Gala event looks at Fergus: Then & Now

It was a night of glitz and glamour and a chance to step back into the roaring ’20s with the world film premiere of Fergus Then & Now.

The gala started outside the theatre on St. Andrew Street with the sounds of Fergus Brass Band and inside with show stopper tunes by Bill Beattie. Those attending came dressed for the gala event.

Opening remarks came from Deb Dalziel who said it was a tremendous honour to be working with such talented individuals while planning and developing activities to celebrate the community’s special milestone.

She said Mary Lloyd, chairman of the 175th anniversary was with them in spirit. “She wanted you all to join in extending a thank you to this passionate 175 committee for all their efforts over the past year.

“It’s truly been a terrific opportunity to host celebratory parties in our community. Please join us on Dec. 31, again, as we share another beginning of a new year in Centre Wellington, right here in downtown Fergus in just a few short weeks.”

Dalziel said none of those efforts would happen without the financial support of its com­munity champions – its  many sponsors.

“And last but not least, thanks to you, for celebrating with us attending all of our events.

“It takes people to party. And this past year, you’ve proven you love to party, Fergus,” she said.

Following the screening was a champagne reception in the lobby catered by the Centre Wellington District High School Food School in their catering debut along with live music provided by the Ernie Kalwa Duo.

Until then she said, “Let us allow you to take us back to Fergus: Then & Now.

Produced by Larry Peters of TVCogeco, the film uses historic film footage shot by Hugh Templin, combined with interviews showing the community of today.

The film shows the contrast between the development of the main street, train travel, recreation, the Shand dam and the Fergus Scottish Festival.

It seemed only fitting that the event was held in the Fergus Grand Theatre, established in 1928 and described by local writer  Pat Mestern as “the epitome of entertainment.”

Today, the revitalized theatre proved it can continue to bring in the crowds.