Friday, Saturday and Sunday (27, 28, 29), the Merville hall will be in a celebratory mood as present and former Mervillites gather to meet and greet each other. In fact, on Saturday afternoon, there will be a Centennial Tea, by invitation, to celebrate the descendants of the original founding fathers and mothers of the community. Keep a sharp eye out, and your autograph book handy, as you might be able to spot a local dignitary or two in attendance.
On Friday and Saturday, people will be descending upon the hall to see the play, Merville 100 Years. This original play starts with the story of the 1919 founding of the Soldier Settlement of Merville, by returning First World War veterans. Skilled local actors, directed by playwright Kymme Patrick, will lead us through the years as the community grows and as its story unfolds. Original music for the play, composed by local musician, Trent Freeman, will be featured and Trent will be performing at both shows. Saturday night, it’s time to don your wellies and rattle your daggs at the fabulous Merville Gumboot dance with the eclectic music of Flying Debris. This cosmic cover band will be grinding on a new stage that extends into the audience so you’ll really feel like you are at a Rolling Stones concert. Start me up!
Sunday at the hall is the fourth annual Merville Heritage Fall Fair from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. There will be all manner of farmers and craftsmen; artists and musicians; exhibits and food treats to tempt your palate. The end of September marks the time to harvest the crops and stock up your larder so be sure to bring your woven hemp carry bags that can be filled with delicious staples. Naturally, the Fair will feature the 4th Annual Tug ‘o’ War, betwixt Merville and Black Creek, at 3 o’clock. This is where normally sensible, solid citizens of both communities line up behind their respective “Mayor” and pull like the dickens to see which side will win the highly coveted Golden Gumboot trophy. It is a rare privilege, indeed, to strive for possession of such a valuable treasure. Merville has won it twice, Black Creek a mere once, so this titanic struggle will definitely have a lot of pride on the line!
Sunday night, at the Big Yellow Hall, the celebrations culminate in a knock-out concert featuring fantastic fiddler, trumpeter and pianoman, Daniel Lapp; the new Kenny Shaw quartet; Ralph Barret’s Blue Tonic; and up and coming pianist, Kyra Carlson. With all of these musicians jamming together this 100 year birthday bash will end on a really high note! Your hosts for the evening, maestros Kenny Shaw and “Century Sam”, will keep the patter light and comical and strive to make it a night to remember for yet another one hundred years.
At the hall, there will be copies of the republished book Merville, The Early Years and a new recipe book based on recipes from Merville descendants. There will be a Silent Auction composed of many local items as well as mugs and shirts with Merville logos for sale as souvenirs. There have been maps made showing where Soldier Settlers farmed and many antique items will be displayed. The weekend will be a feast for nostalgia buffs so make sure that you build up your appetite for the weekend.
So hop to it and make the Merville hall your weekend destination for the 27th to the 29th. Tickets for the events are a mere $10.00 each with the Sunday fall fair being no charge. Tickets will be at the door or you can get Dance and Merville 100 Years Play information and reservations from Marian: 250-337-1730 or Bonnie: 250-337-5059; and Sunday Concert and Centennial Tea information from Craig: 250-339-4249. FMI: www.mervillehall.ca Now send this notice to your friends and come to the party!