BIRTH­DAY TOAST:

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

Alexan­dria's 200th birth­day party kicked off Satur­day with a gala where about 250 guests toasted the mile­stone. Great mem­o­ries, vin­tage pho­tos, a theme song and fash­ions from the past were just some of the high­lights of the evening. From left: North Glen­garry Direc­tor of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Anne Le­duc, Coun­cil­lor Michel Depratto, CAO Sarah Huskin­son and Coun­cil­lor Jeff Manley were among those rais­ing a glass.

Rev. Alexan­der Mac­donell would have ap­proved.

The 200th birth­day party for the town he founded had it all -mu­sic, his­tory, fancy duds, and a mil­i­tary pres­ence.

About 250 peo­ple cel­e­brated the town’s bi­cen­ten­nial Satur­day night at a sold-out gala, kick­ing off fes­tiv­i­ties to com­mem­o­rate the es­tab­lish­ment of Rev. Mac­donell’s Priest’s Mill in 1819.

Seven years ear­lier he had raised the Glen­garry Light In­fantry Fen­ci­bles, which came to the de­fence of Up­per Canada in the World of 1812.

“I don’t know if there are any Amer­i­cans here tonight,” quipped Jesse Pud­well, who along with Jim Mullin, of Van­kleek Hill, and Tim Wright, of St-Bernardin, were decked out into Fen­ci­bles uni­forms. The re-en­ac­tors were among the many guests who donned pe­riod cos­tumes for the bash which was two years in the mak­ing. Fa­ther Mac­donell, an im­pos­ing fig­ure, used his stature and fire and brim­stone to re­cruit sol­diers. At one Mass at St. Raphael’s he is said to have de­clared that no man could leave the church un­til he had en­listed.

The first Ro­man Catholic bishop in On­tario would lay the foun­da­tion for Catholi­cism in the re­gion.

Builders and lead­ers in subse- quent eras were saluted dur­ing a slide show by Dane Lanken and Jean-Claude Larocque, who wrote de­scrip­tions for the pho­tos in a sou­venir book that will be launched March 21.

The se­lec­tion of 20 pho­tos was a trip down mem­ory lane, be­gin­ning with the first ma­jor in­dus­try, the Munro and McIn­tosh car­riage com­pany, and end­ing with more con­tem­po­rary fig­ures, such as the Cho­lette and Lan­thier fam­i­lies, who founded the Moulure Alexan­dria Mould­ing and Boulan­gerie Lan­thier Bak­ery busi­nesses.

Har­mony was a theme of the evening as well, with North Glen­garry Mayor Jamie Mac­Don­ald re­call­ing the “awe­some child­hood” he en­joyed in a com­mu­nity where an­glo­phones and fran­co­phones lived, worked and played side by side.

“This is where it all started,” Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MPP Amanda Si­mard told the crowd, call­ing Alexan­dria an ex­am­ple for the rest of the prov­ince.

The soirée in­cluded the pre­sen­ta­tion of a theme song, Glen­garry Town, by the Camp­bell Trio. Com­posed by Mary La­celle and edited by Harry Ewen, the num­ber will be launched as part of a CD later this year.

The night cul­mi­nated with guests danc­ing to mu­sic of The County Lads.

Prizes were handed out for the best pe­riod cos­tumes. Sin­gled out were Guy, Claire Belle­feuille; Ja­cob, Ni­non Jeau­rond; Chan­tal, Guy Vail­lan­court; Bud and Tina Thomp­son; Linda Sauvé; JeanClaude, Ca­role Larocque; Caitlin, Tim Wright; Rose­mary Chat­ter­son, Al­lan Mac­Don­ald; Florence Jeau­rond.

RICHARD MA­HONEY PHOTO

RICHARD MA­HONEY PHO­TOS

AL­WAYS IN STYLE: (Above left) Chan­tal, Guy Vail­lan­court; (above right) Ca­role and Jean-Claude Larocque; (be­low left) Claire, Guy Belle­feuille; (be­low, right) Ja­cob, Ni­non Jeau­rond.

CHEERS, ALEXAN­DRIA: Michelle DaPrato, Marie-Josée Dé­coste and Anick Bauer were among the vol­un­teers help­ing to stage the gala (Cen­tre photo) Caitlin, Tim Wright; (right photo) Florence Jeau­rond; (be­low left) Na­dine and Ron Théorêt; (be­low right) Linda Sauvé.

TALK­ING SHOP: René Jeau­rond wore a furry lid for the oc­ca­sion. Here he con­verses with Glen­gar­ryPrescott-Rus­sell MPP Amanda Si­mard.

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