Remembering Kit Willmot

Ladysmith and District Historical Society president Maureen Martin remembers Kit Willmot fondly.


Garry and I purchased our home in Ladysmith in 1996. We had tenants the first five years, but I was interested in history and in getting involved in the town in which we planned to retire. So I phoned a gentleman named Kit Willmot, whose phone number was the only contact with the Ladysmith Historical Society that I could find. Kit invited us to drop by his home on our next visit to Ladysmith.

We spent a fascinating hour with Kit, who was the only member of the Historical Society at that time. He had done an incredible amount of research and was a veritable encyclopedia of information about Ladysmith.

By the time we actually moved here in 2001, the Historical Society was two years into its rebirth. Terry Pollock had been elected president, with Kit as corresponding secretary, and the group was now meeting regularly. I started attending right away. Those were interesting meetings — with Ray Knight attending and bringing us fascinating bits of Ladysmith’s history each month.

Kit was always a part of it. He had recorded most of the graves in the Ladysmith cemetery. He seemed to be our resident expert on just about everything — tracing the history of many of the town’s buildings, learning and sharing about the interesting people who made up this town.

After the Archives was started about four years ago, Kit could mostly be found back in the “stacks” researching something or another. He added to his store of knowledge daily. He never stopped learning and searching.

We will miss Kit’s quiet presence in our lives. Things just won’t be the same without him.

Maureen Martin

President, Ladysmith and District Historical Society