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North Gower - Centennial

July 5, 1950

On July 6, 1950, the Ottawa Evening Citizen published a 2/3 page review of North Gower's centennial celebration.

Excerpts from this article, written by one of the Citizen's staff reporters, are reproduced here with permission of The Ottawa Citizen. You can visit The Citizen's web site - it's on our Favourite Links page.

Thousands of Ottawa Valley residents crowded the historic village long before the scheduled opening of the day's events, and the main streets of the village were lined for more than a mile as the grand parade swung into procession.

Headed by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Marggetts, mounted on two of their saddle horses from the Margetts stables, the parade extended for more than a mile in length. Sharply at 1 p.m. Provincial Constable Roy Reid swung his motorcycle across the main highway to close the road to traffic, and the parade was on.

A Canadian Legion color bearer headed the procession with the Union Jack streaming proudly in the breeze. Then came gaily costumed children of the local schools, followed in close sequence by the local branch of the Canadian Legion and a long line of floats.

The float of the Manotick Merchants attracted special attention. Lined with a bevy of beautiful girls of the river town, it depicted the sports which visitors may enjoy in the community and drew cheers from the spectators. Later these cheers proved to be well deserved for this float took first place in the parade judging.

There were ancient Ford cars chugging along, ancient spinning wheels whirling, old time churns busy producing butter, and dozens of other reminders of the past. A parade of machinery including a 1900 harvester-combine attracted much attention from the farming community.

A mule team drawing a covered wagon, and an ingeniously contrived kicking cow shared the center of attraction with a dog team driven by a small boy.

New Canadians

New Canadians took part in the parade also. Tiny two and a half year old Tonie Bernhart, and 3-year-old Doede De Jong, daughter and son of two Dutch immigrants who have recently moved to North Gower paraded in their native costumes.


From 75-year-old George Templeton to 3-year-old Patsy Lyons, who posed together for their picture, everyone had a glorious time.

Reeve Howard Craig, who has for more than 39 years officiated as the head of the village, and whose forefathers played a prominent part in the founding of the community officiated as chairman at the speaker's stand.

Distinguised speakers included the Hon. Col. George Drew, leader of His Majesty's Opposition in the House of Commons; Hon. George Dunbar, Minister of Municipal Affairs; Don Morrow, MLA for Carleton; and Holly Acres, who for many years represented Carleton County in the Ontario House.

Col. Drew paid tribute to the many great men of North Gower who had gone forth to play their part in the affairs of the world. He referred to the village as one of the finest in entire province.


Also on the platform were James Wallace and Stanley MacLeod, two former officials of North Gower, to whom the reeve paid tribute as having given more than 40 years service respectively to the community.


Contest Winners

Frank Ryan of CFRA, Mrs. Donald Morrow and Mrs. George Dunbar, acted as judges in the contests of the day. Winners included: best decorated bicycle, Beryl Allport, 2nd Freddy Allport, 3rd Joyce Simpson, 4th Ruth Cowell.

Best float in the parade: Manotick Merchants; second North Gower Co-operative.

Best junior entry in the parade: Wayne Pratt and his Belgian dog wagon; second, Reggie Willis.

Soft ball games were played during the afternoon and after the addresses the group adjourned for picnic lunches in the various shady spots throughout the nearby fields. The entire area presented the appearance of one big picnic field as they settled down to lunch.

Voted an outstanding success by all attendants the celebration ended in the small hours with dancing and an exhibition of fireworks.

Pictures from the Citizen article
(The reproduction of these photos definitely leaves much to be desired, given that the source is aging newsprint, but we are using them notwithstanding the quality, in case there is something here that you might be interested in.)

George Templeton, 75 and Patsy Llyons, 3, daughter of well known North Gower resident Alvan Llyons

"The young and beautiful of the village put on bathing suits to mark the advance in swimwear from 1850 to the current model."

Hon. Col. George Drew, leader of the Opposition and Member for Carleton, with, left to right, Miss Agnes Beckett, Mrs. William carson, Miss Ida A. Beckett, and Miss Emma Chambers

"Corrine Parks, left, and her sister Joyce, daughters of Russel E. Parks, exhibit the costume changes of the 100 years"

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