Monday Morning Musings

Posted on July 10, 2017 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

Me and Mark Heffernan at the Art Fair


The Antigonish Art Fair is in its fourth year and it just keeps getting bigger and better. Last Friday evening, over 2,000 people meandered through the grounds of Chisholm Park to soak up the sunshine, art, food and a vast array of entertainment. Brian Riley, an Antigonish native, brought his “ Circus of the Normal” to Antigonish and delighted the audience with clowns, “ bubblers” and stilt walkers. There was a little bit of everything.

I’m a bit biased but the highlight of the night in my opinion was the unscheduled  appearance of my friend, Mark Heffernan. Mark has serious physical challenges but this does not stop him from leading a full , active life. I have known Mark for many years and despite the cards that he has been dealt, I have never heard him once complain about his lot in life. He has a good sense of humour, and as I discovered some time ago, he loves to sing.

I made arrangements to have Mark come and perform a few songs at the Art Fair. The crowd loved him. And he loved them back , such are the gifts of individuals like Mark.

Volunteers…. The life blood of communities.

There was so much going on last week that it is not possible to chronicle them all in this space. But one thing is apparent. None of these events could have been done with such excellence were it not for the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers.

The Main Street Fair last Thursday was really remarkable including the Canada 150 banner that was painted on the Main… by a group of volunteers. Kudos to Jamie MacDonald and the Downtown Business Association for this magnificent show. Maybe it’s time to consider blocking off a section of the Main for longer stretches of time. People seem to love the concept.

Everyone loves a parade, even when Mother Nature throws out a challenge. The weather was not optimal on Saturday for the Highland Games parade yet thousands of people lined the parade route to watch the annual spectacle. You had to feel sorry for the parade participants who had to arrive an hour before the parade to line up and then walk for the better part of an hour in a steady drizzle. There were some soggy specimens in evidence on the floats.

Despite the inclement weather, all events went ahead including a moving ceremony to acknowledge the contribution of the late Frank McGibbon. The roadway into the Club 60 building at Columbus Field was named in Frank’s honor. In case you missed it, here is a story that I wrote about Frank a few years ago:

I spent quite a bit of time at Columbus Field on the weekend selling books. It’s not too late to get the Highland Games Special: my three books for $25, a 55% saving. There were a lot of American tourists in attendance along with locals and former Antigonishers. It is like old home week around town. And speaking of gatherings, there is a reunion of former students of the old Antigonish High School on Tuesday ( tomorrow ) at 4:00 p.m. Sister Loretta Gillis will be there selling her new book about our former principal, John Hugh Gillis and his wife, Isabel. It’s always fun getting together to reminisce.

“ Will ye no come back again.”

Have a great week.


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