The Iroquois Matilda Lions Club donated $500 each to the Christmas Exchange on November 17th at the Morrisburg Food Bank. The Christmas Exchange supplies Christmas dinner to those in Dundas County who may otherwise have gone without on Christmas Day. Boxes, filled with everything needed to make a scrumptious meal, are available for pick up a few days before the holiday.
Food bank usage in Dundas County continues to rise.
“Our usage is up 10 percent over last month,” said Brian Cox, a director with the Dundas County Food Bank who was at the Morrisburg location Friday morning to receive the large amount of food delivered by Ken Rundle, owner of the Morrisburg Giant Tiger store.
Cox thanked Rundle for the quantity of food and funds he delivered, courtesy of Giant Tiger shoppers. “This food is deeply required,” said Cox.
Giant Tiger recently wrapped up their food drive whereby the cashiers asked customers to make a donation to the food bank.
One of the donation options was to donate $5 for a whole bag of food which included canned tomatoes, canned beans, caned flaked tuna, canned flaked ham, can flaked turkey and canned beans.
These food bags were tailored to feed the specific needs of this food bank.
“These items collected are among those that the food bank distributes on a regular basis and are always needs,” noted Dundas County Food Bank administrator Donna Quesnel. “Ken made an excellent choice in selecting these items and we are grateful to the Giant Tiger customers who purchased this food.”
Donations made equated to 75 bags of food, including $450 worth of food product. Another $150 in cash donations was also collected.
Rundle credits the community with the success of the food drive, which he plans to do again next year. “The support of the community was great. They are the ones who made this happen, we just facilitated.”
In seeing the most recent statistics showing increased need, Cox is pleased to have this food drive and others taking place. While the DC Youth plan on collecting food on Halloween, Creepy Creek Camp is accepting food donations for the food bank and the OPP Auxiliary are also planning an upcoming food drive.
“These are all deeply needed and appreciated,” said Cox.
A large portion of the Morrisburg Industrial Park is in danger of being designated a provincially significant wetland, and if that happens the Counties planning department is working to ensure that the designation doesn’t hinder South Dundas’ growth potential.
County Planner Michael Otis discussed the issue with South Dundas council at the October 31 special meeting.
“Obviously, we want South Dundas council’s input and support for our proposals,” Otis told council.
“This wetland issue has being going on for some time,” said Otis, explaining that the province has the clout to make the designation which will definitely hinder development to about 140 hectares of the Morrisburg Industrial Park.
“They reviewed 10 drafts of the County official plan and not once did they indicate it was a wetland,” said Otis.
However, now in this five year review of the official plan, they now have another opportunity to make the wetland designation.
The Counties will ask the province, if the provincially significant wetland designation is made, that the province allow an equal amount of land in a new location to be designated as an employment district in the official plan.
If the trade off occurs, the new employment district will be at the west end of Morrisburg, on the north side of County Road 2, west of the communications tower.
“This is a defendable type of solution,” said Otis.
Otis also explained that along with this request to the province, they will also ask that about 136 hectares of land south of County Road 2 in the same area be earmarked for residential growth in South Dundas.
This would be in lieu of previous efforts to designate many smaller areas such as Brinston and Stampville for settlement growth. The province prefers that residential growth be slated for areas that the municipality would be willing to fully service such as this one at Morrisburg which borders on fully serviced land.
“This is a really good trade off that is workable,” commented South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.
“Hopefully the province will be amenable to it,” said Otis.
South Dundas will pass a resolution supporting this Counties proposal at their next meeting.
These new designations would have no immediate impact on the lands which are privately owned.
What they represent is a theoretical change in thinking about how and where growth should occur within the Counties and specifically within South Dundas.
For development to occur, at the municipal level, the lands would need to be re-zoned and likely fully serviced. That is only likely to occur, if and when an application for development is presented.
Byvelds was especially supportive of the proposal presented to South Dundas council last week because at the Counties council meeting he saw a proposal that would have seen a similar type of trade off. However, the trade would have involved neighbouring South Stormont gaining the employment district designated land that South Dundas was losing.
“That I could not have supported,” Byvelds told The Leader. Otis said that proposal was taken off the table because it wasn’t fair for one municipality to benefit from the other’s misfortune.
“We were quite the threesome.”
Ida, Lucille and Doris are quite the threesome, and audiences will be forgiven for instantly entering into a love affair with them all. The Cemetery Club, now running at Upper Canada Playhouse until September 29, is a show that makes you very glad you chose to spend two hours sharing the lives of these marvellous women.
The title of Ivan Menchell’s play is deceptive. Far from being gloomy and dark, this production embraces life. Life is precious. Time is precious. Friends are precious. Ida, Lucille and Doris make that very clear.
Actors Linda Goranson, AnnaMarie Lea and Patti Kazmer are wonderful as colourful, outspoken widows, whose decades old friendship is now rounded by monthly visits to the grave sides of their late husbands. Each woman has her own particular reasons for the cemetery ritual, reasons the audience begins to understand in the course of the evening.
Not that these women are long-suffering, mournful saints. Not by any means.
One of the great pleasures of Menchell’s script is how incredibly funny it is.
From the moment Lucille bursts into Ida’s comfortable living room, draped in her latest outfit, a mink, the laughter never stops. “Do you really need a mink coat?” Ida asks. “A mink you buy because you want it. Support hose you buy because you need them!” Lucille retorts.
AnnaMarie’s Lucille might be described, in the kindest way, as a bit outré. Clothes and make up and attention matter to her. “Can I help it if men find me attractive?” “Lucille, you never stay with one man long enough for me to meet him,” Ida sighs.
Opinionated, outgoing, ready to say exactly what is on her mind, however outrageous, Lucille grabs at life with both hands…and generally gives it a good shake.
Linda Goranson, as Ida, is gentler, more introspective. She adored her late husband, Murray, but sometimes “it worries me that the memories are still so strong…sometimes it seems like (Murray’s) still right there.” Tentatively, however, she has begun to consider the idea that it may be time to get on with this life. “I need to be with someone…to give to someone…I’m not going to spend the rest of my life feeling guilty.”
The sudden, unexpected possibility of a new love leaves Ida almost giddy, and the audience rooting for her.
Doris, the third widow, memorably portrayed by Patti Kazmer, can be sharp even cantankerous. Her whole life revolved around her ‘Abe’, her one, her only, her forever love. Visits to talk to him at his grave are deeply and emotionally necessary. Indeed, these trips to the cemetery are “the high point of Doris’ month,” as Lucille puts it. “She prepares for them for two weeks ahead and thinks about them for two weeks after.”
To Doris, true love can happen once, and only once.
Then Sam, the widowed butcher, arrives, and stirs up this established threesome. Sparks fly in all directions. Doug Tangney brings warmth and humour, and a vulnerability to Sam that is deeply appealing. “Instead of looking at what a woman was like, I kept looking at how she wasn’t like Myrna,” he admits.
A strong cameo appearance by Brenda Quesnel creates a pivotal, and critical moment in the play.
Yet the laughter in The Cemetery Club is contagious.
This is a play of boisterous one liners, and of outrageously hilarious comments that only those who truly love each other can make. It is a play that shares with us wickedly funny situations (like the latest wedding of the much married Selma, where the threesome have all been summoned to be bridesmaids…again), or a post wine, spontaneous cha-cha by the women that brought Friday’s house down.
This is also a play that can deeply, very deeply, touch your heart. Trust me.
Staged on a versatile set by Sean Free, with lighting that seems to effortlessly take the action from the indoors to the outdoors, director Donnie Bowes’ production of The Cemetery Club is a wonderful end to the Playhouse’s summer season.
Ida, Lucille and Doris: quite the threesome indeed. And isn’t that lucky for audiences!
The Cemetery Club runs until September 29 at Upper Canada Playhouse.
Contact the box office at 613-543-3713 or on line at www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com.