The Whing-Ding illustrates the circle of life

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Brookfield & Area Notebook, By Judy Matheson

Generations came out and returned home for Brookfield’s homecoming celebration

Many in central Nov Scotia, or at least in Brookfield, have grown up considering the Whing-Ding as a normal part of their lives.

As infants or very young children they were taken to the two-day (used to be three) evening fair by their parents. Once again this year there were many babes in arms or strollers, gazing in amazement at all the excitement. Soon enough they come walking, tugging the parent in all directions to see and do all that’s offered.

The age of independence comes around 8 or 9 years and they beg to go with their friends. In the teen years those same tots are now with girlfriends or boyfriends with budding romances. Several long-time relationships began at the Whing-Ding.

Now days, those aforementioned tots and teens arrive with kids of their own who then become advocates of the Whing-Ding. Youngsters look forward to the time when they can work in the booths to help the cause of the Brookfield Athletic Association, the governing body of the fair.

This year was exceptionally well attended on Saturday night, with line-ups to play the games, old friends back to rekindle memories and friendships, and everyone waiting for the fireworks to mark another great time.

The weather was perfect, which is as totally necessary for success as the return of patrons each year. The entertainers kept folks well motivated to enjoy the atmosphere of friendliness.

The final four days of Coming Home to Brookfield provided a variety of fun for many. July 24 featured the regular Chucker Ball program and pick-up ballgame, which were directed by Chris Bernard and Rachel deVries. The youngsters have fun learning ball skills with the adults cheering them on.

Bingo at Elk Court was a time for the community to join the residents in the favourite old game and pick up a few prizes.

The golfers weren’t daunted by the threat of the rain, which cleared off for most of the scramble. Good scores were turned in and door prizes were awarded during the barbecue following the game. The winners were congratulated and gained bragging rights. Thanks to Rachel, Chris and Doug for believing in the weather and carrying on.

Large numbers enjoyed the Petting farm at Creamery Brook Stables; the 4-H club and the Cornelius and Walters families hosted the event and provided treats for all.

Movie night at the fire hall was filled to see “Despicable Me 2” while treated to popcorn and drinks, with projection direction by Diane Simms.

Three youth of the area were celebrated at Afternoon Tea, with Lyle Carter doing an outstanding job as interviewer. His first guest was Alexander George from Ontario, who was “Back Home Again” to see his Grandmother Daisy Hinley’s home. George was exceptionally well spoken during the talk, his specialty being the fiddle, which he played amazingly well for the audience. Although he’s just 12-years-old, he has already made his mark in Ontario competitions, coming fourth in the province.

Marika Schenkels of Fort Ellis was recognized for being chosen to go to California, one of six Canadians from 8,000 applicants for a magazine summit called Discovery Girls, which focuses on self-esteem relating to girls around the world. She has accomplished many goals at the young age of 13. She has started a group called Because I Am A Girl for advancing self-esteem in girls, as well as an anti-bulling group at her SCA school.

NHL Pittsburg Penguin property Zach Sill was the third of the guests and the crowd loved hearing his hockey story. He also graciously answered all their questions, signed autographs and had his picture taken with all those in the queue.

Several young servers were introduced to serve the tea, coming from Calgary, Ontario, New Glasgow, Halifax and Scotland, as well as those from Brookfield. They provided excellent service!

Saturday’s events started with the 5 km run. Twenty-seven runners answered the starting gun, with Chris MacPhee winning the male division and Leah Roop the first female to finish. Prizes were also awarded to Mary MacLean in the 16 to 20 age division and to Katie and Harry McDonald for the girls and boys in the 2.5 km run.

Steve and Pam Olmstead initiated the one-kilometre Kids Run and had 39 under-10 runners racing around the track, a success sure to be repeated.

The remote airplane demo drew lots of attention; the MAST organizers put on a stellar show for the fans at the SCA soccer field.

MacQuarrie’s barbecue at Creelman Park was hosted by the 4-H club and was well received at the new location.

Dozens of youngsters lined up for two hours to slide down the waterslides kindly attended by the fire service; the hot afternoon also saw many making use of the pool provided as well.

Sail Boat Regatta at Shortt’s Lake took place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Ten lovely sailboats graced the lake in the sunshine with just enough wind to make it a pleasant, peaceful scene.

Sunday, nine days of activities came to a fitting ending with an outdoor worship service at the beautiful homestead of Audrey and Hugh Carter. The service drew a large congregation with ministry by the Reverends Eric MacKinnon and Keith Gale and music led by Joanne Hatfield’s Ukulele group, who continued to entertain during lunch time.

Marian McDonald and Janet Burnett of the coordinating committee gave thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, fire service, venues offered and to the Carters hosts. They explained that homecoming is by the community and for the community. The approximately 200 attending formed a wide inclusive circle to sing the closing song, Coming Home to Brookfield.

All were served a hearty lunch of beans, brown bread, coleslaw, hot dogs and ice cream.

Hopefully the Lighting up the Village will translate into lighting up the lives of all.

Judy Matheson is a life-long Brookfield resident and dedicated volunteer with many community organizations. To have your community news appear in her column, contact her by email at


Organizations: Discovery Girls, SCA school

Geographic location: California, Brookfield, Ontario Calgary New Glasgow Scotland Creelman Park

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