“The old building is being restored and will now stand in memory of the work of our fathers and grandfathers.”
So spoke Mayor Douglas Rose as he presented a plaque on behalf of MP Judy Foote to Lora Hollett, chairperson of the Hermitage-Sandyville Historical Society, at the daylong celebrations of the 100-year anniversary of the old lodge building. Mayor Rose told the crowd attending the old-fashioned concert on Friday, August 17, that the town had purchased the former lodge from the Provincial Orange Lodge and was happy to see the progress made by the committee in displaying some of the artifacts collected for the museum and in the restoration of the building.
In the afternoon townspeople and visitors viewed the artifacts. The top floor of the building which for 98 years had been home to the three fraternal organizations of the Loyal Orange Association now allowed all to read old western magazines from the 1950s, to view the Canadian war helmet used in the two great wars, a printer used to stamp salmon cans, the Aladdin lamp, just to name a few. All while your Coaster correspondent was there, four ladies looked through a bound copy of all the Coaster issues from 1982, calling out now and then for someone to see their picture 30 years ago.
At the evening concert, five ladies presented a number of skits including “The Old Lodge Time” where the ladies sat around playing cards while waiting for the men to return from their house-to-house visits. When the men returned in high spirits, the square dance began, much to the delight of the concert patrons.
On Saturday, Hermitage Day, the Historical Society ran the food booth all day, and along with the proceeds from the concert, the group will have a few more dollars to continue their work on the old building. Meanwhile, a Job Creation Partnership is ongoing, with white cedar siding going on the exterior. Mrs. Hollett says that by the end of September the committee hopes to have all the exterior work completed. “Then we can do a lot of the interior work ourselves,” she said.
“I want to say a special thank you to the staff at the Coast of Bays Corporation who have been so helpful to us since we started, and to George Fiander and Kevin Cox who played and sang between the skits tonight. I think everyone had a good time,” she added.