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Blues man MacLeod takes Morrisburg by storm


He is charming. He is funny. He is poignant. He spins yarns that make you feel you’re leaning on a rough wooden railing, in the heat of a Southern summer night,  in some no-name little bar in the middle of no where.

He is a Blues Man.

Doug MacLeod, internationally renowned singer/song writer, was in Morrisburg on Friday, November 11, for one concert only at the Lakeshore Drive United Church. MacLeod is an acknowledged master of the blues. His South Dundas audience experienced a rare treat when he took up his Nashville Guitar, sat down on the simple stage and played. 

It’s hard, attending a MacLeod concert, to separate his music from the stories he spins while he is on stage. As he said in an earlier interview with The Leader, “blues is the true facts of life.” His stories reflect a life not always led on the straight and narrow, a life with some rocky edges to it. But the music grows out of this past. And there is the humour and wit of experience in what he says and sings. 

“When you walk down the street/Don’t you make no judgement on people that you meet…Remember these words/ ‘cause these words are true/They were once children just like you…” (Children Like You)

Sometimes, he sang, “all you need to see the goodness around you/ Is brand new eyes..” (Brand New Eyes).

There may have been a message in his music, but it was never driven home with a fist. Just a wink, and  a sense of humour.

“Here’s a song about crazy people,” MacLeod told the audience. “One of every three people is crazy. Did you know that? (pause) Take a look at who you’re sitting next to.”

He had the audience roaring with laughter when he described a ZuZu Woman. “Y’all know what that is? That’s a woman who loves you so much she will let you eat crackers in her bed.” And his raucous delivery of “Turkey Leg Woman” (“I’m protesting against skinny women!”) brought the house down. 

His fingers flying over the Nashville Guitar, MacLeod’s voice, mellow, driving, animated, soulful, reflected the ever changing  moods of the songs he sang.

“This Old River,” written for a friend of his who eventually lost her life to cancer, was simple, soft and deeply moving. “I went to see her when she knew she was dying. She was out in her backyard still planting trees and flowers. This woman who was gonna leave us so soon was planting life.” 

It stood out in an evening of stand out music.

The enthusiastic audience attending the MacLeod concert knew they had been in the presence of one of the all time great Blues men.

“I never play the same song the same way twice,” Doug MacLeod told his listeners. “You Morrisburg folks are the only folks in the whole world hearing these songs exactly like this.”

What a privilege. 


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Local Lions to roll out Santa’s red carpet for seniors Christmas party


The Morrisburg & District and Iroquois Matilda Lions Clubs are pleased to cohost the sixth annual South Dundas Senior Christmas Concert at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners on Saturday, November 26th. 

Ron Whitteker and his band, “Good Time Country” will provide the entertainment with refreshments being served while Santa Claus and friends make an appearance!  

This event is offered at no cost to the Seniors of South Dundas Township.  

The members of both Lions Clubs join in extending a huge “thank you” to MacEwen’s for their generosity in sponsoring this event. 

Karen Ouderkirk, Morrisburg MacEwen C Store owner, explains she chooses to sponsor this event as an opportunity to thank the community for their support in a meaningful and significant way. 

Karen says she especially appreciates the total package the Lions offer in the South Dundas Seniors Christmas Concert event: a free joy-filled afternoon with no transportation issues for concert goers to worry about, refreshments and the fellowship of friends.  

The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the concert runs from 2-4 p.m. 

Whitteker Bus Lines will provide transportation to the concert from: Iroma Apartments, Iroquois – 12:20 p.m; Hartford Retirement Centre, Morrisburg – 12:40 p.m; Morris Glen, Morrisburg – 12:50 p.m; Park Drive Villa, Williamsburg – 1:05 p.m.

For information or transportation needs contact Bill MacDonald (613) 652-2307 (Iroquois) or Earl Wood (613) 543-3292 (Morrisburg). 



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New ups and downs for the St. Lawrence


Building on 50 years of experience, a five-year binational study and extensive public comment, The International Joint Commission (IJC) has released a fact sheet outlining a draft new approach to manage water levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River system.

Water levels and flows of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are primarily determined by natural factors including rainfall and snowmelt. 

Under the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) 1956 order of approval, the regulation of flows through the Moses-Saunders Dam has reduced the extremity of high and low water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. 

This has benefitted a range of interests upstream and downstream of the dam, including coastal property, recreational boating, hydropower production, commercial navigation and municipal water suppliers. 

However, the current regulation plan is based on the conditions of the last century, with no regard for environmental consequences and no process for adapting to future challenges such as bigger storms and more severe droughts.

The IJC is now developing a new approach with the assistance of a Working Group of representatives from the governments of Canada, the United States, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the State of New York.

The draft new approach will consider all interests – environmental, social and economic. 

While continuing to reduce extreme high and low water levels, the draft new approach would allow more natural level and flow patterns. 

This is expected to improve wetland health on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River on a scale larger than any restoration actions taken to date. 

The improvements to wetlands and other habitat would provide benefits such as higher quality sport fishing, boating, bird watching and other outdoor activities. 

An adaptive management program would regularly monitor conditions and periodically review the management of levels and flows. 

This would improve the capability to adapt to future changes, including socio-economic changes and significant changes in climate. 

Improved communication with governments and stakeholders in the basin is also an integral component of the draft new approach.

The IJC has had informal discussions with First Nations and Tribes, shoreline property owners, recreational boaters, environmental organizations, local officials and others in the basin about the proposed approach. 

According to the fact sheet, the draft new approach would: 

•Substantially improve wetlands, a key indicator for lake and river health. It is anticipated that wetland meadow marsh community, the most diverse and productive type of coastal wetlands in the basin, would increase by 40 percent.

•Retain protection for Lake Ontario coastal property, while increasing some shoreline protection costs. It is estimated that the new approach would maintain 88 percent of the benefits of reduced flooding, wave damage and shoreline protection maintenance provided by the current regulation plan.

•The boating season on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River would be longer in some years because of higher water levels in the fall. However, levels would occasionally be lower in the summer. 

•Pose no significant changes for interests along the St. Lawrence below the Moses Saunders Dam. Communities downstream from the dam would continue to receive flood protection benefits while also providing for adequate depths for the Port of Montreal and commercial navigation.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

The IJC intends to release additional information further detailing the specific draft new approach for full public review.

As well, informational sessions throughout the basin to further discuss the draft new approach with the public will be held in 2012.

Prior to finalizing a revised order and regulation plan, the IJC will conduct formal public hearings throughout the basin and carefully consider all public comment.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

IJC Press Release



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Doug Tangney on stage for Playhouse Christmas Show

 If there’s anything better than a great holiday show, it’s a show that’s also filled with tons of great laughs, wonderful live music, a really good story, lots of Christmas cheer and lots of fun for children and adults alike! 

That’s what The Playhouse has in store for everyone in their upcoming Christmas comedy, Dear Santa, by Canada’s King of Comedy, Norm Foster. 

This entertaining show is set at Santa’s Office and Workshop at his North Pole Headquarters, just days before his yearly trip with a sleigh full of toys for all the girls and boys. 

A fun aspect of the show is getting a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the hustle and bustle with Santa and his staff working round the clock as that magic time approaches. 

But this year is even more hectic as trouble brews and everything seems to go wrong leaving Santa to deal with a ton of problems before he sets out on his Christmas Eve journey. 

Heading up the professional cast of this Yuletide comedy are Doug Tangney who stars as Santa himself. 

Tangney is a favourite with Playhouse audiences, and he brings his popular brand of magic and comedy to this jolly old elf. 

Joining him are a high-powered cast of talented actors and singers including Richard Bauer, Jamie Williams, Susan Greenfield, Liz Gilroy, Timm Hughes, Travis Seetoo and  Meredith Zwicker who doubles as Musical Director for the show. 

As in past years, the show will also feature an extended musical scene filled with Christmas songs and dances to put everyone in the holiday spirit. 

There’s also a community aspect to The Playhouse’s holiday show this year with a choir comprised of local youth and also lively elves portrayed by some budding local actors. 

Ontario Power Generation is also a major sponsor of this family event. 

It’s truly a laughter and music filled Christmas experience for everyone and a wonderful way to end a terrific Season at The Playhouse. 

Dear Santa runs from November 24 through December 18 with matinee and evening performances. 

Call the Box Office at 613-543-3713 & 1-877-550-3650 or for tickets. 



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Remembrance Day 2011 at the Royal Canadian Legion


The Legion in Morrisburg was filled to capacity as people gathered to honour the fallen and say thank you to those still present.  While Diane Sheldrick honoured everyone with a song, “Canada, My Country,” Reverend Sue McCullough hoped, “the country in which we live and for which they died may ever be worthy of the sacrifice they made.” 


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Nicole Sullivan is looking forward to joining the South Dundas community


Nicole Sullivan, as South Dundas’s new Economic Development Officer (EDO), is here to help build our community. 

The Leader met with Sullivan at her Morrisburg office on November 2nd to learn more about her and her plans for the area.

Sullivan is a native of Bells Corners in West Ottawa. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo where she majored in human geography and minored in business and tourism. According to Sullivan, she “went into geography because it was a little more of a broad focus.”

As for her Masters degree, Sullivan went to the University of Guelph where she produced a thesis entitled “Immigration Attraction and Retention for Small Towns and Rural Areas.”

Her first job was actually a volunteer internship in Nicaragua where she worked “on an organic farm (which was) part of a bigger community development project.”

She was impressed with “how the community took what they had and built on it to improve their quality of life.”

When she returned home she “started looking at similar projects,” which is how she found her position as the Area Economic Development Coordinator for the Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee. This position was a year-long internship sponsored by FedNor.

According to, it “is a regional economic development organization in Northern Ontario that promotes economic development, diversification and job creation and encourages sustainable, self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.”

As for why Sullivan chose to become an EDO, she said, “I really like the variety of initiatives and how dynamic the field is; there’s a lot of space for creativity; (and, the position) allows for a lot of interaction with the community and I feed off that.”

In choosing South Dundas as her new home for both work and personal life, she admitted that she’s “always been attracted to small towns and rural areas.”

“I saw the opportunity and couldn’t resist,” she continued. “I was attracted to the tourism opportunities, the rich heritage, and the strong agricultural community.”

Sullivan, at the time of the interview, was only on her third day of her new position in South Dundas and was “still trying to get a feel” for how things work here.

She acknowledged that “people who live here know it the best” and she welcomes their input.

“Yes, if there’s a business that would like to provide some feedback, please come out.”

The EDO position is vast in its description as well as its list of duties. She explained that “it’s very diverse, from marketing to looking at industrial park to engaging with the community.” Sullivan believes that making it work is all about balance.

As for where she will start, it “depends on the community’s objectives and how it wants to move forward.”

At the moment she is “getting oriented to the community (and) learning about its priorities and dynamics.”

Sullivan “recognizes that economic development means different things to everybody” and she’s “really excited to be here and to get moving.”

“I’m looking forward to being part of the community.” Sullivan is hoping to find a place in South Dundas before the snow falls.


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Hartford Paintings receive dedication


American actress Stella Adler once said, “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” 

Hartford Retirment Centre resident, William Halcrow, gifted the centre with two new paintings.

On November 12th, in front of a small group in the Hartford chapel, Reverend Jane Evans performed a dedication for the new additions.

Halcrow told the group that he commissioned local artist Gene Ward to do these paintings because he felt the chapel’s two big windows needed something.

He said the paintings are meant “to fill a void and inspire all who believe.”

“It is my gratitude that I could do this for the Hartford,” Halcrow continued, “and, to give back to the community.”

He admitted, “They turned out more beautiful than I thought.”

Artist Gene Ward thanked Halcrow for “being a patron to the arts.” He then thanked the Hartford for allowing the paintings to be hung in the chapel.

SD&G MP Guy Lauzon, admired the artwork saying, “these are very striking paintings.”

Turning to Halcrow and Ward, he continued, “When I look at these paintings I get a good feeling. Many people will get that feeling because of your efforts. God Bless.”

South Dundas Deputy Mayor Jim Locke said, “it’s great to be here and enjoy the collaboration.” He commended Halcrow for choosing a local artist.

Then, to both men, he said, “congratulations on a project well done.” 

Hartford’s Community Relations Manager, Tracy Jones, concluded the speeches addressing Halcrow and Ward, “thank you both for providing the Hartford with such great paintings.”

The portraits were chosen for their balance between male and female. The angel is “welcoming you into that domain,” said Ward.


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Morrisburg Curling Amy and Ashly Cooper on their competitive game

Anita and Larry Cooper’s daughters, Amy and Ashly, continue to curl up a storm in major competition. Last week they had their Cornwall team, skipped by Mitch Baker, in the big Royal Lepage Bonspiel in Kemptville. They won four games and lost two, just missing the quarter-finals. One of their wins was against a team from Arsenal, in Halifax. 

Some of the best female curlers in the country were there, and in a thrilling final, Sherry Middaugh defeated Jen Hanna for the title. Amy and Ashly still curl here in the competitive league, and you can watch them on Thursday nights, competing with some of the best curlers in our club.   

     Cornwall held their Ladies’ Senior Invitational Bonspiel last week, and the Morrisburg Club was represented by two teams. Alice Thompson, Susan McIntosh, Betty Locke and Sharon Van Allen competed in the early draw at the six-sheet facility. They defeated their first opponent, Lancaster, handily before lunch, but were pitted against a strong team from Brockville in the afternoon, dropping that match 6-3. Brockville took home cash awards, but our ladies were too far down the list for that. There were a number of prizes drawn, though, and two of our folks won there.

Our other team, Gretta McGann, Cheryl Thompson, Yvonne Mabo and Claire Locke, lost their first game to an R.A. quartet, and then played a tough Vankleek Hill foursome in their afternoon game. They almost pulled off a win, but fell just short.

Prescott’s senior men came to town for a friendly match against our fellows. While these were friendly, they were quite competitive. Jack Barkley, Dwight Gilmer, Doug Jarvis and Paul Gunther bowed to their opposition in the last end, with Larry Berry, a rather youthful retiree, making some good shots against us. Don O’Brien, Len Bellamy, Dave King and Jim Millard triumphed over Lloyd Bilmer’s foursome on centre ice, while in the final match, Martin Shneckenburger, Neil Williams, Ron Beaupre and Robert Martin played their opponents to a draw. The usual sociabilities and a fine lunch ended the event, with enough sandwiches left over to treat the Thursday morning curlers.

Susan McIntosh announces that her second two-person bonspiel will be held here on November 20th, with 24 teams in the mix. Get your name in early. These bonspiels fill up fast.

Our best wishes go out to a few of our curlers, with injuries, health problems and deaths in the family of concern to them.

 Finally, a sobering thought from Raymond and Sandra Benoit, who sent us a copy of the Montreal Gazette. We learned that the Ste. Anne de Bellevue Curling Club in the Montreal region has folded. With only 54 members and a $60,000 annual budget, the club, founded in 1923, will have its property rezoned and sold. Senneville is the West Island’s smallest municipality, with about 900 residents, and it is expected that three houses will be built on their land. While our club is managing financially, under careful stewardship and support from many local businesses, more members would help, and frequent rentals and bonspiels would assist with our own finances. Keep us in business, folks!

That’s it for now. 

Good curling! 



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New car wash now open


Does your car need a bath? If so, you will find everything you need at Morrisburg Car Wash on County Road 2, just west of the water treatment plant.

November 12th marked the official opening of Fred and Mattie Zandbergen’s new business.

Fred told those assembled for the event that he and wife Mattie had been thinking of starting this venture for a number of years and, finally, after selling Fred’s Farm Supplies, the time was right.

The Zandbergen’s hired Hosers Car Care for the project. Phil Johnston, site manager from the Belleville Hosers Car Care, was responsible for the project “from the site plan right through to the finished project. The whole bit.”

According to Johnston, who “just joined the company recently,” Hosers Car Care owns five car washes itself, but also deals in repairs, supplies to “entire turn key operations for other car washes.”

The Zandbergen’s car wash has three car bays, two of which are drive through with doors on both sides. There are also two vacuum stations, a change machine, and a vending machine for your convenience.

Each wash costs $3 for four minutes. It is also possible to purchase tokens. Each token gives four minutes of wash time. According to Fred, right now you can purchase tokens at a 20 per cent discount. So, instead of paying $12 for four tokens, you would only pay $10.

He mentioned that they’d make great stocking stuffers for Christmastime.

Fred’s brother, Richard is the manager of the car wash and the one to see if you want to purchase tokens or have questions. The phone number to call is 613-655-3333.

Fred told the Leader that in just two weeks the car wash has made “50 per cent of the targeted proceeds – what you can expect to make once things are running smoothly in like a year from now.”

During speeches at the grand opening, SD&G MP Guy Lauzon told the Zandbergens, “I want to wish you the most success. Thank you for South Dundas. It continues to grow, grow and grow.”

South Dundas Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke said, “all I can do is echo Guy’s words. This is a great addition to the village of Morrisburg.”


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My Mission Trip to Africa


My wife and I have just returned from a Missions trip to Malawi and Kenya in Africa.

According to statistics that were given to us on the plane as we flew, we were some 9,000 miles away from home, approximately. We discovered just how significant that was when we arrived back home in Canada having to adjust to a seven hour time difference.

However, that adjustment was minor to our having to deal with what we experienced.

I want you to know, I’ve seen television programs that show the poverty and the hungry children, and for most of my life I’ve been exposed to missionaries who have been there. I’ve heard their stories and have seen their slide shows, but I was not prepared for the real thing.

I think what got me the most is how very little most of the people there have, and yet, how very pleasant they are. I ate some of the food that most of them depend on for their survival. Day after day, it’s the same bland diet.

I realize that I have far too many choices, but I am real thankful that I have a better choice than that.

In Kenya, I was privileged to attend a school in the slums where the children get one meal a day, a mixture of beans, corn and rice if it is available. However, because of cutbacks of support from Canada, that meal is now only served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As far as can be known, these children have little or nothing to eat on Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

I have to tell you, I wept when I heard that.

These kids, by the way, are as smart as any of our children. They are getting a good education, and good Biblical foundation as well. These children are the hope for the future of their countries.

Out of the worst possible conditions, God is raising up young people whose lives are being changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Malawi, I was privileged to work in a community that has been built, and funded still, by Canadians. There are 66 orphans being cared for there by women who have lost their husbands to death, one way or another.

James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father, is this, to care for widows and orphans in their trouble.”

This is the model that the “Village of Hope” is built on.

I, along with four other men from Canada, and Stephen from Malawi, prepared another home to be occupied, in the near future, by more children and another widow. I can tell you, it was difficult to work in 39 and 40 degree heat, but it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever been involved in.

I want to finish this today with a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to all who made it possible for us to go there, and for the financial support we received that enabled us to provide school supplies, paint and money to furnish this new house so that the orphans, who otherwise would have no hope, can now be cared for, loved and educated and, I believe, make a difference in Malawi.

Malawi is called “The Warm Heart of Africa” and without a doubt that is true. But they need Help. The kind of help many of you gave to me to take to them. I can tell you, God knows who you are and He will bless you.