From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

From The Scrap Book

Miss Harvey Pageant

August 10, 1990

By: Dr. Bill Randall

Syd Maclean was managing J. Clark and Sons, Harvey Branch; the business Clark’s had purchased from Herb Swan  across the road from Austin Pol lock’s. We thought it might be a good idea to encourage some Industrial exhibits for the Harvey Hospital Benefit Fair Day Parade. We got a John Deere Farm tractor from Clarks – Orlie MacLean remembers Thomas Briggs driving it in the parade; in fact he thinks it may be the same one his father Cecil subsequently owned. We also got some new cars, Lawson Motors; Wood Motors; and some exhibits from Jensen’s Farm Equipment. With the new cars we thought it might be a neat idea to have a Beauty Contest. This was in 1956, and it was the first for the Harvey Fair. Ann Holland has the distinction of being the first Miss Harvey.

There were ten competitors and I cannot find their names, but Ann, daughter of Gerald Holland and the late Mrs. Holland, was a student going to grade twelve at the age of seven teen.

 Jennie Fletcher remembers her coronation gown. Ann had been going over to Jennie’s after school to help with the young family and Jennie’s mother-in-law, Mrs. John Fletcher of Marysville, was an occasional visitor, highly skilled in dress making. So together they made a waltz-length gown of mauve nylon net with a white frosted flower design.

The judges were Miss Theresa Crowley, Mrs. Edith  Stevens and Wendell Lawrence, a provincial politician. Earl Swan, president of the Board of trustees of Harvey Hospital Limited crowned the first Miss Harvey at the evening dance following the gala Harvey Fair day which brought out a crowd of over three thousand that year. Incidentally, Ann Clark, a veteran teamster from Hartland (mentioned in last week’s Southwest Valley Reporter) was the winning teamster.

Thus began a tradition that has provided a lot of entertainment and enjoyment for spectators as well as contestants. It hasn’t always been easy to recruit a group of girls for the Show. I use the word Show, rather than the word Contest, because we’ve always tried to remind the girls that they are making a major contribution to the public enjoyment of the day.

The Beauty Pageant in more recent years has become almost a separate event, becoming now the Opening Event of a three-day Fair.

One year we got a real boost to the popularity of the Beauty Contest, when Miss Canada was a guest at the show; one  of the judges and of course a feature attraction as the leader of our parade. Somewhere I have a picture of Alden Clark chauffeuring Miss Canada in a sparkling new, white, Chevrolet convertible. Miss Canada of that year was Rosemary Kerman of Saint John. She had been a student at UNB, and was sponsored by the Kinette’s to compete for the title of Miss Fredericton. She won that title, and the Kinette asked me to assist in preparing Rosemary to compete in the Miss Canada Pageant. Mr. and Mrs. Elwood McLean owned Wildwood Lodge on an island in Magaguadavic Lake, just off farm Point. It was a beautiful place with wide curving stair cases and a balcony; it was also sufficiently secluded that Rosemary could give her undivided attention to preparing herself mentally for the Miss Canada Pageant. One of the informal deals we had with her was that if she became Miss Canada she would return later in the year to Harvey for our Fair Day.

She became Miss Canada, and though the Miss Canada Pageant was reluctant to allow it, she was our guest that year.

I’m sure we are all grateful to the local committees which have put so much time and effort into preparing our local Pageants, and of course we are, ever grateful to the girls who have co operated to make this one if the really fine parts if the Harvey Community Fair Days.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: