Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing shines at Fair

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Ayer's Cliff

The Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair­grounds was in top shape for the Stanstead County Horticultural So­ci­ety’s 101st An­nual Ex­hi­bi­tion last week­end. Thanks to the ef­forts of sev­eral vol­un­teers, the build­ing un­der­went a much-needed ren­o­va­tion that was com­pleted just in time for this year’s fair.

“The Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing was moved to its present site in 1939 and the ad­di­tions were put on shortly there­after us­ing build­ings that were al­ready on the fair­grounds. So it was due for re­pairs,” said Tri­cia McDaid, the pres­i­dent of the Horticultural So­ci­ety.

The work started in May with the prepa­ra­tions for the re­plac­ing of the 80 foot foun­da­tion. The build­ing had slipped off its sill and needed to be jacked up with an 80 foot by 3 foot trench dug. This work was su­per­vised by Rod­ney Pax­ton, an Ayer’s Cliff Fair board di­rec­tor. Two cen­ter posts and the ce­ment was re­placed, all the work done by vol­un­teers from the Fair Board and the Horticultural So­ci­ety. Once the new foun­da­tion was in, the walls were re­built, new sid­ing was in­stalled and painted. The win­dows were put back, not easy con­sid­er­ing their age.

Next the large tables were put back into place. New shelv­ing was made and ev­ery­thing re­ceived a fresh coat of cheery yel­low and white paint. The So­ci­ety’s sec­re­tary-trea­surer, Deb­bie Smith, has new of­fice space and the chicken wire has been re­moved from around the cages. The lay­out of the build­ing, such as the mov­ing of the cook­ing depart­ment to the cen­ter aisle, was al­tered a lit­tle to make it eas­ier for judg­ing and view­ing and brighter.

“The Horticultural So­ci­ety ‘s board mem­bers have worked very hard to see this ren­o­va­tion through, and for some of us, it be­came a part time job. Wes­ley Ma­son had hip surgery dur­ing the process and was back to work as soon as he was able. Tim Roarke and An­gus MacKin­non were very help­ful dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase; Cindy Bowen raised the money to fi­nance the ren­o­va­tion; Trevor McComb, Tyler McComb, Heidi and Naomi Ship­way and friend Chris­tine, Briana and Erica Bouchard, Wy­att John­ston and San­dra Dezan were masters with the paint­brush. This is an ex­am­ple of the com­mit­ted and ded­i­cated peo­ple who un­der­stand the im­por­tance of the Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing as a part of our cul­tural her­itage.

“We also thank ev­ery­one who do­nated to the Ayer’s Cliff Fair’s Spon­sor­ship Com­mit­tee, es­pe­cially Farm Credit for their sub­stan­tial do­na­tion. And a most sin­cere thank-you to Rod­ney Pax­ton, Steve and Alda Brus. With­out their help we likely wouldn’t have got­ten the job done.”

The Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing’s of­fi­cial open­ing was held on Satur­day at noon dur­ing the fair and there was a big turnout and a big cake for ev­ery­one. Fair pres­i­dent Keith MacDon­ald said a few words as did Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alex van Zuiden. Hor­ti­cul­ture So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Tri­cia McDaid re­ceived a spe­cial plaque for her hard work as pres­i­dent of the So­ci­ety.

Stanstead Hor­ti­cul­ture So­ci­ety mem­bers donned some vin­tage cloth­ing to cel­e­brate the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Ayer’s cliff Fair’s Hor­ti­cul­ture Build­ing af­ter the ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions that had the build­ing look­ing shiny and bright, ready for an­other 101 years.

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