If Monday night's council meeting was any indication, North Glengarry Township will likely bankroll a planned 200th birthday celebration for Alexandria.
County Archivist Allan MacDonald, who spoke on the organizing committee's behalf, told council that the celebration slated for 2019 would have three phases. There would be a gala on Feb. 9 at the Glengarry Sports Palace, a pictorial history unveiling on March 21, and a giant barbecue on June 29, again at the Sports Palace.
Regarding the pictorial history, Mr. MacDonald says that Alexandria doesn't have a book that details its history. “It's a glaring omission that has to be addressed,” he said after noting that Maxville, Williamstown, and Apple Hill have their own published histories.
Mr. MacDonald said that the Glengarry Archives, which he operates, has many high quality photographs that could go in the Alexandria book. He added that committee volunteers could spend some time canvassing the community to see if anyone else had any images that could appear in the book.
All in all, the three-part celebration, as well as advertising, will likely cost just more than $30,000. Mr. MacDonald says he arrived at the figure after consulting industry suppliers and organizers of last year's Maxville 125 celebration. Although he expects the costs will be recovered, he's hoping North Glengarry will see fit to lend some capital to the organizing committee.
“We're asking for a maximum of $25,000 over two fiscal years to cover various startup costs,” he said, adding that caterers and other service suppliers would need a deposit before committing to a date. “Best efforts will be made to ensure that North Glengarry is fully reimbursed from incoming revenues.”
Although council didn't commit on Monday night, at least three members were vocal about their support for the celebration. Mayor Chris McDonell said, “I think we can bankroll you.”
Councillor Jeff Manley was more effusive in his praise. “This sounds like a great initiative and a great idea,” he said. “It's great that you started this so far in advance.”
“I agree,” said Councillor Carma Williams. “I think it's going to be a wonderful celebration.”
Mr. MacDonald said that Alexandria resident Michelle Daprato will chair the bicentennial committee.