Crowd celebrates the little church on the hill

Glenn Allen, chairman of the Friends of Rockingham Church, welcomed a full church to the eighteenth anniversary celebration of the Restoration of the Rockingham Church on Sunday Aug. 12. The peaceful woodland setting rang with a rousing congregational rendition of The Church in the Wildwood by Dr. William S. Pitts in praise of “the little brown church on the hill.” David Trafford accompanied enthusiastically on the ancient pump organ – his enthusiasm in part required because the bellows frequently suffer from ravages by mice.

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Sisters perform: Emma Rose, Caitlin and Anna MacDonald

Additional music was provided by Anna and Caitlin MacDonald. They were joined by their sister Emma Rose in a performance of her original composition “Feel the Wind” before Caitlin and Anna continued with their planned programme.

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Featured speaker Ron Brown in the pulpit

Gord Benner introduced this year’s featured speaker: author, geographer and travel writer Ron Brown. Brown, who was described by the CBC as “Nobody knows Ontario like Ron Brown” has written many books about the historical features of rural Ontario. He spoke about the legacy of ghost towns in Ontario, discussing early travel including settlement roads, and the introduction and decline of rail travel. He told tales of the lumber industry and stories about the joys and woes of pioneer life. Brown said the Rockingham Church will feature in his upcoming book which will update Unusual Places in Ontario. Brown was thanked by Dale Hamilton, one of many volunteers who worked hard to make the annual celebration a success.

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