[dropcap]T[/dropcap]There was a “buzz” in the room as a capacity crowd gathered in the South Carleton High School Cafetorium for the world premiere of “Richmond: The Movie”. A 200th anniversary project of John Curry and Sandy Durocher, the movie is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work over the past two and a half years. It is sure to be remembered as a highlight caping the year long celebration of Richmond’s bicentennial.
Surrounded by soldiers of the 100th Regiment of Foot, the Duke of Richmond and members of the Goulbourn Historical Society in period dress, John Curry, author, historian and long time editor of The Stittsville News, welcomed the capacity crowd. He expressed his gratitude for such a large turnout and promised they were in for a treat. History was being made and those present were themselves a part of Richmond’s history by participating at this first public showing of the movie.
The movie, a two hour long production, starts with beautiful aerial views of Richmond before taking the audience on a journey through time exploring fascinating glimpses of the history of Richmond and surrounding communities. Curry himself, wearing a top hat, narrates many of the scenes as the story moves the audience through time. The settlement of the area, its’ military roots, the founding of Richmond, early hardships, the infamous “fox”, prominent citizens, schools, churches, the fire department, the Lions Club, the Masonic Hall and what it means to be “blackballed”, the Orange Hall, war veterans, Silver Stick Hockey fame, the 1929 meeting of the KKK, the 1938 bank robbery, the Fall Fair, Olympic Gold, the Richmond Bakery, local characters and a look to the future … it was all there and more!
If you are thinking this sounds like a rather boring historical review you would be wrong! Several scenes were accompanied with injections of humour that brought gales of laughter from the audience. Curry’s wry wit combined with a keen nose for what grabs the attention of an audience kept things light yet focused. Scenes featuring interviews with local residents brought lots of interest and community involvement to the production.
Overall, the movie captured a sense of history and community that can only strengthen the place Richmond holds in both the hearts of its’ residents and the history books. As one newcomer to the village shared with me “What a great community this is, far more than just another suburb, I’m glad we chose to live here … love it!”
Besides the movie, people in attendance were given the opportunity to reserve a copy of the soon to be released book “Richmond’s Got Spirit! 200 Years of Building Community 1818 – 2018” by John Curry. The book will be available in a couple of weeks. It is about 400 pages in length, covers much of what is in the movie and more with lots of photographs.
The crowd of 400 or so in attendance were treated to cake, soft drinks and coffee as well as an opportunity to win and or purchase some of the Richmond200 swag that remained. Many attendees donated to the Food Bank raising $1700.00. Several bags of groceries were gathered as well. The organizing committee extends their thanks for this generosity.
As a souvenir, everyone was provided with a bookmark that provides a quick reference to village historical milestones.
The community of Richmond is definitely richer thanks to the efforts John Curry, Sandy Durocher and the many folk who brought forward their time, talent and stories making the movie possible.
Numerous people asked where they could get a copy of the movie. While there are no firm plans to produce one on DVD that is being considered. It will be available on YouTube soon for those that were not able to attend the premier. The HUB will send out an update as soon as it is available.
The final word …”An awesome evening!”