Hawberry Hoedowners going strong at 25

The Hawberry Hoedowners pose for a group photo celebrating their 25th anniversary.

MANITOULIN—The fall of 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the Hawberry Hoedowners square dance club.

On September 19, 1989 a small group of people interested in squaredancing met at the old Sheguiandah Community Hall. Shortly after the group moved to the United Church Hall in Little Current, then to the basement of the old St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. An executive was formed and ‘Hawberry Hoedowners’ was chosen as the official club name. The Hoedowners danced for several years at the Little Current recreation centre hall and are presently using the gymnasium of the Little Current Public School, meeting Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm from September to May.

The Hoedowners’ first instructors were George and Claire Beaudoin from Espanola followed by Art Vondette of McKerrow. Fred Hunter of Tehkummah calls the dances today and has done so for almost 20 years.

There is no membership fee to join the Hoedowners, only a cost of $5 to come and dance.

“Our club is small but we have had 30 members at one time in the past,” said Hawberry Hoedowner Jack Ferguson. “We have hosted several jamborees, attracting up to 500 dancers from across North America.”

Mr. Ferguson encouraged new dancers to come to a hoedown. If interested, contact Bruce Gibson at 705-368-3613, Fred Hunter at 705-859-3761 or any member for evenings of great exercise, fellowship and fun.