General News

Caledon’s Town Crier Andrew Welch takes first place

May 27, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The Official Town Crier of Caledon was declared overall winner of last weekend’s Provincial Championships, run by the Ontario Guild of Town Criers.
Andrew Welch, who was appointed Town Crier by Caledon council in 2011, edged out both the current world champion and last year’s provincial winner by very small margins to take the win. The event was staged in Perth as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations.
There are about 50 officially-appointed members in the Ontario Guild, giving the province the highest per capita presence of criers in the world. Most earn their keep by presiding at civic ceremonies, opening new businesses, and bringing a air of pageantry and heritage to major events in their municipalities. Proclamation fees then support their travel to represent their municipality at crier events provincially or even internationally.
Ontario town criers gather a few times a year to promote their home town in public competition. Welch has represented Caledon at more than a dozen such events all over the province, and this is just his second overall win. Criers are judged on a variety of aspects of the vocation. For the Perth tournament, they were challenged to write three proclamations: one to introduce their home town, a second to promote a local Perth business, and a third to share some important aspect of Perth’s 200-year-old history. Competitors are then scored on their content, their presence, their vocal delivery, and their accuracy.
Aside from friendly bragging rights, the major objectives of the criers attending these gatherings are to promote the craft of town crying and to promote the municipalities they represent. Beyond the hometown proclamation extolling Caledon’s attractions, Welch’s responsibilities include wandering the host community in full uniform for the whole weekend, creating many opportunities for interactions with residents and visitors from all over.
It’s the human connection that keeps Caledon’s first and only town crier on the job.
“Sure, Town council can deliver a message more efficiently on a website or in a pamphlet,” Welch said, “but faces really light up when the words of a well-written proclamation are lifted from scroll to the public ear. Afterwards, everyone wants their picture taken with the town crier. It’s not just another opening ceremony.”
He added he was hopeful that this win will also serve to underscore that Caledon is not just another town.
Welch’s accomplishment drew praise from Caledon council.
Councillor Doug Beffort brought the matter up at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I think we should be very proud,” he remarked. “It’s just great that we got this kind of reception.”

Caledon Town Crier Andrew Welch (second from right) was the overall winner at the Provincial Championships, run by the Ontario Guild of Town Criers. On hand for the award presentation were Crier Brent McLaren (Town Crier of Perth and competition host), Crier Bill McKee and Crier Chris Whyman holding the Guild trophy. Photo by Elswyth Fryer

Caledon Town Crier Andrew Welch (second from right) was the overall winner at the Provincial Championships, run by the Ontario Guild of Town Criers. On hand for the award presentation were Crier Brent McLaren (Town Crier of Perth and competition host), Crier Bill McKee and Crier Chris Whyman holding the Guild trophy.
Photo by Elswyth Fryer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

         

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail


Readers Comments (0)


You must be logged in to post a comment.