Community

Esquimalt gets early start to its party of the century

Esquimalt isn’t waiting until its centennial next year to party.

Residents are getting a head start on the year-long celebration in 2012 with a centennial kick-off event tomorrow (Oct. 8) at Municipal Square.

“One hundred years (as an incorporated municipality) is a big celebration,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, adding that the birthday year, including a big bash on Sept. 8, 2012, will allow the community to connect with its impressive past.

“We want to build on that and make it so that the next 100 years start out as a promise,” she said.

Tomorrow’s celebration includes the public unveiling of “Esquimalt Shines,” a song written for the township’s centennial by Saanich singer/songwriter Fraser Campbell.

“When you hear it, you’ll realize this really is a song that typifies Esquimalt, its geography (and) its history,” said Graham Jackson, member of the Esquimalt centennial committee.

“The one problem is it’s hard to have something that rhymes with Esquimalt in the lyrics, so the word Esquimalt isn’t in the lyrics, it’s in the title,” Jackson said.

Still, Campbell’s song captured the hearts of council and the centennial committee during a preview earlier this year.

“It’s cool to see the ownership and the treasuring that people from Esquimalt have for their town,” said Campbell, who has a memorable connection to the municipality: he and his wife were married in Saxe Point Park.

Campbell is scheduled to perform Esquimalt Shines at noon.

Seventy volunteers have organized a diverse lineup of events tomorrow (Oct. 8), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the town square behind municipal hall, at 1229 Esquimalt Rd.

There will be live music and dance acts, a dunk tank, children’s activities, free birthday cake and hot dogs and an open house at the Esquimalt Fire Department.

“We are just so encouraged by the groundswell of support that we have gotten from the community,” Jackson said.

For details, please visit esquimaltcentennial2012.ca.

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