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Something for everyone at 20th Williamsburg Fall Festival

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning colours and the pumpkins are in the fields.

That can mean only one thing.

The 20th annual Fall Harvest Festival is coming to Williamsburg on Friday and Saturday, September 23-24, and everyone is invited to come out and enjoy two days of fun and excitement.

“This is a real community event,” said David Lapier, president of the Williamsburg Community Association, which organizes the two day celebration. “We really couldn’t do the Harvest Festival without the support of many groups in our community, our sponsors, area churches, scouts, firefighters and businesses. No doubt about it, team work makes everything happen.”

Lapier says that there will be some new events at this year’s Festival.

“In our noon parade, we will have a marching band from Cornwall, a first for us. Also new this year is an ATV group ride, which will take place at J.C. Whitteker Park Saturday morning. That should be a lot of fun. And I think kids of all ages will enjoy the visit from Maple the Cow especially since there will be free ice cream bars. For adults, Jed the Mechanical Bull, will be coming to the Saturday night dance at the Matilda Hall where Landmark will be performing. As in other years, we’ll be running a bus from Williamsburg to and from the dance.”

Lapier points out that all the popular activities from previous fall festivals will also be returning.

The entire village will be decorated in a Hillbilly fall theme this year. Children are invited to come out in their best Harvest-themed costumes on Saturday morning for the judging. There are many activities for youngsters including colouring and poster contests, pumpkin carving, biggest vegetable contests, ball hockey, face painting, mini-putt and a petting zoo, Tribeck Inflatables and water games with the Williamsburg Fire Department.

For adults and the young at heart there are a photo contest, a scavenger hunt, the Allan Doherty Memorial Horseshoe Tournament, a flea market, a farmers’ market and a colourful craft show at the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre.

“The great thing about our Fall Festival is that everything, with the exception of the food, is absolutely free,” David Lapier said. “There are no admission fees, no fees for games and rides. Everyone can come out and have a good time.”

The Fall Festival weekend will kick off on Friday night with a firefighters’ softball game at 8 p.m. and movie night at the Oddfellows Hall at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re looking for great weather for our Williamsburg Fall Harvest Festival,” said David Lapier, “but it’ll be a good time no matter what.”

For additional information contact 613-535-2264.


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Election dilemma

Elections supposedly give voters the opportunity to choose the person and/or party that will represent their interests in government.

I must ask the obvious: how can one person realistically represent the interests of each and every constituent? What happens when the elected official must choose between two constituents with opposing interests? Indeed, what happens when the elected official, full of good intentions, can’t actually follow through on election promises because of numerous insurmountable roadblocks?

One of the most common issues for voters, I believe, is whether to vote for a specific person regardless of the party they represent OR vote for the party regardless of the individual candidate. Oftentimes, people find that they respect a person based on past actions, but they completely disagree with that candidate’s party agenda. Or, vice versa.

On October 6th, who do we vote for? Libertarian candidate Darcy Neal Donnelly? Progressive Conservative candidate Jim McDonell? Green Party candidate Justin Reist? Elaine MacDonald, candidate for the New Democratic Party? Or, Mark A. MacDonald, Liberal candidate?

The answer is, “I don’t know.”

You might be a staunch and steady supporter for the PC’s, but do you know why? Do you vote Liberal because that’s what your parents did? Or, do you vote NDP because you want to steer clear of the PC and Liberal parties? Do you vote Libertarian or Green Party because you want to be different or take some sort of stand or make a statement…?

Life is about balance in everything we do. The same goes for voting. Make a list of what’s important. List the pros and cons of each party versus each candidate. Choose the candidate (or party) that most closely answers your needs.

The answer will undoubtedly be different for everyone. What’s important to remember is that no matter who gets elected, some promises will be kept and some probably won’t. No one person and no one party is the perfect answer to all of our problems. We must learn to take the good with the bad. Or, better yet, learn to work together as one team.

Vote. See what happens. Deal with the outcome and move on by making the best of whatever situation arises.



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Strong start for Junior Lions

The Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey season got underway in Kemptville on the weekend, and for the Morrisburg Lions, it wasn’t a bad start.
After losing their opening game in the second annual Fall Classic, 3-1 to the Ottawa West Golden Knights on Friday night, the Lions turned it around Saturday, for a 5-3 win over the Stittsville Royals.

In their opener against the Knights, the two were tied 1-1 after two periods, before the Knights capitalized on a bad Lions’ clearing attempt, to set them up for a late power-play goal to seal the game.

Alex Steingruber scored the lone Lions’ goal in the second period with the assists going to Ryan Ward and goaltender Mikael Dion, who was called upon to make 37 saves during the game.

“I was pleased with our effort against a very good Ottawa West team,” said Lions’ coach Thom Racine. “We showed if we move our feet and skate like we can, shift after shift, we can play with these good teams.”

“We made them earn the win, and we have to take something from that.”

On Saturday night, against the Stittsville Royals, the Lions got off to a slow start, but got out of the first period in a 1-1 tie.

It was a big goal for both the Lions and Drew Veenstra who collected his first Junior B goal after going the entire season without one last year. He was assisted by team captain Matt Ouimet.

Early in the second period, Ouimet put the Lions ahead, 2-1, on a pretty set up from Ty Hodgson on the power play.

Unfortunately, the Lions couldn’t hold on and gave up two late period goals to trail 3-2 after 40 minutes.

A relentless forecheck to begin the third period saw Sylvester Bzdyl tie the game, 3-3, just over a minute in, from a Drew Veenstra rebound.
Brayden Girard then scored on a solo effort to push it to 4-3 at 2:44.

The fifth and final goal, at 7:47 of the third, came on a Clark Veenstra set up to Michel Thurler who rifled a wrist show low to Erik Miksik’s glove side.

Dion was in net for the Lions first win of the 2011/12 regular season.

“Clark Veenstra was huge all night long, as he frustrated the Royals defenders with punishing body checks,” said coach Racine.

As a result Veenstra was named the game star to join goaltender Dion who was the named the Lions’ game star in the loss to Ottawa West.
The Fall Classic was sponsored by the Ottawa Senators who provided 88 home game tickets for the MVPs on both teams of each of the 22 games played, as well as Senator ball caps.

Coach Racine says he was very happy with the weekend split.

“I looked at our division before the second game, and I knew we had to win to keep pace (everyone else that had played had earned a point their first games), and the kids really responded.”

“The win can be enjoyed, but we get the defending champs (Winchester) Sunday in our home opener and that will be another early season test.”

The Alexandria Glens and the Casselman Vikings both won their Fall Classic games for four points each. The Hawks posted a win and a tie for three points, and the Lions are next with two points. Akwesasne produced one tie and Char-Lan lost both games.

The Lions are at home this Sunday, September 25 to the Winchester Hawks at 2:30 p.m.

Their next action is on Friday night, September 30 when the Char-Lan Rebels come to town for an 8:30 p.m. game.


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New Community Playground dedicated to SD&G Highlanders

On September 24, the South Dundas Community Playground will be built by volunteers.

On the same day, a very special memorial will also be unveiled at the site.

At the entrance to the playground, the South Dundas Community Playground Committee will place a commemorative plaque, dedicating this new park to the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders, the “Glens.”

The plaque, donated by Prescott Memorials, reads: May our youth strive to protect our freedoms using the example of past generations whose traditions are carried on today by the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders to whom this playground is dedicated this 24th day of September 2011.

Matt McCooeye, chair of the Playground committee, said that members had been looking for a group of people or  local person to whom to dedicate the new park.

“Our criteria was we wanted that group or person to possess characteristics that we would want our kids to possess.”

At least two individuals, not on the committee, suggested the Glens to them.

“Rosemary Laurin and I decided to learn more,” McCooeye said. “About four weeks ago we contacted the Cornwall Armory and did some reading. We were also told to get in touch with Bill Shearing. I’ve lived in this community all my life and I found I didn’t know enough about the Highlanders and the sacrifices they made for us. Our playground is located on the very ground the Glens protected 200 years ago.”

As the committee linked the idea of protecting Canada’s freedoms to the children of today, the dedication to the Highlanders seemed the “perfect match.”

On September 6, the committee officially adopted the dedication to the Glens.

Bill Shearing, former honourary colonel of the SD&G Highlanders, said that he may have been the last to know about the committee’s plans, but “I think it’s great.”

He was able to share stories about many local people who have served in, or been involved with, the Highlanders through both Wars, and going right back to 1812. Many young men and women from the South Dundas community currently serve in the forces.

“We want to remember the people of the past, and look to those who will serve in the future,” McCooeye said. “No other group or person really fit the philosophy and outlook of our community like the SD&G Highlanders.”

McCooeye reported that 175 volunteers have officially signed up to help September 24 and he expects more may just “show up.”

“We have surpassed $115,000 in our fund raising,” McCooeye said. “The not-for-profit group Let Them Be Kids has matched us in purchasing power for everything in the park. They have also provided us with a blue print for making Saturday’s construction run smoothly.”

The official Playground opening ceremony will take place at the park at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Attending will be Bob Brooks, honourary lieutenant-colonel of the SD&G Highlanders and former and current members of the militia.

“Our opening and dedication ceremony is to thank the community for an incredible amount of support over these last three months,” Matt McCooeye said. “We will especially thank certain key people at our ceremony.

However, there will be no traditional ribbon cutting. Instead, all the kids of our community will ‘run through’ the ribbons opening their park. After all, children raised $6,500 themselves for the park and selected the play structures.”

McCooeye invites everyone to link up to on Saturday, September 24, beginning at 8 a.m. to follow the construction and opening of the South Dundas Community Playground live all day long.


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Tribeck Inflatables, Canadian Tire Get Behind New Playground

“It was really a great idea to have this event. It’s important to raise money for our community. Community is everything,” said Don Denneny.
Denneny, with his daughter Nicole, seven, was just one of the many parents, children and supporters who came out to enjoy the fund raiser, featuring Tribeck Inflatables, Saturday, September 10, on behalf of the new children’s playground scheduled for con-struction in Earl Baker Park on September 24.

Michel Proulx, owner of the Morrisburg Canadian Tire, provided “a location and manpower” for the Tribeck Inflatables, as well as “doing some fund raising in the store.”

“I have been behind this kids’ park since day one,” Proulx said. “My store manager, Brian Shaver, is one of the executive on the playground committee. This is an important event for the community, and it’s great that we can fund raise in a fun venue.”
Trevor Beckstead and Rebecca Cooper, owners of Tribeck Inflatables, are also strong supporters of the community playground. They provided all their equipment free of charge for the entire day.

“I’ve got three girls myself,” Trevor Beckstead said. “My kids will have the chance to play in that park, and we hope as a family to picnic there. I wanted to show that Tribeck Inflatables has grown as a South Dundas business and that we can serve this and surrounding communities. This new kids’ park is very important to my whole family.”

Playground committee mem-bers, including Jack Barkley and Rosemary Laurin, were thrilled with the generosity of Tribeck and Canadian Tire.

“Tribeck Inflatables is providing all this equipment for us free of charge,” Laurin and Barkley said, “and Canadian Tire has given us a wonderful site. We are very grateful.”

Visitors attending the fund raiser on September 10 were asked to make a donation to the playground as their admission.

Candy apples and candy floss were available, with part of the sales coming back to the playground. Mark Staughton, a volunteer with Family Mission, in the guise of Zany the Clown, produced incredible balloon creatures for kids, and then donated proceeds to the playground as well.

“It’s just amazing how this community has come together to support us through events like this one today,” said Jack Barkley.


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The Kitchen Witches, serves a funny ending at Upper Canada Playhouse

Folks heading to the Playhouse for the final show of the 2011 summer season are in for a delightfully, ‘delicious’ evening out as the Playhouse dishes up, The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith which opened Thursday night, September 8 and runs through October 2.

The Kitchen Witches places the audience at a live television ‘cooking’ show and drags everyone kicking and laughing, mostly laughing, into the venue.

Directed by Canadian theatre veteran, Walter Learning, it’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s funny and it’s a wonderful play to end this year’s summer season.

As was expected the very talented Linda Goranson and Jocelyn Zucco deliver. They are backed by a solid performance from Parris Greaves who plays Dolly’s son Stephen.

Goranson gives us Dolly Biddle, a character you like immediately. She’s short, a bit frumpy, the ‘vonderful, vonderful’, lovable grandmotherly type but with a fake Ukranian accent.

On the other hand, you don’t immediately take to Isobel, “Izzy” Lomax played by Zucco. In fact, she is quite un-likeable when she first hits the stage. She’s loud, professional to the point of being cold, and not about to let anyone forget that ‘I am Cordon Bleu’ trained.

She became a bit more endearing, however when she ended up as Mammy to Dolly’s Scarlett O’Hara in the deep south cooking segment of The Kitchen Witches show and by the end of the night we had actually come to like her.

The play is about Dolly and Isobel, who grew up in the same town, loved the same man and both ended up with television cooking shows, ‘Baking with Babcha’ and ‘Busy with Izzy’ both of which have coincidentally been cancelled. “It’s last show and Bobcha wants to go out with a bang,” says Dolly as she prepares her Ukranian Bosch.

When Izzy shows up on the Babcha set, old ‘personal’ problems bubble up. “Dolly Biddle you have publicly insulted me for the last time,” yells Izzy. The grease sizzles and the cooking show producers love all the digs and pokes as the two old friends air old grievances, live, on stage. As a result, a new show, The Kitchen Witches is born and becomes an immediate hit.

When Izzy reveals the family’s ‘secret’ recipe at the end of the first act, the stage is set for some real fun…and an eventual happy ending.

Adding to the play’s charm is the localization and the interaction with the audience. The Kitchen Witches show is sponsored by Morrisburg and area businesses and the two cooking divas receive fan mail from such far-away places as Chesterville and Ingleside. A Playhouse audience member is even called to centre stage.

Also called to the stage for this one is Upper Canada Playhouse’s Production Assistant, Stéphanie Souillé, who plays the camera person who captures all of the great cooking show moments.

The two cooks do offer some cooking advice and enter into a well-timed two minute cooking challenge. Dolly prepares “melt in your mouth bourbon balls” and Izzie makes a “stand em up Izzie Banana Parfait”. Keep an eye on the stand-up banana

The Kitchen Witches is a fun show, with an outstanding cast and an excellent ending for another successful season at the Playhouse.

If you don’t have your tickets yet call the Playhouse at 613-543-3713 or book online at This is one ‘yummy’ serving you don’t want to miss.


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PP reports on charges for Labour Day long weekend

The Ontario Provincial Police Eastern Region Headquarters, in coordination with the OPP ERHET – (East Region Highway Enforcement Team), HSD-Long Sault (Highway Safety Division) as well as SD&G, Grenville and Leeds OPP detachments, were on the look-out for aggressive drivers Labour Day weekend.

“Our dedicated officers working together over the long weekend focused on aggressive drivers and held them accountable. Keeping our highways safe is everyone’s responsibility and we will continue to be there to remind those that have forgotten,” said Inspector Chris Lungstrass.

Officers laid over 496 charges:

  • Speeding: 332
  • Seatbelt or Child restraint: 48
  • Cell/Phone Texting: 5
  • Impaired Operation: 2
  • Move Over Law: 2
  • Suspended Operator: 11

Help keep our communities safe! Obey the law, be respectful of others and report suspicious activity.


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New CEO Boland excited about WDMH

September 8th marked Cholly Boland’s third day as Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Boland took time to introduce himself to local press late that afternoon where he confirmed that he “couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

Boland admitted that his professional background, while definitely in healthcare, has not been all about hospitals.

During a placement in British Columbia, Boland worked at bringing homecare, long-term care and in-house care together. He said that the “focus has always been on integration.”

Boland has worn several different hats in the healthcare system, his most recent being CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ontario.

WDMH’s reputation is one of the main inspirations for Boland’s move to the area. He referred to the hospital as a “centre of excellence” and remarked on its being at the “forefront of senior care, education and research in this area.”

In addition to providing the best senior care possible, Boland also affirms that WDMH is focussed on “developing best practices” and answering the question of “how do you best provide care in a rural environment?”

With respect to his predecessor, Trudy Reid, Boland said that he is “fortunate to be taking over from someone whose done such great work.”

He went on to say that his plans include “taking that work and moving it forward.”

In terms of the upcoming election, Boland stated: “I can’t foresee any type of future that would not see this hospital in full operation.”

He believes that any government would have to recognize “the investment that’s been made – the good work that’s been done here and will continue to be done.”

CEO of WDMH is a “great opportunity” for Boland not only because of its “track record in senior care” and its “leading edge research,” but also because of its geographical location.

In addition to his history in Eastern Ontario, he also has senior family members in the area.
Boland was CEO of Arnprior and District Hospital for almost 5 years, between 2003 and 2008. He also spent time in Kingston and Ottawa.

He received a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from Queen’s University in 1984. From the University of Ottawa, he received a Masters in Health Administration in 1992 and a Masters in Business Aministration in 2000.

He got started in his career at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

The new CEO is married with two children, a 13 year old son and 9 year old daughter.

His wife and children are still living in Orangeville, but they will be joining him. They are presently looking for a new home in the area. On that note, he stated: “we’re not moving anymore.”

In meeting Boland, his positive energy, strong commitment and seemingly limitless enthusiasm for WDMH come through loud and clear.


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Maritime history comes alive at Doran Bay Model Ship Museum

Doran Bay Model Ship Museum, located on County Road #2 east of Iroquois, opened its doors on September 9th.

Among those welcomed to the new museum by Burt and Simla Cunningham were Max Keeping, former MPP Jim Brownell, MP Guy Lauzon, Mayor Steven Byvelds, Deputy Mayor Jim Locke, Councillor Evonne Delegarde, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Brian Cox.

The ceremony began with Keeping  who claimed that “the time couldn’t be better” for the opening of the maritime museum. The anniversary of the War of 1812 is next year and included in the exhibit are models of both Canadian and American ships.

Keeping went on to say that this is an “opportunity not to go back to war, but to celebrate the two countries and how their friendship has developed.”

Brownell complimented the detail in the design of the models, which were built from original plans using exotic woods.

He ventured that the museum will have a beneficial effect on tourism and infrastructure in the area.

In Lauzon’s address, he said that he “welcomed to South Dundas, this expansion of business. This is a jewel in our riding. The community is so supportive.”

Byvelds agreed with Lauzon, saying that the museum “certainly is going to be another jewel in South Dundas’s coffers.”

Cox thanked the Cunninghams for their contribution, declaring that he was “really looking forward to the [museum] bringing in the tourism and bringing in the people.”

Cunningham claims that “Doran Bay Model Ship Museum contains one of the finest collections of historic model ships in the world.”

Remarking on the genesis of the project, he shared a little bit about his life leading up to this point.
He “spent the last few years on paradise island” where he met his wife, Simla.

The island in question is the Mauritius. It was there that Cunningham “discovered a small group of people who had this craft” for building model ships.

He “befriended these artisans (and later) employed them to do these ships.”

“As I was doing a lot of research,” stated Cunningham, “a lot of this history seems to have been lost.”

Earlier in the ceremony, Keeping pointed out that “Canada is a great maritime nation.”

And, what better way to honour that then with a ship museum whose collection, according to Cunningham, “traces the history of sail around the world with emphasis on famous Canadian and U.S. ships.”

Cunningham continued, saying that his family “had this house sitting here idle,” giving the perfect opportunity to display the model ships.

Currently the museum occupies the ground floor of the house. At the moment, only about half of the ships in Cunningham’s collection are on display.

Cunningham plans to monitor the response from the public and,  if substantial, he will expand, allowing for more of the collection to be seen.

He went on to say that this has “been a family project (and that) it’s a private collection, but we’re opening it up to the public.”

Cunningham invites: “see maritime history come to life.”


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Ground breaking begins on playground

The excitement is definitely mounting. On Monday morning, September 12, volunteers began the initial excavation work around the site of the new kids’ playground. They will be on site all this week.

Trucks, a back-hoe, an excavator and folks carrying picks and shovels began clearing top soil and preparing Earl Baker Park for the arrival of the highly anticipated new playground equipment, which is being shipped in on September 22.

The actual construction date is September 24.

“The excavator is digging out the area on a grade to ensure drainage,” said Jack Barkley, member of the Playground Committee. “Once that is done, we must dig holes for each of the poles which will support the play equipment. Cement is poured into the 12 inch sauna tubes to firmly anchor the poles which hold up the projects. The equipment will be firmly supported and safe.”

Barkley had much praise for all the volunteers turning out to help with the ground clearing, and especially for Les Cruickshank who “was instrumental in arranging for the equipment and digging.”

The old playground equipment had to be completely dismantled and will be reassembled north of the site later on.

Barkley, whom Les describes as site “manager” for the dig, had about seven volunteers with him.

“We are also going to need strong volunteers on September 22 to unload the new equipment, but each volunteer must be able to lift 100 pounds of weight to work that day,” Barkley said.