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Opinion

‘Let them be kids’

Saturday, residents of the South Dundas community showed their true colours…their wonderful community spirit…when some 250 plus showed up at the Earl Baker Park in Morrisburg to assist with the building of the ‘Let them be kids’ playground that has now been dedicated to the SD&G Highlanders.

It was a wonderful, wonderful event for this entire community. In fact the whole project from start (in June) to finish (on Saturday) has really captured the interest and support of this community. It was a wonderful thing to see.

From the start those directly involved in the committee have kept a low profile and let the community step forward, and while we are in awe of the community response, we do have to thank those who launched the project, steered it through some very busy fund raising events, and then pulled on their gloves and went to work on Saturday.

In all events there are leaders, and in all successful events these leaders are exceptional people…they lead by example…they motivate…they garner support…and they organize…and in this case they did it all in a pleasant, inspiring way.

So we would like to thank each and every one of the committee members for all of their hard work, their long hours and their dedication to the project…Matt McCooeye, Ben Macpherson, Lois Casselman, Mike Domanko, Janet Martel, Joe McCooeye, Brian Shaver, Rosemary Laurin, John Morrow, Jack Barkley and Steve Morrow.

Also a big thank you to all of the people who worked so closely with this core group. You know who you are. We know who you are and the kids probably know who you are. So anytime you want to stop in at the park and swing a swing, or slide a slide, by all means you are most welcome.

South Dundas Community playground is up and running…for the whole community, young and not so young, to come out and enjoy.

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Sports

Sweet Cherry Wine, drinks to ‘champion’ success at Trillium

Although they knew they had a good pony on their hands, they didn’t know how good she really is.

They found out on the weekend of September 8-11.

That’s when four Sarabeau Stable riders and their ponies competed at the Trillium Provincial Equestrian Championship at Caledon Equestrian Park at Palgrave, Ontario, and while “everybody did amazing, and everyone had good rounds,” it was Sweet Cherry Wine who stole the show.

Owned and ridden by Rayanna Marcellus in the Medium Pony Division, Sweet Cherry Wine was judged overall champion thanks to some really good rides.

On her first day, Sweet Cherry placed eighth and 10th, over fences. Day two saw her finish first and second over fences and third on flat. The combined points gave her the overall ‘medium pony’ championship.

“It’s a tough competition,” said Sarabeau Stable trainer Cheryl Levere. “There are a lot of horses there that compete at top level shows. We are just doing a little local circuit.”

“Sweet Cherry’s two rounds were absolutely amazing. I was able to watch 10 others go and none of them compared to Sweet Cherry’s rounds.”

While the competition is judged on the horses, Levere credits Marcellus for her part in the win. “It’s purely judged on the horse. However, it’s an overall picture, and you have to have a good rider.”

Also riding at the Trillium were Courtney Casselman on Piccolini, Julie Julien on Palakari and Josee Marleau Vallieres on Sentimental Journey. In addition, Marcellus rode Short Notice in Small Pony and Picco in B Equitation.

“It was a great learning experience for all of them,” said Levere. “They all had amazing rounds and you have to remember that none of them had ever done anything like this before. They all stepped up. It was a great first year for Sarabeau. Every year is going to get better. They all know what to expect now.”

Sarabeau Stable owner Sandy Marcellus (Rayanna’s mom) was extremely proud of the riders and the horses, particularly Sweet Cherry Wine.

“We knew she was a good pony, but for us to have a champion pony is fantastic. We were up against a lot of big barns and there was a lot of competition there. Every division had between 35 and 50 riders. It’s great.”

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News

A dream realized by hundreds of volunteers

“The fact that you see kids and they’re smiling, that’s why we did this,” said Jack Barkley, a member of the South Dundas Community Playground Committee on Saturday, September 24, as he stood watching the children of South Dundas try out their new community playground.

From preschoolers on the super slide to older children on the pummel wall and swing bars, the  new playground was alive with activity. In a single day, volunteers,  arriving with tools, shovels, rakes and a lot of good will, started at 8 a.m., built the entire site and made the 2 p.m. deadline to open the new South Dundas Community Playground.

“Our community came together to do a wonderful thing in a single afternoon,” Barkley said. “I just hope the spirit of all this carries forward.”

Matt McCooeye, chair of the Playground committee, led the dedication ceremony.

“On June 8, we stood here, in this place, telling you of the start of this project,” he said. “Three months later, we have a playground. Our goal was to raise $100,000 (which was matched by the not-for-profit group Let Them Be Kids, which also provided expertise and a blue print for construction to the committee) and we raised $117,000 with more still coming in. We hoped to get 175 volunteers out to help today. We got 250.”

“It is incredible to see what we have accomplished,” said committee member, Mike Domanko. “We have built more than a playground here today. We have built a community. We owe many thanks to our volunteers, our neighbours and our friends.”

A very special moment in the ceremony came when the Playground was officially dedicated the SD&G Highlanders, past, present and future.
Led by the Glens’ Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Brooks (ret.HLCol), and Bill Shearing, former members of the Glens and other area veterans made their way to the front. Among them, were World War II veterans Harry Towes and Ervin Clements.

The Glens procession was greeted with applause and cheers  from the large crowd that only grew louder and louder as the soldiers passed.
“I cannot tell you what a fantastic tribute to this community and to our regiment this dedication is,” said Lt.-Col. Brooks in his address. “I am absolutely struck by the work and the co-operation that has gone into this playground and deeply honoured that you have seen fit to dedicate it to the Glens. And I also have the great pleasure of telling you all that the last nine members of our regiment, still serving in Afghanistan, have now made it home and are safe.”  

The flag for the new playground was raised by Emma Morrow, Keltey McCooeye, Xandra Furo and Kai Morrow.

In a very appropriate alternate to the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, the children of South Dundas opened their own playground by running through ribbons made of dozens of coloured hands, symbolic of their participation in the project.
Then the children re-dedicated the playground in their own special way. They played.

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News

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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News

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 hospiceday@gmail.com and should be made as promptly as possible as spaces are limited.

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News

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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News

Apples & Art tour features five local artists

This year’s Apples & Art Studio Tour  run by the Cornwall Regional Art Gallery has five South Dundas artists on the route, plus the Smyth’s Apple Orchard where participants are invited to stop for an Apple treat.

This year’s tour is celebrating 20 years and boasts a total of 16 artists.

In the South Dundas area, tour participants can stop in to the As One Studio at 24 St. James Lane in Morrisburg. There artist Misun Kim-Hunter will have her “mostly acrylic works” on display.

Next stop in South Dundas is Impressionist Artist, Elsie Gallinger at 11869 Lakeshore Drive. Elsie’s preferred medium is oils and she prefers painting landscapes.

Diane Sullivan wat Arabesque Pottery will be on hand at her 4324 Country Road 31 location in Williamsburg. Diane is “inspired by ceramic history for my forms, largely Oriental, Persian and European.”

At 3797 Caughnawaga Road, Williamsburg visitors are invited to stop by the studio of artist Anne Barkley who specializes in abstract compostions.

At Hilltop Wood Design, Peter Morrison will welcome visitors to his studio located at 12660 Garlough Road in Williamsburg.

The tour includes four Long Sault stops and 10 stops in Cornwall.

For more information check out Cornwall Regional Art Gallery.ca.

The tour runs this Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.

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News

Old and new homes for St. Lawrence house tour

Five South Dundas home owners will open their doors to the public this Sunday, September 25 for the Homes on the St. Lawrence House tour in support of the community’s off leash dog park.

Organized by the Park Pals committee, the House tour features five homes, four of which are directly on the St. Lawrence and the fifth with a great view of the Morrisburg dock and waterfront area.

In addition each of the homes will have their front entries or outdoor living spaces decorated by local artists and/or businesses.

Starting at the east end of the tour, the first house featured is the historic home owned by Ian and Cathy MacKay.

The home built in 1894 is located overlooking the Morrisburg dock on the curve where Ottawa Street turns into Lakeshore Drive.

Cathy MacKay says she and her husband are delighted to open their home, the former “Falcon” tourist home to the public.

“We feel the house is part of Morrisburg’s history and welcome people to come and visit it,” says Cathy.

She feels that visitors, like she and her husband, will be delighted with the impressive Victorian hardware, the intricate wooden staircase, imposing sliding doors between the principal main floor rooms and the excellent quality of the original butternut wood working.

The home was built in the late 1800’s by Mr. Gibson for his son. In the 1930’s it was run as The Falcon Tourist Home and accommodated people who came to see Dr. Locke. It was later owned by the Kincaids who operated a monument business on the property.

The MacKays have owned the home for 1.5 years.

With the longtime green shutters now being painted black, Cathy is looking forward to her front entry being decorated by Belle Flower Gifts located on Highway 31, north of Winchester.

Heading west, the next stop is at 12014 Lakeshore Drive at the  attractive, two-year-old, Guildcrest-built home of Marjorie Smith.

The home is totally custom built and features an open concept with nine foot ceilings, a 16 foot cathedral ceiling, three bedrooms and, of course, a fantastic view of the St. Lawrence.

Marjorie, a salesperson with Guildcrest Homes is originally from Winchester. She owned two previous Guildcrest Homes before designing this one for her waterfront property.

Marjorie’s back patio living space will be decorated by Cardinal Flowers and Gift Gallery which has locations in Morrisburg  and Cardinal.
Owned and operated by Michael O’Brien and Frank Fralic, the Cardinal Flower and Gift Galleries are full service retail gift shops specializing in fresh floral tributes for all occasions.

Michael O’Brien who toured the Smith home Sunday, said he several good ideas for the space.

Next up on the tour, is the Gord and Robin Lane home located right next door to the Smiths at 12012 Lakeshore.

The custom built three storey Lane home is seven years old. It is environmentally friendly and was designed by Gordon and Robin.

“As a result it has many personal touches,” says Gord. “It’s a cement house and has real stone on the exterior. Robin and I both went to the University of Saskatchewan and our home has the same stone as the university which came from the foothills of Alberta. It’s our piece of memorabilia.”

Other highlights of the home include the oak floors which came from the Lane’s bush lot in Quebec, the interior and front doors all glass done by a Quebec artisan and a copper ceiling.

Robin has also arranged to feature the art sculpturing of Paverpol Sculptures for the day. “They are going to put a mermaid in the pool, which will be interesting.”

The Lane’s entry will be decorated by local decorator Karen Marshall whose Something Unique: Interior Decorating and Home Staging has been working with homeowners locally for 15 years.

Marshall says she is looking forward to decorating the Lane’s entry and while she won’t give away any secrets, she will be including copper in her design.

“I’m still playing around with some ideas, so I don’t want to show my hand yet,” says Marshall. “It’s definitely going to be a fall theme and something that Gordon and Robin will enjoy.”

Next stop on the tour is the home of Mae Pederson at 5648 Birch Lane. (left turn off Lakeshore Drive, just east of Flagg Creek).

The Pederson home is one of the few farm houses along the St. Lawrence that was not lost to the Seaway.

It consists of the orginal farmhouse built in the late 1700s and an addition added in the 1800s.

Pederson purchased the home eight years ago, “when it was 35 below zero and there was four feet of snow.”

In those eight years she has “tore down all the walls inside to open it up” and the result is her open concept dream home.

Her kitchen occupies the original farmhouse and is wide open to the roofline with original restored wood plank floor.

Handling her entry design for the house tour is Elaine of Canadian Tire in Morrisburg.

Located at the west end of the tour is the home of Claude Lavoie  located at 11158 Gresdale Boulevard.

To reach the two storey, Lavoie home, visitors must travel to County Highway 2 towards Iroquois and turn left onto Saver Road. Travel south on Saver Road and turn left onto Grisdale Boulevard.

The beautiful homes is distinguished by white fencing and offers up some great views of the St. Lawrence.

The home’s entry will be decorat by Eileen Johnston in conjunction with Riley’s Valu-mart in Morrisburg.

The tour will run from 1-4 p.m. and the cost is $20 per person.Tickets can be purchased at Mustard’s Variety in Iroquois or Cardinal Flowers in Morrisburg.

Refreshment will be served at the Lane home.

The event is a fund raiser for the South Dundas Dog Park located in Morrisburg.

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News

Morrisburg Legion Branch 48 News

This is Legion Week, and it will be a quiet one at Branch #48. It has been a busy year with the celebration of our 85th anniversary and will continue into November with the honours and awards dinner and Remembrance Day.

The last two weeks have seen bingo players number in the 70s. There is good fun and good prizes.

The meat draw on September 18 was for ground beef and was won by Edith Sypes. It is still barbecue weather.
Monday, September 19, the men’s dart league will begin, and on Tuesday the 20th mixed darts will begin.

Our Ladies Auxiliary will cater the Canadian Club on Wednesday, September 21, as the Club’s fall and winter series begins. They will also cater a country supper for the Playhouse on September 23. They still find time to play euchre. Three teams will play district euchre at Branch #297 in Cornwall in October.

Business from the general meeting on September 14 saw a donation of $1,000 going to the Terry Fox Run and $1,500 going to restoration of the mural of the old train station depicted on the wall of Giant Tiger. This restoration is expected to last for 10 years and will hopefully display the Branch #48 logo. It was reported that four bursary applications have been received to date and are being considered.

Friday, September 30, is steak night, so mark your calendar for another great meal and for good music as Fergus Entertainment will play in the pub.

Senior games in Smith’s Falls in August saw several local names appear including Jim and Judy Scott in darts, Monique Patenaude, Nancy Warner, Elise Muir, Joan Findlay in golf and Dale Swerdfeger in golf. We may be seniors, but many are still active.
Last week, in mentioning September, it is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened.

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News

New generator for Williamsburg?

On September 6th, South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan raised the issue of a back-up generator for the Williamsburg waste treatment plant.

According to Mellan, “the previous council had recognized the need for one and had set up a plan to set aside money over a five year period to purchase one.”

He suggested that council  “should go ahead and finance the generator – sooner rather than later.”

Manager of Public Works, Hugh Garlough, agreed saying he would meet with Treasurer Shannon Geraghty to determine how much money has already been set aside versus how much it will cost to buy one.

Geraghty stated that he believed, but would need to verify, that council had been putting $8,000 aside per year for three years. He went on to estimate the cost being somewhere in the vicinity of $40,000.

Mayor Steven Byvelds ended the discussion saying, “Let’s see if we can find the dollars to do it.”

Mellan informed the Leader later that “council felt it would be better to be proactive on this matter to try and avoid a situation where a power outage could cause a problem for the residents of Williamsburg.”

“It should be noted that Morrisburg’s new waste treatment plant and the water plant have back-up power and Iroquois’s new waste treatment plant will have back-up power when completed.”

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