May Day 2016 Thanks

Thank you, thank you Mayne Island

The Conservancy's May Day is one of the best attended events on Mayne Island, year in & year out by both residents and visitors. In that crowds and genteel fun do go together we thank you all for being there to make it happen. The following - recorded for posterity - is the article, written by Maggi Cheetham that appears in the July issue of the Mayneliner. Maggi is the inspiration for the May Day event and has presided over the planning and execution of the celebrations since their inception. The Conservancy Society offers their thanks to Maggi and all her volunteers!

The Roll Call of Gratility

We have many people to thank. Starting with Ron’s (Willick) intercession with the weather Gods, the weather was good. Apart from behind-the-scenes organization, 2016 MD really started weeks beforehand. Fiona (Morrison) and Meagan (Cameron) helped students in Mayne School make gossamer fairy wings and Tina (Farmilo) and Kriss (Boggild) held a very creative workshop called “Things on Sticks”. All manner of silky pennants and colourful flowers on sticks were created for the procession. The mood was building.

Our fundraising efforts were well rewarded so a BIG Thanks to the generosity of local merchants, artists/authors and practitioners for their prize donations: Aqua Flora Spa, Baldwin’s Wood Creations, Bennett Bay Kayaking, Dave Ewanchuck Fitness, Donna Williams’ Studio, Farmgate, GG’s Salon, Meadowmist Farm, MI Naturopathic Clinic, Miners’ Bay Books, Nomads Essentials, Organic Grocer, Savasana, The Groove, Tom & Jerry’s @ The Ferry. Grant Buday, Amber Harvey, & Helen O’Brian. Deb Foote and friends assembled some really imaginative prizes and her ticket selling team: Carol (Polsky), Libbie (Bake), Tina, Mike (Nadeau), Dove (Lang), Michael (Dunn) sold tons of tickets. In the Farmers’ Market, we had tables where kids and adults enhanced their outfits. With the help of some dedicated volunteers including Vicky (Kenny), Tina (Farmilo), Lina (Losier), and our MICS summer students, Stephanie (Hurst) & Grayson (Mortimer), we had wand, garland & mask making, plus face painting all done in exchange for a donation.

Steffani (McBurney) and Jeff (McPherson) are our 2016 May Queen and Green Man and a very handsome couple they make. Tom (Hobley) took some great photos of them and almost everyone else. He took over 700 throughout the day! After the market, Jessica (Willows) & drum started the event. The Quicks Bottom Morris People in their usual great energetic style set the tone. I cannot imagine a May Day without them they are such an integral part of the event as is Tina with her ‘Pledge to Mother Earth’ a song involving all the children. After the prizes were drawn, Lael’s (Whitehead) singers gave us another harmonious call and response song. We are so lucky to have such talented artists on Mayne. Andrew (Smith) made a splendid town crier calling all the pole bearers to order making them swear to all sorts of things they never swore to before or may never do again. The procession was led by Malcolm (Inglis). Tania’s (Pearse) larger than life puppets including her newest addition, Sweet Pea added to the fun and creativity of the event.

In the park the children led by the outgoing Queen, Christa (Morin), the incoming Queen and her Green Man walked the grass mown labyrinth created by Don (DeRousie) and the new Queen was crowned. The crown was created by Kat (Fernyhough) and Famous (Empty Sky) and the lovely pillow came from Kris (Boggild). Our interns, Stephanie & Grayson helped with the kids’ games along with Diego (Guasco). Our lovely Mayne Maidens accompanied by children danced around the Maypole followed by Lael’s spiral dance - always so energetic. Liquid refreshments were served by members of the very hard working MI Lion’s Club – what would we do with out them! Cakes baked by Lael, Maggi & Vicky were served by another set of very hardworking volunteers, Vicky, Jeanette (Leitch), Brenda (Webster), Kathie (Warning) and a lovely young lady called Sarah who just appeared asking if she could help. She worked very hard to serve all the hungry dancers until almost all the cake had gone and then she disappeared. Thank you Sarah!

Now for the serious part. People tell us all the time that May Day is a wonderful event and we all know it. It is expanding every year as we add more colour and fun to it. It is run entirely by volunteers; however, the number of people volunteering every year is shrinking. This means that more work is done by fewer people. We want to keep this great event going so please, if you can spare some time, even an hour or 2 on the day, to help us continue the event we would be so happy. Email Maggi Cheetham ( if you can help us.

The Pictures

Honouring Circle for Mother Earth

A solemn moment honouring "Mother Earth" before the Quicks Bottom Morris Dancers take over & the fun begins

Some contributed shots

At the Farmers Mkt MICS Table
Ann & Malcolm at the MICS table, May Day Farmers Market
May Queen, Green Man & Attendant Fairies
The Queen of the May & court of fairies, with the Green Man
Morris dancers relaxing
A couple of Quicks Bottom Dancers relax in the park
May Day Celebrants
Famous Empty Sky & Jim Heshedahl dressed for May Day
May Day Coronation
2015's May Queen crowns her Successor
Cake & lemonade available
At the snack table
May Queen and Green Man address the throng
Courtiers & kids listen up!
Mike Nadeau dances
Mike finds his groove

A selection from Tom Hobley's Blow by Blow

At the Farmers Market
At the Farmers Mkt MICS Table
Market tents with the Conservancy tables in the middle of things
Maypole ready
Market going strong while the Maypole awaits
Wrapping up the Market
Wrapping up the Market begins as 1:00 o'clock approaches
Kids played an important part
Maggi and Helen line up with some once and future fairies
Honouring Circle forms
View from the Ag Hall band shell
Morris Dancers begin
The Quicks Bottom Morris Dancers are go
Close up of the dancers and their instruments
Morris Dancers with their Morris Music
Close up of the May Day singers
May Day Songs
On Parade
May Pole leaves the Market
After the Swearing in the Pole Bearers begin
May Pole High
The Pole Bearers keep it up as per instructions
The MICS Banner on Parade
Even the Conservancy's banner gets special decoration for the day
Crown on cushion carried carefully
Such special care for the May Queen's crown
Pole, Sticks & Banner
"Things on Sticks" created for the day much in evidence
Puppets on Parade
..and the May day Puppets come along too
Music on Parade
Procession accompanied by much noise AND real music!
The Puppets and Handlers
The Puppet Heads and some of their handlers
In the Park
Arriving at the park
The May Pole enters Miners Bay Park to be set up for merriment
Walking the Labyrinth
Queen & Attendants walk the Labyrinth to the mysterious centre
Speeches in the Labyrinth
May Queen addresses her Court of Kids & Fairies before a crowd of onlookers
Coronation Street
This year's Queen of the May is crowned by 2015's May Queen
May Queen Speaks
Queen reads a prepared statement
Green Man Speaks
...and so does the Green Man!
May Pole about to be set
May Pole moves to a hole in the ground
Placing the May Pole
...and up it goes!
Crowd around the newly erected May Pole
May Pole now the centre of interest
Spiral Dancing
Spiral Dance gets ribbons all crossed up
Drummers at the May Pole
Dancers need Music, or at least, rhythm!
Community May Pole Dancing
Anyone can join the dance - and they do
Games & Cake
The Snack Table
The snack table
Kids & Cake
After sports cake
Leaves for Plates
Eats cake and leaves
More Cakes
Cake at the other end too
Wheelbarrow Race
Wheelbarrow Race
Three Legged Race
Three Legged Race
Three Legged Race 2
More three legs
Marshmallow & Spoon Race
"Not Egg" egg & spoon race
Sack Race
Sackville West
Wheelbarrow race 2
Through streets strait & narrow (maybe!)

Thank you Tom Hobley for documenting all our fun & games over the years - to see more links and photographs of May Days past, go to our Programme Archive.

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