Company reaches 40th; donates free swimming for 20 years

Youngsters around Centre Wellington have just been given a Christmas present that lasts – for 20 years.
The In Motion program in October that attempted to set a world record for the most people walk­ing simultaneously conti­nues to create ripples.
The Maggs family, owners of Newdon Industries Ltd. in Fergus, took part in that walk, and decided to encourage fitness by donating free swim­ming at the town pool for 20 years. They presented Centre Well­ington Township Recre­ation Director Andy Goldie with a cheque for $20,000 on Dec. 12. It will be used to pay for the first 40 ad­missions to the pool on the first Saturday of each month until 2027.
“Children and youth in our community will benefit right here in Centre Wellington,” said recreation committee chair­­man Bob Foster.
The company began in Can­ada’s centennial year, and Foster said that means celebrat­ing 40 successful years.
John Maggs, though, laugh­ed and said “not 40 successful. The first few… ”
Maggs started the business with Ronald Blades, and when he retired in 1978, Maggs bought his share. The company makes styrofoam products.
John and Poppy Maggs ran the business, and their sons, Kevin and Rob, join­ed when they finished school. Now, John and Poppy consultants. In 1980, the com­pany outgrew its St. David Street location and moved to Glengarry Crescent, in the Fer­gus Industrial park at the north end of the town.
Kevin Maggs explained the family’s donation. “We were looking for some­thing to promote physical fit­ness,” he said. “As a kid, the Beatty pool was a big part of our life.”
When he enjoy­ed the Beatty pool in down­town Fergus, he was often join­ed by another teen swimmer: Foster.
Kevin Maggs said the fam­ily was in the In Motion walk, and that is where he and Foster began discussions about the swimming donation.
Foster said, “Kevin and I went to high school together.” He also noted that when they used the town’s old pool, “Everyone used to race to change. We all wanted to be the first in the pool.”
Others, now, will want to be among the first in line.
Goldie said a typical Sat­urday afternoon of swim­ming at­tracts about 200 people. Swimmers go to the ticket office to pay for swims. The donation allows the first 40 from ages 1 to 17 to have free ad­mission those first Satur­days. They will be given colour coded tickets for that month’s swim.
He warned ticket sales will begin only at 1:45pm for the 2 to 4pm public swim, so there will be no use in lining up for hours.
He said by investing the $20,000 Newdon donation, the township can purchase swim tickets at a package discount and that will allow it to con­tinue for 20 years.
Goldie said of the In Motion event, the township became involved in to promote physical fitness, and “It [the donation] shows what that event was able to do.
The township brought local and Olympic Athletes to Elora and Fergus, and nearly 5,000 people walked a 1km route in the two centres. It was part of a province wide attempt to set a world record for the most people walking that distance at the same time.
Goldie said he believes Ontario easily defeated the Western Australia mark set in 2005, but it is taking the pro­vince a long time to verify the numbers. The Guinness Book of Records has stringent require­ments for inclusion in its lists, and they must all be met.
Goldie said he hopes to have the results sometime be­fore Christmas.
“Kevin wanted to do something for the kids in the community,” Foster said. The free swims begin on the first Saturday in January.
“I thank you all very much,” Foster told the Maggs family.
He also saluted the ten-employee company, and said, “Small business is the back­bone of our economy, and we can easily see from this gener­ous support that small business is also at the heart of our com­munity.
“Today, we celebrate both the success of Newdon Indus­tries over a 40-year-period, and the strength of our township as shown by this marvelous sup­port of the In Motion program.”