By Ken Hirter
Once again this year I had the honor to cover this year’s “North Ender Reunion” & “The North Ender of the Year Award” Celebrating 10 years since its inaugural start up at La Salle Park on July 12th 2008.
The North Ender of the year Reunion is an annual event hosted this year by Ed Fisher of Fisher’s Pier 4 Pub & eatery on James Street North. Thanks Ed and staff for a delightful afternoon.
Bringing forth and coordinating this wonderful reunion once again was the gracious Mr. Ed Stewart. On registration was Alice Perniac and her husband Sam Perniac who was in charge of the 50/50 draw, and the many wonderful donated door prizes.
This years event was a great success with both the patio and the restaurant filled to capacity. Each booth and table was a chatter of excitement as friends reunited and played catch up with one another. Vintage photographs of Hamilton’s North End of yesteryear and proud residents and former residents mingled to celebrate the ever changing face of the North End of Hamilton.
One of the longest residents, since 1921, of the North End was Marg Buist at the age of 96 who was accompanied by her niece Betty Lou Fletcher. Both ladies referred to their maiden names and roots for the day. The oldest member of the reunion was John Nagy at the age of 100. Cherished memories and wonderful stories were shared; too numerous to document.
This years North Ender of the Year Award was bestowed to Margaret (Megs) Smith “for her contributions to the qualities of the life and times of those who lived and loved in that part of Hamilton that contributed to Canadian way of Life”
Megs, with her infectious smile and lovely brogue was a longtime resident of the North End since marrying and moving here from Ireland in 1976. She’s loved all parts of Hamilton ever since and even though she no longer resides in the North End, she is a daily visitor to her favourite places and can usually be found holding court with her long-time friends at Grandad’s Donuts.
Megs shared her award posthumously with her best friend and soul sister Pam Winter who passed away in February 2018. Their volunteer endeavors over the years, many of which were documented in the monthly Elderberries columns in The Breezes. Affectionately known as Ham & Eggs, their numerous adventures and their irresistible smiles brightened the days of those who crossed their paths.
Megs recently retired from the board of directors with the Northend Breezes in 2017 but remains a part of the volunteer folding team for the Breezes each month. Her love is the Welcome Inn Community Center especially the Senior Lunch program that she is involved in to this day.
Megs was featured on the Welcome Inn Community Center website on August the 07th 2018 “Alleviating loneliness for North End Seniors”; a woman of strength and courage with her wonderful impish smile, red hair and a twinkle in her eyes she ventures forth.
Meg’s friends and supporters Brenda Duke, Steve Hossbach, Lynne John, Marne Paterson and myself were on hand when Mr.Stewart presented her honor. Along with her plague she received a beautiful print of W.W.Il veterans who fought during the War but sadly never returned from battle. A contribution of one hundred dollars was donated to Bennetto School in her honor.
Congratulations are extended to Megs on being the North Ender of the Year for 2018.
Till next month, take care of you and those around you. Cheers