There were lots of Irish where I came from and their funeral customs probably came over from Ireland with the waves of Irish who came to work as labourers. The Irish certainly had and have many funeral customs and superstitions about death. Irish wakes sometimes became so rowdy that the corpse was taken out of the box and dragged around the dance floor. When I went to funerals as a young gal the open casket was in the middle of the community hall. Cases of beer filled the hall along with square dancing in front of the coffin until the time of burial. That’s where Iearned to play spoons. I just could not handle it so I hung out with the band when I wasn’t needed in the kitchen LOL.
Who does not like to square dance?? Finally, square dancing is just plain fun – and good for you! In a fast-paced world where you’re more likely to text than swing your partner, a square dance is a perfect way to connect with other humans without the technological filter. Square dances were originally intended as social gatherings. Even before the Civil War, people of various social and economic positions were intermingling and sharing in their experience at square dances across the country. They serve the same social function today.
The Almonte square dancing sets did well at the Ottawa Valley Square Dance Festival in the Coliseum, Ottawa, on Saturday. The beginners, Carman James, leader; Isabel Brydges, Keith Cassidy, Archie Rintoul, Ellen Stanley, Eddie Kennedy, Patsy Dakers and Lois Craig just missed first place by a few points. A set from Ottawa Normal School won first prize.
The Almonters who entered the open class also gave a good account of themselves and placed third. They were Alex. Symington, leader; Mrs. Alex. Symington, Mr. and Mrs. G. Donaldson, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil McIntyre and Mr. and Mrs. Bert McCrae. 1 The sets who were awarded first and second places w ere French.
The ladies wore pastel skirts of different colors trimmed with various colored ribbon and the men wore plaid shirts and red toques. The Almonters wore black ballerina skirts and white blouses and the men wore white shirts, black ties and dark trousers. There were eight sets competing in the beginners’ class and nine in the open class. Both were composed of English and French speaking dancers. Dec 1950 Almonte Gazette
1954 Almonte gazette
Classified Announcements for Dance Halls that issue 1958Dancing Saturday Nights– Town Hall– Carleton Place–Music by CFRA ‘Happy Wanderers’ Admission-75 centsDance-Franktown-Friday-Thompson’s Orchestra- Refreshment Booth-Admission 75 centsDance every Friday Night-Appleton Community Centre Hall- Music by the Rhythm Rangers-Refreshment Booth- Admission 50 centsDance in Appleton Wednesday Night– Ontario Farmer’s Union-Ashton Local No. 257-Irvine’s Orchestra- Admission 50 centsDance – Perth Town Hall- Friday night- Rock N Roll, Modern, Round and Square Dancing 9-1:30 -Music by Jerry Badour and his Western Airs- Admission -75 cents
Ted Hurdis– I remember my dad telling me that Almonte was “dry” way back. You used to be able to get a special coke at the Superior restaurant. Also lots of spirit at Wava’s Inn dance hall back then.
The Mississippi Squares Dance Club
Formed in 1986, the club is based in the friendly town of Carleton Place, Ontario, at the junction of Highways 7, 15 and 29, approximately 40 km to the southwest of Ottawa. It derives its name from the nearby Mississippi River and Lake. Our regular dancing location is the Brunton Community Hall, just 2 km south of Carleton Place on Hwy 15. The Mississippi Squares currently has one of the largest memberships in the Eastern Ontario Square and Round Dance Association (EOSARDA). The club teaches modern square dancing with our caller Brian Crawford, and is very active in the recruitment of new dancers. To this end, the format on Tuesday evenings is one of alternating Basic and Mainstream tips. The immediate integration of new dancers with the Mainstream group has proven to be very successful in the retention of new dancers. Plus dancing is held weekly on Friday evenings. The Mississippi Squares