'This is home': East Ferris community celebrates centennial milestone
A town near North Bay is celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend.
With a population just over 4,800 people, residents of East Ferris love their township and are thrilled to join in the celebrations today.
“This is home for us. I’m a fourth generation here in East Ferris. I have very, very deep roots,” said resident Michel Champagne.
While the municipality’s official anniversary is Dec. 26, the township wanted to celebrate before the holidays began.
“The community is very close. Everybody knows everybody. It’s so nice to live out here,” explained resident Lucille Voyer.
As told through a video playing at the ceremony, the area carries a storied history.
From the First Nations to the first settlers and explorers, East Ferris has gone through many changes.In 1921, the Township of Ferris was split into the Township of East and West Ferris.
In 2010, the township was renamed to a municipality.
“East Ferris has a very special history. It is built on family and that is unique,” said Mayor Pauline Rochefort.
The municipality held a gathering and centennial celebration along with a lunch buffet and there will be fireworks in the evening.
“People care about you in this municipality and they are very much welcoming,” said resident of 17 years Doug Hay. “To East Ferris, happy birthday.”
Throughout the year, the town has been holding small celebrations. A new logo of a loon swimming behind a sunset, and slogan,“East Ferris Our Home” were shown off as well as the design of the new municipal building which is set to open sometime next year.
“Since 2006, the councils of East Ferris have been on a journey to build a new facility for the municipality. Our current premises is outdated and obsolete,” said Rochefort.
As part of the celebrations, group of actors performed a play called “Our Home” looking back from 1885-1921 at how the municipality came to be.
“It’s an opportunity to see how we grew back from the 1800s, how the logging started and how CN Rail got here,” said actor Rick Champagne.
While the municipality and its people celebrate the past and present, its residents look to the future of what it will look like in the years ahead.