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A TV Show 150 Years in the Making

As part of the Port Perry 150th birthday, some of our celebrations will be seen on Rogers TV, which I was honoured to host. We filmed the episode in Palmer Park on Wednesday and had a great time. Altogether, there were 17 people involved, and everyone was masked and kept their distance socially.

The sun was hot, the skies were clear, and everything went like clockwork. The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation did a fantastic job of sharing their culture. The Chair of the 150 committee, Wilma Wotten, gave an excellent address. Our Mayor, Bobbie Drew spoke, and we had a visit from our Town Crier, Bill McKee, who shouted an original welcome and proclaimed the town to be officially 150 years old.

The one-hour show featured the Honourable Erin O’Toole, MPP Lindsey Park and Durham Chair, John Henry. There were also appearances by town residents, Ted Griffin, and the Ghilan family, formerly from Syria.

We also had a special guest from the past share a number of historical facts. Mrs. Bigelow, the wife of Port Perry’s first Reeve, was dressed in her period garb and looked fantastic. The irony of the presentation was, our own Beverly Brown, who is the great-granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Bigelow, portrayed Mrs. Bigelow.

As many of you know, we had a contest to design a graphic portrayal of the 150th birthday. The chosen design was created by Rebecca Raines. She not only attended the ceremony but was filmed raising the flag she designed.

Other memorabilia, such as pandemic masks, lawn signs, flags, my Port Perry Past and Present book and more, will be available weekly at the Farmer’s Market in the 150th booth, at PP Print (201 North Street) and the Scugog Chamber of Commerce (250 Queen Street)

All the speakers, the videographers, Peter and Tom, the audio people, Dave and JJ, did an amazing job in the very warm temperatures. The Township staff were also on hand to ensure all the ‘behind the scenes went well… and it did.

The show will be on Rogers in a week or so, but it is on the Port Perry 150 channel on YouTube and The Standard News website for those who want to watch it sooner. You can find the link on the Port Perry 150 Facebook Page,, The Standard News website and the Port Perry Bulletin, also on Facebook.

Isn’t it great to live in Port Perry?

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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