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Following 40-year drought, rain fell on Milford’s Fair honouring farmers

It never rains on the Milford Fair – except for this year when it was decided to honour farmers.

“Farmers are always fighting the weather. They’re at the mercy of the weather, so if we had a different theme this year, it wouldn’t have rained,” said Bruce Dowdell, Fair President Emeritus.

But the community and its many friends came out anyway to show their support.

Councillor Barb Proctor said she was glad the fair was honouring farmers, “who are the foundation, building blocks and roots of our community ” and noted the last time the fair was rained out, as far as residents could remember, was in 1974.

So, a Sunday rain date has not been so much of a concern, she said, and was not implemented since the property, until this year, was church-owned.

She thanked the congregations of St. Johns and St. Philips Anglican churches and the Anglican Diocese of Ontario for the donation earlier this year of the land used for the fair and the ball diamond.

She noted there is to be a plaque erected on the site honouring the diocese and churches for their support of this community partnership going back almost 75 years.

“In 1942 the Anglican Church agreed to allow the South Marysburgh Recreation Committee, under Carson Scott, and community to clear the land west of the rectory for a baseball diamond,” she noted in a quick history report. “In 1945 this area was the scene of a welcome home picnic for the South Marysburgh soldiers who returned home from the Second World War. The following year it was the site of the re-established MIlford Fair.

“On March 22, 1965 a formal agreement was signed between St. Philips Anglican Church and the South Marysburgh Recreation Committee to use the lands to provide facilities that will encourage recreation and good sportsmanship in the village of Milford and surrounding area.”

Emcee Charlie Vincent thanked volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to the fair each year and introduced Fair Board President Janna McCarthy.

The fair was officially opened by Mayor Peter Mertens.

“It was a really great gift of the land to the municipality,” said Mertens. “for the people of South Marysburgh and everyone who visits here. It’s the community working together with all of the partners.”

Mertens, who has chosen not to run for council next month, gave personal thanks the citizens of South Marysburgh for their support and for inviting him to the many events over the years.

As is tradition, the Murray Clapp Memorial Citizenship Awards were presented to honour community involvement and volunteer work by citizens and volunteers with the PEC fire department.

They were presented by Glendon Walker, Joyce Minaker and Leona Head, to firefighter Phil Kinnear,and community volunteers Heather Ross (received award earlier); Karen Gyde, Maureen Rudd, Mike and Lynette Pettit.

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The Murray Clapp Memorial Citizenship Awards are presented to honour community involvement and volunteer work by citizens and volunteers with the PEC fire department. The 2014 honours were presented by Joyce Minaker, Leona Head and Glendon Walker, (Emcee Charlie Vincent looking on) to firefighter Phil Kinnear, and community volunteers Karen Gyde, Maureen Rudd, Mike and Lynette Pettit. Heather Ross received her award earlier.

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