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Hallowe’en Goes to the Dogs

On Sunday, Oct. 27, canine trick or treaters gathered with their human friends at the waterfront Morrisburg Dog Park for a celebration of the Hallowe'en season. From Raindrop as "Batgirl", Teeko as "The Great Pumpkin" to Lily as "the Cow" every one had a barking good time. And of course there were treats! Hot dogs for the participants and a race around the park made for a perfect celebration of this "spooky" time of year.


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Hawks, Wolves collect wins from Lions


The Morrisburg Lions handled a pair of losses in Eastern Ontario Junior B  Hockey action this past week, an 8-5 loss in the Hawks nest Saturday night, and a 7-4 loss to the hungry Wolves in Morrisburg on Sunday.

The Lions have been on a rocky road since the season began in September and have registered just one win in 14 St. Lawrence Division games.

Saturday night, the Hawks led 2-0 after the first period and 6-0 heading into the third. 

The Lions got on board 1:13 into the third period with an unassisted Michael Paquette goal.

The Lions then went on to win the third period, 5-2, but it was too little, too late.

Scoring for the Lions in the third period against Hawks goaltender Brandon Lowery were Paquette, Taylor Eamon, Alex Kidd, Chris Pearson and Christian Leger. 

Sunday afternoon in Morrisburg, the Lions held their own in the first two periods. 

The Wolves went up 1-0 in the first period, but the Lions charged back in the second with counters from Chris Pearson and Michael Paquette to go up 2-1. 

The Wolves evened it 2-2 at 12:29 of the frame, and the tie held until early in the third period. 

That’s when the Wolves turned it up a notch for two quick goals at 2:36 and 3:35.

Christian Leger cut the gap to 4-3 at 6:17, but again the Wolves charged back with two goals, now to stretch their lead to 6-3.

Paquette got the Lions final counter in the last minute of play, and the Wolves flipped one more into the empty Lions net for the 7-4 win. 

Coming up this week, the Lions host the division’s first place Casselman Vikings, Saturday night, November 2. Game time is 7:30 p.m.


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Pumpkin Family Fun with BIA


“In spite of the nasty weather, well, here we are!” said BIA co-ordinator, Grace McDonough, on Saturday, October 26. 

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a family pumpkin carving event Saturday as part of the South Dundas celebration, the Season of Pumpkin People. Unfortunately, the night before the family fun activity (originally scheduled for the Morrisburg plaza near the clock) the weather turned bitterly cold. 

Rumour has it there was even some snow mixed in with the drizzle.

However, grey fall weather did not stop local families from coming out to take part in the pumpkin carving, nor did it stop the BIA from finding a way for the event to go on.

“We contacted the Morrisburg & District Lions Club in the morning,” McDonough explained, “and they loaned us their tent, and came and put it up for us, anchoring it in the grass near Riley’s Valu-mart. It was an enormous help to us.”

Valu-mart provided 200 pumpkins for carving. There were stencils and markers for drawing unique faces on the pumpkins prior to cutting, scoops for the “guts” and lots of support from volunteers.

Once a jack o’ lantern was completed, it was set aside for the official ‘lighting’: families were welcome to take their creations home as part of their Hallowe’en celebration.

“Everyone was welcome,” McDonough said, “and we had all sizes and ages here carving. Our event is a tie in with the Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village, and with the whole Hallowe’en and fall season.”

Assisting McDonough and the carvers were volunteers Christa St. Pierre, public educator for the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services and Marwauh Almousawy, a community volunteer.


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Curling Chatter-Off to a new fresh start


Another curling season at the Morrisburg Curling Club is well under way. 

First, there are a couple of things to mention. For those who haven’t made it inside the club this fall, you’re in for a treat! Thanks to our executive for a beautiful makeover. 

The handicapped washroom on the ground floor, the carpeting job, the repositioned and improved bar, the extra space we seem to have developed in the lounge, new doors, and the beautiful new ramp at the entrance are some of the many assets to our old club. 

Our thanks to the Ontario Trillium grant, which helped make many of the improvements possible. 

New windows behind the former bar area, as well as an entirely new wall there, granite counters for the new bar and the kitchen window, a new paint job, and our usual fine ice preparation have gotten us off to a fine start.

We missed some final news from last April. It was the senior men’s championship. Jack Barkley, Karl Duncan, Sam Laurin and Robert Martin dropped their first match to Sid Morrell, Ron Beaupre, Bud Perry and Gerald Thompson. 

Also on April 3, Pete Zeran, Len Bellamy, Keith Robinson and Jim Millard dropped their first one in a tight match to Wally McDonald, Glen Cougler, Earl Jeacle and Larry Ware. 

On April 5th, the ‘B’ division final saw the Zeran team win out over Jack Barkley’s foursome, taking 3rd and 4th place respectively. Curling beside them, the Morrell quartet and Wally McDonald’s team battled hard in the ‘A’ final, with Sid victorious again, and Wally finishing second. 

Congratulations to all, with the Morrell team getting their names on the Fraser trophy! It was a beautiful finish to an active season. Thanks for getting the details to us.

The new bonspiel season is under way, with a team of ladies in Kemptville last week for their ten-team bonspiel. It was a one-game affair, and our ladies played Carleton Heights. The Ottawa team pulled off the win, and everyone was dressed in witches’ costumes, with prizes for all. Our curlers were Greta McGann, Cheryl Thompson, Yvonne Mabo and Linda Murphy. Good start to the season, folks!

With the 2013-14 season, we have, as always, some new curlers, and some who have dropped out. We hope that those who have retired from the game will come in to watch and visit with the others. Curling began on the week of the 15th. It wasn’t possible to schedule the ‘swing and sweep’ this year, but there will be a number of club bonspiels through the year. Stay tuned.

For those who haven’t yet registered, see the senior men’s coordinator, Dave King, for the afternoon curling, or Alice Thompson for the women’s Tuesday afternoon league. 

Joe McCooeye is looking after the Tuesday night men’s league again, as they do battle for the Calvert Trophy. The Thursday morning league is again being handled by Ruth Kelly, the Thursday night competitive curlers by Ian Wilson, and the Friday night league by Mahlon Locke.

Information re outside bonspiels is posted as it comes in, and we will have a number of local ones: the first Two Person ‘Spiel will be announced shortly, the Stick ‘Spiel, coordinated by Glenn Cougler, will be held on Wed., Nov. 13, the Alzheimer’s Bonspiel on Sat. Nov. 23, and the Women’s Invitational on Tues., Dec. 3rd. 

Also, we need two teams for the Gamble Mixed Bonspiel on Nov. 16 in Russell.

    Good curling to all! 



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24th Street Wailers Will Rock on November 2


 When a band comes along that has fans and critics alike raving, well, that’s a band that is clearly going places.

And that pretty much describes the 24th Street Wailers.

“This is just great, gritty, fun live stuff.” (Dan Aykroyd, host of House of Blues Radio Hour)

“…The 24th Street Wailers are committed to the music, continually write better new material, and bring a sense of joy to the stage..” (Holger Peterson, CBC’s Saturday Night Blues)

One of the places the Wailers are going is Morrisburg, to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, on Saturday, November 2, at 7 p.m. 

Mark your calendar.

This break out band is made up of Lindsay Beaver, gut bucket singer/drummer, Emily Burgess on lead guitar, Jon Wong on sax and Michael Archer (Lindsay’s husband) on harmony bass. Together, they are creating  original, exciting and heartfelt blues-based music that is winning them a huge fan following. They’ve been touring across Canada and parts of the western United States since the first of April. 

I had the opportunity to talk with singer/musician Michael Archer, while the Wailers were in Jasper.

“Yes,” Archer said, “we’ve been  pretty constantly on the road, and we’ve been performing for a big mix of audiences, 15 festivals and many clubs.”

Part of the dynamic appeal of the Wailers is the strong bond the musicians have been successful in establishing with their audiences. It’s very clear that their music speaks to people.

 “We often invite folks to dance in our shows: when we were in Wolfville, we actually had a big group dancing and singing on stage along with us. Audiences are as much a part of the concert experience, I think, as we are. Keeping a concert exciting and fresh is such a big part of our performance.”

 “We never,” Archer said, “play at an audience.”

The 24th Street Wailers have been together for a little over three years. Among them, they have garnered a great many individual honours and accolades and each brings powerful musical skills to the unique Wailers sound.

I asked Archer what drew the group to the blues.

“It’s just great music,” he said. “I think it influences everything else musically. But we also are very into R&R. Blues and R&R were like the punk music of the 50s, which kind of matches our personalities and how we perform on stage,” he laughed. 

“We find that audiences react extraordinarily to the blues; people get involved and excited.”

What establishes the 24th Street Wailers’ uniqueness among blues performers?

“I believe the energy we bring to the music helps set us apart. We are not just playing traditional slow blues (although that’s great music too!): we are drawn to the more energetic numbers, the style of artists like Magic Sam and Nick Curran. It’s hard to describe, but we are mashing R&R and blues into a new 21st century feel,” he laughed. 

The Wailers have been earning critical  and fan kudos for their original songs; Archer says that there are definitely overtones of traditional blues themes in their writing, “but we like some humour in our songs,” he added, “not just ‘we’re depressed and you have to be too’.”

He shared the story of one of their songs, which revolves around their 20 year old tour van, with its shag carpet, the awning that rolls out from the side, the big eyelashes around the headlights. “Frankly, we can’t get a name for that song that sticks, but we have a lot of fun with it.”

Many of the group’s songs are born and developed on the road in that same old van.

“Lindsay and Emily bring a new idea to us, explaining ‘this is the feel we’re going for in this song.’ Jon and I perk up, and we play the piece together on the road. We find the best way to get a new piece of music out there is to play it together, sing it together, feel the song out.”

Where did the band’s name come from?

“The fact is, three of us still live on 24th street in Etobicoke,” Mike Archer said, deadpan, “and we just, well, ‘wail.’”

Sandra Whitworth of the board of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is clearly excited about the band’s visit to Morrisburg.

“The 24th Street Wailers is one of the most fun bands touring Canada right now…I’m not sure that any group could make us feel so happy listening to the blues, and I will be very surprised if we don’t have people dancing in the aisles at this show.”

The 24th Street Wailers will be performing at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, November 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $20 at the door and are available at The Basket Case, Morrisburg, Strung Out Guitars, Cornwall, or on line at


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Jack Van Hoof


A resident of the Williamsburg area for the past 44 years, Jack Van Hoof passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, October 19, 2013. He was 85.

Jack was born in Mariahout, The Netherlands on November 28, 1927, to his parents Petrus and Francisca Van Hoof (nee Bekx).  As a young man Jack served in the Dutch army in Indonesia, but he didn’t like the military because he was a peaceful man–never a fighter.  

Following his mandatory military service, Jack followed his childhood sweetheart Toni Byvelds to Canada, and on June 29, 1957, they were married at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Chesterville. Together they were blessed with six children.

Jack was a very hard working man and with his brothers-in-law, Gerry Byvelds and Tony Byvelds they formed a company named B & H Masonry.  Jack’s specialty was working with stone, and he was involved in the construction of many local homes until he retired in 1992.  

In addition to being a talented mason, Jack was also very good at woodworking.  His family and friends are proud owners of many wooden toys and keepsakes that Jack created.  

Jack and Toni liked to travel and took several bus trips across Canada and the United States.  He also enjoyed riding his bike and taking long walks.

Jack liked to garden, and he was very proud of his flowers and gardens.  He was a member of the Horticultural Society and also served as a member of their executive.  

Jack was a good man, a man of great faith and a loyal family man.  He was proud of his family and a devoted husband to Toni for 56 years.  

Jack leaves a wonderful legacy behind, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

Jack is survived by his wife Toni, his children Francine (Jos) Melenhorst of Winchester, Donald (Laurie) of Boucks Hill, Gary (Julie) of Morrisburg, Brian (Shanna) of Williamsburg, Paul (Donna) of Metcalfe and Lisa (Steve) Cassidy of Addison.

He will be sadly missed by his siblings Martien (Marta), Nella (Janes) Vander Hurk, Theo, Harrie (Maria), Gerard (Jeanne), Andre (Rina) and Katherine Sanders, all of Holland.  

Jack will be fondly remembered by 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  

He was predeceased by his parents Petrus and Francisca Van Hoof (nee Bekx), his sister Johanna Rooyakkers, his brother Karel and his granddaughter Michelle.    

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Morrisburg, on Tuesday, October 22nd at 11 a.m.  with Father Chisholm officiating.  Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Morrisburg.  

Honorary pallbearers were Ted Vanderzweep and Clare Racine.  Active pallbearers were Pat Byvelds, Pete Byvelds, Robert Byvelds, Raymond Van Moorsel, John Byvelds, Danny Byvelds, Mike Byvelds and Steven Byvelds. 

Donations to St. Mary’s Church, the Canadian Cancer Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.  Online condolences may be made at



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Don Smithson


A resident of Morrisburg for the past 59 years, Don Smithson passed away at home on Thursday, October 24, 2013. He was 81.

Don was born in Meaford on October 18, 1932, to his parents Edgar and Mary Smithson (nee Heron). 

He moved to Morrisburg in 1954, to work for Ontario Hydro’s Relocation Department for the St. Lawrence Seaway. On October 27th, 1956, he married Linda Casselman and together they had two daughters Pamela and Christie.  

Later, Don worked as a salesman for various concrete companies, owned Smithson Convenience Store, then worked for McGillis Home Hardware before working, until retirement, as Arena Manager at the Morrisburg Arena. 

Don is survived by his wife Linda Smithson (nee Casselman), his daughters Pamela Dawn Ropars (Paul) of Winchester and Christie Lynn Byvelds (Pat) of Williamsburg, his grandchildren Amanda Hodgson (Scott), Mark Byvelds (Christie), Danielle Ropars (Nick), Nicole Ropars and his great-grandchildren Olivia Hodgson and Marek Byvelds. 

He is also survived by his sisters Anne Hunter (Barry) of Meaford, Arlene Boothe (Jim) of Wasaga Beach and his brother Shawn Smithson (Connie) of Meaford and nieces and nephews.  

He was predeceased by his parents Edgar and Mary Smithson.  

Don was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by his family.

A private family service will be held at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg at a later date.  Interment of cremated remains will be at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg.

Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or CHEO would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.  Online condolences may be made at  



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Perspectives with Rev. Clarence Witten


Loyal for Life

My CFL football team, the Edmonton Eskimos, is in the cellar. My hockey team, the Oilers, is doing slightly better, but hardly, standing at three wins, seven losses, and one overtime win (at the time of writing).

Nevertheless, I’m a huge fan of both teams. Always have been. As a kid I’d bike about 20 km to watch the Eskies in their training camp outside of town and go to every game I could. Then when the Oilers came along as a WHA team, I jumped on the that bandwagon as well. I remember watching Gretsky before he was famous; well, at least, before he was in the NHL.

I guess I’ll be an Eskimos and Oilers fan for life, no matter how they do. My loyalty runs deep.

I have another loyalty however that runs far deeper, and is rather more important. It’s to God. 

As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t ever have a ‘poor season.’ When I compare his wins to his losses, he always comes out ahead. Personally I don’t think there’s anyone else in his league.

Nevertheless, having said that, it seems that he’s getting a lot of bad press lately. He gets blamed for the mess we’re making of the world. He is seen as irrelevant and unnecessary. We’re told it’s silly to believe in him, even dumb and unscientific. The Bible and its standards are seen as out-dated and too restrictive. Even people who once believed or went to church are giving up on him.

It reminds me of a story in the Bible that I preached on recently in John 6. The huge crowd that had been following Jesus slowly began to leave. Some disliked what Jesus said. Others just wanted a free lunch, and when Jesus didn’t come through, they left. When most of the crowd took off, Jesus turned to his few remaining followers and asked if they wanted to leave as well. Their answer? No way. “You have the words of eternal life.” They were loyal to the end. Why? Because in Jesus they found what they could find no place else.

I like that. I can relate. Over the years there have been things about God I don’t get. There are things I don’t even particularly like. 

Yet, I and many others, will remain loyal to the end. The reason is simple. It’s because we found something in Jesus that we can’t find anywhere else.

Like love, I mean, real love. I’m a pretty flawed human being. I’m surprised by the nasty things I say. I’m shocked by my impatience. I blush at some thoughts I entertain. Yet, the amazing thing is despite all this crud in my life, God loves me just the same, unconditionally, like no one else ever could. So how can I help but be loyal?

Besides, since coming to know him by faith in Christ, he’s changed my life. No, he didn’t wave a magic wand and make everything perfect. I wish. 

But what he did was give me a deep sense that all is well. That I belong to him. That the big questions of life are answered; that the big issues of life are resolved. That after this life is over, there’s heaven. Once again, how can I help, but be loyal?

So, in this day when loyalty to God is being challenged, when people are looking elsewhere for the answers to life, my question is: Where else would you go? Who else “has the words of eternal life?” Who else will love us perfectly? Who else has the power to heal our broken lives? Once we personally discover what God can do in our lives, we’ve got no choice but to be loyal for life..

Pastor Clarence Witten

Community Christian 

Reformed Church

Dixon’s Corners


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Suspected Meth lab in rural Williamsburg


 Police discovered and dismantled a sophisticated synthetic drug lab in a Forest Road bungalow, just north of Williamsburg October 23-24.

The drug lab is suspected of producing Methamphetamine.

A 29-year-old Greely man, Philippe Raymond, was arrested at the scene October 23, when members of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Ottawa Drug Enforcement Unit, OPP Emergency Response Team, Canine Unit, and local OPP officers from the Morrisburg detachment, along with officers from the Cornwall Community Police Service, served a Controlled Drug and Substances Act search warrant at the residence.

He was charged with various Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges, and taken to the Ontario Court of Justice in Cornwall for a bail hearing.

The drug lab, described by police as an economic-based synthetic drug lab, located in the garage of the house, was dismantled October 24.

An economic-based lab is one that exists for the sole purpose of producing synthetic drugs for sale to meet domestic/international demand. They are sophisticated in terms of the operation and equipment used. The majority of these are operated by organized crime groups.

Dismantling the lab was a concerted effort involving members of the OPP Clandestine Lab Investigative Response Team and other specially trained members of the OPP, with the assistance of local officers. Health Canada chemists, the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall and members of the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services were also part of the dismantling effort.  

Police seized over $15,000 and samples of various substances. The chemicals seized from the synthetic drug lab are being submitted to Health Canada for expert analysis.


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SDG Summit encourages sharing of best practices


Seventy municipal officials, including both managerial staff and elected officials from across The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry gathered at the South Nation Conservation Authority, October 25 for the first ever SDG Summit.

The idea of the summit was to bring together officials from SDG and all of the lower tier municipalities for a day long event to discuss common issues, to provide a common learning experience, and to share accomplishments and best practices.

The successful inaugural event drew much praise from those involved.

Sessions on waste management in SD&G, community planning, weed control and human resources, were featured topics.

Each municipality was asked to present a best practice topic relevant to their municipality, or to provide an update on a project underway or recently completed.

The Counties presentation by CAO Tim Simpson, touched on a number of planning and project completions, including departmental review and capacity building. New positions in IT and economic development have been added. Bringing economic development in house has been an important move for the Counties. SDG has added much interoffice communication to their regular protocol, having both formal and informal managerial meetings regularly. They too are working to increase communication and relationships with the lower tier municipalities. Quarterly meetings with the CAOs is part of that ongoing effort.

North Glengarry’s presentation focussed on that township’s changeover to the use of a VOIP phone system, that is conservatively estimated to save that municipality $30,000 a year in phone expenses. “It really made sense for our size of corporation,” said CAO Dan Gagnon. 

South Glengarry chose to focus their presentation on waste, garbage and septic. They are proud to report that they have recently completed landfill expansion process at two landfill sites, a long process that has taken about 10 years to complete. 

North Stormont Mayor Dennis Fife spoke about the success that municipality has had with a decision to purchase an excavator, thus allowing that municipality to complete a number of bridge projects they would not have been able to afford otherwise. 

South Stormont’s public works manager Ross Gellately spoke about the implementation of a simple request for service procedure and form that has not only allowed much more efficient handling of issues, but has allowed for better tracking and record keeping and reporting through this standardized form. South Stormont was also proud to report that they now have a mascot, Hootin’ Annie.

North Dundas’ best practices presentation included the successes of that municipality in communicating with its residents. This is done through an annual report to taxpayers, through publications such a their recreation guide and the use of social media. They have done things like online registrations, online billing and information nights and extended summer hours to allow better access to municipal services for their residents.  

South Dundas’ best practices presentation included the South Dundas Municipal Centre project that has preserved an historic building, and enabled the municipality to improve efficiencies by bringing staff all together in one space.  

Bringing water and sewer services in house, and the cost savings of doing so, and the amalgamation of three fire departments into one, unified entity, was also highlighted.