With a song in her heart, Holly Scott volunteers her free time

Holly Scott

by Betty Bardswich

MINDEMOYA – The residents of Mindemoya have seen a lot of hard work done by volunteers over the years and know that Holly Scott is certainly a member of that group.

Ms. Scott was raised in Woodstock and went to school there and at Guelph University where she was enrolled in the applied science program. Guelph was also where she met her future husband. “Dale and I starting courting while there,” Ms. Scott told The Expositor. She went on to add that Mr. Scott came to the Island in 1976 and she followed two years later after graduating and marrying her sweetheart.

The Scotts went on to start a veterinarian business in Mindemoya and have four daughters.

One daughter, Sarah, is married to Dr. Ben Quackenbush and they recently became the proud owners of Breakaway Sports in Little Current. Daughter Heather lives in Kagawong and works for Manitoulin Transport while Bethany is a potter who lives in Orillia. Leah is a Doctor of Dermatology and resides in Halifax.

Ms. Scott did some volunteer work when a teenager, but explained that she could not do a lot while helping with the business and looking after the children. Since then, she has certainly made up for lost time.

Ms. Scott is the treasurer for Manitoulin Pet Rescue, an organization she and Kathy Jewell started with Julie McDermid coming on board shortly after.

“At that time,” Ms. Scott explained, “people had to go to Sudbury to find pets.” She believed that the Island had to be responsible for its own pets. “I felt that we should provide services for our pets locally,” she emphasized. “In the beginning, the rescue organization looked after dogs only as there were already people looking after cats, although that did change because, you know, cats.

Every year, Islanders see beautiful flowers in the bed at the four corners in Mindemoya. Each member of Central Manitoulin’s Beautification Committee looks after a flower bed and that one is Ms. Scott’s responsibility. She loves doing this gardening and being out in the fresh air.

One of Ms. Scott’s favourite volunteer efforts takes place in Little Current.

“I do the mending for the Manor,” she said. “I love doing this and visiting. It is really fun.” Now, of course, Ms. Scott has to take the mending home and even though protocols are in place to keep everything safe, it is not the same as talking with the residents and Ms. Scott can hardly wait to go back to the visiting as well as the mending.

Ms. Scott is a member of the Mindemoya Missionary Church congregation and sits on the church board. She is also the treasurer. She was happy to see that her church is serving as the site for the vaccinations to halt the spread of COVID-19.  “The church is offering the hall for free and it is meaningful to me to have this help to bring the pandemic to an end,” Ms. Scott said. She is one of the many volunteers at this clinic who are ensuring that the vaccination process is well run and safe. 

“It is such a happy place,” Ms. Scott said, “and really contributing to the community, and making a real difference. Supportive and happy. Whole stores would come in with all their employees. It is very steady and always full.”

Over the years, Ms. Scott studied music, first at Laurentian University and then earning a master’s degree in music from a university in California. Her volunteer music work brought joy to Manitoulin as she arranged for Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, an ensemble seen worldwide, to come to play twice at the high school. “There were other concerts that I organized as well,” said Ms. Scott, “including Janina Fialkowska, Jon Kimura Parker and other virtuoso pianists. The concerts were wonderful.” She also enjoyed accompanying the Island Singers, that harmonious choir, for 25 years.

Martin Luther King once said, “Everybody can be great. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” That is Ms. Holly Scott.