Messy Day on July 19 is one of the special beach days sponsored by South Dundas Recreation and the Ontario Early Years Centre. The beaches project is now in its third season with events also taking place in Iroquois. Dozens of children gathered in Morrisburg to enjoy exciting and delightfully messy activities under the supervision of Ben Macpherson, recreation program co-ordinator and Fiona Carr of the Early Years, and the Morrisburg life guards. With magic mud, gooey slime, volcanoes in the sand, face painting, the Duckie wading pool, a slip and slide, Pie in the Eye, and of course, Shaving Cream Musical Chairs, there was little doubt that everyone could be just as messy as they wanted.
Margaret Williams is 88 years old and says she definitely sees the benefits of having a hospital close by. “I’ve been to Winchester Hospital several times since I moved to Iroquois three years ago and it’s been great. I have had wonderful treatment.”
Most recently, her family physician referred Mrs. Williams to Dr. Darren Tse, WDMH’s new ear, nose and throat specialist. “I was thrilled when I found out that I didn’t have to travel all the way to Ottawa to see him. Dr. Tse was very helpful,” she says.
Dr. Tse is the latest specialist to provide clinical services to local communities at Winchester District Memorial Hospital.
His ear, nose and throat clinic is located in the Dillabough Builiding. Dr. Tse also does surgery at WDMH, with short wait times. And he partners with Robillard Hearing Centre, which has been offering specialized hearing services at WDMH for two years.
“I like the smaller, friendly atmosphere at WDMH,” says Dr. Tse. “When I came to visit, it seemed like a great town with a great hospital.”
Dr. Tse went to medical school in England and completed his specialty training in Canada.
He has also worked in research. “I like the complex anatomy of the head and neck. It affects how people function every day.”
“Dr. Tse’s services are another example of how WDMH is continually looking for ways to better serve our communities close to home,” notes Cholly Boland, CEO.
“We’re pleased to have him here in Winchester.”
Patients should speak to their family physician for a referral to Dr. Tse.
A crowd of 20 individuals, many of whom are affiliated with various area historical organizations, may have been enough to save the Friends of Crysler’s Farm organization.
All who attended made it very clear that the Friends group is something that they would like to see continue.
Although the details of how those who attended the meeting will volunteer their time have yet to be ironed out, most did what they could at the June 24 meeting to support the organization by paying for memberships. About 10 new members paid the fee, in support of the organization which works as an advocate for the memory of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, a pivotal battle in the war of 1812.
Coming off the Bicentennial year, the group had much to be proud of as the small contingent of a handful of directors was able to work with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to host two huge events, one which welcomed thousands of visitors and over 600 re-enactors to the site, and another which welcomed over 700 school children and the Prime Minister of Canada.
Recently, the acting president of the group shared the group’s difficult situation as active membership continues to decline, and most of those who remain active have been involved with the group since its inception in 1999.
Volunteer fatigue has definitely set in, but last week’s meeting may have breathed new life into the organization.
“I am really pleased to see so many locals turn out to support us,” said Robert Irvine, who has been acting as president in place of Robin Morris, whose failing health prevents him from continuing to be active with the group, though he was able to attend the November 11, 2013 event.
Irvine, and many of the core group are not directly from South Dundas, and have often wondered why local people haven’t gotten more involved.
“What I have seen here tonight definitely shows me there’s enough interest to move this organization forward,” said Irvine.
Gabrielle Thomas, of the SLPC, who has been with the Friends since its inception, added that it was absolutely wonderful that those who attended were also parts of other historical interest groups. Those attending mentioned affiliations with the Grenville Militia, Historical Society of South Dundas, Chesterville Historical Society and Lost Villages Historical Society.
The Friends group is hopeful that a few more hands will lighten the load for events like re-enactments, but might also enable the group to focus more on its advocacy and educational roles.
MORRISBURG-Since she was a young girl, singing has brought her joy, and now Joanne Laurin has decided to share that joy.
“I can remember being a child in church, about seven years old, and an older couple tapping me on the should to tell me I should keep on singing, that I could be a professional one day.”
“Then in high school, I remember being asked to sing on stage. But I was way too shy back then to let out what has been buried all my life.”
Now,” says Joanne, “here I am, in my late 40’s and finally ready to let people hear what I have been hiding.”
After receiving encouragement from a friend at work, John Mondoux, Joanne signed up for singing lessons and is now preparing to sing in public.
What she didn’t know, when she set out on this “magical” journey, was how much there is to learn and how much hard work there would be.
But Joanne is extremely happy balancing her home life with husband Mike, a demanding career as a Health Care Aid working at the Villa in Long Sault and the demands of her singing.
“After work each day, I do exercises for my throat and on my days off, I sing for upwards of four hours.”
“It’s more than I ever thought. How you learn to find your voice is magical.”
One of her first lessons involved learning where her voice was coming from. “I was actually singing in my speaking voice. There is a lot of homework and a lot of practise.”
Joanne says she owes her decision to pursue her singing to Mondoux, a co-worker and also a very talented singer and guitarist.
After Mondoux heard Joanne sing at the nursing home, he encouraged and worked with her as did Ingleside singer Candy Rutley, “who spent hours teaching me how to find my chest voice.”
“And John really helped get me on my feet. He mentored me.”
With their encouragement, Joanne is now enrolled in singing lessons with “a highly gifted and professional teacher, Siaca from Melody Makers”. She attends one lesson each week.
“It’s all about learning about your vocal chords, the do’s and don’t’s. I am learning what phrasing is, and tempo, and working on my facial expressions, making my eyes match the song. There are so many things to learn. It is so interesting. And, oh my gosh, breathing is so important when you sing.”
“There is also a lot of memorization. I started school in January, and I have now learned eight songs. So in four months, I have done a lot of work.”
“I never thought in a million years there would be so much to learn. But I love it, and I can’t wait to make this happen.”
As for finally hitting the stage and sharing her joy of singing with others, Joanne says she is taking baby steps. She says her band is named “It’s Just Joe”, that being herself, a CD, and a microphone.
“The patients (at Woodlands) are my little rookies,” she says of her first gig set for June. “They are all excited for me to come and sing for them in June. They are going to hear my summer road show before anyone else.”
At this point, Joanne’s summer road show will include a performance during a St. Lawrence River cruise with the Thousand Island Cruise Line in June, and a July 1st Canada Day performance on the Lost Villages’ stage.
She expects her ultimate experience will be when she sings a solo on the professional stage at Aultsville Hall in Cornwall next spring during the annual Festival of Music.
Down the road she would like to sing at local events, perhaps at weddings and funerals.
“The reason I like to sing is to put happiness and joy into people’s lives. I want to make people feel happy because I’m happy when I’m singing.”
“I want to sing anywhere people can hear me,” she concludes.