The paragraphs below were looking forward to the event and now on the 22nd we can "look back in pleasure" and thank many of the people involved in making the afternoon such a success - here is just the first roll-call of the gloriously willing, creative and talented people who make stuff happen:
|Aaron, Karen & Sahara Reithofer||Abbie Sherwood||Amber Harvey|
|Andrew Smith||Anita and Bella Lau||Annette Witteman & Michael Garrett|
|Bill Hayward||Bill Warning||Dave & Rena Chase|
|Dawne Cressman||Gin Nielsen||Helen O'Brian|
|Izaiah Sheerin||Kat Ferneyhough||Kristine Webber & Peter Robinson|
|Lael Whitehead & Richard Iredale||Libbie Bake||Lena Losier|
|Sasha Goders||Louis Vallee||Maggi Cheetham & Tom Hobley|
|Marley Iredale & The Honey Tongues||Meadow Dove & Mike Nadeau||Olga Lang|
|Steff McBurney||Steve Cropper||Tania & Tony Pearse|
|Vicky Kenny & Olivia Guasco|
Also thanks to the Mayne Island Drummers: Mike Nadeau, Ron Weeks, Byron Dyck & Louis Vallee
and the Anonymous Bearers of the May Pole! (see picture below for the some of the who)
Maggi Cheetham's 2017 Report *
MI Conservancy's Mad May Day was a great success. Thanks to Ron Willick, the weather was perfect and there were crowds of people at the first Farmers Market. Our volunteers worked tirelessly to make this event a success whether helping with mask making, wand and garland making or selling raffle tickets (see a list of the kind donors below & the volunteers listed above). Our volunteers brought fresh flowers from their gardens to use as decorations and to remind us that summer may finally be on its way and, as usual, to complement the fantastic May Day costumes.
Luckily for us the Honey Tongues had a gig at the Community Centre in the evening and offered to play for us at our event. What a wonderfully talented group of musicians. They played a wide range of great music and were such a joy to watch and hear. Check them out online.
The Quicks Bottom Morris Dancers as usual opened May Day after the market closed and their group had some quite young dancers dancing up a storm. That was fun to see. Elizabeth May judged the Fanciest Hat Competition, a new event and very hard to judge. Grace Garrett and one of the Morris dancers, whose name I forgot to get, won with truly fantastic hats. This event is a keeper for sure.
Our Queen this year is the beautiful Annette Witteman and our Green Man is the handsome Michael Garrett. Steffani Mc Burney, our 2016 Queen gave a lovely speech when she was crowning Annette and both Annette and Michael?s speeches were perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the event and the goals of the Conservancy.
The Maypole bearers and the Maypole dancers performed perfectly and the Community Spiral Dance got everybody up and twirling. The Lions Club again, and very kindly, served the lemonade and to go with that there were 5 cakes. Nobody starves at our events. Thank you Mayne Islanders, and off islanders, for supporting May Day. In that short day we managed to raise almost $1,600. A Big Thanks goes to our wonderful local raffle prize donors who generously gave to help us raise this great amount.
|Bennett Bay Bistro||Donna Williams||Dr. Ariel Jones|
|The Farm Gate Store||Glenda Goodman & GG's||Kayaking Gulf Islands|
|Lee Iredale||M. I. Conservancy Native Plant Garden||Mayne Island Brewery|
|Meadow Mist Farm||Meadow Dove Lang RMT||Miner's Bay Books|
|Nomads Essentials||Organic Grocer||Shavasana Cafe and Gallery|
* This article will appear in a future edition of the Mayneliner
More about May Day 2017 on the Saturday of the holiday weekend (the 20th)
The event begins slowly with by-donation face painting, garland, mask and "wand-making" plus raffle ticket sales but the minute the market closes @ 1pm, Morris Dancers explode on to the market grounds and the fun begins. Raffle draws, children's circle pledge to the earth, singing and then the pole bearers gather and are sworn in. The pole bearers will carry the Maypole (yes, we have one of those) down to Miners Bay Park in a great procession. All sorts of music, drums and noisemakers accompany the pole and very importantly, our soon to be crowned May Queen and her Green Man (a mythical figure who embodies the spirits of plants & trees). Last year's May Queen is in this noble entourage too because she will crown the incoming queen. Accompanying the VIPs we always have fairies, nymphs & elves. We have bees, ladybugs, brave knights and dragons and a couple of gentlemen dressed in their best summer frocks. What will you wear? You can always make a garland at the market.
In the park, we have a mown grass labyrinth and that is where the coronation will take place. The new queen swears allegiance to the earth and promises to look after the crops and the land and the sea ensuring that we do no harm so that we can all enjoy the fruits offered to us. Following the coronation, the Maypole dances begin: first the children dance and then the island "maidens" perform the colourful ribbon dance. This could be followed by a spiral dance which includes everyone. As all of this is thirsty work, refreshments (by donation) of lemonade and cake are served to all. Children's games start and they are great fun. Maybe there will be more dancing. We never quite know.
This event is free but donation baskets are at the market and the Gazebo in Miners Bay Park where the refreshments are served. All the proceeds of which go to the Conservancy to help in the work we are doing on the island. The event finishes mid-afternoon. Info & to volunteer contact Maggi Cheetham