The official opening of the new Northern Pottery manufacturing plant was "something of a gala afternoon" in 1973, according to Margaret Costello in her Sault Star column.
"Well over 150 townsfolk travelled down Highway 129 about a mile or so south of town to have a good look at the enterprise and get acquainted with Peter and Jeanette Gjoni its gifted and energetic owners, " Maggie wrote.
On hand for the opening was Arthur Grout, of Chapleau, a member of the board of the Northern Ontario Development Corporation, who would cut the ribbon stretched across an attractive display of original design and beautiful colour in pottery.
Before the official ribbon cutting, Mr. Grout said he had been immediately interested when he had seen the Gjoni productions in the Centennial building back in 1969.
As time passed and he watched the steady growth, and expansion became a must, Mr. Grout said that as a director of NODC he was only too happy in recommending financing for what he felt was an up-and-coming enterprise for the town.
He congratulated Peter and Jeanette Gjoni for what had been accomplished in a short time and "with a flourish snipped the ribbon."
Guided tours by Sidney O'Riley of the staff and Mr. and Mrs. Gjoni were "something of an eye opener for anyone unfamiliar with this particular industry."
"The weather was ideal for the occasion and there was an atmosphere of pleasant informality which all added up to an auspicious official launching of a first" for Chapleau.
Meanwhile, at about the same time in the summer of 1973, Maggie writes about the Malaysian contingent of Canada World Youth who had been in Chapleau for a month and had thrown a "delightful farewell party" in the basement of the Town Hall.
Maggie described them as "a most engaging group of hosts and hostesses" who had come to Canada as part of the Canada World Youth exchange program. Throughout their stay they worked with the participants in a Chapleau Opportunities for Youth program funded by the government of Canada.
The program included Malaysian music and dancing and delicious Malaysian food. Guests joined in the dances with the Malaysian visitors and they also performed some interesting dance numbers.
The Malaysian group was very much involved in Chapleau's first Summerfest chaired by Ed Swanson.
Maggie also noted that the Chapleau Overture Concerts Association was formed in 1973 which she strongly supported. It was formed to bring good professional entertainment to town.
The response to the campaign for members by the concert association far exceeded expectations and Feux Follets presented for the grand opening of professional performances in Chapleau saw no empty seats in the house.
While most remember Maggie as a reporter with the Sudbury Star and later the Sault Star, she had been a professional actress in the United States. In 1969, she played a leading role in the Chapleau Little Theatre of 'Three to get Married' a comedy by Kay Hill, and delighted the audience with her performance as the spinster Aunt Lizzie.
The summer of 1973 also saw the demolition of the historic overhead horseshoe bridge as construction got underway on the pedestrian overpass and new bridge.
As I worked on this column, I could not help but reflect on Chapleau in the 1970s. In all aspects of community life, it was a very busy place, and would not have been so, if it were not for a tremendous spirit among the citizens of all ages who committed themselves to those things that improved and brought the community together. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org