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Baby owl rescue was a ‘hoot’

Laura-Lee Cholette, assistant superintendant at the Upper Canada Golf Course, is someone who gives a ‘hoot’.

In May of this year, following a big windstorm, Laura-Lee spotted what she thought was a chunk of paper near the trees north of the par three third green. On closer inspection, the chunk of paper turned out to be a baby bird, later identified as a Great Horned Owl.

So began Laura-Lee’s rescue,  which included the Owl’s turn over to the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa, its summer spent growing up at the Owl Foundation near Niagara Falls and its subsequent release back home on Sunday, October 9 at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary.

“They estimated it was only two weeks old when I found it and explained to me that at that age it wasn’t at the branch stage yet,” says Laura-Lee. (The branch stage, about six weeks old, is when the young owl is old enough to sit on a branch and wait for its parents to bring food.)

Initially, Laura-Lee left the unidentified bird, but after finishing work and returning home, she couldn’t get if off her mind.

She contacted the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa and was instructed to return it to the tree and wait for three hours to see if the parents would return.

So back she went, a ladder was located, and she set the baby bird back up on a branch. After three hours, the parents had not showed up, and she returned home.

“The next day it was on the ground again.”

“It could stand up with no problem and its claws were huge. It even hissed at me.”

Fearing it was unlikely the baby would survive, Laura packed it up and took it to the Wild Bird Centre.

“It was neat,” she says. “They actually got four at the time, because of the wind storm.”

It was there that the baby bird was identified as a Great Horned Owl.

From the Wild Bird Centre, the baby was sent to The Owl Foundation, an owl rehabilitation centre located at Vineland Station in the Niagara Peninsula, where it was raised to the age it could survive on its own.

“They had a foster mom who took in six babies,” says Laura-Lee. 

When release time came, Laura-Lee was contacted. Also being returned to the area was a Screech Owl that had been found in Cooper’s Marsh in August. Preferred releases are done within a reasonable distance from where the owls are originally found.

“I was supposed to pick her up in Napanee, but luckily Patty Summers from the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa was in Guelph and she was able to drive them here.”

Laura-Lee says she was totally impressed with the beautiful bird that was returned to her.

“Her wing span was three feet, and she was probably 1.5 feet tall. She was gorgeous.”

The Screech Owl, (later released at the Marsh) was “very tiny. It was the size of my guy’s head.”

In front of family and friends, Laura-Lee released the Horned Owl at the Bird Sanctuary. 

Per instructions, the box was opened near trees “so she could look for a perching option. The last I saw of her, she was flying off over the trees.”

“They explained to me that if there is room she will stay, but if there is already a pair around she will move on. I actually wanted to take her home. She was beautiful.”

Describing her feelings as happy “because it is now free” and sad “because it is alone”, Laura-Lee says the rescue was a “wonderful experience”. She says she has certainly learned a lot about owls.

The Great Horned Owl is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas. It can have a wingspan of 40-60 inches and the females are larger than the males. They have large ear tufts,  reddish brown or grey faces, and their irises are yellow. 

All mated Great Horned Owls are permanent residents of their territories. After hatching, they move onto tree branches at about six weeks and fly about one week later. They stay with their parents for several months.

As for Laura-Lee, she will now be listening for ho-ho-hoo, hoo, hoo, the call of a Great Horned Owl, and wondering if it is her rescued baby.


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Hat trick for local golfer

Longtime golfer, Mitch Cassell made it a hat trick on Monday when he dropped a hole in one on the par three, 118 yard, 14th hole at the Morrisburg Golf Course. Playing with buddies Gary Breyer, John Vincent and Ray Baker, Cassell recorded his third ace using an eight iron. “I saw it going towards the hole (back centre of the green), but I turned to my golf bag. The guys saw it go in.” Cassell had his other aces on the fifth and second holes. “The old guy can still do the trick,” he said with a grin when asked if that meant he had won all of the day’s money.



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South Dundas public speaks up

For those with something to say, South Dundas council members were all ears on October 17th.

Mayor Steven Byvelds, along with Deputy Mayor Jim Locke opened the “round table” discussion to the public at 7 p.m. in Matilda Hall. Also in attendance were Councillors Evonne Delegarde, Jim Graham, Archie Mellan, and Clerk Brenda Brunt.

In addition to council, 27 members of the South Dundas public showed up to voice their concerns, make requests, or simply say thank you for a job well done. Members of the public also had the opportunity to talk with council members one-on-one before and after the two hour meeting.

Byvelds began the meeting saying, “This is something I thought would be a good idea (for) the public to bring ideas, discuss concerns – it’s a better opportunity (to be heard) than coming to a council meeting.”

“I can’t promise that everything will be acted on, but (we) will listen.”

Union Gas 

The first issue of the night came from a resident of Iroquois who requested council’s help in convincing Union Gas to bring natural gas to his home and to the homes of his neighbours. 

Jim Graham volunteered to look into it and help out in whatever way possible. 

Taxpayers Funding Alcohol

The next issue raised at the meeting took account with the council holding a retirement party paid for by taxpayers that included an open bar. 

Byvelds responded: “We did have one recently – a dinner with an open bar at the Legion. (It) cost less than $1,000.”

It was suggested by Carl McIntyre “that this policy should be reviewed” as he did not think it appropriate for taxpayers to be paying for council’s alcohol.

Volunteers in South Dundas

The  huge topic of concern for many that night was the status of volunteers in South Dundas. This topic was raised several times covering the expanse of insurance, money, paperwork, and more.

It was suggested by John Gleed that “something has to be done to improve the whole process in dealing with volunteers.”

He was not alone in this as several other members of the public rose to speak on the same issue. 

He went on to say that “rather than helping, in a lot of cases roadblocks are being set up.” In this he was referring to the new policy guidelines as well as the abundance of paperwork involved in applications.

In terms of insurance, he said that “the truth of the matter is – the policy of downloading is incredibly negative to any activity that is going on. Staff can tell you it’s a myth, but it’s not.”

David Lapier raised issue with the fact that the insurance for the Williamsburg Harvest Festival, which normally doesn’t ask for monetary help from the township, had gone up more than $500 from last year’s price.

Several other dedicated members of the public were concerned with having their names on the insurance policies for these volunteer-run events. 

People inquired as to council’s decision making process in relation to grant applications. They asked about the total amount in the budget and what portion was actually used for volunteer community events.

In the end, Byvelds said that council had “heard it loud and clear.” He acknowledged that people would like council to “make the process as simple as we can make it (and that council) find some funding for it.”

Byvelds and fellow council members also made it clear that they do appreciate the time, hard work, and passion put into these events by dedicated volunteers. Graham said, “nobody wants to deter volunteers in any shape or form because we can’t do it.” Mellan pointed out, “I think council appreciates the value of our volunteers (and our) community groups.”

“We will do what we can. If it (policy) has to be tweaked down the road, it’s tweakable.”

Boat Launch Fees

Roger Coulter raised issue with the fees charged at the launch ramp. He pointed out that the many other township recreational services like the beach, the park or the outdoor rink require no fees whatsoever.

“We have a lot of boaters in this township and it bothers them that they  have to pay a launch fee as well,” he said.

There’s “a double launch in Cardinal (that) doesn’t cost a cent. Many (areas) don’t have cost for ramps,” he reported.

Byvelds said that the launch fees “generate a pot of money to (be) put back into infrastructure (like the) deck in Morrisburg.” 

Grass Needs Cutting

An Iroquois resident raised issue with the lack of grooming being done on vacant lots. He requested that council mow the lawns of buildings they’re responsible for on a more regular basis. He also suggested that council deal with people who are not caring for their lawns properly.

Another Iroquois resident also brought the issue of overgrown ditches to council’s attention. Most notably, the ditch on Carmen Road heading toward the Lockes.

Parlow Road River Access

A Morrisburg resident was upset by a sign displayed on a property next to a water access point at the base of Parlow Road. The sign infers that the road and access point is private when, in fact, it is not.

Mayor Byvelds said that he was familiar with the property and the water access point in question and would look into the matter. He verified that it is public property.

Tourism in South Dundas

Hanne Rycroft from the Basket Case Cafe in Morrisburg  wanted “some insurance that we’re getting a better tourist bureau.”

She pointed out that the bureau is often closed and, when it’s not closed it is often run by someone not trained or not concerned with tourism.

Rycroft also inquired about several tourism brochures that mentioned South Dundas. The one in question had two South Dundas businesses and Rycroft wanted to know what the process was for deciding who made it into the brochure.

Candace Menges of River Rat Treasures in Iroquois agreed that the state of tourism in South Dundas needs some assistance from council.

She brought attention to the lack of communication between the economic development officer and the actual businesses in South Dundas. 

Hosaic Creek Beavers

Robert Byvelds, a dairy farmer East of Williamsburg, requested an update on the status of Hosaic Creek.

The Hosaic Creek Committe, along with the South Nation Conservation (SNC), released a report in 2010 calling for a solution to the overpopulation of beavers.

The dams built in the Creek are causing drainage issues for local farms and farmers.

Trevor Tolley pointed out that this is a natural drainage system that has been cut off by the beaver population. He said that while “SNC is staffed with people who are experts on a variety of aspects of Hosaic Creek,” the one thing they aren’t experts on is agriculture and “human beings” in this area.

Byvelds said, “You want drainage there; I don’t know if it’ll ever get to a point where you have drainage there.”

He did say that the issue hadn’t been discussed in a while and that he would look into it further.

Sewage Treatment Plan

An Iroquois resident asked for an update on the Sewage Treatment Plan.

She was told that a tender would be going out shortly.

Councillor Evonne Delegarde reported, “everything is still on schedule” for a March 2014 completion date.

Snow Removal

John Devries wanted to talk about snow removal. He asked if it were possible for the service to begin “a little earlier in the morning for school buses and the milk truck.”

Councillor Archie Mellan said that “it will be looked at.”

Garbage Removal

The question of large item garbage removal was also raised, specifically freezers and fridges.

There is no pick up for these items, but there are drop off places available.

The resident in question was concerned with the lack of “user friendly” scheduling. There is a drop off in Iroquois between 8 a.m. and Noon on Fridays, but many people work during those four hours. 

Council agreed to look into the situation. 

It was pointed out, at this time, that electronics could be taken to the North Dundas Fire Department or to the House of Lazarus in Winchester.

Bylaw Inspector

Inquiry was made as to whether or not South Dundas had indeed hired a bylaw inspector. It was noted that many people park illegally in the Morrisburg Plaza parking lot, but nothing appears to be done about it.

Council confirmed that there is a bylaw officer, but that much of his time is consumed by “big stuff.”

Locke pointed out that “most bylaws are enforced by complaint.”

Old High School

David Lapier wanted to know “how (council was) going to set a limit on cost” in terms of “moving council to the high school in Morrisburg.”  More to the point, he wanted to know what the cost would be for taxpayers.

Byvelds outlined the necessity of moving council from Williamsburg to Morrisburg saying “there’s not enough room; (there are) air quality issues; it really doesn’t suit; (and,) in 1998 it was a temporary move, a political move.”

“There’s no way to make that work. I would like to have the entire staff under one roof.” He pointed out that the bylaw officer’s “office” is in the middle of the hall while the fire chief is working in “a building that  we’ve condemned.”

In terms of finances, Byvelds believes that the high school is “still going to be the best option in the end.” 

He pointed out that it won’t “happen overnight (as it’s) a long-term process.” Right now there are “fairly reasonable rates” available for getting this done.

He suggested that people check out the Prescott Municipal Office if they wanted to get an idea of what things might be like when finished.

Outdoor Rink

When asked if there would be an outdoor rink this winter, Byvelds said, “we’re working on it. It’s a necessity.”

Surplus Buildings

Inquiries as to the status of surplus buildings rendered the following response from Byvelds: they’re “still on our radar.”

He informed the group that Delegarde had recently asked for a tour of the buildings because some  of the council members hadn’t yet seen them. 

He also said that council was concerned with making balanced decisions about what to do with the surplus buildings in each community.

Thanks for a Great Job

In addition to complaints and requests, the public also wanted to say thank you, acknowledging the work of council. 

Carl McIntyre: “I think this council has done a great job. I’ve agreed with every decision you’ve made. I’m only here to talk about what hasn’t been done” yet.

Roger Coulter wanted to thank council for the bike and walking paths in Iroquois.


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Riverside Heights WI has great start to new year

Seven members of the Riverside Heights Women’s Institute met on October 4, 2011, at the George Jowett Hall at 1 p.m.

The recent yard sale on Saturday was a success despite a cold and windy morning.

Lucie Durivage reported on the District’s one day bus trip to the Mackenzie King estate. Florence McManus mentioned that the bus is filled. It promises to be a nice day, ending with a stop at the Rideau-Carleton Casino. 

A thank you was received from  Winchester Memorial Hospital for a donation received from our branch.

Florence then showed us some of the jewelry pieces she made from dried potato pieces. 

The list for the shut-ins was revised. Pauline Battershill  will get the Christmas materials ready for members to deliver in December. 

Food items were collected from the members to be donated to our food bank. A light lunch was served by the hostess, Giselle Lavictoire.

Next meeting will be November 1, 2011, at 1 p.m. 


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Morrisburg Legion News

The general meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Fraser Hall. Please put this on your to-do list for this week. There are some very important decisions to be made. 

Keith Johnston will entertain in the pub on Friday, October 14, making a good ending to T.G.I.F. day. 

Sunday euchre will begin on October 16 at 1 p.m. Bingo on October 6 saw our regulars once again with players in the 70s. 

Our meat draw on the 9th was for a fresh turkey and was won by our own Lee Kelley. 

Memberships for 2012 are available at the bar. The early-bird draw will take place up to November 30, with prizes of $35, $20 and $15, possibly the price of your membership.

On October 3, D. Dillabough, M. Praine and G. Houze attended a seminar at the Rideau-Perley Veterans’ Home in Ottawa. Branch #48 has supported them with donations for several years. We were presented with a wish list for the veterans who reside there, and we are considering several items. This will come before the general meeting on Wednesday night. 

Six bursaries have been awarded this year, each for $500, to students furthering their education. The Poppy Campaign will be starting shortly and as usual, at this busy time, help is always needed. Please leave your name at the bar if you can spare a few hours. 

Many thank yous were read, among them ones from the SD&G Highlanders, the Children’s Treatment Centre, Scott Robertson for the Terry Fox committee, the Old Home Week committee and the Cornwall Hospice. Yes, this is where the money goes, as well as for repairs to this great building that we are so fortunate to have.  Others before us worked hard to accomplish this and we have to work hard to keep it in good repair. 

On the fun side, a pub crawl is being planned for October 22 and there will be a sign up sheet in the pub. 

Our next steak night is on the 28th with John Mason providing the entertainment, so yes, we do have fun too. 

Live well, love much, laugh often.


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New principal at Iroquois Public

“This school has fantastic energy. I am deeply impressed with the staff keenness and relationships with the students,” said Kelty Grant, who has assumed her duties as the new principal of Iroquois Public School. “The children are really friendly. I go out in the yard and the kids are happy to see me and to talk to me. That stands out in my mind.”

For Grant, who grew up in Ingleside and attended Rothwell-Osnabruck, coming to Iroquois was a little bit like coming home. She is familiar with the area and with the Upper Canada District School Board for whom she has worked in teaching and administrative capacities since 1992.

Principal Grant received her B.A. at Queen’s University in Kingston, and took her teacher training at McGill University in Montreal. She began her career as an elementary/primary teacher. 

“My first five years in education were spent teaching at the Kanatakoa School, which is part of Awkwesasne, affiliated with UCDSB,” Grant said. “I taught kindergarten, grade three and grade five there and loved the experience. From there I went to Memorial Park, then to Morrisburg Public School where I taught part time.”

Later, Grant split her time between Vincent Massey and Viscount Alexander serving as a vice principal and an acting principal. She brings extensive classroom and administrative experience to her position at Iroquois.

Grant has a family with two children and two step-children and makes her home in Ingleside. 

Although she has only been principal since the late summer, Kelty Grant is delighted with the enthusiasm for teaching and for learning that she sees among teachers, students and parents.

She also praises the support of the custodial and secretarial staffs at the school. She laughed that custodians have already had to cope with wasps in the primary playground.

“IPS teachers have a deep focus on the curriculum,” she said. “They’re willing to experiment and to try different approaches to learning. I find that very progressive. I find they also have a lot of interesting ideas which they are very willing to share. That helps to move a school ahead.”

Grant is already looking forward to the first professional learning community at the school where the staff will examine EQAO results (out soon) and analyze on-going strategies for improvement. She is hoping that the school has succeeded in getting a PRO (Parents Reaching Out) grant  which will help set up a new program designed to help parents develop family literacy, to work with their children at home.

“I’m still getting to know the needs of the school, still discovering what teachers are seeing in their classrooms,” she said. “Then I will have a better idea in what directions to move.”

Grant is aware of some of the priorities at IPS, such as Take Home Reading Programs, the acquisition of more SmartBoards and the need for new playground equipment. Traditions like monthly assemblies, concerts and special events will continue. 

“The most important thing I believe is that every child can learn,” she said. “It’s my job to create an environment where that can happen. All subjects are important. You must develop the whole child.”


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Seaway honours 2011 graduates

“Today is the beginning to a new chapter in our lives. Soon enough, each and every one of us will go forth in our own directions, seeking to make a mark in this world,” said valedictorian of the 2011 graduating class of Seaway District High School, Kendra Ward. 

Addressing over 70 fellow graduates in a beautifully decorated gymnasium over-flowing with families and friends of the graduates,  Ward reminisced about life in high school, hopes, dreams and forever memories. 

She thanked teachers, support staff and parents for their support and caring over four years. Her message to fellow grads observed that “we only live once, and opportunities are rare, so it is important to take advantage of these opportunities and live life to its fullest.

Liam Barkley was chosen as the most outstanding graduate by his fellow students. Andrew Zandbergen was awarded the Governor General’s medal for academic achievement. Teresa Palmer was presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s community volunteer award. Kendra Ward, chosen valedictorian by her class mates, was also the recipient of the board’s Character Always award. 

Nearly $40,000 in awards, scholarships and bursaries were presented at commencement.

Students achieving 90 per cent in six grade 12 courses, Liam Barkley, April vanDodewaard, Andrew Zandbergen and Michael Zandbergen, were named Seaway Scholars.  Barkley and vanDodewaard also tied for first in the overall proficiency awards, with Andrew Zandbergen placing second and Michael Zandbergen placing third. 

Other Awards

Jason Lee Hill Memorial Bursary – Sherry-Lynn Harbers

Iroquois-Matilda Lions International Award – Kelsie Chambers, Sherry-Lynn Harbers, Shelby Strader, Kristina Swank, April vanDodewaard

Swank Construction – Gareth Cochrane

Iroquois Legion Leonard Roberts bursary – Elyse Fournier

Iroquois-Matilda Lions Bursary – Jesse Swank, Kasey Swank

Iroquois Legion Bursaries – Kelsey Hall, Jesse and Kasey Swank

Robert Jackson Memorial Award – Jesse Swank

SD&G District Women’s Institute Scholarship – Kelsey Hall

Iroquois Masonic Lodge #143  Awards – Kelsey Hall, Drew Mattice

Tom Corden Memorial Award – Carley Lawlor, Drew Mattice

Crooke-Elliott Award – Drew Mattice

Madden Scholarship – Carley Lawlor

IOOF Williamsburg Lodge Bursary – Carley Lawlor

Chris Salmon Memorial Award – Devon Bonvie

Yvon Mayer Award – Devon Bonvie

Seaway Student Council Bursaries – Liam Barkley, Devon Bonvie, Cory Fowler, Jeremy Piamonte, Kendra Ward

Debbie Strader Memorial Bursary – Teresa Palmer

Nationview PS Bursary – Teresa Palmer

Mountain & District Lions Club Awards – Alison Harbers, Teresa Palmer

OSSTF Bursaries – Teresa Palmer, Jenna Yates

Pricedex Award – Jenna Yates

Ball Arts Scholarship – Alison Harbers

Morrisburg & District Arts & Crafts Award – Alison Harbers

Seaway Staff Bursaries – Alison Harbers, Sarena vanDodewaard

Seaway Admin. Awards – Alison Harbers, Sarena vanDodewaard

Beaupre Jewellers Award – Sarena vanDodewaard

Hugh Porter Memorial Bursary – Michael Zandbergen

Cameron Cluff Memorial Math. Award – Michael Zandbergen

Ont. Principals Leadership Award – Michael Zandbergen

Beavers Dental Awards – Taegan Mills, Michael Zandbergen

BMO award – Taegan Mills

25th Reunion Committee Scholarship – Jeremy Piamonte

PhotoVisions Bursary – Jeremy Piamonte

St. Lawrence Rebekah Lodge Bursary – Jeremy Piamonte

Morrisburg Leader Award – Jeremy Piamonte

Decker Award – April vanDodewaard

Evonik RohMax Award – April vanDodewaard

Loyal Orange Lodge Bursaries – Kelsie Chambers, April van Dodewaard

Former Williamsburg Legion Bursaries – Kelsie Chambers, Matthew Wilson

Randy Thompson Memorial Award – Matthew Wilson

St. Lawrence Medical Clinic award – Cassie Murphy

RCL Morrisburg Bursaries – Andrew Beatson, Cory Fowler, Curtis Fowler, Cassie Murphy

Capt. William Robinson Memorial Award – Andrew Beatson

Canadian Club Morrisburg & District Bursary – Andrew Beatson

Iroquois Fire Fighters Bursary – Brandon Foster, Sheila Gillard

St. Lawrence College Scholarship – Sheila Gillard

Ray John Barkley Memorial Bursaries – Sheila Gillard, Kasey Swank

Ronald Pitt Memoris Bursary – Kasey Swank

Williamsburg Recreational Bursary – Jessica Whitteker

Marsden & McLauglin Bursary – Amy Veltkamp

St.Mary/St.Cecilia Cath. Women’s League Bursary – Amy Veltkamp

William N. Crooke Memorial Bursary – Amy Veltkamp

Lion Harry van Moorsel Memorial Scholarship – Anthony Burke, Andrew Zandbergen

Scott Van’t Foort Memorial Bursary – Andrew Zandbergen

Seaway Admin, Award – Andrew Zandbergen

RCL Morrisburg Ladies’ Auxiliary – Kate Gervais

Lion Blake Cruickshank Bursary – Kate Gervais

IPS Parents Council Bursary – Janice Stevens

StockTransportation Awards – Cameron McIntosh, Janice Stevens

Lion Leland Van Allen Scholarship – Cameron McIntosh

Seaway Staff Bursaries – David Baird, Ryan Douma, Jacob Feht, Cameron McIntosh, Kristina Swank, Tanner Williams

Seaway Bursary – Tanner Williams

RBC  Awards – Ryan Douma, Tanner Williams

John Lortie Memorial Bursary – Ryan Douma

Lion Art Martelle Memorial Scholarship – Liam Barkley

Wayne Johnston Memorial Award – Liam Barkely

MPS Bursary – Liam Barkley

Township of S. Dundas – Liam Barkley

Fred Hill Ins. Bursary – Krista Thompson

Upper Canada Motors Bursary – Luke Whitteker

Brown’s Fine Food Award – Luke Whitteker

Storm Realty, Steven Iwachniuk Award – Kendra Ward

Whitteker Meat Market Bursary – Kendra Ward

Order of the Eastern Star, Chapt. #224 Award – Ryan Gilmer

Rooney Feeds Award – Alan Hofer, Jessica Hofer

Nation Valley Pork Producers Bursary – Alan Hofer

Sheldon Tryon Memorial Bursary – Alan Hofer

Weagant Farm Supplies Award – Jessica Hofer

North Mountain, South Mountain, Mountain Reunion Award – Anthony Burke

Kenneth Kirkby Memorial Bursary – Anthony Burke

Effie Prunner Memorial Award – Philip German

S. Williamsburg Township Recreational Bursary – Curtis Fowler

Cruickshank Construction Bursary – Jacob Feht

Ross Video Scholarship – Jacob Feht

Evan Mallette Memorial Bursary – Jacob Feht

Iroquois Amateur Radio Club Memorial Bursary – Jacob Feht, Dylon Hall

Ont. Power Generation Awards – David Baird, Dylon Hall

Sandra Primrose Memorial Bursary – David Baird

Seaway Admin. Award – Brandon Lizert

Doug Byers Furniture Award – Brandon Lizert

Currier Bursary – Matt Cromie

Student Success Bursaries – Krista Gallinger, Manal Hamadi, Chelsea Hummel, Sarah Keeler, Jazzy St. Denis

Annette Angus Awards – Manal Hamadi

Jamieson Award – Jesse Page

Ronald & Joyce Fader Memorial Bursary – Gurcharn Cheema

Light Up Your World Bursary – Cory Fowler, Kristina Swank

Ball International Development Award – Shelby Strader


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New funding, exciting new season at St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage

The opening September 24th concert, which featured Juno-award winning, outstanding Canadian talent, Serena Ryder, was completely sold out. 

The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage has started off its 2011-12 performance series on a very high note.

The all volunteer board of the not-for-profit St. Lawrence Stage feels this may herald a new era for the company now entering its sixth year in the South Dundas community. 

“When we began, in 2007, to run a full concert season, we were drawing smaller crowds,” said board member, Sandra Whitworth, during an interview with The Leader.

“But the core of a dedicated audience also began building. Since then, we’ve seen a 30-35 per cent overall growth in our audience size. The more people are exposed to our concert series and to the stage, the more energy builds and the more people come out. We still need our dedicated core of enthusiasts, but we’re also working to attract new audience members.”

This year the St. Lawrence Stage has also received significant funding from a number of sources. 

The Stage has received funding from the Canadian Arts Presentation Fund, through Heritage Canada, for the last two years in the development category. This year, however, the company has qualified for the federal government’s established grant. 

“Essentially, the government studies a company like ours for two years to determine if we are viable and working, and if we are following our mandate,” Whitworth explained. “They look for an artistic vision, and examine our governance and management practices in detail. 

By moving the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage from development to more mainstream, established funding, the government is essentially saying, I hope, that we are here to stay.

We ensure our visiting artists have a positive experience of us as a venue, and of Morrisburg as a welcoming community.”

The Stage has received its third Ontario Trillium grant. These provincial funds are restricted to capital purchases in areas like sound and lighting, and cannot be used for operations. This year, a new, professional digital sound board  was purchased.

The South Dundas council has also continued to help fund the St. Lawrence Stage. 

However, two new and key sources of funding have brightened plans for the future.

“We have our very first Platinum sponsor,” Whitworth said. “ We are delighted that Coffey’s Coffee of Ingleside has signed on with us.” 

Also new in 2011 is a grant from the Eric Baker Family Foundation in Long Sault. 

“The Eric Baker Foundation is a private foundation which supports the arts, education and health,” Whitworth explained. “I found them when I was researching funding opportunities and the St. Lawrence Stage contacted them. We put together a package about the Stage, and their directors responded favourably. That support really allowed us to put on the Serena Ryder show. 

Bringing in the Ryder show was a bit of a calculated risk on  the board’s part. We wanted to test the waters, to bring in someone with definite name recognition, to see if new people would come to our venue.” 

A growing audience base is essential for the Stage’s hope of one day becoming self sustaining. 

Whitworth stressed that grants, especially from the government, will only continue to support an organization if it can prove that other sources of revenue like ticket sales and donations are in place. 

However, if the incredible line up of artists coming to Morrisburg’s St. Lawrence Stage this 2011-12 season is any indication, then the future should be a bright one. 

Appearing in October is  renowned artist Del Barber, a critically acclaimed, Juno nominated singer/songwriter. Opening for him will be Brea Lawrenson, who is building a name in country music. 

Coming in December is the Ben Henriques Jazz Quartet, whose fusion style is delighting fans across Canada. 

2012 starts off with a bang with the appearance of two time US Finger Style guitar champion, musician Don Ross. Opening for him will be Cornwall’s own Graham Greer. 

February will see the return to Morrisburg of noted award winning artist Lynn Miles. 

New and emerging talents will also find a showcase at the St. Lawrence Stage.

“The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is becoming a vital part of South Dundas,” Whitworth said. “Our mandate is to expose audiences to different talents and different styles of music. I think our volunteer board and supporters are creating something amazing here. It’s exciting to bring this level of talent to our community.” 


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Paving the path

It looks like people in Iroquois will have the good fortune of walking or biking on a smooth, nicely paved path this spring.

On October 4th, Don Lewis, Manager for Recreation and Facilities, updated South Dundas Council on the state of the Iroquois Walking and Bike Path.

The 2011 budget allotted $20,000 for repairs to the path. 

“The repairs consisted of removal of stones which had caused substantial heaving due to freeze/thaw cycles.”

Lewis and his crew completed the repairs “in-house” and according to Lewis, “we only spent $2,500 to $3,600 so we have a good chunk left.”

He requested that council give the go ahead to use the remaining funds to pave the path: “Due to the limited time remaining in the paving season, staff is requesting that Council approve the paving of the walking/bike path as long as the price to complete paving is within the remaining budget allocation.”

Lewis told council that he had “contacted some companies” and “if council wishes, we can go ahead and do the paving job and it will be in budget.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde inquired as to the amount of path to be paved and, according to Lewis, “all of it” will be done leaving “nothing left to do.”

Council agreed and the Iroquois Walking and Bike Path will be freshly paved by H&B Contracting from Chesterville. Lewis told the Leader that, weather permitting, the company has agreed to be in Iroquois next week.

Councillor Jim Graham applauded Lewis and his staff saying it’s “efforts like that that’s left us with a surplus at the end of the year.”


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Split Decision for Bantam Bs

The South Dundas Bantam B Rep Lions kicked off the season on home ice, Monday, October 3, with a 3-2 loss to the South Grenville Rangers, but then got on the right track for game two with a 5-2 victory against the South Stormont Selects in Long Sault, on Friday, October 7.

The first league game against South Grenville proved the Rangers were out for revenge from the previous week’s 3-0 exhibition loss to the Lions.  

At 5:28 of the first period, former Lion, Drew Gillard scored on a two-on-one, when his shot beat Lion goaltender Zach Frawley cleanly on the blocker side. 

It wasn’t until the final seconds of the period that the Lions were able to tie the game on an Andrew Jarvis goal assisted by Josh Black and Quinn Bennis.

In the second period,  the Rangers went ahead when an unprotected Frawley stopped the original blast from Nicholas McColl and Devan Miller pounced on the rebound.  

That effort was negated when the Lions Randy Fawcett, after successfully fighting for possession of the puck, delivered it to the top corner of the Rangers net to again even things up. Evan Mullin picked up the assist.

Early in the third, Andrew Hanna beat a screened Frawley for what would turn out to be the Rangers winning goal. 

The remainder of the period featured end-to-end action, and with 24.6 seconds remaining, Frawley was pulled for an extra attacker.  The Rangers, however held on for the win.

On Friday, October 7th, the Lions were in Long Sault where they clipped the South Stormont Selects for their first win of the young season, 5-2.

Riley Barry (from Spencer Heldens) kicked off the Lions scoring at 1:29 of the first frame with a blast from inside the blue line that beat Drew Nichol cleanly.  

Minutes later, Cameron Chayer scored for the Lions on a nice wrist shot to the top corner with Heldens setting it up on a two on one opportunity.  

After Selects Alex Cleary, on a breakaway, was knocked down by defenseman Toby Mullin, his penalty shot beat Frawley and the Selects were back in it, now trailing just 2-1.  

Early in the second period, the Lions Andrew Jarvis made an end-to-end rush with the Lions playing shorthanded, and his shot left a rebound for a waiting Heldens  who made it 3-1.    

With 18 seconds left in the second period, Andrew Lalonde (Tavish MacLeod) was finally able to put one past Frawley when his slap shot beat him on glove side. That cut the gap to 3-2 heading into the third period.

Early in the third, Mullin drew a four minute (hit to head)  penalty, and Josh Black was assessed his first penalty in two years for cross checking which gave the Selects a five on three, power-play opportunity. The Lions penalty kill, however, was up to the task, and the Selects were held from the scoreboard.

Half way through the period, Barry scored his second goal, from Jarvis, and Randy Fawcett, assisted  by Bennis,  rounded it out on the Lions power play  for the 5-2 victory.

Quinn Bennis, who was moved to defence, played a strong game, along with Spencer Heldens who had a three point performance and Riley Barry who skated hard for a two-goal performance.

The Lions were at home to Brockville on Monday,  October 10. They travel to Athens, this Friday night October 14th for a 6 p.m start, and on Monday, October 17 they host Perth at 8 p.m.