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Seaway runners second at Canada Cup

 

BROCKVILLE – The Seaway District High School intermediate cross country team of 23 runners finished a very rewarding season at Memorial Park in Brockville on Wednesday, October 30, in the first running of the Upper Canada Cup Cross Country Championship.

According to  a school board press release: The event brought together 1,270 junior and intermediate athletes from schools across the Upper Canada District School Board.

The winning team in the Intermediate category was the cross country powerhouse Thousands Islands Secondary School (TISS) of Brockville, while Queen Elizabeth Public School of Perth took the junior category.

Finishing in second spot overall in the intermediate division was the Seaway Team, which, along with TISS were the only two schools to score points in all four divisions, grade 7 boys and girls and grade 8 boys and girls.

“Finishing second to a school who has twice as many students as us and beating all other schools big or small was a result of hard work from our athletes and the philosophy of team first-individual second,” said Seaway coach Robin Gibbs. “I am extremely pleased with the performance of this team at the championship meet as well as all the meets this season.”

“Despite our small team in numbers, we were able to compete with any school out there,” added Gibbs.

In the media release, meet convener Randy Givogue said the event was organized to provide our students with an additional athletic opportunity at a time when issues of childhood obesity and wellness are concerns in our society. The high school teacher said that in his youth he did not have access to high-quality athletic events such as the Upper Canada Cup, and he knows how beneficial they can be for students.

“When you have an end goal of creating student wellness, hosting a first-class meet like this snowballs into success for students because they are training in the weeks leading up to it,” said Givogue. “There is no sport as good for your heart and lungs as running.”

The awards ceremonies were presided over by former NCAA All-American track star Matt Leeder, a graduate of TISS.

Individual champions at the event were: Mason Gavin, grade 8 boys, TISS; Lilly Meek, grade 8 girls Athens District H.S.; Claire Cushing, grade 7 girls, TISS; Dylan Butcher, grade 7 boys, Brockville Collegiate.

The Seaway High team had some big results with the Grade 8 boys leading the way for a second place finish overall. They were led by Grant Wells with a sixth and David Swerdfeger with a ninth. Adding their points for the second place finish were Noah Pederson, Devin Dumoulin, Kurt Cutler and Hunter Murphy.

The Grade 8 girls posted a third place finish overall. The team consisted of Abigail Jordan, who led the girls with an eighth place finish, and included Katie Buter, Grace Brooks, Sydney Piquette, Maiah Horne and Julenea Barnhartd.

At the Grade 7 level, the boys team of Trystan Pos, Aaron Tibben, Owen Orendi, Ryan Wiltshire and Colin Minish finished fourth overall. Tibben crossed the finish line in fourth, and Minish added a 10th place finish.

At the grade 7 level, the girls team of Keira Cameron, Kristin Van Hoof, Rebecca Ferguson, Sarah Backes, Cameryn Broad and Ashley Hanna finished sixth overall. Cameron crossed the finish line in seventh spot.

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Over $6,100 raised for mental health promotion

IROQUOIS – The suicide rate in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Prescott-Russell is twice the provincial average. That is the reason the local Canadian Mental Health Agency and people like Augusta Waddell, believe so strongly in the importance of mental health promotion in schools.

Waddell’s late son suffered from mental health issues and since his loss, Waddell has tirelessly worked toward improving mental health locally, by making the community more aware of the help and resources that are available. Also, she has been part of fundraising initiatives that have helped bring funds and awareness to programs that she believes are important to have locally. 

Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas, manager of mental health promotions with the local mental health agency, accepted a cheque November 1, from Augusta Waddell and Margaret Swerdfeger, who organized a Halloween dance and silent auction fundraiser. The well-supported event raised $6,166.

“The event was great,” said Waddell.  “The support was amazing.” 

Swerdfeger, said that the silent auction featured some wonderful items, generously donated by both individuals and business, not only locally but from across the region. 

“People were very supportive of the auction, but what was remarkable, was that people who came to the event and supported the auction, often just wrote a cheque to donate to the cause too,” said Swerdfeger. “People are just so generous.”

Ledoux-Moshonas was overwhelmed by the amount of money raised through this one time event. 

The CMHA’s Mental Health Promotion in Schools program is not at all supported through government funding, so all of the funds that make this program which costs about $175,000 to operate annually, comes through fundraising and donations.

Mental Health Promotion in Schools is a program that the CMHA strives to take to every school, especially intermediate and high schools. 

The five day program works on day one to dispel myths, teaches about the various disorders on day two and day three focuses on suicide prevention. 

“That is an important focus,” said Ledoux-Moshonas, adding that the suicide rate in this area is twice that of the provincial average. 

Day four educates students on stress management and the supports that are available to help and day five features a guest speaker who shares a personal experience with mental illness.

The CMHA works in the schools to try and alleviate some of the stigma surrounding mental health. Stigma continues to be a huge problem for people living with mental illness. 

This stigma can hinder those with mental illness and their families from reaching out for the help they need.

Waddell sees this stigma as a barrier for the family support group sessions that she has organized to take place once a month in Iroquois. While people will stop her on the street for a chat, she still has yet to have people come to the family support group sessions. 

“People want to talk, but they won’t come, because they are embarrassed. Often they are frustrated by the system, and if they would come out, we could share our experiences and help. Talking about it makes life easier,” said Waddell. 

She will continue to be at the Iroquois Civic Centre at 6 p.m., the third Tuesday of every month, for anyone who needs the family support group. Anyone interested or with questions can email Augusta directly at augusta.waddell@gmail.com

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Yefsi Restaurant Iroquois endeavour celebrated

The extended family and friends of George and Voula Vlacholias packed the Yefsi Restaurant Sunday, October 27 to celebrate this new endeavour for the longtime Cornwall restaurateurs. 

They are the former owners of North End Pizzeria, a business they successfully owned and operated for 20 years.

George explained that they decided to sell the City restaurant and try a new endeavour in a smaller town. 

Restaurant-goers in Iroquois are now benefiting from that decision.

After extensive renovations to the building located in the Iroquois Plaza that has been home to different restaurant endeavours over the years, Yefsi opened its doors for business June 3. The renovations started in December of last year. 

George found the idea of a smaller community restaurant, with less competition than a city restaurant very appealing, and so far so good, for the restaurant that offers quality food, including Greek and Italian dishes, at reasonable prices.

“I’m happy with the business,” said George. “The community is supporting me.”

George welcomed the crowd of about 50 people who gathered to officially celebrate the opening of Yefsi Restaurant in Iroquois, October 27.

“Thank you for your support, and I will do my best to serve you as best I can,” he said.

Among those on hand for the celebration were local MP Guy Lauzon who offered best wishes of success. “The people of South Dundas will support you. You offer quality food and the word is already out there,” he said. 

“Thank you for taking this leap of faith, and taking on this restaurant and transforming it into an excellent addition to South Dundas and to Iroquois,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds. “We are glad this venture is here in South Dundas.”

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Looking for Forever Homes

 

TeeJay- 5 year old Rottie, friendly with people & other dogs, not neutered. 

Five years plus, German Shepherd. Female. Not spayed. Beautiful, mature Shepherd. Completely trained and very gentle and friendly. Her first family had to move and couldn't take her, and her second attempt at a home did not work out when her new family tired of her. This girl really deserves a break, that would truly give her a FOREVER home.

Lindsay, 4 months old mixed breed terrier puppy. not spayed. Lindsay is a very gentle puppy and loves to snuggle and be petted. She is ready for a new home to hang her hat and ready to work hard on all that puppy training. Although she does need housetraining it has been noticed at the Shelter that she does try to wait to get outdoors, so it is suspected there had been some work done with her. We don't suspect that Lindsay will grow to be an overly large dog…probably on the smaller side of a mid-sized dog.

Dakota, Golden Retriever mixed, male puppy not neutered. Very affectionate, Dakota will be a good sized guy when he grows up. Like all Retrievers, Koda is already showing the trait of his breed, that being a "People dog". He appears to love all people, is very friendly and loves to romp and play. Has had a wee bit of training and will almost successful play retrieve. Dakota is a big, rolly, polly puppy who would be a perfect fit in a fun-loving family.

Peanut is a 1.5 to 2.5 year old Poodle mix. A tiny little boy, Peanut is very affectionate. He loves kisses and playing and is looking for a new home that he can call his own forever. Peanut is not neutered.

If you are interested in any of the above listed dogs please call Kevin at the South Dundas Animal Shelter at 613-543-2980 or 613-913-1476. For more information and pictures please check out our Facebook Page: South Dundas Pet Rescue and/or our website at straydogrescue.com

well-behaved. 

 

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November 11 bicentennial service at Crysler Memorial

 

UPPER CANADA VILLAGE – The Friends of the Crysler’s Farm Battlefield, a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the memory of this important military action, invites the public to a bicentenary remembrance service on November 11 at the battlefield memorial adjacent to Upper Canada Village. 

Residents from throughout the district are invited to attend  and are asked to assemble at 12:30 p.m. at the Battlefield Memorial adjacent to Upper Canada Village.

Taking part in the ceremony will two Canadian Forces reserve units, the SD&G Highlanders, along with their regimental pipeband, and les Voltigeurs de Québec – both of which received battle honours earlier this year for their ancestral units’ role in turning back the American invasion of 1813.

Also to part of the commemoration are the The Canadian Fencibles, 49th Regiment of Foot and the 1st Grenville Militia – re-creations of regiments that fought at Crysler’s Farm and First Nations representatives, to commemorate the participation of these allies of the Crown.

Long before the eleventh of November became an international day of remembrance, it was a sombre anniversary for those in Eastern Ontario – and indeed Canada. 

On that day in 1813, British and Canadian forces numbering 1,200 defeated an invading American force of some 4,000 men on the muddy fields adjacent to John Crysler’s farm, near present day Morrisburg.

If we had not won at Crysler’s Farm, Canada would not be the country we have come to know.

Combined with a British victory at the Battle of Chateauguay two weeks earlier, Crysler’s Farm put an end to the campaign to attack Montreal by the largest concentration of American forces prior to the U.S. Civil War. 

It was by far the most important event locally in a war that eventually ushered in an era of peace that has lasted for 200 years.

The Friends of Crysler’s Farm Battlefield will bus hundreds of grade 7 and 8 students (The War of 1812 is part of the Ontario Grade 7 history curriculum) from across Stormont and Dundas Counties to attend the service and a special presentation by Major General Lewis MacKenzie (ret) to immediately precede the remembrance service. 

Major General MacKenzie will present to local students using Crysler’s Farm as the starting point for his presentation entitled “Beware of the underdog”, focusing on flexibility, stealth and the motivation provided by defending one’s homeland, and then moving on to other Canadian examples where we were the underdog –but prevailed. 

These include Vimy Ridge in World War I, the Italian Campaign in WWII, Kapyong in Korea, the Medak Pocket in the Balkans and Madussa in Afghanistan. 

Major General MacKenzie is best known for commanding Sector Sarajevo in 1992, as part of the United Nations Protection Force  (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia . He is also well known as a media commentator on military affairs.

The public is invited to Major General Mackenzie’s presentation as well as the subsequent memorial service. Visitors are asked to assemble at 12:30 PM.

The presentation and memorial service are made possible through support from the federal Department of Canadian Heritage.

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25 years of caring and sharing in South Dundas, 2013 Christmas Exchange is underway

 

MORRISBURG–For the 25th consecutive year, the South Dundas Christmas Exchange is enlisting people from the community to work together to bring a bit of joy and hope into the lives of many of our less fortunate neighbours.  

While the Christmas season may be an exciting time for many, there are also those, who often through no fault of their own, find this a stressful and unhappy time.  

These are the members of the South Dundas community to whom the Christmas Exchange reaches out. 

Families needing a bit of a hand in making this a happier time are invited to register with the South Dundas Christmas Exchange Hot Line which will be in operation from 1 to 4 p.m. only, Monday to Friday, from November 11th to November 22nd. 

As this is a private line donated by one of our local Churches, those registering are asked not to call other than the days and times specified. The Hot Line number is 543-2005. 

The Christmas Exchange mandate is “to ensure that families in need are provided with the making of a nice Christmas dinner with some of the traditional trimmings.”

Again this year we will work closely with the South Dundas Food Bank,” says Exchange chair, Carol Richer.  “All Christmas Baskets will be provided by the Christmas Exchange.  Because of the large number of baskets to be prepared, however, it is impossible to do all of them at the Legion Hall.”

“The co-operation of the Food Bank in distributing those for singles has made this a more manageable task for the past few years, and will continue this year,” says Richer. 

Singles are reminded that they must register through the Food Bank, 543-0065,  and not through the published Hot Line number.  Only family registrations will be accepted through the Hot Line. 

Receiving a Christmas Basket will not disqualify any Food Bank client from receiving their regular assistance, but is simply meant to make Christmas a bit special for them and their family. 

“Although the Christmas Exchange provides a well stocked Christmas Dinner Basket, we know that some families will require additional assistance. They can contact the Food Bank to discuss their special needs with the co-ordinator.”

Richers confirms that the Morrisburg Lions Club sponsored Angel Trees, will again be located at the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank of Montreal in Morrisburg, and at SDS Kerr/Beaver Dental.  

In Iroquois, Sandra Johnston will be co-ordinating the Angel Tree at the Bank of Montreal.  

The community is invited to watch for the Angel Trees later in November, and reminded to return all gifts by the dates specified.  

The gifts and toys collected will be distributed through the Christmas Exchange, along with the Dinner Baskets.  

In addition those wishing to make financial donations, for which Tax Receipts will be issued, may send cheques to:  The South Dundas Christmas Exchange, P.O. Box 450, Morrisburg, ON   K0C 1X0.

Monetary donations may also be made at Valu-Mart in Morrisburg, through the “Top-up Program” which will get under way later in November. The Top-up Program is as simple as asking your cashier to add a donation to your grocery bill.

Financial donations enable organizers to purchase turkeys, hams and other perishable food items, and are critical to the success of this project.

Volunteers are also needed, particularly people interested in taking on organizational roles. 

Some of our volunteers have been working with the Christmas Exchange for many years, and there is a need for some younger folk to come forward to take over. Call Carol Richer to discuss how you can help.  

Organizers are counting on the support and assistance of as many as possible in making this 25th year the most successful ever.  

“A sincere thanks goes out to all volunteers who have worked with the Christmas Exchange over the past 25 years, some of whom are still involved,” says Richer.  “They are true examples of the caring and generous people who make up the community of South Dundas, and are to be commended for demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas.”

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Launch of 2014 Season at the Playhouse

 

 Last year they were caught by surprise.

This year, however, Upper Canada Playhouse artistic director, Donnie Bowes, and his staff were prepared to cope with the rush of people taking advantage of their pre-season tickets and flex pass sales. The new season of musicals and plays at the Playhouse was officially announced on Monday, November 4.

“Just like last year, people were lined up outside the theatre door by 8:15 a.m.,” Bowes said, “and our box office didn’t even open until 10 a.m. It is simply amazing.”

Judging by the response to the launch of the new season last year, staff at the Playhouse will probably be swamped for at least two days, and the phone calls and walk-ins will be strong for a good two weeks. Bowes indicated that as many as 50 per cent of the tickets for the season are often sold before December. And the Playhouse Flex Pass continues to be very popular with purchasers.

This year Bill Halman, of Variety 104.5 and CJSS, was on air live, broadcasting from the box office of the Playhouse.

“Shows here at the Playhouse are fantastic,” Halman said. “It’s great for Corus Entertainment to sponsor some of them.”

Audiences have an exciting, hilarious and star-studded line-up to look forward to in the new season.

“I like to announce our new season before the old one is completely over,” Bowes said. “Our audiences like to ‘look at life through a comic lens,’ so two of our summer shows will be very popular farces, A Bedfull of Foreigners and Lend Me A Tenor, which feature jam-packed hilarity on stage.

And Norm Foster, Canada’s most popular and renowned playwright is bringing The Ladies’ Foursome to the Playhouse for our second show.”

Foster’s hugely successful play, The Foursome, has left audiences asking for a sequel for 20 years. 

“Norm called us this summer, said he was currently writing the sequel, and asked if we would like to premier the production,” Bowes laughed. “Well, did we ever! We are thrilled to be staging the debut of an original, exciting Norm Foster comedy.”

Foster himself will be starring in the fourth production of the 2014 season, On A First Name Basis, a spectacular show which has played to sold out tours in Canada and Florida.

And that’s just the main summer season at the Playhouse!

Coming in April will be the musical revue, Memories of Summer Love, by Chris McHarge and Colin Stewart, a blockbuster homage to the music of the 1960s, and, in October, their Memories of Rock & Roll is sure to have Playhouse crowds cheering.

And for the final show of the 2014 season, the theatre is offering actor/playwright Jesse Collins’ new play, Lights, Camera, Christmas!, an hilarious and heart-warming musical story  set around the making of a 1970’s Christmas Variety Show. 

“Hopefully this will be a season audiences will really enjoy. A real balance of plays and different types of comedy,” said Bowes. “We feel we have a good idea what our audiences want to see.”

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2013 Poppy Drive for Remembrance

 

“Lest we forget!”

Every year from the last Friday in October until November 11, Remembrance Day, all Royal Canadian Legions conduct the Poppy Campaign, one of the most important campaigns in the Legion year. 

On Sunday, November 3, the 1st Iroquois Scouts joined members of Branch # 370 in canvassing the community of Iroquois in support of the annual Poppy drive.

For over three centuries, Canada has relied on her sons and daughters to answer the call when Canada has had to face the horror and tragedy of war. 

The poppy has been a symbol of Remembrance since 1921. Following the Napoleonic Wars, the red flower was associated with the graves of soldiers. Colonel John McCrae’s famous 1915 poem, written in the trenches of World War I, however, brought national attention to the poppy. The Great War Veterans Association officially adopted the poppy as the flower of Remembrance in July, 1921.

“We ask our fellow citizens, during this campaign to donate money to support the services we provide at the Legion, and to clearly show their recognition of the debt owned to those Canadians who gave their lives for our freedom,” said Darlene Riddell of the Iroquois Legion. “The money raised is put into a public trust fund and used to support ex-service personnel and their families, but also to support community needs and services.”

The Scouts are proud to join with the Legion in the Poppy Drive, according to cub leader, Nancy Richer.

“The Legion has supported us for many years. Helping them canvas is just a small way of saying thank you to them for all they have done for us,” she said.

The Scouts were presented with a certificate of appreciation by poppy chair, Beverly Poore, who recently retired following a career with the Canadian army. The Scouts also received a cheque from president Ralph Martin, which will help the Cubs and Scouts continue to run their programs and camps.

“We rely on the youth of our community to come forward and lend a helping hand,” Riddell said. 

The Iroquois Legion will be holding its Remembrance Day services at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 10, at the Legion, followed by the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph.

The community is invited to attend the ceremony,  to once again show that “we do not forget.” 

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Crucial Skirmish focus of 1812 commemoration at Iroquois Point

 

For most Canadians, a skirmish fought on November 7, 1813, near a little place called Point Iroquois, is often overshadowed by the decisive Battle of Crysler’s Farm, which took place on November 11, 1813.

Under  the command of General James Wilkinson, 1,200 invading American troops attacked the 200 men of the 1st Regiment of Dundas Militia led by Captain Michael Ault. The American forces ultimately overwhelmed the dogged resistance of the defenders. The Point fell.

Yet the actions of the Iroquois militia on Nov. 7 delayed the main American advance, giving Lt.-Col Joseph Morrison, commander of the British and Canadian soldiers at Crysler’s Farm, the crucial time he needed to organize his forces.   

On Saturday, November 9, the battle for Point Iroquois will once again be played out, near the locks, in modern day Iroquois, as the Iroquois-Matilda Lions host a spectacular military re-enactment. More than 65 Canadian and American re-enactors will take to the field in a full scale staging of the 1813 fight.

“This is going to be an incredibly exciting day,” said Steve Wilson, past president of the Lions. “We are going to be recognizing significant events in our community’s past. And we are dedicating four black granite plaques as permanent symbols of the Capture of Point Iroquois, the Toussaint Island Ambush, the Blockhouse known as Fort Needless and the Rallying of the 1st Regiment of Dundas Militia.”

The South Dundas War of 1812 Commemoration Project has been over a year in the planning. Walter Reid, president of the Iroquois-Matilda Lions, gives full credit to two planners and organizers.

“Historian and mason Howard Kirkby and Lion Jacques Asselin, chair of the Commemoration Committee, have done outstanding work,” he said.

“Jacques and I thought of the history of this village, of the connection with the Seaway, and the project really evolved from that,” Kirkby said. “With the War of 1812 so prominent in the news, we wanted to get people involved and excited about local history. With a new Waterfront Trail a possibility, we felt that signage in the community was important. The creation of special commemorative plaques was a natural progression.”

The plaques (made by Liz McCooeye and Dale Crowder) have each been locally sponsored. The Iroquois-Matilda Lions donated one; the Friendly Brothers Lodge (Masonic) #143 gave one; and the Cardinal Masonic Lodge #491 (now amalgamated with the Friendly Brothers) gave one. The fourth memorial has been donated by Frank Ault. His family is descended from a man who fought in the 1813 Skirmish in Iroquois and also at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. 

“Howard and I were very excited about this project from the first,” said Jacques Asselin. 

The Lions were looking for major community projects to sponsor. “When we saw the dedicated work of Howard and Jacques and realized that this was a real community project, we had to get involved,” said Lions president Reid.

Enlisting re-enactors for the battle in Iroquois was both interesting and challenging for Howard Kirkby. The 15th US Regiment, New York’s Forsyth’s Rifles, New York’s 1st Light Artillery, the Canadian Fencibles, the Grenville Militia and the Canadian Voltigeurs will all be at the Point November 9, along with an honour guard from the SD&G Highlanders under former honourary colonels (and enthusiastic Project supporters) Jim Brownell and Bill Shearing.

“I approached the co-ordinator of re-enactments at Fort Wellington. He looked at our proposal, visited the Point, learned we would be holding a memorial service for the fallen, and saw our dedication to the project. He gave us his support,” said Kirkby. Then he laughed. “I also met with re-enactors from New York State and gave them the history of Iroquois, asking them to take part in our event. 

One of them asked me, “Did we win?” I said, “Well, on Nov. 7, 1813, you did win.” “We’ll be there,” he said.”

The troops will be mustering around 10 a.m., followed by the dedication of the commemorative plaques near the flagpoles at 11 a.m.  At 11:30, there will be a memorial ceremony to honour those 1812 veterans who fell in defense of Canada. 

At 2 p.m., the Capture of Point Iroquois will be re-enacted, with soldiers taking to the battle field to the sound of drums, musketry and artillery.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy exhibits set up in the Civic Centre in Iroquois ranging from quilts, and 19th century memorabilia to military firearms. The United Empire Loyalists Society will be at the Centre, as will Parks Canada and representatives of the 1st Dundas Militia.

“And quite a few of us will ourselves be in period costumes throughout the day,” added Howard Kirkby.

Lunch and dinner are available at the Iroquois Golf Club, with tickets on sale at Mustard’s Variety or at the door. All the events at the Point and at the Civic Centre are free of charge. A free will offering would be appreciated.

“We are running a bus every half hour or so, starting at noon,” said Jacques Asselin, “so people can leave their cars in the plaza.

“I believe this Project is a very good example of what a community can do when people decide to get involved,” said Kirkby. “When people see what the Iroquois-Matilda Lions have done, I hope it will be like looking into the future, and inspirational to the next generations. This project could never have happened without the Lions.”

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