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South Dundas continues to prepare for emergencies

South Dundas emergency management officials along with those from  North Dundas, South Stormont, North Stormont and the United Counties will be carrying out annual emergency response training together with exercises today (Wednesday, September 21st).

While residents across the country are encouraged to be prepared for an eventual emergency, Ontario municipalities are required to conduct emergency preparedness training and exercises on an annual basis.

South Dundas along with the other three townships and the United Counties follow a five-year program of training and exercises.

The training focuses on functional responsibilities within emergency management organizations, and the exercises reinforce those responsibilities under scenarios based on the priority hazards of the area.

The Province of Ontario is encouraging all emergency response organizations to adopt a common emergency management philosophy called the Incident Management System (IMS) which would provide a standardized organizational structure, functions, processes, and terminology.

These four townships and the United Counties have been leaders in implementing IMS. This year’s training and exercise will continue to build their effectiveness in operating during a potential emergency under IMS.

The United Counties and its six townships have established a Mutual Assistance Agreement to support each other during an emergency.

Working together with training and exercises as is the case on September 21st, the five emergency management organizations will be able to foster the sense of cooperation that will be needed in an emergency incident.

The exercise is funded under the Federal Government’s Joint Emergency Preparedness Program. In Ontario, this program is administered by Emergency Measures Ontario.

This annual training and exercise is just one aspect of the work carried out each year by the five Emergency Management Program Committees.

Following a five-year training and exercise program, the committees ensure that their emergency management program highlights potentially high emergency risks on a continuing basis.

Township committees have been in existence since 1998, when the townships were created through amalgamation. The United Counties followed them a few years later.

The Township of South Dundas is committed to being a disaster-resilient community.


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World renowned speaker to talk of ‘care for the dying’

Backed by overwhelming community response, a committee of volunteers, loosely associated with the Dundas County Hospice, is bringing world renowned speaker on topics relating to the care of the dying, Maggie Callanan to Winchester for a one-day workshop on Saturday, September 24.

“No one likes to talk about death and dying,” says Jan Clapp of Winchester who is co-chairing the Hospice Day Committee with Linda Johnston, an Oncology Nurse at Winchester Hospital. “This workshop is to increase comfort and awareness and is geared to people (in addition to professional caregivers) who perhaps have a loved one who is dying.”

Maggie Callanan, who is located on the American east coast, became a hospice nurse in 1981. She has since studied, taught and written about death and dying. She delivers practical no-nonsense answers to difficult questions tempered by humour, wisdom and compassion.

She has authored two books: Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness Needs and Communication of the Dying and Final Journeys: A Practical Guide to Care and Comfort at the End of Life.

The campaign to bring Callanan to Winchester began after Clapp’s Book Club read Final Gifts.

“I’ve been in Palliative Care for a longtime,” says Clapp who is the facilitator for the Dundas County Hospice Course. “It’s absolutely the best book I’ve ever read.”

After reading the book Clapp noticed a contact on the back cover. She e-mailed the website not expecting anything to come of it, but less than two hours later she was contacted by Callanan by telephone.

“We are of the same vintage, and we connected well.”

When Callanan said she would be interested in coming to this area to speak, Clapp says she was excited about the possibility, but a little hesitant due to the cost of bringing her here.

The cost was too much for the Dundas Hospice to commit to and as a result a committee was formed with Clapp and Johnston as the co-chairs. Nellie Leightizer and Betty Guy came on board as representatives of Hospice, and Winchester United Church Minister Christine Lowson, Joanne Notman, Michel Renaud (an oncolocy nurse) and Bea Warren all stepped up.

“Diane Crummy and Doris Baker are our food folks,” says Clapp. “They contacted 16 area churches for help, and all but one, which had another commitment, are helping us with our lunches. That’s a wonderful statement of our community.”

“The whole thing is just meant to be. The spirit in this community is just so special. We have good people here.”

In addition to the committee volunteers, both North and South Dundas councils have committed $400 to the workshop, Annette Angus has donated accommodations at her bed and breakfast Terrace Green at Winchester and Gib Patterson at Cloverdale Links has donated air miles.

Clapp stresses the event is not a fund raiser. “Our first goal is education and awareness. It’s not set up as a fund raiser, but if there is extra money we will donate it to Dundas County Hospice.”

The workshop based on the novel, Final Gifts, will provide a wonderful opportunity to all those who provide palliative care in a professional capacity and especially to the public in general.

To be able to make a donation the committee is hoping to sell out at 200 participants at $25 per person.

The workshop will be based on Callanan’s novel Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness Needs and Communication of the Dying. It will take place at the Winchester Community Centre on Saturday, September 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Registration can be made at and should be made as promptly as possible as spaces are limited.


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An apple-icious outing

Last Wednesday morning, some 20 plus youngsters with their moms, dads and grandpas and grandmas in tote visited Smyth’s Apple Orchards here, to pick a basket or two and, yes, to even munch on an apple or two.

Fiona Carr, the Family Resouroce Coordinator at the Ontario Early Years Centre in Iroquois, was excited about the great turnout for the annual trek to Smyth’s Orchards which included a tour of the packing facility and the opportunity for the kids to fill their own baskets.

The apple season is in full swing in South Dundas, and Sandra Beckstead says apple lovers can expect good quality and good quantity apples this year.

“The apples are on the smaller side,” she explains. “We didn’t get enough rain this summer  which results in smaller apples.”
Beckstead says that because of the lack of rain the trees are stressed and the apples are dropping. “So it is rush, rush, rush for us to get them picked. Mother Nature has a lot of control over us.”

The Macs, Honey Crisp, Lobo, Wealthy, Cortland, Royal Gala and Spartans are now available


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Runners bring $1,030 to the finish line

They ranged in age and running ability, and they all had something in common…raising money for the Children’s Playground scheduled to be built in the Earl Baker Park in Morrisburg on Saturday, September 28.

The  ‘Let Them Be Kids’ Fun Run was held this past Sunday morning under perfect weather conditions and when the final runner had crossed the finish line at the Morrisburg dock a total of $1,030 had been raised for the playground build.

“We had a great turnout of runners,” said Isabella Jordan, a volunteer with the playground committe who was the main organizer of the run.

“Our youngest participant was five years old, and we had a variety of runners ranging from five to 65 years.

In addition, the run attracted a number of avid runners, some of whom are training for the Army Run in Ottawa next weekend.

“The race was well-marshalled with the help of many volunteers including OPP Constable John Macpherson who made sure the race course was safe for all.”

Participants were allowed to walk or run their choice of one, two and five km routes.

Jordan expressed her thanks to SDS Beavers Dental for their sponsorship of the run and to everyone who “took the time to participate, be active, and contribute to the success of the new playground.”

“The generous Beavers sponsorship allowed every dollar collected through registration fees to go directly to the playground effort.”
Supporting sponsors, also thanked, included the Morrisburg Lions Club (in kind), Robert Jordan Construction, Cruickshank Construction, South Dundas Recreation and the Cruickshank Amphitheatre committee.

“We had a great network of volunteers who all came out to help and I think that alone was one of the biggest factors in making the event a success.”


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Outstanding roster of speakers for 2011-2012 Canadian Club

A veritable who’s who of noted Canadians, from journalists and television personalities to renowned historians and scientists, will be the guest speakers at the 2011-12 Canadian Club series.

The Morrisburg and District Canadian Club, which has flourished in Morrisburg since 1925, has welcomed many, many distinguished speakers to the community of South Dundas over the years.
During the upcoming 2011-2012 season, six notable Canadians will entertain, inform and challenge audiences on issues of international and national importance.

Canadian Club opens the year on September  21, with recently retired long-time news anchor Max Keeping, well known to area residents as the long-serving voice and face of CTV in Ottawa (CJOH).

Keeping, a celebrity throughout eastern Ontario and western Quebec, has always demonstrated a deep interest in giving back to the community and, in particular, to supporting children. Although he is ‘retired’, he continues to serve as the station’s community ambassador. His address is entitled Are You Into Community.

October 19, the Club welcomes the distinguished historian, Dr. Sarah Glassford, who holds a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Ottawa. In collaboration with 13 other academics from across Canada, she has researched the experiences of Canadian and Newfoundland women during World War 1. Just in time for Remembrance Day, Dr. Glassford will speak on A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service.

A resident of Iroquois, and a noted and knowledgeable authority in politics, international development, consulting and real estate development among many other interests, Duncan Edmonds will be the guest speaker at the November 16 meeting of the Canadian Club. Edmonds will focus on his meeting with Sir Winston Churchill, and why Churchill deserves to be regarded as one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

In the new year, March 21, the Canadian Club will welcome senior Climatologist with Environment Canada in Toronto, David Phillips. Originator and author of Canada’s Weather Trivia Calendar Phillips is often seen on television explaining weather events across the country. He will explore the Canadian fascination with weather and climate.

Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Charlotte Gray, the April 18 guest speaker at Canadian Club, is the author of the acclaimed best-seller Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike. Gray, who has eight other published works, is currently the chair of Canada’s National History Society. She will discuss the excitement and the challenges of writing popular history during her address to the Club.

Finishing off the incredible line-up of speakers will be television personality and CBC-TV news anchor Adrian Harewood. Like Max Keeping, Harewood also has a strong interest in volunteers and the work they do in society. His address promises to be both  stimulating and fascinating.

Canadian Club offers tickets (each of which includes six full dinners) to this entire outstanding 2011-12 series for a $95 membership. 

Membership in Canadian Club is open to everyone and new members are very welcome.

Dinner for each event is served at 7 p.m. Meetings last around two hours.

Tickets for individual evenings may also be purchased in advance for $20 each.

Wednesday, October 19, will be a special Invite Your Friends Meeting at Canadian Club, and guest tickets for this event only will be $15.

For more information about Canadian Club memberships and tickets, contact Clara Edwardson at 613-774-2407 or Doug Grenkie at 613-543-2922.


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OPP needs your help

SD&G OPP need the public’s help in identifying the driver of a motorcycle that was involved in two incidents over the long weekend.

The motorcycle was observed travelling at very high rates of speed and passing other motorists in a dangerous manner on County Road 31, Dundas Township.

The motorcycle is described as a Blue & White “Ninja” type bike with a front fairing.

The operator is described as wearing a full leather suit with matching colors.

It’s everyone’s responsibly to help keep our roadways safe, if you observe an aggressive driver please call your local OPP detachment.

Anyone with information is asked to call SD&G OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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Iroquois & District celebrates the McIntosh Apple

What better way to honour the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple than to hold a major festival?

The Iroquois & District Celebration Festival Committee, chaired by Candace Menges, has organized a fun-filled, exciting all day Apple Festival in Iroquois in honour of the famous McIntosh apple on Saturday, September 17. Working in conjunction with Sandra Beckstead of Smyth’s  Apple Orchard, organizers have seen to it that there are events, crafts, contests, entertainment, vendors, food, tours and historical displays that will tie into the heritage of the McIntosh apple.

“The Dundela McIntosh apple is the parent to all McIntosh apple varieties throughout the entire world, and also to many other apple varieties like the Cortland, which has the McIntosh as one of its parents,” said Sandra Beckstead of Smyth’s Apple Orchard. “We are very excited that there is going to be a big celebration of the McIntosh this weekend.”

This 200th anniversary of the McIntosh has been recognized nationally.

“The Apple Commission held a celebration in honour of the McIntosh at the Harbour Castle in Toronto,” Beckstead said. “We have also received congratulations from Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and prime minister Stephen Harper.”

Sadly, the last known first-generation tree grown from a graft of the original McIntosh apple tree died this summer and had to be cut down.

However, twigs were cut from the tree and have been grafted to root stock at Upper Canada Village. Three seedlings have survived. Sandra Beckstead remains very hopeful the original strain can be preserved.

The Iroquois Apple Festival  September 17 promises to be a great day for everyone.

“We are trying to revive summer festivals here in Iroquois,” said Candace Menges. “We wanted to bring our community back together for a new celebration.

Our committee of volunteers came up with the idea of celebrating the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh.”

Events run all day long with the farmers’ market opening at 8 a.m. on Saturday. There will be numerous vendors and sidewalk sales as well as plenty of food, entertainment and activities.

Most major events will be free.

“We have a visitors’ centre set up in the former Little Rikki’s restaurant in the plaza,” Menges said. “Smyth’s has set up an historic display there about the McIntosh with trivia sheets. People can also catch a shuttle there to the orchard for a tour. We will be registering pies and desserts, the baby contest and offering kids games and crafts at the centre.”

Petting zoos, pony rides, Tribeck Inflatables, face painting and plenty of contests will be the order of the day.

“We have the Howard sisters singing during our opening ceremonies, and the local band Landmark performing starting at 11 a.m.

We do ask people to come with their own lawn chairs.”

Iroquois Lawn Bowling is sponsoring the lunch barbecue. Apple bingo will be held at the Iroquois Legion, followed by a steak barbecue (tickets available at the Legion) with DJ Dave Farcey providing evening entertainment.

“We hope everyone will join us at the Apple Festival in Iroquois and revive community spirit,” Menges said. “We are excited to be part of the celebration of the famous McIntosh apple.”


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Solar PV Sytem in South Dundas

Jane and Robert Sachs opened their backyard to the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, local politicians and the press on September 8th.

The Sachs hired Joey van Koppen, owner of We Can Contracting, to install a new solar unit in their backyard.

Sanyo, one option for solar panels, explains: “In Photovoltaics, the sun’s radiation energy is transformed into electric energy. This is accomplished by means of solar cells.”

“Photovoltaic systems have a power inverter or AC inverter. The inverter converts the direct current generated by the cells into alternating current, which can then be used for household purposes or to be fed into the public electricity grid.”

Robert Sachs, who has a wind turbine in the backyard as well as a solar hot water heater, explained: “we always wanted solar.”

He went on to say that the couple had been contemplating solar for quite some time, but hadn’t been enthusiastic about the roof unit options.

“What really sold me (on this Sovello unit) was that this is 60 per cent Canadian,” said Jane Sachs.

She went on to explain that solar power had been a dream of her father’s for quite some time. The Sachs’s solar unit is dedicated to Jane’s parents, Karl and Anna Gross.

The Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) microFit Program is receiving a lot of credit for the increase in Solar PV systems.

From the OPA’s microFit Program Overview: “If you are a homeowner, farmer or small business owner, or if you manage an institution such as a school or place of worship, you have the opportunity to develop a very small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project – of 10 kilowatts or less in size – on your property.”

“You’ll be paid for all the electricity you produce through the microFit Program.”

Also, in the OPA’s overview document: “The microFit Program is a stream of OPA’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program for renewable energy in Ontario. It is intended to encourage the development of “microscale” renewable energy projects across the province.”

“Owners of these projects will be paid a fixed price for the electricity they produce.”

Sachs has a 20 year contract with OPA for the fixed amount of 64 cents per unit. The system is set up as a business, Jane’s Solar Farm, which comes with tax benefits.

Those who contracted for a system prior to July of last year receive 80 cents per unit regardless of whether they have a ground or a roof system. Today, roof units receive 80 cents per unit while ground units will receive 64 cents per unit.

The unit became operational July 27th and the Sachs received their first receipt from hydro last week for approximately $1,000.

In response to whether there is a wait before receiving the first receipt from hydro, Jane Sachs said, “It’s a matter of doing the paperwork properly.” She also credited van Koppen for his help with paperwork as well as with being an intermediary for the Sachs with hydro and the government.

According to Sachs, the payment system works one month behind – a receipt stating how much was earned will come at the end of a month and the direct deposit will come the following month.

The 10 kilowatt unit installed in the Sachs backyard, according to van Koppen,  gives “the best return on investment for the size and cost of the unit.”

A unit similar to the one the Sachs had installed will cost approximately $75,000. According to Robert Sachs, the return on investment with a solar panel far outweighs any other investment options available.

The Sachs should see a return on their investment within approximately eight years.

For those considering installing solar panels on their house or property, it was pointed out that the contract between homeowner and hydro can be transferred to new owners and that the cost of the solar panel will be factored into the price of the house.

In terms of taxation, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds confirmed that the property’s present designation will stay the same. For example, if it’s residential, it will stay residential.

Also of note, the cost of insurance for the unit “isn’t much” says Jane.

As for how the unit works, van Koppen informed visitors that “it tracks the sun.” The system has “sensors that tell it exactly where to be” and there are “two DC motors (that) power it.” The amount of power used is reported to be minute.

There are two hydro lines connected to the unit: one draws power and the other delivers power.
The Solar PV system at the Sachs house is made with German parts from Sovello, which were assembled in Toronto, Ontario.

Van Koppen uses Sovello because of its reputation for making quality products. He is working on his fifth installation and has four more customers in line. His focus for these systems is to “do more quality than quantity.”

Guests to the presentation included Jim Brownell as well as members of the South Dundas council.

Brownell who is no longer the “official” MPP for the area now that the writ has dropped and the election campaigns have begun, stated that he is “still very interested and very involved” in the happenings of the area. He insists that he won’t actually be retired until the appointment of a new MPP on October 6th.

In his speech he thanked the Sachs for the invitation, claiming that this was his “first time to get up close and personal to a solar panel.” He went on to comment about solar energy and expanding opportunities.

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds expressed his gratitude at being invited to the event saying, “I’m here to learn along with everyone else.”

In addition to van Koppen, Atel Air of Williamsburg also installs Solar PV systems.

According to Jimmy Thom, Atel Air uses Sanyo panels. The company has installed approximately four units so far, one ground and three roof units.

The price of installations at Atel Air are comparable to that of We Can Contracting.

Thom admits that there is a “lot of bureaucracy to get a solar system up and running,” but Atel Air workers are there to do the “leg work” for customers.

In terms of popularity, Thom reveals that there seems to be a lot of hesitation on the part of consumers because of the government control involved.

However, for those willing to make the investment and accept whatever risk may be involved, there is the opportunity for great return on investment.

Both companies provide on-site consultations and recommendations. Atel Air offers financing options.

In terms of product? Sanyo offers 10 year warranty on materials and labour and a 20 year warranty on “constant productivity for the system.” Sovello offers a 5 year warranty on materials and labour and a 10 year warranty on the system’s productivity output.

As for Solar PV systems in South Dundas and Glengarry, Mayor Byvelds remarked that “it’s good to see new technology in the area.”


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Ottawa plane crash brings dramatic end to family vacation

A terrifying slide off the runway at Ottawa International Airport during torrential rainfall was not the ending that the reverend Janet Evans, her husband Michael McQuaid and their daughter, Hilary, expected to their family vacation in Disney World.

The family was on board United Airlines Flight 3363, carrying 44 passengers and three crew.

“We’d had a great time on holiday, and for two hours the flight from Chicago to Ottawa was totally uneventful,” Evans told the Leader. “But as we came in to Ottawa around 3:40 p.m. (on September 4), we could see out the window that it was getting much, much darker. It was also raining heavily at the airport.

I now think there must have been a torrential burst just as the pilot touched down.”

The United Airlines Flight skidded off the Ottawa runway, overshooting the tarmac and spinning 180 degrees. It hit the grass, and then banged up on its side. The plane sustained some damage to the undercarriage and one wing, and fire crews, emergency vehicles and hazardous materials teams surrounded it within minutes.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which is investigating the crash, has possession of the plane’s flight recorder.

The accident was the third at the Ottawa Airport involving an Embraer 145 plane. The first occurred in 2004, and in 2010, another United Express flight also overshot the runway.

Evans and McQuaid were seated together in row 16, over the wing of the plane, with their daughter Hilary across the aisle from them.
“When you land,” Evans remembered, “normally there is that jerk from the reverse thrust that tells you the plane’s brakes have engaged. Not this time. Mike and I both knew the plane was going way too fast: there was no sense of braking at all.

There was no warning that anything was wrong from the cockpit: there really wasn’t time.

But the passengers knew.

We were definitely hydro-planing. We were tipping from side to side, back and forth, and then the entire plane spun around. It was pretty terrifying. People were screaming and yelling. Mike and I were, I think, fairly calm, but Hilary was stricken. At the last moment I reached out and held her hand as everything was happening. If the plane had buckled or flipped, well, we wouldn’t be here to tell this story.”

Evans does not fault the pilot.

“I’ve been reading some blogs and comments about the pilot, and most are very negative,” she said, “one even calling him an idiot. Well, as far as I can tell those remarks are all being made by people who weren’t on the plane, weren’t even at the airport.

That pilot had to have tower clearance to land the plane, and he couldn’t have anticipated a burst of torrential rain. He compensated on the spot for the hydro-planing and kept us alive.”

The passengers sat on the plane in “a sudden silence” after the landing, while the flight attendant urged everyone to stay calm. The wait seemed long to Evans, especially as there was a strong smell of fuel throughout the plane. (The plane was covered with foam after the passengers disembarked).

When they finally got out (“on regular stairs, no chutes; kind of anti-climatic,” Evans smiled), the passengers stood on the rain soaked tarmac for a further 10 or more minutes waiting for transport. Fire and medical personnel were on hand and Evans has high praise for their efficiency and care.

Finally, “of all things, an OC Transpo bus came up to collect us. There didn’t appear to be any airport transport. The bus was too small for all 44 of us to sit, so many had to stand to the terminal. There it was the same problem. We were separated from other passengers as we had to leave all our luggage, including passports on the plane, and we were put in a small room for several hours. Again, there was not enough seating for everyone. The Ottawa airport just didn’t seem to be prepared to deal with an emergency like this.”

Still, there were moments of laughter that Evans said definitely helped diffuse anxieties.

“On the bus, the driver said, ‘Everyone needs a stiff drink, I bet.’ A voice at the back shouted out, ‘Stiff drink! I need the whole bottle!’
And then this little girl, no more than seven, who had smiled throughout the whole ordeal, piped up, ‘Mommy, what’s a stiff drink?’

“Later, one man said to me, ‘I guess we’ll all have lots of stories to tell.’ I said, ‘I’m a minister. Just wait until next Sunday’s sermon!’”

“It was a frightening experience,” Janet Evans said. “You only realize in retrospect how terrifying it truly was. I think we can thank the good Lord that we came out of it well and alive. Mike and I will fly again for sure. Hilary is still a little ambivalent. But I do feel that this entire incident will have to be very thoroughly investigated by the authorities.

None of the passengers or crew on Flight 3363 was injured. We were lucky.”


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Morrisburg Legion Branch 48 newsletter

The general meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Fraser Hall.

There are many business items up for discussion, so please be there if you want to be heard. There will be a report on the executive meeting next week.

The meat draw on the 11th was won by Charles Bailey. Again? The draw was for boneless pork chops. Great weather for a barbecue.

Saturday’s appreciation barbecue was well attended. It was a sunny day, and the music of John Mason created a good time. Thanks to Donna Dillabough for organizing the event and Mo Praine for his help. Last steak night thank yous failed to mention all our salad providers. Without salads, the meal would certainly be lacking.

On September 16, our Ladies will cater a Playhouse dinner, and the Real Deal will entertain in the pub.

September 18 is the Terry Fox Run and once again Scott Robertson and Audrey Henophy are at the helm. Registration will take place at 8 a.m.

September is also Child Awareness Month and many events are taking place across all of Canada. Please help if you are able.

Membership cards are now at the bar in the pub. Be an early bird and possibly you will win one of the prizes.

Ontario Command volunteers annually accumulate over 458,000 hours. With the Poppy Campaign coming up shortly, we will be adding to Branch #48 volunteer hours.

Let us all believe, as Helen Keller did, that we can do something.