FORMOSA – Thousands took up the offer to come home to the “beautiful valley” for a wonderful holiday weekend of renewing old friendships, getting together with family, reminiscing, sharing memories and making plenty of new ones.
Festivities got off to a delightful start Thursday evening, with the ambassador competition, held in the just-completed recreation complex.
The facility is an impressive roofed structure that becomes an outdoor skating rink in winter and provides a variety of uses for summer.
“The people of Formosa deserved this,” commented South Bruce Mayor Robert Buckle.
The new ambassador, who will represent Formosa Homecoming until 2032, is 16-year-old Benetta Van Nes. She’s a busy community volunteer who aspires to study theology.
First runner-up is Kaylee Rich; second runner-up is Aubri Dupuis. Rich was also voted most congenial.
The judges did not have an easy decision. Each of the 10 contestants was talented, charming and beautiful.
Offering greetings at the competition was MPP Lisa Thompson, who commented on the homecoming festivities: “I can just imagine what will be happening this weekend!” She spoke of “celebrating your roots,” the theme of the homecoming.
Buckle congratulated the contestants and the volunteers who organized the entire event. He noted the ambassador competition will be a “stepping stone for your future,” for each of the contestants.
Opening ceremonies took place the Friday evening at Formosa’s Immaculate Conception Church, starting with a prayer by Father Emmanuel Azike.
Entertainment was wonderful – first, the Formosa Children’s Choir, then the Belmore Community Choir (their first performance in three years), and finally the Formosa Church Choir.
Homecoming co-chairs Tim Borho and Tricia Mulvey officially cut the ribbon that marked the start of a truly memorable weekend.
Formosa Homecoming had everything – music, dances, games, contests, an hour-long parade, great food, the best possible weather, and more fun than anyone could have imagined.
MP Ben Lobb, who spoke during the opening ceremony, commented on the crowds and choirs – people enjoying “some of the things we’ve been missing out on for the past couple of years.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times