Bill and Maxine Seers mark 70 years of marriage
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Last Saturday, Bill and Maxine Seers marked their 70th wedding anniversary, welcoming about 100 friends and family members to their Goderich home.
As the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association prepares to celebrate its 62nd reunion this weekend, Maxine can count herself among the last living people who remember being part of the very first reunion. Bill joined shortly thereafter, eventually taking over the antique vehicle division of the reunion in 2000. It’s a position he still holds today, though he admits that he is slowing down a bit after all these years.
It was on Aug. 22, 1953 at her family’s Maitland Block Road home that Maxine Blake, the daughter of Jim and Clara, married Bill Seers, the son of Fred and Mabel Seers of Auburn.
Maxine’s maid of honour was her sister, Gladys Blake, while Bill’s best man was his brother, John Seers.
The couple took their honeymoon in Detroit, but just for one night, as Bill says that they only had enough money for a one-night stay.
They returned to Huron County and the Blake home on Maitland Block Road, where Maxine remembers her parents charged the young couple rent of $5 per month for the house.
Bill began working as an apprentice at a body shop in Clinton before expanding to include mechanic work as well when he founded Seers Body Shop. Maxine’s Lunch - the well-known restaurant in Auburn - would become how Maxine would spend her days and connect with the community for years until they both sold their businesses, which was in 1991.
The next year, the couple was named Citizen of the Year Award winners by North Huron Publishing (Bill proudly removed the plaque from the wall of their home to show it off).
They had three children: Gail Reid (Allan); Faye Priest, who passed away in 2008 (Geoff) and Carol Reinink (Bert). They have nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Bill is a charter member of the Auburn Lions Club and Maxine has been involved with the local United Church and United Church Women (UCW) for years. They have both been involved with the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association for decades and they are currently members of the Clinton Radar Circle antique car club.
The couple marked the occasion at their home in Goderich and estimated that about 100 friends and family members made the time to visit.
Maxine was at the first day of the first-ever reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association. She had been asked to help with the food due to her background with the community restaurant, making hamburgers for those in attendance.
Well, they soon ran out of food with more people attending than anticipated and they had to get more from a butcher in Blyth. She said her usual recipe of egg and other ingredients in with the ground beef wasn’t going to be possible for the second round of hamburgers, so she just had to cook the ground beef as it was, but everyone was happy.
Maxine said that she and Ray Hallahan, who was also there that day, are among the last surviving people who volunteered at the very first reunion, and she remembers how much it has grown over the years to what it is today. Both Bill and Maxine think the future of the reunion is positive, with the influx of young people coming into the executive, including the husband-and-wife team of President Cole McDonald and First Vice-President Laura McDonald.
Later, Bill became involved in the antique vehicle side of things, taking over around the year 2000 at the request of long-time association volunteer Edgar Daer. He has had the job ever since, though, as he’s grown older, he has plenty of help to curate the show’s collection of antique cars and trucks.
As the couple has downsized, they have since sold their 1948 Monarch, but still own a 1961 Thunderbird, which they drive around Goderich pretty frequently.