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.
“In 1991, the three United Counties and the province of Ontario united to build this seniors’ support centre. In 20 years, it has grown beyond all expectations. It has played a vital part in senior health and home care. It has made a real difference for seniors in our community,” said Janet Levere, executive director of the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation.
She welcomed well over 100 dignitaries, volunteers and friends to a 20th anniversary celebration of the J.W.MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre in Williamsburg on Tuesday, October 18.
Board members, past and present, members of the South Dundas council and J.W.MacIntosh Support Centre staff also joined in the festivities. Guests and visitors were able to see displays and posters highlighting the activities and services available to the community.
The event ended with the celebratory cutting of a cake.
On October 23, 1991, The Morrisburg Leader did a feature about the Park Lane Senior Support Centre describing it as “part of a pilot project for the province of Ontario, with sister projects in Stormont and Glengarry counties.”
The article went on to say that the project was “69 per cent funded by the Ministry of Social and Community Services, covering the cost of the Outreach Centre and 31 per cent funded by the Ministry of Housing. The Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing is the sponsoring agent, who applies for the grants and handles the administrative aspect.”
In 2006, the building was officially named the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre in honour of John MacIntosh.
The Centre is a key focus for area seniors and their families. It currently offers Meals-on-Wheels, the Diners Club, respite care, foot clinics, supportive housing and assisted living. “In 2007, we began to offer the Going Home program to assist seniors who were leaving the hospital,” Levere said.
Chair of the board of directors of the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Jim Kooistra, offered his anniversary congratulations.
“I am very glad that in 1991, a group of people decided to build this facility. It was the first of its kind, a real pilot project for the province,” said Kooistra.
“In the past 20 years we have served 70,000 meals (through Meals-on-Wheels and the Diners’ Club) and provided people in our community with a little help or a lot of help depending on the need.”
Seniors Dwight Gilmer and his wife, Marian, both of Iroquois, began as volunteers for Meals-on-Wheels, and now take advantage of that service and others offered by the Centre. “It is so wonderful to know that a great facility like this is here to help us, and to help us stay in our homes,” Gilmer said.
Senior Helen Gill of Morrisburg said that the staff and volunteers of the Centre are “loving and kind and so supportive.”
The hard work of area volunteers drew praise from speakers at the celebration.
“Our volunteers have done so much for the Centre. They serve from the heart and have dedicated themselves to helping others,” chairman Kooistra said.
In 2010, volunteers logged over 6,000 hours of recorded volunteer time.
Mary Osborne and Winnie Gorman shared why they devote time to the Support Centre.
“I believe that if you are able to do something of benefit to others, then you should do it,” Osborne said.
“I go home from (volunteering) here feeling rejuvenated and happy,” said Gorman. “I recommend taking the time to offer a helping hand.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds joined councillors Jim Locke, Evonne Delegarde and Archie Mellan, in honouring the 20th anniverary of the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre.
“It is a great pleasure to see how a service like this is used in our community,” mayor Byvelds said, then added, “In 20 years, I expect that I will be looking to use these great facilities.”
It’s the stuff of nightmares in the hotel business.
The Turtle Beach Hotel toilets leak, there’s a gaping hole in the front yard, and the dog next door has been leaving its own unique ‘deposits’ at the front desk.
The staff is down to two individuals: a terribly confused chamber maid who has been ordered to take on reception and room service as well (“I’m not sure I want to service guests in their rooms,” she blurts), and a handyman whose motto is “never fix anything permanently.”
Owners Terri and Brian Cody are desperate to sell the place. (Brian: “This is a one star hotel.” Hopkins the handyman: “That’s because there’s not a no star rating.”). Their frantic scheme to ‘dump’ the Turtle sets off a conspiracy of comedy.
Audiences will be glad they took out ‘reservations’ at Upper Canada Playhouse’s Hotbed Hotel: it’s riotous fun.
Director Donnie Bowes has put together a first-rate cast and a first-rate production of Michael Parker’s frenetic and funny ‘American farce.’ Staged on a beautiful and versatile John Thompson set, the action and rapid fire lines on-stage never slow down from the moment the hotel owner Brian Cody says prophetically, “Something will go wrong. I just know it!”
The fun of farces rests firmly on their utter improbability.
“There is actually a fine line between farce and a tragedy,” Bowes said during an earlier interview. “The pace is vital. The characters should never have time to stop, think and reason, because that, of course, would destroy the humour.”
This is a cast of highly skilled performers more than able to rise to the challenges of the play.
Timm Hughes and Debra Hale play the hapless Codys. She’s determined to pull off the great ‘con’ when prospective buyer Sam Lewis appears. He’s determined to see the darker side of the whole plan. “Nothing has turned out. We’re no further ahead than we were before.”
And it won’t help that the couple ropes into their schemes a group for whom the word ‘eccentric’ was invented.
Hopkins the handyman, played by veteran actor, Mo Bock, in a fog of happy alcohol fumes, has love on his mind, not masquerades. Maureen, the maid, (AnnaMarie Lea in the sort of role in which she excels) is desperately trying to keep two completely different thoughts in her head at the same time. She will not be successful.
Doug Tangney, delightful as a retired British Major, is sincerely hoping to help the Codys, but is a little unsure if he will be ‘up to the demands of the job’?
Or, as Hopkins puts it, “All I get to do is talk about sin. Ponsenby gets to do it!”
In the frantic role of the “Barracuda,” a hotel guest with an all-male shopping list, Susan Greenfield needs to be wildly energetic and wildly outrageous. She is.
“I have this thing for clergymen, reverend,” she remarks salaciously to what she thinks is a preacher. “You and I should have an organ recital together.”
Richard Bauer brings just the right mixture of bombast and hypocrisy to his role as Sam Lewis, possible purchaser of the Turtle Beach. For a man piously telling others to control their “animal impulses”, Lewis has some comic secrets of his own.
Erin MacKinnon, in the role of the rather sweet young thing Ashley, is as close to a ‘straight man’ as this play ever gets. After all, it’s not really her fault that her clothes keep vanishing!
Brenda Quesnel is Dorothy, the umbrella-wielding mystery woman, whose appearance will set off a chain reaction of mayhem in Act II. As another guest, prey to her temper, bluntly remarks, “If that woman lived in India, she’d be sacred.”
The back stage crew is in top form for Hotbed Hotel. Headed by stage manager Liz Campbell, they have dozens of cues to meet, props hand offs, elaborate costume and set changes and several tricky physical gags to manage. As director Bowes put it, “Backstage can sometimes be as exciting as on stage in a farce.”
The bends, twists and turns of character and plot are delivered at a breathless pace in this production. The play flips 180 degrees so often it’s like being in a spin cycle at times.
Outrageous, brilliantly paced and howlingly funny, Hotbed Hotel runs until July 1 at the Upper Canada Playhouse.
For ticket information on evening and matinee shows, contact 613-543-3713.
“I’ve been in politics a long time and I’ve never had so many thank yous,” said South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis.
Earlier this year, McGillis and the township of South Stormont chose to withhold funds from the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH). South Stormont was opposed to CCH’s new designation under the French Services Language Act (FSLA).
South Stormont had committed to donating $300,000 to the CCH, making $30,000 installments yearly between 2006 and 2015. Council decided to withhold this year’s donation.
On March 9th, McGillis reported that some people are “so surprised as to why we’re doing this. We have created awareness by withholding funds.”
McGillis said this is an issue involving human rights and equality. This is not, he pointed out, a language issue. It is an equal opportunity issue. “There are people who have been there for years who have been passed over for years. A lot of doctors are saying there’s a problem.”
McGillis said the outpouring of support at the March 3rd protest rally in front of the CCH proves that there “certainly is an issue there.”
“90 per cent of the calls and emails I’ve received have been positive. I know what I’m doing is the right thing. People elected me to work for the people.”
“I’ve shed some light on this issue,” he said, and “the support is overwhelming.”
“I’m hoping that everything works out and it’s a lot more fair for everyone. Let’s all work together.”
On February 16th, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds commented on the situation: “South Stormont acted on what they thought were concerns to them. South Dundas has no commitments to the Cornwall Hospital.”