Sharing pride over 175 years as a community
On Sun., Sept. 17, numerous attendees at the Avonmore 175th anniversary celebrations gathered together on the marked lawn area reading 175, located on the other side of the fairgrounds coverall at North Stormont Place, to participate in the aerial photograph by a drone recording the event overhead as people waved and cheered for posterity. Garnett Last is the owner who operated the drone. This photo will be included in a time capsule with other artefacts to be opened in 25 years.    Courtesy Garnett Last photo (Inset Carruthers photo)

Muriel Carruthers
Record Staff
AVONMORE – The 175th anniversary celebration of Avonmore was a well-attended and resounding success, thanks to the organizers, and the many volunteers and sponsors who worked so long and hard to bring the Sun., Sept. 17 festivities to the community.

Chad Simmons, the 2017 Ontario Experienced Auctioneer Champion of the Auctioneers Association of Ontario, is seen here auctioning off the Avonmore 150th anniversary quilt at Avonmore’s 175th celebration, Sun., Sept. 17, at North Stormont Place’s coverall. The winning bid of $360 for the quilt was secured by Avonmore resident Earl Canham, who graciously gave back the quilt to the organizers for future fundraiser consideration. A limited edition poster, framed, of the 1901 Roxborough Exhibition Avonmore, donated by Murray and Pilar Barkley, was auctioned off for $410 as well by Simmons. Proud purchaser/owner is now Jim Wert. Carruthers photo

From the self-guided walking tour, the bus tours and drivers courtesy of Delaney Bus Lines, with local resident and historian-host Murray Barkley and his assistant Harmony Koiter, to the afternoon tea and champagne punch reception, the community heritage dinner, and later evening auction, the day’s events provided something for everyone.

Seen here, from left, with Scott Hopkins are three of the seven Roxmore Public School students – whose ideas and drawings were combined to create the one side of the limited edition Avonmore 175th commemorative coin – Jack Chenier, Cameron Chenier and Mckenzie Branchaud. Missing from the photo are Jordan Daye, Phoebe Betrim, Kayden Ladouceur and Ava Betrim. Carruthers photo

Displays of historical items, scrapbooks, photos and clothing, including sports attire of past Avonmore teams, were centrally located in the North Stormont Place hall.

S-D-SG MP Guy Lauzon presented a certificate recognizing the 175th anniversary of the founding of Avonmore to Nancy Wert and Murray Barkley during the community dinner on Sept. 17 at the fairgrounds. Thompson Goddard photo

Erin and Scott Hopkins provided information and samples of the commemorative coins at tables in the hall and later in the coverall. Following the dinner, Scott presented commemorative coins to the students from Roxmore Public School who helped to design the coin.

Numerous quilts were on display at the Presbyterian and United churches, including the 150th anniversary quilt that was later auctioned at evening’s end. The award-winning auctioneer Chad Simmons of North Stormont, led the bidding for the 150th anniversary quilt and the 1901 Roxborough Exhibition Avonmore poster. The winners of the respective items were Earl Canham with a bid of $360 for the quilt and Jim Wert, at $410 for the poster. Canham donated the quilt back to the organizers for a future fundraiser.

Local historian Murray Barkley of Avonmore is pictured with Sophie Branchaud of Sage Productions in the foyer of North Stormont Place during the Avonmore 175 celebrations on Sept. 17. Barkley wrote the booklet Lost Avonmore Walking Tour of the Historic Village to accompany the historical tours of Avonmore. Barkley said the booklet (designed and published by Sage Productions) will be on sale after the event for $5.00 each and suggested contacting Nancy Wert at 613-346-5493 for more information. Thompson Goddard photo

The Stormont-Glengarry Junior Farmers provided fun for the kids in the fairgrounds near the coverall.

Prior to the dinner, attendees were invited to the marked lawn area reading 175, on the other side of the coverall, to participate in the aerial photograph by a drone recording the event overhead as people waved and cheered for posterity. Garnett Last is the owner who operated the drone. This photo will be included in a time capsule with other artefacts to be opened in 25 years.

The community heritage dinner, held in the coverall, included free hot dogs for the kids, or purchased pulled pork on a bun with corn on the cob, salads, cake and drinks. The cake was made and donated by Ronda of Avonmore’s Rockin’ Ronda’s Diner. The entertainment was by The County Lads who demonstrated outstanding musical talents with vocals, guitars, banjo, accordion and fiddle. The Township of North Stormont Mayor Dennis Fife was one of the dignitaries present, along with Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon who presented a Certificate of recognition to organizers Nancy Wert and Murray Barkley.

For anyone who was not able to attend the Avonmore 175th anniversary celebrations this past Sunday, there may still be a chance to “read all about it” – now or in 25 years!

The historical keepsake booklet Lost Avonmore: Walking Tour of the Historic Village, by Murray Barkley, was available for purchase and specifically created to accompany the historical self-guided walking or bus tours of Avonmore held during the anniversary celebrations. The booklet provides a pictorial and historical overview of its earliest settlers, business entrepreneurs and colourful citizens who have shaped the village of Avonmore to its current importance in the township of North Stormont. Barkley provided additional narratives relating to the buildings and citizens mentioned in the booklet as the free bus toured around the streets of Avonmore. There may still be a few left to purchase from the organizers. Or wait till 2042 to see what the time capsule will reveal!