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Hostesses enjoyed going back 50 years

The Leamington 150 celebration is extra special for eight ladies who have special memories of the 1974 festivities and they gathered at the Big Tomato on Friday, June 28 for a photo opportunity and to reminisce about some of the 1974 centennial events.

Christine Melnyk brought the group together — they were part of a group of 15-20 teenage hostesses who were official ambassadors for the 1974 event.

Some of the original group have passed on, while others couldn’t be located or could not make it out for the weekend, but there was plenty of laughter from the group as they greeted each other at Seacliff Park.

They were on hand for the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting at Seacliff Park, then followed that up with a photo at the newly re-painted tomato.

“It doesn’t feel like 50 years,” said Antonia (Paglione) Reive — one of the eight 1974 hostesses.

For the girls, it was a time to talk about the old days and some of the people that entrusted them with being the town’s ambassadors.

“Jim Reid was fantastic,” said Cindy (Gillett) Sylvestre — who was also crowned Miss Centennial in 1974. “He really loved this town and it showed.”

“Gary Gomer too,” added Sandy (Simpson) Whittle.

They laughed and talked about some of the events like the beard growing contest, the bed races and the pie-eating contest.

“I won that pie-eating contest,” said Sandy (Simpson) Whittle. “They took it away and gave it to the Mayor of Leamington Spa’s wife.”

Melnyk corroborated that story, saying Sandy had clearly won but the mayor’s wife from Leamington’s English sister-city was awarded the trophy.

“We all knew Sandy won,” said Melnyk.

Tons of photos from back in the day were shared as a couple of the ladies brought their photo albums with them. Some of them planned on sticking around for the dream cruise on Saturday, while others were heading back home.

Regardless, they were able to visit for the first time in 50 years and it produced some special moments that can be cherished for the rest of their lives.

This week’s
online edition

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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