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News

No Humbug in this wonderful Christmas Carol

On December 4, at 7:00 p.m., step back in time to the gas lit, snow-covered cobblestone streets of Charles Dickens’ London as Lakeshore Drive United Church, in collaboration with Upper Canada Playhouse, presents a dramatic reading of the wondrous tale, A Christmas Carol.

Bring the entire family out to enjoy again the classic story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchit family and the Ghosts of Christmases  Past, Present and Future. Five performers in full Victorian costumes will re-tell the much loved Yule tale complete with music and Christmas songs.

Proceeds from the presentation will benefit this community. 

“All the funds raised from this event will go towards the purchase of four cardiac monitors for WDMH’s recovery room (where patients go following surgery),” said Chelsea McIntyre, Fund Development Associate for the WDMH Foundation. “These will be an update to the current cardiac monitors and will benefit the patients who need them greatly, as monitors allow caregivers to more closely watch the healing process during recovery.”

McIntyre was thrilled when Lakeshore Drive United Church, and Gail McCooeye, approached the Foundation with the idea of staging a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol as a fund raiser. As part of their Third Party Event, the Foundation has helped out with posters, tickets and programs for the fund raiser. 

McIntyre is also delighted that WDMH doctors Wayne Domanko and Paul Coolican have joined the cast of A Christmas Carol. “I think it is wonderful to see our family doctors and hospital staff take part in fund raisers, but,” she added, “I must give Gail credit for getting them involved in this instance.”

“I had heard a dramatic reading of the Christmas Carol done before in a church, and thought it was a wonderful experience,” McCooeye said. “I took the idea to the Lakeshore Drive United Church Outreach Program, and they said they would be glad to host the event. The Church has wanted to become more involved in the community, and this seemed a perfect way.”

McCooeye approached Donnie Bowes, artistic director of Upper Canada Playhouse, and he offered his enthusiastic support. Not only is he going to be one of the readers, but he will rehearse the performers and publicize the event during the run of Dear Santa at the Playhouse. 

“I’m reading the first stave of the adaptation,” Bowes laughed. “I get to be Scrooge at his meanest, venting all my frustrations.”

While Dr. Coolican will act as emcee for the evening, Dr. Domanko and Bowes will be joined on stage as readers by Doug Grenkie, who has been an active and dedicated advocate of the Hospital; by Joan Farlinger, who has just completed a two year term as chair of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario; and by Wendy Gibb, former drama teacher at Seaway District High School. 

Victorian costumes for the event will come from Upper Canada Playhouse. Diane Crummy, of the Hospital Foundation, will be heading up refreshments, to be served in a 19th century like setting in the church.

A major supporter of the festive fund raiser has been the Scotiabank. 

“Kim Butler, manager of the Morrisburg Scotiabank, has just been an enormous help to me,” said McCooeye.  “Scotiabank branches in Morrisburg, South Mountain and Avonmore have all agreed to sell tickets to the fund raiser. 

And what is so incredible is that Scotiabank has agreed to be our corporate sponsor and to match dollar for dollar every ticket sold at these area bank branches. That is incredibly generous of them and we are very grateful.”

Tickets to this wonderful, one night only, dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol are $15 each and are available at Scotiabank  branches. 

[…]

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News

Morrisburg Arts and Crafts Show gives back

The annual three day Christmas Show staged by the Morrisburg and District Arts and Crafts Association in the Legion Hall in Morrisburg, Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, saw attendance down this year, but feedback from those who did attend was very encouraging. 

“We thought it was a pretty good show, and a lot of the people who visited thought it was a great show,” says association president Linda Schenck. 

“I had a lot of positive feedback. Our visitors told us they thought we had a great assortment of crafts. Unfortunately, we didn’t have as many people go through as we would have liked. Some of our artists reported good sales while others could have done better.” 

With some 20 plus participants in the show, the Association was once again very pleased to be able to give back to the community with donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the Dundas County Hospice.

 

[…]

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News

Dear Santa opening at Upper Canada Playhouse

And you thought you had trouble getting ready for Christmas this year!

In Upper Canada Playhouse’s delightful Christmas production, Dear Santa, Santa is an Elf on the Edge with Christmas eve just around the corner.

His work shop elves are complaining, a pushy sleigh salesman is touting the virtues of rocket power over reindeer, his house keeper is in a tizzy, the chief of staff is in a pickle and the choir cannot sing! To say nothing of a stowaway on the North Pole Express, and a special Christmas wish that Santa desperately wants to fulfill. 

With only three days left until Christmas eve, why it’s enough to turn a man’s beard white! 

Dear Santa, by renowned Canadian playwright, Norm Foster, opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on November 24, with several school matinees and evening shows.  “It’s a show filled with tons of laughs, wonderful live music, a really good story, and lots of Christmas cheer for children and adults alike,” says director Donnie Bowes. 

Bowes has put together a stellar cast of performers for this final production of the 2011 season at the Playhouse. And joining the professional actors on the Playhouse stage will be 30 local elementary students from Morrisburg and Iroquois, who will perform as the choir and take on the roles of four of the elves. 

“We are right in the thick of things getting the show ready,” says Bowes. “It’s working out well having local kids in the cast. We have two separate choirs which means everything has to be rehearsed twice, but the kids are on top of it and enjoying the experience.”

Dear Santa welcomes back some familiar and favourite performers to the Playhouse. 

Doug Tangney is playing Santa Claus in the production and looking forward to the role. 

“Santa has the joy of life in him,” Tangney said at a recent press conference. “But in this play, we also get a chance to see him as vulnerable with all the wonderful chaos going on all around him. He’s a magical person, yet filled with humanity. Santa is forever and I am playing in the spirit of this special being.”

Tangney’s Santa will have a lot to cope with. 

Susan Greenfield, Santa’s housekeeper is suffering from “unrequited love” and it’s seriously disrupting her duties. The object of her affections is Algernon, North Pole Chief of Staff, who “never notices her of course,” says Jamie Williams who plays the harried Algernon. 

Timm Hughes, as Lou Flapdoodle, has landed at the North Pole determined to drag Santa into the 23rd century with a new rocket powered sleigh: Lou simply can’t take no for an answer. 

Richard Bauer, as Bozidar, is a mad cap Russian, whose confusion over English is not helping the elf production lines operate any more efficiently. And even less so now that glue supplies have “dried up.” 

Meredith Zwicker is both Piffle the Elf and musical consultant for this song and dance filled production. “There was music in the play orginally,” Swicker says, “but Liz (Gilroy) and I have added some extra songs, ones we think really highlight the outstanding skills of people in this cast. The music is such a lot of fun.”

Liz Gilroy, besides working on the music, also has the key role of Kitt, a young stowaway, who has come to the North Pole for reasons of her own with a very special letter to deliver to Santa. Her arrival just makes the chaos at Santa’s workshop even worse.

New to the cast and the Playhouse is Travis Seetoo, an accomplished singer, dancer and musician. “It’s great to be in this play as YeGads, a sort of elf wrangler. Foster has created such a wonderful realistic, imaginary world in this play,” says Seetoo, “and music is a big part of it. I am loving it here at Upper Canada Playhouse.”

Audiences will love the energy, the humour, the excitement of this Norm Foster Christmas classic. 

“There is much in this show that demonstrates Norm’s real understanding of kids, of what it is to want to be part of a group, yet also needing to be proud of being different. There is so much variety in Dear Santa,” says Donnie Bowes. 

A bright, imaginative and wondrous set helps bring Santa’s Workshop to life (even to files marked Elves Pensions and Naughty and Nice).  No matter what your age, Dear Santa is guaranteed to bring the joy of the season to your heart. 

Dear Santa runs until December 18 at Upper Canada Playhouse with evening shows and a number of matinees. For ticket information call 613-543-3713 or contact uppercanadaplayhouse.com

[…]

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News

Buoy oh Buoy

 Iroquois has a jaunty new nautical look these days. On Tuesday, November 15, the community welcomed two completely refurbished Canadian Coast Guard Channel Markers to their new home just in front of the shopping plaza. 

“These markers recognize Iroquois’ long connection to the Seaway with the locks here, the Galop Canal, the Marina and our extensive boating areas,” said local businessman, Jeff Beaupre. 

“These brightly painted buoys will draw attention to tourism and also to boating safety.”

Several community organ-izations and businesses assisted in the project including the township of South Dundas, the Iroquois-Matilda Lions, Frank Ault Excavating, Swank Construction, the Iroquois District Business Group and the Coast Guard through Bill Mullin.

The twin buoys should soon become landmarks in the South Dundas region.

[…]

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News

Area Lions ‘see’ to Winchester District Memorial Hospital needs

Eleven Lions club representatives from around the Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s catchment area gathered together in the hospital’s ophthalmology clinic last week to celebrate a grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation of $74,696.63.

Helen Porteous, Secretary of the Metcalfe Lions Club welcomed everyone, and shared how much the regional Lions clubs have contributed to the newly renovated Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

“Clubs from all across Lions District A-4 have pledged and raised over $124,000 for the Ophthalmology department at WDMH, and now the Lions Clubs International Foundation is showing their encouragement for all of our hard work by making a grant of $74,696.63,” said Porteous. “Through this support, as well as the support of the generous doctors at WDMH, like Dr. Gerry Heymans, we have been able to raise over $200,000 directed towards quality eye care, close to home.”

Although not present for the cheque presentation, Metcalfe and District Lions Club member Ann Velthuis has had cataract surgery on both of her eyes at WDMH, has recovered well and so appreciates the quality of care she received. 

“Our eye doctor from Ottawa began working at WDMH and our experience has improved so much.  Now we don’t have to pay so much for parking or gas to drive into the city and my eyesight has improved so much that I can read the bottom line on the eye chart.”

Troy Cross, Executive Director of the WDMH Foundation and Lynn Hall, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Executive at WDMH were there to accept the cheque on behalf of the WDMH Foundation. 

Both he and Hall thanked all those present for all of their hard work in organizing events and raising money for this hospital, helping to keep quality care, close to home.  

Cross commented how impressed he is with these community efforts. “Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. This is a quote from the Lions website and it couldn’t be more true for WDMH. Their commitment to vision health will save the sight for hundreds of patients from our communities. Vision care close to home will benefit our families for years to come. The Lions are true community leaders.”

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports Lions’ compassionate works by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts. 

LCIF is a leader in providing support for preventing blindness and restoring sight for people around the world.  Our sight programs range from developing and improving eye care systems to providing sight-restoring surgeries and treatments to distributing medications to those most-at-risk for eye diseases. 

 

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Sue McCullough

One Wednesday morning, not that long ago, I was sitting at my desk early in the morning. As I peered out my window, I noticed that it was a bit foggy outside – not a usual thing for mid November. 

While I was working away, I heard the distinct sound of fog horns. The timbre of the horns sent a wave of melancholy through me. I had a sense of aloneness but not loneliness, like I was the only person awake in the world at that point in time, yet God was hovering near. It felt like one of the “thin times” between me and God. The sound seemed to travel for miles and miles, almost like an echo. 

I am not certain how far along the Seaway the ship was before I couldn’t hear the sound of the fog horn any longer but it sure seemed like quite some time had passed.

Later on in the day, I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea, and I heard the clear sound of a helicopter flying over. For some reason, that I have yet been able to figure out, I am fascinated by the sound and sight of helicopters. So I rushed outside to look for it. 

There I saw a very large chopper flying west. It wasn’t one of the recognizable orange helicopters that indicate someone being air-lifted to a hospital. It appeared to be a military helicopter that might well have been heading to CFB Trenton. 

As I looked up, I wondered about the people who were in that aircraft, marvelled at the fact that such an odd shaped machine could actually stay up in the air, prayed that they travelled safely to their destination and gave thanks that it wasn’t someone being flown to a hospital.

Sometime that afternoon, I was walking across the lawn returning home from the church when a small flock of geese flew overhead. There were only about eight or 10 birds flying and only one of them was honking as they flew. 

It wasn’t the noise of the call of that one lone bird that caught my attention so much as the sound of the air rushing through their wings. It sounded like a swoosh with every beat of their wings. The sound from such a few birds was quite loud so I can only imagine what it would sound like with some of the larger flocks that I see in the sky from time to time. Swoosh.

. . .that reminded me of how I thought Holy Spirit would sound when I was a little girl. The presence of God was evident to me once again that day.

As I think back on that day, I am reminded that we are blessed in so many ways. Being blessed with the ability to hear those sounds is something that I give thanks for because there are so many people in our world, our community, who cannot hear these things. 

Each time I was drawn away from my own thoughts to the world around me and I found myself entering into a time of prayer, drawing closer to God – marvelling at all of creation. The sounds of this November are not something that I will forget any time soon. Thanks be to God!

 

[…]

No Picture
Sports

Curlers claim Adams trophy

The senior men’s first draw has just ended, and the champions, and winners of the Adams Trophy, are Martin Schneckenburger, Neil Williams, Ron Beaupre and Robert Martin. 

Finishing with the same number of wins and losses, two other fine teams lost out to Martin’s foursome because of the latter’s better point total. They were Jack Barkley, Dwight Gilmer, Doug Jarvis and Paul Gunther, along with Sid Morrell, Ted Harriman, Gerry Thompson and Paul Dobry. It was a tight and exciting start to league play. The second draw began on Monday, and will finish by Christmas.    

Susan McIntosh has postponed the next two-person bonspiel. Watch the bulletin board for news on that front.

Sid Morrell and Jack Barkley will have a play-off today to determine the champion for the first Parnell competition of the season, which our Morrisburg Club is hosting on Friday. The guests are from Cornwall, Lancaster and Prescott. As hosts, we are only allowed one team.

In last week’s friendly match in Cornwall, two of our senior men’s teams competed, both defeated by their ‘friendly’ hosts. Sid Morrell, Ted Harriman, Gerry Thompson and Paul Dobry, and John Wilson, Andy Patenaude, Karl Duncan and Bob Youmelle were victimized by Cornwall foursomes. Don’t we normally have three teams in these matches? Did one of our quartets have a ‘senior moment’?

Speaking of senior moments, your humble reporter has been told he erred in crediting Don O’Brien’s team with a narrow win in their friendly match against Prescott, and in claiming that Jack Barkley’s foursome bowed by the same close score. Sorry Doug!

Dave King is looking for some assistance from senior men. Our senior men’s invitational bonspiel, traditionally held in January, needs some fellows to help organize it this year. Please see Dave if you can help. It would be a shame to see this fine event, also a great money-maker for the club, fold. 

Unless something happens to get the men’s Founders Bonspiel going again, that would be two of our major invitational bonspiels we would have lost. In a club as small as ours, we depend on these key events financially. 

We have a fine club, with great ice, and we like to show it off to clubs from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. We know many just want to come out and curl, but without people to help with volunteer activities, we may find ourselves going far afield to have a place to play the ‘roaring game’. See if you can help us, folks!

By the way, for rentals, please contact Joe McCooeye at 613-543-2931.  

Two teams of senior ladies are in Lancaster this week for that club’s ladies’ invitational bonspiel. Gretta McGann and Alice Thompson lead quartets into battle against Eastern Ontario and West Quebec teams, and we’ll have the results next week.

Finally, our own ladies’ invitational bonspiel will be held at our club on Tuesday, December 6, and our Christmas friendly bonspiel is scheduled for Saturday, December 10. We hope many of you can drop in to watch the curling for the first event, and watch or participate in the second. 

That’s it for now. Good curling!

 

[…]

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News

Planning for a better tomorrow

Where do you think Dundas County should be ten years from now in terms of housing, health, food, economic development, transportation, and environment? 

This question forms the foundation for the Dundas County Community Forum held on November 18th at the Christian Reformed Church in Williamsburg.

Pauline Pratt, Executive Director for the House of Lazarus said the event “was sponsored by The House of Lazarus and the Townships of North Dundas and South Dundas, in partnership with the Linking Hands Network.”

“This Community Forum was the next step in the House of Lazarus’s Linking Hands in Dundas project. The overall vision of the project is to develop sustainable solutions to the increasing poverty we are experiencing in North and South Dundas, and create communities that are more resilient,” said Pratt.

“We had a wide representation at the Forum that included municipal leaders, business and farming community, social service agencies, churches and concerned residents,” informed Pratt. However, she continued, “several key invited stakeholders were not there.”

Peter Clutterbuck, Community Planning Consultant for the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO), facilitated the full-day event.

 According to their mission statement, SPNO “exists to strengthen the capacity of voluntary, community-based social planning organizations to: share knowledge and skills; promote social justice and human rights; provide a common voice to influence policy development and implementation; and, improve quality of life and community well-being.”

In reviewing the day, Pratt said, “we were very pleased with the results of the day. A vision for Dundas 10 years from now was developed in several key areas identified by the participants.” They include economic and entrepreneurial development and training; food security; navigating services; transportation; health; community connectivity; and, housing.

“Each group identified the resources in the community that could contribute to their vision, as well as gaps and barriers, and identified the first steps that could be undertaken in the next couple of years.” 

South Dundas Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke, who attended the forum, said, “I attended as a representative of Council to show my support to the organizers and be informed for anything that might come to council as a result of the forum.”

“The day was well organized and was attended by many agencies and there was considerable input from the respective attendees.”

“As with many of these types of forums, there is a long ‘wish’ list. It will depend on who is willing to take up the torch and work towards making those ideas that are doable, happen.”

“I feel, as a member of council, it will be a wait and see position. To be open to presentations by those who take up the torch on matters that are reasonable and financially feasible.”

Fiona Carr, a Family Resource Co-ordinator for the Ontario Early Years program, also attended the event as part of her work: “We wanted to make sure we are doing what we can.”

She continued, “I was really happy with the turnout. I was so happy to see the Mayor. It was so great to see so many people from Morrisburg. We have so many people who care.”

As for looking to the future, Carr said, “if we can get organized, we can do anything.” She referred to the South Dundas Playground in Morrisburg and the amazing turnout of volunteers helping out organizers on the day of the build in September 2011.

Dundas County Food Bank (DCFB) Chair, Brenda Millard was also in attendance. She said, “I attended the Community Forum to represent the DCFB and give input from our perspective and hopefully that of the 340 families we now serve. I was also interested in an update from the Social Audit which took place last year. I understood that a Trillium Grant had been received to implement some of the recommendations from the audit and I suspected that some important issues affecting rural poverty would be discussed.”

“The meeting was worthwhile and meaningful, not only for social interest groups, but for the public of SD&G. Issues for those facing poverty were organized by Peter Clutterbuck and interest groups met separately for discussion. I participated in a group which identified the sustainability and access of nutritious, safe, and sufficient food in rural areas, particularly in the lives of the poor.”

“The Linking Hands Committee, which evolved from the Social Audit has recognized an important need in organizing the forum; they are to be commended for their commitment to resolving issues of rural poverty in Eastern Ontario.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds also attended the event. When asked why he attended, he said, “my plan was to listen to the challenges and see if there were things the Township and Counties were already doing and what we need to get involved in.”

As for how the day went, he said, “it was an interesting day. There were a lot of ideas exchanged especially in the morning when participants were asked to dream of a Dundas County in 10 years. I participated in the economic portion and the number one idea was a trade school to train our youth for the service industry, which makes sense for us. I really did not have any objectives and tried to keep an open mind.”

“One comment that came out loud and clear was that the two councils need to meet more often to discuss the direction for all of Dundas County. We have met once this year and Mayor (Eric) Duncan and I have a good communication line. We will need to look at meeting more often.”

In terms of what should happen next, Byvelds said, “I think the Linking Hands group needs to come up with concrete, doable ideas and present them to Council. This is something the community needs to be involved in.”

“I think the day went well. The biggest challenge will be moving forward with practical ideas.”

In his review of the day’s success, Clutterbuck referred to the group’s diversity: “Getting that mix of people is a real achievement.”

“They worked very effectively the whole day,” he continued. “I was quite impressed with the high quality of thinking.”

In terms of a next step, Clutterbuck said the organizers are working on “producing a consolidated report” and, following that, “should invite people back” to discuss “possible ways toward trying to accomplish these visions.”

The first step is determining what can be done and how to go about it. The real question, he says, is “what do you want to work on first?”

According to Pratt, “participants in the forum signed up for specific working groups that will begin work on the next steps identified by each group. The next meeting of the Linking Hands Network is Monday, November 28, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Riverside Recreation Hall in Riverside Heights.”

For more information, please contact using one of the following: linkinghandsdundas@gmail.com or house.lazarus@gmail.com or 613-989-3830.

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Sue McCullough

One Wednesday morning, not that long ago, I was sitting at my desk early in the morning. As I peered out my window, I noticed that it was a bit foggy outside – not a usual thing for mid November. 

While I was working away, I heard the distinct sound of fog horns. The timbre of the horns sent a wave of melancholy through me. I had a sense of aloneness but not loneliness, like I was the only person awake in the world at that point in time, yet God was hovering near. It felt like one of the “thin times” between me and God. The sound seemed to travel for miles and miles, almost like an echo. 

I am not certain how far along the Seaway the ship was before I couldn’t hear the sound of the fog horn any longer but it sure seemed like quite some time had passed.

Later on in the day, I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea, and I heard the clear sound of a helicopter flying over. For some reason, that I have yet been able to figure out, I am fascinated by the sound and sight of helicopters. So I rushed outside to look for it. 

There I saw a very large chopper flying west. It wasn’t one of the recognizable orange helicopters that indicate someone being air-lifted to a hospital. It appeared to be a military helicopter that might well have been heading to CFB Trenton. 

As I looked up, I wondered about the people who were in that aircraft, marvelled at the fact that such an odd shaped machine could actually stay up in the air, prayed that they travelled safely to their destination and gave thanks that it wasn’t someone being flown to a hospital.

Sometime that afternoon, I was walking across the lawn returning home from the church when a small flock of geese flew overhead. There were only about eight or 10 birds flying and only one of them was honking as they flew. 

It wasn’t the noise of the call of that one lone bird that caught my attention so much as the sound of the air rushing through their wings. It sounded like a swoosh with every beat of their wings. The sound from such a few birds was quite loud so I can only imagine what it would sound like with some of the larger flocks that I see in the sky from time to time. Swoosh.

. . .that reminded me of how I thought Holy Spirit would sound when I was a little girl. The presence of God was evident to me once again that day.

As I think back on that day, I am reminded that we are blessed in so many ways. Being blessed with the ability to hear those sounds is something that I give thanks for because there are so many people in our world, our community, who cannot hear these things. 

Each time I was drawn away from my own thoughts to the world around me and I found myself entering into a time of prayer, drawing closer to God – marvelling at all of creation. The sounds of this November are not something that I will forget any time soon. Thanks be to God!

 

[…]

No Picture
Sports

OPG donates to local youth

Last Wednesday, Dale Adams, representing Ontario Power Generation, stopped in at the Morrisburg Arena to drop off a couple of early Christmas donations to the Morrisburg and District Figure Skating Club and the South Dundas Minor Hockey Association. The two organizations, that are responsible for keeping several hundred South Dundas youngsters busy and active in the winter months, each received $500 from OPG. On hand to accept for the Skating Club was president Julie VanHoof and board member Andy Lee while treasurer Pam Mullin accepted on behalf of minor hockey. The figure skaters will be putting their donation towards their “very important” sound system which this year will get a new microphone and some amplifier upgrades said Lee who expressed his thanks to OPG. Mullin, in thanking OPG on behalf of minor hockey explained the association uses the money to put “kids into hockey who couldn’t afford to play otherwise.”. Pictured above, l-r, are Mullin, Adams, Lee and VanHoof.

 

[…]