Bicentennial Branch Celebrates 35TH ANNIVERSARY.
It was a little windy and a little rainy, but it did not stop our Branch from having a wonderful celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Branch, our Charter having been received on 24 March 1984. We rented the large pavilion behind the Canadian Transportation Museum at Heritage Village and people moved a little closer in to avoid the rain.
We were particularly excited to have our Dominion President, Sue Hines UE, send greetings of congratulations along with a certificate of the same. She spoke about the validity of the UEL organization and how we need to continue promoting, as less focus is being spent on that component of the curriculum in elementary school.
Past Dominion President, Bonnie Schepers UE, spoke about the Loyalist Scholarship Challenge and how this program is helping graduate students and our organization to gather more research about our Loyalist heritage.
We were delighted that charter member and long-serving Branch Treasurer, Dianne Noble, was in attendance with all her family.
It was our extreme fortune to have Heather Crewe, with her friends from the Southern Ontario Dulcimer Association, perform at our 35 th Anniversary celebration. There were fourteen musicians from as far away as Owen Sound and Gravenhurst. They chose music that would have been familiar to our Loyalist ancestors and often Celtic in style, using hammered dulcimers, mountain dulcimers, guitars, bodhran and various woodwind instruments. It was a delightful and almost magical musical treat!
After the music, we had a tasty lunch, prepared by the 50's Diner at the Canadian Transportation Museum. A special 35th Anniversary Loyalist Flag Cake, with fresh berry toppings, was prepared by a local bakery and enjoyed by all.
We were fortunate to have Debra Honor UE, Past Branch President in attendance as well. Debra Honor actually inspired our guest speaker, Doug Robinson, also known as Seamus Gunn, to use his strong oracle skills to share our rich historic past. On this day, Doug Robinson re-enacted the life and times of Seamus Gunn UE, a Loyalist from that time period.
We were fortunate to have displays created from our archives by Laurie Kowtiuk from our materials stored at ECHRS. Dan WJJT Griffin UE also had binders full of memorabilia of our Branch.
We need to give Judith Girty a huge thank you for preparing most of the supplies required to setup the tables, keeping attendance and collecting admission. She even had her grandson and friend help to set up tables and put them away afterwards. Countless hours of volunteer service were provided by the Executive to make this celebration event extra special. We are thankful for every person who was able to attend and enjoy this happy occasion.
BY DAN WJJT GRIFFIN UE, BICENTENNIAL BRANCH PRESIDENT