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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 20

The Anniversary of the Ballinafad United Church, 3 May, 2009

On a bright Sunday morning, with the sun shining through the bursting buds on the maple trees bordering the church, a hearty congregation gathered to celebrate the 131st. anniversary of the founding of the Ballinafad Presbyterian Church. Among the congregation were many of the descendents of the earliest settlers.

A portable sign outside the red brick building proclaimed the Anniversary Service, and invited all to attend the Kirkwood family lunch to follow.

Many of the church attendees participated in the service, sharing their faith and talents. From the young girls lighting the symbolic candles, to the son of his namesake who built the original grist mill, Jim, a retired United Church minister. As he spoke of the role of the church in the past, we got a small glimpse of his life as a missionary, and his boyhood memories of the village and the church. The choir sang as only a country church choir can, beautifully. There were special musical offerings and prayers.

The luncheon that followed was of course, prepared by the ladies. Tasty recipes, particular to the occasion were served. There was time for visiting, telling tales of the past and invitations to attend future gatherings. A discussion group followed, looking at the role of the Church today, and possibly that of the future. It would appear that the Church still remains the focal point of the community today.

Many participants in the days events, met relatives they only see on such occasions. The community of a few families in the early 1800s has grown, and successive generations have moved away. But a settler’s roots go deep in the soil of Ballinafad, and once in a while the descendants return.

Joan Kadoke
May 2009

The church service

Rev. Jim Kirkwood in action

The luncheon and discussion

The planting of the Alternate leaf dogwood in front of the Mcclure-McKay Home with Bill McKay, Wilma Sinclair, Uncle Sandy and Jim Kirkwood. We wish to express our gratitude to the CVC for their collaboration in providing the tree for the ceremony. A symbolic gesture which suggests good things in the future.

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