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Intermediate Spartans collect volleyball title


The Seaway District High School intermediate girls put the finishing touches on a big season on Monday, December 12 when they, quite handily, collected the Leeds Grenville Secondary School Athletic Association’s  (LGESSA) championship. 

“It was an honour to coach these girls, and I look forward to next year’s volleyball season to defend our championship,” said coach Andrew Carson. “We have been to the finals for the last three years, and it is fantastic to finally take home the top honours.”

The Intermediate Spartans had a big season as they put together a record of 42 sets won to just 12 lost.

They competed in five tournaments, and went to the finals in all five.

At three of them they took home the tournament championship. The wins were at tournmanets at St. Mike’s, St. Mary’s and the LGESSA Championship held at Thousand Island Secondary School in Brockville on December 12.

At the LGESSA championship, the Spartans eliminated St. Mary’s in the semi-final, by winning back-to-back sets 25-21 and 25-22.

That put them against Front of Yonge for the championship and again they were on top of their games. This time they produced a pair of 25-18 wins which allowed them to take home the LGESSA title.

Carson said the strength in this year’s team was partily due to their serves. “The girls have hard serves that are difficult to pass up and they have great placement.”

“The girls also put a great deal of focus on hitting and use their skills to force the other teams to dig hard to get the ball.”

Carson also pointed to the Spartans’ great leader and team captain, Sophia Currier.

“Sophia is a phenomenal volleyball player. She would chase down any ball to keep the play alive and usually got us the point. Most teams feared her jump spike.”

While Carson credits great team work, he also was happy with many individual performers.

Among these was Courtney Casselman, whom he described as a “great player. Courtney was always positive and cheered the team on for every point. She too, dug for the ball to keep the rally going.” 



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Miniature village, a holiday treasure


Although there has been some growth, the Zandbergen late 1800’s-early 1900’s village, located just east of Brinston, remains a constant source of holiday pleasure to all those who visit the home of Bill and Coby Zandbergen.

In 2006, The Leader featured the wonderful miniature village assembled by Coby, and now five years later, a return finds the village has grown by “one full sub-division”, or, in reality, a third sheet of plywood.

Coby first began to develop her village in the early 1980’s. It began with the purchase of a miniature church, and it started out on her buffet.

By 2006, it covered two full sheets of plywood or about 60 square feet. And it hasn’t stopped growing, as Coby continues the hunt for unique and unusual pieces.

“I’m missing one item and that is the old fire house with the horse drawn water wagon,” says Coby explaining that part of the pleasure she has received in developing her village has been the “thrill of the hunt.”

The hunt has had her purchasing pieces everywhere from yard sales to retail stores to large department stores. She has even managed to persuade salespeople to sell an item or two she has discovered in a display.

“I’m not a shopper, that’s the funny part. But I’m always looking. The toy shoppe, I found at a yard sale. It is so unique,” she says as she points to the couple she has smooching behind a building. “Over behind the trees there, another fellow is proposing to his lady.”

Her hobby now includes everything from the toy shoppe, to the post office, the cheese factory, bakery and of course a town hall and train station. “I have five churches now. They are all different. Some are fancy and some are plain.”

All of her buildings and lampposts light up and that is where Bill comes in.

Coby estimates that if she sticks with it, “it takes me a good week to get it all set up. Once the base is in place, the mountain to the back of the display is added. I work from the back to the front. I set the houses in place and then Bill wires it all.”

“Then I have my famous kitchen tongs. When you have to place something, while balancing on one leg, they come in handy.”

The village and surrounding countryside remains in the Zandbergen’s front porch area until March break, when it is all packed up and put away.

Coby says she has no idea the population of her village. A quick count locates 53 people just in the town square and another 23 children playing in the school yard. The whole layout easily includes several hundred people all busy with their daily lives…skiing, chopping wood, cutting ice from the pond…ice skating…cutting down trees…

For years now the display has been a delight for the Zandbergen family and visitors to their home. “We have 10 grandchildren, all of whom enjoy it. I have one granddaughter who thinks she has to re-arrange everything,” says Coby with a chuckle. “The kids love it in here.”


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Frances Casselman


It is with great sadness that the family of Frances Casselman announces her passing after a lengthy illness, on December 10, 2011, at the age of 81 years. 

Frances was born in Matilda Township, on December 4, 1930, and was one of 10 children born to the late Irwin and Hazel Richmire (nee Ault). 

On December 21, 1949, Frances married Claude Casselman and together they settled in Morrisburg. Frances worked at the Knitting Factory and also the Linen Mill in Iroquois. 

Frances had a love for family and enjoyed traveling with them to places like Florida and Nashville. She enjoyed gardening, making preserves and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

Frances touched the lives of many people with her smile and generosity. She will always be remembered and will always be in our hearts. 

Frances is survived by her children Cheryl Casselman of Morrisburg, Velma Plumadore (Roger Papineau) of Mariatown, Walter (Theresa) Casselman of Morrisburg, Graham (Bonnie) Casselman of Morrisburg, Valerie (Roger) Meunier of Kemptville, Joyce Casselman of Morrisburg and stepson Ronnie Richmire of Morrisburg. 

She will be lovingly remembered by her siblings Doris Welsh of Morrisburg and Sharon Richmire of Ottawa and by her daughter-in-law Dianne Casselman of Chesterville.  Frances was dear grandmother to 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.  

Frances was predeceased by her husband Claude; her son Eugene; her sisters Geraldine Crowder, Helen Tyo, Beatrice Richardson, Gladys Richmire, Lyla McCooeye and Verna Richardson; and brothers Darcy and Lyle Richmire.  

Family and friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Funeral service was held at the funeral home on Wednesday, December 14th at 11 a.m. with Rev. Brian Barr officiating.  Interment followed at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg.    

Pallbearers were Corey Casselman, Michael Casselman, Travis Casselman, Bill Meunier, Ray Plumadore, Arthur Plumadore, Pat Disotell and Nelson McCooeye.  

Donations to Carefor Hospice or Winchester Hospital would be appreciated by the family.



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Bernadette Ferguson


A resident of Morrisburg, Bernadette Mary Hannan Ferguson passed away at the Cornwall Community Hospital, McConnell Site, on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. She was 83 years old.

Bernadette was the beloved wife of the late Ross Ferguson. She was the loving mother of Gail Melvin (Daryl) of Cornwall, Sandra Ferguson of Morrisburg, Ross Ferguson Jr. of Alberta, Kim Ferguson of Long Sault, Jeff Ferguson (Kim) of Bonneville, Shelley Conners (Paul) of Spencerville and Donna Earl (Gary) of Iroquois. Bernadette was the dear daughter of the late Charles Hannan and the late Mary Primeau Hannan and dear sister of Maggie Tyrell. She was predeceased by one brother, Charlie Hannan. She will be lovingly remembered by her dear sister-in-law Grayce Sommerville (Ken).

She was proud grandmother of 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She will be sadly missed by many nieces, nephews, stepchildren and grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were under the care and direction of Lahaie and Sullivan Cornwall Funeral Homes, West Branch, 20 Seventh Street West.

As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the charity of choice would be appreciated by the family. Messages of condolence may be left at hyperlink


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Perspectives by Rev. Norine Gullons


I was visiting a senior member of my parish this week. She told me that she has felt blessed her whole life. I asked her why she felt that way. 

She replied that no matter what was going on in her family, either good news or bad news, that they stuck tight together through that time. A good  philosophy for any type of family.

Our compassion for people in the world around us is an important human value. 

Perhaps Christmas time provokes us to do this more than any other time of the year. We reach out to others to offer them hope.

We remember those who have experienced a loss in their family over the past year. We visit the lonely, and the ill and we help out those who need food, shelter and clothing. We may donate our time, money and talents to an agency that needs support to help others.  

Our “good will” extends out from us as we reach into ourselves to be more compassionate toward others.

Perhaps it is because we acknowledge that we have been deeply blessed in our own lives.

Although we as Christians no longer wait for Jesus Christ in the physical form of an infant, He is still the source of our hope. 

As Christians we can look forward to the future because the baby in the manger was and still is, the promise of good will and hope and peace on earth. 

May God bless you and yours this Christmas season and may Hope and Joy lead you into 2012.


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Young and old(er) curlers on the broom


We hear a lot of talk, in a negative way, about the “younger generation”, so here’s a story about an exceptional member of the other 95 per cent. 

Ewan Wilson, third generation of the curling Wilsons, was honoured last Monday night at a Little Rocks practice by three D-Js from radio station 104.5 from Cornwall regarding their “Kids With Class” program. It was a complete surprise to the youngster, doing his homework as he was before going onto the ice. There will be a write-up in the Seaway News, and there is considerable detail on the station’s website, 

Ewan is a very active eight-year-old in many sports, with considerable support and encouragement from his parents and grandparents. Ewan wins a $200 registered educational savings certificate, $100, a six-foot Subway sandwich, an ice cream cake, etc., donated by Cornwall businesses. He is also eligible for other prizes later on. The Little Rocks’ Christmas party was on Monday night. Sorry you missed it, folks. Congratulations, Ewan, and kudos to your family! You make all of us proud.

Moving now to the older generation, three teams of senior men travelled to Prescott last week for a friendly bonspiel. Our fellows won one game, lost one, and tied the third for a very friendly event, before lunch. 

The team members as per the schedule, were Dave King/Pete Zeran, Rick MacKenzie, Paul Dobry and Peter Byvelds, Sid Morell, Karl Duncan, Bud Perry and Al Gowanlock, as well as John Wilson, Arnold Barkley, Fred Langlotz and Ross Bennett.

These events are always a great opportunity for club curlers to meet and compete with those from other clubs in this friendly fraternity. The Bowman Trophy draw ends this Friday. 

The Morrisburg club hosted the Senior Zone Playdowns last weekend. This is a “double knockout” affair: two losses and you’re eliminated from further play. Contending against the perennial representatives from the Ottawa Curling Club were teams from Russell, Winchester, and R.C.M.P. 

For the men, RCMP’s Paquette lost out to Lewis, one of the three Ottawa Curling Club teams, for the “A” title. In the “B” final on Sunday, Paquette lost a very tight match in the 10th end to Morris, also of the Ottawa club. 

On the distaff side, Chisholm from OCC defeated Russell’s Sharon Courneyea, but lost to Janet Lapierre from Winchester in the “A” final in the afternoon. 

Going on to Regionals in Belleville again, with Janet are Janet Levere, Janet Thompson and our own Wendy Casselman. 

The “B” final saw Courneyea, who recently won our women’s invitational bonspiel, lose a very close match in the 10th end to Chisholm. The games were tight and well-curled before an appreciative audience. 

We had a great turnout from our club to handle the kitchen, the ice, the bar, and of course, to watch the competition. It was a very successful playdown, and the “A” and “B” winners will advance to the Regional competition at Belleville in January. As usual, the tournament was well-handled by Alan Brunt and Ian McGillis, still very active in the Ontario Curling Association. 

We’ll report next time on the results for the first half of the season in the various leagues, if the details are available in time.

The club’s decorating committee has done a great job of preparing the lounge for the Christmas season, and sprucing up the appearance of the clubhouse in general. We hope planning for the New Year’s Eve bonspiel goes well. There may still be a few openings left for the event. 

Party on, curlers!    



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South Dundas Atom C Lions take it the distance and then some


The weekend of December 9-10-11 proved to be a busy one for the South Dundas ScotiaBank Atom C Lions and they spent much of it working their way to the championship final of the North Dundas Mega House tournament where they lost to the Casselman Castors, 3-2, after two overtime periods and four shoot out rounds. 

Friday night, December 9, the Lions were in Winchester for game one of the Mega House tournament.  

In their first game, the Lions posted a 1-0 victory against a tight checking North Dundas Demons team on a first period goal by affiliate player Sean Nicolaassen.  

Despite numerous chances, the Lions were unable to put another goal past the Demons goalie.  

Thanks to a strong effort by the Lions defence of Caleb Douma, Morgan Hummel, Trystyn Hummel and Matt Mackay the Demons were unable to get many shots through to Lions goalie Michaela Mustard.  

This defensive play enabled Mustard to post the shutout.  

Chloe Hart earned Player of the Game for her determination and multiple scoring chances.

Next up for the Lions was a Saturday game versus the Ottawa East Fire who had also won their first game of the tournament.  

The Lions came out flying and played their best game of the year as they worked their way to a 6-0 victory.  

The Lions forechecked so thoroughly, the Fire had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone for most of the game. 

Sean Nicolaassen again opened the Lions scoring assisted by Chloe Hart.  

Jaeden Shaver scored his first goal of what would become a natural hat trick to put the Lions up 4-0 after two periods.  

Drawing assists on Jaeden’s three goals were Shelby Martineau (two), Mackenzie McKee Markell (two) and Caleb Douma.  

The Lions final two goals were scored by Kendrew Byers with Rachel Nicolaasen and Owen Ordendi drawing assists on both. 

Rachel Nicolaassen was a buzz saw around the net, creating turnovers and making strong passes.  As a result she was named Player of the Game.  

Michaela Mustard picked up her second consecutive shutout in the 6-0 victory.

With two victories in preliminary play the Lions were off to the “A” Final against the Casselman Castors who had won their previous two games by a combined score of 12-2.  

After Casselman opened the scoring the Lions came clawing back.  

A shorthanded goal by Shelby Martineau tied the game at 1-1 with assists credited to Jaeden Shaver and Morgan Hummel.  

This seemed to spark the team as they continued pressuring the Castors.  

This persistence paid off when Kendrew Byers scored from Rachel Nicolaassen and Owen Orendi to give the Lions a 2-1 lead heading to the third period.  

In the final frame, the teams exchanged numerous chances as the goalies made great saves time after time. 

Unfortunately, the Lions could not hold the lead as the Castors tied the game up at 2-2 on a breakaway with less than three minutes left on the clock.  

The following overtime periods of four on four and then three on three were instant classics with rush after rush resulting in great chances but no game winning goals.  

After the 2 overtime periods, the teams began a sudden death shootout.  

The Lions fantastic tournament run came to an end when the Castors scored the winner on the fourth round of shootouts.  

A full arena was cheering both teams at the end of a hard fought nail biter of a final.  

Shelby Martineau was awarded the Player of the Game in recognition of her short handed goal and her effort.  

Michaela Mustard stopped many shots in regulation and overtime and then played great in the shootout as well.

A tired bunch of Lions headed to Prescott on Sunday, December 11 to face the first place South Grenville 1 Rangers, and although they gave the Rangers a run for their money, they settled for a 3-2 loss.  

It would have been understandable if the Lions had not been able to get up for this game, but the Lions determination would not allow that.  

The Lions opened up the scoring with Shelby Martineau getting one past the Rangers goalie.  Jaeden Shaver drew an assist on the first goal.  

The Rangers came back to get the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.  

Devon Swindells struck for the Lions to tie the game 2-2 with the assist going to Owen Orendi and Chloe Hart.  

The Rangers Michaela Mustard scored the winner with three minutes left in the game.


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Ewan Wilson, a


Monday, December 12 saw some excitement at the regularly scheduled Little Rock practice at the Morrisburg Curling Club when Variety 104.5 arrived to surprise Morrisburg curler, Ewan Wilson, with the December “Kid with Class” prize.

Ewan has been a recreational curler in Morrisburg since he was four. That year he curled in the Easter Seal Bonspiel. He has been a Morrisburg Little Rocker for three years.  

Eight year old Ewan is very active and while he owns video games, he is more likely to be found playing a sport… most sports… any sport!!!! 

He is a leader on his South Stormont Selects Novice C hockey team (practicing, in borrowed goalie gear, with the team’s goalie so, “she doesn’t have to do it alone.”) 

This year he took up broomball, and he is a now a member of the Finch Lightening Squirt team.

For his summers, Ewan plays soccer in Long Sault, golfs at Archies and plays baseball with the Cornwall River Rats! 

He runs too, and is an alumni of Ottawa Race Weekend, The Heather Saaltink Run and The Perth Kilt Run. To top it all off he maintains good grades and keeps his grandparents loved, busy and entertained! 

Variety 104 is a radio station serving the Cornwall area. Its “Kid With Class” program honours amazing young people from Cornwall and area who excel in sports, academics, community service, music, the arts etc.

The awards are given out monthly during the school year and include a huge assortment of wonderful gifts.

On hand at the curling club to present Ewan with his “Kids With Class” award were Variety 104’s Jimmy Kalaitzis, Sue Stewart and Darryl Adams.



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Yet Another Split for the Morrisburg Junior B Lions


The Morrisburg Junior B Lions are hanging tough with the big guys, but they continue to be plagued by a player shortage.

Saturday night, the Lions were on the road to Westport to take on the Rideau Division’s first place Rideaus and, after holding a 4-2 lead late in the second period, they ended up on the wrong side of a 6-4 count.

Although he expected to ice a full team Saturday night, such was not the case for a very discouraged coach Thom Racine.

“Lance Hodgson was hurt Friday night and couldn’t play, and we had a couple more who had exams on Tuesday, so they couldn’t play…which I don’t get.”

“For two periods we were in control of the game. We had a good talk after the second period, and then we started the third period and couldn’t get the puck out of our own end.”

To make matters worse, Racine says the Lions got on the wrong side of the referee when they complained about a missed call.

“One of our kids was cross checked from behind and when he retaliated he drew a penalty. We argued and got a bench minor.”

From then on Racine says, “I guess he decided we were acting like idiots.”

In the third period, the Lions drew  five minor penalties, a four minute spearing penalty, two game misconducts and a game ejection. The Rideaus drew two minors.

In addition, Racine learned the next day that two Lions were suspended (and will miss this Friday night’s game) for infractions during the game warm-up, one for a missing chin strap and the other a neck guard infraction.

Fortunately, the weekend wasn’t all bad news for the Lions.

Friday night on home ice, they posted a must-win 7-2 victory against the Akwesasne Wolves.

The Lions went up 1-0 late in the first period on a Michel Lefebvre goal from Sylvester Bzdyl.

But then in the second period, the Wolves came charging back with a pair and suddenly it was a whole new ball game.

“I called a time out when they went up 2-1.”

Racine says the Lions knew how important the game was for the Wolves, and they knew they were going to come out with every they had.

Following the talk, the Lions got their act together and finally Chris Rutley (from Zach Seguin and Ryan Dunbar) tied it with what Racine described as a “fluky goal.”

The icing on the cake came from Ryan Ward with the Lions short-handed in the last minute of the frame.

“On a two on one, Chris Rutley laid a beauty of a pass on Wardo’s (Ryan Ward) stick and he deflected it into the net.”

That put the Lions up 3-2 with two seconds left in the second period and clearly changed the Wolves’ momentum.

“They just didn’t respond in the third period.”

The Lions held the one goal advantage until the final 10 minutes of the third when they counted another four goals for the 7-2 win.

The goals were scored by Marc Antoine Kamel from Brayden Girard, Alex Steingruber from Sylvester Bzdyl, Clarke Veenstra from Chris Rutley and Michael Paquette and Bzdyl from Steingruber and Michael Keenan.

The Lions sat out six minor penalties and were assessed a 10 minute misconduct. The Wolves drew four minor penalties.

Saturday night in Westport, the game was tied 1-1 after one period with Ryan Ward (from Lefebvre and Sam Hodgson) providing the Lions’ first goal.

The Rideaus went up 2-1, just 40 seconds into the second period but 12 seconds later Bzdyl (from Ward and Lefebvre) answered to keep it even.

Then a pair of power-play goals allowed the Lions to go ahead, 4-2.

Lefebvre started it (from Ward and Bzdyl) and Bzdyl made it 4-2 with the assist going to goaltender Mikael Dion.

The Rideaus cut the Lions advantage to one in the last minute of the second period.

Then just over a minute into the third, Dustin Sinclair scored while the Rideaus were shorthanded to tie the game 4-4

They collected the winning goal  at 4:21, and the insurance market at 15:44. Both goals were scored on the Rideaus power play.

Mikael Dion was in net for both of the Lions weekend games. According to the stats he faced 57 Rideaus shots, while the Lions managed just 26 against opposing goaltender James Davis.

“Mikael played really well. He just didn’t get any support in the end,” said Racine.

The split in their weekend games prevented the Lions from making any headway against the fourth-place CharLan Rebels.

The Rebels also split their games, losing to Casselman, 15-4 and defeating Gananoque, 4-3.

Coming up this Friday night, December 23, the Gananoque Islanders are in town for an 8:30 p.m. game.

The Lions are scheduled to play a make up game in Prescott on Tuesday night, December 27.

Their next home game is not until Friday, January 6 against the Char-Lan Rebels.

On Saturday, January 7 they will open the 2012 Rideau-St. Lawrence Showcase Event with a 9:30 a.m. game against South Grenville. The Winchester Hawks are hosting this year’s showcase. 


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Christmas craft night at MPS


On December 15th, Morrisburg Public School opened its doors to parents and children for a holiday celebration, Christmas Craft Night.

For one hour, the school and its classrooms were open and ready for those who wanted to stop by and take part in a little Christmas cheer, complete with the sounds and smells of Christmas.

On entering the school, parents and students were greeted with the smell of warm, delicious hot chocolate. In addition, there was a bake table readily available for those who wanted a snack with their cocoa.

Each classroom was filled with happy holiday music, prepared by none other than the students themselves. The popular holiday songs, sung by the students, were shown via video in each class. If parents missed the first presentation, there was always another coming right along after, as the videos were played on an infinite loop in each classroom. 

Different classrooms offered  different options for fun Christmas crafts to make. In many classrooms, parents worked alongside their children designing some festive ornaments for their trees.

The atmosphere was fun, warm and inviting and the night held the opportunity for children to give their parents a guided tour of their school, which was nicely decorated with Christmassy art projects handcrafted by students from all grades.

For parents and teachers, this offered a wonderful opportunity to chat informally outside of regular school hours and away from the sometimes dreaded parent-teacher interview.

All in all, the night proved to be fun, productive, and delicious… just what Santa ordered to get into the Christmas spirit.