While Canada was enjoying its 132nd anniversary last Thursday, Emo likewise was having a fantastic time kicking off its three-day centennial celebrations.
People came in from all parts of Ontario, and as far away as New Mexico, Arizona, Alberta, Quebec, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota to take in the festivities.
With 100 years of history packed into three days, there was lots to view, particularly at the “Walk Through Time” exhibit at the Emo arena.
One highlight there was the CNR display which featured a model CN train, village, buildings, round house, mini animal pieces, and cars. The booth caught everyone’s eye since the train set was actually operating.
Thanks go out to Blair Anderson, Ron McGregor, Jim Marr, Keith Watson, Dave Smith, and Paul Melanson, and train operators John and Kay Redford, and Paul Redford.
Others contributing material to the display were Milton Guba, Tony Bliss, Gus Lindberg, Dan Wilson, and A. Borger.
At opening ceremonies at Lions Park, descendants of an early settler family--Tim, Lori, Ann, Brianna, Jameson, Kassidy, and Spencer Shortreed and Don and Ada Shortreed--were met by Emo council led by Reeve Brian Reed.
Town crier Doug Hodge read the proclamation after the guests arrived, led by piper Dr. Bruce Lidkea. Then Laurens Visser led the roughly 500-strong in O Canada, followed by the opening prayer by the Emo Ministerial Association.
After the speeches and presentations, Dr. Lidkea piped the group to the site of the tree planting, followed by the singing of the Centennial Song by the Choralee’s with the audience joining in.
The unveiling of the 100th anniversary plaque and cairn at the Emo Municipal Office was done by Reeve Reid and councillors. Descendants of the Shortreeds and Alexander Luttrell also gathered to have their photographs taken with the plaque.
Other centennial activities over the weekend at Lions Park included Charity Rose of Dryden (on her way to big times and hits in Nashville), and a variety musical evening arranged by Cindy Judson that highlighted several homegrown talent.
Upstairs at the arena, the Lions had a farmers’ market and also served light lunches.
The pancake breakfast at Emo Christian Church and Tompkins Hardware drew a large number of early birds, with proceeds designated towards Emo hospital renovations.
The barbecue at Lions Park kept the Emo ambulance volunteers busy while the steak supper Saturday night at the Emo Legion also was well attended.
Of course, what’s a party without a parade! The “Transportation Through the Century” at noon on Saturday featured every mode of transportation imaginable over the past 100 years.
It was done in story form in front of the grandstand.
Boat rides on the river were supplied by Bob Dimit, Gary Judson and Nestor Falls Marine, and Richard Veldhuisen. And how about the fireworks Thursday that lit up the night sky.
Finally, the ecumenical service at Norlund’s Chapel on Sunday morning brought out members from each of the six congregations (Off Lake Evangelical Covenant, St. Patrick’s, St. George’s Anglican, Knox United, Calvary Baptist, and Christian Reformed Church).
Taking part were Pastor Gerald VanSmeerdyk, Pastor Andrew Hall, Pastor Dan Pearson, Elaine Bragg, and Father James Panikulam.
After the open air prayer service, a light lunch followed at the Chapel provided by Emo churches.