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Grand time for all at Williamsburg Fall Harvest Festival

It seems to be a tradition that every year on the weekend of the annual Williamsburg Fall Harvest Festival it always threatens to rain. This year, September 23-24, the weather again looked stormy, but, just in time, the rain held off and the fun of the Harvest Festival carried on. Just as always.

The 2011 Williamsburg Festival held throughout the weekend definitely offered up plenty for visitors of all ages to do and to enjoy starting with a hearty breakfast and ending with a barbecue dinner just before the dance at Matilda Hall.

New to this year’s fair was the ATV group ride organized by Tim Garlough. “This proved to pretty popular,” Garlough said. “We had 54 vehicles registered and about 75 people out to ride them. The route was all back country for 75 kilometres.”

Also very popular were the petting zoo, the flea markets, area vendors, rides and games and the arts and crafts show and sale at the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre. There were plenty of prizes, courtesy of local businesses and individuals, for largest vegetables, best pies, carved pumpkins, decorated homes and amateur photography.

At noon, the annual Harvest parade began, led by the Firefighters and their mascot, Sparky. Riders on horseback, antique cars (and the Jensen 2011 harvester), floats and kids in costumes were enjoyed by the crowd. Music and some fancy baton work came courtesy of Studio C Dance. The 235 Air Cadets from Cornwall made their musical debut during the parade.

David Lapier, member of the Williamsburg Community Association,  the volunteers who plan the festival, stressed that the Harvest tradition continues due to the great generosity of area businesses and the tireless work of local helpers.  

Fair Winners

Kids’ colouring contest:

youngest entry Charlotte Barrie and Liam Kelly
ages1-5: Sierra O’Neill, 1st, Abby Jean Wallace, 2nd.
ages 6-10 Raven Keeler, 1st, Kaylee Earle, 2nd.
age 11 and up: tied, Brittany and Stephanie Hutt
Honourable mention to Hillary Van Moorsel for her eye-catching turquoise squirrel.

Heaviest Potatos: Kayne McCadden, 1st, Bruce Whitteker, 2nd, Reed McCadden, 3rd

Heaviest Carrots: Julie Barkley, 1st, Madilyn Beckstead, 2nd, Carl Barkley, 3rd.

Largest Zucchini: Alfred St. Denis, 1st, Jenna Richmire, 2nd, Caleb Guering, 3rd.

Best Decorated House: Jaime Baldwin, 1st, Mary Lalonde, 2nd, Margaret Lewis, 3rd.

Best Decorated Pumpkin: Madison Chretien, 1st, Trudy Barkley, 2nd, Kassidy Chretien, 3rd.

Tallest Corn Stalk: Bruce Whitteker, 1st, Emma Pemberton, 2nd, Trudy Barkley, 3rd.

Largest Sunflower: Hailey Guerin, 1st, Grant McMillan, 2nd.

Trivia Winners: Hailey Guerin, 1st, Caleb Guerin, 2nd, Randy Seguin, 3rd.

Harvest Poster:

six and under, Dryden Buter, 1st, Kloe Lewis, 2nd, Kyra Lewis, 3rd.
seven and up, Trudy Barkley, 1st, Katie Buter, 2nd, Lillly Lewis, 3rd.

Childrens’ Costumes:

five and under, Abby Steward, 1st, Kuris Steward, 2nd
six and up, Hailey Steward, 1st.

Best Centrepiece: Children, Trudy Barkley, 1st, Alexandra Richmire, 2nd, Mary Richmire, 3rd.

Apple Pie Judging: Lori Link, 1st, Debbie Disheau, 2nd, Thea Marion, 3rd.

Photo Contest: Landscape, George Kroll, 1st, Judy Barkley, 2nd, Bonnie Haner, 3rd

People, Carrie McCadden, 1st, Karin MacPherson, 2nd, Sandi Knight, 3rd.

Animals, Karin MacPherson, 1st, Kaitlin Casselman, 2nd, Sandi Knight, 3rd.

Allan Doherty Horsehoe Tournament: Lillian Markell and Morris Dusomos, 1st, Brian Witteveen and Stephen Harper, 2nd.

Best Commercial Float: Triple B Structures

Best Non-Commercial Float: Lyle Van Allen

Best Paraded Horse Entry: Sandy Marcellus

Best Individual Youth: Brandon Lovely

Best Youth Entry Individual: Williamsburg Otters and Timberwolves

Best Youth Group: Cardinal Studio C Dance

Best Paraded Vehicle: Lyal Kehoe


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“Do the math” challenge begins

Mark MacDonald and Jim McDonell have agreed to join The Social Development Council of Cornwall & area to raise awareness and get a taste first-hand what it feels like to make the impossible choice between rent and food every day by participating in Cornwall’s 2nd “do the math” challenge (DTM2)!

DTM2 is a five day challenge of surviving only on the contents of a food bank hamper where thousands of Ontarians participated throughout the year since last fall and came together to bring awareness around poverty and the existence of widespread food insecurity and chronic illness related to poor nutrition.

This year, the Social Development Council of Cornwall and area’s local “do the math” team will be launching its 2nd challenge on Wednesday September 28th, 2011 starting at 9 a.m. at the Agape Centre where the participants will start the challenge with an actual appointment with the food bank to pick up their challenge hamper.

“With last year’s overwhelming response and overall empowering experience, and with the support earlier this summer from Cornwall City Council’s municipal resolution to support the Put Food in the Budget’s call for the $100 per month Healthy Food Supplement, we felt it necessary to launch DTM2 again this fall,” says campaign leader Michelle Gratton.

The community is once again invited to participate in this five day long hands-on awareness piece with their friends and family.  

Followers and supporters will be able to support the participants, leave comments and hear about the entire experience by following along on the SDC’s Community Blog site at

Initially launched in August 2009, this campaign features an interactive website where visitors are asked to add up the monthly expenses they think necessary for a single person on social assistance.

This budgetary exercise vividly illustrates that, after housing, clothing and transportation, most people have no money left over for food and must rely on food banks and drop-in meals to survive.   

For more information on the campaign or to find out how you can participate, please contact the Social Development Council at 613.930.0211 or


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McDonell gets spaghetti support

The Basket Case Cafe and Gift Shop, located in the Morrisburg Plaza, played host to their first spaghetti contest in the afternoon of September 24th.

The event was created by the owners of the store, Hanne Rycroft and Carl McIntyre, as a fundraiser for Progressive Conservative Jim McDonell’s campaign.

As well as being the beneficiary of the event, McDonell also acted as one of the six taste-testing judges.

Hanne told the Leader that she hoped this would also give people an opportunity to ask the SD&SG MPP candidate some tough questions before the election on October 6th.

She explained that those who wished to enter their spaghetti into the contest were required to pay $10. The top three winners will take turns having their spaghetti recipe showcased at the cafe on Thursdays.

The contest had 11 entries. Ralph Martin took first place with Geraldine Fitzsimmons taking second place. The third place winner was Gary Foss. Each winner took home a prize bag with local products and a Basket Case gift certificate.

In addition to McDonell, spaghetti tasting judges included: Councillor Jim Graham; Joey van Koppen from We Can Contracting; Donnie Bowes from the Upper Canada Playhouse; Chuck Barkley from Thom Realty; and,  Joseph Brennan from McInnis, MacEwen, Horner, Pietersma, and Brennan.

In addition to the spaghetti contest, the Basket Case also featured a silent auction and games.


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Recognize the value of giving Max Keeping tells Canadian Club

“You, Max, are the icon of generosity,” said  executive board member Doug Grenkie, thanking guest speaker, Max Keeping, following the September 21 meeting of the Canadian Club of Morrisburg and District.

Recently retired after over three decades as anchor of CTV/CJOH television in eastern Ontario and long time community supporter and activist, Keeping shared his views of giving, of the importance of community and of the role of the media in the community. His Newfoundland sense of humour always at the forefront, Keeping delivered an inspirational and thoughtful message.

He recalled how essential a station like CJOH has been to the eastern Ontario community, bringing people together through distinctive local productions and shows that reflect rural values and strengths. He was proud that New Faces, Regional Contact, and even the off-the-wall show, You Can’t Do That on Television, are remembered and honoured for their hometown spirit. They showcased the interesting places and people that mattered to eastern Ontario communities.

“In the 1960s,” Keeping said, “when I was just starting out, Ernest L. Bushnell was the new owner of CJOH TV. I remember him saying ‘This station must exist to do more than just make me money.’ He felt that his station had to be of service and benefit to the community.”

Keeping followed that philosophy throughout his on air career, actively promoting and supporting fund raisers, funding drives and community campaigns for nearly 40 years, including his work for CHEO, raising millions of dollars for sick children during telethons.

“In this wonderful and exciting new world of technology, our definition of neigbour is going to change. My neigbours used to be anyone four miles away. Now a neighbour can mean someone 8,000 miles away. The ability to net work and to bring people together on line in a good cause is a characteristic of young people today. They still cherish our fundamental values, but they plan to use technology to remake the world.”

Although he values and supports the new technical approaches to community involvement and fund raising, Keeping shared anedotes about the “good old days” on the  CJOH TV, when there was a push to get right out into the community to broadcast.

“Once, on a four nights run of a show called Hometown Tours, we decided in one town that it would be a great idea to put J.J. Clark, the weatherman, out into the river to deliver his report,” Keeping laughed.

“With more than a minute and a half to go in the report, J.J. suddenly threw the live mike back at me and I had to cover. When I asked him why later, he indignantly replied that the current was so strong, it was pulling him under. “I was drowning!”

Another time I talked him into making his weather broadcast from atop a live elephant. Suddenly the beast took off with J.J. trapped. We used to put him into all kinds of predicaments. I don’t think,” Keeping laughed, “that J.J. really minded when I left.”

He praised the efforts of the public service employees, of individuals and service groups and ordinary people for their generosity to others.

“Throughout my long career, I have learned to recognize and value the act of giving,” Keeping concluded.

“You receive so much more when you give. You of rural Canada have set the bar high in generosity to others: we in the cities must strive to meet that same bar.”


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Casino night at the Hartford

The Hartford Retirement Centre hosted its first Casino Night on September 22nd from 7 to 9 p.m. Many residents were joined by family and friends for an evening of fun.

According to organizer, Marilyn Arsenault, the Hartford rented two blackjack tables, two slot machines, and two crown & anchor wheels from their sister centre in Ottawa, Rideau Place on the River.

She told the Leader that “each person was given a bucket with 20 chips in it (and) they traveled around to the different games” playing until “their chips were gone.”

Included in the night were prizes provided by Hartford manager, Kim Hodkinson. The first place went to Jean Dunbar. The second place went to Evelyn Smail and the third to Mary Lynch.

In addition, there were seven randomly chosen door prizes.

According to Arsenault, it was “such an enjoyable night that residents are still talking about it” the morning after.

“We saw people out – residents who don’t usually come out.”

She and Hodkinson estimated that there were close to 70 people in attendance.

Arsenault wanted to say “thank you to Frank Lalonde, Richard Pecore and Penny Richmire” for their help.

Casino Night at the Hartford was such a success that there’s talk of bringing it back again in the spring, but this time it will be  “bigger and better.”


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Local minister and wife set off on mission to Africa in October

The Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle’s Reverend Duncan Perry and wife Sandra, will be heading to Africa on October 12th along with 14 volunteers from other Pentecostal Churches.

According to Perry, this particular trip was organized by Sandra Gill, the Women’s Ministries Director for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

He told the Leader that Gill “has done several of these trips (and she) does them once or twice a year.”

Gill is the one responsible for bringing Perry and his wife together with the other 14 travelers, of which there are five couples and four women traveling solo.

Perry shared that  going on a mission has been “something (he’s) wanted to do for a number of years.”

He “likes exposing people to missions.”

“Our congregation is very mission minded. We give a fair chunk of change to missions every year.”

Perry’s group will be heading for the Villages of Hope (VOH) – Malawi in Lilongwe where, according to the VOH website, “over one million children (age 0 – 17) have become orphaned” as of 2009.

Perry said that HIV/AIDS is responsible for the large numbers of orphaned children.

Malawi, also known as the “warm heart of Africa,” is a country in the southeast of Africa bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

The VOH “provides the children of Malawi with food, shelter, health services, and education.”

To go on this mission, the group was expected to raise $6,000 and Perry says they’ve actually raised $10,000, so they will “be able to do more than (they had) anticipated.”

Perry told the Leader that there are “no administration fees” and that “all” of the money will go straight toward helping the children of Malawi.

In addition to money, Perry and his group will be taking along things like clothes, tools, food, and even Tim Horton’s coffee.

While there, they will be doing a host of different things including house repairs due to termite damage, painting, windows, installing new screens, and fixing playground structures.

In addition, the women will be working in the schools and ministering to the women of Malawi.

At present, Perry says there are “about twelve missionaries” in Africa. “One, (a woman from Ottawa), is in a very remote part of Kenya.” He says “she hardly ever sees anybody.”

Perry has tremendous respect for those full-time missionaries who volunteer for these stations, saying  they’re “the heart of God. They’re amazing people.”

As for Perry himself, he says that this trip is “going to be an eye-opener.” He believes that his “outlook on life is going to be drastically changed.”

He even talked of doing missions once or twice a year following retirement.

Perry explained that while this trip happened to be planned for Africa, it just as easily could have been  planned for one of a number of other mission countries, like India or El Salvador for example. He shared his wish to do mission work in India.

To get ready for this trip, the group had to be immunized against yellow fever, typhoid, Hepatitis A and B. In addition, they will have to take malaria pills and “travelers diet” pills while there.

The group will arrive back in Canada on October 28th.

Perry promises to take lots of pictures to share upon his return.


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Council considers what role SD should play in arts and culture

At the South Dundas council meeting on September 20th, Mayor Steven Byvelds reported back to members on the proposed development of a “plan to deal with our culture and art community” from the recent city council meeting.

Byvelds was “looking for direction from council (to see) if they want me to participate” and, if so, he will “bring reports back to council.”

He pointed out the disadvantage of not going: “we’d be sitting in the dark. Not to go would be unwise.”

He went on to reveal that the “Cornwall arts was vocal at this meeting” and that “not all the municipalities are keen on participating.”

Byvelds pointed out: “I think we in South Dundas have a lot of cultural arts that would benefit from a plan of this sort.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke saw no harm in staying informed, especially “if (Byvelds is) going to be there anyway.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde agreed that South Dundas “can benefit from this.”

Councillor Archie Mellan concurred, saying that “at least (we’d) have our foot in the door.”

Byvelds concluded the discussion saying that he does “strongly feel that some of the arts community (needs)  to be involved.”

In addition, he said that he “certainly would encourage all council to visit the website.” The website address is

The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Culture Plan provides an easy to read detailed outline for the proposal they term “Culturescape.”

“The SD&G Culture Plan is funded by a partnership consisting of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Creative Community Prosperity Fund; The Eastern Ontario Training Board; the SD&G Community Futures Development Corporation; and, the City of Cornwall.”

Culturescape goes on to reveal that “the Culture Plan is intended to be regional in scope while addressing local initiatives in each community.”

The listed goals for the Culturescape study include the promotion of civic engagement; the strengthening of community identity; the provision of a plan of action for cultural development; the promotion of a better understanding of culture; the support for growth of the cultural sector; the creation of  linkages between culture and other civic activities; and, the support of economic development.

The study comes complete with a time line detailing the objectives for the Culture Plan going forward.


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Volunteers concerned with cost of insurance

On September 20th, Councillor Evonne Delegarde conveyed to South Dundas council members what she’s been hearing in terms of volunteer concerns about insurance costs.

She told council members that “volunteers are coming forward” and they’re “concerned about their bottom line” when they’re paying so much out in insurance.

In addition, Delegarde mentioned the extra work volunteers are having to expend when they’re already strapped for time.
Mayor Steven Byvelds was concerned that volunteers would leave themselves and their personal assets at risk of lawsuit.
This issue raised discussion from all sides and all angles.

Councillor Archie Mellan was concerned about hockey teams leaving the area to go to Cardinal or Long Sault rinks where they aren’t obligated to pay for insurance coverage.

Clerk Brenda Brunt pointed out that the other municipalities would soon be following suit.

Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald reminded council that the change in policy regarding insurance was done “to transfer risk away from the municipality so that we’re not the sole payer. That’s the whole intent. That’s why we ask subcontractors to have insurance.”

In the end, Byvelds requested that Brunt look into the options available and report back to council at the next meeting.


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Winchester hosts candidates debate

The North Dundas Chamber of Commerce (NDCC) with the Dundas Federation of Agriculture (DFA) hosted a candidates debate September 22nd at the Winchester Arena.

Provincial election candidates in attendance included Liberal Mark A. MacDonald, Libertarian Darcy Neal Donnelly, NDP Elaine MacDonald, and, PC Jim McDonell. Absent was the Green Party’s Justin Reist.

In an email to the Leader, Reist stated: “Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the debate in Winchester due to my responsibilities with school. ”

The debate got underway with a short introduction and welcome by Jackie Pemberton, President of the DFA. Bill Smirle, Secretary for the NDCC played emcee and kept everyone on target and on time.

PC candidate, Jim McDonell, opened the introductory speech portion of the night where each candidate had five minutes to say what they pleased.

McDonell talked about his upbringing, his political background, and his plans for the area. “Strong farms are vital to a strong Ontario,” said McDonell.

He claimed that Ontario is a “have not province for the first time in our history,” going on to talk about getting rid of government red-tape and putting “more money back into the hands of the people.”

He finished with a plea: “Vote for the party you can trust to do what they say they’ll do.”

Next up to the podium was Libertarian candidate, Darcy Neal Donnelly, who began by saying that he was there to “create awareness of our political party.”

He shared that he and his party “believe in law and order” and that people should be “treated equally, not even our government will be above the law.”

He went on to say that his party is “against government assuming control.”

He repeated an earlier plea for recruits and funds: “We’re looking for people to join us. We’re looking for new leaders. We’re looking for financial sponsors.”

Third in the introductory lineup of statements was Liberal Candidate Mark A. MacDonald who began by saying, “it’s nice to see so many people getting engaged with the political process.”

He them moved directly into his personal accountability record saying “I’ve been a fire fighter my whole life – people counted on me, people trusted me, and I never let them down.”

As for his party’s record, he had this to say: “We’re living in a time of great global uncertainty.”

“Ontario is a great place to live. Would you rather be living in New York?” He continued, “Ontario is leading the way on the economic front.”

Last, but not least, in the opening lineup of introductions was the NDP’s Elaine MacDonald who reminded the audience that there aren’t just two choices in this election: “You have a third choice.”

She told the audience that if her party were elected they would first “have to kickstart the economy (by) investing in job creation” as well as by “reducing taxes for small businesses.”

Secondly, she promised the NDP would “strengthen public services” by making education affordable, creating access to jobs, ensuring adequate pensions and care for seniors, as well as improving access to healthcare.

Upon completion of the opening remarks from each of the four candidates present, Smirle opened the floor to audience questions.
People came from far and wide to ask candidates some tough questions, most of which centered around farming, health, education, jobs and poverty issues.

The theme for the majority of the questions appeared to be one of government accountability.

The second question of the night fell into several categories: education, jobs, poverty, and government accoutnability. “How do I advance?”

The individual in question is on welfare, applying for jobs, but getting turned down due to lack of experience. Government response to the predicament was to suggest further education. But, there’s no money to pay for the education and this person doesn’t qualify for any of the government programs.

Mark MacDonald’s response: “There’s a number of programs out there. I’d be more than willing to meet with you after and get you as much help as I can and see what resources there are.”

McDonell, in response to MacDonald’s answer, said that the Liberals are a “party that has lost touch with the people it represents.” He continued, “we have to set priorities and put people first.”

The fifth question of the night received a massive response from the crowd. The question was a matter of trust and healthcare. A woman from the audience reminded candidates that the PCs were accusing Liberals of putting Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) on the chopping block.

She said, “I believe past behaviour predicts future behaviour” and then reminded everyone of Mike Harris and Tim Hudak’s history with chopping healthcare. She asked McDonell, “How do we trust PCs not to do this again?”

McDonell’s response: “You can trust us because we have a reputation of being trusted.” He went on to point out that the Liberals have “much more aggressive spending.”

He further accused Liberals of covering up a plan to close WDMH: “ordered Liberal government to turn over records” and they haven’t, “so we can’t get down to paperwork that tells us they were closing.”

In response, Mark MacDonald  glided over McDonell’s accusations and instead focussed on the people of Winchester: “The people of Winchester deserve a lot of the credit” for the WDMH.

He continued, “The Ontario Liberal government along with the federal government and the people of Winchester put that hospital there.”
Another question centered on Bill 152 and poverty reduction.

McDonell’s response: “I can’t speak for the laws now because it hasn’t been ours for eight years. We have a plan to get people working and lower your cost.”

Elaine MacDonald commented on the state of things now saying, “poverty has grown in Ontario” and the “system is obviously broken.” To support her opinions she pointed to the fact that many “of the people who attend food banks are the working poor” and that “homelessness is growing” in the province.

In addition she talked about the difficulty for those trying to get away from government assistance: “the penalties for working are a deterrent.”

She claimed that she and the NDP “have a multi-faceted approach” to the issue and most importantly, government needs to “treat people with dignity.”

The most common concern for voters seems to be the question of HST and taxes on essential items.

To this, Mark MacDonald asked: “Who wants hospitals and who wants schools?”

“Now is not the time for change.” He continued, “ it’s not about the tax that we pay, it’s about the value of our tax dollar.”
In response, McDonell questioned where the money went.  He pointed to the Liberals who “increased 60 per cent spending on healthcare” and questioned, “on what? Have you seen?”

He reminded the audience that in terms of money and taxes, “it comes down to managing the system.”

After more than twenty questions, it was time for concluding remarks.

Elaine MacDonald stated: “We are the only party that’s promising to put people first.”

Mark MacDonald reiterated an earlier opinion that it “is not the time for change” and invited voters to “mark your mark for mark” on election day.

Donnelly reminded the audience that he and the Libertarians are “asking you to help us shrink the government of its control over us.”
McDonell concluded by reiterating his views on Dalton McGuinty and by reminding voters that “Tim Hudak has a masters in economics.”

Owen Shortt, President of the NDCC, finalized things by thanking the candidates for their courage in sharing their views and in running for election.

For those still unsure of where they stand politically, there’s a website that might help: Answer the questions; find where you stand.


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Perspectives – A Time for Responsibility

The time for responsibility to our province is upon us once again. We are in the throes of a political campaign to help us decide who will be the next governing party in our province. I am awed by the lack of political campaign signs along the roadways and on lawns.

Does this mean that the people who are running for office don’t have the funds to mount a huge campaign with lots of signs and fliers in the mail? Does it mean that the party who has been governing most recently is complacent about this being a “shoe in?” Does it mean that there is a malaise about the whole idea of going to the polls to elect those who will be making decisions for us?

I have, over the years, thought that being “apolitical” was the way to be when one was a Christian.

What I have discovered, to my delight and to my chagrin, is that we should be very political. We should be standing up for what we believe and ensuring that those who want to be elected know precisely what we think is necessary for us to live in a province where everyone counts.
When you look at the gospel stories, Jesus was anything but “apolitical.” He wasn’t shy about telling the powers that be what needed to be done in order for there to be justice for all.

More often than not, Jesus was challenging the political leaders of his time. More often than not, too many of us cannot be bothered to exercise our right to choose.

I ask each of you, please, take the time to find out what the candidates stand for. Find out if there is someone who represents what you believe. Attend all-candidates meetings if you can.

But most important of all be sure that you have a voice on October 6th. Vote for the candidate of your choice.

Whew, now that I have that out of my system, I want to share with you that October 17th marks 10 years that the Dundas County Food Bank has had a branch in Morrisburg.

It’s difficult to know how to observe this anniversary.

If there has to be no food bank in Dundas County, let it be as a result of people having enough resources to buy food rather than there not being enough resources for us to continue to serve those people who need our assistance.

I ask you to support you local food bank in whatever way you can – through food donations, through financial donations or through donations of your time as a volunteer.

Jesus said  “when you feed the hungry, you feed me.”  Our responsibility carries on as we love one another, as Jesus loves us.

Rev. Sue McCullough
Anglican Parish of Morrisburg, Iroquois & Riverside Heights