Land of a thousand welcomes

boyne city visitor center web
Volunteer Joyce Bates is pictured handing out information at the Boyne City Visitor Welcome Center in front of the former Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce office during Boyne Thunder weekend.

Editorial By Chris Faulknor, Publisher

I can’t imagine what it was like when the Miller family left their home in Ireland in the 1800s.

Most of us miss our families when we’re away for more than a day, and yet the Millers embarked on a journey from Ireland—one which would last forever—in search of a new home, and they weren’t alone.

Settling in what is now our home, they found a river that reminded them of home, and so they named it the Boyne River.

Even though we don’t have the benefit of Bob Morgridge’s History of Boyne City class being taught in the schools anymore, everyone growing up in Boyne is told that story in some way.

It’s important because your view of history gets warped if you grow up thinking it all happened in a vacuum far away from here.

It’s important for our children to know that the people who came here came from somewhere else first.

They need to know that Boyne City wasn’t always retail stores, restaurants, and popcorn at Stroll the Streets.
Boyne City used to be a lumbering community.

Stories from those who came before hold memories of a tanning plant whose smell, apparently, was worse than the factories of today.
Who knows?

Perhaps if this fact had been better known, the ruckus over Kirtland Products would have gone differently a few years back.

But this week we all got the chance to connect with that past with the visitation of a delegation from the very area of Ireland for which our river is named.

They compared our town to theirs and went so far as to say they finally found another “land of a thousand welcomes.”

I have to say, the only thing nicer than knowing you have roots is knowing that almost two hundred years later, you’re staying true to them.

But we need to keep that up!

We need to keep being the land of a thousand welcomes, because working together as a community has made Boyne City the beautiful town it is today.

We need to continue coming together during Buff Up Boyne to make sure our town remains clean and beautiful.

We have to keep holding our many fundraisers (even though we’re all tired of spaghetti) because we simply do not accept that one of our community members is unable to pay for medical treatments they need to live—our community simply doesn’t allow that.

We must continue the tradition of getting the entire town together every Friday night simply to enjoy music, food, and the occasional beer.

Most importantly, though, we have to keep reminding our children that we are a welcoming community and that we come from a welcoming community.

Our kids have to know that, 200 years ago, people left their families forever to sit beside the very riverbank that modern folks shot their squirt guns from this past Fourth of July. Here’s to another two hundred years of being a “land of a thousand welcomes.”

I’m proud to be a part of it.


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