Families and friends were delighted to meet an old friend on Sunday, April 1, when the Easter Bunny stopped in for breakfast at the Iroquois Legion. A large number of people came out and enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by the Legion, received a special greeting and treat from E.B. and took part in face painting and colouring. Live, gentle bunnies supplied by Lee Carruthers of Dundela were a big hit with young and old. Breakfast with the Bunny was sponsored by the Iroquois and District Festival Committee, which is using the funds to support their September 15 Festival in Iroquois, "Dundas Militia – A Call to Arms – War of 1812."
“I have received information from other groups in South Western Ontario that proponents have been revisiting councils who have wind turbine projects proposed for their areas in an effort to gain their approval,” said Bruce Albers, president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group.
Concerned by the information, Albers and the opposition group sent a letter to several governmental representatives including council members for both South Dundas and Edwardsburgh/Cardinal townships as well as local members of parliament and members of provincial parliament.
“The letter was to remind both South Dundas and Edwardsburgh/Cardinal councils that there is a significant number of residents who oppose these projects,” said Albers, “meaning councils should not assume the community is in favour of such projects.”
In the letter, the group stated: “We sincerely hope that if the Ontario government initiates any call to municipalities, townships or counties soliciting support that the broader public, including groups such as ours, will be consulted and included in the determination of any assignment of ‘points’.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty’s recent changes to the Green Energy Act outline a points system whereby a community’s interest in wind projects is determined. The initiative is meant to help those communities who want the projects to get them more quickly.
There is not, as of yet, a system or device by which a community can outright refuse projects.
The South Branch Wind Opposition Group’s letter ended with a plea: “Your assistance in ensuring that all voices of affected residents are considered and heard in this divisive debate is appreciated.”
On June 4th, South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds reported that council has not been approached by any wind company proponents other than Prowind Canada.
He also confirmed that council has not been approached by any provincial governmental body in relation to the points system.
“We will follow whatever the protocol is,” said Byvelds, in reference to dealing with any future contact from possible wind company proponents.
The medal reads “Tu Haces La Diferencia.” In English it means, “You Make a Difference.”
George Jackson, of Iroquois, is a man who has tried to make a difference in the lives of some very special children since 1985, when he set up the Partners for Children in Development, a charitable organization, and began work in Honduras, one of the world’s most troubled nations.
In May of 2012, Jackson was recognized for those years of service with a Coca Cola Heroes Award.
The Coca Cola company operates a very large plant in Honduras, making both coke and beer. Coke is very popular in the nation. Like every major industry, profits come first with Coke, “but I believe they are trying to make a difference in the lives of the people in the nations where they operate,” Jackson said.
The medal was presented to him by representatives of Coca Cola at the Centro de Artes, an Arts Centre Jackson built for local children in San Pedro Sula, with the support of Partners. Reporters from Prensa, the San Pedro Sula journal, and staff at the Centre were also on hand.
The medal, created by Coca Cola, seeks to recognize and commend the efforts of ordinary people around the world who have tried to do something to help their community and its people. It seeks to honour those who try, often against great odds, “ to make a difference.”
George Jackson, who admits that he tries to keep a low profile, has devoted much of his life to helping the children of Honduras. He has developed homes and schools, emphasized and supported education and, in 2006, opened an Arts centre in the heart of the community where children can feel safe, and perhaps find a way out of the grinding poverty of their lives.
“Since I came to Honduras in 1988, the population has doubled,” Jackson said. “The streets are very dangerous, far more so than when I started. Because Honduras has become a drop off point between Columbia and Mexico, gangs and drug lords are essentially running the country. Illiteracy is rampant, and so is government corruption. Sadly, the city of San Pedro Sula has recently been named the most dangerous city in the world.”
Yet Jackson perseveres.
“I still firmly believe that education for the children is the key,” he explained. “They must learn to think and to reason, to choose a different path. Through Partners, I want to continue to give kids choices, to keep them occupied with things of value to the nation, We must offer an alternative to street life, or to no life at all.”
He feels that the support of Partners, a registered Canadian charity, really has made a difference.
“We have 120 children in public school, three in high school, and we are supporting five students in university through Partners. Olga and Karla, (both of whom Partners brought to Canada, and who attended school at Seaway), well, Olga will soon graduate as a doctor and Karla is going to graduate as an elementary teacher. They came from tough, tough backgrounds, both of them, and they have made it. I am so very, very proud of them. Believe me, I look forward to the day I go to their graduation ceremonies.”
Jackson is deeply honoured that he was chosen by Coca Cola to receive a Heroes Award, but he sees himself as simply a representative of all the people who have kept the work of Partners alive.
“It is Partners’ work, and people’s support of that work, that really matters. Once an organization like Partners succeeds in helping a few, the effect ultimately spreads into the next generations. It is my hope that people will continue to support us, help us to continue to do what we are doing.”
Next week, Jackson returns to Honduras and the task that has become a big part of his life.
“I am going to keep doing this work until I can’t do it any more,” he said.
George Jackson and Partners for Children in Development can be reached at Box 466, Iroquois, Ontario.