As the Story is Told: Morpeth Hall, Part 7

To conclude the section on Morpeth Hall, below is the article on the Opening Ceremonies for the new hall, which took place 30 years ago this month. Readers, have you attended an event at the hall? Share your own memories and stories in the comments. I remember riding on a double decker bus – does anyone know if that was part of the opening ceremonies in 1985?

Opening Ceremonies

The date of October 5, 1985 had been set, the day we all awaited, the official opening of the new Morpeth Community Centre. There was a rush the last few days to get many of the little details completed before that date. Many plans had to be made for the afternoon tea with its ribbon cutting ceremony and the grand opening dance to be held at night.

Raggedy Anne and Andy

Raggedy Anne and Andy

The hall was set up for this special day with daintily arranged tea-tables, flowers and greenery. Tea, coffee, punch and sweets were served by the ladies to all who came. For many it was the first chance to see inside our new modern building, a community centre of which we are justly proud.

In his welcoming address Walter Devereux, Reeve of Howard, referring to the previous hall, said, “Its life was a focal point of social life in the Morpeth area and its activities a reflection of life here through one and a half centuries.” A key ceremony took place, after all those who took part in the rebuilding of the hall were acknowledged. Keys were handed over from John and Wayne Faas to Earl Hall, chairman of the first board of trustees for the new centre.

Mr. Eugene Swain, minister of Morpeth United Church, led those present in the following prayer of dedication:

This afternoon we are gathered here together to officially open the Morpeth Community Centre. It is our hope and prayer that this hall may be a vehicle to strengthen Morpeth and the surrrounding area today and in many years in the future.

Let us Bow our heads in Prayer:

We dedicate this community centre to the glory and praise of God; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

He also led in the prayer that follows:

Almighty God, who hast ordained that men and women shall dwell together in communities, and that there they shall find their true relationship in mutual service, we pray thee to fill the hearts of all sections of this community with an unselfish sense of duty and of consideration for each other in the doing and demanding only of what is best for all, and that, being delivered from narrow visions and mere desire for gain, all may take pride in the opportunity and quality of their labour, and be ashamed to exploit, in their own interests, the well-being of less fortunate people, but may seek only the rewards of righteousness and generosity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Other dignitaries present were executive assistant Ron Gable on behalf of Jim McGuigan, M.P.P. Kent-Elgin; Kent County Warden Lawrence Ashton and Elliott Hardy, M.P. Kent.

The dance at night was a success with all available tickets being sold well before the date. The music was provided by Curly King and Company, consisting of himself, Mrs. Douglas Smith, Gib Collins, John McDiarmid and Gordon Tricker. The presence of Raggedy Anne (Dixie Peters) and Andy (Jeanette Darel) added to the fun.

A large crowd attended the day’s functions and all co-operated to make this a memorable day in Morpeth’s history.

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