It was a great time in little ol’ Demaine! Although the Demaine Community Club (DCC) only planned for a 2-day Centennial Celebration for the weekend of July 16th and 17th, it turned into a 5-6 day event with some campers arriving at the Park behind the rink on Thursday and others not leaving until Tuesday. The planning of the event started in 2004 with letters being sent out to former residents of the town and district. The last few weeks prior to the event, things really started to happen when lots of work at the hall, rink and around town had to be done. Main Street got a new look, paint job, new signs and the grass around town was mowed many times. The big bale couple, nicknamed "Howdy & Hidy ", was quickly set up at the end of Main Street on Wednesday and Thursday to greet all visitors coming back to Demaine. About 675 persons in all came for the big celebration.
On Friday night the Snakebite Riding Club hosted an outdoor Fish Fry in the park by the Community Hall (trout donated by Lucky Lake Fish Farm). BBQ trout on a bun, salads and beverages were served to about 150 people. It was a nice evening to start out the weekend.
Saturday morning the Community Hall was open for registration and souvenirs were sold. Those who registered enjoyed a walk through the hall to look at old pictures and memorabilia or just to visit. Free coffee an ins were available in the morning courtesy of the DCC. An agenda for the day with a Prairie Expressions Quiz on the back was handed out (winner of the quiz was Albert Pahlke of Pierceland, Sk.).
Spectators gathered at the end of Main Street and along Railroad Avenue around 10 a.m. to watch the Cattle Drive come in from the Wild West (Beechy). This event was planned by Norman Tuplin and Sue Thomas. A big herd of Texas Longhorns belonging to Norman Tuplin left Beechy early in the morning with trail boss Norman Tuplin and trail riders Sue Thomas, Bud, Bill and Boyd Burrell (a new experience for the 3 Burrell brothers). The cattle drive followed the railroad tracks from Beechy to Demaine where they were joined at the last crossing by 3 other riders, Dennis Perrin, Dennis Buchanan and Kevin Burger. Slowly the herd of cattle walked up to the end of Main Street where riders and cattle stood quietly for some nice photo shots. Thanks guys and gal for showing our visitors a little of the wild west!
Those needing food and refreshments enjoyed the Food Booth set up by the Snakebite Riding Club in the old Post Office where they served burgers, fish and homemade pie at noon and also at the Street Dance later in the evening. A big tent was set up on Main Street for the Beer Gardens with drinks being served from the old Credit Union Office. The Beechy Multiple 4-H Club set up an Ice Cream Booth in the hall where they sold hundreds of ice cream cones of different flavors. The Demaine Hotel (the only business in town), owned and operated by Terry and Lori Turrell was kept busy all weekend long serving drinks, meals, pizza and Lori’s delicious baking. The Turrell family did a beautiful job fixing up the fronts of the hotel and the old Shoe and Harness Shoppe and adding the flower boxes and a fence to join the 2 buildings. It really made Main Street look nice, as did the new paint job on the old Co-op building courtesy of the "Houben Crew".
The parade began at 2 p.m. from the old school grounds with Butch Erickson and Karen Baxter organizing the 35 entries. Scott Brown from Regina was at the mike to announce the parade as it passed by the stage and tent on Main Street. Constable Ron Robinson from the Kyle RCMP Detachment led the parade followed by 2 flag bearers on horseback carrying the Saskatchewan Flag and the Canadian Flag. An assortment of floats, horse-drawn outfits, horseback riders, old tractors, antique cars and trucks, fire and ambulance units, the "3 little pigs", go-carts and bicycle riders passed by hundreds of spectators lining the streets.
One of the highlights of the parade was the "Demaine Clan Float" carrying 15 relatives of Ernest & Christina Demaine for whom the town was named. Sporting their Clan Demaine t-shirts, they came from all across Canada to meet at Demaine. Other floats were the Waterside Willing Workers - Golden Years, honouring our seniors; the Bjorgan family; Eddy’s General Store and Arctic Cat; Spring Lake Loggers; Demaine Fast Ball Teams; Demaine Hotel; Midwest Agro - the new and the old fuel truck; Prentice Foods, Bar VF Farms established 1906 (Fleuter/Moebis family); and Mitchell Communications.
After the parade, Elwin Hermanson, MLA for Rosetown-Biggar, presented Chris Wiens of Beechy with the Governor General’s Exemplary Medal for EMS and the Stars of Life Award from SEMSA. Then an Open Mike Session was held for anyone who wanted to speak, sing or play a musical instrument. The DCC served a delicious cold, roast beef supper to about 520 people from 5-7 p.m. Then the Open Air Auction took place on Main Street. Over 55 very nice items were donated to the DCC to be auctioned off by first-time auctioneer Bill Moebis. The auction went great, better than anyone thought. A total of $6,800.00 was raised! The big item of the auction was a framed work of art called Memories of Demaine created in mixed media by artist Lynn Lawson Pajunen of Mission, BC that sold for $800.00 to Dallas Baxter. Thanks to everyone who donated, helped to keep the bidding going or purchased an item.
Around 230 persons attended the big Street Dance on Main Street - music by the Navajo Band from Orkney. A wonderful display of fireworks (courtesy of the Byerley family) and more dancing ended a very, nice day of visiting, reminiscing and reuniting of families and friends.
Sunday morning pancake breakfast was served to 200 people in the hall by the DCC followed by a church service and open mike session. The church service was led by Barb Moebis, Eileen Shirtliff and Neil Danroth with Maureen Brown entertaining the children, music by Sharon Carson on the organ and Michael Morson on guitar, singing by the Neil Danroth family and Jana Morson. Following the Open Mike, where many people got up to thank the Demaine community for the great time they had or just to talk about their connections to Demaine, a pot luck lunch was served.
Those strolling down Main Street or coming into town Sunday morning were saddened by the loss of "Howdy & Hidy", our bale people. Sometime during the night they were started on fire and the Beechy Fire Deptment had to be called to put out the fire.
However, the great time had by all was the most important part of the whole weekend. It will not be soon forgotten. Thanks to the Demaine Community Club for all your hard work and hours of planning.
Murray Demaine from London, Ontario (son of Fred and Gladys Demaine) writes, "Like so many others, Demaine is where I was born and it will remain a part of my family. Thanks once again for the wonderful time that will not be forgotten by my family."
The Demaine Community Club would also like to take this opportunity to thank our friends, relatives and former residents who came back and made our Centennial Celebration a big success. And a big THANKS to all who pitched in to help when we needed you, whether it was cutting grass, painting, fixing, setting up and taking down the tent, going for supplies, spraying, helping in the kitchen and bar, building and decorating floats, donating food or just filling in wherever. It was great!! Thank You!!