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Where will South Dundas be 10 years from now


What is your vision for South Dundas? Where do you see your community and your township in 10 years?

In the hope of answering these questions, South Dundas Chief Administrative Officer, Stephen McDonald submitted a request to council at the November 1st meeting for the acceptance of a “Proposal for a Community Wide Strategic Plan.”

According to McDonald, this is a “project we’ve been looking at for a couple of years now. We wanted to wait until the new council was somewhat settled before we undertook this.”

He reported that a few other studies had already been done, “namely the South Dundas Strategic Economic Development Plan and the Strategic Plan for Recreational Programs and Services. Both of these,” he continued, “were undertaken because a need existed and funding assistance was available.”

McDonald told council that “a lot of recommendations have been followed up on, so it’s time to update.”

He “recommended that we retain the services of a qualified consulting firm to assist with the development of a community vision/strategic plan.”

“This community vision/strategic plan will provide the township with a blueprint that will govern and establish strategic priorities and directions for the development of South Dundas over the next 10 years.”

McDonald supplied council with a “draft Request for Proposal” for them to review, informing council that he’d talked with a few of his peers and the process is both costly and time consuming, so that’s why staff has kept the proposal fairly  broad.

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke commented that “hiring a consultant gives good press and when you consider the scope, we get an unbiased view of what people expect.”

He agreed “council needs something to see where we’re heading.”

Councillor Jim Graham was concerned about the budget requirements. It was confirmed that the money required to complete this project was, indeed, already allotted for in the current budget.

Councillor Archie Mellan agreed that it was “worthwhile to spend the money and get an unbiased” account.

Mayor Steven Byvelds stipulated that “we need a consultant that’s fairly practical and that knows how to handle a rural/urban setting like we’re in.” He referred here to the Waterfront Project, reminding council “that it didn’t really meet the needs of the community.”

With McDonald’s request approved, Byvelds suggested that they “get the public out” to ensure they get “their say in the direction South Dundas goes.”


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Remembrance Day


I was at the cenotaph for the Iroquois Legion’s Remembrance Day service on November 6. The day was absolutely beautiful, the setting sun stretching out shadows to the west, hardly a cloud in the sky, pleasantly, sweetly warm for late fall. 

There wasn’t a huge crowd gathered at the monument. Often there isn’t. Some veterans, members of the Legion, a few civic, service and business leaders, church representatives, scouts, and a handful of ordinary people waiting for the parade from the Legion. I talked to a couple of the women. One woman’s husband had been in the military for nearly two decades before he retired. The other was younger. Her husband has just signed up to serve in the Canadian forces. Each woman had her own private reason for being at the cenotaph this balmy November day.

You wonder sometimes, as you listen to the service, just what the guys whose names are engraved on the weathered grey monument would make of all this: the pipes, the wreaths, the quiet little crowd. 

No serene autumn days in the world where such young men gave up their lives! Hard to admire a sunset when the earth around you is erupting in mortar shells and machine gun bullets. Hard to recall blue skies when the sea around you is full of burning ships and floating corpses. Hard to remember a warm wind when you are shivering in a loaded bomber praying the ack-ack and the search lights miss you.

Perhaps these long-lost warriors of long ago wars, wherever they are, will be glad to know that people still come out on a sunny afternoon to think about them. That there are kids in this crowd who stood and saluted at their names. That the sound of the pipes in The Last Post could still bring tears to watching eyes. Maybe they’ll even feel that it had actually been worth it: forever giving up their own chances of quiet autumn days like this so that people in this town, this province, this country would never have to. 

It might be a comfort for them to know that we remember them still. And we honour them.


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Hawks devour Lions in front of hometown crowd


After playing “a pretty good game” in Casselman on Thursday, one night later in Morrisburg, it was a whole different story when the Winchester Hawks came to town.

The Morrisburg Junior Lions kicked off the week in Casselman with a 4-1 loss to the Vikings.

“We played a pretty good game Thursday in Casselman, and should have won the game,” says coach Thom Racine. “We can’t score a goal to save our lives right now, and that has hurt us.”

While the Lions may be having trouble scoring, it is certainly not a problem that is plaguing the St. Lawrence Division’s second place Winchester Hawks.

The Hawks flew into town Friday night, where they demolished the Lions in front of the hometown crowd 11-2.

“The quick turn around into Friday night against, arguably, the best team in the league (Winchester) was too much for us to handle,” says Racine. “We had nothing for them and they played with us.”

“Losing at home, 11-2, is embarrassing, and we felt that all night. We just could not get out from under the pressure Winchester put on us.”

Thursday night in Casselman, the Vikings went up  2-0 in the first period on goals by Marc-Andrew Quann and Joel Adam on the Vikings power play in the last minute of the frame.

They added another two counters in the final five minutes of the second period from Curtis Chennette and Marcel Groulx.

With help from Ryan Ward and Michael Keenan, Marc Antoine Kamel spoiled Kyle Lamothe’s shutout with just 23 seconds left on the clock.

The Lions were unsuccessful in their 14 power-play opportunities in a game that saw an abundance of penalties. The Vikings counted once in 11 chances. A total of 63 minutes in penalties were collected by the Lions while the Vikings earned 75 minutes worth.

A good portion of the penalty minutes were awarded in a rough and tumble second period.

Friday night in Morrisburg the Hawks went to work for a 4-0 first period lead and at the end of 40 minutes of play they were coasting on a 9-1 advantage.

The lone Morrisburg goal was scored by Marc Antoine Kamel, from Ryan Ward and Ty Hodgson, on the Lions power play.

The Hawks let up in the third period to collect just two goals from Lions’ goaltender Ryan Cooper who replaced starter Mikael Dion late in the second frame.

Scoring for the Lions in the third, with 15 seconds left in the game, was Brayden Girard from Michel Thurler and Alex Steingruber.

Jesse Barbier led the Hawks scoring with three goals. Brock Burge and Dylan Chessel had two goals apiece and singles came from the sticks of Brandon Belding, Mike Evelyn, Evan Walker and Dustin Tinkler.

Coach Racine was not on the Lions bench Friday, as he was serving a suspension handed out the night before in Casselman. He says he was able to make a positive out of a negative and used the opportunity to get “a different look at the game, Friday.” He is hoping that what he saw Friday can be fixed and “we can take a positive out of a beating.”

Coming up this Friday, November 11, the Lions are at the Glengarry Sports Palace for an  8 p.m. game against the Alexandria Glens. 

Then on Sunday, November 13 they are at home to the Rideau Division’s first place Westport Rideaus. Game time  is 2:30 p.m.

Racine says that after Friday night’s loss to the Hawks, “I told the kids to shake it off and get ready for the next beast Friday in Alexandria, and hopefully find a way to work as hard as we did in Casselman. Hopefully, we can force a few goals to pick up our spirts.”

“We host Westport, Sunday, and the month does not get any easier. So hard work needs to show up every night.”


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Remembrance Day


 Sunny, blue skies graced the Remembrance Day ceremony held in Iroquois on Sunday, November 6. 

Veterans,  members of the Royal Canadian Legion, police and firefighters, business and civic representatives, scouts and families and ordinary citizens of South Dundas gathered at the Iroquois cenotaph following a memorial service at the Legion, branch #370. 

The Legion padre, the Reverend Janet Evans, reminded those gathered for the act of Remembrance, that the names etched on the gray stone monument are eternal reminders that many of those who enlisted from South Dundas never came home again.

For many area families, the cenotaph is the final marker for lost sons, husbands and fathers. 

Traditional wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen by both the very young and the very old during the cenotaph ceremony. Pipe Major Mike Durant of the Kemptville Pipe Band played the Last Post followed by Reveille, after those gathered observed  two minutes of silence.

 At the end of the service, the reverend Janet Evans, spoke the ancient words, 

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old…At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.”


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Del Barber in concert


Singer/song writer Del Barber blew in from Winnipeg, Manitoba, like a warm prairie wind on Saturday, October 29, and won a lot of Ontario hearts. 

Barber was the headliner at the second concert of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage winter series: he definitely lived up to critical praise that has described him as  “sincere and heartfelt” and “electric” on stage. 

Winner just last week of two Western Music Awards, Barber was completely at ease in the intimate St. Lawrence stage setting. His songs ranged from the jaunty Walking Down Town with a Country Girl to the poignant and memorable Home to Manitoba

Barber is a born raconteur. 

His songs are introduced with anecdotes and stories that serve the narrative flavour of his music well. Although he is a proud Westerner, he understands the ambivalence about the west many prairie people have. 

“Western Canada is young, I guess, and it just hasn’t laid down the roots it needs,” Barber told the audience. “So many young people just dream of leaving their small towns.” 

His song about a waitress who spent all her young years believing that she needed to “escape” the prairies to find her “perfect man and perfect kids” touched a chord. 

“Her dreams fell asleep on the top bunk/And woke up on the floor…”

He sang of the eternal hold the land has on Western Canadians in the touching Home to Manitoba.

“There’s a piece of land still holds/The shadow of my name..”

Barber also has a gift for sharing with listeners the hilarious, the ironic, the unexpected fun of every day life.

The crowd roared with laughter as he described in wonderful songs his misadventures as a travelling artist in the wilds of northern Manitoba, as a teenager driving his first blind date Jasmine in his mom’s 1992 Dodge Colt, as a secret lover of Archie comics. 

Barber sings with passion and humour. His guitar doesn’t just accompany him, he makes it sing along with him. There is a lot of the poet in his song lyrics: he has a way of finding just the right way to say things. 

When he completed his set audiences left the concert hall literally grinning. 

Opening for Del Barber was Carleton Place artist Brea Lawrenson. 

Only in the early days of a promising musical career,  Lawrenson is still developing the polish, and the on-stage ease, that are so much the elements of a seasoned musical performer. However, as she grew more comfortable with the Saturday night audience, her lyrics became clearer, her singing more controlled. When she and brother Sean sang together, her talent was evident.

There is a lot of passion and power in this emerging young artist. Her deep love of family and her dreams for the future colour the lyrics of her songs like the touching Hold On (written about her mother’s support) and Somewhere to Go, her determination to make it in the musical world.

Brea Lawrenson will be an artist to watch as her career unfolds.

The audiences at the Saturday concert certainly enjoyed a memorable concert evening. 

Del Barber, who told the Leader in an earlier interview that he likes to “read,” to “get the feel of his listeners” when he performs, found a whimsical and typically humorous way to tell Saturday’s concert goers how much he was enjoying his South Dundas reception. 

“Sometimes when I perform, I feel a bit like a man wearing a hot dog costume trying to sell hot dogs to people who really want burgers. But here in Morrisburg, I kind of feel I’m a man in a hot dog suit selling hots dogs to people who actually want hot dogs.” 

The next concert in the St. Lawrence Stage series will take place on November 19, an evening of Intimate Acoustics.


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Howald launches exciting new novel set in World War II


 “Writing is something you either want to do, or you don’t want to. I have to write. It’s a passion, one that isn’t going away,” said Brian Howald, home in Morrisburg to discuss the launch of his new novel, Inside Looking Out.

Howald, a graduate of Morrisburg Public School, and, in 1982, Seaway District High School in Iroquois, talked about his writing career on October 31. 

He originally studied broadcasting at Loyalist College, then lived for a time in Toronto, working for a casting/modeling agency and taking part in the Toronto music scene. 

A move to Kingston in the late 80s led to work with Theatre 5, and some writing of music and film reviews for a small independent newspaper. He also took a full time writing course at St. Lawrence College, an option he found very valuable. 

Eventually, however, Howald was drawn to writing full time.  In 1993 he formed a company called Bookworm Literary Productions. For him, it was the best of both worlds; publishing books, with  ample time to work on his own writing.

His first book, The Chopper of Lucy Electra, appeared in 1996. 

It was “ a murder mystery which was set in both the Seaway of the 1950s, and partially in modern times.”  

Other articles and books followed since Howald does not restrict his writing to one particular genre. What ever strikes him as interesting, with potential as story material, that is what he will write about.

His 2011 novel, Inside Looking Out, is being launched at Bookworm in Kingston on November 11. Inside Looking Out, is set in the very early years of  World War II.

“I began exploring a lot of historical accounts of World War II, researching military engagements and doing a great deal of reading,” Howald said. “My story and characters grew out of this.”

Inside Looking Out follows two young men, one a civilian pilot contracted to the R.A.F.,  the other a soldier who did not make it out during the hurried evacuation  of stranded British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in early June of 1940. 

The two men ultimately meet in a German prisoner-of-war camp, eventually taking part in a daring and desperate escape across occupied Europe to Denmark, and then Sweden.

“The characters of Pete and Terry came out of my research. They are as real as I could make them. For young men in their 20s war is a kind of ultimate adventure,”  the author said.

Howald stresses that his German characters are not “stick figures. This is a time when the Germans are at their most triumphant. They expect to win the war. I would call this story a dramatic thriller in the old style meaning of the term.” 

He did not deliberately set out to release the novel on Remembrance Day, but it is perhaps fitting that it will be available starting November 11.

Brian Howald is an old fashioned writer in one way. 

“When I write, I use traditional, spiral notebooks and I write long hand,” he laughed. “I do not like the “box”, my word for the word processor. I have people who are much better at processing my work than I am.”

His preferred writing venue is also a little unusual.

“I am far more comfortable writing in restaurants and coffee shops,” he said. “I actually prefer the noise and music that forms  the background in these places. I think I got used to that kind of ambiance when I was writing in Toronto.”

Howald is currently at work  polishing a new novel called The Spot Marked X, also tied into events of World War II, which should be coming out in 2012.

In the meantime, he continues to devote himself to a challenging but ultimately rewarding career. 

“Writing is not an easy choice in life. There are years spent writing a book, not to mention the endless editing and rewrites. But if this is what you love, you have to write,” he said.

Howald’s original novel Inside Looking Out should soon be available at the Seaway Pharmacy and the Basket Case, Morrisburg. Contact Brian Howald at


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Snowmobiling and winter tourism


With a new snowmobiling season about to commence, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), thanks the Government of Ontario for its support of winter tourism and snowmobile trails.

Thanks to the McGuinty Government and Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Ontario snowmobilers, along with snowbelt communities, local residents and businesses, will experience the benefits of the many upgrades and improvements to the OFSC trail infrastructure that will help boost winter tourism during the coming season.

With 229 community based clubs and 168,000 family members, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs is a volunteer led not-for-profit association, which through strong leadership, provides a wide range of quality programs and services to, and on behalf of, its member organizations. Our 34,262 kilometre provincial network of organized snowmobile trails connects Ontario communities, providing responsible riding experiences that are safe, enjoyable, and environmentally sustainable.


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Crafts before Christmas


Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners was the place to be on Saturday morning.

The Brinston United Church held their 20th Annual Fall Craft Show at Matilda Hall on October 29th.

Organizer, Leslie Disheau, confirmed that “the proceeds from the admission and vendor registration go to the general fund for the church to pay our monthly bills. The luncheon proceeds go directly to the Sunday school for their operational cost.”

The show boasted “lots of new vendors, great gift items and door prize draws” as well as a luncheon. 

Also, for those interested  in shopping whether for themselves or for “early” Christmas gifts, there were lots of handmade  items including clothing, blankets, decorations, and baking.  

As of October 31st, Disheau said, “I don’t have a total yet of how much we made, but I do know we were down by 100 people coming through the doors this year. Last year we were over 300 people (and) this year it was just over 200.” 

She acknowledged that there is “so much going on (and) people can only be in so many places in one day.”

“I do a satisfaction survey with the vendors and all of them were super satisfied with the luncheon and love the fact the kids are servers. They also were satisfied with how the day went,” she added.

“This year I had nine new vendors, so people would have seen some new products.”

As for success, the Craft Show boasted a full parking lot, a full hall, and lots of satisfied visitors.


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Ladies Night Out Update


Scotiabank South Mountain generously agreed to match all proceeds raised from Community Living Dundas County’s annual Ladies Night Out on October 13th. CLDC’s Debbie Boardman, Marlene Lewis, and Amber Rothwell accepted a cheque for $4,924 on October 28th from Karen Thompson, Branch Manager along with the Scotiabank ladies who volunteered at the event.  


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Kraft food challenge


For most of us, the holiday season is a time of celebration with lots of great food. But for some families it can be a challenging time for the simple reason that there is not enough food to go around.

That’s why Kraft Food for Families is supporting local food banks across Canada this holiday season.

Show your support between November 3, 2011 and January 31, 2012, just add your name. It is as easy as going to and entering your name to support us.  If we get 1000 names the House of Lazarus will receive $1000, and Kraft Food Canada will donate $1 to your choice of 1 of 30 local food banks.  

With choosing The House of Lazarus you will be helping us to stock our shelves with much needed food.

Together, we can help make the holidays easier for everyone.

Any questions contact Kim or Elaine at the House of Lazarus, 613-989-3830.