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Verla Perrin


Verla Velma Perrin passed away suddenly at her home in Morrisburg, on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. She was in her 86th year.

Verla was the daughter of the late Albert and Eva (nee Littlejohns) Disheau. She was a faithful servant at her church; supporting weddings, funerals and bazaars, and helping behind the scenes.  

She served in many positions as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and attended Canadian Club meetings to satisfy her thirst for knowledge. She volunteered at the Upper Canada Playhouse. 

She fed stray cats, played cards with her family and enjoyed sports and camping.

Throughout the years, Verla worked at Dundas Manor, Foodland, Treasure Island Restaurant, Pokey’s Place, Caldwell Linen Mills and D&K Fabrics. 

She delivered mail in the Martintown area, was a Bell Telephone operator, and had worked for Mr. Crombley who was involved with the lettering of tombstones in Martintown. She also helped transport cars from one place to another.   

Verla’s handiwork was to be admired—she made many quilts and also crocheted.  She was an excellent seamstress and made her niece’s wedding dress. 

She enjoyed day excursions and travelled to see Daniel O’Donnell several times.  

Very active in the Progressive Conservative Party, Verla attended meetings, posted lawn signs, worked at polling stations and volunteered before election day.

Verla was a humble lady, always kind and quick to help anyone in need.  She had a very strong faith.   Indeed Verla a bundle of energy. She enjoyed life and had many interests. 

Verla was the beloved wife of the late Ron Perrin (2012), and loving mother of Richard Tyo and Brenda (late Paul) St. Louis, both of Cornwall.  

She was cherished grandmother of Heidi (Randy) McGillis and great-grandmother of Kaitlin and Sarah Lynn McGillis, all of Cornwall. 

Verla will be lovingly remembered by her stepchildren Dwight (Cathy) Perrin of Kingston and Dwayne Perrin of Athens.  She was dear step-grandmother of Cindy (Neil) Boyce of Harrowsmith and Lee Perrin of Kingston, and loving step-great-grandmother of Harley and Braden Boyce of Harrowsmith.

She was the treasured sister of Glendon (Beverly) Disheau of Morrisburg, Elizabeth Smith of Massena, NY, Warren Disheau of Toronto, Wayne (Ann) Disheau of Morrisburg, Carol (Frank) Dahl of Wasa, BC, and Louella Smail of Brinston.

She was dear sister-in-law of Winston Baker of Stampville and Beverly Disheau of Morrisburg. She will be sadly missed by numerous nieces and nephews.  

Verla was predeceased by her parents Albert and Eva Disheau, her sister Heather Baker, her brothers Bert and Wallace Disheau and her brothers-in-law Harold Smith and Brian Smail. 

Friends were received at the Parker Funeral Home, Morrisburg on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Order of the Eastern Star, (Violet Chapter #206) service was held following the afternoon visitation.

Funeral service was at Lakeshore Drive United Church, Morrisburg on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 1 p.m.  Cremation with inurnment at Iroquois Point United Cemetery at a later date.  

Memorial donations to Lakeshore Drive United Church will be gratefully acknowledged. 

Pallbearers were Scott Robinson, Wesley Baker, Winston Baker, Grant Gingrich, Darren Crawford and Brian Howald


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Municipal milestones recognized

Years of service were recognized by the Municipality of South Dundas Monday, June 22. South Dundas Mayor Evonne Delegarde said, “Thanks to you all for the work you do,” as she handed out service awards to those who have reached significant milestones over the last two years. L-r, Delegarde is pictured with long serving municipal staffers Richard Shaver and Tim Halladay, who have been with South Dundas 20 years, and Brenda Brunt who has been with South Dundas 25 years. At the lunchtime gathering at the Docksyde in Morrisburg, 10 year service awards went to Ruth Bell and Steve McDonald and five year awards to Greg deDekker, Kent Holder and Steve Aitken.



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Successful Relay for Life in Crysler Park


 “It has simply been awesome,” said Carolyn Bourassa, community manager of the Canadian Cancer Society, Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, Prescott – Russell, “We had 26 teams taking part in the relay, and we think that we will raise between $50 – $55,000 just today.”

Over 200 actual walkers and more than 100 volunteers were all at Crysler Beach on Saturday, June 20, for the annual Relay for Life. “This is our third fundraising relay event this spring,” Bourassa said. “We held ones at Maxville and Plantagenet earlier in the spring. Here at Crysler Beach, 18 cancer survivors led our opening walk.”

This was the first time that Crysler Beach has been the site of the walk. “The Parks of the St. Lawrenc invited us to ‘try out’ Crysler this year.” Bourassa explained. “We have found this beach a perfect venue, cozy, friendly and shady, with great facilities. And the weather today has been fantastic”

At the Crysler Beach event, the relay changed from an all night walk to a noon to midnight schedule to make the Walk a little more family friendly. “It seems to have been successful,” said Bourassa. “We also added some fun activities like manicure and bead laps, and Zoomba and token prizes for lap events. Lots of families are here together. And we could not have held this activity without the volunteers and sponsors who have been so generous.”

The need for cancer fundraisers remains ongoing. The money raised at events like Relay for Life goes to support research for a cure, to the Wheels of Hope, Peer Support groups and Prevention and Information.


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Author Thom Racine and new book Moe the Toe


 In 1962, barely two years out of living in Cornwall, Moe Racine, number 62, the big guy from the mill city’s East End, found himself standing on a football field in Vancouver, listening to the roaring crowd, ready to kick for a goal in a national game. At that crucial moment, he remembered thinking, “I actually have to take this game seriously!” 

He did take it seriously. 

In his professional career (1958-1974) with the Ottawa Rough Riders, Moe Racine, a place kicker and offensive lineman, was part of four Grey Cup winning teams, a CFL East All Star 1962, 1965 and 1966, and holder of the team record for most games played, 213. His jersey, # 62, was retired by the Riders at his last game in 1974. And in 2014, Moe Racine was officially inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Thom Racine, Moe’s son, was at the South Dundas Historical Society meeting in Iroquois on Thursday, June 18, to discuss his new book, Moe the Toe: Never My Dream, a memoir of the player’s life on and off the football field.

A retired member of the Cornwall Police Force, an historian and author of Constable Davey – A Future Lost, himself an avid sportsman and sports fan, Thom Racine spent three years talking to his dad, writing notes and putting this memoir together. Along the way, Racine did extensive research into the history of the CFL and the great players who were often his father’s team mates and on-field rivals. An affable and knowledgeable man himself, Thom told stories and shared anecdotes from his new book.

“By grade six,” Racine said, “my dad, who was born in 1937, had grown into this ‘behemoth of a kid’ who was so good at sports that teachers kept holding him back from games so other kids could have a chance. He was one of six children, and his father, my grandfather, had the attitude that schooling was only important to a certain age, especially if the family needed money. I don’t think my grandfather understood football up to the day he died. It was my grandmother who insisted that Moe go to St. Lawrence High School. On his first day there, the phys. ed. teacher recruited him to play football. He didn’t know a thing about football. That was the start of a 22 year career in the game.”

Thom shared insights into his father’s career. From leading St. Lawrence to its third high school championship, to starting with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1958 at a salary of $1,300, Moe Racine built a reputation as a determined kicker. “On October 8, 1962, with one second left on the clock, he kicked a 41 yard field goal in Montreal that won the game 26-24. That’s when he picked up the nickname, Moe the Toe.”

Thom brought that game winning ball, a # 62 jersey, a 1973 Grey Cup ball and other memorabilia to his presentation. He also talked a little of what it was like to grow up with a father who was often in the limelight. “Our mother kept us very aware that we were no different than anyone else, that we were just like other kids whatever our dad did.” However, Thom admitted to being secretly thrilled when his father appeared on a sports card in 1968 that also mentioned his family and all his children’s names.

Moe Racine once said, “I was blessed with pretty good physical ability, but it was heart that got me through.”

“Growing up a Milltown boy, Dad’s story is one of family, and of perseverance that culminates with the perfect timing of his being inducted into the Hall of Fame just as the book was ready to come out,” Thom Racine said. “When we were trying to think of a title for this memoir, we knew part of it would be Moe the Toe. We ran a lot of ideas by him, including a number of ‘dream’ themes. That’s when Dad exclaimed, ‘Football was never my dream! I didn’t even know what a football was.’ And I said, Dad, I think you have the title.”


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Bluegrass Festival draws record crowds


  The 2015 Bluegrass Festival events kicked off on Thursday, June 18, with some good old fashioned jam sessions and an open mic. By the time everything had wrapped up on Sunday, June 21, paarticipants, organizers and visitors alike were saying that this was the best festival yet at the Iroquois Point.

The park was packed with campers: the live bluegrass, and on Friday, country bands, drew enthusiastic applause and cheers. Under perfect skies, in an ideal scenic setting, the Iroquois Bluegrass festival attracted more people than ever. “It’s been a great response,” said Geraldine Fitzsimmons of the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce. “The numbers are up, and people have been telling me how much they enjoyed our venue here. It’s just great. And our sponsors have been great too.”

Fitzsimmons, Joey Vankoppen, president of the Bluegrass committee, Pauline Flegg (on the Bluegrass committee) as well as dozens of volunteers were on site throughout the four days making people and performers feel welcome and solving any issues. Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank volunteers handled the gates over the weekend. The Golden Gears were also at the Point so that visitors could examine some classic vehicles.

But for everyone, the great bluegrass music was the chief draw. The bands did not disappoint. “I loved the music at this festival,” said Winchester fan, Kathy Spruitt. “It’s fantastic to hear these bands, especially groups I hadn’t heard before. “

Doug DeBoer of Hard Ryde, host band of the Festival, organized free workshops for the event. John Steele of Hard Ryde was the banjo instructor, Ben Wright of the Barrel Boys and Bernie Colville of County Road 44 handled guitar, while Gilles Leclair of Hard Ryde led the mandolin workshop.

Fiddler Nathan Smith of the Barrel Boys was one of the performers at the Festival. His band, made up of bass Tim O’Reilly, guitar Ben Wright, banjo Rob McLaren and dobro Kyle Kirkpatrick, were a hit with the audience. Nathan, who recently performed at Upper Canada Playhouse in Leisa Way’s premier musical, Oh Canada, We Sing for Thee, shared insights into the appeal of bluegrass.

Smith, a university trained classical violinist laughed that “I actually found bluegrass an acquired taste. I played the Ottawa Valley style of fiddle, a mixture of Irish and Scots, but when I was busking in North Bay, Murray Hill asked me to jam with his bluegrass group.” Smith began to drop into bluegrass venues in Toronto and Ottawa, “and I started to fall in love with the music. Then I met the Barrel Boys in 2012, and we’ve been performing ever since. (They released Early On in the fall of 2014.) What I love about bluegrass is singing the harmonies, and the incredible versatility of the music. You can jam with friends, or play professionally. Bluegrass is actually becoming very popular with young people, especially in the city. I think that with bluegrass there is a strong connection between the performers and their listeners. No age limits.”

The Barrel Boys have been writing and performing original music as well as bluegrass classics. It helps to have a sense of humour when you compose bluegrass. “Yes there are certain themes that are popular in bluegrass,” said Smith. “One of them is definitely murder,” he laughed. “The roots of bluegrass are in Appalachian music where heart break, and yes, murder, are themes. Drinking, hard times, pining for the outdoors and for the rural life are also themes you’ll find. Gospel comes into it too, that Southern influence. Bluegrass is a wonderful genre. Songs are sad, but they sound joyful.”

Nathan Smith had a lot of praise for the Iroquois Bluegrass Festival. “I love this community and this festival. The setting is intimate and this is a great stage. Everyone here is friendly, and the audiences just love the music. It’s refreshing to come here to Iroquois.” 


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Now 38 Jaime Adams tells her own story

“For someone who’s just over three feet tall, and born with a rare bone disease, life is always a work in progress,” says Jaime A. Adams, the little girl who was born in 1977 and raised in Iroquois.

Jaime, remembered by so many as the subject of community support efforts throughout the 1980s when the small town rallied around the daughter of Glen and Lorraine Adams with Morquio Syndrome, has written a book about her life, from her perspective.

In “Mommy, when can we go to church?”, a 60 page autobiography, Jaime tells her story of how faith and determination have helped her reach milestones, no one ever thought possible.

Jaime’s parents were told that she had a short life expectancy, maybe 10 years.

This story is not one of lofty achievements, but rather the ability of someone, who despite the odds, continues to move forward, no matter how difficult.

“Writing my autobiography wasn’t all that easy,” Jaime tells The Leader. 

“I wanted to write a book to help people who are going through similar issues. Whether you are a little person or not, we all have difficulties, young or old.”

The book follows Jaime, from procedure to procedure, but shows the impact of these from the perspective of a young child.

“I wanted readers to feel like they were there with me. In order to do that I had to go back there in my mind and re-live those experiences. That was tough.”

“Writing this book has helped me to analyze my childhood emotions,” says Jaime. 

Through dealing with two emotional breakdowns, and coping with much anger, Jaime discovered, that through everything her faith in God had gotten stronger, not weaker.

“My health today is great,” says Jaime. “Stronger than ever.”

Jaime now lives in Brockville. She has degrees in business administration, marketing, medical terminology and is working on web design courses, but remains unemployed. 

Jaime hopes to find employment to help her afford a vehicle so she can continue working towards getting her driver’s licence.

She plans to write more books, but says that too takes money.

Jaime is selling her book for $25 directly. Anyone interested can contact her on her personal Facebook page or on Adamsflash Facebook to purchase a copy. It is also available through

Mommy, when can we go to church? was published by Word Alive Press, December, 2014.


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Jumpstart receives cheque

Shaun Telfer, owner of the Morrisburg Canadian Tire store, and David Lapier, Jumpstart Project organizer, were at Seaway District High School on Friday, June 12, to receive a cheque for $1,589.39. The money was raised by the Seaway Spartans and the Iroquois-Matilda Lions club at the Fun Run held at the Iroquois Beach on May 9. The special Jumpstart event was organized by Allysa Mayhew and Jenna Douma, both students at Seaway and junior Lions. “We had a great fun run,” said principal Don Lewis, “and an excellent turn out. There were 90 participants from a baby in a stroller to a runner who was 75 plus. We were pleased to contribute to the Jumpstart project.” From the left are Don Lewis, Shaun Telfer, Iroquois-Matilda Lion, Nancy Barkley (who was also Jenna and Allysa’s mentor), David Lapier, Allysa Mayhew and Jenna Douma.


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Seaway says farewell to retiring teachers

 “Two key people are leaving our staff,” said Seaway District High School principal, Don Lewis. “Eileen and Sharon worked tirelessly for their kids. Eileen has supported her students both in and out of the building, and Sharon constantly looked for new things to try with her students. Theirs will be tough shoes to fill.”

On Monday, June 15, the students and staff of the high school said good-bye to veteran teachers, Sharon Last and Eileen Johnston. Both are officially retiring at the end of the school year.

Between them, Sharon and Eileen have devoted 70 years of service to education. 

“I started in 1982 teaching at Timothy Christian,” said Sharon Last. “In my career, I’ve taught math, physical education, special education, even wood-working. I’ve taught almost everything,” she laughed.

“I was at Iroquois Public School, when I first started teaching in 1978,” said Eileen Johnston. “In elementary, of course, you teach everything. But for most of my career, I have been in special education, working with children with developmental disabilities. My last 15 years have been at Seaway.”

With over 30 years each as educators, they have seen a lot of  board and ministry of education programs and initiatives come and go. However, it is their students they remember most fondly. 

“There are just so many memories,” Sharon said. “One of my proudest moments was to see two of my DEPP (Destination Employment Preparation Pro-gram) students graduating with their diplomas. I was involved with students council, with all kinds of sports, and fundraising for area charities and good causes. I loved my job.”

“I remember the fun we had taking the kids camping,” said Eileen. “For many, it was the first time ever having such an experience. The trips, the arts projects, just exposing these kids to the wonders of the world: it’s been great helping them to reach their full potential.”

After retirement, what lies ahead?

“I’m going on a grand  adventure,” laughed Eileen. “I have relatives all over the world, and we’re going to do some travelling. We’ve also built a new home. And I want to get back into my art.”

“Other adventures are knocking at the door for me, too,” said Sharon. “I don’t have specific plans, except to support my family and get into volunteering in the community. And maybe I’ll be a grandmother one day.”


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Small town weddings hilarious focus of UCP Stag and Doe

 “Been to one of these weddings?” laughed a woman in the audience during the intermission of Stag and Doe at Upper Canada Playhouse. “I had one of these weddings!”

Playwright Mark Crawford’s bright new comedy, running at UCP until July 5, certainly has, as director Donnie Bowes put it, “a finger on the pulse of the small town.” His play clearly strikes chords with members of the audience as it follows a calamitous (and riotous) day and night in the lives of two very different bridal parties. According to Bowes the show seems to be drawing many new, young play-goers to the theatre. They seem to find the characters on stage both familiar…and very real.

Rob and Mandy, Bonnie and Brad, all planning to be married, under normal circumstances would never cross wedding paths. 

Rob (Parris Greaves) and Mandy (Jody Osmond) have 250 guests invited to their ‘perfect’ day: French cuisine planned for a dinner served sit-down: a beautifully appointed wedding tent erected in her family’s large back yard for the ceremony and dance. 

Bonnie (Julia Lederer) and Brad (Zach Counsil), on the other hand, have maxed out their credit cards on liquor, invitations, food and a mortgage down payment. And Bonnie is finally forced to reveal to Brad that she may have also “overspent a little” on her wedding dress. ($6,000!” Brad shrieks. “My truck didn’t cost $6,000!”) As a result, as far as Bonnie is concerned, their Stag and Doe at the town’s only hall this night will be her best chance to try and recoup some of their expenses.

But circumstances in these couples’ small town will not be normal.

A ferocious wind storm has ripped through the community in the night, with unexpected results. 

A distraught Mandy arrives at the hall, in wedding day rollers, wailing “My wedding tent is gone. My decorations are ruined. There are port-a-potties all over the field!” She, backed by fiance Rob, demands that Brad and Bonnie vacate the venue, imperiously proclaiming that “a wedding trumps a stag and doe!” However, ‘Mandy-zilla’ has reckoned without bride-to-be Bonnie. Bonnie has no intention of backing down on her Stag and Doe. Not with all those credit cards to pay. Not when she has hoped for the same “special day everyone else gets to have.”  As both wedding parties proceed to wrestle for “hall supremacy,” audiences are treated to an absolutely hilarious glimpse into the realities of “battling brides.” Literally.

Apparently on the fringe of these wedding confrontations, yet forming, I think, the true heart of Crawford’s play, are bridesmaid Dee (Colleen Sutton) and caterer Jay (Perry Mucci). It’s not that the others’ wedding chaos doesn’t affect them: it does. Dee has a hurtful history with Rob, and Jay, a sometimes lonely single father, has had to cope with the arrest of his entire waiting staff and the impounding his wedding cake by the police.  Yet Dee and Jay seem to serve, in this play, as the voices of good-natured humour, of compromise and of sanity in the midst of threats, fisticuffs and bridal wheeling and dealing. It was easy to grow fond of Dee and Jay. It was easy to hope that something might come of their meeting, even under trying circumstances.

There is a lot to love about Stag and Doe and its cast of memorable, decidedly colourful characters. Crawford’s play is a very affectionate look at the nature of weddings and marriage, and the true purpose of both in this day and age. And, in the end,  perhaps even his two bickering bridal couples discover more about themselves in an outrageous 24 hours than they may have learned in years of dating.

A word about Sean Free’s set for this production. It’s splendid. From the Loyal Order of the Moose (or is it Elk?) plaque on the kitchen wall, to the unclaimed pot luck pans stacked on the shelves, from the always empty paper towel rolls on the counter to the needle point flowers done by someone’s maiden aunt 50 years ago, Free’s set evokes a nostalgic, wonderful sense of those community halls that still seem to exist in every small town. 

Director Donnie Bowes’  production of Stag and Doe is fast paced, beautifully acted by a strong cast, and brimming with laughter. For tickets contact Upper Canada Playhouse at 613-543-3713.



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Honouring 50th anniversary of the flag

“I attend many meaningful occasions,” said MP Guy Lauzon, addressing the crowd gathered at Iroquois Point on Sunday, June 14, “but I can’t think of one where I have been more moved or emotional. We are celebrating Canada and 50 years of our proud flag. We live in a wonderful country.”

On February 15, 1965, Canada first raised the red Maple Leaf flag as the new symbol of this nation. In 2015, Canadians are celebrating the 50th anniversary of that flag.

The memorial service held at the Iroquois United Church Cemetery, Iroquois Point, was a special event both of remembrance and of flag recognition that drew a large crowd. 

Organized by Connie Brown and the United Church cemetery board chaired by Robert Thompson, the service centred around a presentation of a new song, “Canadian Pride” especially written to honour the red maple leaf ensign. 

 Guest speaker, Brockville poet and composer Darlene Burns explained the background to her  patriotic song.

She was driving home from work when she saw a tattered, and torn Canadian flag flapping in the wind.

“I don’t know about you, but it really bothered me to see our flag in that condition,” she said. She felt compelled to go home and compose a poem she called “Canadian Pride.” The chorus uses these words:

When you see me

Think of Freedom,

When you see me

Think of pride.

For I represent our great country,

For which many brave soldiers have died…

Burns took her song to Brockville tenor and producer Christopher  Coyea, who loved the concept, and organized singers of all ages into a choir to officially launch the song at the Brockville Arts Centre, February 10, 2015. 

“I was honoured to be asked to be part of this project, and very proud of what we accomplished,” said Coyea.

With the generous support of Proctor & Gamble, the team has been able to produce a dramatic DVD of “Canadian Pride.”  Burns and Proctor & Gamble have assigned all the proceeds from the sale of this DVD to the United Way of Leeds and Grenville.

As part of the Iroquois service, Burns and Coyea played “Canadian Pride” for the crowd. After the presentation, members of the audience praised the emotional impact of the song honouring the flag.

Following final prayers by the Rev. Valerie Vande Wiele, and musical selections from Faye McMillen, the Iroquois Legion, branch # 370 colour guard retired the Colours to end the special memorial service.