Canada 150 extravaganza

by Susan Wells

St. Elizabeth’s Burlington partnered with the city of Burlington (“Love my Hood”) and Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman to host a Canada 150 party at Skyway Park and St. Elizabeth’s Church.

Over 300 people from our local community came out to celebrate. Coordinated by Adele Reynolds and Pat Hemingway, the day was wonderful—the weather, the exhibits, the crafts, the sports and the free hotdogs.

The focus of the event was Canadian history—by learning more about our past, we are more appreciative of our now.

Susan wells
The 1923 fire truck, with its hand crank siren and open design, was a great attraction at the Canada 150 extravaganza sponsored by St. Elizabeth’s Church and the city of Burlington. Photo: Susan Wells

Several museums were invited to display artifacts of local history.

The Erland Lee Museum (Women’s Institute) showed artifacts, many of which were from six generations of the Lee family, who lived in the home between 1808 and 1971.

Griffin House museum in Ancaster displayed cursive writing with real pen and ink.

The Beach Canal Lighthouse Group had pamphlets and pictures of the Burlington Canal, as well as the old lighthouse and keeper’s cottage, which they would like to restore and run as museums.

There were also exhibits from Ruthven Park in Cayuga, which houses the family mansion (with a sabre from the War of 1812), a bird banding centre, nature trails and a sensational view of the Grand.

The Bell Homestead from Brantford had a variety of telephones; kids found the dial phones quite a novelty.

The McMullen Dark Collection of Royal Family is quite extensive.

TEAD is The Equestrian Association of Disabled people, who assist people with physical disabilities using volunteers and trained horses.

The Donkey Sanctuary located in Puslinch provides a safe home for donkeys. Unfortunately, it is too stressful to transport the animals, so people were invited to visit them at the sanctuary.

Golden Horseshoe Post Card Club, Griffin House—Fieldcote Museum and the Native Women’s Centre were also present.

In addition to the exhibitors, the Burlington Fire Department came with their 1923 fire truck and other emergency equipment from the Kilbride Station. The hand crank siren and open design attracted youngsters wanting to be firefighters. The Halton Police and Ambulance, Crime Stoppers and St. John Ambulance, who provided our First Aid station, had many visitors to their kiosks.

The “mist tent” was very popular—the children loved running through it to keep cool and it also worked well for the dogs.

The children were able to learn about and try out lacrosse and ball hockey which were played in Skyway Arena. Other outdoor games were available for the children, while Tom Goff loaned his canoe, which kids used for photo opportunities.

Over 300 hotdogs were handed out, along with cupcakes appropriately decorated for Canada’s birthday.

Like most events, the success of this party was due to the substantial number of volunteers from St. Elizabeth’s and our local community, as well as family and friends.

It was a wonderful day, at least up to two o’clock when the heavens opened and rained poured down causing us to end the event two hours early.

All in all, it was a great opportunity for the parish to be seen as a vibrant member of our community, and to develop relationships with community partners.

The Reverend Susan Wells is Interim Pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Burlington.