NORTH DURHAM: Longtime town Crier Bill McKee had a solid weekend, winning both the Muskoka Escapades of Town Crying competition as well as a provincial championship.
Both competitions were held in Bracebridge. The provincial championship is annually held by the Ontario Guild of Town Criers. Mr. McKee said that he was shocked when he found out he had won.
“I was surprised, mainly because the newer criers are getting better at writing and performing and there are a lot of strong cries,” he said.
This is the sixth time that Mr. McKee has won the provincial championships, and the eighth time he has won the Muskoka Escapades of Town Crying. He said that winning both competitions is a good confidence builder.
“It’s a better feeling because you know that you still have it,” Mr. McKee said.
In the competitions, he was representing Scugog, Uxbridge as well as Oshawa. Mr. McKee has been the town crier for Uxbridge since 1999, Scugog since 2002 and Oshawa since 2004.
He added that he became a town crier after spending time watching his brother Dave McKee perform as Bracebridge’s town crier. Dave McKee came in second place behind his brother in the provincial championships.
Mr. McKee said that it has been a true honour to represent the three municipalities.
“It’s a great feeling that Scugog and Uxbridge are so behind me and that Oshawa has used me in big events and have been behind me as well,” he said. “I just hope I can reciprocate the honour by living up to what they hoped, to their expectations.”