Twice-yearly suppers hosted by Roseneath United Church have been a tradition for more than 40 years in that community.
A 41st year begins Saturday, April 1 with their annual spring dinner at the Alnwick Civic Centre, volunteer Ian Hartford said, but the first one was held in 1976 in the church’s basement. It later moved to the Alnwick Civic Centre, where a larger capacity meant bigger attendance — and 500 dinners served in a year instead of 200.
Over the years, Hartford calculates 4,000 volunteers have served up 34,000 dinners, using 16,400 lb. of potatoes, 20,500 lb. of meat and 8,000 pies.
He said the number system worked quite well, and continues to this day — you arrive, you turn in your ticket, you get a number, and you wait for that number to be called.
In the old days, people would wait on the church’s main floor for their numbers to be called. When the time came, they’d troop down the church’s north stairs, eat and then leave by the south exit.
It moved to the Alnwick Civic Centre when it was built in 1980. Waiting guests now hang out in the community room, council chambers or in a gallery in back of the gym.
It starts at 5 p.m., Hartford said.
“People are there at 4 sometimes. I have seen them there at 3:30.”
Organizer William Boyko recalled a gentleman who made it a matter of pride to get there in time to get the number one.
Dinners are twice a year, a fall dinner with turnips and a spring one with baked beans. That spring dinner used to be a Feb. 14 Sweetheart Supper, but — with adverse weather, snowbirds and daylight-savings time — they decided to move it a few…
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