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Community will express gratitude to 49th Parallel family

Event planned this Saturday, March 11, at Ladysmith’s Aggie Hall
Kathy, left, Harmina, Wayne and Peter Richmond, former owners of 49th Parallel Grocery, gather for one of the last times in the Ladysmith store. (Duck Paterson photo)


After almost 50 years of doing business and also giving back in the community, it’s time to express what the 49th Parallel has meant to Ladysmith.

Following the recent announcement that the Richmond family had sold its four 49th stores to Country Grocer, a group of locals decided it was an appropriate time to show thanks to Wayne and Harmina Richmond and their family.

This Saturday, March 11, a free community thank you event is happening at the Aggie Hall from 1:30-4 p.m. There will be tea and coffee served, with a cake cutting at 2 p.m., followed by a few remarks.

“We are hoping the Richmonds appreciate the support they have shown for so much in the communities they were involved in and now we wanted to give Ladysmith a chance to give them a hug and say thanks as well,” noted a statement from event organizers.

The local Kinsmen Club has been recipients of huge support from the 49th Parallel over the years.

“Our club has done dozens of hot dog sales out in front of the 49th, and the store has always supplied us with everything we needed,” said Kinsman James Delcourt. “Over the years, our hot dog fundraisers for the food bank have raised over $33,000 and a huge part of that is thanks to the Richmond support.”

Family friend Myf Plecas said when the Richmonds bought the store, Wayne and Harmina were always there working, stocking shelves, running the cash register, and any other jobs that needed to be done, and their children Peter and Kathy were there helping as well.

“They would welcome everyone and even knew the names of most of the people … It was the way community stores were run back then,” Plecas said. “They have given so much to the community, and not just Ladysmith – they grew to other towns and they helped there as well.”

The public is invited to the party.

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