Huge crowd comes out to Hat­ley

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Hat­ley

Judg­ing by the crowds, the line-ups for food and the traf­fic snarls at the 105th Hat­ley Canada Day cel­e­bra­tion on Mon­day, there is no short­age of Cana­dian pa­tri­o­tism in the area. The sun came out, for a change, and the rain held off which made ev­ery­one happy, ex­cept for all the late ar­rivals who were forced to park their cars on the out­skirts of town and walk in to see the pa­rade.

The pa­rade got off to a late start since some of the pa­rade par­tic­i­pants were caught in the traf­fic, ar­riv­ing a lit­tle late. Once started, it had to pause for what seemed like an eter­nity if you were hav­ing to con­trol a skit­tish horse, be­cause of a med­i­cal emer­gency. An el­derly man had se­vere chest pains and was at­tended to by the on-site first re­spon­ders. Those in the pa­rade who were ei­ther rid­ing horses or driv­ing a team are to be highly com­mended for keep­ing their an­i­mals un­der con­trol – not easy to do when you have ex­cited spec­ta­tors all around, young and old, and some of them ap­pear­ing obliv­i­ous to the po­ten­tial dan­ger. For­tu­nately, the only mishap was be­tween a horse and the clas­sic car of one of the Good­sell boys.

The pa­rade was em­ceed by Royal Orr, David Price and Phil Ker­win, a for­mer Canada Day em­cee who ac­com­pa­nied them for ‘old times sake’. “It’s ap­pro­pri­ate to fin­ish the pa­rade with our fire­fight­ers, vol­un­teers who put them­selves in dan­ger, and we’re very grate­ful for them,” said Mr. Orr as an Ayer’s Cliff firetruck, with Slightly Hag­gard play­ing on its roof, rolled by. David Price did his usual gig of de­scrib­ing the an­tique cars in the pa­rade and an­nounc­ing their own­ers, one at a time as they rolled up to the gazebo.

Lan­guage Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Fraser ad­dressed the crowd first dur­ing the Open­ing Cer­e­mony. Seem­ingly im­pressed by the size and en­thu­si­asm of Mon­day’s crowd, he said: “Look­ing around I can see that you can­not mea­sure the vi­tal­ity of a com­mu­nity by per­cent­ages.” Hat­ley’s new mayor, Denis Fer­land, whose fam­ily has par­tic­i­pated in the Canada Day event for years, spoke in both English and French about past Canada Days in Hat­ley. Or­ford MNA Pierre Reid, for the first time in eleven years, did not at­tend the event be­cause he was away in Europe. His wife, Lynn Blouin, who is also the Deputy CEO of the Sher­brooke Canada Games, at­tended on his be­half and brought along Ziz Zag, the mas­cot of the Games. “In a month we will be host­ing the Canada Games and we will be cel­e­brat­ing Canada again. You have to be there!” said Ms. Blouin.

NDP MP Jean Rousseau, of the Comp­ton- Stanstead rid­ing, was last to ad­dress the crowd. “Aren’t we proud of Hat­ley and this Canada Day?” He then said: “I be­lieve in Canada. Do you be­lieve in Canada?” and re­ceived an en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse. Next, he led a small choir of VIP’s in the singing of the National An­them, as he put it last year, “Hockey night in Canada style”: first part in French and the sec­ond part in English. Re­gard­less of lan­guage, the singing has been get­ting louder at this event ev­ery year; surely a good sign.

One of the top prize win­ners in the pa­rade was the float made by the Gre­nier/Fau­teux fam­ily, from Stanstead. “We usu­ally do a float for the Border­Fest but this is the first time we’ve been in the Canada Day Pa­rade,” said Julie Fau­teux in her cos­tume from the 1800’s. “It took us one and a half hours to get to Hat­ley from Stanstead; we had to drive at 20 km an hour!”

De­spite the rain that ar­rived later in the day, the fire­works went off at dusk, cap­ping off one of the re­gion’s long­est-run­ning events.

Joanna and Keith Cheal en­joy a dance to­gether at the Hat­ley Canada Day cel­e­bra­tion in the early evening.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Julie Fau­teux and Stephane Gre­nier pose with their daugh­ters, Marie-Rose and Leanne, on their first place float.

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