No Picture
Obituaries

John ‘Jake’ Hunter

A lifetime resident of Toyes Hill, John “Jake” Hunter passed away suddenly at home on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.  He was 68.
John was born in Toyes Hill on April 2, 1943, to his parents Joseph and Marguerite Hunter (nee Marcellus). He was raised on the family farm along with his 10 brothers and sisters.  

Jake, as he was called by many of his family and friends, was a gentle man and a man of few words, but when he spoke, everyone listened.
John never married.  He was content with his life.  The reason he gave for not getting married was simple, “the women he wanted wouldn’t have him, and the women that wanted him, the devil wouldn’t have”.

John worked as a labourer all of his life.  He loved sports, fishing and gardening.  

The last few years he enjoyed four-wheeling either at home in the bush or at the cottage with his friend “Vic”.  John was never alone.  His friend “Gangster”, the dog, followed him where ever he went.  

John was a good cook and could make a mean pot of home made soup.  He opened the cupboard, threw in a handful of this and a bit of that, and it always turned out well.

The last few years, with his partners Lawrence, Joe, Wayne and Terry, they made home made relishes, pickles and tomato juice which they shared with the rest of the family.

John looked forward to going to the race track and the casino along with his brothers. He also enjoyed gathering at Wayne’s for the family and friend barbecues and at Joe’s every spring for a fish fry.

He was a very special uncle to his many nieces and nephews and he enjoyed playing jokes on people.

John had his little home away from home which was a little shack that all the brothers built out in the bush.  They would gather there to play a few games of cards and eat the occasional turkey supper.  

Jake is survived by his siblings June Picard of Toyes Hill, Barbara (Terry) Duff of Newington, Lawrence “Catfish” Hunter of Brinston, Linda (Mike) Brannen of Chesterville, Joe Hunter of Winchester Springs, Wayne (Liz) of Toyes Hill and Judy Hunter (Andy Tibben) of Brinston.  He was predeceased by his parents Joe and Marguerite Hunter (nee Marcellus), his sister Betty Watson and his brothers William and Robert. 

Jake will be fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends throughout the area.     

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Friday from 5-9 p.m.  A Graveside inurnment service was held at Maple Ridge Cemetery, Chesterville, on Saturday, September 10th at 11 a.m.  Pallbearers were June Picard, Barbara Duff, Linda Brannen and Judy Hunter.  Honorary pallbearers were Liz Hunter and Victor Brooks.

Donations to Winchester Hospital would be appreciated by the family.

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No Picture
Opinion

‘Clear-cut’ disappointment

When you are interviewing people for stories you listen to what they tell you and print what they are say. You write about what people are doing and why they are doing it. You may not agree with what they are doing or why they are doing it, but hey, your job is to write their story, not your own…like it or not.

Such was the case earlier this summer when I wrote the story that appeared in the July 20th issue of the paper under the headline: Parks Commission restores a clear path to local history. For that story, I met with St. Lawrence Parks Commission officials Dave Dobbie, manager of Upper Canada Village and Susan Le Clair, Corporate Marketing and Development Engineer.

I wrote what they told me…what they were doing at the Queen’s Garden and why they were doing it. Did I agree at the time with what they were doing? No. But I passed on the information they gave me in the story to you.

Last weekend, I pulled into the former beautiful, tranquil  Queen’s Garden/Rose Garden that has been cut down, chopped out and opened up for a better view of the Crysler Memorial. I was appalled. Actually, had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. What was once a beautiful, tranquil park, with trees that had been maturing for more than 20 years is now an ugly, barren grassland. What was once an area where people strolled, picnicked, snapped pictures or enjoyed the antics of the ducks and geese in the beautiful pond or just sat in the shade of a beautiful maple…is now mostly gone, totally uninviting.

I honestly don’t know how anyone can possibly think that what has been done to this former, beautiful, area is an enhancement to the Crysler Memorial. What had become a beautiful outdoor parkland that added significantly to the Crysler Memorial area is now, in this writer’s opinion an unappealing, chunk of grass.

But hey, when you are driving along County Road 2, at 80 clicks, be sure to look to the south because you can definitely see the Memorial Mound and Monument now. Unfortunately, it is what you no longer see that is so upsetting. What has been done is a shame…a real shame.

And we can’t get it back.

B. McNairn

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No Picture
Sports

Lions undefeated in pre-season

The Morrisburg Junior B Lions are undefeated in their  pre-season six game schedule, and coach Thom Racine says he likes what he has seen.

“We had an undefeated pre-season which is really encouraging,” says Racine. “And it was actually with split squads. We never had a full squad for any of the games which is really encouraging.”
Racine says with the good pre-season under the Lions’ belts, the team will begin working on getting the season off to a good start with their first practice on Morrisburg ice, last night (Tuesday, September 13).

The Lions are getting ready for their season opening game this Friday night at the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s show case event being played at the two-pad Kemptville Arena this weekend.

“We have 23 players to start the year,” says Racine who does not plan to go the way of last year, with short benches for every other game. He indicates that all of the players are aware that there will be players sitting out when numbers warrant it.

Returning to the Lions net for his second season is Mikael Dion and he is being joined by Ryan Cooper a 17-year-old from Cornwall.

The Lions this year also boast two local brother combinations. Joining his big brother Sam, is Ty Hodgson, a 16-year-old from Morrisburg who last year played for the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings organization.

“Ty is a good young defenceman, and I expect this will be the only season we will see him play in Morrisburg.”

Also with a family connection is Lance Hodgson from Williamsburg.

Returning for their second season are Drew (last year’s Coaches Award Winner) and Clarke Veenstra (last year’s regular season MVP) of the Ingleside area.

“We are happy with our local flavour, and we have a good mix of imports that we feel we need to stay competitive. They are all returning from last year.”

Racine says the objective is to have a competitive team that people want to come and see. “To be competitive in the league now, you pretty much have to go outside your area for players.”

With this year’s roster set, Racine and his coaching staff of Cody Casselman and Jarrett Racine will now work to “get them all on the same page. We have plans for a two hour practice once a month in order to get as many of them out as possible.”

Signed to overage cards for the season are veteran Lions Matt Ouimette, Alex Steingruber (a top goal scorer last year and winner of the most assists trophy) and Joshua Dunn (last year’s top offensive player award winner).

For the time being the Lions fourth overage card will remain open.

“There are 88, 21-year-old cards in the entire Junior League, and there are 134 eligible kids,” says Racine. “So there will be 21 year olds out there who will be looking for a place to play.”

The Lions open their 2011/12 season this Friday night in Kemptville at 6:30 p.m. against the Ottawa West Golden Knights. Their second game of Showcase Weekend is set for Saturday night at 8 p.m. against Stittsville.

Results of the two games count in this year’s regular season. The showcase is the only time during the regular season that North Conference teams will meet teams from the South Conference (Rideau/St.Lawrence).

The Lions home ice opener is set for next weekend (Sunday, September 25) when the Winchester Hawks come to town for a 2:30 p.m. match.

In their pre-season, the Lions got rolling with a 4-2 victory over Char-Lan on Saturday, September 3. Then on Sunday, they defeated Brockville 7-6. After two days off they were back on the ice to pick up a 5-4 win against Akwesasne on Tuesday, September 6 and a 7-5 win against Brockville on Wednesday, September 7.

On Saturday, September 10 they were held to a 6-6 tie by the Akwesasne Wolves and Monday night of this week they won against Char-Lan 4-2.

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No Picture
News

Sewer study in the works for Morrisburg & Williamsburg

At the September 6th South Dundas council meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald recommended that council agree to a study of both Morrisburg and Williamsburg sewer systems.

The proposal for the Infiltration and Inflow Study came from AECOM Canada Ltd. who is currently reviewing the sanitary sewer collection system in Iroquois.

McDonald told council that AECOM’s “study will result in the preparation of a Master Plan with prioritized recommendations and cost estimates for improvements to the collection system.”

Mayor Steven Byvelds said that government grant money has “given us incentive to get this thing done.”

The money referred to is the $3,248,002 from the Ontario Building Together program.

With all in agreement, the plan, according to Byvelds, is to make a “plan, propose to the people, and go.”

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No Picture
News

Holy Trinity’s lychgate roof back resting where it belongs

Last Thursday, September 1, the 108-year-old lychgate roof was re-laid to rest, where it belongs, at the entry to Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Riverside Heights.

The historical lychgate provides entry onto the Holy Trinity church grounds where the grave site memorials to Sir James Pliny Whitney, (the sixth premier of the Province of Ontario),  the Whitney and Sarah Crysler-Pliny families and Colonel J. Munro (a famous officer of the 1st Royal Yorkers) are located.

In February 2009, its roof was removed from its two supporting pillars due to safety reasons.

The lychgate, a surrounding fence and Holy Trinity Church were relocated to their present location at the time of the Seaway project. It was one of only two area churches that were deemed historically significant enough to be spared demolition.

The current church land is very low, and water and frost upheaval over the past 52 years had damaged both the lychgate and a fence that surrounds the property.

The two columns that support the lychgate roof had shifted to the point where the roof was being damaged and had become unsafe.

Estimates for repairs to the lychgate and fence, prior to the roof’s removal were as high as $250,000, a figure that was way beyond the means of the small church congregation.

“We cannot lose such an important piece of Ontario’s history,” said MPP Jim Brownell at the time. “There aren’t too many lychgates left in Ontario, if there are any. It’s a tragedy and we have to find some way of getting it back.”

Two years later the call was answered, not by the province or any of its ministries, but by local resident, Les Cruickshank.

“I was starting to worry it wasn’t going to happen,” said Isobel Tuttle who is the People’s Warden at Holy Trinity. “A big thank you goes to Les (Cruickshank) for taking this on all by himself. It looks wonderful having it back up.”

“When I got the news from Les that he thought the lychgate needed to be put back in place, it was one of those things that truly is a gift from God,” said Rev. Sue McCullough. “It was cost prohibitive for the congregation, but it was part of the church that needed to be put back. Les recognized that.”

“Thanks just don’t cover what we feel about what he has done.”

“Basically, what we did was put reinforcement between the two posts,” said Cruickshank of the work carried out by his company’s (Cruickshank Construction)employees. “We poured concrete with a rebar, so the two posts are now like one. When you come back here in 50 years, they’ll still be up.”

“We excavated down to the footings and hydraulically jacked everything back into place,” explained Cruickshank employee Ron Dingwall when interviewed during the work that took place in July. “We poured concrete to stabilize them, and Polywrap(ed) and insulated both columns coming up from the footings.”

Dingwall said the east pillar footing was originally poured in two parts and that had shifted apart.  “The pillar had shifted to the north and was leaning about six inches towards the church. It had also moved in a counter clockwise direction and was off the footings by three inches. The west pillar had a 10 inch shift from top to bottom and it was leaning to the south.”

“We dug between and around the two pillars, laid insulation and then poured a reinforced concrete pad below the surface to tie the two columns together.”

“There is lots of water in the ground here. It is possible this area is below the water level of the St. Lawrence. Hopefully, what we have done will last another 100 years. We don’t want to come back in 10 years times and see the roof leaning again.”

Once the pillars were levelled, the completion of the project awaited the availability of Cruickshank manpower and heavy equipment needed to lift the estimated 3,500 pound lychgate roof back onto the support pillars.

That all came about last week under the direction of Stan Keyes and two very skilled Cruickshank heavy equipment operators.

A support base was built from steel beams salvaged from the 401 overpass rebuild at Iroquois (a job currently being done by Cruickshank Construction). The lychgate roof was lifted by crane onto the base and moved to the lychgate area early last week. Then Thursday, two front end loaders worked in unison to lift, position and lower it onto the awaiting pillars.

The positioning took a lot of jockeying, an inch at a time, until the roof was perfectly lined up and dropped into place.

To complete the project, the Lychgate roof is now in need of some repair and paint, to restore it to its former beauty.

But that is not the last of it says Cruickshank who is now prepared to lobby the provincial government for money to repair the fence, landscape the Whitney Memorial area, and provide long-term maintenance to the area.

“A premier is buried here, the province should be doing something,” says Cruickshank. “We should make this an election issue, get something done here.”

From a tourism point of view Cruickshank suggests signage on the 401, signage at strategic locations on Cty. Rd. #2 and signage at the site.

“If we could get a one shot deal (to repair the fence and landscape the memorial areas) and some annual maintenance money that would be good.”

Sir James Pliny Whitney was the Premier of Ontario from 1905 to 1914, a remarkable era in Ontario politics, which saw significant legislation  in regards to workmen’s compensations, temperance, hydroelectric development and urban transit.

It was under the Whitney government in 1906, that legislation was passed to create the permanent Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario that would later, during the St. Lawrence Seaway/Power Project, expropriate the land where Sir Whitney was buried.

At the time of the Seaway, Holy Trinity was dismantled stone by stone and moved to Riverside Heights. At the same time, the memorials were deemed an integral part of the original memorial and moved to their location behind the church. Sir Whitney’s remains were not moved.
 

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No Picture
News

Kitchen Witches ‘brewing’ at the Playhouse

Something’s cooking at the Upper Canada Playhouse and artistic director Donnie Bowes and director Walter Learning are keeping a lid on the ‘brewing’ excitement.

At a press conference for the Playhouse’s upcoming production of Caroline Smith’s The Kitchen Witches, Bowes and Learning and the cast, which includes Linda Goranson, Jocelyne Zucco and Parris Greaves, were a tight-lipped about what’s on the menu for the Playhouse’s final run of the summer season.

“It’s a different show. It’s going to be fun for the audience,” said Bowes.

“It is a different show,” agreed Learning chuckling as he added,“It’s not one of your farces where doors are slamming everywhere…but there are doors that do slam.”

“It’s about two ladies and a cooking show…it’s a love story, it’s about friendships and there are a lot of laughs. There are also some very touching and insightful moments,” said Learning.

The Kitchen Witches stars two talented veterans of the Canadian stage, Linda Goranson and Jocelyne Zucco, who performed in the play twice before and once together.

Goranson is playing Dolly Biddle whose gimmick in her television show is playing an eccentric Ukranian cook with a love of vodka.

Her final show (it’s been cancelled) is interrupted by long-time friend and rival Isobel Lomax, played by Zucco. Upon her arrival, the cooking show begins to heat up as the two cooking divas go at each other.

The cooking show’s director is Dolly’s son Stephen, played by Greaves, who attempts to referee the on-camera battle.

“My character (Dolly) lives to be on a cooking show,” says Goranson. “Her whole world has been Stephen and the cooking show. Dolly loves life but her heart gets hurt by other people.”

“My character (Isobel) returns to stir things up in the stable Biddle world,” says Zucco.

Both Goranson and Zucco are delighted to be back on the Playhouse stage. They are enjoying the opportunity to perform in The Kitchen Witches again and enjoying the new discoveries they are making.

“We have a new Stephen, a new actor who is going to create different reactions, a new set and a director with new and wonderful ideas,” says Zucco. “All of that allows you to discover new things.”

“It’s like a long rehearsal period,” says Goranson. “You get to go deeper and deeper. It just gets richer and richer and richer every time you get to do a play again.”

Although not a problem, stage manager Jackie McCormick says The Kitchen Witches has been a challenge.

“This is probably the prop heaviest show I have ever done,” says McCormick of the over 24 containers of difference sizes, numerous kitchen utensils, wooden spoons and on and on. “On top of that is all the food. It’s been a challenge, but a good challenge.”

McCormick explains it is all about where everything is, in the right place at the right time.

Bowes admits to becoming somewhat of a shopping guru….He claims that when you are in a local store, filling your shopping cart with 90 containers of whip cream, 90 tart shells, 60 taco shells and more, people tend to take notice.

And how that food is used in the play remains a mystery that Upper Canada Playhouse audiences are going to enjoy.

“Tomorrow we get the actual whip cream and yogurt,” said Goranson as Thursday’s press conference wrapped up.

“And we won’t be wearing costumes the first time,” said Learning with a chuckle.

The Kitchen Witches runs September 8 through October 2 with shows on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and matinees on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be booked at uppercanadaplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 613-543-3713.

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No Picture
News

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th has become World Suicide Prevention Day with communities around the world bringing attention to this tragic reality.
It is hoped that by discussing the topic, lives will be saved.

According to their recent press release, “This year the Suicide Prevention Coalition/Champlain East are urging our community to take time to learn about suicide, the warning signs and what to do.”

“Suicide is preventable and requires every person’s participation. Any one of us could play a part in helping to save a life.”

An article released by the same source pointed out: “The Eastern Ontario Health Unit released its Injury Report for Eastern Ontario in 2009 and suicide was found to be the highest in terms of mortality and intentional injury in most populations in our region for both men and women.”

Suicide is a real threat for communities at home, across the country, and around the world.

Communities all over Ontario and Canada are finding their own ways of bringing voice to suicide prevention with drum circles, butterfly release rituals, conferences, cycling and hiking tours – just to name a few.

Closer to home, in their recent press release, “LivingWorks Education Inc., the Ottawa Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Collateral Damage Project will host a concert on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Ottawa’s Centrepointe Theatre headlining Inuk singer/songwriter, Susan Aglukark.”

“The event will celebrate the “Building Suicide Safer Communities” initiative, a Canadian campaign hosted by LivingWorks Education and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. The initiative advocates for nation-wide suicide prevention and saving lives lost through this highly ignored community health tragedy.”

This same release continues, saying that “this first time event held in Ottawa will be an opportunity to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day in Canada and start the discussion about a National Strategy for Canada on Suicide Prevention which remains long overdue.”

So, what can you do?

The Champlain East Suicide Prevention Coalition  is encouraging open acknowledgement and education of suicide for everyone. Recognize the warning signs and know what to do.

Most importantly, ask for help.

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No Picture
News

The True North

This summer, the Prime Minister took his sixth tour of the North. These visits have not been sightseeing tours. The Prime Minister is making a statement with these visits. They have been carried out to demonstrate to Canadians, and to the world, that Canada’s North is a priority for our administration. The Arctic is at the heart of our Canadian identity – from ancient Aboriginal cultures to famous explorers, to iconic Canadian artwork, literature, and landmarks.  

Our government under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper has made a commitment to the residents of Northern Canada that we will do everything possible to ensure the “land of the mid-night sun” realizes its full potential. Our Government is committed to promoting tourism and economic development in Canada`s North and invest in arctic infrastructure.

Since elected in January 2006, our government has realized the three Territories play a significant part in Canada’s future. If we are to maintain our position as a leading country on the world scene, we must develop and protect our north. The northern part of this great country has the potential to make Canada a leader in the world economy. Because of advances in technology and science, it is now possible to explore and develop the vast resources contained in our northern hemisphere to their full potential.

I am pleased the Prime Minister is taking a leadership role by actively demonstrating to the world that Canada’s north belongs to Canada and we are prepared to protect what is rightfully ours.  The North has not been a priority for previous governments. Other nations have made attempts to encroach on our sovereignty by making outlandish and false claims of ownership in the area. Countries like Russia and China have been trying to lay claim to parts of this vast area. We must be diligent in the defense of our assets.

I believe the words “True North Strong and Free” contained in our national anthem will mean more than they ever have as our country continues to grow and prosper in the years to come.

Guy Lauzon
Member of Parliament
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

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No Picture
News

Meanwhile, back at the Branch … Branch 370 news

After more years of playing crib than anyone can remember, Comrade Willis Douglas was blessed with his first-ever perfect hand of 29 points! He was dealt the Jack of clubs and three 5’s, when the 5 of clubs was cut for his nibs. Willis was playing with Mike Lavery against Ted Grattan and partner Roger Coulter. Congratulations Willis.

Speaking of crib, the IL (Iroquois Legion) crib league is gearing up for play starting Saturday, September 10th at 1pm. All crib enthusiasts are welcome, and the afternoon’s play consists of nine games with partners or opponents drawn at random from those present. Call Roger Coulter for more information.

The monthly steak barbecue at the IL held its own, even considering there were a couple of other functions going on in the community. The barbecue crew was little, but those that were there pitched in and got the job done. You did a great job crew… the evening was a success, with 76 steak dinners being served.

The next steak barbecue will be held on September 17th. It is highly recommended to get your tickets early because a large crowd is expected, as the event is listed as part of Applefest.

I received a call last week from a very important project that is going on in our nation, dedicated to recording the stories of our war veterans. A project that is sponsored in part by Canadian Heritage and Historica-Dominion Instuitute, this is a project that is currently working against time to digitally record the stories of our World War II veterans. On their website you can listen to the stories of the veterans in their own voices, or you also have the option to read the interview verbatim. It is truly amazing.

The stories are interesting and informative, and as well, the classroom project is proving to be very successful. It is the foundation’s aim to someday have this project included in the education curriculum. Veteran speakers will also go into the classroom, college or other functions to tell their stories.  

In checking out their website, I was disappointed that I couldn’t find any veterans stories from our area at all. If you are a WWII veteran or have a family member or friend who served in the second great war, please call 1-866-701-1867 or email memory@historica-dominion.ca. This truly is a race against time as we are losing our veterans at an alarming rate now.

There were seven tables seated at August 9th euchre. In first was Cecil McDermott, followed by Martha Whitford in second. Betty Shaver was third.

On August 16th, there were nine tables, with Gladys Parks finishing first. In second place there was a three-way tie between Jean Dunbar, Sandra Julien and Jack Shaver.

This Friday’s hot lunch will be beef strips and sauce served with rice pilaf, with Mexican fruitcake for dessert.

Have a great week everyone! Cheers.

Thought of the Week: For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Audrey Hepburn 1929- 1993.

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No Picture
News

Newsletter – Royal Canadian Legion – Seaway Branch #48

Bingo September 1st saw 79 players in Fraser Hall, a return to Fall numbers.

The meat draw on the 4th was for strip sirloin steaks and was won by Sheila Holmes.

Ladies Auxiliary meetings will resume on Wednesday the 7th. Saturday the 10th will be Member appreciation night with hamburgers and hotdogs provided plus the music of our favourite, John Mason.

MEETING’s Executive meets on Monday the 12th due to the holiday on Monday 5th. General Meeting on Wednesday the 14th 2:30 p.m. in Fraser Hall. These meetings are important, if you want to be heard, attend!

Friday the 16th The Real Deal will be featured in the Pub.

Men’s dart league playing out of Branch #48 will begin Monday the 19th. Mixed darts will begin on Tuesday the 20th.

Senior euchre will be every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the Pub. Players welcome or stop for coffee.

Terry Fox Run at Branch #48 on September 18th from 8 a.m. to 12, certainly a worthwhile fundraiser. Pledge sheets are available.

Membership cards for the year 2012 are now available in the Pub. Renew before November 30th and be entered for the Early-Bird Draw. As always there will be three names drawn for prizes.

Last week in the Thank-you’s to barbecue helpers I omitted some of the most important people – our salad providers. We are so grateful to those of you who make our salads time and time again. THANK YOU!

For meeting night, Get up, Dress up, Show up!

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