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FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2017

Wellington full of rich history and dedicated historians to preserve it

Editor’s message

Canada: 150 years in the making By Chris Daponte WELLINGTON COUNTY - From the moment the calendar turned to 2017, Wellington Advertiser staff started thinking about a special project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of our great nation. Motivated by publisher Dave Adsett, the vision soon started to take shape: a stand-alone feature similar in size to Confederation-era broadsheet newspapers with both historical and contemporary content. In true Canadian fashion, our staff selflessly set to work to ensure this feature is befitting such a momentous occasion. We hope readers will agree that we have succeeded in that endeavour. It’s hard to sum up in such a brief space what this country and this anniversary truly mean. When I think about Canada, mostly I am filled with profound appreciation for the sacrifices of the past that have afforded Canadians the amazing opportunities we enjoy today. From aboriginal peoples to the first European settlers, there certainly was no shortage of early struggles adapting to the land and climate. Fast forward several hundred years and the fathers of Confederation tried mightily over several years, starting with the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, to reconcile their differences and forge a new nation. When recalling Canadian sacrifices, at the forefront are all those who fought in conflicts such as the Seven Years War, the War of 1812, the Boer Wars, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and all the way up to Afghanistan and many peacekeeping missions. Personally, I can’t help but think of the sacrifices of my paternal grandparents, who relocated from Portugal to Brazil and then to Canada, with very little to their name. They struggled to learn English and likely found it hard to adapt, but they settled in, worked hard and built a new life for themselves and their family. They most certainly missed their homeland, but in the end they were proud to call themselves Canadian. It’s a great story, but not unlike the tale millions of other Canadians could tell. From coast to coast to coast, each and every one of us has specific individuals who made sacrifices that helped us succeed. It is our hope that as we celebrate the sesquicentennial, we can properly honour these individuals as we forge ahead and pave the way for those who will follow. I can think of no better 150th gift. Happy Birthday, Canada.

By Chris Daponte

committee members have been able to connect with family members of those on the list to gather more information. “It’s (been) 100 years since the First World War and 75 since the Second; it’s hard,” he said. The idea for the book stemmed from an Arthur 150 committee meeting when local organizations discussed ideas on how best to celebrate the milestone year. Resident Jack Benham mentioned publishing a book honouring the veterans in the area and it blossomed from there. “It was tying with the most patriotic village and the 150th anniversary. It was natural I think,” said Walsh. Committee member Betsy Benham added, “It seemed like the appropriate thing to do for the celebration.” Donald said there were many families in Arthur that lost more than one son in the wars. “We want to do the best we

WELLINGTON COUNTY - While Canadians from coast to coast celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday, Wellington County will silently mark its 163rd anniversary this year. There is little doubt Wellington’s history is colourful and fascinating. From early pioneers and developments in agriculture, industry and railways, to wars and prohibition and all the way up to amalgamation at the turn of the century, there is no shortage of data and details to document. Yet without the indispensable efforts of many historians over the years, many of these stories would be forgotten. In recent decades, myriad people and organizations have embraced the role of guardians of history, continuing a proud tradition established by predecessors at least as far back as the establishment of Wellington County in 1854. Historical societies, heritage committees When it comes to documenting the past, many immediately think of historical societies - and with good reason. The Wellington County Historical Society has been a leader in the field since its establishment in 1928. In addition to cataloguing and preserving artifacts, it also helped establish the first county museum in Elora in 1954, which moved two decades later to the current location at the former Poor House in Aboyne. The county society also played a fundamental role in helping to establish some of the lower-tier historical societies throughout the county. Among the local groups are societies in Guelph-Eramosa, Mapleton, Minto, Wellington North and Puslinch. There are also numerous heritage committees in municipalities across Wellington, as well as volunteer-run museums and archives. Stephen Thorning Perhaps the name most synonymous with Wellington County history is that of the late Dr. Stephen Thorning. His popular reports on local history were first published in the Elora Sentinel in 1990, then in the Fergus Elora News Express. Thorning, for decades a key



Canada 150 garden - James McQueen Public School students, from left, Layla Smillie, Mina Guenter, Rylee Wightman and Paulina Cho show off their Canada 150 flags at the Fergus Horticultural Society tulip blooming ceremony at the Canada 150 garden behind the Fergus library on May 9. The 150th Celebration Garden celebrates how communities across the country have helped define, develop and grow Canada as a nation. The tulip bulbs were planted last fall by the Fergus Horticultural Society and students from James McQueen Public School. Gardens around the county, including at cenotaphs and parks, were blooming in red and white this spring to commemorate this milestone year. Photo by Olivia Rutt

Arthur to commemorate Canada’s 150th by honouring local veterans By Olivia Rutt ARTHUR - Arthur had the highest rate of enlistment in the Second World War of any community in the country, distinguishing it as the most patriotic village in Canada. So a few Arthur residents thought what better way to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation than by honouring the almost 600 local veterans from the First and Second World Wars in a book. Arthur Veterans Book committee member, historian and veteran John Walsh said the book will include the names of all veterans with a connection to Arthur, many of which are inscribed on the cenotaph. Fellow committee member Gail Donald explained getting information about each of the veterans has been a challenge. “Everyone will be listed, however because we can’t always find information about all of them … we

The ultimate sacrifice - The Arthur cenotaph lists the names of those who died in the First and Second World Wars. Their names, along with many who returned from war, will be included in the Arthur Veterans Book this fall. Photo by Olivia Rutt will have good stories where we can and thorough stories, but not for all of them,” she said. “We have ones we have no information about, just who they

are and their rank; the other ones sometimes we have two or three lines; some of them we have full stories about, some we have pictures with.” Walsh agreed, but added most

The New Dominion “Ere we shall appear before our readers, the several provinces of British America will have been consolidated into a new and grand nationality. We leave the politics of the past without regret, and enter on our new destiny with bright hopes for the future. Never was resolution more important accomplished by more peaceful means. “The first of July, the birthday of our new empire, our national holiday, will be celebrated with due solemnity and rejoicing, we hope, until the latest ages. Henceforth as the closest ally - the right arm - of the other country we shall go forward in the path of prosperity, ever winning fresh and peaceful laurels as the years roll on. But it will need the wisest care of our best statesmen and the beneficent direction of the Supreme Ruler of All to guide the newly launched ship into quiet waters and a secure harbour; and may that kind direction be fully given.” - As printed in The News Record on June 28, 1867
















HistoryLegacy & of groves

Celebrating more than a Century of Service In 1871, Dr. Abraham Groves began his medical practice in Fergus, Ontario. Back then, the closest hospital was in Toronto. There was not one trained nurse in all of Canada and no skilled assistants of any kind. Dr. Groves performed his early surgical work under very primitive conditions. The operating room was generally his patient’s kitchen; milk pans were used as catch basins, seasponges for wiping and horse hair (generally taken directly from Dr. Groves’ horse) for stitching up surgical wounds. Chloroform was the only anesthetic and it was typically administered from a bottle with a split cork onto a towel that was then inhaled by the patient. If a patient needed emergency surgery at night, a coal-oil lamp supplied the light, because electricity had not yet been invented. Little to nothing was known back then about bacteria; rubber gloves, sterilized gauze or absorbent cotton seemed like elements of a Jules Verne novel. However, Dr. Groves ignored the skepticism of all of his medical peers. He was a trailblazer-insisting on sterilizing all of his surgical instruments long before it became standard practice in hospitals. Dr. Groves performed North America’s first appendectomy on May 10th 1883 in a farmhouse in Fergus. He also pioneered a new model in the delivery of rural health care and was responsible for building the first community hospital in our town’s history-the front doors of Royal Alexandra Hospital opened in 1902. In 1932, after sixty years of service, Dr. Groves donated his hospital to the Town of Fergus. The Royal Alexandra had served our community for fifty three years before a major new hospital was built in 1955. The new hospital was respectfully renamed the Groves Memorial Community Hospital in honour of this medical and surgical innovator.

Countdown is on - Organizers of the Centre Wellington Count Down to Canada Day 2017 include, from left: Belwood volunteer Shon Sorensen, steering committee member Marilyn Abrahams of Fergus, volunteer Ben Collings of Fergus and steering committee member Bob Giza of Fergus. Photo by Kelly Waterhouse

“He who follows the beaten path seldom makes any discoveries.” - Dr. Abraham Groves, 1934

Dr. Abraham Groves left a legacy of commitment and care when he donated the hospital to the Town of Fergus--the community he dedicated his life to serve. He knew health care was not only an immediate priority but one that would endure for generations. Eight decades later, his gift continues to serve our community and inspire the next generation of generosity. *

Groves Hospital Volunteer Association and The Million Dollar Milestone Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. Groves Hospital Volunteer Association (GHVA) has actively participated in providing care and comfort to Groves patients for eighty-one years. Since 1933, GHVA volunteers have demonstrated that they are truly exceptional people--always taking time out of their own busy lives to help others. In 1933, GHVA made Centre Wellington history as the first cash contributor to Groves Hospital. With the funds provided by their membership fees, GHVA (then called “Aid for the Hospital”) purchased the very first piece of hospital equipment: a wringer washer and two tubs for the laundry at a cost of $8. In 2002, the GHVA unanimously voted to support the Groves Hospital Redevelopment Fund. They pledged an unprecedented $1,000,000--the largest cash gift in Centre Wellington’s history. In early 2009, GHVA also announced an additional $500,000 pledge for a new CT scanner for our hospital. Last year, the GHVA announced an incredible $1,000,000 pledge to the New Groves Hospital Campaign – the largest donation aside from Wellington County’s gift; bringing their total support of the New Hospital Project to an astounding $2,000,000!

Mrs. J. J. Craig 1933 - 1945 First President of the GVHA (then called “Aid for the Hospital”)

The first items donated to the hospital by the Aid were a wringer washing machine and two laundry tubs (cost $8.00)

The New Groves As we celebrate Canada’s 150 we also celebrate the history and legacy of Groves Memorial Hospital. Groves Hospital Foundation would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all those who have contributed to the Groves Hospital Foundation throughout the years. Without our community’s continued support we would not be where we are today. As we continue to fundraise towards our $20 Million Goal for the New Groves Hospital, we are extremely grateful for the ongoing generosity and support of our community. The New Groves Hospital is expected to be completed in late 2019/early 2020, demonstrating how fortunate we are to have the hospital and health care we have in this county and this country.


Close to home. Far from Ordinary.

Volunteer spirit ignites Centre Wellington Count Down to Canada Day 2017 By Kelly Waterhouse FERGUS – The inspiration to create a unique event in Centre Wellington to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the nation was born out of passionate dialogue amongst friends, some of whom shared a common experience, all of whom shared a love for their country. It didn’t take long for the Centre Wellington Count Down to Canada Day 2017 to take shape. Fergus resident Marilyn Abraham got the conversation started by asking friends to reflect on their memories of Canada’s centennial celebrations, including Expo ’67 in Montreal, hailed as the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th Century. “There is something special that happened in ’67. It’s a moment we can capture that is a really special moment,” explained Abraham. “We had a varied group of memories from that year. Some remembered events or school projects or attending Expo itself.” What they all recalled was a sense of excitement and possibility for the future, which inspired a vision for how they would like to see Canada celebrated in 2017 in their community. From discussion to action, a core group of volunteers, including representatives of service clubs and other organizations, formed under a steering committee that included Abraham, Bob Giza, president of Ontario Springs, and Beth Avery, a history teacher at Centre Wellington District High School. “We dreamt big, laid out what our vision included and then set about finding our reality,” said Avery. “It’s been a great journey so far. I’m looking forward to seeing our dreams/vision realized.” Last July, these organizers began to draft a program by creating a timeline of events from Canada, the land before people, through to looking ahead to the new millennium. The result is Centre Wellington Count Down to Canada Day 2017, a week of free family-friendly events every evening from June 26 to 30 at various township parks, with interactive activities to celebrate a multitude of themes in Canada’s history and culture. “We are moving through the geographical space and the people who called it home,” Abraham said, noting an emphasis on local agriculture and artisans will be incorporated into some of the themes. “It was important to us to have both a national perspective and a local perspective.” To achieve its goals, the steering committee tapped into funding opportunities with support through local organizations. “We are grateful for the financial support from the Province of Ontario’s Celebrate Ontario 150 funding, the federal government’s Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, the Centre Wellington Community Foundation, the Township of Centre Wellington, Ontario Streams, and the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora,” said

Abraham. That funding allowed organizers to build the initial event to their vision at no cost to the community, but also to ensure the legacy aspect through investment in educational materials such as fishing and birding equipment required to develop a series of workshops for students. “It was providential that the very concepts we had envisioned as being important to include turned out to be some of the key points on each of the funding applications: diversity, community involvement, accessibility and engaging, hands-on, environmental …” said Avery. Abraham believes the diversity of the countdown events are reflective of the times. “It crystallizes what is happening politically, environmentally, socially at this point in time,” she said. “When people look back on 2017 in Centre Wellington, this will be a part of what they’ll remember.” She adds none of it would be possible without the more than 40 volunteers who are working to make the event a success. “It’s been a very grassroots development and everyone who is participating has a vested interest,” she said. “They are the people the public will see and they will share their interests with them.” Shon Sorensen, along with members of the Belwood Lions, volunteered to coordinate the Belwood event at Maple Park on June 28. The workshop is called Moments that Matter: Events that helped shape the history of Canada. With a full line-up of interactive activities, historical re-enactments and more, he is looking forward to being a part of an event he hopes will become a tradition. ‘Labour of love’ “It’s a labour of love,” Sorensen said. “I hope we encourage people to pick up the torch and carry it on.” Important to the steering committee’s planning process was making use of the local landscapes. “All events will take place in a different township park, so everyone in the community has a local park that is easily accessible without driving or needing to use fossil fuels, unless they choose to,” said Abraham. “We typically use the same parks for our events and we don’t always see the great diversity in what our parks offer.” She credits township parks and recreation staff for their cooperation in pulling the events together, especially the coordination of the project’s key event in Confederation Park in Fergus on June 26, when the green space becomes an outdoor classroom for approximately 350 grade 7 students from schools across Centre Wellington. Canada the Great Wilderness: Environmental Exploration Workshops is a full day of free environmental programming taught by leading environmental scientists and outdoor specialists from various organizations. In total 12 workshops will take place, focusing on issues

from reptiles and amphibians, pollinators, and aquatic insects found in the Grand River to fly-fishing seminars, birding, native plants and minerals. Abraham said grade 7 is the ideal age, in part for the science curriculum, but also to effect long-term change via learning. “Research has shown that if you can alter the way a child responds to the world in elementary school, you’ve changed that person’s relationship to the world as an adult,” she said. Giza, a retired environmental science teacher, says students will be able to choose their top five favourite workshops and will attend three of them. “We figured, why not give the kids in Fergus/Elora a special chance to learn about their environment in their area?” Giza said. “We created courses we think kids will enjoy.” He added, “There will be many memories for the kids to have of Canada’s 150th, but we want these kids to have these opportunities here at home.” Giza hopes this event will morph into more days next year and become an annual program expanded to incorporate other grades. “This is to create a lifetime of having an interest in environmental issues so that these students can be informed,” Giza said. Adding to the experience, 12 local artists working in various mediums will be dispersed throughout the workshops, working on interpretative pieces that reflect their response to their environment, giving students an up-close and personal look at the creative process. That night, those art pieces will be on display at St. James Anglican Church in Fergus for an exhibit entitled Artistic Responses to the Wilderness that is open to the public. Several of the day’s environmental workshops will be open that evening to the public as well. Capturing the full week of events will be the Youth Photography Collective, which has been commissioned by the province to record the week-long celebrations and events. Under the guidance of Fergus photographer Sylvia Galbraith, these students will learn elements of photojournalism and composition, with the goal to create an exhibit to showcase their work and to create a commemorative book that will go to the Provincial Archives. With planning still underway, the excitement for countdown organizers and volunteers is mounting, as is the belief that this celebration will foster a sense of community and environmental stewardship for generations to follow. “At the end of the day you want people to feel that their municipality created something special that they’ll remember,” Abraham said. The complete list of Centre Wellington Count Down to Canada Day 2017 events is available in the 150 Things to Do in Centre Wellington list and online at

Outdoor wall sculpture planned for arts centre *Source: Groves, Abraham, Dr. All in the Day’s Work - The Reminiscences of a Country Doctor. Toronto: The MacMillan Company of Canada Ltd., at St. Martin’s House, 1934. Print.

ELORA - The Elora Centre for the Arts is celebrating its 15th anniversary as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The organization obtained a grant through the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Fund, and is dedicating funds for a wall sculpture and an installation celebration on July 1, 2017. The theme is Water, and any Ontario artists/sculptors who have a link

to Wellington County were eligible to make a submission. The award to the selected artist will be $5,000, payable upon receipt and successful installation of the wall sculpture. The Elora Centre for the Arts is a heritage building on two acres of land in downtown Elora. The wall sculpture will be installed on the exterior

stone wall, facing west, over the front entrance to the building. The Centre is just across the street from beautiful Bissell Park, on the banks of the Grand River. This wall sculpture would be the first installation on the exterior of the limestone building and offer a creative link between the Centre and the Grand River.

County has strong ties to Canada’s national summer sport By Chris Daponte WELLINGTON COUNTY - There are few things more “Canadian” than the sport of lacrosse. The game, of course, was developed by aboriginal tribes in eastern Canada and the northern U.S. - perhaps dating back as far as 1100 AD. It was well established in what is now Canada by the 17th century and likely played by many white settlers in areas of Wellington County by the 19th century. Yet records are understandably sparse, if not non-existent, of many of those early teams. One of the earliest records of a local organized lacrosse team is the Fergus Thistles. A photo of the team found at the Wellington County Museum and Archives (at right on this page) included the inscription “Fergus L.C. 1867.” However, late historian and legendary newspaper editor Hugh Templin noted in his history of Fergus that the team was likely formed two years later, in 1869. There also exists some evidence the village of Elora, now synonymous with the Jr. B Mohawks team, had lacrosse teams at least one or two years prior to the game being established in neighbouring Fergus. Regardless, the Fergus team photo

serves as one of the earliest examples of an official town team - and proof the sport has been thriving in the region for at least as long as Canada has been a country. The following is an edited version of an article about the Fergus Thistles that appeared 50 years ago in the Fergus News-Record of Aug. 2, 1967. The names Fergus and lacrosse have been linked together for 100 years. Over the years since the turn of the century, Fergus has won all kinds of championships. In 1902 its team won the Intermediate title in the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA). This was its first big championship. Since then the town’s teams have brought home honours right from Senior ‘A’ down to the minor leagues. In the last three years, Fergus has had another championship senior team that has defeated the best the east had to offer in Senior B and lost out last year to a Nanaimo club in the Dominion finals. On checking the early files of the Fergus News-Record, the following brief history of the early years has been compiled. Lacrosse was first played in Fergus in 1869, nearly 20 years before the CLA was organized. The first team was composed of

boys but later in the same year a men’s team began to give the boys some opposition and played and defeated Elora even though that village bad played the game for a year or two already. On Oct. 1, 1869, a Fergus club secured this first victory over an outside team. The Elora Invincibles lost 3-0 with Charles Perry and George Wilkie getting the Fergus goals. The Fergus team members and the positions they played were: William Brown, field captain; Fred Chinneck, goalkeeper; J. Gordon, cover point; John Cardy, jack point; James Cardy, centre field; Charles Perry, putter-in; George Wilkie and William Kelleher, homes; William McMillan, John Kelleher, Arthur Perry and Edward Moore, fielders. This was the time when a man played on field all the time. The first game was played at the Kinettles race track, on the farm of the notable sportsman, Alexander Harvey. This is the site of Fergus Golf Club now. In the ‘70s, the Fergus Driving Park was laid out where the Beatty head office is now located. This field had a high board fence around it and was ideal for the game. Toward the end of the last century, Victoria Park was laid out by the council with a race track, playing


field and buildings. In 1931, it was much improved and the playing field levelled and seeded. However, by this time, the game box lacrosse was beginning to replace the field variety. When lacrosse moved indoors, the Fergus Thistles and the Hamilton Tigers played the first indoor amateur game in western Ontario - and probably in the whole province. It took place in Hamilton in August, 1931. Fergus won. That fall an indoor league was formed and Brampton took the title away from Fergus in the final game played in Preston. Since that time the game of field lacrosse has disappeared in this country (Advertiser editor’s notes: The game of field lacrosse never actually disappeared, though it arguably never again rivalled the popularity of box lacrosse). The game has had ups and downs in Fergus, but it has never died out. Today it is more popular than ever, with many games drawing over 1,000 fans. The prospects for the future of the game here and in the rest of the country are bright. More young children are playing than ever before and new teams in regular leagues are springing up everywhere. It will remain Canada’s national game.

‘Tack’ skates started by Clifford shoemaker Editor’s note: The following is an edited version of a history of the CCM Tack line of skates compiled by John Kruspe of the 2017 Clifford Homecoming Committee. CLIFFORD - George Edwin Tackaberry (May 6, 1874 - Nov. 19, 1937) was a Clifford shoemaker remembered today as the inventor of a long-lived brand of hockey skate sold and developed by CCM called “Tacks.” Tackaberry was born in Dresden and came to Clifford as an infant with his mother in 1878. At an early age he apprenticed with shoemaker Conrad Miller. In 1897 Tackaberry married his childhood sweetheart Helen Weir. Shortly afterward, they moved to Brandon, Manitoba where he established his own business, specializing in reinforced boots for the disabled.

In 1904 Tackaberry’s neighbour Joe Hall, a professional hockey player, asked Tackaberry to make him a better hockey boot, one that could last a full season w i t h o u t collapsing. Combining innovative design and craftsmanship with moistureresistant k a n g a r o o leather and boasting a snugfit, reinforced toe and heel, it was the beginning of a revolutionary new hockey skate boot. Word spread among the hockey world and future greats like Lester Patrick and Art Ross quickly became

customers. The next year saw a flood of orders. As business expanded, Tackaberry and the fledgling company Canada Cycle and Motor (CCM) developed a business relationship. CCM took over the operation of his skate production in the 1920s and, with the inclusion of its skate blade, the “Tack” was born. When George died in 1 9 3 7 , C C M acquired t h e Tackaberry trade name and patents. Through the next four decades, CCM adapted and developed the Tack line of skates.

The Tack boot with its CCM ProLine blade was worn by many players in the National Hockey League (NHL) and thousands of others who just wanted quality hockey skates. Maurice “The Rocket” Richard and Jean Beliveau scored their 500th goals on Tacks, Bobby Orr scored the 1970 Stanley Cup winner on Tacks and NHL all-time scoring champion Wayne Gretzky scored and scored on Tacks, as has current star Sidney Crosby. The production of the Tack line was discontinued in 2006. However, bridging heritage with advanced engineering, Reebok-CCM reintroduced the iconic skate in 2014. Since then the CCM “Tacks” name has also adorned hockey sticks, gloves and other equipment. Truly the name continues to be an integral part of Canada’s hockey history - and it all began on Clifford’s Elora Street.

Canada’s game, Fergus’ team - This is the Fergus Thistles lacrosse team around 1867, the year the game allegedly started in Fergus. The members are, front row from left: Joe Black, Jim Cardy and George T. Fergusson. Middle: Billy Kelleher, Jim Black, Dave Hynds, Ed Moore, Bob Hunt and Adam Fergusson. Back: Bob Forester, George Wilkie, Percy Mutch and Tom Tangney . Wellington County Museum and Archives, ph 9648

Lions throwing big 150 bash BELWOOD - The Belwood Lions Club is throwing a big street party in celebration of Canada’s 150 years since Confederation. The street party takes place from 1 to 9pm on June 17 in the Belwood village. Events are kicking off with a parade starting at 1pm on Sideroad 9 and heading north on Wellington Road 26, past the bridge and onto George Street, finishing at the Belwood ball diamonds. Everyone is welcome to join in the parade. George Street between Nelson and Queen Streets will be closed to accommodate the events. Kids can enjoy the bouncy castle, balloons, face painting and crafts. The Blue Bonnet Lassies, Centre Wellington Martial Arts Academy,

Celtic Thunder Academy, Stage Presence School of Dace and Elora Grand Squares will be putting on demonstrations throughout the afternoon. The Greytones will be performing from 7 to 9pm at the pavilion. Kelly Mayville Yoga studio will be leading a public yoga session, people are encouraged to bring a matt or towel. Displays from the Harmony Meadows Alpacas, OPP, fire department and Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides will be set up all day. The Belwood Lake Car Club and Upper Canada Two Cylinder Club are putting on a Show’n’Shine and food booths will be available. For more information visit

Museum preserves legacy of people, places, events By Olivia Rutt and Chris Daponte ABOYNE - For many local residents, the museum and archives here is the go-to source for historical information on Wellington County. And it seems interest in the past has been heightened during to Canada’s 150th anniversary. “Just with [] doing a lot of advertising online, more and more people are interested in researching their own family history,” said Karen Wagner, archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives “And there’s been a lot of advertising about Canada’s 150th, so I think people start to think (about) what generation of their family came over here. “Were they pioneers? They want to find where they lived. Property research and genealogy really gets people interested.” The museum and archives’ mandate is to “serve as a cultural centre, providing resources, programs, exhibits, support and services for the historical, educational and artistic interests of the communities of Wellington County,” states its website. The county-owned museum and archives employs 19 staff members, though it also relies on the help of


18 dedicated volunteers, some of them members of local historical societies. They have all helped to compile the KAREN WAGNER building’s m a s s i v e collection of photographs, diaries, letters, maps and minutes “that have been donated through the generosity of current Wellington County citizens and the ancestors of those pioneers that founded the County,” said Wagner. “Computer technology has now allowed us to make all of these historical resources available through our website on the internet.” Wagner explained the museum does not have a large acquisitions budget and instead relies on donations from the public. “A lot of people for example are cleaning out the homes of their relatives; their aunts, uncles, parents,” she said. “And that’s when they come across these very valuable historical records that are luckily able to find a home here at the Wellington County archives if they somehow relate to the County of Wellington.”

Wagner noted people who donate such items “appreciate that their relative’s ... legacy will be maintained.” All the information forms an indispensable tool - not just now, but also for the future. “I think further generations need to think about where they came from, and if we don’t have an archives, then there’s no way we will be able to preserve for future generations,” Wagner said. “Students won’t be able to use our resources to see what exists.” She particularly noted the importance of local newspapers in the collection. “If people are doing historical research projects now, newspapers are a valuable resource ...” she said. “They’re probably the one resource that when an individual comes into the archives, and they think ‘Oh, I’m not in the archives, I haven’t donated anything.’ “Little do they realize that yes, there will be something about them in the local newspaper.” The Wellington County Museum and Archives is a national historic site located on Wellington Road 18 between Fergus and Elora. For more information visit www.

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Notable individuals in Wellington County history

By Olivia Rutt WELLINGTON COUNTY When researching interesting people of the area, there are a number that stand out. People like Dr. Abraham Groves and the Beatty brothers are obvious choices, and were so chosen when Hugh Templin, the editor of the Fergus News-Record printed a “Hall of Fame” list in 1940. Historian Gregory Oakes then compiled a list titled “The Good, the Bad and the Obscure: Interesting Individuals of Wellington County” printed in 2004. The Wellington County Museum and Archives combined the lists in 2012 (the compilation can be viewed at There are dozens of names on these lists, which tell of the often remarkable things they did. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are many noteworthy individuals who lived within Wellington County. Here are just a few of those names:

- Hugh Black (1777 to 1855) of Fergus, who came to Fergus in 1834 and had much to do with pioneer activities, including founding what is now the oldest curling club in Ontario; also owner of the infamous Black’s Tavern;

Centre Wellington - George (1845 to 1921) and Matthew (1838 to 1884) Beatty of Fergus, founders of Beatty Bros. Limited; - Milton J. Beatty (1879 to 1940) of Fergus, who built up the sales end of Beatty Bros. until it became the largest firm of its kind; - William G. Beatty (1877 to 1957) of Fergus, president of Beatty Bros. Limited, said to have more patents in his name than any man in Canada; - Reverend Patrick Bell (1801 to 1869) of Fergus, inventor of the first practical reaper;

- Sir Lyman P. Duff (1865 to 1955) of Fergus, the eighth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and longest serving justice from 1933 to 1944; - Honorable Adam Fergusson (1783 to 1862), the Scottish founder of Fergus; also helped found the Ontario Veterinary College and Canadian National Exhibition; - Dr. Abraham Groves (1811 to 1892) of Fergus, surgeon and the first to perform appendix operation in North America, founder of hospital in Fergus; - John McLean (1798 to 1890) of Elora, explorer and Hudson Bay Company factor, discoverer of Grand Falls (formerly Churchill Falls) in

Labrador; - James McQueen (1810 to 1899) of Fergus, first school master and longtime postmaster of Fergus; - John J. Mitchell (dates unknown) of Fergus, president of the Tournament of Roses from 1922 to 1923, dedicated the Rose Bowl stadium in 1923; - Ray Muir (dates unknown) of Cumnock, world’s fastest poultry plucker; - Hugh Templin (1896 to 1970) of Fergus, editor, author and conservationist; and - James Webster (1808 to 1869), who founded Fergus and Arthur.

Guelph-Eramosa - Pat Barry (dates unknown) of Rockwood, biggest exporter of turnips in the county in his day; and - Oswald West (1873 to 1960) of Guelph Township, colourful governor of Oregon from 1911 to 1915, Oswald West State Park namesake.


Minto - Mary E. Clarke (dates unknown) of Palmerston, head of the Canadian Women’s Institute;

- Walter Forrest Montgomery (1879 to 1969) of Drayton, famous professional photographer of British Columbia.

Wellington North - Captain Fred Campbell (1869 to 1915) of Mount Forest, first Canadian soldier to win the Victoria Cross in the First World War; - Annie Jackson (1878 to 1959) of Arthur, Canada’s first female police constable; and - Helen Elizabeth Reynolds Ryan (1860 to 1947) of Mount Forest, first woman granted membership in Canadian Medical Association, suffragette, practiced medicine with her brother in Mount Forest.

Publishing Company in Toronto, the man after whom Maclean’s Magazine is named; and - John Wilkinson (1874 to 1947) of Puslinch, the only Canadian soldier ever appointed King’s Soldier, South African War.

Erin - Stanley McMillan (1904 to 1991) of Erin, pioneer Arctic bush pilot.

Puslinch - Colonel John Bayne Maclean (1862 to 1950) of Crieff, head of Maclean

- Louis Colquhoun (died 1911) of Clifford, robbed trains with Bill Miner, a noted American criminal from 1866 to 1909; and Lamont Gordon (dates unknown) of Harriston, in 1962 led a four-man bobsled team to win the Commonwealth bobsleigh championship. Photos (from left): Public domain, Wellington County Museum and Archives ph. 3283 and 2631, public domain (x2), Wellington County Museum and Archives ph. 627, 4059, 1200 and 4835.

Stanley McMillan | Hugh Templin | Adam Fergusson | Sir Lyman P. Duff | Oswald West | Dr. Abraham Groves | J. B. Maclean | Rev. Patrick Bell | Milton J. Beatty

Many historians working quietly, tirelessly to preserve Wellington County history » FROM PAGE 1

member of the county’s historical society, found a larger scope covering county history when he brought his Valuing our History column to the Wellington Advertiser in 1999, where it remained until his untimely death in February of 2015. In his very first column in the Advertiser, Thorning provided a succinct explanation of what he was hoping to accomplish. “History is important because it can explain our past and give us an understanding of how our communities evolved over time,” he wrote on Jan. 4, 1999. He added his greatest challenge, as with any historian, is “sorting out the trivial from the significant, and in isolating and explaining those aspects of our past that are unique and had an impact on later events.” Local historian and Wellington County Historical Society executive member Ian Easterbrook said Thorning has written more column inches on Wellington County history than anyone. “I don’t know where we’d be with local history without Steve,” Easterbrook said. “People will say ‘someone else will come along and do what he did’ - but they won’t.” Yet the work Thorning left behind remains “a goldmine” of historical information, says Karen Wagner, archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. “Over 25 years his articles have documented the last 150 years of the county’s history as they describe the people, places and organizations that have enriched our community in a very accessible, easy-to read writing style,” Wagner said. One year following his death, the Advertiser started re-printing Thorning’s history columns under the Thorning Revisited title, thanks to the efforts of his sister Susan Thorning.


The historian’s work also lives on through his personal history collection, which continues to inspire others to carry the torch of documenting history. Following Thorning’s death, Easterbrook was one of many charged with cataloguing at the county archives the historian’s massive personal collection of photos, newspaper clippings, stamps and artifacts. One letter in Thorning’s collection from a famous American baritone performer and vocal teacher inspired Easterbrook to write a piece for this year’s Wellington County History volume entitled “A valentine letter home from Gaston Gottschalk in Guelph.” “There’s a great example of a story that might have been lost,” said Easterbrook. Wagner said Thorning was “very fastidious at going through the newspapers,” making his collection and his “very detailed index cards ... quite valuable.” “The history of ...” In Elora, Thorning took the reins from Roberta Allan, who passed away in 1982, not long after she compiled

Clifford history - Dianne, left, and Ray Schaus show a copy of Ray’s book, Clifford – A Scrapbook of Memories … Reveals a Village With a Past to Carol Ann Rams at the 150th Community Anniversary and 2017 Clifford Homecoming meeting on March 11 at the Clifford Community Centre. Advertiser file photos over 235 pages of local history articles and photos into a book entitled History of Elora. There have been countless others who have dedicated significant time and effort into compiling “history of ” volumes for communities across Wellington County. One of the best of those, according to Easterbrook, is the late David Beattie’s history of Nichol Township. “He had a lovely way with words,” said Easterbrook. “If you read his words you can hear him speaking them.” While many might think town histories are an endeavour of a bygone era, there are local historians still dedicating time to compiling them. For example, just five years ago retired farmer Ray Schaus published Clifford – A Scrapbook of Memories … Reveals a Village With a Past. Other historians Sadly, many champions of local

history have died in recent years, among them James Hamilton and Dave Stack of Arthur, Fred and Jim McLuhan of Mount Forest, Anna Jackson of Puslinch, Grant MacKenzie of Harriston, Marjorie Durnford of Marden, Jim Gow of Fergus, Steve Revell of Erin and Jean Campbell of Drayton. But there remains many that are advancing the proud tradition. Mount Forest’s Campbell Cork, who since 1994 has produced the Homer history magazine covering the Mount Forest area, is one of those. “[Historical society members] were really intrigued when he started up,” Easterbrook said. Alluding to the large amount of work involved, he added, “It’s very specific ... and Campbell’s doing that entirely by himself.” Easterbrook also noted the contributions of Bob McEachern, who, like Thorning, has dedicated a

History online - Newspaper columns on local history are now available online in searchable format through the Wellington County Museum and Archives. Pictured at the 2013 launch of the Wellington County Local History Articles Digitization Project are, from left: archivist Karen Wagner, Liz Samis of the Mapleton Historical Society and late history columnists Stephen Thorning and Jean Campbell. lot of effort to the history of railroads in Wellington County. McEachern runs the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum, where the genealogy research room is named after him. Another key figure in documenting the town’s history, and particularly railway history, is Chad Martin. The Palmerston station is one of the only stations still standing in Wellington County, which had at least 43 stations at one time (2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of railways coming to the county). Any summary of local historians would be incomplete without the inclusion of Pat Mestern, whose Looking Back column focusing on Centre Wellington, appeared for the better part of two decades in the Fergus-Elora News Express. Mestern’s column was part of a massive Local History Articles Digitization Project launched at the county archives in 2013, along with

Historical society has number of events planned during Canada’s 150th anniversary By Chris Daponte WELLINGTON COUNTY - As one might expect, the Wellington County Historical Society (WCHS) has a busy schedule this year to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary. President Ron Hattle said WCHS members are looking forward to several events, including the society’s annual general meeting on June 5. The group will also offer displays:

- at Rosedale Farms in Ennotville on June 17 as part of Doors Open Centre Wellington’s special 150th event; and - at Maple Park in Belwood on June 28 as part of Canada 150 celebrations (more specifically the workshop entitled Moments that Matter: Events that helped shape the history of Canada). Later this year the society will have a display at the Harvest Home Festival

in Aboyne and will offer a historical walking tour in Erin on Sept. 9. “That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to,” Hattle said of the tour, which will be guided by Erin Advocate editor Phil Gravelle and town councillor Jeff Duncan. Officials are also excited to hand out scholarships to two local students: - the historical award to a Centre Wellington District High School student in honour of the late historian

David Beattie; and - the visual arts award to an Erin District High School student in honour of the late Arthur Brecken, a local artist and teacher. Writing contest Considering 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the WCHS chose Canada’s 150th: What it Means to Me as the topic for its annual writing contest. Winners of the competition, which

is open to all ages, will be announced at the society’s annual general meeting on June 5, where cash rewards will be presented to the winners. The deadline for submissions, expected to range from 500 to 2,000 words, was April 15. Officials expected a variety of submissions on the nation’s sesquicentennial. Entries will be stored at the county archives - and online - for all to read.

Thorning’s Valuing Our History (in the Advertiser) and Timelines (the Community News in Drayton) and Campbell’s Mapleton Musings (Community News). The list of individuals whom have worked to preserve history is long, but other notables include: - Marilynn Crow and Marjorie Clark of Puslinch; - Myrtle Reid and Phil Gravelle of Erin; - Gordon Carothers, Dot Daynard and Don and Joyce Blyth of GuelphEramosa; - Bob Sargent and Greg Oakes of Centre Wellington; - John Walsh and Ian Turner of Arthur; - Pauline Brown, Kate Rowley and Marlene Markle of Mount Forest; - Jack Benham of Damascus; - Floyd Schieck of Mapleton; and Mark MacKenzie, Gary MacDougall and Willa Wick of Minto. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, local residents should take some time to consider the invaluable efforts of all those who have strived to document the past and pay tribute to the county’s rich heritage as part of this great nation. -With files from Olivia Rutt Editor’s note: This brief compilation of organizations and individuals is by no means a complete list of those working to preserve local history. At any given moment there are dozens of individuals working tirelessly and without recognition to honour the past. They should all be commended.


Easterbrook, historical society carry on work started by Women’s Institutes By Chris Daponte WELLINGTON COUNTY - Ian Easterbrook has dedicated a large portion of his life to documenting and preserving local history. The Fergus resident’s unwavering commitment to that invaluable cause is rooted in a simple philosophy. “I think if you can tell a neat story and get people curious they’re much more likely to become a valuable member of the community,” said Easterbrook. He has been relaying those stories for the better part of three decades, as a key member of the Wellington County Historical Society (WCHS) and a volunteer at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. “Ian’s a mainstay. He’s been there for so long,” said Rob Black, who served as WCHS president from 2008 to 2011. “During my time with the board he was the go-to guy ... you could always count on Ian to get things done.” That hasn’t changed, according to Ron Hattle, current president of the society. “Ian’s a very committed person ... he’s always willing to help out,” said Hattle. “It’s wonderful. He’s been my righthand man ... he was always there.” Karen Wagner, archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives, lauded Easterbrook’s efforts at the museum, where at times he has volunteered up to 30 hours per week indexing, cataloguing and helping out in the reading room. “Ian is definitely very valuable as a volunteer,” said Wagner. “Without having an experienced volunteer like him, who was very detail-oriented and conscientious and able to do the cataloguing, we would have never been able to make all the records and donations that came in accessible to the public ... “Thanks to Ian’s diligence and interest ... we didn’t have a backlog.” Women’s Institutes Easterbrook, 77, says he - and others before him - has simply continued the work started eight decades ago by local Women’s Institutes. In the mid-1930s, he explained, Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada, took a great interest in Women’s Institutes (WI) in Canada and suggested Ontario branches follow the example of their English counterparts and produce local history books.


Historian - Ian Easterbrook of Fergus has been a driving force behind the Wellington County Historical Society for nearly three decades. Photo by Chris Daponte In 1940, a widowed Lady Tweedsmuir approved naming the books “The Tweedsmuir Village History Books,” after her late husband. Cindi Rabstein, a lifetime member who first joined the Coningsby Women’s Institute branch in Hillsburgh in 1978, said the institute’s work, specifically the history books, is “very important” for locals and outsiders alike. Also a director with the WCHS, Rabstein said the historical society and Women’s Institute share a long and storied relationship. “We’ve always been involved with the historical society,” she said. Now living in Belwood, Rabstein was born in England, arrived in Canada in 1963 and lived for decades in the Hillsburgh area. She said both the Women’s Institute and the WCHS are have been instrumental in paying tribute to the region’s heritage. “I’m interested in history ... I’m learning about different places,” she said of her involvement with both groups. “It’s very interesting to learn

about the history of Canada.” The Coningsby Women’s Institute is one of only seven remaining in the Wellington-Halton district. As area branches closed or were amalgamated, they sent their books to the county archives in Aboyne, where Easterbrook was one of those tasked with cataloguing them. “It was a massive project,” he said, but also extremely important. Prior to the Tweedsmuir histories, WI officials “ran the ship” when it came to establishing the WCHS in 1928, said Easterbrook. They were also responsible for opening the first county “museum” in a converted store on Mill Street in Elora in 1954. “Up until then there was a collection of stuff that travelled around and was brought out once a year and put on display,” he explained. Several prominent WI members he recalls the names of Isabel Black, Jean Hutchinson and Mildrid Lang approached the county in 1974 about the House of Refuge in Aboyne. They suggested the impressive building between Fergus and Elora,


which had operated as a county home for the aged since 1947, would make a great home for the local museum. County officials agreed, thanks in large part, Easterbrook says, to the WI connection. “They knew what the group was capable of,” he said. “It might not have been the same story if they hadn’t had the Women’s Institute behind them.” Getting involved Black said it was his late grandmother Isabel, a keen historian, who sparked his interest in the past. “She instilled in me an interest in family and history and local history,” said Black. His family, led by his great, great, great grandfather Hugh Black, settled in Fergus in 1834, opening Black’s Tavern, an inn at the corner of Tower and St. Andrew Streets (now the site of the CIBC bank). “It was just a given that I would join the historical society at some point,” said Black. Easterbrook said Black’s term as president of the WCHS was integral to the organization and ensuring the continuation of the society. For Easterbrook, it was in the 1980s, not long after the museum moved to Aboyne, that he and his family arrived from Guelph to a property just outside Alma. Shortly thereafter he was frustrated when he was unable to find a book on the history of former Peel Township. Then, at a display of Tweedsmuir books in Palmerston, his interest was further piqued in local history. In 1990, after leaving his job at the University of Guelph, Easterbrook was approached by Steve and Jim Gow and others to help out with the WCHS Wellington County History volumes. He has been involved with the project since its second volume (this year the society will publish number 30). In the early years he “hustled the thing to press,” Easterbrook said, adding he has also written several items over the years.

“These were stories I felt were worth telling, either because they were interesting or unknown,” he said of his motivation to become - and stay - involved with the books. Hattle explained the history books, which started as “the baby” of county historian Stephen Thorning, remain a major part of the society’s work. For Hattle, who joined the WCHS in 2010 and took over as president one year later, his interest in history was sparked by stories from his mother and his father, who ran a feed mill in Marden and several other locations. “I’ve always been interested in local history,” said Hattle, who expressed regret that he did not join the historical society sooner. He noted his close neighbour Marjorie Durnford was the curator for the West End WI Tweedsmuir history book and his mother and aunts were all WI members.

“It is important that an organization keeps local history at the forefront.” - Rob Black Resources When it comes to resources, like all present-day historians, WCHS members rely heavily on the internet. Easterbrook notes a recent piece he wrote about three Wellington men who fought in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939 would have been “impossible” without online resources. But the Tweedsmuir histories remain an invaluable source, as do community newspapers, which he called “the first cut at local history” and “absolutely vital to historians.” “In some cases they’re the only resource,” Easterbrook said. Wagner agreed, stating, “Now we have the internet, but 150 years ago, everyone was finding out what was going on in their local community by reading their local newspaper,” she said. Easterbrook can get emotional

when discussing the Wellington Advertiser’s role in informing the community and documenting history since its inception in 1968. “That paper has really kept this county together for (decades),” he said, his voice breaking. “It stopped things from splintering off into different directions ... it really has engendered community.” He added the newspaper “is a shining example of democracy in action.” Membership/mandate The WCHS, which started with “three or four Women’s Institute members,” currently has about 170 members, including a 10-member executive committee, said Hattle. The executive consists of Hattle, secretary Helen Aitkin, treasurer Kathy Bouma, membership Ev Robson and directors Easterbrook, Rabstein, Beverly Henderson, Judy Howard and Willa Wick. While the society could always use a few more members, Easterbrook said “the committee at this moment is feeling pretty healthy,” which hasn’t always been the case. Like countless others, the WCHS does worry about replacing aging members, which is one of the reasons the society conducts an annual writing competition. “We’re trying to get young people involved,” Easterbrook said. He noted WCHS members also help out at the museum when students visit for school outings. The society works very closely in general with the museum and archives, Easterbrook said, stressing it is a very positive and beneficial relationship for both parties. Black, who said Easterbrook has been key in fostering that relationship, lauded the continuing work of the WCHS. “I think it is important that an organization keeps local history at the forefront,” said Black, noting the benefits of the group’s history volumes, meetings, public events and tours. “I think it is important that there is a group of people ... (with) that as a mandate. They do good work.” Hattle said members are constantly striving to carry on the work first started by Women’s Institutes all those years ago. “Our mandate is fostering awareness of the rich history of Wellington County,” he said. -With files from Olivia Rutt



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The Belwood Lion Pike Derby is a great family outing on May 27th and 28th. Adult and Youth categories. Adult first prize - $2000.00. Fishing charters and other substantial prizes from event sponsors along with many door prizes for participants. http://


Belwood Community 150 Years Street Party -Parade starting June 17th at 1pm with activities including car/tractor show, food booths, demonstrations and events, kids activities, bouncy castle and afternoon/evening musical entertainment. See website for complete list of events. php



Take in Canada’s National Game – Lacrosse and support the Fergus Thistles Lacrosse Team at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus. ojcll/teams-west/fergus-thistles


Enjoy Skyburst Elora, our annual professional firework display fundraiser for the Elora Lions. Gates open at 7pm on May 27th on the grounds of the Grand River Raceway. Children activities on site. spring-fireworks


Go back in time with two costumed characters from yesteryear as they focus on issues and features of Elora’s colourful past. The Elora Historical Walking Tour promptly starts at 2pm in front of the Elora Centre for the Arts on May 28th.


Spend an afternoon with books and authors at the Elora Writers’ Festival – held at the Wellington County Museum and Archives May 28th. www.


Volunteer with Neighbour Woods on the Grand and help to promote healthy urban trees through their tree inventory and planting.


Connections Fibre Artists at Wellington County Museum and Archives have chosen over 40 “artefacts” to showcase their creations in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The works of art will inspire conversations about our stories and moments in Canadian history. On display from April 22nd – June 4th.


The Food Cycle Ride is a fun, scenic bicycle ride to support the Centre Wellington Food Bank. Road Routes (35 and 70km) and Trail Routes (20 and 40km) and a delicious lunch following. Beginning at 8am in Elora on May 28th. http://www.


The Grand River Raceway Open House – Horse Racing Behind the Scenes is free fun for the whole family from 11am to 2pm. Drive a racehorse, meet trainers and drivers. May 28th. http://


Confederation Park – The path through the park’s forest has been used since the early days of the Fergus settlements. Running a short distance along the south bank of the Grand River, the trail offers river access below upper falls as well as views across Monkland Mill Pond to Monkland Mills – a former grist mill now beautifully restored into a residential development. http://www.



Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Elora Gorge with the Elora Skyrider Zipline! Every day in July and August. Weekends in June and September. Minimum age 3 years. http://www.oneaxepursuits. com/2014/courses/elora-skyriderzipline-near-toronto-ontario/


G ra n d R i v e r R a c e w ay Opening Day. The 2017 live racing season begins June 2nd with Tri-Pride Night At The Race featuring the Drag Queen Race. www.

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Spring Swing Dance – hosted by the Victoria Park Senior’s Centre at the Elora Legion. June 10th H i sto r i ca l A u to m o b i l e Society of Canada presents their Fergus Flea Market and Car Show at Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex on June 11th.

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Enjoy coffee and a stroll of the Garden of Peonies at Terry Fox Park, Fergus June 13th. Explore the Cotton Tail Trail

Search for hidden treasure in the caves at Elora Gorge C o n s e r va t i o n Pa r k . w w w.

Fe rg u s - E l o ra D o o rs Open – Elora Cataract Tra i l w ay - A s t h e y approach the 25th anniversary of the trailway, the Elora Cataract Trailway Association has created an exhibit called The Founders Project at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. During Doors Open, the exhibit will be staffed by trail volunteers and maps will be available for a self-guided 4.25-kilometre (2mile) loop hike from the museum. June 17th ferguselora


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Elora Centre For The Arts -This year is the 15th anniversary of the Elora Centre for the Arts, housed in the former Elora Public School, which was built in 1856. This year they celebrate with their long-time tenants: the Montessori School of Elora, the Elora Environment Centre and the FergusElora Academy of Dance. Additional studio spaces add to the ongoing creative collaborations here. June 17th ferguselora


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Veranda House, Elora - Built in 2005, this private home replaces the original building, which was constructed for Thomas Vickers c. 1852. The present architecture is designed to blend in with a heritage village and has a stunning open-concept design, hardwood floors and beautiful i nte r i o r fe at u re s . T h e c u r re nt owners of Veranda House have lived there since 2014. June 17th www.


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – We l l i n g to n C o u nt y Museum and Archives Built in 1877, this National Historic Site has been a museum since 1975. There are multiple galleries, outdoor features and state-of-the-art archives, which share the history of Wellington County. A new museum trail to the Grand River and the ruins of a kiln and water reservoir will be highlighted. The popular underground “tunnels” will also be open for the day! June 17th www.


Tooth of Time – Located in Victoria Park, discover the starting point of the famous Elora Gorge. https://www. Elora%20Upper%20Grand%20 Gorge%20Trailway%20Map.pdf


Enjoy the Teddy Bear Caper with a parade, picnic and lots of hands-on activities on June 17th. Fun for all ages - especially the under 12s. Throughout downtown Fergus and Templin Gardens. http://downtownfergus. com/index.php/event/teddy-bearcaper/?instance_id=37


The Fergus Horticultural Society Garden Tour offers 5 unique and interesting gardens, showing great variety throughout Fergus on June 25th. Admission by donation to the local food bank.

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Spend the day fishing at Belwood Lake www.

Learn about the Lover’s Leap Legend at the junction of the Grand River and Irvine creek in Victoria Park, Elora. https:// Documents/Elora%20Upper%20 Grand%20Gorge%20Trailway%20 Map.pdf


Go swimming at the Elora Quarry – The centre of attention is the “Old Swimming Hole”, a 2 acre limestone quarry encircled by sheer 12 metres (40 foot) cliffs. The tree-covered park offers places to picnic and enjoy nature.


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – The Jones House - This gorgeous home was constructed by William H. Stafford Sr., second generation of Elora’s renowned family of masons. Built for David Jones Jr., cattle and grain marketer, the home is a historic representation of Stafford design (double brick, two storeys) and pride in workmanship. Tour the lavish gardens, admire the architecture and find out more about the Stafford family’s legacy. June 17th ferguselora



Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Knox Presbyterian Church and Manse, Elora - Knox Elora remains a Christian community teaching generations to do good to all people in all places by all means, as long as we are able. Visit the Victorian manse and the 19th-century Gothicrevival building, and ring the 499-kg (1,100-pound) bell in celebration of Canada’s 150th and the 180th anniversary of the congregation. June 17th ferguselora



Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Marshall Block-Tower Section - The Marshall Block was built for John Black, a successful local merchant. It housed his offices until 1901 when the Imperial Bank of Canada moved in – and stayed until the mid-1950s. Doors Open offers a great opportunity to tour this Second Empirestyle building – which features a unique domed tower and large bank vault. The building is currently undergoing careful renovations. June 17th www.

in Centre Wellington


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Rosedale Farm - Rosedale Farm is a 107-acre farm (43 hectares) that was settled in the early 1830s by Major A. F. Sherratt from Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Enjoy a touch of country. Tour the “bank barn,” walk around this spacious and peaceful property, and visit with the Clydesdale horses that were the models for the Clydesdale statues at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. June 17th ferguselora


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – Township of Centre Wellington Municipal Office -This building stands on the site of the former town hall, which stood from c. 1874-1961. Over the years, the town hall has served several uses, including: a market house, municipal office, town hall and fire hall. The current municipal office was built in 1994. See where municipal decisions are made and meet members of Council. June 17th www. ferguselora


A Celebration of Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Share in songs, dances, drumming circle, story-telling, ceremonies, food tasting, planting, and aboriginal crafts presented by our neighbours from Six Nations along with the local Girl Guides, Scouts, and Horticultural Society. events June 27th


Moments that Matter: Events that help shape the history of Canada Historical hands-on and observatory activities which will make our shared history come alive (dramatic presentations, student display boards, Ontario Archive displays, historical presentations and storytelling, song dance etc.). https://www. June 28th


150 Canadian Innovations a n d I nve nto rs : L o ca l community groups, churches, schools, and sports teams will highlight 150 Canadian inventions and innovations that have left their mark locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Of special interest this evening are inventions which have directly impacted Canadian rural farming development. https:// June 29th


Canada in the New Millennium: A Multicultural Nation Did you know that as of 2000 there was at least one person from every nation in the world living in Canada and calling this “home”? Or that living in the city of Toronto there are now more people who were born outside of Canada than in Canada? Come and celebrate the wide diversity of ethnicities found in Canada. Come and experience all that we share. As we move forward into the future, our diversity will make us strong and compassionate. https://www. June 30th



Fun for the whole family in Elora on Canada Day! Pancake breakfast, soap box derby race, live entertainment at the river, parade along Metcalfe Street and more. Dominion Day Elora July 1 visitus/Pages/Visit-Us.aspx


Enjoy the Fire Fighter’s Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Elora Fire Fighters’ Association on Dominion Day in Elora July 1


Twilight Canada Day Celebrations including: K i d d i e a rca d e , l i ve entertainment, food vendors and dazzling firework. Canada Day Fireworks, Fergus July 1th http://www.centrewellington. ca/visitus/Pages/Visit-Us.aspx


The Art of Nature Summer Camp – Ages 7-11. A week of nature-inspired art making and taking a closer look at the nature that surrounds us. Each day will be filled with fresh air and fun and features artful creations that would impress even Mother Nature! July 3rd-7th


Fergus-Elora Doors Open – St. James Anglican Church & Butterfly Garden - Established in 1948 along the Grand River, this third home for St. James Anglican Church includes an impressive interior as well as beautiful butterfly garden overlooking the river. For Doors Open, the church celebrates the rich heritage of the land and water with Our Shared Land: Giving thanks for the last 150 years of Canada, plus centuries of Indigenous sovereignty. June 17th w w w. d o o rs o p e n o nta r i o . o n . c a / ferguselora


Canada the Great Wilderness: Environmental Exploration Workshops and Artistic Responses to the Wilderness C o m e a n d p a r t i c i p ate i n f re e environmental workshops hosted by leading Ontario environmentalist, or interact with the artistic community as they celebrate the retracing of the Group of Seven footsteps, plein aire painting, incorporating nature in printmaking and jewellery and local pigment generation. https://www. June 26th


Annual Wiener Dog Race The wiener takes all!! Hilarity unfolds as the dachshunds race to their handlers on the finish line. To race a dog, pre-registration is required. July 7th http://


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Fabulous pub food and beverages await you on this tour of four Fergus pubs part of Sensational Elora’s Fabulous Fergus Pub Night on June 15th. You will be served one course at each pub and entertained between sites during the walk from one pub to the next. http://


Happening on June 17th, Doors Open Fergus and Elora unlocks unique locations providing a glimpse of a rich and storied past. Visit us for a look around, a story and an experience you don’t get every day! http://www.doorsopenontario.

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Learn to bake and enjoy a wood oven pizza at the KIPP Oven in Bissell Park, Elora. Wade in and try some of the best fly fishing in Ontario along the Grand River.

Take an evening stroll along the Riverwalk in Fergus and watch as the lights come on and flood the Grand River with colour as it sweeps by.


Visit Insights: Juried Exhibition of Fine Arts Insights is held annually in the Exhibition Hall of the Wellington County Museum and is considered the largest and longest running art exhibit operated by a non-institutional group in Ontario. Exhibit runs from June 21st to Sept. 3rd,


Canada the Great Wilderness: Environmental Exploration Workshops A full day of free outdoor experience for Grade 7 students in the Centre Wellington led by the leading Ontario scientists about wildlife and environmental stewardship. https:// June 26th

Art in the Yard Now in its 15th year, Art in the Yard is an annual, outdoor juried art exhibition and sale held on the 2 acre grounds of the Elora Centre for the Arts in the heart of the village of Elora. Come celebrate the ECFTA 15th Anniversary in the garden at 75 Melville St. Artists & visitors alike will be thrilled with the relaxed summer feel of the event and the quality of the creative artwork on display. July 8th & 9th


Grassland Summer Concert Series - Grassland is a free summer music series held each Sunday in July and August at the green space in downtown Elora. Presented by the merchants of Elora the concerts feature performances by many acclaimed local musicians, whose music spans countless genres. Join from 2-4pm. https://www.centrewellington. ca/beactive


Enjoy an exciting rugby game in Victoria Park, Fergus. Highland Rugby Club boasts various teams of all ages, starting with under 8 minis all the way up to over 18 senior programs. http://


Enjoy Camping in Your Own Backyard, either at Elora Gorge Conservation Area

or at Highland Pines Campground in Belwood.


Relax and enjoy a picnic in the park – perhaps Bissell Park in Elora which has a wooden boardwalk for a stroll alongside the Grand River and maybe catch a glimpse of the famous Elora Swans


Simple Pleasures for the Summer - Weekly themed events for families and the general public from 1-4pm Wednesday at the Wellington County Museum & Archives. Admission by donation or fixed price. Some events will be drop-in format and some activities will require registration. Check website for details:


FEDS Annual Special Needs Soccer Festival, The Festival is a yearly event where our local special needs community members host guests from around the area including Halton Hills and KitchenerWaterloo for a day of Celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, clowns, face-painting, photo booth, live music, and food and free cake for everyone. Other attractions include Fergus Pipe Band, Fire-Department and OPP. The theme this year is Christmas in July! July 8th


Festival Faire-A Free, fa m i l y- f r i e n d l y e ve n t brings together Centre Wellington’s festivals, events, artists, artisans, merchants and performers. Special appearance by Juno Award Winning fiddler Ashley MacIssac!! At the beautiful grounds of the Wellington County Museum. July 8th http://www.


Elora & Salem Horticultural Society’s Garden Tour offers interesting gardens, showing great variety throughout Elora & Salem – July 9th. http://www.


Storybook Art Camp – Ages 4-11 Bringing together the craft of storytelling with the magic of art making. Children will spend their mornings listening to stories, creating art, singing songs and playing games that will foster a love of literacy and art. July 10-14th. www.


Music at the Museum Bring your own lawn chair and enjoy music outdoors or in the 1877 barn of the Wellington Centre Museum & Archives. Join us at 7pm. Thursdays in July and August

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Go tubing down the Grand River parks

Halton Hills Rams Fourth Annual Master Lacrosse Club Goat ’s Classic Tournament is held at the C e nt re We l l i n gto n C o m m u n i t y Sportsplex. Over 300 players, 20 teams of all ages. July 14 – 16th. http://

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Take a raft ride up the Grand River in Elora.

Fergus 66 Listen to the m u s i c a t Tw i l i g h t i n Templin each Wednesday night in July and August in downtown Fergus at Templin Gardens www.


Piper on Milligan Footbridge – In downtown Fergus, a lone piper plays here every Saturday throughout the summer conjuring up images of Fergus’ rich Scottish past. http://www.


See the legendary Gordon Lightfoot in the Gambrel Barn, Elora as part of the Elora Festival. July 22nd. http://


Circus Summer Camp – Ages 5-12. Run away with the circus this summer for a fun-filled week of creativity and selfexpression. This camp is designed to help young people build confidence and develop their physical literacy under the guidance of professionally trained circus artists from the Youth Circus Project. July 31st – Aug. 4th



Grand River Raceway Industry Day-One of the Canadian harness racing’s most celebrated events, Industry Day features two signature races; The Battle of Waterloo and The Battle of the Belles. Free parking and admission. August 7th. http://grandriverraceway. com/industry-day-2/


Watch the jockeys ride the “Bouncy Ponies” on Industr y Day at Grand River Raceway August 7th www.


Light a Candle at the Fergus Scottish Festival’s annual Tattoo featuring the Red Hot Chili Pipers. www.




Pipes, Plaid and Pageantry Parade – Everyone loves a parade! Help launch the Festival weekend with a community parade through downtown Fergus, enjoy pipe and marching bands, colour parties and all things Scottish! August 10th Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games Scotland without the airfare! Over 30,000 visitors celebrate Scottish culture, heavy events, dancing and the pipes. August 11th-13th https://

Discover the hidden secrets and history of the Heritage Barn at the Wellington County Museum and Archives www.

Fergus Scottish Festival - Downtown Edition Fergus Scottish Festival Entertainment throughout Downtown Fergus. Enjoy live music, Highland Dancing and other Scottish inspired activities in this Scottish heritage town. August 11th – 13th https://




4th Annual Fergus Whole Hog BBQ featuring 7 fabulous local chefs, 8 organically-raised Berkshire pigs, 8 craft brewers along with great musical entertainment and silent auction September 10th. https://


Fergus Scottish Festival Historical Walking Tours Let the past come alive as you meander the historic streets of downtown Fergus. Led by two costumed characters from yesteryear, discover our rich and colourful history. Tour meets at Fergus library. Friday 11am and 2pm, Saturday 11am. August 11-13th https://


Psychic Fair Fourth annual Psychic Faire. Hosted by and held at The Bookery during the Scottish Festival Weekend. Check website for details and contact The Bookery for an appointment. August 11th – 13th


Take a swim at the Quarry in Belwood Lake Conservation Area – Swimmers will enjoy the small spring-fed quarry that is separate from the lake. It has a sandy beach with a shallow, fenced area for the children.

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15th Annual Peach Social Fundraiser at Victoria Park Seniors Centre, Fergus. August 19th Fergus Ghost Walk Lantern Walk and Guided Tour of the mysteries and histories of one of Canada’s most haunted villages. Call for tickets. Tours: Aug 12th, Aug. 25th, Sept. 30th, Oct. 28th, Oct. 30th 226.383.2665

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See Macbeth at “Shakespeare in the Park” at Bissell Park in Elora


Fergus BIA Classic Car ShowClose to 140 oldies will be cruising into downtown Fergus on the Friday evening for the annual Antique and Classic Car Show. September 8th. http://downtownfergus. com/


Visit the sculpture of A.J. Casson, renowned member of Canada’s Group of Seven, and learn about “The Elora Portfolio”. The sculpture, made by local artist Beverley Cairns, is housed in the Elora Tourist & Information Centre. www.



G ood N e i g hbo ur Day C e l e b rate t h i s d ay by receiving one dozen carnations - FREE! Keep one for yourself and then it’s up to you to give away the remaining 11 - to friends, neighbours, co-workers - people you meet on the street! In addition to the carnations, you will enjoy samples and various goodies from our downtown participating vendors. September 11th.

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Explore the new Heritage River Trail Loop at the Wellington County Museum

See local musicians for live music nights at various locations through Centre Wellington.

Fergus Fall Fair Our fair is the tenth oldest in Ontario and we are proud to bring the community together each September. Our theme this year is “4-H - 100 Years in Wellington County”. Join us for truck and tractor pulls, midway rides, agriculture shows, community exhibits, family entertainment and more. September 15 – 17th.


Enjoy a quiet read overlooking the River at the Fergus Library – second story on the balcony

Canoe at access points along the Grand River.

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Enjoy an amazing homemade butter tart from the Belwood Country Market while watching the boats out on Lake Belwood.


Grand River Truck and Tractor Pull – Join us at the Grand River Raceway for two evenings of high paced, action packed events! August 25-26th. http://www.


Tri Kids Triathlon Races for children and youth aged 3-15 at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex. The safe, noncompetitive events are created to be fun, encouraging and a memorable experience for participants and their families. August 27th. http://www.

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Buy some real maple sy r u p at t h e E l o ra Farmers’ Market in Bissell Park, Elora. Elora Fergus Studio Tour- Fabulous local artists open their studios to the public. View artwork in the intimacy of the artists’ studios. There will be demonstrations and sales of a broad selection of artwork: painting, sculpture, pottery, glass, fibre, photography, jewellery, mixed media and more. The perfect day trip. Sept. 23rd & 24th – Sept. 30th-Oct. 1st http://



Harvest Home Festival. Join us at the Wellington County Museum & Archives to celebrate the sights, sounds, and flavours of the harvest season! Threshing bee and vintage tractors. Refreshments available. September 24th. http://www.


Musical Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre - Enjoy a delicious, homemade three course meal as the song and hilarity unfolds in this unique whodonit nightout. September 28th at Grand River Raceway. http://grandriverraceway. com/murder-mystery-dinner-theatre/


Visit Alpacas in Belwood at the Harmony Meadows - a small farm that focuses on breeding high quality animals for the purpose of manufacturing quality fibre goods and improving the Canadian herd. http:// default.htm


Ta ke an Art Course/Workshop at t h e E l o ra C e nt re fo r the Arts. https:// eloracentreforthearts. ca/


Elora Lantern Tour Let the past come alive as you meander the historical streets of downtown Elora. Led by two costumed characters from y e s t e r y e a r, t o u r meets at Elora Info Centre. October 14th. https://www. c e n t r e w e l l i n gt o n . ca/Pages/CentreWellington.aspx




Spirit Walk at the Poor House and Cemetery Walk Meet several characters who lived and worked at the Poor House in the early days. Tour the grounds, cemetery and house, various times. See website for details. http://www.

Worldwide PhotoWalk – Join local photographer, Janette Gajic and be part of the largest global social event for photographers – pros and enthusiasts!. Savour the sights of downtown Fergus, share tips and socialize. Sept. 30th www.

Fall Wellington Rural Romp A self-guided tour to Guelph & Wellington County Farms and Markets. The Wellington Rural Romp is your chance to get up close to your food. Experience a day in the countryside, meet local farmers, eat, learn about food and experience agriculture’s bounty. September 30th. fall-rural-romp/



Sneak a kiss and lock in your love - James Square is home to a large granite stone affectionately known as the Kissing Stane. The legend of the Kissing Stane goes back to Victorian times when it was reportedly the one location in Fergus where public displays of affection were tolerated. Then place a lock with your initials on the sculpture located there. www.


Starlight Shopping ShoppingShop into the night as merchants and restaurants in Elora stay open with extended hours ‘ t i l l 9 p m s o yo u get a head start - or complete - your holiday shopping! November 23rd


Cultural D a y s Historical W a l k i n g To u r I n conjunction with the Elora-Fergus Culture Days, on Saturday at 11am enjoy Fergus’ rich heritage (meet at library), then on Sunday at 2pm tour Elora’s historic downtown (meet at Elora greenspace). https:// Centre-Wellington.aspx

Elora Horse and Hound Parade Hear the call o f t h e h u n t s m e n ’s trumpets, the echo of the horses’ hooves trotting through

Riverfest Elora is t h e t o w n ’s s u m m e r celebration of music, food, community and art set on the banks of the Grand River in Bissell Park. August 18th – 20th

Antique and Classic Car Show Join us 1 – 5 pm at the Wellington County Museum for a fun-filled family event; entertainment, refreshments, activities and the best cars around! August 20th.


Culture Days in Centre WellingtonSing, tour, view, taste, re a d , p a i nt , ex p l o re , learn…’s Culture Days Centre Wellington style. Now in our 6th year of celebrating our vibrant community as part of national Culture Days’ celebrations. Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st https://www.

heritage streets, surrounded by hounds eager to lead. Join in the toast to the huntsmen, mingle with the animals, dine with the riders and feel like royalty! A fundraiser for Groves Memorial Hospital. October 1 http://www.

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Family Halloween Activities at the Museum Drop in between 1 and 5pm for some spooktacular family Halloween fun. October 15th. http://

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Elora Farmers’ Market Located in the Paddock building at the Grand River Raceway, the Elora Farmers’ Market offers fresh, local produce, local meats, baking and more. Come down and meet the people who grow your food! Saturdays October 21st – December 23th


Monster March Parade The 9th Annual nonmotorized parade invites everyone to create a costume, push a float, ride their wagon, bring the dog & take part! This free family event has become an October institution in Elora. The Monster March Parade will end at The Elora Centre for the Arts where Tim Murton will have his monster menagerie on display as part of his “Scare Fair”. All parade participants 12 & under in costume will have free admission. October 21st. http://www.


Halloween Haunt Dress up and walk about downtown Fergus for tricks treats and fun activities-October 28th beactive/


Pumpkin Day at the Elora Farmers’ Market Hosted by Sensational Elora enjoy free Thanksgiving Fun for the whole family! Pumpkin carving, pumpkin judging, pumpkin ice cream, fun games, face painting and great music. October 7


Sensational Soup Off Share your flair for soupmaking for a great cause! Enjoy a fun-filled day of soup sampling as these super soupers battle it out. Buy one-of-a-kind handmade bowls or glasses donated by local artists. All funds raised go towards combating hunger in our community. October 9th. http://


Fergus Lantern Tour Let the past come alive as you meander the historical streets of downtown Fergus. Led by two costumed characters from yesteryear, tour meets at Fergus Library. October 13th.

Moonlight Madness Meander through the moonlit downtown of Fergus and discover unique shops, great views and excellent dining. Enjoy great deals - participating retailers open till 10 p.m. November 30th-December 1st http://


Visit the Fergus Curling Club Established in 1834 and has operated every year since making it the oldest continuously operating curling club in Ontario. http://www.


Take a selfie with The Breadalbane Giant, a large Scottish Warrior that was carved out of a 200 year old maple tree in front of the Breadalbane Inn, Fergus.


Become a local historian for the day in Elora! The Elora Historical Storyboards at key locations will provide an overview to the “past” of streets, bridges and structures. www.



Fergus Christmas Tree Lighting - Enjoy Christmas Carols, hot apple cider and watch as the lights are piped on by a local piper. Santa will be there too! Tree will be at Fergus Library. December 1st


Musical Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Enjoy a delicious, homemade three-course meal as the song and hilarity unfolds in this unique who done it night-out. December 1st http://


Support local community theatre and take in a p e r f o r m a n c e o f “A Christmas Carol” at The Fergus Grand Theatre.


Fergus Santa Claus Parade Ho!Ho!Ho! Come celebrate the arrival of Christmas as Santa parades through downtown Fergus. December 2nd events/santa-claus-parade/


Monster Month Elora will come alive with activities this October as Monster Month launches 31 days and nights of shopping, dining, entertainment, and bewitching Halloween fun! eloramonstermonth



Christmas Festival at the Wellington County Museum- Festive music, family activities, displays, and refreshments – also a visit from Santa Claus! December 10th https://www.

Take a bike ride on the Elora Cataract Trail from Fergus to Orton. www.

E l o ra Wo m e n ’s Film Society – The society brings films for, by, or about women to audiences in Elora and surrounding areas. www. elorawomensfilmsociety.wordpress. com


Elora Santa Claus Parade of Lights. Watch or participate in our majestic evening fully lit parade downtown Elora. November 25th https://


Skate outdoors at one of the many rinks in both Fergus and Elora, including Bissell Park along the side of the Grand River.



Take time to listen and re f l e c t a s T h e E l o ra S i n g e rs p e r fo r m “ I n Remembrance”, Faure’ & Durufle Requiems. At St. John’s Church, Elora. November 4th.


Remembrance Ceremony With a memorial marker for each of the fallen in Wellington County, from the First World War to Afghanistan, the front lawn of Wellington County Museum & Archives serves as a moving backdrop for this remembrance ceremony. November 6th


Military Lecture Series at the Wellington County M u s e u m , P re s e nte d by Terry Copp, Professor Emeritus (History), Wilfrid Laurier University and Director of the Laurier Centre for Military and Strategic Disarmament Studies. November 9th http://www.


Snowshoe along the Elora Cataract Trailway from Elora to Fergus. Snowshoes available for rent at the Wellington County Museum & Archives.


Christmas in the Village - Handel’s Messiah Each Christmas we proudly present Handel’s Messiah with our own nationally celebrated Elora Festival Singers. Our event has become an annual rite of winter in Elora and rightly so, for it is the most performed and the most loved of all choral works. December 10th


Christmas in the Village - Festival of Carols Join The Elora Festival Singers under the direction of Noel Edison for an evening of Christmas carols and humourous anecdotes. Make this a part of your Christmas tradition. December 19th & 20th http://www.elorafestival. com/

Year Round


Fergus Bridal Tour Take the tour to taste, touch, savour and sample all Fergus has to offer to make your wedding a spectacular day! Year round, self-guided tour. Visit Grand Events in Fergus to pick up your tour map and grab bag.


The Elora Acoustic Cafe is a place to perform, listen and converse in a warm, welcoming cafe setting. Bring an instrument, a voice or simply come out and enjoy some of our local - and not so local - performers. Join us the second Friday of the month. http://www.


E l o r a Cataract Tr a i l w a y - A 47 kilometre, multiuse trailway linking parks, watersheds and communities in southcentral Ontario including beautiful Elora and Fergus.


T h e E l o ra Sculpture P ro j e c t i s an annual, outdoor, juried exhibition that displays sculptures throughout downtown Elora from May to October. Free every day. http://www.


Poor House Cemetery The exhibit tells the stories of the men, women and children who lived and died at the facility, a former “poor house” between 1877 and 1946. The Poor House cemetery is located just east of the museum on the north side of Wellington Road 18, next to the Trestle Bridge.


The Fergus Grand Theatre has become Centre Wellington and area’s premier live performance venue. The 2017 season showcases a diverse line up of events in this historic building. https:// Pages/Fergus-Grand-Theatre.aspx


OLG Slots 200 electrifying slot machines and a full menu restaurant makes for an evening of excitement and fine food! Open 24 hours/day, 7 days a week for your gaming enjoyment. www.


The Gorge CinemaElora’s Gorge Cinema is a charming, privately owned movie theatre situated in the heart of picturesque Elora. Come experience movies in an historic and intimate setting. http://www.

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Enjoy a music session on the top floor of the Fergus Library. https:// We l l i n g t o n C o u n t y Museum and Archives Twe l ve ga l l e r i e s o f museum exhibits reflect the life stories of Wellington County people over the centuries. The state of the art archival facility documents the history of Wellington County from its first settlement.


Elora Culinary Walking Tour Come for a stroll through the streets of historic Elora and enjoy the culinary delights found there. Our walking tours bring together food, history and architecture in a unique and fun way. http://www.eloraculinarywalkingtour. com/


First Night! Join with us as we close out an amazing year of celebrations and commemorations for Canada’s 150 Anniversary. Downtown Elora. December 31st.

Celebrate with us!


Arthur: then and now

Lots of changes - The village of Arthur has transformed from 1911 (left) to today (right), though many familiar buildings remain along George Street. Photos: Wellington County Museum and Archives ph 7915/Olivia Rutt

Veteran Book - John Walsh, Gail Donald and Betsy Benham of the Arthur Veterans Book committee are helping to put together a book honouring almost 600 local veterans of the First and Second World Wars for Canada 150. They hope to release the book on Remembrance Day. Photo by Olivia Rutt

Book to honour village’s Celebrate Canada in Wellington North veterans for Canada 150 WELLINGTON NORTH - Those driving through Arthur this year will notice the village take on its role as the most patriotic in Canada. Canadian flags will hang from the main street lamp posts until November when they will be replaced with Arthur Legion veteran banners. Canada Day weekend Every year, Arthur Optimists put on a big celebration of Canada Day. This year is no different. The four-day event takes place from June 29 to July 2, at the Arthur fairgrounds. The three-pitch ball tournament, horse shoe tournament, beer gardens, free public swim, kids activities, pavilion dance and various musical performances are something to look forward to, officials say. Saturday marks the fifth annual Get in Touch for Hutch event. There will be 1km and 5km walk/runs to help raise money and awareness for mental health. This year the Arthur Optimists are unveiling the new splash pad. The club is celebrating its 50th anniversary along with Canada’s 150th birthday and wanted to plan

Tulips - Red and white tulips, planted in Arthur in 2015 for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, bloom red and white to celebrate Canada. Photo by Olivia Rutt something big. The Arthur splash pad will be the newest addition to the Arthur Community Centre grounds, which already includes an arena, two ball diamonds, a pool, playground and pavilion. On July 1, the Arthur Lions Club is hosting a 150th celebration sit down or drive-thru chicken barbecue at the Arthur and Area Complex with an anticipated turnout of approximately 1,300 people.

Tulips The Arthur cenotaph was one of the locations around the county that planted Canada 150 tulips. Also planted in the raised flower bed are red and white tulips that symbolize the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands and the Dutch gift of tulips. The tulips, which were planted in 2015, will annually bloom red and white. The Arthur Canada 150 committee is hoping participants show off red

and white flowers for Garden Day on June 16. “Celebrating Canada’s 150th is important for Arthur because it provides an opportunity to honour the historical heritage of Canada’s Most Patriotic Village and showcase to visitors, the cenotaph area, the four murals, the two trails and the friendly businesses, organizations and residents that are proud to call Arthur their home,” said Arthur Canada 150 committee chair Faye Craig. Mount Forest Fireworks Festival The annual Mount Forest Fireworks Festival, held July 14 to 16 this year, is planning on an extra bang for Canada 150. Wellington North economic development officer Dale Small said this year the festival is having one extra day of fireworks on Friday night to celebrate the 150th year of Confederation. There will also be a pancake breakfasts, the Kin Club car show, kids activities, free public swim and music performances. The events are held in downtown Mount Forest and at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex.


can for all of the families, and for the (township) and the village and the area,” she said. Without the sacrifice of veterans, Canada at 150 years may have looked different than it does now, the group stressed. “If they hadn’t been over there then we wouldn’t be having the kind of lifestyle we have now,” said Walsh. “Or the country that we have now,” added Betsy. The books are expected to be finished for Remembrance Day and will be available at Walsh’s Pharmacy

in Arthur and Mount Forest, Arthur Cash and Carry - Waresitat or the Arthur Historical Society at a cost of $20 each. Copies of the book will be distributed to elementary schools in Arthur and Kenilworth as well as Wellington Heights Secondary School in Mount Forest. The committee is still looking for information about local veterans’ service and lives from local families. The deadline for submitting information is June 15. Contact Gail Donald at or 519-848-3069 or Betsy Benham at or 519-8483120.

‘River is calling’ at the Elora Centre for the Arts ELORA - Canada is celebrating its 150th this year and Elora will be turning 185. The Elora Centre for the Arts intends to celebrate these events by honouring the vital waters that run

through the community with an art exhibition, “The River is Calling.” Opening June 8 and running until Sept. 4, the exhibition will feature both finely crafted canoe paddles and canoe paddles as canvases for artworks.

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Women’s Institute of Ontario celebrates 120th anniversary as Canada turns 150 By Jaime Myslik ARKELL – As Canada celebrates 150 years since Confederation the Federated Women’s Institute of Ontario celebrates its 120th anniversary. “It’s a form of coming together to share with other women, to educate yourself and to be good citizens of your community and country,” said Women’s Institute provincial western regional board director Glenna Smith of the group. The Women’s Institute (WI) was founded in February 1897 by Adelaide Hoodless and Erland Lee in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Hoodless, whose son passed away because of unpasteurized milk, “went on a campaign to get milk pasteurized,” Smith said. “Now I guess just before that ... Erland Lee, who was a member of the Farmer’s Institute, decided that the women needed a voice and so he basically called a meeting and invited all the women of the community.” Hoodless spoke at the first meeting and during the second meeting the Women’s Institute was born, with more than 100 women in attendance. At the beginning the Women’s Institute was largely funded by the Ministry of Agriculture. “They basically would send a home economist into a group or a branch ... and they would teach them all kinds of good things like sewing and canning,” Smith said. “All the things that way back then the women didn’t have access to.” It’s those skills that members believe are still relevant. “We still say there’s a great need for the Institute but it’s to try to get the young people out,” Smith said. “Everybody is so busy, community just isn’t the same as it used to be.” But the changing social landscape hasn’t stopped the institute from being present in rural communities. One of the Women’s Institute’s continuing projects is the Tweedsmuir Community History Books. “Lady Aberdeen (Ishbel Marie Marjoribanks) who was the wife of the governor general (John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen) at the time suggested that the Institutes should start collecting local histories because nobody was doing that sort of thing,” Smith said. “So at that time most branches started their own Tweedsmuir

A history - The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario are celebrating their 120 anniversary. To celebrate the occasion the Wellington-Halton District Women’s Institute wrote the book The Life of the Hall to share the history of the Mountview Women’s Institute Hall in Milton. Arkell resident Glenna Smith was involved in the production. Photo by Jaime Myslik histories so they recorded all the local history they could get. “Like all the local histories of all the local farms and who lived here and all the rest of it and all the events.” The practice continues today. When a Women’s Institute branch closes, the Tweedsmuir histories go to a local museum. The histories from all the Wellington branches are at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. Smith said the museum has even put the majority of the histories on its website, where they are easily accessible by everyone. “You get the history of the world but you don’t get community history unless a group like this writes it,” Smith said.

“That’s why the Tweedsmuirs are so important and a lot of university students use the Tweedsmuirs for research.” Smith explained that each branch has a Tweedsmuir curator who is responsible for compiling all the history the members write. Before the museum put the histories online curators would have university students coming to their home to look at the hard copies to do research. In addition, the Wellington-Halton District Women’s Institute recently completed a history book called The Life of the Hall which tells the history of the Mountview Women’s Institute Hall in Milton. “We’re rather proud of the book,” Smith said.

The 19th century Mountview Hall is at the Country Heritage Park in Milton and has been there since its relocation in 1975. The Women’s Institute takes care of the hall over the summer months and offers demonstrations to visitors. Last year Smith said they had weeding and quilting demonstrations and they always had crokinole set up to play. “It was time to tell the story because again that Country Heritage Park is changing ... so we thought, this is the opportune time to get the story of our little hall out there,” Smith said. The history book is $12 and is available by contacting any local Women’s Institute or the Wellington County Museum and Archives. The district held a book launch on May 16 at the Ariss Golf Club. In addition to recording history and hosting useful workshops, Women’s Institutes also participate in advocacy campaigns. “We do a lot of advocacy,” Smith said. “We write a lot of resolutions to government and to school boards and what not.” The provincial board will draft the letter and then each individual branch will decide if they want to support the letter by writing to the minister of health and their members of parliament, Smith explained. Their most recent campaign was around Lyme disease. “We’ve got to get some more research and a proper test for Lyme disease because it’s right in our backyard now and it’s serious,” Smith said. The Women’s Institute also fundraises for communities. “For example the Arkell Women’s Institute put in two sets of stone gates out in the cemetery down here because it was a community-owned cemetery,” Smith said. Since the installation the Arkell Women’s Institute has closed and Smith said there aren’t as many branches in Wellington County as there once were. The remaining branches include: Alma WI in Alma, Coningsby WI in Hillsburgh, CarryOn WI in Palmerston, Woodland Springs WI in Mount Forest and West End WI in Ariss. The branches continue to work on documenting local history, participating in advocacy campaigns, fundraising for local causes and offering monthly meetings.

The way it was - It’s unclear when this photo of Queen Street in Morriston was taken; the county museum estimates sometime between 1900 and 1945. Though a lot of the buildings are still standing, the street itself couldn’t look more different than present-day Morriston, particularly at rush hour. Wellington County Museum and Archives, ph 31334

Puslinch Township older than Canada PUSLINCH - Though Canada is turning 150 this year, the history of Puslinch Township dates back to the first land sale in 1823. The township was incorporated in 1850, prior to the creation of Wellington County in 1854 and prior to Confederation in 1867. Puslinch is also the only township in Wellington County whose boundaries were unchanged by amalgamation in 1999. What is currently known as Brock Road/Highway 6 South was the main artery leading from Dundas to John Galt’s new settlement of Guelph established in 1827. Land surveyor David Gibson did two separate surveys from 1828 to 1832. Concessions 1 to 6 on the west side of the township run from east to west, parallel with Gore Road to what was formerly Wentworth County. Concessions 7 to 11 run northwest to southeast. Natural heritage features in Puslinch played a role in settlement with the First Nations people who lived in the area, and later with the European settlers. As farmsteads filled in, the settlers built grist mills and sawmills from dams they created along the

waterways. As in the rest of Upper Canada, the first buildings here were constructed of logs. Once sawmills were in place, a second stage of building followed. Frame structures became common as villages expanded, and early log barns were replaced on farms with larger Swiss-style barns. Waterloo County, to the west of Puslinch, had been settled 30 years earlier and Puslinch farmers contracted to have barns built in the style of their Pennsylvania-German neighbours. Tradesmen and merchants arrived with the European settlers, and a number of stonemasons were among those who settled in Puslinch. The township was part of a ridge of igneous rock (granite) running from Eramosa to Waterloo County that provided field stones for masons to construct fine examples of Scottish, German, Irish and English masonry. They also used southwestern Ontario limestone and sandstone from local quarries like that of John Howitt in northwest Puslinch. Sources: The Puslinch website and Wellington ... Our County at 150 years published in 2004 by the Advertiser.

Puslinch events honour history, tradition ABERFOYLE - Puslinch Township is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with local traditions and more. To help folks “get in the spirit,” the Puslinch Historical Society is holding a Spirit Walk on June 11 at 2pm at Killean Cemetery on Concession 1. The walk features pioneer families McLarty, Blue, Ramsey, McPhatter and Sergeant Fury of the North-West Mounted Police. On Canada Day, tradition holds true for the annual Puslinch Canada

Day Pancake Breakfast on July 1 from 9 to 11am at the Puslinch Community Centre. Enjoy Canada Day pancakes, local maple syrup, bacon, juice, coffee, and tea. Along with traditional displays, the Puslinch Historical Society will be unveiling a special poster at the Optimist-sponsored breakfast. Nearby, the Aberfoyle Farmers Market plans a Canada Day market to celebrate. At dusk will be the annual fireworks display. Admission is free but donations are welcome.


n a i d a Can to


Starting her sewing business in the basement of her home, Canada provided the freedom of choice and a springboard for the pursuit of her dreams for both herself and for her family. Right picture left to right: Luisa, Paula, Eva (Luisa’s sister) Bottom picture left to right: Luisa, Marco & Paula



and thank all those that came before us for providing future generations a foundation for a sense of safety and security, the ability to pursue real opportunity and a national sense of community that helps us realize we are all important and should take care of one another.

We are proud to be Canadian 727 Woolwich Street Guelph 519-824-6920 519.846.5350




Celebrate Canada’s

150th Birthday Wellington County Library has lots of great things planned to celebrate Canada’s 150th!

Did you know that the Wellington County House

of Industry and Refuge and Industrial Farm turns 140 this year?

Here are some highlights

Deadly Dames

First Nations Storytelling Circle

Marden, June 19 Erin, September 23

July 4, Hillsburgh and August 9, Aboyne

Voyageur Storytelling Friday, October 13 Harriston and Fergus

But you don’t have to wait for a birthday to have fun at the library. Here’s just a small taste of what’s available:

Celebrate one of Canada’s National Historic Sites

Oculus Rift

Now home to the Wellington County Museum and Archives, the County Poor House and Barn were built in 1877 and the building designated a National Historic Site as the oldest surviving example of a House of Industry in Canada. Explore our cultural heritage landscape that tells the stories of Canada’s social history. Inside, discover the stories and treasures of Wellington County through exhibits, events, and a state of the art Archives research facility. Wellington County Museum and Archives Wellington Road 18 Between Fergus and Elora P 519.846.0916 TOLL FREE 1.800.663.0750 x 5221 •

Cubelets 3D Printer


Cricut electronic cutting machine

Get the most up to date programme and event information at our website, pick up our Next Chapter newsletter, or visit your local branch.




Celebrate Canada’s

150th Birthday Wellington County Library has lots of great things planned to celebrate Canada’s 150th!

Did you know that the Wellington County House

of Industry and Refuge and Industrial Farm turns 140 this year?

Here are some highlights

Deadly Dames

First Nations Storytelling Circle

Marden, June 19 Erin, September 23

July 4, Hillsburgh and August 9, Aboyne

Voyageur Storytelling Friday, October 13 Harriston and Fergus

But you don’t have to wait for a birthday to have fun at the library. Here’s just a small taste of what’s available:

Celebrate one of Canada’s National Historic Sites

Oculus Rift

Now home to the Wellington County Museum and Archives, the County Poor House and Barn were built in 1877 and the building designated a National Historic Site as the oldest surviving example of a House of Industry in Canada. Explore our cultural heritage landscape that tells the stories of Canada’s social history. Inside, discover the stories and treasures of Wellington County through exhibits, events, and a state of the art Archives research facility. Wellington County Museum and Archives Wellington Road 18 Between Fergus and Elora P 519.846.0916 TOLL FREE 1.800.663.0750 x 5221 •

Cubelets 3D Printer


Cricut electronic cutting machine

Get the most up to date programme and event information at our website, pick up our Next Chapter newsletter, or visit your local branch.



Clifford: then and now

Historic art - Margaret Reidt of Harriston donated a painting of the former Clifford grist mill for a silent auction in conjunction with the Clifford Homecoming 2017 New Year’s Eve dance. She based the painting on a photo of the feed mill from a 1977 calendar when the mill was owned by Hartley McHarg. The mill was erected in 1867. Reidt presented the painting to Homecoming committee chair Bill Smith in April 2016. Photo by Bonnie Whitehead

Then and now - Elora Street looking south in Clifford looks very different now, left, than it did in 1910, right, though a lot of the buildings remain the same. Photos: Olivia Rutt/Wellington County Museum and Archives ph 7718

New Year’s events frame Minto Canada 150 celebrations By Patrick Raftis MINTO - The Town of Minto began Canada’s 150th year with a bang and is planning to wrap it up the same way. The town, in cooperation with local firefighters, hosted a family event to kick off celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday on Dec. 31, 2016. The event, called Fire and Ice, was held at the Palmerston Community Centre and featured: dog sled demonstrations, outdoor fire pits, snow and ice painting, ice skating and fireworks. The event was a big hit, drawing hundreds of revelers. Minto economic development coordinator BelindaWick Graham said the municipality is planning to host a similar event this year - again on Dec. 31. Wick-Graham said the town will also be providing support for programming and promotion of some of the Canada 150 events held by community groups during the year. The Clifford Homecoming 2017 committee is planning a special event at the former grist mill site for Canada Day. On July 1, the group will kick off the 150th Community Anniversary and 2017 Clifford Homecoming (set for Aug. 4 to 7) with the unveiling a mural of the Clifford Grist Mill, which began construction on July 1, 1867.

The event begins at 2pm and organizers invite everyone to “come celebrate!” The Palmerston Lions Club Splash Bash, normally held in June, has been moved to July 1 this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th and to thank the community for its continued support of the club. Events include a free barbecue, children’s activities, free swimming and more. The Crossroads Life Church will again be hosting its annual community Canada Day celebration in Harriston, featuring fireworks and family-friendly activities. Wick Graham said the town will be supporting the church’s plan to have Canadian musicians take part in the celebration. The annual Clifford Truck Show will be also held over the Canada Day weekend, featuring both modern and historical vehicles from Canada’s motoring history. Older than country itself, the Harriston-Minto Fall Fair is working a Canada 150 element into its fair theme. The 158th annual fair, which runs from Sept. 15 to 17 is themed “A Century and a Half of Rural Life.” Minto Fire is also planning a Canada theme for its annual Emergency 91Run, which is set for June 4 at the Palmerston Lions Park. Register at

Clifford history intertwined with Canada’s 150th birthday

CLIFFORD - The village of Clifford is sharing its Homecoming party with all of Canada. A committee of volunteers is organizing a celebration billed as the Canada 150th Anniversary and Clifford Homecoming 2017 for Aug. 4 to 7 at venues throughout the village. 夀漀甀爀 戀攀猀琀 搀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀 愀最愀椀渀猀琀 爀椀猀椀渀最 攀渀攀爀最礀 戀椀氀氀猀 The celebration will feature more than 60 events and activities, including a parade, fireworks, barbecues, concerts, a historic car show, magic act, golfing skills competitions, volleyball, a zipline adventure and children’s activities. While the Homecoming will celebrate more than 150 years of local history, the party has been enhanced with a $24,000 federal Canada 150 grant and the event will celebrate what would have been the 150th anniversary of the construction of the Clifford Grist and Flour Mill. The grist mill is tied to the 150th anniversary of Confederation as the rafters to the mill were erected on July 1, 1867 by members of the community. The mill that stood for 140 years was dismantled board by board back in November of 2008 to be piled, shipped and rebuilt in Western Canada. Some items from the original boards from the mill were created for sale through the Clifford and District Historical Society and will be on Special splash bash - The Palmerston Lions Club Splash Bash, centred around the splash display during the Homecoming. pad at the Lions Heritage Park has been moved to July 1 to help celebrate Canada Day To commemorate this event, the and the nation’s 150th birthday in the Town of Minto. Advertiser file photo Clifford Downtown Revitalization

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Celebrate Canadath's 15irt0hday B

Committee commissioned local mural artist Cliff Smith to create an eightby-eight foot mural of the mill to be installed on the side of the building at 2 Elora Street North in Clifford. The Clifford Homecoming is planning a special event at the mill site for July 1. They will be commemorating the 150th community anniversary and hosting an early kick-off for the Clifford Homecoming. The group will be unveiling the mural and displaying plaques provided by the Government of Canada and the Minto Local Heritage Marker Program. The event begins at 2pm with a concert by the “Queen’s Belles” ladies barbershop choir. Four of the previous owners of the mill will be in attendance to answer questions and organizers will run a video presentation showing the workings of a grist mill. A miniature replica of the Clifford Grist Mill will also be on display. Another gem of Clifford history being recognized is the village’s connection to Tackaberry skates, which were developed by George Edwin Tackaberry, who grew up in Clifford. A display has been created to showcase this notable piece of Clifford history, forerunner to the CCM ‘Tack’ skates worn by many hockey greats. For more information go to - With files from Bonnie Whitehead

r e v e N be in the




• Plant red and white floral displays in the Township and submit a photo of your planting arrangement. • A panel of judges will choose the winning submission and the winner will get a painting on canvas of their entry by local artist, John Root. • The contest is open to residents of the Township of Guelph/Eramosa, deadline to submit a photo is October 15, 2017.

2. 2017 TIME CAPSULE AND SKATE PARK GRAND OPENING • To be buried under the Rockmosa Skate Park for 100 years, the Time Capsule will contain items of significance from this era. • We’re looking for content submissions; do you have something to put in the time capsule? • Don’t forget to join us at the Grand Opening of the Rockmosa Skate Park on August 3, 2017 – there will be food trucks, skateboarding demonstrations and live music.


• The Ariss Lion’s Club will be hosting a “Heritage Day” on July 8th, 2017, featuring a classic car show at the Royal Distributing Athletic Performance Centre • Stop in at the Marden Community Centre at 11:00 a.m. as the Township of Guelph/Eramosa’s Heritage Committee will be unveiling a heritage wall made using the surviving old growth white cedar logs from one of the first log cabins in Guelph Township.

Feel the


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In addition, the municipality will be planting 150 Maple Trees throughout the Township. Qualified Canadian Builder

For more information on any of these events, including how to enter the floral contest and/or submit time capsule content visit: For more information: 519.856.9951 or | 519.787.6699

Student’s work chosen as official Canada 150 logo OTTAWA - The Canada 150 logo is available and free for everyone to use. The logo is composed of a series of diamonds, or “celebratory gems,” arranged in the shape of the iconic maple leaf. The four diamonds at the base represent the four original provinces that formed Confederation in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Additional diamonds extend out from the base to create nine more points - in total representing the 13 provinces and territories. The Canada 150 logo is an evocative symbol and will become an enduring reminder of one of Canada’s proudest moments. The maple leaf motif is recognized at home and abroad as distinctively Canadian, and it fosters feelings of

pride, unity and celebration. This unique design is simple enough to be drawn by children, and versatile enough to be used in a host of applications. The possible uses of the symbol are as unlimited as the spirit and imagination of the Canadian public. Canadian students were invited to create the official logo for the 150th anniversary of Confederation through a national design contest. The winner was Ariana Cuvin from Toronto who beat out a field of over 300 eligible entries. By participating in this contest, young Canadians had the opportunity to participate and contribute in an original way to this important milestone in Canadian history. For more information visit canada.


Celebration flag - Officials from the office of Perth-Wellington MP John Nater presented the Town of Minto with a Canada 150 flag and commemorative pin at the May 2 town council meeting. From left: constituency assistant Mathew Rae; councillors Mary Lou Colwell, Judy Dirksen, Jean Anderson and Dave Turton; deputy mayor Ron Faulkner; Mayor George Bridge and constituency assistant Teri White. Photo by Patrick Raftis

Etiquette for Canada’s national flag

Celebration of a nation - Mapleton councillor and Canada 150th celebration champion Lori Woodham and economic development coordinator Martin Bohl check out a commemorative wall hanging that will be displayed in the township administration centre. The artwork will also be used as a backdrop for a photo booth planned at Mapleton’s Canada 150 celebrations this summer. The wall hanging, purchased at Blooming Dales’ in Drayton, was created by Palmerston area craftsman Andy Pridham of Weathered Minto. Photo by Patrick Raftis

Seniors group receives 150 grant displayed as follows: Flat against a surface, horizontally and vertically If hung horizontally, the upper part of the leaf (the points of the leaf) should be up and the stem down. If hung vertically, the flag should be placed so that the upper part of the leaf points to the left and the stem to the right from the point of view of the observer facing the flag. Flags hung vertically should be hung so that the canton is in the upper left corner. On a flagpole or mast The top left (first) quarter or canton should be placed in the position nearest the top of the flagpole or mast.

On a flag rope The canton should be raised as closely as possible to the top with the flag rope tight. Suspended vertically in the middle of a street The upper part of the leaf (the points of the leaf) should face north in an east-west street. The upper part of the leaf should face east in a northsouth street. Projected from a building Displayed horizontally or at an angle from a window or balcony, the canton must point outward. On a vehicle The flag must be on a pole firmly fixed to the frame of the car on the front right.

On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, when the three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick came together, let us resolve to build

A BETTER CANADA on our constitutional principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

MICHAEL CHONG member of parliament wellington-halton hills

866 . 878 . 5556

e i v o M a Dinner & FISH AND CHIPS

Every Monday & Wednesday. Get dinner at the Pub and a ticket to 5 menu options.




One piece of beer battered cod, served with fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce and a lemon wedge


Lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, mayo, mustard, relish and ketchup



Deliciously seasoned black beans with a kick! Lettuce, tomato, red onion, mozzarella and chipotle sauce in a grilled flour tortilla

A common combination of flags is the national flag of Canada with a provincial or territorial flag, and a municipal flag or an organization’s banner. In this case, the national flag should be in the centre with the provincial/territorial flag to the left and the municipal flag/organization’s banner to the right (to an observer facing the display). Disposal of flags When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way. For more information on flag protocol visit eng/1444133232507.

ROCKWOOD - The Eramosa Eden Retreat Centre in Rockwood has been awarded a Canada 150 Grant to involve local seniors in the celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial. The name of the project is Canada’s Seniors: Our Roots, Our Future. The Our Voices group is meeting from April to August to prepare a theatrical performance that will be presented in the Eden Mills Community Hall in October. The Our Voices group is for anyone 55-plus. It will meet weekly to share personal stories, historical memories and ideas for the future. Professional playwright Catherine Frid will craft these stories, with the help of the group, into scenes to be presented in the final performance in


October. Non-actors are welcome. No experience and no memorization is needed. You are invited to participate and/or learn about how a play is created behind the scenes. “It’s your story and your voice that is of value,” officials state. Our Voices is a group that celebrates being a senior. Its plays entertain and educate that being a senior is not necessarily about aches and pains, but can be a time of inspiration, joy, humour and wisdom. For more information, contact or call 519856-0380 to join this group. Meeting times are Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30pm at Eramosa Eden Retreat Centre.




OTTAWA - The national flag of Canada, as well as the flags of the provinces and territories, are symbols of honour and pride for all Canadians. They should be treated with respect. The manner in which flags may be displayed in Canada is not governed by any legislation but by established practice. The rules applied by the federal government are not mandatory for individuals or organizations; they serve as guidelines for those who wish to display the Canadian flag and other flags in Canada. The Canadian flag should always take priority over all other national flags when flown in Canada. The only flags that are given priority over the Canadian flag are the personal standards of members of the royal family and of Her Majesty’s 11 representatives in Canada. The national flag of Canada should always be flown on its own mast; flag protocol states that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same mast (for example, one beneath the other). The following points should be kept in mind: - the national flag of Canada should not be used as a table or seat cover, as a masking for boxes or as a barrier on a stage or platform; - nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the national flag of Canada; and - the national flag of Canada should not be signed or marked in any way. The Canadian flag may be

In the mid 1800’s, John Thomson Sr. emigrated from Scotland to Canada and settled in Fergus. In 1872, Thomson established a business providing the mix of furniture pump fabricating and undertaking. The furniture and undertaking divisions would continue on through four generations of Thomson management.

Continuing the Legacy: 5 Generations of Thomson Management Although operated separately now, the furniture store continues today under the guidance of the Thomson family. As time passed, public demand caused these cabinetmakers to add specialized services such as matched teams of horses and hearses, embalming and the active arrangement of the funeral service and burial.

funeral visitations. Eventually the first full funeral service was held at the St. David Street address in 1946.

Funerals were held much as they are today and usually were considered a major social event in the life of the community. The exception was that most visitations took place in the family home and the funeral was held either there as well, or a local church.

In 1954 Bill Thomson died, and after she was encouraged to do so by the community, Bill’s daughter Mary Thomson took over the business. In 1956, Mary graduated from the Canadian School of Embalming in Toronto, becoming one of the first female funeral directors in Ontario. Mary would continue with the business for more than thirty years, and became a cherished citizen of Wellington County.

In 1932, Bill Thomson, John’s grandson was running the business and purchased a limestone building at 160 St. David Street North to serve as a funeral home. The house had been built in 1861 as a private residence and Bill now converted it to a place to conduct

Fast forward to today, Neil Johnston, 2nd cousin of Mary Thomson, continues the Thomson Legacy. “We make it a point to expand ever 100 years”. John Thomson & Son Furniture now resides in an 11,000 square foot building just steps away from its original location.

157 St. Andrew St. W. Fergus | 519.843.1502

Hours: Mon, Tues & Sat: 10-6, Thurs & Fri: 10-9, Sun: By appt.

Custom Jewellery Featuring Canadian Diamonds


Served with rice and naan. Your choice of chicken or beef curry, butter chicken, aloo mattar or vegetable korma

Oven roasted chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo

#ELORAMADE 13 East Mill, Elora 519.846.0116 8 MILL ST., ELORA | 519.846.5775


First flag to fly in Fergus

. 7 s 7 1 v 6 0 2 18 PRIME MINISTERS


1867 Sir John A. Macdonald 1917 Sir Robert Borden 1967 Lester B. Pearson 2017 Justin Trudeau


LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 1867 Thomas Sutherland Parker (Wellington Centre)

George Alexander Drew

1867 John Sandfield Macdonald 1917 Sir William Hearst 1967 John Robarts 2017 Kathleen Wynne

(Wellington North)

David Stirton (Wellington South) 1917 William Aurelius Clarke (Wellington North)

Hugh Guthrie (Wellington South) 1967 Marvie Howe (Wellington-Huron) Alfred Hales (Wellington South) 2017 John Nater (Perth-Wellington) Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills)

LOCAL MEMBER OF PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT 1867 Alexander David Ferrier (Wellington Centre)

Robert McKim (Wellington North) Peter Gow (Wellington South) 1917 Udney Richardson (Wellington East)

Samuel Carter (Wellington South) William Clarke Chambers (Wellington West)

1967 Harry A. Worton (Wellington South) John Henry Haines Root (Wellington-Dufferin)

2017 Randy Pettapiece (Perth-Wellington) Ted Arnott (Wellington-Halton Hills)

WARDENS 1867 John Smith of Pilkington 1917 George H. Dickson of Maryborough

1967 Cameron Lush of Eramosa 2017 Dennis Lever of Puslinch

. n s e v h Now T COST OF STAPLES


MILK (1L) 1867 (1913) 2017

.04 $ 30 2 $

BREAD (1 loaf) 1867 (1913) 2017

.06 $ 02 3 $


412 *Snell, J. G. “The cost of living in Canada in 1870.” $

Histoire sociale/Social History 12.23 (1979).

The average house price in Canada is around nine to 10 times the average annual wage.

.12 $ 93 4 $







(Canadian average $481,000)

*Prices from Canadian Real Estate Association


.09 $ 99 6 $

EGGS (Dozen) 1867




POTATOES (10 lb.) 1867


In 2016


.10 $ 36 3 $


49,200 222,726

Provinces Joined Canada

1867 In 1908




2017 In 2016




(Price from Valco Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants)



ELORA - In 1888, Canadian photographer John R. Connon patented a panoramic camera - perhaps Canada’s most significant contribution to the field of photography. Although there were European patents for panoramic cameras from as early as 1843, most photographers continued to splice together multiple exposures to capture wide landscapes on film. Connon’s camera was mounted on a rotating platform and could capture images as wide as 360 degrees in a single exposure. Uniquely, Connon’s patent specified the use of paper film.

Beatty Brothers prospered with the extension of hydro-electric power throughout the country, and by the 1930s was selling electrical appliances and other goods around the world. In May 1961 the Beatty family sold their shares to Ralph M. Barford, Robert A. Stevens, and George Gardiner. In 1969 the company amalgamated with General Steel Wares to form GSW Limited. A.O. Smith purchased General Steel Wares in 2006 for US $340 million. Headquartered in Milwaukee, A.O. Smith is one of the largest water heating equipment makers in the world. In April of 2013 A.O. Smith announced the closure of the Fergus plant, ending a nearly 140-year manufacturing legacy. Source: story/beatty-washer-cstmc-19680399

Wellington County Museum and Archives ph 26734b

Images were captured on waxed paper negatives, a flexible film that was spooled through the camera and synchronized to the rotation of the tripod. While many early photographers used the wide format to celebrate rapid urban development, others like Connon enjoyed capturing expansive landscapes, like the ones near his home in Elora. The panoramic effect remains popular today, in both photography and motion pictures, but the full 360-degree image has rarely been replicated. Source: story/panorama-camera

Wellington County Museum and Archives ph 6563

Celebrate Canada/Dominion Day in Centre Wellington CENTRE WELLINGTON - Call it Dominion Day or Canada Day, July 1 will be a day to celebrate this country’s 150th birthday. Elora Dominion Day One needs to get up early for Elora’s Dominion Day celebrations, with the volunteer firefighter breakfast at MacDonald Square from 7 to 11am. Starting at 8am, the soapbox derby will head down the Geddes Street hill, starting at David Street. As the derby clears up a 11am, the

annual Dominion Day Parade begins. Lunch is served at Bissell Park from noon to 1pm with free hot dogs and drinks served by the Elora Lions. Entertainment in the park runs from noon to 1:30pm with Puppets Elora, Blue Bonnet Lassies and Diamonds in the Ruff. Events in Elora cap off with the Centre Wellington Rotary Club Duck Races at 1:30pm. Fergus Family Picnic Switching gears and communities,

residents and visitors alike are invited to the Canada Day Family Picnic at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus from 3 to 10pm. There is a minimum donation of $2 at the sportsplex east gate. Activities include: Kiddie Midway, face painting, zumba, Fergus Pipe Band, bubble soccer, classic car show and food vendors. Live entertainment with local artists come to the scene from 6 to 9pm, followed by fireworks at about 10pm.

Centre Wellington to be part of Canada 150 Challenge CENTRE WELLINGTON - Canada turns 150 years old on July 1 and walkers will be coming to Centre Wellington as part of their Canada 150 Challenge. To celebrate this amazing birthday the Avon Trail will host a 150km multiday hike. Walkers completing the Canada 150 Challenge will receive a special badge to mark the occasion. Highlights include walking along: the Grand River, the entire Avon Trail,



1999 Quebec


Newfoundland and Labrador

through historical settlements and beautiful Ontario farmland. The challenge stretches over the 150km as participants complete a stretch of the Grand Valley trail and walk the whole length of the Avon Trail. After a shuttle from Stratford on June 10 hikers will set off from near Belwood. Participants spend the first night on the trail in charming Elora, dining

The following is a re-print of a past column by former Advertiser columnist Stephen Thorning, who passed away on Feb. 23, 2015. Some text has been updated to reflect changes since the original publication.


Prince Edward Island



1905 Saskatchewan





Information from Statistics Canada unless otherwise stated.

New Brunswick



by Stephen Thorning 1949-2015


British Columbia


FERGUS - The Beatty electric washing machine ushered in a new era of domestic appliances. In the 1920s Beatty Brothers electric washing machines became the choice of households across Canada, heralding an era of electrical domestic appliances. Featuring an agitator that beat clothing, the Beatty washer represented the company’s innovative approach to manufacturing. Brothers George and Matthew Beatty founded the company in Fergus in 1874. They manufactured farm implements until 1900, when they began specializing in domestic goods, such as washers and irons, as well as barn and stable equipment. In 1911, the company built a large factory in Fergus where it developed new products and used modern assembly-line techniques.

at a restaurant perched on the edge of the Grand River. Among others, the walk will take participants through or past these points of interest: Fergus, Elora, the Grand River, the covered bridge in West Montrose and a brand new wooded section of the Avon trail near Amulree. Participation is limited to 22 walkers. For more information visit www. lenge_Whole.pdf.

Drayton celebrates Dominion Day

Northwest Territories Yukon

Innovation in Wellington County: The Beatty Washer

Innovation in Wellington County: the panoramic camera



BUTTER (1 pound) 1867


New maple leaf - This photo, from the Fergus News Record on Feb. 18, 1965, depicts the unveiling of the first Canadian flag at the Fergus post office on Feb. 15. Holding the flag are building caretaker Jack Nixon, left, and postmaster Harry Munn. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson formed a committee to develop a Canadian flag, sparking serious debate about replacing the “Union Jack” and the Canadian Red Ensign (the latter was used unofficially as Canada’s flag since the 1890s). The maple leaf design by George Stanley, based on the Royal Military College flag, was picked from three choices. Feb. 15 is now flag day in Canada.

Nova Scotia


July 1932 July 1 fell on a Friday in 1932. There were no civic Dominion Day celebrations in the area to mark the 65th anniversary of Confederation. Instead, many churches scheduled picnics and other events for the day, and several families took advantage of a three-day weekend to hold reunions. The day began with a thunder storm, but the skies cleared before noon. There was excitement in Drayton on the morning of July 1, as the village’s firefighters scrambled to the barn of Emerson Simmons at the edge of town. Lightning had set fire to the 64 by 66-foot structure and an adjoining straw shed. They could do nothing to save the buildings. Simmons lost some pigs and most of his implements. The damage totalled about $4,000, only partially covered by insurance. On July 1, two rinks of lawn bowlers from Drayton travelled to a big Dominion Day tournament in Atwood. About 25 young people from Drayton United Church went to the Guelph Presbytery’s picnic at Belwood. The day there included games and races, an ample lunch, and an evening service at the Belwood church. Also on July 1, the Moorefield United Church garden party drew a good crowd. The women of the church piled the tables high with food. After the meal, the Henderson Trio of

Drayton and Garfield Kopas supplied entertainment. Also performing were Mildred Welsh and Alvin Hammond on guitars, plus a number of vocal selections and recitations by local people. Farmers were busy in early July bringing in the hay crop, which was a good one. The grain yields promised to be excellent, but the same could not be said for market prospects. The grim outlook for farmers was reflected in farm prices. A 200-acre property in eastern Peel, with good buildings, sold at auction for $3,100, and another property, 218 acres with buildings, changed hands for an even $2,000. Those were the lowest prices since the 1860 era, and the lowest ever when inflation is considered. Drayton Community News July 1880 Farmers expressed optimism about the 1880 crop. The weather was warm and the summer brought neither drought nor floods. The only worry was the appearance of must in a few fields of spring wheat. The big Dominion Day excitement in the area, 13 years after Confederation, was an unscheduled event. Late in the morning of the holiday someone spotted a bear at the edge of the metropolis of Alma. With most people relaxing at home, word spread quickly. Soon a large mob, armed with shotguns, old muskets, clubs and sticks, was in hot pursuit. They spent a couple of hours chasing Bruin, who eventually disappeared in a swamp. Estimates from those who had experience with bears put the weight of the quadruped in the 400-pound range. The chase ended in time for the pursuers to attend a baseball tournament at Alma. Games continued through the afternoon and into the twilight hours. The sportsmen did not want to stop, and attempted unsuccessfully to play by the light of lanterns, anticipating by a half century the artificially-lit diamond installed by Dr. George McQuibban at Alma. Elsewhere in the area, there were no special celebrations for the 13th anniversary of Confederation, though the day was observed as a public holiday. *This column was originally published in the Drayton Community News on July 13, 2007 and July 15, 2005.

Parade, fireworks, music, more featured at Mapleton’s 150 party


By Patrick Raftis DRAYTON – Mapleton Township has long been known for hosting one of the region’s biggest Canada Day celebrations. A wide range of activities and entertainment, culminating in a massive fireworks display at dusk are always on the agenda. For 2017, the township is going all out to organize a major Canada Day party to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday. Councillor Lori Woodham, who has been designated Mapleton’s “Canada Day Champion,” said sponsorships will help with the goal of having “activities for the whole family,” while collecting just voluntary donations at the event in Drayton on July 1. Activities scheduled include: - a Chalkfest at 2pm sponsored by the Mapleton Youth Action Committee; - Celebration 150 Mapleton parade at 4:30pm; - bird’s-eye-view community photo of people wearing red and white in 150 formation at the Drayton Fair grounds at 5:15pm; - kid’s fun and games and bouncy castles; - food trucks and beer tent; - card games and art in the park;

CANADA DAY S AT U R D AY J U LY 1 , 2 0 1 7

Patriotic parade - A children’s bicycle parade will be part of a larger Canada 150 parade in Drayton on July 1. ABOVE: Mayor Neil Driscoll leads the parade at the 2015 Canada Day celebration. Advertiser file photo -“redneck splash pad”; and - fireworks at 10pm. Organizers are seeking the township’s “most senior prom king and queen” to be parade marshals. Children are encouraged to decorate bicycles for the parade or walk in the parade with their pets. Euchre and other card games and a photo booth will be part of the fun. The event will also feature a

variety of artists/performers on various stages. Contact information Anyone interested in performing at Mapleton Canada Day 2017, or participating in Canada Day events should visit or contact for information. “It definitely should be a fun day,” said Woodham.

Mapleton Youth Action Council plans Canada Day Chalkfest By Caroline Sealey MAPLETON - Since November, members of the Mapleton Youth Action Council (MYAC), under the guidance of Mapleton economic development coordinator Martin Bohl, have been busy planning a Canada Day event during the township’s celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Chalkfest will be the first of its kind in Mapleton and the very first event held during the day-long celebrations on July 1. “Hosted by the youth, the Chalkfest is a creative, colourful way to celebrate Canada. Everyone relates to art and everyone will be able to see the finished product,” said MYAC member Alexis Kuper. MYAC’s vision for the July 1 celebration is to transform downtown Mapleton into a celebration of Canadian culture with a rural twist. “It’s also an opportunity for local businesses and residents to connect, creating a sense of community,” said MYAC member Bre Frey. The youths are looking for participants of all ages and skill levels to showcase their artistic skills on the sidewalks of downtown Drayton on July 1 from 2 to 4pm. Chalk will be provided along with drizzle sheets in case of rain. Participants are asked to make a donation to a local charity the day of the event. Donation buckets will be placed on the registration table at the lights in downtown Drayton. Advance registration is

MAPLETON - One of the events in the planning stages for the Canada Day 150 celebrations in Mapleton on July 1 is Art in the Park. The event is a celebration of art and artists from Mapleton and the surrounding area. Organizer and local artist Donna

ent s

Drayton Kinette

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Event planning - Mapleton Youth Action Council members include, from left:, Alexis Kuper, Bre Frey, Morgan Quirke, Community Youth Resiliency Worker Gabriella Leropoli, Julia Borges and Tate Driscoll. The group met on April 18 to discuss plans for Canada Day in Mapleton Township. Photo by Caroline Sealey appreciated by the organizers. Any remaining spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the event. Artwork will be divided into age groups for judging and winners will be announced following Chalkfest. Mapleton businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring sidewalk space are invited to contribute funds, prizes, a theme for the artwork or volunteer their time as judges. Volunteers MYAC is also looking for residents of the township to volunteer at the event. “The support from the community

has been overwhelming,” said Tate Driscoll of MYAC. “We appreciate everyone’s help. To date prizes include Canada 150 gift baskets, theatre tickets and gift cards.” A theme celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, or “what living in Mapleton means to you,” are other ideas suggested by the group. Creativity has no limits in this type of event, they stress. To register or for more information on Chalkfest contact reception@ or email myac@ Registrants are asked to include their name, age and contact information.

Art in the Park at Mapleton Canada Day 150 party By Caroline Sealey

Schedule of Ev

Hirtle is searching for artists in all mediums who are interested in showcasing their craft to the public. Anyone who sketches, paints, sculpts, crafts, photographs, or writes is welcome to take part in the event. Art in the Park will be held at the “Purple Palace,” at the Drayton Fairgrounds from 4 to 8pm on July 1 following the Canada Day parade.

Those interested in local art and artisans can follow the parade route to the fairgrounds to view the display. Art for sale Pieces of artwork at the event will be available for purchase. For more information on Art in the Park contact Hirtle at 519-638-0888 or drop into Studio Factor at 24 Wood Street in Drayton.

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Art in the Park Drayton Fairgrounds


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Fergus man to enter plow in Canada 150 parade Same plow was in Drayton centennial parade 50 years ago By Jaime Myslik

Canada Day - Erin residents, like Rose Kerry, donned their red and white at last year’s Canada Day events at McMillan Park in Erin. This year, Canada 150 events will be spread out to include all communities in the municipality. Enjoy a pioneer breakfast in Ballinafad, a parade in Erin, playground reopening in Hillsburgh, a barbecue in Orton and more events on July 1 and 2. Advertiser file photo

Celebrating Canada in every corner of Erin ERIN - The Erin 150 committee is reaching out to all four corners of the town to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. On July 1, the Ballinafad community is hosting a pioneer breakfast at the community centre. A parade will liven up Main Street in Erin at 10:30am on July 1 as well as family fun events at the Erin fairgrounds. The grand opening of Victoria Park Playground will take place on July 1 in Hillsburgh as well as the dedication of Rotary Pavilion and a car show. Later that day enjoy the annual

chicken barbecue and fireworks in Orton. On July 2, a non-denominational church service will be held at the Erin fairgrounds followed by a box lunch social. Photo booths will be in Erin, Hillsburgh and Orton for a Canada 150 souvenir family photo. A challenge The town is also challenging its residents to compete for the titles of best decorated home, best decorated business, best decorated bicycle in the parade, best dressed animal in the parade and best float in the parade. For more information about the weekend visit

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FERGUS – An antique plow that was in Canada’s centennial parade could very well make an appearance in the Centre Wellington 150 anniversary parade as well. Fergus resident John Gansekoele, 81, said he likely bought the Fleury plow at an auction more than 50 years ago. For what purpose he couldn’t say. “Maybe I just found it because I had the idea to put it in a parade,” he said. And put it in a parade he did. Gansekoele immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1951. His family originally came to Drayton and after years of moving around Gansekoele and his wife were back in Drayton during Canada’s 100th anniversary in 1967. He owned Drayton Electric. “I had a van ... a ’66 Dodge van with ‘Drayton Electric’ on it and my wife’s sister ... she had an older style dress on, she was walking behind the plow ... and it was the van that kind of pulled it along, but I had little ... wheels on it,” he said. “Here we are 50 years later and let’s re-enact that whole thing. That’s what I’m thinking.” However, this time he’s looking to improve the display. Gansekoele said he’d like to clean up the plow and mount it on a flat bed trailer with fake turf on one side and

fake dirt on the other to make it look like the plow is in action. He’d also like to use a horse or pony to pull the wagon through the Centre Wellington parade. “I should be able to find someone,” he said. “If it was someone with a riding stable or something like that it would help to advertise that too.” If anyone is interested in allowing Gansekoele to use their horse or pony they can call him at 226-383-1600. In 1967, Gansekoele created a sign for his float that read, “Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labour of man. When tillage begins other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.” He still has the sign today but he’s looking to have a better-quality sign with the same words created and affixed to the plow during the sesquicentennial parade. Gansekoele came to Canada in 1951 after Canada liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War. “This country means everything to me in the sense that my parents came here, brought me along and my brother and sister and then one brother was born here at Palmerston in ’51 in December,” Gansekoele said. “There’s so many beautiful things in the world but this is a beautiful country and you can still live in freedom.”

Parade plow - TOP: Fergus resident John Gansekoele plans to enter an antique plow in this year’s Canada 150 parade in Centre Wellington. He entered the same plow in the Drayton parade for the Canada’s centennial anniversary. ABOVE: The antique plow. Photos by Jaime Myslik

Guelph-Eramosa holding Canada 150 celebrations throughout year BRUCEDALE - Guelph-Eramosa is celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary and has a number of different ways residents can get involved in celebrations throughout the year. Flowers The township is encouraging residents to plant red and white floral displays and then submit a photo to the Guelph-Eramosa Township office. Contest entries must be made by Guelph-Eramosa residents and be of a location within the township. Organizers ask that photos have a minimum resolution of 200 to 300 dpi. From the submissions a panel of judges will choose the winner, who will receive a painting on canvas of

their entry by local artist John Root. The deadline for Guelph-Eramosa residents to submit a photo is Oct. 15. Time capsule The township will be burying a time capsule under the new Rockmosa Skate Park - to be opened in 100 years. The township is asking for the submission of items residents think are of “significance from this era.” The township is looking for: publications (newspapers, magazines); - community photos; - letters from residents; - significant pop culture items (magazines, newspaper articles, small trendy toy, etc.); - a list of popular expressions (i.e.

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slang); - stamps, coins, best-selling novels, movies; - sports cards; - picture of the price fuel; and community-based material (restaurant menus local event flyers and/or tickets). The deadline for time capsule submissions is July 15. Rockmosa Skatepark Guelph-Eramosa is holding a Rockmosa Skatepark grand opening on Aug. 3. Organizers say there will be food trucks, skateboarding demonstrations and live music. Heritage Day The Ariss Lion’s Club is hosting

a “Heritage Day” on July 8 featuring a classic car show at the Royal Distributing Athletic Performance Centre in Marden. At 11am on the same day, GuelphEramosa Township’s Heritage Committee will unveil a heritage wall made using the surviving old growth white cedar logs from one of the first log cabins in Guelph Township. Tree planting In addition, the municipality will be planting 150 maple trees throughout the township. For more information on the events, including how to enter the floral contest and/or submit time capsule content visit canada150.

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Canada Day - Through the years, the county celebrated its July 1 holiday in many ways. LEFT: Dominion Day parade with musical band on Main Street, Hillsburgh, dated July 1, 1910. MIDDLE: A band marching in Clifford for July 1, 1895 celebrations. RIGHT: Harriston Post Office decorated for Canada’s 60th anniversary in 1927. Wellington County Museum and Archives ph 10336, ph 304 and ph 4357

County took part in 60th Dominion Day celebrations in 1927


THORNING by Stephen Thorning 1949-2015

The following is a re-print of a past column by former Advertiser columnist Stephen Thorning, who passed away on Feb. 23, 2015. Some text has been updated to reflect changes since the original publication and any images used may not be the same as those that accompanied the original publication. It is unlikely that any readers of this column recall the first special July 1 celebration, 90 years ago, when Canada marked the 60th anniversary of Confederation. The federal government had originally planned a 50th birthday party for Confederation in 1917. Robert Borden’s cabinet shelved the concept as the first world war dragged into 1917. It was not a happy time for the federal government: besides the war effort and conscription crisis, there were internal economic problems to deal with. And on top of it all, the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings burned down on Feb. 3, 1916, forcing the federal government to work from temporary quarters. No one was in the mood for a party. Instead, the big celebration was moved up 10 years. Improved economic conditions and a new spirit of Canadian nationalism promised that the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation would be a memorable

one. Patriotic and self-congratulatory articles appeared in papers and magazines beginning in 1926. Federal authorities made plans for elaborate festivities in Ottawa. July 1 fell on a Friday in 1927, offering a potential three-day celebration. Ottawa celebrations would focus on the dedication of the newly completed Peace Tower, at the front of the rebuilt Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings. Citizens across Canada could listen to portions of the festivities over the radio, on the network assembled by Canadian National Railways. For other towns in the Dominion, the government prepared a curious scripted ceremony, called the Canadian National Service, to be conducted not on July 1, but at 2:30pm on Sunday afternoon. The format combined a Remembrance Day agenda with a Protestant church service. The purpose of the National Service was to honour those who had died during the great war, and to embellish the hopeful tone of peace that characterized the Ottawa ceremonies. In tone, though, it was dour and gloomy. The decision to hold it on July 3 rather than July 1 further undermined the sense of joy and

celebration originally intended for Confederation’s Diamond Jubilee. In early June, Viscount Willingdon, the newly appointed governor general of Canada, urged local communities to develop their own celebrations. To help promote special events, he proclaimed both July 1 and 2 as public holidays in Canada. This proclamation immediately raised a storm of protest from retail merchants, particularly those in small towns. Celebrating Confederation was all very well, but Saturday was the best business day in the week. Of Wellington’s small towns, only Moorefield and Elora staged full day celebrations on July 1. In both cases, extreme heat kept many people at home, trying to keep cool. The temperature that afternoon topped 35 C (95 F) across southern Ontario. The Moorefield events took place at the Moorefield Park, and included races and games in the morning. Under the sweltering afternoon sun, the Rothsay baseball team defeated the hometown favourites by a narrow margin, to music provided by the Palmerston Band. Evening featured a concert and dance, with proceeds slated to pay for further improvements in the park. Burt Brothers Department Store played a large part in Elora’s celebration, providing decorations for the post office and Royal Bank office. Burts also had bunting and flags for sale to others willing to spruce up the main street. The Oddfellows Lodge organized most of the July 1 events. There were games and sports during the day.

A parade threaded up the main street in early afternoon. Ball games followed one another all day. Hundreds braved heatstroke and sunburn to watch the Goldstone Ladies team defeat Ariss 16 to 10. A closely fought game between men’s teams from Guelph and Elmira followed. Elora’s celebration ended with a street dance to Elliot’s Orchestra from Guelph, and movies for youngsters in the Elora Opera House. Orangeville scheduled Old Home celebrations over the July 1 weekend in 1927. Events there drew heavily from residents in north Wellington on all three days, but particularly for the parade and ball games on July 1, and the street dance in the evening, with three bands. Several towns had more modest celebrations than Moorefield and Elora. In Arthur, reeve Irvine presided over a brief tree planting ceremony honouring those who fell in the first world war. Drayton’s United Church took advantage of the holiday to hold its annual garden party. With music by the Brunswick Trio of Toronto and Miss Stafford’s Elora Orchestra, it proved a huge success, generating proceeds of more than $500. Erin celebrated July 1 early, with a dance at Stanley Park on the evening of June 30. The Savannah Stompers, billed as “America’s Foremost Colored Recording Dance Orchestra,” provided the music and entertainment for a $1 admission price, very high by standards of 75 years ago. On July 1, the Maltby family rented Stanley Park for a reunion.

Despite the proclamation of Viscount Willingdon, July 2 passed as a normal business day in most of Wellington’s towns. J.M. Amy in Drayton was one of the few merchants to announce that he would close his store all day. Others opened for part of the day, and most for the full day. Anticipating that other towns might observe the special July 2 holiday, Mount Forest’s Board of Trade passed a resolution to stay open, and advertised the fact to draw business away from other towns. July 1 and 2 passed quietly in Mount Forest. The Baptists and Presbyterians decided to hold a joint picnic on the Saturday, but they went north to Holstein to do it. A.W. Wright, publisher of the Confederate, did the most in Mount Forest to celebrate, but he had a special reason. His paper began publication the first week of 1867, and he was personally marking 25 years at its helm. Wright marked the combination of anniversaries with a 20-page special edition. On July 3, there were at least 20 versions of the National Service sent out from Ottawa. The service at Arthur was a typical one. Reeve Irvine presided at the afternoon ceremony, assisted by three ministers, and mayor Bev Robson of Guelph. The Arthur Brass Band provided music for the hymns and patriotic anthems. Erin decided to hold the ceremony outdoors, in Stanley Park. Reeve Justice was in charge. A special male choir recruited from Erin’s Protestant churches provided the music. Elora’s reeve Udney Richardson also decided to celebrate outside, with the assemblage forming in front of the old

town hall, beside the Elora post office. In nearby Fergus, the service took place in Melville Church. Other than special decorations on the post office, put up by Albert Dick and Frank Gibson, the Sunday service was the only Dominion Day activity in town in 1927. The Drayton service took place, like most important events there, in the Town Hall, with reeve Gord McEwen in charge. In the hamlets and townships, churches were the popular venues for the ceremony. The long weekend provided a chance for people to travel and visit. Observers noted a great increase in road traffic over the weekend, complete with boiling radiators due to the heat. The Arrow Bus Line, operator of most of the routes in Wellington, put on two extra GuelphOwen Sound buses each day of the weekend, in addition to the two regular ones. A fifth bus made a noonhour swing from Guelph to Fergus and Elora and return. The railways managed to cope with the weekend crowds by adding extra coaches to regular runs. The 1927 Dominion Day celebrations certainly did not equal those of the Centennial 40 years later. As well, the narrow Protestant tone of much of the 1927 speech making would offend many people today. Nevertheless, July 1, 1927 stands as a milestone in Canada’s development as an independent nation, and one that is part of the memory of many of our older residents. *This column was originally published in the Wellington Advertiser on June 28, 2002.

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Fergus Pipe Band celebrating 90 years as Canadians recognize nation’s sesquicentennial FERGUS - Canadians are celebrating the nation’s 150th birthday this year. Many other milestones are being recognized this year as well. It was 100 years ago that Canadian soldiers distinguished themselves at Vimy Ridge, a battle that to many minds helped define Canada as a country. One unit, the Seaforth Highlanders,

helped spearhead the attack that won Canadian troops their reputation as the fine soldiers. The Highlanders, established in 1910 by a group of Vancouverites of Scottish descent, are an indelible part of Canada’s history and have continued as both peacekeepers and war fighters for decades. The Fergus Pipe Band is also cel-

The connection to the Highlanders continues today as one of the band’s Lifetime Members, Betty Henderson, descends from the band’s first drumming instructor. “The Fergus Pipe Band will never win a battle but we hope to help make history at the community level by ensuring Scottish heritage is retained and by bringing joy to all that hear us

ebrating a milestone: its 90th anniversary. Started in 1927, the band grew and funds were needed for the purchase of uniforms so members would not have to parade in “civies.” Two founding members of the band served with the Seaforth Highlanders in the First World War, so officials decided to adopt the MacKenzie tartan worn by the Seaforth Highlanders.

at the many events we participate in,” officials say. Each year the band supports commemorations at Salem, Elora and Fergus on Remembrance Day. In addition, Canada Day, Santa Claus Parades, Tartan Day, Robbie Burns Nights and the Special Needs soccer tournament make for a busy band. To mark its 90th anniversary, the

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band has added several special events. More information is available at or on Facebook or Instagram (@ferguspipeband). The band has members from ages eight to over 80 and from all walks of life; all proud Canadians. “We welcome you to come out for lessons and to join the band,” officials stated.

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156 Main St. Erin for more info

Fly Tying, Walk & Wade, Drifts, Live Bait 105 Queen St. W, Unit 6, Fergus • P: 226.383.3474 TF: 844.383.3474 •



R C H?



Located at the corner of Gordon St & Waterloo Ave Free Parking at the Fountain Street Lot



o l r i p n x g E NEVER STOP




2009 KEYSTONE EVEREST 345 S $29,995 + HST




2014 LAREDO 329 RE $46,900 + HST










31,210 LBS



RAM 3500





| MONTH OF 2018

2017 AEROLITE 242 BHSL $34,995 + HST

2018 DUTCHMEN COLEMAN 263 BH $25,495 + HST












3.6L V6


5.7L HEMI V8



10,640 LBS

RAM 1500






735 St. Andrew St. W., Fergus






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