The History of the H.H.S.S. Scholarship Fund

The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School Scholarship Fund presents over 200 awards to the students and graduates of H.H.S.S. every year.  The awards have a total value of more than $60,000.

Eighty-five of those awards come from the Haliburton Highlands Scholarship Endowment Fund, which has total assets of about $500,000.  Many people and organizations have donated money over the years and the interest generated by that money, a total of over $15,000, provides the money for these awards.  The Endowment Fund continues to attract donations, often to provide an award in memory of a loved one.

The remaining awards are donated annually by businesses, service clubs and individuals throughout Haliburton County and beyond.

Almost 70 years ago, Harold Herlihey, a well-known and respected businessman in Wilberforce, donated money which was to be invested to provide a scholarship in honour of his father, to be presented to the graduating student with the highest overall average.   The F. D. Herlihey Memorial Scholarship was the first award in our program.

A few years later, Mr. Herlihey created another award in memory of his mother: the Mrs. Jean Herlihey Memorial Bursary.

Mr. Herlihey’s brother, M. Robertson (Bob) Herlihey, was a teacher, and later a Vice-Principal, of H.H.S.S.  He assumed the responsibility for looking after the two investments which his brother had donated, and decided that it would be a good idea to have more.  He talked to everyone and anyone who might be willing to donate money to establish an award.  In many cases, individuals and organizations agreed to make annual awards.  Some of the other awards which we have were established in the 1960s, such as the scholarships and bursaries which are presented by the Rotary Clubs of Minden and Haliburton, and by the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 129.

In 1971, there were eight awards produced by investments and twenty to thirty other awards. Throughout the seventies the program continued to grow as Bob Herlihey continued to encourage, cajole and twist the arms of the citizens of Haliburton County to support our high school students.

Bob retired in 1976 but he continued to serve as Chair of the Scholarship Fund for another nine years, and yet more awards were added to the catalogue.  The program we have today is Bob Herlihey’s legacy to H.H.S.S.

Some awards are fully or partially funded from interest earned on Endowment Fund’s investments. The value of the award may change from year to year depending on interest rates.