In early 2013, the then executive of the LCDA agreed that we should establish a means to recognize individuals who have made major contributions to the betterment of our community.  It was decided, at that time, to keep the existence of the Lochaber Honour Roll and the name of the first member secret until the time of the induction.  Initially it was thought that the induction might be made a part of Merle Taylor’s 90th birthday celebration, but circumstances delayed that induction until June, 2014.

It didn’t take long to settle on Merle as the first proposed inductee.  According to the nomination rules, to be considered for membership in the honour roll, an individual must be nominated by a minimum of ten people.  Rounding up ten nominators was easy.  The first ten approached jumped at the opportunity.  They are Merle’s sons, the Hon. Peter MacKay and the then LCDA executive members.  Shown below is Merle with her three sons who attended the induction: L to R, Lloyd, Sid & Sandy.

Merle Taylor 2013 007

Ever since Merle arrived in Lochaber as a young bride, she has been involved in just about every activity that one could imagine, both as a leader and, perhaps more importantly as a mentor and inspiration to other members of the community.  Among the local organizations that have benefited from her involvement are the Lochaber Women’s Institute, the Lochaber Community Development Association, its predecessor the Sylvan Hall Company and the Lochaber Sylvan Lakers Seniors.

On top of all this Merle raised five sons (of whom she is justly proud), and, as if she didn’t already have enough on her plate, ensured that her son’s friends who, during their teenage years, regularly gravitated to the Taylor home on weekends, never left with anything less than a full stomach.  She also played a major role in the operation of the family farm.  Merle didn’t limit her involvement to community organizations.  She has been active in many other regional groups.  Despite all these activities, Merle still managed to devote her time and talents to hobbies such as creating prize winning entries in a broad variety of categories in local and regional fall fairs and (drawing on her wartime experience) dominating short wave radio competitions.

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 8th, 2014, seven of the ten nominators and their spouses paid Merle a surprise visit to announce to her that she was now a member of the Lochaber Honour Roll.  She was presented with a framed certificate which reads as follows:


This is to certify that, on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday,

Mrs. Merle W. Taylor

has been inducted into the Lochaber Honour Roll in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the community of Lochaber over a period spanning eight decades from the nineteen-forties to the twenty-teens.  Mrs. Taylor was nominated by a requisite number of nominators and her nomination accepted by the executive of the Lochaber Community Development Association.

 Signed by: David N. Brown, President, LCDA and Donald G. Cameron, Secretary, LCDA.  Dated: August 3, 2013.

In addition, a framed copy of the below photograph will be displayed in the Lochaber Centre.Merle in Christmas Tree Lot, 1985


Do you have someone in mind that you feel should be included in the Lochaber Honour Roll?  Any group of 10 or more people can nominate a deserving individual for honour roll membership.  If you or your group would like to nominate someone, please watch here for a soon to follow link, to learn more about how the honour roll operates.

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