It was 100 years ago that Charleswood’s first council held its inaugural meeting at Kelly’s store. Kelly’s Store was also the post office, a real estate office, had a pool table and was the terminus for the streetcar line when it came to Charleswood.
Within one square mile of this location you can find a number of historic sites such as the Grand Passage, Kelly’s Landing, and Beauchemin Park named after an historic family. As part of our centennial celebrations, two events were held on that same site, which is now home to the Charleswood Legion on the weekend of June 21, 22 and 23.
The Charleswood Historical Society, The Royal Canadian Legion Charleswood Branch #100 and the Swedish Community came together to throw a fabulous birthday party for Charleswood’s 100th anniversary.
It started off with a Meet ’n Greet and barbecue at the Charleswood Legion. It was a wonderful opportunity for a casual get together and to listen to Michelle Anseeuw do her incredible Patsy Cline imitation.
Saturday morning, more than 20 classic cars were parked in the parking lot of the Park West Inn for car enthusiasts to view. The Park West Inn also provided a great pancake breakfast for all who attended.
Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck planned a first anniversary barbecue at the new fire hall to coincide with this weekend and an estimated 250 people showed up for this event.
Saturday evening everyone gathered at the Charleswood Legion to form a procession to the Charleswood Memorial to pay tribute to our veterans. Following this, we all went back to the Legion for a reception and dinner which featured an old Charleswood favourite — a Swedish Smörgåsbord. This brought memories back to many long-time Charleswood residents as it used to be a regular occurrence when the Vasa Lund Park Banquet Hall was still in existence. I noticed several people making a second trip for the famous "Swedish meatballs". The evening ended with music by the Moonshiners.
It’s been 100 years since the Swedes first began arriving in Canada. In 1913 they organized the Strindberg Lodge — a fraternal organization where Swedes could gather to reminisce about the homeland, talk about their new life in their new country, and dream about the future for them and their children. Lodge Strindberg is the oldest Swedish lodge in Canada.
Sunday afternoon the community was invited to a Swedish picnic — featuring Vikings, Swedish maypole, a procession, dancing, and the wonderful voice of Colleen Furlan. If you watched CBC’s Over the Rainbow reality show this past winter, you would have seen Colleen as she made it as far as fourth place in this national contest to play Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Wizard of Oz. Although the weather did not co-operate for the entire afternoon and we were inundated with a downpour during the festivities, it certainly didn’t send everyone home!
Happy 100th birthday Charleswood!