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Locke team brings home the…mushrooms


It’s been a busy week for curlers from the Morrisburg Curling Club.

Mahlon Locke, Kathy Norg, and Wendy and Jim Casselman competed in the Metcalfe Mushroom Bonspiel recently. There were 24 teams entered, 22 of which were from Ottawa. In their three games, our folks played three Navy teams. They played well, and came home with mushroom prizes.

Our day ladies entered a team in a Navan bonspiel last week, and came home victorious. Alice Thompson, Susan McIntosh, Betty Locke and Sharon Van Allen defeated a foursome from Carleton Heights in the morning, enjoyed a delicious lunch and went onto the ice for a match against the R.A. Centre representatives. As in the morning, the Morrisburg team dominated, and came home with the championship and the prize money.

On Saturday, the Morrisburg women hosted the Broder, a two-team, four club competition, featuring Morrisburg, Metcalfe, Winchester and Russell. Our Morrisburg team of Greta McGann, Jenna Harrington, Kathy Hardy and Rachelle Eves won their first game against a Metcalfe foursome, and their second against a team from Russell. This put them in the ‘A’ final in the evening against the top Winchester team. Our Morrisburg people played well in the eight-end match, but the skilful Winchester quartet were able to eke out a win for the trophy and prizes. 

Our second Morrisburg team of Susan McIntosh, Kathy Norg, Leanne McCooeye and Wendy Casselman won their first match against the other Metcalfe team, but dropped their second in a tight game with the other Winchester squad. Winchester went on to play Russell, and Russell shook hands before the 8th end. It was an enjoyable day, with a fine lunch, and a delicious evening meal catered by Bill Laurin and his committee. The other volunteers, including our ice technician and his committee, kept the day running smoothly and on time.

Sunday, January 22 saw our Little Rockers hosting their Big Four Bonspiel, with the same format. Morrisburg #1, Keaghan Lowson, Kendrew Byers, Ewan Wilson and Nolan Belanger dropped their first game to a Metcalfe foursome. Next they lost to Russell and were eliminated from further play. 

Our other team, Morrisburg #2, consisted of Calvin Scott, Emily Poirier, Wyatt Jones and Jonathan Charette. They lost their first match to Winchester #2. Next they played Russell #2, who went on to the playoff with Winchester and defeated them in the ‘B’ final. The two Metcalfe teams met in the A final, and they took home the ‘A’ shield.

The third of four Parnell competitions will be held in Prescott, Friday, with two Morrisburg teams attempting to wrest the Parnell Trophy back. Again this time, four local teams vied for the privilege, with the playoff games last Friday. Sid Morrell, Raymond Benoit, Neil Williams and Al Harriman did battle with Peter Zeran, Jack Dikland, Karl Duncan and Earl Jeacle. It was an exciting, seesaw match, with the winner decided on the final rock in the last end. The Morrell team will attend the Prescott competition. In the other game, Martin Schneckenburger, Ron Beaupre, George Rutley and Bud Perry played Jack Barkley, Dave King, Doug Jarvis and Andy Patenaude. Jack Barkley’s foursome was victorious there.

The mixed invitational bonspiel had to be cancelled because of low numbers. Instead, the Hugh Hutchinson funspiel will be on today, with 10 teams of senior men in competition for the Hutchinson Trophy, and the stick bonspiel is tomorrow.    



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South Dundas attractions get new signs


Nicole Sullivan, South Dundas Economic Development Officer, recommended to council at the January 17th meeting that directional signage be purchased for both the South Dundas Dog Park and the Iroquois Locks.

After hearing Sullivan’s recommendation and reasoning, council agreed to the purchase of six signs.

The South Dundas Dog Park in Morrisburg will have three signs in the following locations:  County Road 2 directing West bound traffic; County Road 2 directing East bound traffic; and, County Road 31 directing South bound traffic.

The Iroquois Locks will also have three signs. The locations for these are: County Road 2 directing West bound traffic; County Road 2 directing East bound traffic; and, County Road 1 (Carman Road) directing South bound traffic.

Each sign comes at a cost of $335. In addition, the township will need to rent the sign space. This is done through a membership fee of $75 per year in the County Tourism Signage Program administered by Seaway Valley Tourism.

In total, the cost of the new directional signage will be $2,085 for 2012. 

Sullivan’s recommendation, she said, “comes out of discussions with the Park Pals committee and feedback from the community about directing people to the Iroquois Locks.”

In her report, she referred to the township’s 2005 Strategic Economic Development Plan and two of it’s recommendations. “Both of these recommendations,” she reported, “aim to enrich the experience of visitors to South Dundas. This will result in extended stays, repeat visits and ultimately, greater benefits to the local economy.”

“I fully support signs for the Iroquois Locks,” said Councillor Evonne Delegarde. She was concerned, however, in the many other attractions at the waterfront that could benefit from directional signage, other than the dog park.

During an interview on January 23rd, Sullivan told The Leader that “signage is imperative when people are in your community.” In addition to making the experience more pleasurable, it “also grabs people who might not have been aware” of the attractions in the first place.

“We’re always looking for ways to enrich the visitor’s trip. We’re looking for things to add on to their visit,” she explained. “The longer someone is in the community, the bigger the contribution to the local economy.”

“Recognizing that,” she continued, “one of my goals is a signage review.” The review will begin by compiling a list of all the attractions South Dundas has to offer.

“It won’t be something we can do in one year,” said Sullivan. “Once we look at the whole scope of attractions, that’s when we can start prioritizing.”


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Mabel Swerdfeger


A longtime resident of the Iroquois/Matilda area, Mabel Swerdfeger passed away peacefully on Jan. 12, 2011, at the Bayfield Manor in Kemptville. She was in her 99th year. 

Mabel was born in Williamsburg Township, on July 27, 1913, to her parents Charles and Viola Stata (nee Servage).

Mabel was involved in farming her entire life. She began working for her cousins George and Luella Beckstead when she was in her teens. It was at that time that she met her future husband, Ernie Swerdfeger. They married and started their life together farming in shares at Morewood.

It was at the Morewood farm that their eldest daughter, Shirley was born. Soon they rented a farm in the Dixon’s area, and there they had Betty. 

In 1946, they bought a farm at Haddo, and Glenn came along  a couple of years later. 

It was at Haddo that Mabel and Ernie spent the rest of their lives together, farming and raising their family, until Ernie passed away in 1971. Mabel continued to live on the farm with Glenn and his family, until the fall of 2008.

Mabel lived for her family, farming, and gardening. She especially enjoyed cooking for her family. She always had after school treats for her children, grandchildren and their friends. Mabel was an outstanding cook and could make a delicious meal on the spur of the moment. 

She enjoyed cheating at euchre, dancing, laughing, and travelling with her sisters and special friend Walter Ouderkirk.

Mabel is survived by her children Shirley (Arnold Foster), Betty (Jim Locke) and Glenn (Margaret Waddell). She will be lovingly remember by seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.  

She was predeceased by her husband Ernie in 1971, as well as her siblings Ernie, Lyle, Grant, Ruby (Hall), and Gladys (Hutt) and a great-grandson David McGill.

Her work ethic, family values, along with her sense of humour and outstanding memory made it a pleasure and honour for anyone who was fortunate enough to have known her. 



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Perspectives with Rev. George Frey


They shall never hold their peace day or night.

You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, 

– Isaiah 62:6

How refreshing to hear a Christian speak appropriately and freely about their faith, not as a challenge or imposition but as the true expression of their beliefs and commitments.

We live in a world that encourages the silence of the believer, seeking to establish and maintain a barrier against the faithful words of the one who cares about people and has genuine faith in Jesus Christ; which is a combination that always results in telling people about the salvation that is in Christ.

Through tacit social pressures Christians are often intimidated by an unbelieving world; bullied into silence and disobedience, not speaking appropriately and freely as our Lord requires of us.  

We are all missionaries…Wherever we go, we either bring people nearer to Christ, or we repel them from Christ. – Eric Liddell Jesus desires and requires that we confess Him before people. (Matthew 10:32-38) We confirm Jesus when we acknowledge the reality of His person, the quality of the life He lived, and the eternal value of His accomplishments. (John 10:10)

We confess our Lord when we proclaim to sinners the salvation that may only be found in Him. We confess Jesus when we believe in His testimony of the quality of His teaching and the bible, and therefore govern our lives by them. (John 8:31-36; Matthew 22:29)

How do you feel when someone whom you have loved and made great sacrifices for does not acknowledge you before others? We do not cause Jesus to feel that way after the things He’s suffered for us? (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)

As believers we are uniquely enabled witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Spirit and having new life in Him, (John 3:5-8; Acts 5:20; Romans 6:3-4) and filled with the Spirit to be witnesses for Him. (Acts 1:8 > 2:38-39)

Of course a faithful witness must live a qualified life, but also by definition a witness must speak. As freely as you speak about the accomplishments of family, friends or a favorite hero, even initiating the subject unrequested; so freely we must speak of Jesus’ accomplishments, their meaning, value and hope. Freely must we tell the truth of the salvation that may only be found in Him. Freely must we lift Him up each day that all people may be drawn to Him, and that those drawn may become genuine disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Let us who have put our trust in Jesus, persist always in “turning new acquaintances into lasting friends in Christ!”

Rev. George Frey


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You didn’t ask, but


“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” – Bertrand Russell

I’ve found myself faced with a blank page and too many thoughts to count. And, so, I’ve decided to share some opinions and beliefs, which I should confess up front, may be rather unpopular. In any case, whatever I choose to say will come down to my own experience and thoughts on the subject. So, here it goes…

I believe that money is not the barometer for success. Although I do agree it has its uses. Happiness, contentment, love, self-respect… these are the things that predict true success. When all else is lost, what do you have left? Your thoughts, beliefs, and the choices you’ve made. 

I believe that life isn’t supposed to be fair or easy. It’s supposed to be a challenge, which by definition is probably going to be stressful at times and more than a wee bit difficult. Several years ago, I kept hearing “it is what it is” and it drove me crazy! Until… I finally understood that it’s true! Life happens. Things happen. Our role in life is to take things as they come; meet the challenges head on, do our best, and move forward. (I finally stopped saying, “but it’s not fair; it’s not right” and accepted things as they were, moving ever forward from there.)

In keeping with that line of thought, I also believe that our parents are not responsible for who we turn out to be. While they set the foundation, we still remain the captains of our own fate through our own attitudes and choices. We alone choose who we become.

I believe that we as parents have one purpose: to do the best that we can with what we have to give and to always ensure that our children know that they are loved, valued and respected. Without a ‘rule’ book, I believe that parents have to trust their instincts and use empathy when dealing with the hard or sensitive issues that will inevitably arise… probably during those stormy adolescent years.

In a related belief… I strongly believe that a person’s character can best be shown through how they treat those they  have ‘power’ over, like children, pets, employees and so on. Kindness and compassion, I believe, are the keys to a good character.



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Broder & Big 4 curlers on the broom


Two big days of top-notch curling provided the action at the Morrisburg Curling Club on the weekend and when the last rock came to rest late Sunday afternoon, it was teams from Metcalfe and Winchester stealing the shows.

Both bonspiels involved two rinks each from the Russell, Winchester, Metcalfe and Morrisburg Curling Clubs.

In the ladies Broder Cup action on  Saturday, it was the two Winchester entries who claimed the wins.

The ‘A’ win went to the Winchester team skipped by Janet Lapier  The rink included Janet Levere, Janet Thompson and Rhonda Mark.

The Lapier rink kicked off the day by defeating Russell’s  Martha Stolk. In game two they defeated Morrisburg’s Susan McIntosh. 

Curling with McIntosh were Kathy Norg, Leanne McCooeye and Wendy Casselman. The McIntosh entry won their first game against Metcalfe’s Olivia Woods before being eliminated by Winchester.

For the final Winchester, met up with Greta McGann whose team members were Jenna Herrington, Cathy Hardy and Rachelle Eves.

The McGann team opened by knocking off Metcalfe’s Sue Stacey. They upended Russell’s Jill Miller in the semi-final to advance to the championship.

Lapier struck early in the final with a four point first end. Although McGann hung in, she was never able to recover from the deficit.

Winchester’s Tina Asselin skipped her rink to the B championship, by defeating Russell’s Martha Stolk. Team members were Mandy Peddle, Diane Spurr and Joyce Ouelette.   

In the Little Rocks ‘Big 4’ action, Sunday, it came down to the wire between the two Metcalfe teams, with the Ally Broadhurst team claiming the win. Curling for Broadhurst were Emma Lee, Kaitlyn Kennedy and Katie Broadhurst. They defeated their fellow Metcalfe rink of Jocelyn Taylor, Maren Cott, Caroline Taylor and Victoria Estrada

Representing Morrisburg were rinks skipped by Kaeghan Lowson and Calvin Scott. Curling for Lowson were Kendrew Byers, Ewan Wilson and Nolan Belanger. For Scott the curlers were Emily Poirier, Wyatt Jones and Jonathan Charette.

The B championship was won by Russell’s Allyson Harvey, William Manion, Sophie Denko and Martha Lewis. They defeated Winchester’s Kelsey Angel in the final.


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Council supports Prowind project


On December 6, 2011, the South Branch Wind Opposition Group (SBWOG) presented South Dundas with their case against Prowind’s planned South Branch Wind Farm near Brinston.

After taking some time to consider the requests, council came back to the January 17th meeting with a decision not to support SBWOG.

In fact, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds summarized council’s stance, saying, “overall we are in support of the project.”

Councillor Archie Mellan declared a conflict of interest, taking himself out of the equation. The remaining council members were unanimous in their support for Prowind’s wind farm project.

In terms of why council landed where they did in terms of which side to support, it seems to come down to a matter of choosing the winning team.

Deputy-mayor Jim Locke reminded everyone that “it’s a known fact that the municipality really has no say in the matter.”

Councillor Jim Graham concurred, saying, “I think the government has set up a policy where they’re going to limit the interference of municipalities on these projects.”

“We don’t have staff and resources to fight provincial policy on this,” he added.

He suggested that it would be “foolish” for council to support SBWOG “because I don’t think we’ll get far on this.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde agreed, “the province has taken a firm stand on this.”

However, she also said, “I don’t have a problem sending their concerns on to the Member of Provincial Parliament.”

In addition to council’s feelings that to support SBWOG would be pointless, Byvelds also pointed out that the project “started in 2008 and then in 2011 a group that decides it’s not right came along making demands that we don’t have authority on.”

Interestingly enough, Byvelds informed council of a deputy-mayor in a western Ontario municipality who had recently contacted him with a cautionary note concerning the wind farm project: she reported that those in her municipality were having some problems until the lines from the turbines to the substations were buried. Apparently, above ground, these lines emitted unfiltered electricity.

Byvelds also noted, however, that there “is not a lot to validate her concerns.”

“From a project overall, I think it’s at a point now where I’m certainly not going to stand in the way of it,” he said.

Locke interjected, saying he had heard of similar issues concerning “overhead wires and unfiltered power. There were houses that needed to be vacated.”

“I would definitely support an urge to bury,” said Locke.

With that said, South Dundas council decided against supporting SBWOG and their requests.

This may not, however, be the end of the discussion. On January 20th, Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), issued two releases changing OFA’s stance on wind farms in Ontario: Wind power versus rural power; and, OFA calls on government to suspend wind turbine development in Ontario.

“The OFA is calling on the provincial government to suspend the invasion of rural Ontario with industrial wind turbines.”


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Student entrepreneurs


Are you a student interested in starting your own business? If you’re between the ages of 15 and 29, you might just qualify for a little help in making that dream into a reality. 

According to a recent release from the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre (CBEC), they are now accepting applications for Summer Company 2012.

“Summer Company is a program sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI) and administered by CBEC, which assists students in starting and running their own business through the summer months.”

“Participants receive hands on business training and are matched with mentors who help guide them through the business stages.”

Furthermore, “each Summer Company participant can receive up to $3,000 to start their own business.”

According to Candy Pollard, a business consultant with CBEC, “we have had a couple of students from South Dundas as part of Summer Company in the past.” 

“We usually see about 30 to 35 initial applications. We then contact each student to provide information on continuing the application process,” she informed.

“It really is an excellent opportunity for our youth to learn about business and to make some money at the same time,” she said.

For more information, visit


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$1,000 for House of Lazarus from Kraft Food for Families


The response for the Kraft Food for Families initiative has been inspiring and for the Mountain House of Lazarus Food Bank a local success story.

Kraft Food for Families is a community-based program designed to help Canadian families get food on the table. 

The original goal was to donate up to $50,000 to 30 food banks across Canada and award a $10,000 bonus donation to the food bank with the most names in support.

According to the Kraft Food for Families website, “people from across Canada came together and added thousands of names in support of their local food banks, helping us to reach that goal.”

Leading the way were the people in the Owen Sound area. With each vote translating into a $1 donation, some 22,232 people there voted for the Salvation Army Food Bank which serves 600 people each month.

The Owen Sound total, in combination with other votes across the country, allowed the contest to quickly reach the 50,000 vote maximum set by Kraft Foods.

Also as a result of the voting, the Owen Sound Food Bank received over $30,000 ($1 per vote and the $10,000 bonus donation). 

Shortly after the Owen Sound victory, Kraft Food for Families announced a phase two initiative to support community banks, which was $1,000 weekly donations for 10 weeks, to the food bank collecting the most names in each of the weeks.

It began on December 2 and wraps up February 10.

In week five, thanks to a great response from the local public, the House of Lazarus Food Bank in Mountain, was the $1,000 winner.



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Brave Officer Finally Honoured


 The headline in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder for October 14, 1892, made it brutally clear: 

James Slavin Was Found Guilty Today of the Murder of J. R. Davey. Sentenced to be Hanged on the 16th of December. 

On September 6, 1892, Slavin, an often drunken, unemployed brawler, shot and killed Special Constable John Robert Davey on the corner of Ninth Street. Slavin also wounded Louis Lafave, Davey’s friend.  Within minutes Slavin was seized by an enraged crowd. 

In what some might see as a supreme bit of irony,  John Davey had been on the job as a police officer exactly one day.

Constable Davey was buried in St. Columban’s new cemetery three days after his murder. His funeral was a large affair attended  by civic, police and military officials. He left behind a wife and three sons.

Slavin was duly hanged two months later in the walled courtyard of Cornwall Goal, his body unclaimed and buried in the Goal grounds. 

The years passed. Cornwall grew. Other events, other incidents, other issues occupied people’s minds. Eventually, there was no one left who recalled the death of Constable John Davey. 

In time, no one even remembered where Davey lay buried.

Until 2010, when Cornwall police sergeant Thom Racine found out about him.  

Thom Racine laughingly described himself, during an interview with The Morrisburg Leader as a “born and bred sports guy. Anything I’d ever done up until then had a sports angle to it.”   

An officer with the Cornwall police since 1981 (he was also born in Cornwall), Racine has spent much of his life devoted to sports and to encouraging people to stay active. 

He is a very well known figure in South Dundas. 

Currently, Racine is in his second year behind the bench of the Morrisburg Junior B Lions hockey team. 

How did this sports-minded man come to take on the role of historian, writing Constable Davey, A Future Lost, based on the events surrounding Davey’s tragedy?

“About six years ago, my son came home from school talking about World War II. He was deeply interested. In a kind of spontaneous reaction, I said, why don’t we go to Europe and see what it was all about? That vagabond journey, which took us to cemeteries and memorials honouring soldiers, seemed to put the history hook into me.”

That “hook” as Racine calls it, truly dug in. 

He soon began including historical anecdotes in his regular column in the Seaway News.

However, it was not until he was asked, in 2010, by Police Chief Dan Parkinson to write a history of the Cornwall Police, that he learned of the death of John Davey, and the execution of James Slavin. 

“Davey was a man who may have been recognized for two or three days after his tragedy then forgotten,” Racine explained. “He was a genuine kind of everyman. Davey was no “sitter”: he was a man who got out and got involved in his community. He had served with the militia, run a business, taken part in civic affairs, and he volunteered to be a Special Constable for a dollar a day, if you made an arrest. And Davey gave his life in the line of duty. I really felt that that should be recognized and acknowledged.” 

“Derailed”, as he called it, from the task of writing the history of the Cornwall police, Racine began to focus on the life and times of John Davey. 

His book, Constable Davy, A Future Lost, was the result. 

However, Racine did not stop with simply writing the book. 

“John Davey was a hero,” Racine said. “As the Ontario Police Memorial in Queen’s Park says, he was a hero in life, not death. He died trying to help someone else. There is a quote I like. ‘A hero is no different from an ordinary man, except for five minutes.’ John Davey deserved to be honoured.”

Racine set out to ensure that a man who had died over a century earlier would finally be recognized by his hometown, his province, his nation. 

He got the Cornwall Police on board with his efforts. He researched old files and newspapers. He talked to area historians, searched church records, looked through jail accounts. He traced members of Louis Lafave’s family. He blind e-mailed Davey descendents seeking to put together a picture of this husband, father, soldier, police officer and good citizen. 

Now scattered all over North America, many of the Daveys had no idea of their past and John’s heroism.

The week of September 23, 2011, his book just out, Racine saw Constable John Robert Davey receive the recognition of government and community that had been a hundred years in the coming.

Davey’s name was already on the Queen’s Park Memorial. But just days before special Cornwall ceremonies, Racine learned that petitions to the Ottawa Police Memorial had finally been approved. On September 25, Davey’s name would be engraved on the memorial and honoured in Ottawa.

Ceremonies in Cornwall were held around Davey’s refurbished grave: a street was re-named in his honour. The pipes of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, and solemn lines of police officers in dress uniform gathered to give John Davey his due.

“It was a lump in your throat moment for me,” said Racine. “I think what hit me the most was the pride of the Davey family members who had come to Cornwall from all over North America to honour this hero in their family. I will always remember the face of seven-year-old Violet Davey, when police chief Dan Parkinson handed her the folded Canadian  Flag from her great-great-great grandfather’s grave, her look of stunned awe and deep pride.”

Also with Racine for the ceremony was 15-year-old Cornwall artist Dominic Cyr. 

“Dom’s brother Patrick played with the Lions and I’d see him sitting at games,” Racine said. “His dad told me he was a talented artist. I threw him the challenge of creating a drawing of Davey and later of his killer, Slavin, from descriptions and old photos. His work was wonderful. Dom’s sketches and drawings now illustrate my book and the Cornwall street sign. He has a gift that will work for him forever.” 

Racine’s book is a colourful, deeply researched history of a brave man, his time in history, his contribution to the world through his descendents. It is also the story of the efforts of a lot of people to see this man formally honoured by his town and nation. 

Thom Racine is at work on other books now (including that neglected history of the Cornwall police).

 “I will say that I miss spending time every day with John Davey,” he said quietly, at the end of the interview. “In some ways I didn’t know what to do when we at last went to print, and I finally had to leave him.”