On Sunday October 3, the morning skies were overcast with a hint of rain to come but in the end it turned out to be a perfect day for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Anten Mills Community Association. After much physical work and uncertainty due to the worldwide health circumstances along with a continuously moving plan everything came together and the celebration occurred and went off without a hitch
The day began with the Artisans and Crafters Fair where fourteen locals showcased their talents and those who attended were offered a variety of products. The response from both those offering and those purchasing was very positive with the hope this could become an annual event. As there was no entry fee, those participating were asked to provide a door prize. There were some very fortunate people who went home with a very nice gift at the end of the day.
Official ceremonies began at 1:30 with greetings and congratulations coming from Springwater Mayor Don Allen, MPP Doug Downey and current Anten Mills Community Recreation Association Chair, Lawrence Pavan. A short review of the history and contributions was described followed by the unveiling of the temporary history storyboard. To truly commemorate the event, two individuals with history going back to the early years of the community association were recruited to assist with the ceremonies. Robert “Dutchie” Van Nispen who was the first Secretary of the association in 1971 along with Murray Van Rassel an early member of the community recreation committee and President in 1977 had the honours. The storyboard is located at the front of the garden and describes some of the history of the school house which has become the community centre along with the community achievements. The anniversary garden unveiling came next. To permanently celebrate the 50th anniversary an engraved garden rock donated through the generosity of Kevin Johnston of Monument Restoration of Midhurst was uncovered. Anten Mills has seen a number of children from the first or second generation families return to bring up and raise their children. To recognize this, a third generation child Georgia Allan, assisted by Deputy Mayor Jennifer Coughlin who’s family can trace back five generations in the community uncovered the rock.
The anniversary garden came about through the generous donation from many. A number of community members donated plants along with the members of the Elmvale District Growing Enthusiast. Soil was received from Stonemanor with trucking provided by Eisses. Compost and mulch was donated by the County of Simcoe.Grading and soil placement was done by the capable Springwater Township Parks and Recreation staff under the direction of manager Briana Dean.
The community was also the recipient of a grant from the ‘Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program’ which resulted in a 500 meter walking path being created along and through the perimeter of the park. Before it was completed families were observed using it. A convenient walkway from the Lawrence / Pineview entrance to the playground makes it much easier for families with young children in strollers, wagons or bicycles to make their way.It also is a great path for a measured walk and many have been seen utilizing it for that benefit. The community is greatly appreciative of this addition to our social and physical resources and know that it will be used by many for a long time.
While the celebration was the commemorative part of the 50th anniversary there are still other features and enhancements to the park, community centre and grounds. A new handicap accessible entrance has been created at the front of the building and a new two way entrance to the park and parking is under construction at the back. As well, the second phase of the garden will see the development of a garden parking berm along the south side of the parking lot. All should be completed in the near future.
The Elmvale and District Foodbank also benefited from the anniversary celebration with approximately five hundred pounds of food and monetary donations being delivered to them. They have requested that the community be acknowledged for their generous donations as they are grateful for the continued support.
The CRA is still looking at other events for the year and will provide more details as they are finalized. One event that is still in the air at this time is the Halloween activity. For a number of years community members have stepped up and there has been some form of Halloween activity. In the past there has been pumpkin carving and games in the community centre and last year a Halloween Safe Trick or Treat night with prepackaged candy bags being handed out. The family who took on the challenge last year is unable to do so this year so a call is out for an individual, family or group of people to take on the organizing. The CRA is willing to assist and if you, your family or a group is interested please contact me directly so that again we can offer a safe Halloween activity to our community.
That’s all for this week. Please feel free to contact with story ideas, newsworthy events or to provide leads on Anten Mills activities I may not be aware of. Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, Stay Strong, email@example.com.