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Lend Me A Tenor will hit comic high notes

It’s 1934, Cleveland, Ohio, the Grand Opera House. 

Tenor Tito Morelli’s appearance, for one performance only, will be the greatest coup for the management, for the Opera Guild, and for opera fans since the Cleveland Opera first opened its doors. Everyone, from the hotel bellhop to the socially prominent president of the Opera Guild, is keyed up with excitement and desperate to make a good impression on the great man. This is Cleveland’s cultural chance!

And of course, it is all going to go spectacularly and hilariously wrong! 

Upper Canada Playhouse’s new show, Lend Me A Tenor, opens July 31 and runs to August 24.

“This is a farce in the truest sense of the word,” said director Donnie Bowes. “Something goes wrong very early, and people make fateful decisions that also go wrong. In just a few moments, everything changes dramatically.”

The play, by Ken Ludwig, was revived on Broadway in 1989, and received nine Tony Award nominations. It has remained enormously popular with audiences world wide, and also with actors who perform in it. 

“This is truly the best written farce I’ve ever been in,” said cast member Liz Gilroy, who will be playing Maggie, a star struck young woman quite “crazy about Tito.”

Patti Kazmer, who takes on the role of Julia, the elegant if “rather pushy” president of the Opera Guild, agrees. “This really is a classic comedy.”

Bowes has brought together a multi-talented cast of eight for this third production of the Playhouse  summer season.

In the lead, as ‘Il Stupendo’ himself, is Sheldon Davis, who has acted the role in other productions, and once, some years ago, at the Playhouse. He was asked how he keeps a familiar character like Tito fresh and alive.

“Actually we find ourselves mining what was there before,” Davis said. “It is such a funny, funny play. The qualities and thoughts of the characters are all in a shoebox in our minds, and we bring them out and blow the dust off. And new people always create new energy and a new dynamic for the play.”

The actors are having fun with their roles.

Susan Greenfield is Maria, Tito’s volatile wife, who is very jealous of his attraction to women. “I also need to be constantly aware of my Italian accent,” she laughed.

Parris Greaves is Max, the harried assistant to the opera’s manager, desperate to ensure that all goes well, and doomed to see that all goes wrong.

Playhouse newcomer Ed Sahely is the slightly overbearing opera house manager, Henry Saunders. He wants a theatrical hit, no matter what he has to do to get it.

AnnaMarie Lea is Diana, a soprano scheduled to play Desdemona to Tito’s Othello. But what she wants is to get out of Cleveland and on to the grand stage of the Metropolitan Opera: she is prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that ambition.

Rounding out the cast, as an idol worshipping Bellhop, is Doug Tangney. Like just about everyone else in the play, the Bellhop is determined to get close to his ‘hero’, the great Tito, no matter the circumstances.

John Thompson has designed a  colourful period set for this production. “He’s had a lot of experience designing period shows,” said Donnie Bowes, “and has incorporated the trims and architecture of the 30s in the set pieces. It’s striking.”

To a person, the actors rave about the costumes created by Alex Amini for the Playhouse’s Lend Me A Tenor

“Alex just has a wonderful sense of us and our characters. She creates beautiful costumes,” said Patti Kazmer.

“Alex has ‘dressed’ 70 shows this season alone,” Bowes said. “She works closely with the director and later with each actor, offering various costumes and various qualities to enhance that character. Every costume is completely unique.”

With a beautiful set, striking costumes and a cast of lovable, rather mad and certainly hilarious characters, Lend Me A Tenor will definitely be a Playhouse hit. 

For tickets, contact the Playhouse at 613-543-3713.


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Spectacle of soaring siblings at Iroquois Locks

The passing ships aren't the only spectacle attracting visitors to the Iroquois Locks. Visitors and Photographers are quite taken by the majestic beauty of this osprey family. Osprey mature at two years of age. In youth, their eyes are orange, and then they become yellow in adulthood. Ospreys often next upon man-made structures, and have a high nest fidelity, often returning to the same nest after migration. They mate for life, and are devoted parents. This nesting platform was erected a few years ago when a nest had to be moved from a crane structure. The parents are often seen, keeping a watchful eye from the nearby crane. The young are full-grown at six weeks and leave the nest at 8-10 weeks for their first flight.

Images by Terri Laurin



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It’s going Tubie a Splash this weekend

Splashdown is only days away. Organizers of the 44th annual Tubie Festival can hardly believe it’s Tubie time already.

“Bringing back the good old days of Tubie has been fantastic for us, as organizers,” said Geraldine Fitzsimmons, manager for the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, which took over organization of the decades old event just this year.

This year marks the return of the ‘marathon’ style race, which will feature one race only, from Arlor Haven campground in Mariatown to the Morrisburg Beach.

Fitzsimmons says that the work of Kevin and Lois Casselman, in guiding this new committee through the organization process has been key, and the committee can’t thank them enough, as well as those at Arlor Haven for allowing the use of that site as a launch point for the race.

The committee feels that the move back to the traditional race has created a real buzz around this year’s event around the community.

The parade, featuring participating Tubie crafts, and their plays on this year’s theme “It’s going Tubie a Splash” takes place Saturday, August 2, at 1 p.m., and follows the same route as year’s past, parading along Lakeshore Drive to Augusta Street, Fifth Street, Main Street. 

The dance, featuring local band, One Night Standards, takes place under the stars Saturday night, at the Morrisburg waterfront between the Docksyde, the washrooms and the Lions shelter.

The race starts Sunday, August 3, at noon at Arlor Haven in Mariatown. The title of ‘Kings and Queens of the River’ goes to  the first team to paddle their way to the Morrisburg beach.

“The president of the Chamber of Commerce, and the whole Tubie Festival Committee are really glad that we have taken on the Tubie Festival. It is such an important tradition for South Dundas,” said Fitzsimmons. “We are all ready for a party this weekend.”

The committee is already planning for the future of the Tubie Festival and has some ideas on how to continue to build the event next year, and beyond.


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Seaway Spartans Hold First Golf Tournament


 “Over the years, many, many people in our community have had children who took part in Seaway’s athletic program and benefitted from it,” said Mark Lewis, athletic director at Seaway District High School. “Now we are hoping for golfers to come out and support us so that program can continue.” 

The Iroquois-Matilda and the Morrisburg and District Lions Clubs have joined with a volunteer committee, of which Lewis is a member, to set up and host the first ever Seaway Spartans Golf Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, August 16, at the Iroquois Golf Club. This fun-filled tournament is being held to support the Athletic Program at Seaway District High School.

“There are many life lessons which can be learned by being part of a school team, or taking part in any form of athletics,” Lewis said. “It is vital to ensure that a variety of strong sports programs remain available to all the students at the high school.”

“There was a time when there were nearly 600 students at Seaway. Now we have about half that number, and the budgets for sports have declined as a result. Our basketball teams are using uniforms from a decade ago, and we are playing with soccer balls that are more than 14 years old. Our weight room needs serious upgrading as well.”

One of the biggest financial problems for Seaway is the funding required to cover away sports. Because of the fact that Seaway players must travel long distances to take part in meets and tournaments, much of the school’s limited athletic budget goes just to cover those costs. There is often very little money left over.

Yet the school hopes to continue to offer all local students a full, varied and exciting selection of athletic programs throughout their years at Seaway.

To do this, the volunteer committee and the Lions Clubs,  felt that a fund raiser, taking place well outside of the regular school year, would ensure that fresh funds find their way to the Spartans in order to support school athletic programs.

The first ever Seaway Spartans Golf Tournament is spear-headed by Iroquois Junior Lions Jessica Hartle and Melissa Stevens and Morrisburg Junior Lions Christyn Veinotte and Victoria Peters. They have had strong on-going support from Lions Tracey Veinotte, Rick Mackenzie, Evonne Delegarde and many others in the local service clubs.

“This event just wouldn’t be happening without the support and expertise of our Lions clubs,” Lewis said. “I was a complete novice at this kind of thing, and their advice has been wonderful. I know that this is one of the most generous communities I have ever experienced, and I know that local businesses and groups are hit up a lot. What we wanted to do was to give people an opportunity to have a day out, really enjoy themselves, and help our sports department at the same time.”

The tournament starts at 11 a.m. on the 16th of August, using a four man scramble format. Sponsorships are already out in the community. Companies, clubs and individuals are invited to choose from six levels of support, although donations of any size will be gratefully received. 

Sponsors will all be recognized in the local paper, on the SDHS web page, in social media and will also be prominently displayed at the actual event.   

The cost to play is $80 per person, which guarantees 18 holes of great golf, a light lunch and a full roast beef dinner at the end of the day, as well as a donation to the Spartan athletic program.

Contact the Iroquois Golf Club or Morrisburg Home Hardware or the Seaway District High School web page to enter your team or to sponsor the Seaway Spartans Golf Tournament.

“We would especially like to see Seaway alumni, former teachers and administrators and their friends coming out, having a great day and supporting their old high school,” said Mark Lewis.


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$18 million waste water treatment plant complete

Five years after the federal and provincial governments announced that they would grant $18 million to South Dundas to fully fund construction of a new waste water treatment plant in Iroquois, the plant is up and running and producing the highest quality effluent for discharge into the St. Lawrence River.

Late mayor Charles Barkley played a key role in securing this funding, which he knew about before his death June 17, 2009. 

The new plant has been running for 1.5 months. It took about two years to complete construction. Monday, July 28, construction and government officials gathered on site to celebrate its completion, and tour the new $18 million facility that provides a secondary treatment process, which improves the quality of wastewater effluent. 

MP Guy Lauzon spoke fondly of Barkley and his determination to make government officials aware of the need for this much needed project that the small community of Iroquois could never afford, at Monday’s completion event.

“For years, I don’t think there was ever a time when I saw Charles that he didn’t mention this project,” said Lauzon, who still remembers the emotion of the official funding announcement event that took place three days after Barkley’s funeral. 

The final project cost was $18,062,067. The governments of Canada and Ontario each contributed $9 million, with South Dundas providing the remaining $62,067.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds spoke about the importance of that funding for this project. He explained that if the sewer users of Iroquois had to foot the bill for this project under the traditional one-third funding formula, the new plant would have cost each user $8,500. “We need to really recognize the importance of this grant. It is a big savings to the users of the Iroquois waste water treatment plant,” he said.

The new plant is currently operating at about one-third of its total capacity.

Not only does the upgraded plant better protect the environment and ensure the health and safety of local residents, its increased capacity allows the Municipality of South Dundas to treat sufficient wastewater to support future growth.

“Without our partners, this would not have happened,” said Byvelds.

The new Iroquois waste water treatment plant is fully automated, but can be run manually, if necessary. It features UV disinfection and has a storm water tank to allow the storage of storm water in large rain events to avoid over taxing the system and virtually eliminating the possibility of ever having to bypass the treatment process.  

Project contractor was J.C. Sulpher Construction.

Ian Kemp, supervisor of water and wastewater operations for the Municipality of South Dundas is happy to report that the new plant is running extremely efficiently. “The product we are producing here is exceptionally good,” he said. He explained that by Ministry of the Environment standards up to 200 e.coli per 100 ml is allowable. “This has two,” he said holding up a 100 ml sample of clear water, the product being discharged from this plant.


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Clare Hollister


A lifetime resident of the area, Clare Hollister of Winchester, passed away peacefully in the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Friday, July 18, 2014.  He was 83.

Clare was born in Williamsburg Township on December 9, 1930, the fourth of six children born to his parents Cory and Florence Hollister (nee O’Brien).  

Clare worked hard all his life.  He became a proud and prominent cheesemaker at Upper Canada Village where he worked for 28 years.  In addition to being a cheesemaker, he owned a farm south of Winchester for many years and retired in Winchester.

He enjoyed going to Tim Hortons, The Country Kitchen and many other restaurants around the countryside.   He knew many, many people, and who all of their relations were. 

Clare often talked about history, politics, and the news of the day to anyone he met during his travels.  

He was a kind-hearted man and he loved helping people, regardless of their station in life.  He possessed a good sense of humour, and he loved to have fun.  

Clare is survived by his siblings Merle (Marion) of Ingleside and Inez (Wallace) Byers of Winchester, and his dear friend Mahlon Garlough.  

He was predeceased by his sister Eileen Arbuthnot and his brothers Edward and Howard Hollister.  He is also survived by nieces and nephews.  

A private family graveside interment service was held at Maple Ridge Cemetery, Chesterville, on Monday, July 21, 2014, with Rev. John Martin officiating. 

Pallbearers were Gary Hollister, Calvin Hollister, Robbie Byers and Michael Kerkhof.  Honorary pallbearer was Andrew Hutchinson. 

Donations to Winchester Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. 

Arrangements were entrusted to the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg.  Online condolences may be made at 


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Perspectives with Janet Evans


On Sunday, June 29, the very nice folks of Lakeshore Drive United Church in Morrisburg hosted a beautiful pot-luck lunch after our worship service to mark my 30th anniversary of ordination. A number of people from Williamsburg United Church attended as well as some of my friends from other places.

I would call 30 years as a minister a “milestone” in my life. On June 29th, I also marked another birthday–this time hitting those double digits.

Yes, I’m really getting on in years, though perhaps I should look at it as does Tamra from the television show, the Real Housewives of Orange County, who states: “I’m not getting older, I’m just getting bolder!”

Each one of us encounters milestones on our journeys of life. Our graduation from high school, perhaps college. The birth of a child. Watching our son or daughter take their first steps. Decorating our first home. Milestones which bring grief–a diagnosis of cancer, the death of our parents, the realization that all of one’s dreams may not come to fruition.

May we remember that God will be with us as we greet each milestone, as we greet each new day. Our Lord sheds His grace upon us and offers us His peace that passes all understanding. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us, we are never alone.

In the weeks to come, let us draw closer to God and to one another. Remember to love and  forgive our neighbours as God has first loved and forgiven us. Give thanks for blessings and know that the Creator of the heavens and the earth can inspire, guide, support and challenge us. Let us go into the world assured that we can never go where God is not.



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U-15 Seaway Kickers win at home


The Seaway Kickers Under-15 Mixed team claimed a 3-1 win against the visiting Nepean City Storm M2 team on July 21, at the Merkley Soccer Fields in Iroquois. 

Seaway opened the scoring at the 27th minute of the first half, with a one-timer high in the right corner of Nepean City’s goal by forward Travis McInnis, his league leading 16th goal of the season. 

Five minutes later, he scored his second of the night,  his17th of the season, to give the Kickers a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Seaway forward David Swerdfeger opened the scoring in the second half with a shot low in the right corner, besting Nepean City’s goalkeeper at the 49th minute.

The Storm rallied in the second half, scoring at the 58th minute on Seaway goalkeeper Shawn Dowson to cut the Kickers advantage to 3-1. 

Seaway’s defense shut down any further drives at the net, to hold on for the 3-1 win.

Goalkeepers David Swerdfeger and Shawn Dowson shared the win. 

The Kickers continue to lead the Under-15 Mixed division in the South Side League with nine wins and two losses. 

The U15-Mixed team next visits the Ottawa Internationals team at Bruff Park in Ottawa South, July 28. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.



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U 13 Mixed Kickers lose close one to division leading HotSpurs


The Seaway Kickers Under-13 Mixed team was on the road to Ottawa, where they lost to the division-leading Nepean HotSpurs, 3-2, on July 17, at Hillcrest High School. The last time these two teams met, the Hotspurs beat the Kickers 4-1. 

The HotSpurs landed on the scoreboard first, besting Kickers goalkeeper Kendrew Byers at the 19th minute. They scored again at the 24th minute and carried the 2-0 advantage into the second half. 

Seaway cut the Nepean lead to 2-1 in the second half with a goal by forward Aaron Tibben at the 38th minute, his 10th of the year. 

Nepean answered back with a goal at the 45th minute, to push ahead 3-1.

Seaway continued to rally in Nepean’s end, with forward Curran Gilmour scoring on Nepean’s goalkeeper at the 52nd minute, 3-2 Nepean.

Seaway maintained pressure on the HotSpurs in the second half, controlling possession of the ball over 60 per cent of the time, and landing six shots on Nepean’s goal. 

Despite these efforts, the Kickers could not get it past Nepean’s goalkeeper. 

The final score was Nepean HotSpurs 3, Seaway Kickers 2.

Seaway maintains their seventh place in the 12-team division with a record of four wins, seven losses, with four games remaining in regular-season play.

The Kickers host the Ottawa Royals M1 team at the Merkley Soccer Fields in Iroquois on July 24. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.

U13 Girls resume league play

IROQUOIS — The Seaway Kickers Under-13 Girls team resume play this week, after a two-week break due to a weather-postponement and a by-week in the nine-team division. 

They visit division leaders Nepean HotSpurs at Medhurst Park in Nepean on Tuesday, July 22nd. 

Game results will be published in next week’s Morrisburg Leader.



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Summer heating up at the Iroquois Beach


The weather has been iffy, but swimmers in the South Dundas Swim Program at the Iroquois Beach are about to wrap up their second session.

Olivia Currier, head life guard this year, says the program attracted 34 swimmers in the first two-week session and 42 youngsters in the current session.

And those numbers, says Currier, are very good.

“This is a big group for us. We have a ton of little kids, and that is really nice to see. That means we have new swimmers coming into our program.”

In addition to the large number of pre-school children, the Iroquois program has three swimmers in Bronze Cross, and one who is working on her AWS1 (assistant instructors) level.

Although the numbers are good, Currier says the weather hasn’t really been cooperating. There has been a lot of rain and if it isn’t raining it is cloudy.

“The water is certainly heating up, but I’m not going to say it is warm,” she added last week, before the recent heat wave arrived this past weekend.

With the wrap up of the current session on the horizon, Currier says there is room for swimmers in the August sessions. Anyone interested can contact Ben MacPherson at the South Dundas Municipal office.

Currier is in her second year at the beach and will be heading into her second year of Engineering study at the University of Guelph this fall.

Joining Currier for his second summer at the Iroquois beach is Mason Steele. A graduate of North Dundas District High School, Steele has been modeling for the last year, and will be heading to New York City for work at the end of the summer.

New to the Iroquois Beach program are Dominique Cook and Kelly Chambers.

Cook is from Brinston, and will be in her first year of Engineering studies at Carleton University come September.

Chambers will finish her final high school year at North Dundas District High School and is planning to attend Algonquin College for a Personal Support Worker Program.