• Craig Baird

Centennial Fever Strikes Vermilion

The year 1967 was a big one for Canada. Across the country, millions of Canadians came out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Canada. From centennial projects, to a centennial train, to Expo 67 and much more, it was a big year and every community took part.

In Vermilion, 1967 was the year of Centennial Fever.

The town would have a centennial project in the form of a swimming pool that was opened on June 23, only a week before Canada’s official birthday. The pool cost $80,000 and was sponsored by the Kinsmen Club, and would be run by the community. In the first week that the pool was opened, 1,100 people from Vermilion and the surrounding area made use of it. This is quite a lot considering for most of that time, kids were still in school.

That wasn’t the only thing going on in Vermilion to celebrate Canada’s birthday. On June 30, a big centennial program was planned at the Agricultural and Vocational College where the new $300,000 Animal Science Complex was officially opened.

The town also planned a baseball tournament, a display by the Vermilion Saddle Club and a big dance for the entire community. A water show was also planned for July 1.

On July 2, the provincial park would open for the year and an open-air church service was scheduled to be held there by the Vermilion Ministerial Association. In the evening, a large barbecue is also planned.

Even regular residents were starting to take part. One resident would say quote:

“All the people on our block decided to pain their fences.”

The Women’s Institute centennial bench was also installed in front of the post office, something many were happy about in the community.

Earlier in the month, a Centennial Veterans Week was also held to honour the community’s war veterans.

To finish off the centennial celebrations, the Vermillion Agricultural Fair was held from Aug. 3 to Aug. 5, with it all being capped off by a Centennial Ball.

Contact Craig at craig@canadaehx.com

Support Craig by donating at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/craigU

Listen to his podcasts Canadian History Ehx, Canada’s Great War, From John to Justin & Pucks and Cups on all podcast platforms.

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