The Centennial Celebration and Conference, hosted by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario last weekend, was a wonderful success.  Speakers and delegates and guests came from far and wide, and enjoyed the autumn scenery around Uxbridge and Leaskdale, as well as the hospitality provided by our bed and breakfast and billet hosts.

Dignitaries were on hand on Thursday afternoon to cut the ribbon and open the newly-refurbished manse.  Sponsors of each room in the house were shown the brass plaques in place recognizing their contribution.  A special plaque dedicated to Wilda Clarke was unveiled, lauding her pioneering efforts to have the Leaskdale sites preserved for their historic significance.

And we burned the mortgage!  By last week the Burn the Mortgage campaign had raised enough funds to pay off the remaining loan on the church – over $77,000!  The cheque was passed to the Township, and it was a thrilling moment when the match was actually touched to the mortgage document, and we watched as it went up in flames.

Over the weekend many visitors dropped by, not as part of the conference but because they had read the article in the Toronto Star or the one in Zoomer magazine written by our own Jane MacAulay, and in the case of at least two groups, because they had visited the CNE.

Lots of people from our own communities of Leaskdale and Uxbridge were out to join the other delegates and visitors.  The evening performances of The Temple of Fame (too hilarious!) and Jennifer Carroll’s tour de force performance as Maud of Leaskdale were filled to capacity.

Local merchants and businesses helped with the weekend, buying ads in the program, and offering very inventive specials:  the Tin Cup selling “Lucy Maud Macaroon Mocha” for the month of October; Bredin’s Bakery and their Ginger Maud cookies; Maud’s special sandwich at The Meat Merchant; Frankie’s Ristorante prepared “Maud’tinis” and offering discounts on lunch and dinners.  Presents Presents, Elemi’s Organics, and Strawberry Threads all offered discount coupons and Len Graphics donated writing pads.  Blue Heron Books and The Passionate Cook’s Essentials were on hand with bookmarks for promotion.

We’re all a bit tired, but very satisfied that it all went well.  Now we’re looking forward to the Step in Thyme Gift Show and Sale, November 11, 12, and 13, and our annual Old Fashioned Christmas Concert, November 26.

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