Canada 150 reunion ‘We nailed it!’

• By Kevin Weedmark

The crowd at the reunion ceremony filled the McNaughton High School gym.

Organizers of the 2017 reunion held to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary say things couldn’t have gone better for the reunion weekend.

“I like how Sinc put it—’we nailed it!’ says reunion co-chair Marg Tomlinson.

“Looking back to when we started a year ago, I never dreamt that things could turn out so well,” said co-chair Sinc Harrison. “The co-operation from everyone was incredible, without exception. I don’t think we asked anybody for something that they didn’t go along with. Everyone was more than happy to help. The co-operation was just incredible.

“There were so many groups involved, when you think of the United Church and the Kinsmen and the Elks and the Firemen and all the people who contributed to those different things, and the multicultural community that were run off their feet on Saturday and all the people who worked on the parade and put floats in— there were virtually hundreds of people.

“550 people registered, but there were a lot more people around than that,” said Michele Shaw, who handled registrations for the reunion.

“As registrations sort of dribbled in we were thinking 350, but there were a lot of last-minute registrations,” said Harrison. “I think with the great weather and all the people who were back and everything that was going on, it was kind of infectious and people wanted to be part of it.

“I think all of the people who threw their individual class reunions really drew a lot of people also,” said Tomlinson. “Kudos to the ones who contacted people and organized their own class reunions.”
Harrison said he was impressed by the ecumenical service organized by the Moosomin Association of Churches that closed out the weekend Sunday morning.

“I was amazed at the organization and the planning that went into that,” he said. “(Rev. Dr.) Trish (McCarthy) came to the meetings a couple of times and said what they wanted to do. Once I saw how it unfolded, it was obvious they had put a lot of time and effort into it—the music and the readings. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful weekend.”

He said he was happy Lieutenant-Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield was able to attend the weekend. “A highlight for me was the Lieutenant-Governor coming,” said Harrison. “I think she really added something to the ceremony.”

“She loved the ceremony,” said Tomlinson.

“She loved Hank Reis. She was laughing so hard!”

What will the organizers remember long after the reunion?

“What will stick in my mind is all the hugs I got,” says Tomlinson. “All the people I got to meet and greet and have a visit with. I was kind of sad Saturday night when I went home.”

She said she was also particularly impressed by the Multicultural Celebration. “They did an amazing job,” Tomlinson said. “It was wonderful to see. Kudos to them for putting that together. It was absolutely amazing. The food was awesome, and it was great. It was wonderful to see so many people there.”

“I’ll remember all the positive comments,” said Harrison. “For people who hadn’t been back to Moosomin for 20 or 30 years, they remarked how they couldn’t get over how good the town looks and how much it has grown, and how the business community has grown.”

He said he was very impressed by the town facilities used for the reunion. “It was fitting that the weekend started and ended at the (Tim Hortons Outdoor) Eventplex. That is just a top-notch facility that will be used well into the future.

“Financially, we started out without a nickle in the bank, and I think we ended up in pretty good shape,” said Harrison. “We don’t have everything tallied yet, but we’re in lots of black ink.”

Proceeds are earmarked to fund the Alumni Association Scholarship at McNaughton High School.

Both Harrison and Tomlinson said they are very grateful for all the volunteers who helped out.


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