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Mount Albert Sports Day: A Time-Honored Tradition

We are so excited for the Mount Albert Sports Day happening this weekend from June 2 – 4th! This community event has been going strong since 1925, almost 98 years ago. The Women’s Institute in Mount Albert successfully lobbied the municipal government in 1924 to allocate funds to purchase a public for everyone to enjoy. It has continued to grow and thrive into the community asset that is beloved by all.


Some highlights from sports days gone by include:


· It was so busy during the sixth annual sports day in 1930 that the newspaper did not report on the winners of the various contests “due to a street dance on the main thoroughfare. This is still in full swing at a late hour” (June 6, 1930).[1]


· In 1949, it was reported that 6,000 people attended the 25th anniversary of the Mount Albert Sports day. There was also a beauty contest where Miss Marian Wardell was chosen as Miss East Gwillimbury for 1949 and was driven around on a special float with another contestant who was proclaimed “Miss Toronto who was also transported on a monster combine machine.” (June 9, 1949)[2]


· The Mount Albert Sports day celebration in 1951 included “a parade of decorated doll carriages and bicycles” as well as a tractor demonstration, horseshoe pitching contest, a magician, a clown band, and midway attractions. Could this parade be what Fred Franklin and Ida Dike Hopkins are going to attend in the photo (see figure 1)?


· At the Mount Albert Sports Day for June 1970, the Aurora fire department won the Ontario Hydro trophy during the fireman’s “hose, ladder and bucket competition” competing against fire departments from Richmond Hill, Sutton, Newmarket, and Mount Albert (June 10, 1970).[3]


· At the 50th anniversary of the Mount Albert Sports Day in 1975, a special ceremony where MPP William Newman presented the community center with a plaque to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Mount Albert Sports day. Other dignitaries were present to give flags as well. The proceedings of the day were officially opened by Dr. Margaret Arkinstall, who was named “Citizen of the Year” for East Gwillimbury. (June 11, 1975).[4]



Figure 1: Fred Franklin and Ida Dike Hopkins dressed up for Mount Albert Sports Day, c. 1950s. From the Library's local history collection.


Be inspired by these historical examples; if you can, get out to Mount Albert this weekend and make some family memories! Go to https://mountalbertsportsday.com for all the latest information including the schedule, contests, and so much more!

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