/Farewell Michael 
Michael Fay speaks to a crowd at the Great Hall at Haliburton's Fleming College campus. /Photo by Angelica Ingram

Farewell Michael 

By Chad Ingram

Michael Fay was one of the first people Imet when I began working in Minden nearly 12 years ago now and at that time hewas a driving force behind a number of arts-related things happening in thecommunity.

Retired from a career at Toronto PublicHealth in Minden Michael embraced his passion for writing producing nearlyhalf a dozen plays and publishing a number of short stories. One of thoseplays Never Such Innocence Again won a numberof awards and anyone who was present for one of the performances of Buck'sTavern at the cultural centre likely doesn't forgetit. He had a knack for bringing local history to life in a colourful andentertaining fashion.

Creating the co-operative community theatregroup Conjurors of County Town with wife Fay Martin Michael revived deceasedwordsmiths with meetings of the Dead Poets Society at the Dominion Hotel. Therewas Score! a 20-hour marathon of poetry readings and music that also tookplace at the Dominion and was a fundraiser for the arts council's Artists inthe Schools program.

Michael dedicated his time and talents to anumber of non-profit and arts-related organizations in the county includingbut not limited to the Arts Council-Haliburton Highlands of which he was afounder the Haliburton Highlands Writers' and Editors' Network the foundationfor the Minden Hills Cultural Centre and the Symposium for the Performing Artsin Rural Communities.

Then there were the parties. Michael andFay's annual New Year's Eve day celebrations typically started some time in theafternoon running until “whenever” with guests coming and going throughoutthe day. I remember those occasions being full of interesting people wine andthought-provoking conversation.

I'll remember Michael as an incredibly kindman with a gentle spirit who was passionate about the arts the environment andsocial justice. And while during the past few years he wasn't able to be asinvolved in the community as he once was he certainly left his mark on it.

My condolences to Fay and the rest ofMichael’s family.