It might be a new venue but there was still that same sense of pride and celebration at this year’s Civic Reception.
The annual event, held Thursday, celebrates Trail’s pioneers, oldtimers and native sons and daughters.
Close to 80 people came out this year to the event’s new location at the Trail Legion Branch #11.
“We have been considering a venue change for several years because the access to the Cominco Gym for the seniors is not great,” explained Sandy Lucchini, Trail’s deputy corporate administrator and organizer of the event.
“We hope to use the Legion going forward now.”
The luncheon included speeches by dignitaries, including Trail ambassadors past and present, and messages from federal and provincial representatives.
Trail Mayor Mike Martin welcomed the crowd to the event.
“This has been a long tradition in the City of Trail and it’s a delight to see everyone,” he said.
“We owe you a great deal of gratitude to you as founders and your foresight and vision that enabled the residents of Trail to enjoy and build a safe, healthy and prosperous lifestyle in a community rich in family values, community pride and spirit.”
Elaine Whitehead, constituency assistant to MLA Katrine Conroy, shared a message from our provincial representative highlighting Trail’s rich cultural and sporting history. MP Richard Cannings also sent his best wishes and applauded the city’s efforts to acknowledge its valued citizens.
Margie Crawford gave a wonderful synopsis of her experience as the 2017 Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year.
After the opening remarks, which acknowledged the significant contributions of the city’s pioneers and natives, a light lunch was served and the event-goers were entertained by singer Nevaeh White, who started the luncheon with the singing of ‘O Canada’ and was later accompanied by her grandfather, Gord DeRosa.
To qualify as a City of Trail Pioneer, one needs to be 65 years of age or older and a 40-year resident. There are also sub categories as to whether one was also born in Trail or came to Trail before or after incorporation (1926).
Lucchini acknowledged the number of participants has also dropped off over the years. At its peak, the luncheon would attract over 250 people but attendance has dwindled to around 100 for the past few years.
Nevertheless, those in attendance shared their pleasure of coming to the event year after year.
“We’ve been coming for many years,” said 84-year-old Carmen Battolo who was with his wife Aba. The couple have lived in Trail for almost 70 years.
Lucchini said the city keeps a list of those that qualify and many are quite proud of their status on the Pioneer List.