Trent Severn Antique and Classic Boat Association

Our Mission is to promote the preservation and use of Antique and Classic Watercraft by providing our members with information & guidance through workshops, boating events, and social gatherings.

Trent Severn Antique & Classic Boat Association
Peterborough Canada Day Parade, July 1, 2017

Write up provided by Daryl Bissett and photos provided by Daryl Bissett, Jeff Souch, and Ruth Passant

I love a parade, the tramping of feet,
I love every beat I hear of a drum.
I love a parade, when I hear a band
I just want to stand and cheer as they come.
That rat-a tat-tat, the blare of a horn.
That rat-a tat-tat, a bright uniform;
The sight of a drill will give me a thrill,
I thrill at the skill of everything military.
I love a parade, a handful of vets,
A line of cadets or any brigade,
For I love a parade.
From the Cotton Club show "Rhythmania" (1931) (Music: Harold Arlen / Lyrics: Ted Koehler)

If you hum the tune and agree with the sentiments then you would have loved the Peterborough Canada Day Parade which included 12 classic TSACBA boats. Nothing was missing – the thump of the bass drums, the skirl of the pipes, bright uniforms and many appreciative cheers. From start to finish, George Street was a sea of red, on signs, flags and shirts, blinding to the eye but exciting the quiet Canadian pride in 150 years of progress.

At 10:30 am the boats gathered at the assembly area on McDonnell Street east of Aylmer - in front of the former PCVI. The parade committee was firm in making sure that those who brought horses to the event maintained responsibility for their own tidiness. Thankfully there were no horses in front of our display. The time was well used as the members brought out flags, banners, brightly colored umbrellas and some impressive headgear. (Tim Jackson attired in a chrome red colored wig.)

The event started promptly at 12:00 Noon and took participants about an hour to proceed down the length of George Street and ending at Lansdowne. Jim Watt lead with his 1985 Century Arabian and each boat that followed maintained the high standard which is the TSACBA norm. The Potts family was out in force with their 10’ Spierscraft “L’ill Putts”. Doug and Cathy were accompanied by their son Rick and grandson David and the boat was bought by Doug for use by his then teenaged son. "L’ill Putts" is still used today by Doug and Cathy’s grandson making the boat a three-generation family heirloom. There is a guarantee that the boating tradition will be continued in the Potts family as at 11, David has passed his boat operator’s test and has obtained his license. Murray Parnell graced the event by towing his entry with his classic 1970 Chevelle appropriately colored red.

The crowd was typically Canadian with quiet parents explaining the floats to their interested children. The boats brought many smiles and waves and you could almost read the lips of some of the older spectators saying, “We had that boat at the cottage.” It was gratifying to receive both the friendly comments and praise for the beauties in tow and a pleasure to see the warm smiles that the boats brought forth. The parade was over all too soon but not the day.

Tim Jackson and Ruth Giles graciously invited parade participants to a pool party at their home following the parade. After returning the boat we headed for Tim and Ruth’s home. The weather was supposed to be intermittent rain but we had a clear day with no rain and mostly sunshine, ideal conditions for poolside relaxation.

The afternoon passed in the most pleasurable way accompanied by boat restoration stories, cruise news, and plans for next year. For the most part the group was comprised of long time TSACBA members who had attended or organized every cruise, run and workshop the association had offered and by doing so had become fast friends. It became obvious that the TSACBA is not merely an association of people who own old boats. The afternoon was an insight into the reason for the continuing success of the TSACBA. It is not built on boats. It is built on relationships.