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June 25, 2021

The Hutchinsons - an artefact story

Jean and Bill Hutchinson standing with Robert Iantorno at museum

BY ROBERT IANTORNO — Bill and Jean Hutchinson are two of my favourite artefacts. I love these people, and they just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. The Hutchinsons are the picture of grace, hard work, resilience and kindness. And their accents and “Grey Coun’y” inflection are classic.

Jean is an accomplished historian, local matriarch, and the archetype of a Grey County Girl — she takes no guff, tells you how she sees it, cuts the crust off of sandwiches, and enjoys doilies on the furniture. She’s the closest you can get to meeting Agnes Macphail herself.

Bill is a soft spoken gentleman with a firm handshake. He loves holding his wife’s hand and taking walks through wildflowers. Bill is a gifted mechanic and loves John Deere tractors on a spiritual level.

Bill and Jean taught me a lot about local history, about what is important in life, and how to be a good person. We have had wonderful discussions about what it means to be Canadian, what it means to be part of a community, and what happens when you keep your chin up and keep going.

My last day as Curator at South Grey Museum is Friday, June 25. When Bill and Jean found out that I was moving on, they called me up to give me a going away present — a vintage John Deere model pickup truck and a miniature “B” tractor. I’ll cherish these models as I cherish my friendship with Bill and Jean, my favourite artefacts. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Bill and Jean Hutchinson are the stars of South Grey Museum video The Green Disease (shown below). It's also available on the Grey Highlands Cultural Channel.



Iantorno's last day as curator at South Grey Museum was June 25, 2021.


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