An Afternoon to Remember – Tay Valley Township’s 200th Anniversary Launch

Book At Home in Tay Valley0001

Despite the overcast skies and threats of rain, nothing could dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic crowds that packed the Eco-Tay Centre on Saturday afternoon to mark the launch of Tay Valley’s 200th anniversary celebrations.

The well- organized event ran like clock-work, beginning with the volunteers warmly greeting visitors at the gate, accompanied by the well-designed, colourful signage proclaiming that this was ‘the place to be’ to celebrate the history of Tay Valley Township.

Tay Valley Township sign0001   Tay Valley Signs0001

Eco Tay Barns0001

The event was held in a huge, rustic, barn, one of the many lovely buildings on the property known as the Eco-Tay Education Centre. The Eco-Tay Centre, owned by Michael Glover and Annie Dalton is the site of the Ritchie family homestead, the original settlers in 1816.

Calendars 200th anniversary0001Button At Home in Tay Valley0001Button # 2 At Home in Tay Valley0001

The barn was a hive of activity, with something for current and former residents and history-lovers of all kinds.   Kay Rogers, Editor of ‘At Home in Tay Valley’ was busy at the book table, signing copies of the popular book, while visitors waited in line, eager to purchase the historical publication. Over 60 of the contributors – writers, artists, videographers and story-tellers were present at the event, and the room was abuzz with lively conversations and reminiscences of days gone by.

Kay Rogers signing books0001

A beautiful cake, artfully decorated with the Tay Valley 200th anniversary logo was the centrepiece for a table covered with delightful goodies to please the most discerning palate.

200th anniversary cake upright0001

Not far from the book table, positioned near a doorway, and back-lit by the sun, was perhaps one of the loveliest quilts imaginable, displayed with pride, created and stitched by the Lanark County Quilters Guild. This awe-inspiring quilt features 200 quilt squares, and an actual map of the original 1816 settlements. The 200-square quilt was fashioned specifically for the 200th anniversary celebrations, and certainly showcases the fine work done by the members of the Guild.

Quilt # 1 200th anniversary0001Quilt # 2 Detail 200th anniversary0001

Quilt # 4 Detail 200th anniversary0001_1Quilt # 5 Detail 200th anniversary0001

A special announcement was made around 2:00 pm that the guest of honour would be arriving shortly. Entering the building with a military escort, the Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Canada, was welcomed by all present.

The opening ceremonies were led by Lanark County Warden, and Reeve for Tay Valley Township Keith Kerr, officially declaring the launch of the 200th anniversary celebrations. Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell graciously thanked Tay Valley Township for inviting her to participate, and she shared some inspirational thoughts on the importance of preserving local history for future generations. Kay Rogers shared her experiences of editing the 200th anniversary publication, comparing it to an old fashioned ‘bee’, where many hands make light work.

Opening Ceremonies 200th Book Launch0001Hon Elizabeth Dowdswell's address0001

distinguished guests0001crowds at Eco Tay0001

It was a pleasure to meet with the distinguished guests, as well as some familiar faces from the neighbourhood – Maxine and Keith Jordan, Verna Perkins, Dianne Tysick Pinder-Moss, Nancy (Miller) Chenier, and Beverly (Miller) Ferlatte. It was lovely to have the opportunity to meet Eco-Tay owner Michael Glover, and Lanark County Tourism Manager Marie White.

Arlene & Dianne Eco Tay0001_1Arlene & Bev at Eco Tay0001

Verna & Arlene0001

Arlene & Lt. Governor of Ontario0001

Arlene & Marie White0001

The Lieutenant Governor, along with County Warden Keith Kerr toured the grounds of the Eco Tay property, and exchanged thoughts on the 200th anniversary plans in place for 2016, and the highlights of events taking place in the months to come.

Walking the grounds of the beautifully maintained property, and the lush green landscape stretching in every direction, it was a time to remember and reflect on the original owners. The Ritchie family, who in 1816 cleared the land, built a home, and started their lives in the new world. It was a day to remember all of the original settlers to Tay Valley, and how they laid the foundations for our communities and our futures.

Grounds at Eco Tay0001It was an occasion to reflect on those that came before us, and a day to celebrate the achievements of the past 200 years. Many thanks, to the organizers and the volunteers who made the event such a success. Special thanks to Kay Rogers who gathered our stories, our photos, our artwork, and our history, and assembled it all in “At Home in Tay Valley”, so that future generations may remember who we were, and how we lived.

http://www.staffordwilson.com

4 comments on “An Afternoon to Remember – Tay Valley Township’s 200th Anniversary Launch

  1. Marie says:

    Hey Arlene! Great post, we shared it today @LanarkCounty. Visit again soon!

    • Hey Marie – We had a wonderful time at the Eco-Tay Centre. The treats were delicious, the quilt was lovely and it’s great to finally have a copy of the book ‘At Home in Tay Valley’ and reading all of the stories. Hope to see you again soon!

  2. Carol D. Ritchie says:

    I feel certain that my ancestors felt proud to see the farm come alive on that September day. Special thanks to Mick Glover for the beautiful job of restoration of the various farm buildings. I unfortunately was on a bus tour in Ireland, and missed out on the days festivities. Ouch!

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