Sunny Thresher weekend makes up for wet Friday - Sept. 14, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The annual reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association proved to be great despite some wet weather on Thursday and Friday according to President Peter Hendriks.
Friday morning saw rain, which pushed back some of the programming, according to Hendriks. However, a significant increase in Saturday attendance offset any loss the rain storm may have caused.
“The weather really turned Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in our favour,” he said. “We had an above-record day on Saturday and a nice, strong normal Sunday.”
Over the event, Secretary Jackie Lantinga reported approximately 7,000 visitors came through the gates, not including children under 12 or the over 800 members, volunteers, exhibitors and vendors.
Camping Chair John Green reported 595 sites rented out on the grounds, which was down slightly from 2016 due to the weather.
Hendriks said he thinks that everyone who had planned to attend but didn’t come on Friday came on Saturday, increasing the number of people at the event.
“The displays were well received and we had a big parade on Saturday,” he said. “I had reports that some people felt it was an over an hour.”
The Huron-Perth Trapper’s Association, a new addition to the working displays in the Memorial Shed, was well attended Hendriks said.
“We had a lot of good comments from them about people interested in what was going on,” he said.
Hendriks also said the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association received a lot of positive comments on the veranda added to the log cabin and said that music events throughout the weekend were well attended.
Lantinga reported that the reunion was excellent despite the weather.
“Some of our events, such as the tractor pull, had to be cancelled,” she said of opening day on Friday. “The clearing later in the day allowed for a small parade. Hullett Public School attended and the children’s program was a success.”
Lantinga said the weather on Saturday and Sunday led to the grounds being full and the working and stationary displays being busy. She said the music, fiddling and step-dancing competitions and entertainment venues were full for three days of the show with jam sessions well attended in the evening as well.
The Friday and Saturday night dances were well attended.
Winners at the show included:
• Wayne Houston Memorial Trophy for top restored steam engine: Coldwater’s Mike Gladhill’s 20-HP Waterloo
• J.W. Andrews Memorial Trophy for top restored tractor: Coldwater’s Andrew Webb Case Model.
• Best Restored Feature Tractor - Lucknow’s William Pentland’s 1949 Massey Harris 44 Row Crop.
• Jack Arthur Memorial Trophy for Best Restored Tractor 1910-1930: Clinton’s Barry and Brian Young’s 1928 McCormick Deering 10-20.
• John Ellacot Memorial Trophy for Best Restored Tractor 1930-1950: Kippen’s Darryl and Darren Thomson’s 1947 McCormick W9.
• Billy Joe Hallahan Memorial Trophy for Best Restored Tractor 1951 to present: Belgrave’s Matthew Hallahan’s 1956 John Deere 80.
Gladys Van Egmond said entertainment at the event was well received, despite the weather.
Wednesday night’s old-tyme dancing was well-attended despite some rain, as was Thursday night’s fiddle workshop.
Van Egmond explained that Doug McNaughton marked his 20th year running the fiddle workshop and the milestone was celebrated.
The Sunday church service brought in 400 attendees according to Van Egmond. Pastor Randy Covey of Clinton United Church led the worship while music was provided by Four Heaven’s Sake from Chalmers Presbyterian Church in London.
The annual fiddle competition held on Saturday welcomed 24 performers. Winners of the 70-years-old-and-up category were Richard Seguin of Alban in first, Jim Dolmage of Toronto in second and Marg Delonge from St. Marys in third.
In the 50-69 bracket, Bill Smith of Dunville took top spot. Ken Hawkins of Teeswater took second place and Al Widmeyer of Goderich took third place.
In the 19-49 bracket, Sarah Johnston from Azilda won the first-place finish. Melita Lemelin of Hanmer took second and Will Wright of West Montrose was third.
Sophia Rosedale of Ilderton took the top spot in the 12-and-under category.
Naomi Rosedale of Ilderton claimed victory in the 18 and under category with Jeffrey Meier of Richmond and Kaitlyn Wright of West Montrose following her.
Sophia and Naomi took the duet class with Lemelin and Johnston coming in second.
Ken Cook of Dorchester won the open class.
Youngest and oldest performer awards went to Sophia Rosedale of Ilderton and Cliff Giles of London, respectively.
The step-dancing competition welcomed 21 dancers.
In the 9-and-under category, Kennington Ische of Stratford took first place with Marijke deVries of Renfrew and Connor Foran of Wellesley taking second and third place, respectively.
Anita Tigani of Stratford won the 12-and-under category. Sophia Rosedale of Ilderton and Ali deVries of Renfrew earned second and third.
In the 18-and-under category, Katie Paradis of Milverton came first followed by Leo Stock of Stratford and Clara Roth of Tavistock.
Sarah Johnston won the over-19 category, while Raymond Gignic of Penetanguishene came in second.
Maria Peppler of Orangeville won the open class with Chadotte Clare, also of Orangeville, coming in second.
The Stratford Step Sisters took first place in the junior group category while ElectriCAL STORM won the senior group category.
PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW
Looking back on his two-year term as president of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association, Hendriks said he appreciated all the people that made his two years a success.
“There’s a big thank you that has to go out to everybody who puts the time and effort into the show,” he said.
Over his two years, the Blyth Campground, which hosts the annual reunion, has benefitted from several improvements by the association including the new Memorial Building last year and a veranda being built on the log cabin this year.
“I was really just in the right time and right place for those projects,” he said. “A lot of the effort was put in before I came on and I was just the one to help pull the trigger on the projects.”
Hendriks said volunteering with the group has been a great experience and encourages everyone, especially younger people interested in agriculture, to reach out to him and get involved.
For more information contact Hendriks at 519-441-2303 or