The Canada Day Organizing Committee has been hard at work raising funds for this year’s Canada Day festivities. A Valentine’s Day draw, just one of the group’s fundraising initiatives, took place on February 11th. The draw raised approximately $1,400. The first place prize, donated by the McIntosh Country Inn and Conference Centre, included accommodations and dinner for two. Bill and Beverley Aleck were the lucky winners of the first place prize. Carolyn Abrams won the second place prize, a $150 gift basket from Riley’s Valu-Mart. Bill Tupper took home the third place prize, a Valentine’s dinner for two at the Upper Canada Grill. The winners gathered on February 13th to collect their prizes. Hatherall, owner of Riley’s Valu-Mart, said, “we’re thankful for everyone’s contribution towards the fireworks and we’re hoping for another great celebration this year.”
On October 17, 2012, at a scheduled meeting of the Canadian Club, Catherine Merkley, a Morrisburg resident, will be reuniting with her now famous former boss, Robert R. Fowler.
Merkley worked for Fowler when he was the Deputy Minister in the Department of National Defence (DND) in Ottawa in the early 1990s. He was then posted to be a Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in 1995.
Merkley went to New York for an “all girls weekend” in 1996 and visited Fowler and his family at his residence in downtown New York City.
From 1990 to 1995, Merkley was Fowler’s Administrative Assistant dealing with the Prime Minister’s Office, Privy Council Office, Minister of National Defence, all other Group Principals within the DND and Other Government Departments, at a trying time for DND, that being during the Somalia Affair and the disbanding of the Airborne Regiment.
When Fowler was posted to the UN, Merkley was transferred to a Staff Officer position in the Personnel Group working for Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire (now a Quebec Senator) and working with General Rick Hillier, (who later became the Chief of the Defence Staff, the highest ranking military position in the DND).
Merkley’s next position was that of the first female civilian Coordinator after the move of the Canadian Army Headquarters to Ottawa, then she became an Administration Manager for the first DNDCanadian Forces Ombudsman, Andre Marin, and finally she was promoted to the Human Resources Manager position with the Judge Advocate General (the military lawyers for DND).
Merkley took early retirement, after 28 years service as a civilian with DND, in 2005 to move back to her roots, near Chesterville.
In 2008, when Fowler was kidnapped by the Al-Qaeda, Fowler’s former personal staff of 10 employees, including Merkley, most of whom are still in the National Capital Region, were in constant contact via E-mail. The minute Fowler was released they sighed a huge sigh of relief.
As soon as Fowler’s book “A Season in Hell – My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda” was published, Merkley rushed out to buy a copy and hopes to have it personally autographed by him at the meeting.
October 17, 2012 will be their first time seeing each other since 1996.
In 2007, Merkley, with her husband, Kevin, moved to their retirement home on County Road 4 just outside of Morrisburg. Since that time, Merkley has been a Family Law Assistant for the local law firm of Gorrell, Grenkie and Remillard, acting as Family Law Assistant to J. Douglas Grenkie.
Sunny, blue skies graced the Remembrance Day ceremony held in Iroquois on Sunday, November 6.
Veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Legion, police and firefighters, business and civic representatives, scouts and families and ordinary citizens of South Dundas gathered at the Iroquois cenotaph following a memorial service at the Legion, branch #370.
The Legion padre, the Reverend Janet Evans, reminded those gathered for the act of Remembrance, that the names etched on the gray stone monument are eternal reminders that many of those who enlisted from South Dundas never came home again.
For many area families, the cenotaph is the final marker for lost sons, husbands and fathers.
Traditional wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen by both the very young and the very old during the cenotaph ceremony. Pipe Major Mike Durant of the Kemptville Pipe Band played the Last Post followed by Reveille, after those gathered observed two minutes of silence.
At the end of the service, the reverend Janet Evans, spoke the ancient words,
“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old…At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.”
“We’re looking at $2.5 million with this transfer,” said South Dundas treasurer Shannon Geraghty at the June 5th council meeting.
South Dundas saw a surplus of $642,503 in 2011, which was transferred to the working capital reserve.
Geraghty requested council accept the 2011 financial statements as presented by Jamie Pollock of Craig Keen Despatie Markell LLP during the May 15th council meeting.
During his request to council, Geraghty also pointed toward the suggestions Pollock had made concerning some deficiencies.
“We’re currently working on these and over the summer we’ll be providing council with alternatives on how we’re going to deal with this.”
Two of the more recognizable issues noted in Pollock’s presentation are:
• Future landfill closures and lack of funds to cover costs associated with closure
• Water/sewer fund deficit and options to address the deficit, which may include an increase in user rates
Councillor Evonne Delegarde requested an update on where things stand with the water/sewer fund issue to which Geraghty replied, “we’ll be presenting council with plans over the summer,” followed by a public meeting in the fall and implementation in the new year.
Also, during the discussion, mayor Steven Byvelds relayed that the United Counties of SD&G had offered financial assistance with respect to the resolution approved a month prior concerning multi-residential taxes.
“I don’t think we need any assistance from the counties,” said Byvelds. All agreed.
In terms of the $2.5 million, Geraghty asked, “does council have any desire to earmark any of that money now?”
Deputy-mayor Jim Locke said, “there’s no rush on it as far as I’m concerned.”
Byvelds agreed. He also suggested that “we should keep $2.2 million” in reserve.