It’s hard for a generation like mine and those who come after me to even imagine what life was like in 1919. World War 1 had just ended on November 11, 1918, and our Canadian War heroes were now returning home.

Having been away from home for various periods of time, many of these war heroes returned to their rural living lifestyle. Obviously, things looked very different from today’s modern world of commercialization. Farms still existed on the outskirts of cities like Toronto. Living off the land and a practical way of life was very much the norm.

We often refer to these lifestyles of the early 1900s as ‘traditions’, and they are easily recalled as parts of our history. These are the traditions that we try to recall every year at our local fairs.

Bountiful gardens of flowers and vegetables, crafts and handy work like woodworking, quilting and knitting; prize livestock and heavy workhorses are brought out on display to show some of the best in our area. But 100 years ago each of those commodities was only a glimpse into an everyday way of life.

We often take for granted that our war heroes are responsible for our freedoms, but we sometimes forget that they are also responsible for the paths that have shaped our lives as we know them; living off the land, or even the grid in some cases. These men and women are not just our Canadian Country Heroes, they were also our Rural Country Heroes.

Both of my grandfathers served time in the Second World War, in very different capacities. One would recall his time with pride, the other was much more reserved with his memories. Both, however, did return safe, and both, following retirement of their respected professions, moved to rural Ontario…back to their roots, raising livestock, working land and gardens. I learned so much from them and remember them often.

The 2019 edition of the Markdale Fall Fair is yet another opportunity to showcase and view the crafts and traits that so many of us have kept close to our heritage; taught to us by our heroes.

We look forward to seeing you and remembering ‘Our Country Heroes’.

Craig Martin,



I had the pleasure of being able to represent my hometown as the 2018/2019 Markdale Fair Senior Ambassador.

My responsibilities as the 2018/2019 Senior Ambassador started the very next day when Rihanna and I were handing out ribbons at the cow shows, horse shows, and the baby competition.

To be able to experience the fair from a new perspective and to see how much effort goes into making sure the fair is as enjoyable as could be for everybody was truly an amazing experience.

Over the past year, I got to experience some amazing things. I had the opportunity of participating in the Markdale Santa Claus Parade, trivia nights, two District 10 Meetings and the Ontario Miss Mid West Pageant.

During my year as fair ambassador I have made some amazing memories that I will never forget and some lifelong friends.

I would like to thank everybody who made my year as enjoyable as it was, and a big thank you to the Markdale Agricultural Society for giving me this opportunity.

Kaileen McCool

2018/2019 Markdale Fall Fair Senior Ambassador


Hi, my name is Rihanna, every year I look forward to the Markdale Fall Fair. I’ve enjoyed entering the junior exhibits and helping out at the fair since I was 2 years old.

Last year I was given the opportunity to represent the fair as the Junior Ambassador for 2018/2019. At fair time I helped with giving out ribbons and prizes and meeting new people at different events with Kaileen, the Senior Ambassador.

I had fun going to the fall and spring District Meetings in Lucknow and Walkerton with Kaileen. The senior and junior ambassadors from the different fairs were there too. I enjoyed meeting them all.

In November we layed a wreath at the Remembrance Day Ceremony on behalf of the agricultural society. At Christmas time Kaileen and I were in the Markdale Santa Clause parade. There have been two trivia nights to help with, and I am looking forward to going in the Little Miss Mid West pageant in July.

A special thank you to the Markdale Agricultural Society and all the volunteers who work so hard to put on a great fall fair each year for 161 years!

Thank you for giving me this great experience, and especially thanks to Kaileen for being at my side for all the events.

Good luck to the new ambassadors for 2019/2020, and I hope to everyone will come and enjoy the Markdale Fall Fair.

Rihanna Hawkin

2018/2019 Markdale Fall Fair Junior Ambassador