P. Macdonald Museum in Selkirk in recognition of the fact that many of her students in Hartford hailed from Haldimand County.

“There is no other place for that clock,” she said at the Selkirk museum. “That’s the right place for it.”

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