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Caledonia's Year of Change

April 7, 2017

 

Barbara A. Martindale- For What It's Worth March 14, 2013

The year before the 1967 Centennial Year for Caledonians was definitely one of preparation. New construction, new buildings, new business and yes, there were closings, too, in 1966- a year of changes. These are just some of the highlights.

 

C.D. Johnson was elected warden of Haldimand County in January. Caledonia's town council appointed Tom Spratt to be the Centennial chairman soon after.

 

Another announcement that year was the statement that all of Haldimand County would, together with most of Norfolk County, form the new provincial riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

 

 

There was always a report on the Grand River's ice and that year it "went out quietly on March 12th and 13th.” The first robin was always reported, too. In 1966, Mayor Winegard saw it on March 14. A pay telephone was installed at the main corner. Closed in March, the Caledonia Milling Company was advertising that buildings, land and machinery were for sale.

 

Tenders were advertised for the new 1,100- student secondary school to be built in Hagersville.

The Caledonia Tractor Company business, located where Grand River Veterinary Hospital is today, changed hands from Lyle McDougall & Sons to Howard Young and Art Meadows.

 

On June 2, the new Caledonia library was in operation for the first time, and the new tennis courts at Kinsmen Park were officially opened that same day.

 

Remember the community bingo nights? The first bingo night in the arena on June 29 was sponsored by the Kinsmen Club, with all proceeds to be divided with the Centennial committee.

 

Canadian Tire in Caledonia announced the closing of their Caledonia order store due to the termination of its lease. The new Canadian Bank of Commerce, as it exists today, was officially opened on August 6.

The Corvairs hockey club, in September, held its fourth annual dance with the big band sound in the arena with 750 attending.

 

Named Alderwood Heights, the survey bounded by Ross, Orkney and Sutherland had the installation of services and roads completed as reported on August 29.

 

On September 23, the sod was turned for the new Caledonia Centennial Public School. Mary Poppins Cooperative Preschool opened for the first time on October 3 at Grace United Church.

 

It was that year that Mac Coutts, managing director of the GRCA (Grand River Conservation Authority) made a statement that the Caledonia dam wasn't worth repairing. Caledonia didn't get a new dam until 1980.

 

Ontario Hydro announced its new Lake Erie Plant at Nanticoke, due to begin construction in 1968.

Centennial souvenirs were being sold through a canvas of the town. Winegard Motors opened a new show room. A committee was looking for information on Centennial homes in Caledonia. The book published at the time is today a terrific historical resource.

 

A new front on the fairground's arena was officially opened in November and a new public address system was dedicated. The Santa Claus Parade, 46 years ago, sponsored by the Kinsmen Club, was the largest ever that year. Before Christmas, the rules for the Centennial Beard Growing Contest were announced.

 

To kick off Centennial celebrations, a huge bonfire at Kinsmen Park took place and residents took the opportunity to deposit their 1966 Christmas trees for the community event.

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