40th celebration in Port Stanley

Loretta, Brian, Eileene and Steve at 40th Celebration held in West room at Mackie's, Port Stanley
Loretta, Brian, Eileene and Steve at 40th Celebration held in West room at Mackie’s, Port Stanley

The day started with the hydro being out in Port Stanley, the weather was a bit chilly and windy for our 40th celebration, still 60 people came out for the Port Stanley Terminal Rail train to Whytes Park. Cathy Johnstone had a nice surprise of water and chocolate at the park which everyone definitely enjoyed. The children had fun poking their heads out of the Col. Talbot’s Animal Circus rail car. The commentary on the train was superb.

At the train station it was a bit too windy and people started to migrate to the warmth of Mackie’s. The ten hikers who got off at Union Station arrived thirty minutes later, Loretta did a great job motioning them along. As we walked along the harbour, waves were certainly foretelling of rain to come.

We had the West room at Mackie’s for the celebration and everyone was socializing and bringing up old memories. John and Jeanette Cervan greated guests at the entrance to Mackie’s. Kelly Jones did a great job of welcoming everyone and introducing our guest speakers. The Mayor of Central Elgin, David Marr, welcomed everyone and acknowledged the county of Central Elgin appreciate all the work the volunteers do to make the trail possible. He presented the EHTC with a Certificate of Congratulations which Loretta accepted on behalf of the club. Dan McNeil welcomed everyone. Steve Peters spoke to the history of the trail and stated parts of it would have been used many many years before by settlers and natives. Brian Wilsdon introduced our special guests and thanked the land owners for their continued support.

William Stewart was one of the visionaries for creating the trail. His wife Eileene Stewart and current president Loretta Vaughan cut the cake. Loretta, Lydia Driscoll and Dave Gibson (absent) were instrumental in reforming the club in 1989. The socializing continued afterwards.

A group of us went for turkey supper after at the Anglican church and Tom Friesen, president of Hike Ontario was able to join us.

A big thank you to Mackie’s for allowing us free use of their facilities. The Lale family have been a strong supporters of the club. A very, very special thank you to the amazing job the organizing committee of Brian King, Loretta Vaughan and Brian Wilsdon did in making the 40th celebration such a great success. Good job.

More photos of 40th celebration can be found on our Flickr site.

Celebrating our 40th year in October

40th logo

You are cordially invited to join the Elgin Hiking Trail Club on October 3rd in Port Stanley as we celebrate 40 years since the inception of our trail. From our humble beginnings in 1975 when Brian Henson proposed establishing a walking trail in Elgin County, the 5 km trail was officially opened on September 27th in 1975 from then Woodland Farms Market (now car wash on Sunset Drive) to County Road 45 (John Wise Line). The trail is now 41 kilometers long and links Port Stanley on Lake Erie with the Thames Valley Trail at northern boundary of Township of Southwold.

This years events will start at ten thirty with a train ride aboard the scenic Port Stanley Terminal Rail train to White’s Flats and return to Port Stanley. People will have the opportunity to disembark at Union Station and hike the eight kilometers back to Port Stanley. This is hilly terrain, boots and poles recommended. The route back will take you along the west side of the harbour in Port Stanley and newly opened iconic main beach pier (after being closed for 16 years).

There will be a short ceremony in the west room at Mackie’s at one thirty with 40th anniversary cake and Mackie’s menu available. Fellowship will follow with past, present and prospective new members.

To participate on the train and hike please send $10 per person (cheque made out to Elgin Hiking Trail Club) care of Brian King, 28 Taylor Crescent, St Thomas ON N5R 5J4. We need you to reserve by September 23rd for booking sufficient seats on train. All who register for the train will receive a 40th anniversary badge as shown above. Hope to see you there.