Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo by: Chris Holden
Since September 2020, the chatter about preserving Mount Forest’s town slogan, ‘High-Healthy-Happy’ has only grown louder.
Pushback from residents began when the town updated their two entryway signs to say, ‘Simply Explore’ and removed the ‘High-Healthy-Happy’ slogan.
A petition went around for the reinstatement of the ‘High-Heathy-Happy’ slogan, but not long after it was shut down because someone vandalized one of the new signs.
In an email to 88.7 The River, Wellington North Councillor Sherry Burke said the chatter grew even louder after the Wellington Advertiser ran a story covering their Public Meeting Budget Presentation for 2021, which highlighted the rehabilitation of the water tower in Mount Forest.
The water tower is the town’s most prominent landmark, and it is the only thing remaining in town with the ‘High-Healthy-Happy’ slogan on it.
Councillor Burke said she received many emails regarding the fate of the slogan that greets people on the water tower as they arrive to town from the south.
Mount Forest resident, Kayla Young, who has lived in the town for 17 years wrote a letter expressing her concerns about losing the town’s slogan off the water town to all four members of council, and to Mount Forest Mayor Andy Lennox on January 13, 2021.
“At the core of it all, it’s kind of like taking it away would be like taking away our Statue of Liberty, everything that fundamentally is Mount Forest is in that slogan,” Young said.
On January 25, 2021, councillor Burke put a motion forward to keep the town’s slogan, town name, and altitude on any future rehabilitation of the water tower.
Councillor Burke said she received a lot of support from residents for the motion she put forward.
On Monday, the motion was passed unanimously.
“Nobody seems to know exactly how the motto came about, I have checked with our local historians, some think our motto has been around since the late 1930s, and others [think it came] through a naming contest by a former mayor and MPP,” Burke said.
The letter to council Young wrote was also passed along to the editor of the Wellington Advertiser and published for all to see on January 27, 2021.
Young said when she posted her published letter in a local Facebook group for residents of Mount Forest, there was nothing but an overwhelming amount of positive feedback about it.
“Once you’ve lived here, and once you’ve felt the community spirit, and the community togetherness, and yes, we argue and bicker […], but it’s like one, great big huge family that comes together when there is an important topic […], it’s high, healthy and happy, and that’s what it’s about,” Young said.
Young added that her next crusade is to try to get the town’s slogan back onto the entryway signs.