Board of Directors

The Oshawa Historical Society’s governing body is its Board Of Directors whose seven members were elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting held in May (in 2022, held in September).  The role of the Board is to set policy and direction and to provide guidance to the staff of the Oshawa Museum as well as pursuing the mandate of the Historical Society and representing the interests of its members in the community.

Board Members, 2022-2023

Marg Wilkinson – President

A lifelong resident of Oshawa, Marg has retired from over 30 years in education with the Durham District School Board. She worked in Career Transition Counselling after retirement. She brings five years of experience on the Heritage Oshawa Advisory Committee and was Chair of the Heritage Oshawa Doors Open event 2013 and 2014. She now can pursue her interest in local history and community service. She enjoys learning peoples’ history of growing up in Oshawa.

Christopher Locke – Vice President

Born and raised in Oshawa, Chris is a Life member of the Oshawa Historical Society and has a passion for local history.  He has worked nearly 10 years with the Durham District School Board and has spent over 15 years in Construction.  He is currently a member of the Citizen Advisory Group at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  His history of volunteering includes being on the School Community Councils at Lakewood Public School and GL Roberts CVI where he held the positions of Vice Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.

Michael Leonard – Treasurer

Born and raised in Oshawa, Mike recently retired as Oshawa’s Chief Building Official where he proudly served the City for the last 18 years (36 years in total with other municipalities).  During this time, he was excited to witness extensive development and growth for Oshawa.  At the same time, he was always mindful of Oshawa’s history and was able to photograph and rescue heritage items from demolition.  For more than 40 years, Mike has been researching Oshawa’s history and his ancestry which dates back to 1821 in Oshawa.  Mike is very pleased to be on the OHS Board and to be able to contribute to his home town.

Janet Dowson – Director-at-Large

A Life member of the Oshawa Historical Society, Janet has served on the Board of Directors for a number of years in capacities of:  Treasurer, Secretary, Finance & Audit Committee and Human Resources Committee.   Born and raised in Oshawa, Janet has a keen, natural interest in preserving Oshawa’s history.   Retired from the City of Oshawa’s Human Resources Branch, Janet continues to enjoy helping people as a realtor at the Durham (Whitby)  branch of Right At Home Realty Inc., Brokerage.

Dr. Helen Haines – Director-at-Large

Helen is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at Trent University Durham GTA. While her speciality is ancient Maya culture, she also is a licensed Ontario archaeologist with experience in Cultural Resource Management (CRM). In 2011, 2015, and 2018 she collaborated with the Oshawa Museum and OHS to run historical archaeological field schools at Henry House. Lakeview Park.  Through her position on the Board of Directors she is looking forward to continuing to build on the great relationship between the Oshawa Historical Society and Trent University Durham GTA.

Doug Lavis – Director-at-Large

Doug Lavis was born and raised in Oshawa. His family members have a long history in Oshawa/Durham region with a street named after his Grandfather, Allan Lavis (Lavis Street), and Trulls Road was named after his grandmother’s family, the Trulls. Doug retired after 30 at Lasco Steel as a manager of Quality Control. At present, he is the VP of New Business Development in the national retail service industry, working with all the major retailers’ rebranding and resetting the interiors of their stores to keep up with today’s trends and fashions. With Doug’s family history and knowledge of Oshawa and Durham Region history, there is still a lot to learn. With Doug’s knowledge of marketing and rebranding, he hopes help bring Oshawa’s history to the people to Oshawa and to new immigrants to learn the history of the country that they have come to call home. Doug looks forward to this opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors of the OHS and hopes to help in anyway he can to keep Oshawa’s history not just a memory but a learning of our history.

David Tonkin – Director-at-Large

Dave’s background is in municipal government and real estate sales.  In addition to 34 years in sales and management, he is a past president of the local Real Estate Board, and as director he has served on numerous board committees.  A a fourth generation resident, he has a strong interest in the growth and heritage of Oshawa.

OHS Membership Co-ordinator

Lisa started with the Museum in 2007 as a volunteer and joined the staff in October 2010. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (Honours) and Canadian Studies (General) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Museum Management and Curatorship Certificate from Sir Sandford Fleming College.  As Membership Co-ordinator, Lisa liaisons between the members and the museum, maintains up-to-date membership records, and communicates important dates and information to members.  She is always happy to speak with current and prospective society members, and she can be reached at 905-436-7624 x 105, or