The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
It started as a house party last year and has morphed into a reunion more than 250 people are registered to attend.
“Back to the Cliff” will bring together people who have lived in the community all their lives, former Copper “Cliffians” who have moved away and people who just wish they were from the town that grew along with the International Nickel Company. Deborah Gray was shouting out instructions to volunteers Friday about lunchtime as they were putting finishing touches on the three-day homecoming.
Gray moved to Copper Cliff when she was seven years old and has never left the community, which is now part of the City of Greater Sudbury. Municipal amalgamation can’t erase the feeling, though, that if you’re from Copper Cliff, you’re “almost like family,” said Gray. She was looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friends and spending time with friends she just hasn’t met yet.
The reunion got underway Friday afternoon with registration at the Copper Cliff Museum and a meet-and-greet and silent auction at McClelland Arena.
The highlight for many Friday night was to be the bus trip from the arena to view a scene that played out in the former mining community thousands of times in the last 100 years — the dumping of hot slag. The pouring of the fiery red byproduct of the smelting process was a common sight in Copper Cliff for decades, and often lit up the sky above Sudbury for miles.
The dumping is now done out of sight for most people, and Vale Ltd., which purchased the company from Inco several years ago, is allowing people attending the reunion to view the pouring.
Gray was excited about the prospect. “It might be the last dump (of slag) any of us will ever see,” said Gray, 58.
It was at her home that last year’s party was held and the seed germinated for a town-wide reunion. Similar events had been based in the past at the school, but Gray and co-organizer Jane Pascoe wanted the happening to appeal to everyone in the community.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/07/21/cliffians-reconvene