After a year and a half of planning, and with the help over several alumni, Oxford County Junior Farmers celebrated their 100th Anniversary. We were a little nervous in the month leading up to the event as ticket sales were not as high as expected. However, the organizing committee pulled through and the final ticket sales push resulted in us breaking our sales goals! By the time the event rolled around, we had sold 540 dinner tickets, plus several dance-only tickets.
The evening kicked off with a social period, Junior Farmer grace, and the Junior Farmer song. This was followed by an excellent dinner by Belmont Town Catering. Next, messages from dignitaries including Ernie Hardeman, MPP, Dave MacKenzie, MP, and David Mayberry, Oxford County Warden. Jessica Burgess and Nicholas Weber presented greetings on behalf of JFAO. The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to a JF alumni who has embodied the JF spirit after retiring from Junior Farmers, was presented to an unsuspecting Geoff Innes. The final event of the evening was the square dancing, called by alumni Dennis Turvey. Although the band has just come from College Royal at the University of Guelph, they played several lively tunes to keep the crown up on their feet for a packed floor.
Alumni enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends they had not seen for a long time. Current members and alumni alike enjoyed the chance to mingle and learn what every era of Junior Farmers did. Although most of the alumni were aware of Junior Farmers’ involvement in the Embro Truck and Tractor Pull, they were all surprised to learn that through this event, Oxford JF has donated over $100,000 to the community since 2011 – our members were surprised to hear this total as well!
Oxford JF would like to thank all of those who made the evening a success, including our committee (Jack and Jane Danen, Karen DeBruyn, Jamie Janssen, Virginia Dibble, Allison Learn, Linda Atkinson, Shirley McCall-Hanlon, Karen Masson, Pat Woods, Dave and Elaine Leslie, Richard and Marlene Learn, Rob and Rachel McKinley, Geoff Innes, Marg Verkuil, and Ralph and Barbara Flood), Saputo for donating cheese, Innovative Graphics for our printing, and Oxford Instashade for supplying us with greenery. Also, a shout out to the Oxford Community 4-H Club and the Oxford Exchange Club for running our coat check, and Perth JF for looking after the beverages for the event.
Past Presidents of Oxford County Junior Farmers at the 100th Anniversary, March 21, 2015
Back row: Tanner Jones (2014), Jason Mills (2010), Bruce Jakeman (1977), Don Lazenby (1963), Ralph Flood (1976), John deBruyn (1990), Craig Spielmacher (1995), Russell Wilson (1988), Pat Lee (1971), Wayne Bertrand (1974), Tim Pullen (1993), Ed Danen (1992), Jack Danen (1994), Rob McLeod (2005), John MacKay (1975), Ron Marshall (1984)
Middle Row: Ross McCorquodale (1968), Ron Wilker (1957), Dave Dyment (1983), Gordon MacKay (1979), Ken Day (1966), Brad Ward (2009), Geoff Innes (1989), John Hiuser (1973), Joe Wilson (1991), Elaine (Riach) Leslie (1972), Karen Masson (1999), David Arthur (1964), Jack Broadfoot (1965), Alex Steele (1970), David Woods (1967), Allen Innes (1961), Gordon Calder (1962), Julie Danen (2001), Linda (Thomson) Atkinson (1998)
Seated: Jane (Pullen) Danen (1996), Martha Meyer (1987), Dianne Emiry (1997), Russell Dickout (1951), Dianne (Smith) Darling (1960) , Bill McLeod (1955), Willard King (1954), Karen deBruyn (2015), Mary Elizabeth (Schultz) VanAlphen (2003, 2004), Rachel (Hargreaves) McKinlay (2008), Mary (McIntosh) MacKay (1981), Heidi Danen (2002), Jen (Jansen) McKee (2007), Teresa Pullen (2000)
Absent: Gordon Smith (1953), Doug Topham (1959), John McMillen (1969), David Walton (1978), Brian Raymer (1982), John Phillips (1985), Dennis (Tex) Wilson (1986), T-J (Hargreaves) Richardson (2006), Steven Mills (2011), Luke Ward (2012), Scott Boese (2013)
Deceased: Alex Muir (1940), Crawford Palmer (1941), Charles Munro (1942), Gordon Sandick (1943), Sam Banbury (1944), Allan Thomson (1945), Ralph Sparks (1946), Bruce Amos (1947), George Glendinning (1948), Murray Rettie (1949), Jack Hargreaves (1950), Bill Green (1952), Allan Scott (1956), Don Karn (1958), Janet (Kirwin) Wilson (1980)
I was really glad to see this post. Not only is it refreshing to see Junior Farmers reflecting on their roots, but also that you honoured all the Alumni that gave their time and skills over the years in order to make our organization what it is today. Junior Farmers alumni deserve to know that their contributions are appreciated no matter the size or shape. Well done Oxford!
There are many events happening in Oxford to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Ontario. We know that many Jr. Farmer members, past and present, are or have been involved in 4-H, and we would like to reach and welcome them to some events in particular.
The theme of Embro Fair this year is “Explore 4-H”, celebrating 100 years of 4-H in Ontario. Please check the website http://www.embrofair.com for activities on the grounds, starting Friday evening, September 18 and continuing until Sunday, September 20. We especially welcome you to the “Celebration Dinner” and social on Saturday evening, September 19. Members from Brooksdale, Embro and Thamesford Clubs have joined for a 100th Anniversary Project, and are working to make the evening a success. Catering will be by Belmont Town Catering. Tickets, ADVANCE ONLY, are available from me, Katherine, at 519-475-6163 or from firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you at 5:30 for a group photo! Dinner will be available informally until 8:30. Tickets are $20, children 12 & under $10. Embro Fair is hosting an Age of Majority dance following the 4-H dinner, and you’re also invited to stay for the fun, music by Kerosene Creek. Tickets to the dance are $15 or the Embro & Zorra Agricultural Society is offering a special price of $30 for dinner and the dance.
It’s pretty exciting to be able to celebrate two 100 year anniversaries!