Saturday ritual

Like other communities in Wellington County and farther abroad, parents in Centre Wellington flock en masse to the local playing fields to watch their kids play Sports. Some choose soccer, others prefer baseball and still others have taken up the famous local tradition of lacrosse.

A bite of breakfast and a rush to Fergus on Saturday morning finds us joining many dozens of families who have chosen soccer as a way for kids to get exercise and learn about teamwork. Few parents have the personality or drive to coach a team, so it is really important that parents support those volunteers in a task that is rewarding, but sure is not glamorous. It takes work and effort.

It just so happens that the younger set in Centre Wellington get a real boost from Tim Hortons. Uniforms, balls, and peripheral items are supplied by that chain, making it much easier for organizers to make the league work. Without that blanket support the executive would be stuck fundraising and seeking out sponsors, to the detriment of the sport. So hats off to Hortons for allowing time to be spent on the kids, rather than searching for money.

There is little surprise then that many parents enjoy a coffee with the game, and without fail, the cups and refuse are tossed into garbage cans or cleaned up quickly as families head on to the rest of their day once the game is over.

As far as Victoria Park goes, we have marvelled at its makeover. A short lifetime ago it looked like a run-down racetrack, so we were very pleased to see it brought up to date and turned into a multi-use field. In a general sense, it is well kept, very purposeful, and a good asset for the township’s recreational pursuits.

There is, however, an issue we noticed last season and little has changed this summer. Somehow, the completion of the rebuild has missed a vital element – in terms of public health and convenience for youngsters and parents.

Again, a short lifetime ago, the building in the photo accompanying this editorial was where many exhibitors showed prize baking and handiwork for the Fergus Fall Fair. The building has fallen into poor repair and, some would argue, a very unsafe condition. Ironically that building sits in between two very prosperous looking buildings that serve the business community and tourists while the other is home of seniors programming in the town.

It is amazing how quickly time elapses, but we also remember that now decrepit building housing washroom facilities in the far corner, for guests at the fair. Few would suggest the surroundings at the time were plush or comfortable but at least those many years ago there was running water.

While the company that manages the portable toilets does a fine job, our point remains that surely in 2007, the soccer community deserves better than johnnys-on-the-spot. Victoria Park is not a temporary venue, nor is the soccer season itself, which extends from May into August. A need exists for a permanent answer for sanitation at the park.

The answer is not merely having the Chamber of Commerce or Seniors Centre open their doors for families in need of relief. The inhabitants and visitors to those two service establishments are such that hospitality and peace are vitally important.

A thoughtful investment in the health and betterment of families needs to be contemplated now. Perhaps a plan exists. If it does, let’s get at it.