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Dates with destiny passed

Dave White
Dave White

McIvers' first-ever homecoming celebrations were truly something to remember. Through time, the dates of destiny given of generations, July 22-29, were by all accounts a grand time.

A legacy to behold, keep and build upon, McIvers Come Home Year 2017 was seen to start in the spring of 2015 when Mayor Warren Blanchard extended an invitation for community leaders and volunteer service groups to take part in the planning exercise.

Now a piece of history, its outcomes would seem destined to newer beginnings already envisioned, though yet unseen.

"All of the smiles, hugs, and awesome words of encouragement made the past two and a half year's hard work all worth it," said Marsha Park of the 20-member McIvers Come Home Year organizing committee. "It makes us unbelievably proud to have been able to bring it all together for you and your families to enjoy." 

More than 1,700 registered guests and others came from near and afar to join in last week's festivities.

With dozens of local volunteers leading the proverbial charge and with support from a resident population of 538 souls and more than 1,000 expatriates, celebration remains.

Legacy and destiny abide

The support of the community and its volunteer corps lend to heightened future prospects and probabilities.

For some, included a broad base of local and area talent and active sports and recreation programming, the legacy comes to represent newer destinies for the town's seaside ballpark and children's playgrounds.

Town council this year came to honour a pair of belated residents, availing the 2017 homecoming celebration to officially name its ballpark the Wade Parsons Memorial Sports Field and the adjacent children's play area the Janelle Blanchard Memorial Playgrounds.

The newly refurbished recreation complex, which has also come to include a new multi-purpose sports court, are facilities partially built and upgraded with monies gleaned from the Chase the Ace lottery fundraiser the year prior.

The waterfront property is also now complemented by a new bandstand and storage facility just built prior to the homecoming.

Echoes of future passed

Playwright Ian Locke's historically accurate 25-minute sketch on the Chase the Ace phenomena and the whatever-it-takes attitude pervading generations of McIverites was a hit among the many hundreds who joined last Saturday's closing events.

Before the night was over, some 2,000 local connections and interested regional participants celebrated amid the music of a seventh concert showcase echoing through the near and distant hillsides of the outer Bay of Islands.

Outport renewal

Especially pleasing during the week was the big slate of children's events that catered to more than 300 youngsters in attendance.  

Indeed, the local legacy includes family friendly opportunities to build upon more of the ways and means and lifestyle choices looking to find place and grow upon themselves in communities like it, which offer to support a rural way of being ever age-friendly.

There is much more to it.

An age-friendly community worthy of all generations. Albeit of different construct, McIvers already has a committee seen to be working on that, too.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at: bayofislands2008@gmail.com.

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