Auxiliary casserole dinner serves up tasty dishes to mark Canada’s birthday

From left Iris Hunter, Deb Heise, President Elaine Moore, Marilee Hore, Brenda Hallett, Rena Collins, Marion Henry, Sue Lafreniere, June McConnell and Carole Labelle pose in their aprons and bonnets circa 1967 amid a selection of the 35 casseroles prepared by Manitoulin Health Centre Little Current Auxiliary members. photo by Alicia McCutcheon

LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Health Centre Little Current Auxiliary held its annual casserole dinner at the Little Current United Church on March 10, celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with members sporting colourful aprons and bonnets dating from a 1967 Auxiliary tea—Canada’s centennial year.

Auxiliary member Laila Kiviaho explained that, 15 years ago, she and fellow auxiliary member June McConnell were cleaning the tuck cart room in the Little Current Hospital, going through old boxes when they discovered a stash of red aprons and bonnets. Ms. Kiviaho did some research on the find and discovered an Expositor article from 1967, complete with a photo of auxiliary members in the same aprons. Donna Corbierre, who helped make the aprons and bonnets, confirmed that they were made especially for a Valentine Tea fundraiser during the centennial year. The original wearers included Vi Vincent, Virginia Fowley, Ursula Roszel, Donna Corbierre, Irene Bousquet, Rachel Charette, Marion Henry, Rosemary Eagleson, Jean Cunningham and Tony Rheume.

It was only fitting, then, that 50 years later, the outfits were dusted off and donned for the Canada 150 casserole dinner.

When contacted by The Expositor, Marion Henry explained that while the memory surrounding that particular tea was fuzzy at best, auxiliary teas in those days meant the full silver service treatment, complete with an auxiliary member at your table to pour.

The Friday night casserole dinner fed 99 people with 106 tickets sold. Auxiliary members created 35 tasty casserole and plenty of cakes to feed the masses.

As for the aprons and bonnets, Ms. Kiviaho confirmed they have been pressed and put away for the next major celebration.