St. Thomas Street Reunion
By Joan Cripps
|Evangeline Savoy and Norman McLenaghan were presented with a corsage and boutonnier
It was a beautiful Friday evening when close to 300 residents and former residents of St. Thomas Street, Miramichi, from all over Canada and the United States arrived to celebrate their reunion.
Forty-six years ago most of the original residents of the street built their homes. Many of their families are grown and living away now, so it was a great opportunity for everyone to get together and share memories during a Meet & Greet on Friday night. Our mayor opened the weekend by welcoming everyone.
Two senior residents of the Street, Evangeline Savoy and Norman McLenaghan, were honoured and presented with a corsage and boutonniere. The children enjoyed a fishpond and parachute game. Everyone played a trivia game about people and things pertaining to St. Thomas Street and then mingled and traded stories of growing up and living on the street. The evening ended with a fireworks display.
|Playing road hockey brought back childhood memories.
Saturday morning the day started with a Washer Toss Tournament. A hot dog and hamburger BBQ for lunch was followed by an exciting afternoon of games and activities for children. The activities included a magic act, scavenger hunt, jumping castle, piñatas, and animal balloons. Some of the older children and adults played road hockey, bringing back childhood memories for a lot of people. A popcorn and slushy stand provided refreshments for the children. A table was set up for young girls to have their make-up and fingernails done in preparation for a tea party later in the afternoon.
At 3pm 32 little ladies arrived in long dresses, fancy hats, parasols and fans for a Victorian Strawberry, Heart & Rose Tea Party, and to begin a trip way, way back to Victorian times when little ladies gathered to enjoy tea.
First the little ladies were asked if they knew what “prim and proper” meant, as there was to be a prize for the most prim and proper young lady when the tea party was over. As it turned out it was too hard to pick one young lady, so everyone got a prize.
|Victorian Strawberry, Heart & Rose Tea Party
The young ladies sat at eight round tables (three to a table, fanning themselves), and one long table. The tables were set with pretty tablecloths, white lace covers, heart-shaped placemats, place markers with their names (Lady Holly, Lady Emma etc.), centrepieces, demitasse teapots, cups and saucers.
A long table was also decorated in red and white and held a teapot cake, juice fountain, and various prizes for games to be played during the afternoon, such as pin the stem on the strawberry. Two young ladies acted out the Language of the Fan, and all sang I’m a Little Teapot. There were also prizes for whoever had a heart under their saucer. Each child was presented with a tiny scroll and a little bag of symbols about New Brunswick.
Other tables were set up under a large canopy with desserts and tea for Moms and Dads. The menu was all strawberry recipes: scotch cakes in the shape of hearts and teapots, chocolate dipped strawberries, florets, strawberry loaves, strawberry muffins and three large Ponchatoula strawberry summertime cakes (recipe from a Louisiana cookbook). Parlour maids and Moms served the little ladies strawberry shortcakes and trays of goodies.
|Erica LeBlanc enjoys face painting Saturday night at the reunion.
The highlight of their afternoon was Matilda Murdock playing her fiddle, and two fortune tellers, dressed in costume, who arrived to read their tealeaves, to the children’s delight.
To end our afternoon tea we had a Heart Bingo with many prizes being won. We also heard a cute story about a three-year-old lady holding up her heart-shaped scotch cookie and singing to it with made up words—so cute!
Saturday evening the street was closed off for children’s chalk painting hour and face painting. A street dance and prize drawings followed.
Sunday morning dawned bright and windy. We all headed for the canopy area where Fr. Leon Creamer was preparing for outdoor Mass. After Mass a brunch of ham, sausage, pancakes, eggs, muffins, rolls, juice, tea and coffee was served.
On behalf of the Reunion Committee I’d like to thank all the wonderful people who attended. The interest expressed in the event was overwhelming and it was so nice to see everyone enjoying themselves, renewing old memories, and making new ones!
Way to go St. Thomas Street!
Joan Cripps is a “Domestic Engineer” living in Chatham, NB, who loves to entertain and write. She is the founder of the Purple Hat Ladies Tea Society, a group she formed in 2001.