Rockingham Church to hold 20th anniversary celebration on Aug.7

“Come to the church in the wildwood…”

The strains of that sweet old hymn will rise again from the Rockingham Church on Sunday, August 7, at 2:00 p.m. when the Friends of the Rockingham Church will hold their annual celebration for the first time since 2019. The event will mark the 20th anniversary, although thanks to COVID, it is two years late. Above: attendees gather in the Rockingham churchyard for the 2019 celebration.

Guest speaker for the event is Barry Conway. A retired investigative reporter and professor of journalism, Barry has written many historical articles for local papers and currently produces The Opeongo Line, a weekly podcast dedicated to the heritage of the Upper Madawaska and Opeongo River Valleys.

Barry will have some tales to tell, gleaned from his research into Rockingham history – many will remember his 2020 podcast and Eganville Leader article about John Watson, “That Man from Rockingham.”  As well, Barry will describe how anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can unearth old diaries, memoirs, and newspapers to research local history themselves.

Music and vocal harmonies will come from The Platt Family – siblings Joseph, Teresa and Raphaela. The three sing together in the choir at St. Mary’s Church in Wilno and have also sung in Christmas concerts at Our Lady of the Angels in Brudenell. Singing and music have always been a big part of their family gatherings, and they are versed in folk as well as sacred styles of music.  

This year’s Celebration will be dedicated to the memory of Rob van Vliet, who passed away at the beginning of March. Rob was a founding member of the Friends of the Rockingham Church and for several years the President of the committee. He was also a skilled and experienced builder who, with his company, Indian Creek Timber Structures, took on the daunting job of repairing and restoring the church in 1999 and 2000.

Rob is featured in a short video the Friends made last fall, describing the many dire problems he and his crew uncovered when they set to work on the repairs, and the ingenious fixes they came up with. Lively and informative, the video intercuts photos taken at the time with the footage, and tours the church as it stands today. You can find the YouTube at Join us Sunday, August 7 at 2:00 p.m. at the Rockingham Church, 513 Rockingham Road (County Road #68). We look forward to seeing old friends!

Bridgland,P.,Friends of the Rockingham Church(2022,Aug.2) Celebration at the Rockingham Church [media release]

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