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Two volunteers recognized as 40 years of Co-An Park is celebrated



by Garrett Fodor

Members of the McGregor community, and those who enjoy Co-An Park’s amenities, gathered to celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday and recognize two outstanding volunteers.  

  Co-An park has been a focal point in Essex County since its opening 40 years ago. In 1978, the park was originally established in the area of Colchester North, now the Town of Essex, and the former township of Anderdon, which is a part of the present day Amherstburg.

  Located on the 11th Concession, near McGregor, Co-An park has grown through the years. The facility evolved from housing just baseball diamonds, to become one of the most popular grounds for sports tournaments, offering a pavilion for events, tennis courts, soccer fields, and play equipment for kids. The Co-An Park Committee maintains the grounds.

  To celebrate Co-An Park’s anniversary, an annual tradition of holding a Co-Ed slo-pitch softball tournament was hosted. The tournament raises funds so the Committee can continue to look after the park. The event also featured a steak dinner, comedy show, children’s activities, and music throughout the day.

  Jim Meloche, convener of the tournament and member of the committee since 2011, said the park made a huge impact on his life.

  “I run McGregor minor baseball, a Co-An, Co-Ed league, and I figured it would be something I’d love to do, to come out and support this park,” Meloche said. I grew up playing ball here ever since it opened, my kids play here, its full circle and has grown so much.”

  The weekend festivities were capped off with a tree dedication at 5 p.m. on Saturday, honouring two people who made an impact on the park. This year’s inductees were Murray Sellars and Robert Anderson. Both inductees were very active in the community and played a crucial part in Co-An’s development and maintenance in one way or another.

  Anderson’s family was present to accept the award on his behalf, while Sellars continues to help with the park, something he has done for over 20 years. Sellars has sat on the committee and also offered the services of his trucking company to aid in maintaining the park.

  “What we’ve been doing for several years is, every year we do a tree dedication in honour of those who have contributed something to this park,” Leo Meloche, an Amherstburg Town Councillor, said. “This year, being the 40th anniversary of the park, we chose two individuals. We chose to plant trees, which enhances the park and recognizes those people who contributed.”

  Leo Meloche added that this is a truly community park, built by the community, overseen by a separate board, but it truly operates as a community park and many people have contributed to its beautification and development.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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