The building committee for the Bayfield Agricultural Society’s Farm Animal Display Building Project wanted to update the community on its fundraising. As of this week there is less than $10 000 to raise of the $85 000 cost for the building. Anyone wishing to support the project to replace the former Pet Display (Old MacDonald’s farm) Building can send a donation to the treasurer, Jim Erwin, Box 236, Bayfield.
Donors will be recognized with their names engraved on bricks put on a donor wall:
Rafter sponsors $10 000 and greater Quoin and interior sign
Beam sponsors $5 000 – $9 999 12”x12” brick
Frame sponsors $2 000 – $4 999 8”x8” brick
Wall sheeting sponsors $500 – $1 999 6”x6” or 4”x8” brick
Floor board sponsors $100 – $499 included on a plaque
Doreen MacKenzie who submitted some recollections last week put pen to paper for some further stories.
Chelsea Mommersteeg was the first Junior Director of the Pet Display (Petting Zoo.) She and her twin brothers, Brett and Alex, had helped with the display since it had been retrofitted. They were enthusiastic, energetic young people who attracted many other young folks as helpers in the display. Their greatest challenge came in what was fondly called, “The Great Rooster Chase.” The area inside the gate of the pet building was fenced off making a good grassy area where we put a pair of large Muskovi drakes and a pair of large geese –one white, one grey. They were to police the area and intimidate anyone who tried to come through this gate to evade the entry fee. This generally worked really well. One year we tried to improve on the gate guards by adding a Mallard drake, a large red rooster and a pair of guinea fowl. Unfortunately these reinforcements had other ideas. Some flew over the gate, -the Mallard squeezed under! They escaped into the neighbouring back yards, and then began “The Great Rooster Chase!” The helpful young lads and the twins chased after them and finally cornered the Mallard and the Red Rooster. The guinea fowl disappeared and that fall were heard in different areas of the village, and finally the river flats. The Mallard and the Red Rooster spent the rest of the fair in cages.
One noon hour when most of our animals’ visitors were out hunting for hot dogs and other “fair food”, I saw a tall gentleman pick up a child and place him in the calf’s pen. Now this was against all our rules for the health and safety of both children and animals as I hurried over to explain to the man. He said that the little child was a member of the “Christian Blind Mission” choir that was touring the area and that he as one of their sponsors wanted the child to experience, with his other four senses, as much of the fair as he could. We persuaded the curious calf to come over to the gate of the stall and with the child on the outside of the gate, had him reach in and pat the silky head and damp nose. Then he had his fingers licked by the curious little calf. (One was reminded of the poem about the blind men who tried to describe an elephant.) Fortunately there was no sign that the child had stepped in anything “yuckie” and the sense of smell was not part of the situation!
Further stories are encouraged and will be shared through the Society’s Facebook page. This building has made a major impression on many and many volunteers over the years have ensured fairgoers had a hands on experience with many farm animals. The new building will be a reminder of all the work those volunteers have done over the years to educate the public. The building committee would encourage those who want these experiences to continue into the future to consider making a donation toward the building. If there are questions, call Doug at 519 482 9296.