Loyal Anne Murray Fans Share Experiences, Give Her Gifts
© Jamie Heap
Anne Murray signs autographs for some of her fans Saturday at the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill. The Anne Murray Centre first opened 24 years ago on July 24, 1989.
SPRINGHILL-Springhill native Anne Murray returned to her roots Saturday for a luncheon and meet and greet with her loyal and dedicated fans, some of whom were vacationing from as far away as Ontario and Delaware, USA.
‚ÄúWe were going to come to the Anne Murray Centre anyways,‚ÄĚ stated Wiarton, Ontario‚Äôs Keith Ward, who, along with his brother Bruce, sister-in-law Joanne Ward and niece Jody Ward, are currently vacationing in the Maritimes.
‚ÄúBut, when we found that Anne was going to be here today, we just to had come,‚ÄĚ added Ward. ‚ÄúI first saw Anne sing in Owen Sound, Ontario back in 1970,‚ÄĚ he added. ‚ÄúI have seen her in concert 19 times over the years,‚ÄĚ claimed Ward.
Another one of Anne Murray‚Äôs fans was Catherine Smith from Shinimicas who, like Ward, saw her perform live. Smith saw Murray sing in Halifax circa 1987.
‚ÄúYou will never find a bigger Anne Murray fan than Catherine,‚ÄĚ claimed Muriel Smith, Catherine‚Äôs mother. ‚ÄúShe owns Anne tapes, Anne CDs, Anne books, and an Anne t-shirt,‚ÄĚ said Smith. Her daughter wore her Anne Murray t-shirt on Saturday.
Catherine Smith, who has come to this annual event each of the past four years, planned on giving Murray some homemade dish cloths that she made for her.
Dish cloths were not the only gifts that Murray received from her fans Saturday.
Sharon MacDougall, who claims that Murray taught her siblings at Athena Regional High School in Summerside, Prince Edward Island in 1966-1967, gave her a signed Sean Rodriguez baseball, a first baseman-outfielder with the Tampa Bay Rays. ‚ÄúI know who the Tampa Bay Rays are,‚ÄĚ she told MacDougall on Saturday while signing an autograph for her. ‚ÄúThey just beat the Blue Jays.‚ÄĚ
Anne Murray, a former physical education teacher turned singer, sang O‚ÄôCanada and the Star-Spangled Banner on June 5, 1989 before the first game ever played inside the Rogers Centre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iae9p2NW1bs.
Murray, who takes a genuine interest in her fans, took the time to sign multiple items while advising them to make sure they had the flash on their cameras on.
"Today is really about reconnecting with my fans," stated singer Anne Murray, a Canadian music icon who helped pave the way for those who followed in her footsteps. I come here (to the Anne Murray Centre) once a year to raise money for the museum so that we can keep it open for as long as we can," added Murray.
The Anne Murray Centre first open on July 28, 1989, some 24 years ago.
Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie, who first met Anne Murray two years ago, recalls how she contacted him to increase centre signage off TransCanada Exit 4.
"It's been a great day," stated Marcie Meekins, the Executive Director of the Anne Murray Centre. "We are so fortunate to have Anne give back to her community in this way," she added. "The response that we have received has been phenomenal.‚ÄĚ
The Anne Murray Centre has also been hosting youth guitar camps and Music at Noon this summer as well. Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement soon.