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Heritage event a big hit in Headingley

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Pop, cookies, coffee, and ice cream for 10 cents each were reminders of Headingley’s past during Heritage Day on Sept. 8 at the Headingley Community Centre.

Dave Taylor, a member of the Headingley Historical Society, and also an ancestor of John Taylor, Manitoba’s first agriculture minister in the 1870s (and the man for whom John Taylor Collegiate is named), explained the purpose of the event.

"We thought there were a lot of new developments in the area that have happened over the past 10 years.

"Some of these people that are moving to the area have no idea about Headingley’s past, so we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of their questions and get them up to date."

Five stations were set up around the community centre for people to meet and ask questions of some of Headingley’s oldest residents.

Steven Fletcher, a Headingley resident who also happens to be the member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James -Assiniboia- Headingley, was at the event.

"One of my own personal hobbies is Canadian history and, as a resident of Headingley, I was quite happy to meet the people who help create the community, many of whom were descendants of the original settlers," Fletcher said.

A contest was set up to encourage people to ask questions about Headingley. One of the questions on the contest form was about the origins of Headingley’s name. (It’s actually named for a town in England, south of Leeds, in Yorkshire.)

A lot of the older residents brought photographs and artifacts to the event to show people.

"I liked the personal photographs. I thought it was really special, it really impacted me," Fletcher said.

"I found it interesting that the street car went all the way to Nick’s Inn. I didn’t know that there were dairy producers all around the area and that they put their product on the tram so it could get to the market in Winnipeg," he said.

People attending the event also got free access to Jim’s Vintage Garages. The museum hosts many antique vehicles, signs and trinkets that went along with the event’s theme.

For residents such as Fletcher, learning about some of Headingley’s past was important.

"Headingley has survived, had its ups and downs and ever since it has separated from Winnipeg, it just blossomed into a dream community. Lots of credit goes to those original residents of Headingley," he said.

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