At the Owen Sound Field Naturalist AGM in March 2011, an Honourary Life Membership was bestowed on Lorraine Brown. While in past years, the OSFN has bestowed this honour for outstanding contributions in nature research, education and conservation, Lorraine will be the first member to be recognized for her contribution to the club itself. Lorraine’s life-long love of nature is written into everything she does. A record of the energy and talent that she brings to the table is stamped into the annals of our Club. From our beginnings as an expression of interest among a group of area birders in the Fall of 1988, Lorraine was the organizational kingpin and soon, first president, of the OSFN. By January, the Club had 70 members. Its first indoor meeting featured Dr. Doug Larson0 and the startling discovery of the ancient cedars of the Niagara Escarpment. In March of 1989, Lorraine hosted a bluebird box workshop led by Lorne Henderson. In May of the same year, Lorraine led a morel hunt in the Sauble Beach area. For her instrumental role in the early years of our Club, Lorraine became known as the “mother” of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists. In the 23 intervening years, Lorraine has always held a seat at the board table. She has been president twice, past president twice, head of the program committee and, from 1996 to 2006 and again from 2009 to the present, editor of the Club newsletter, The Hart’s Tongue Herald. Her contribution to OSFN programming, not only as a frequent speaker and trip leader, but as a steady helper in the annual task of conceiving, consolidating and delivering our indoor and outdoor programs, has been of particular value to the Club. Programming, taken together with the excellent newsletter produced under Lorraine’s editorship, propelled the Club’s growth to 200 members by its 10th anniversary. Having outlined her vital accomplishments, this record of Lorraine’s contributions to the club and its members would not be complete without mention of the many many other tasks that she has happily and quietly completed. While such mention cannot strive to be complete, here is a sample: Lorraine has regularly contributed her professional design and interpretive skills to Club projects, the Oliphant Boardwalk signage being a fine example. She took the lead in assembling our Club archives and seeing them safely deposited in the Grey County Archives. And finally, as I want to personally attest, Lorraine has been a patient and selfless mentor for many budding naturalist that now count themselves as committed members of our club.
On behalf of the members of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists Club, we are pleased to award Lorraine Brown with an Honourary Life Membership. Thank you, Lorraine: we are privileged to have you as a member. And please, keep on doing what you are doing!!