LAKELAND – After two years of being sidelined by the pandemic, Haying in the 30’s returned to Mallaig on July 30-31 with great success, raising a record $320,000 and still counting.
Hosted by Haying in the 30’s Cancer Support Society, all funds raised by the society go to support people fighting cancer, according to the society’s president Martin Naundorf.
People of all ages from across the province and even some people hailing from beyond, came to visit and experience the Haying in the 30’s and its over 50 attractions. Around 4,000 people were estimated to have attended with about 275 volunteers involved, says Naundorf. Saturday night’s supper saw the cooks feeding close to 2,000 people.
Naundorf said the Haying in the 30’s is an event that people need to come and see, to be able to appreciate it. The annual event has been running for 23 years.
Following an unpaved road just south of Mallaig, was a gate leading to the past. Entering the gates reveals a parcel of land with a dirt path that snaked across, with the over 50 attractions surrounding it, just like the blacksmith shop, where the clanging of the metal and the forge echoed about.
“We do demos of blacksmithing as it was done in the old days,” said Henri Amyotte on July 30. Amyotte has been with the Haying in the 30’s for around 16 to 17 years.
Nearby is a creamery where youths, including one donning a wide-brimmed hat, cranked what seemed to be a lever built on a bucket to make ice cream. Brian Johnson, with the creamery, who has also been with the Haying for about 16 to 17 years, explained the hand crank ice cream maker was how they made the dessert many years ago.
“Even prior to that, they would have a steel pail, and a bucket with ice on the outside and salt,” said Johnson. “They would scrape it (ice cream) off with a knife. They just swirl it back and forth in what we used to call the syrup cans.”
“That’s how we freeze it up,” he said and added the ice cream was made with cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla.
On another corner is a funeral home with artifacts from the Shandro Museum dating back to as early as the 1930s, according to Lorne Buryn. Buryn, who was also a previous president of the society, said that many years ago, people were buried within a couple of days because the embalming and preservation of bodies are not as advanced as today.
“People shouldn't be scared of a funeral,” he said, “it's a natural thing… it's to help preserve people and make a lasting memory of the loved one that they lost.”
Naundorf steps down as president
Martin Naundorf is also stepping down as president of the cancer support society, and said, “It’s been five years and I think it’s time for new blood.” He is turning 80 this year and explained his age is also a factor into his decision, saying, “It’s time I need to slow down.”
According to Naundorf, among the changes the society made during the past years, is the improvement of its public relations. He said many people have a misconception that the society profits from its undertakings, and improving public relations was important to bring clarity and awareness.
“I think a lot of people thought that we were an organization who had a CEO that was getting big money,” said Naundorf. “We're all volunteers and every penny that we collect from donations goes back to cancer patients.”
In his first year as the president, Naundorf recalled that while it was tough, he said he was fortunate for the support he received from the society board and volunteers. He also added the pandemic has been the greatest challenge the society faced, “so for two years we kept working at the site and doing improvements.”
Naundorf is thankful to all the volunteers who made Haying in the 30’s a success, giving them credit. He smiled when he said, “I was only one guy… It’s about the volunteers.”
Despite stepping down, Naundorf said he will still be around and involved with the organization.