George Pond of Simcoe has been a big part of young people’s experience with the Norfolk County Fair for decades.
Pond was the inaugural announcer for Young Canada Day when it started some 50 years ago. And it’s entirely possible Pond’s voice has wafted over the fair for even longer.
Pond recalls heading to the fair to be with his father – secretary-treasurer Harold Pond – while a student at the former South Public School. Over time, the youngster was put to work doing odd jobs. Pond recalls taking the mike in the head office on occasion to notify the public of a distraught child in search of his parents.
Pond was in the thick of it again last Tuesday as local high school students celebrated another Young Canada Day with road races, tug-of-war and cheerleading competitions.
However – as he has in recent years – Pond left the vocal heavy lifting to son David, who has demonstrated that he has what it takes to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Despite his long association with the fair, Pond said the run-up to another edition continues to fill him with excitement and anticipation. He says events like the fair are the glue that hold this diverse community together.
“Norfolk is a big county,” Pond said. “It’s divided by the Norfolk Sand Plain and the heavier loam soils to the east. I think it brings everybody and everything together.”