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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Debate updates

If you missed the candidates debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall on September 15th, there are still more opportunities remaining to hear the candidates discuss the issues.

The North Dundas Chamber of Commerce with the Dundas Federation of Agriculture is hosting a candidates debate on Thursday, September 22nd from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Winchester Arena.

In addition, there will be a debate on Wednesday, September 28th from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Civic Complex in Cornwall, hosted by the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce.

Attendance for the debates has been a bit unbalanced so far. The candidates for the NDP, Liberal, and PC parties were present for all debates. However, more often than not, the Libertarian and Green party candidates have been conspicuously absent.

The Poverty Free Ontario (PFO) debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall saw only three of the five candidates.

PFO’s slogan, “Let’s Vote for a Poverty Free Ontario,” was the theme for the debate.

For more information, go to www.povertyfreeontario.ca.

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Mark MacDonald: “passionate about the job” he wants to do

On September 16th, Liberal candidate Mark A. MacDonald spoke with the Leader to discuss  the upcoming October 6th election.
MacDonald revealed that he has “always  been politically aware.” He believes that “everything is political. Every move that we make from stopping at a stop sign.”

MacDonald says that he “knew something wasn’t right” politically when “at a very early age, dad lost his job” and, subsequently, his father’s “license plate was removed from the car” to identify the change in status.

He adds, as a matter of interest, that “we were one of the first families to live in social housing in Cornwall.”

In terms of what he feels is most important to the constituents in his riding, MacDonald believes that “the economic situation is driving everything at this time.”

He claims that “Ontario is leading the way with our economic policies” and that Ontario’s “education system is ranked fifth in the world.”

MacDonald strongly encourages everyone to “look at the news and judge for yourself. The facts speak for themselves.”

He also claims that in terms of the environment, “Ontario’s policies are getting looked at.” He added that “David Suzuki is backing the liberals.”

In following MacDonald’s plea for self-education, an exploration of the David Suzuki Foundation website reveals: “Besides its platform, a governing party will also be judged on its record, and a fair assessment of both the Liberal platform and record would call them good but mixed.”

The David Suzuki Foundation website blog goes on to discuss  the advantages and disadvantages for each of the parties, but doesn’t appear to come out in favour of one over another.

MacDonald, who believes that the riding is approximately “fifty per cent Cornwall and fifty per cent rural, claims: “I have a sense for rural issues as well.”

In discussing how MacDonald and the Liberal party plan to address poverty, he chose to discuss the Poverty Free Ontario debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall on September 15th and, more specifically, the Do the Math Challenge where he agreed to take part in the challenge to eat from a food bank hamper for five days.

In support of his claim to good character, MacDonald stated: “Everybody you meet has an issue. I generally find that if I can meet people face to face I can at least steer them in the right direction.”

Prior to the interview, MacDonald held a press conference to discuss municipal uploads.

He told the Leader that he felt compelled to speak out because of certain events at a recent council meeting in Cornwall.

A September 16th press release explained: “A recent decision by Cornwall City Council to postpone discussion to hire a city firefighter, until municipal budget deliberations, illustrates the need for the province to continue its upload of costs from municipalities.”

In the same release MacDonald claimed, “Fortunately, under a Liberal government, municipalities – like Cornwall – can be assured that the province will continue to upload costs from them, which will free up room in their budgets to invest in local priorities, such as hiring a firefighter.”

During the phone interview with the Leader, MacDonald said that this particular issue “strikes at the very heart of the campaign.”

He believes that it is important to “take pressure off municipalities to pay their bills.”

In terms of why he should become this riding’s next MPP: “I’m passionate about the job that I want to do and I want to do the best job I can possibly do and I want to be the best representative that I can possibly be for you and your family.”

In response to an inquiry about whether Premier Dalton McGuinty plans to make an appearance, MacDonald stated: “As of yet we have not received any information in regards to him visiting the riding.”

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