Six years ago there was no food bank serving South Frontenac, but there were a number of programs av...
Members of the Sharbot Lake and District Lions were out in full force on November 21st at their Oso ...
North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins said he knew he was going to hear about it when he indicated at a ...
There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.
When Plevna quilter Debbie Emery won the design contest for the Frontenac County 150th anniversary quilt, she knew she was going to have a lot of work to do to translate her design into a finished quilt. By the time she delivered the quilt to the county in early August, in time for it to be displayed as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, she had put 650 hours of her own labour into the project, turning the $2,000 prize for winning the contest into a $3 an hour part time job for eight months. More importantly, the quilt was front and centre at the opening ceremonies of the celebration event in Harrowsmith, and will be available for display at the county offices for years to come. Using the rail line as a unifying feature, the quilt illustrates the three geographical components of Frontenac County, from the island communities that are surrounded by Lake Ontario, to the farmland in South Frontenac Township and into the Canadian Shield in the north. The quilt also points to the First Nations heritage of the county, and to activities such as logging, homesteading, tourism and the night skies.
Agnes Morrow is 101 years old, and when she was born on March 9, 1914, World War One was still six months away; oil had not yet been discovered in Alberta; and James P Whitney was the Premier of Ontario. When historians look at the 20th century, 1914 is seen as a pivotal year, because it was the start of the war that profoundly changed the political landscape around the world and in Canada, and left millions dead and millions more displaced. But in the community of Donaldson, where Agnes Morrow was born in the farmhouse of Louis and Julia Morrow, the third of eight children, world events had little impact in those years. Donaldson, which is now merely an access road to a small number of properties, was at that time a community made up primarily of Morrow family farms. “There were around 39 Morrows living within five miles of one another. Uncle Neil had a farm; Uncle Louis had a farm; Uncle Henry had a farm; Elmer Morrow had a farm; they were all little farms,” Agnes recalled when interviewed this week from her home near Lavant Station, a few kilometres from where she was born. Among the first things that Agnes remembers, besides the death of her sister at the age of five, six months after an appendicitis operation left an incision that did not heal properly (the rest of the family lived into their 80s and 90s), was the day in 1919 when her father got his first team of horses, greatly expanding the family's prospects. One of the things her father did with the team was clear a swamp on the farm in order to create a small hay field. “But like a lot of the work done to clear land it has gone back to the way it was over the years,” said Agnes. When Agnes was very young, six or seven years old, she started helping to milk the 13 cows that her father, Louis, kept. The cream was delivered to a cheese factory at Lavant Station or the creamery at Snow Road, and in the 1920s there was a bread truck and a meat truck that came around on a weekly basis. Some of the other memories that Agnes has are about the food that her mother, Julia, prepared for the family. “Mum and dad were good providers, and mum was an awful good cook. She could take an old hen and make it taste like a spring chicken, and she made the best apple pie. We had an orchard and we picked berries in season, but the apple pie was the best. I made pies all my life, many pies, but never like she made.” In addition to the orchard, the Morrows grew fields of turnips and beans and other vegetables for fresh eating and for winter storage. “My oldest brother Alfred was very good to us little ones as well,”Agnes recalls, recalling one event in particular. “One day mum and dad were off to Perth and Alfred was home with us. A storm came up and it was a bad one. Hail came with it and was laying on the ground in sheets, there was so much of it. Alfred had the little ones gather it up and he got a ten gallon syrup pail and had them pack it with the hail and added salt to keep it frozen. He put a pail of cream in the middle and I flavoured it with vanilla and we started stirring it and shaking it one way and another. It never quite made it to ice cream but it tasted good all the same. We cleaned up and put everything away and thought that was the end of it. But at supper time my little brother John said he wasn't hungry and mum asked him what was wrong. He said he was still full from the ice cream, and then we had to answer for it.” Agnes attended school at both Mundel's school near Donaldson and at the Lavant School. When she was 17 she met Archie Thomas at an event at the Lavant schoolhouse. There was man who had a bear that did tricks and people had gathered to see his show. Archie was the youngest of a family with 10 children in Ompah. In 1933, when Agnes was 19, the couple married. They both started working on a farm near Agnes' family farm that was owned by the Ferguson family. Two years later the elder Ferguson died of a heart attack while checking on his cattle, and in 1938 the Fergusons offered to sell the farm to Archie and Agnes Thomas. To this day Agnes lives on that farm, in the farmhouse, built in 1840, which she has now looked after for 77 years. In 1938, when they bought the farm, eggs sold for 11 cents a dozen; butter for 15 cents a pound; and syrup went for $2.90 a gallon. While she does not remember World War One, the Second World War had an impact on Agnes' life, and that of the local community. Dozens of local men went to war; a number came back injured and several died overseas. The biggest improvement on the farm took place in May of 1949, when it was hooked up with electricity. “We had all the wiring done for lights in advance, so we were ready for it. The first thing we bought was a washing machine. One of the cottagers sold fridges and he had a second-hand one that he sold to us. I was in hillbilly heaven when we got that washer. Then, when we could afford it, we added a refrigerator. Before that we had an ice box, and had to go to Sunday Lake in the winter to cut blocks of ice, haul it home, and store it in sawdust for the summer. The refrigerator was a big, big improvement.” Archie died a number of years ago, and the children are living away from the farm, although one of Agnes and Archie’s daughters, Shirley Whan, lives in Sharbot Lake. But Agnes has never seriously considered leaving the farm. “I wouldn't have lived here for so long if I didn't like it here,” she said. “I've had a good life in this house.” She has slowed down, of course. In place of the large garden she used to keep she now has a “box garden with cucumbers, beets, tomatoes and carrots” and the house is still surrounded by flowers, including her favourite double impatiens and begonias. She walks with the help of a cane and uses a speaker to help her hear better, but with the help of relatives and friends, and six hours a week of housekeeping help, Agnes says “I thought about leaving but I decided to stay here for another year.” She said that one of the secrets to her long, relatively healthy life, has been the fact that she never drove a car. “I saved all that stress, and here I am,” she said. (note - an earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Agnes' husband name was Charlie in two places. This version has been corrected)
North Frontenac set to invest $900,000 into existing office/township garage At a meeting to lay the groundwork for their 2016 budget last Friday, November 20, members of North Frontenac Council came to a decision about the future of their township office. They decided to spend about $500,000 improving the cladding, insulation and air flow in the office section of the existing building. They are also planning to build a 1,500 square foot extension to the front of the building at an estimated cost of $400,000. Earlier this year, Councilor Denis Bedard prepared a report that outlined six options for Council to consider. Option 1, to do nothing, was not considered a viable option because “from a health and safety point of view the building as it is now is inadequate” said Bedard. When the report was tabled in the late summer, Council responded favourably to option 3, to build a new office at a township-owned property in Plevna and keep the existing building as a garage. The estimated cost of this option was $1.63 million. In September, Council received a flood of letters and emails from residents expressing dismay over the plan for a new building, many citing the cost as more than taxpayers can handle after years of tax increases and the impact of a jump in OPP costs that will be felt in the coming budget years. When the issue came back to Council last week, Mayor Ron Higgins said, “There are some issues that need to be addressed. From staff I see that heating issues are a priority and a public washroom is also a priority. We can address these things one at a time.” “The consultant has provided an estimate of $500,000 for insulation and siding and windows. You can't piecemeal that; you have to do it all at once,” said Councilor Bedard.” At this point Councilor Wayne Good said, “To put money in the existing building is like putting a motor in a 50-year-old car and thinking that you have something. $500,000 is total waste of money. I don't agree with it at all.” At this point in the meeting, the idea of dealing with the problems in the existing building and putting in a new section, which will include washrooms, a foyer, and proper office space, was proposed. “We should use a new addition for offices, not a council chamber as the consultant said. That would eat up all the space,” said Councilor John Inglis. “I agree with John,” said Wayne Good, “if we get the staff into the new part, put in washrooms, and then gut the old section and think about renovating it later, I could see doing this.” Ron Higgins said that a cost of $900,000 can only be taken on as a loan, because of immediate budget pressures. Jeremy Nevens, the township's chief building official, was asked if he could seek verbal quotes from architectural firms that could put together preliminary drawings, based on information about the space needs for staff, showing how a new addition could be built and organised. “We can use verbal quotes rather than a formal process as long as the cost is under $20,000, according to our procurement bylaw,” said CAO Cheryl Robson. “I think I can make those calls. There are a number of good firms available to do this, as long as I can get the specifications about what is there now and what the needs are,” said Nevens. “This will take us a year to set up, and we will start building in 2017,” said Higgins. Manager of Community Development Cory Klatt was then asked if he can find updated information about the water at the site, which has been an ongoing problem for years. Fire chief, treasurer positions filled At their meeting this week, council announced that Eric Korhonen, who has been the interim fire chief, has been hired as the permanent fire chief. Kelly Watkins has also been promoted to the position of treasurer.
Over 120 members of the local community gathered for the first Remembrance Day ceremony in Plevna, which took place at the new war memorial on November 11. The memorial was erected in front of the Clar-Mill Community Centre earlier this year. Led by Northbrook Legion Branch #328 president, Mike Powley Jr., the ceremony included words by North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, who focused on Canada's involvement in the First World War, specifically the high points of Canadian military achievement that became known as “Canada's Hundred Days”. The “Hundred Days” involved a series of attacks made along the Western Front by the Canadian Corps in a 96-day offensive that ended the war. Councilor Gerry Martin read the names of many of Plevna's veterans who fought and died for the country since World War 1, and Northbrook Legion Padre, Harry Adringa, read a series of prayers. Students from Clarendon Central Public School in Plevna under the guidance of teacher Katie McDonald also participated at the service. Grade six student, Madison Gunsinger, read the poem “In Flanders Fields”, after which the students joined together to sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth”. Ron Lemke also played and sang “Amazing Grace”. Numerous wreaths were laid by local dignitaries and other members of the community and to close the service, The Act of Remembrance was read out. The new war memorial has created a place where residents of Plevna and the surrounding community can now gather for their very own Remembrance Day service.
NFCS Requests Continued Support Louise Moody, the executive director of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS), and Maribeth Scott, the Child Centre program manager, made a presentation to Council on Friday regarding the services that NFCS provides in North Frontenac. They also made a request for funding from Council to help them continue their programming. “It gives an opportunity for the kids to experience guiding each other and being part of a group,” Moody explained. “They learn self-efficiency, self-determination, communication skills, and problem solving. Each of the skills is linked to higher school achievement, lower dropout rates, and/or better post-secondary outcome.” The free youth program from NFCS has recently been successful in securing a two-year grant from the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund. Under this grant, the youth will be given the opportunity to learn about First Nations' sports. This year's program includes an introduction to lacrosse and snowshoeing, and cultural teachings will accompany these activities. NFCS will partner with Clarendon Central Public School and the First Nations community to offer a cultural teaching event for all the northern families. In 2014, Clarendon Central Public School had 20 students enrolled in the program. Scott explained that NFCS relies on its relationships with the municipalities as they receive no subsistence funding from the provincial government. “If we didn't fund this, this would not happen?” Councilor John Inglis asked. “Absolutely,” Scott replied. “There is no ongoing Evergreen funding for youth programs so we ask the townships to support us and we always have grants on the go.” Last year, North Frontenac gave NFCS $5400 and they are requesting the same amount of funding for 2016. The request has been deferred to the 2016 budget deliberations, which are currently in progress. Sunday Drivers Residents on Sunday Lake Road are complaining that new speed limit signage is actually increasing traffic speeds on their road. Sunday Lake Road, which was previously unposted, now has signage posting a maximum speed limit of 60km/hr. Residents have complained to Council saying that although it's always been 60km/hr, now that it's posted people feel the need to do the limit, which they suggest is too fast for some parts of their road. Based upon recommendations the township received while doing a study on the state of their gravel roads, they recently installed new speed limit signs on roads that previously didn't have any signage. “You had better not take down the signs because you have a study that says you better have signs up,” Jim Phillips, the public works manager, was told after asking their lawyers whether they could just simply remove the signs. “If they want a lower speed limit because there are children living in the area...” Councilor Dennis Bedard said “You justify it based on what the residents want.” “We're supposed to represent the people,” Councilor Inglis said. “Our job is to fix it. We can't leave it the way it is. It does not make sense. I would suggest changing all the 60s to 50s.” Council asked Phillips to look at the gravel roads study again and make recommendations on which roads might need to be changed to a lower speed limit. Council will then make decisions based on the information Phillips presents later this year. 3-Season Maintenance of Norcan Lake Lane Council agreed to begin 3-season maintenance of Norcan Lake Lane and to incorporate those new expenses into their 2016 budget. The one-time costs associated with bringing the road up to the standards required for 3-season use in the municipality are $7,745 which is $5,000 for brushing the side of the roads and $2,745 for adding new signage. Additionally, Jim Phillips, the public works manager, estimated that resurfacing the road with gravel will need to happen with a cost of $46,620 but he still needs to complete a study to figure out how soon this resurfacing will need to take place. As well, $13,120 in future maintenance costs will be added to the 2016 budget.
Betty Hunter and Ernest Lapchinski, members of Northbrook-based Pine Meadow Nursing Home's management board, appeared before Frontenac County Council on October 21, seeking financial support for new windows at the home. Pine Meadow Nursing Home, a 60-bed long term care facility, is located in Addington Highlands Township, County of Lennox and Addington, but up to 50% of its residents at any given time come to the home from North and Central Frontenac, Ernest Lapchinski pointed out. Over the years representatives from the home have made numerous presentations to Frontenac County seeking funding, mostly for the major renovation and upgrade to Pine Meadow that was completed in 2014. “L&A County put in $250,000 over 10 years, and Addington Highlands waived the building fees for the project, but Frontenac County declined several requests for support,” said Betty Hunter. Frontenac County operates the municipally owned Fairmount Home. In rejecting annual requests for funding, successive Frontenac County Councils argued that maintaining Fairmount is already a burden for county ratepayers, and satisfies the legislative requirement that the county pay into the long term care system in Ontario. There is a precedent for the county to support capital projects for health care institutions outside of its jurisdiction, however. The budget includes a 10-year commitment of $25,000 per year towards capital upgrades to Kingston General Hospital. “What we are looking for today is funding support for the replacement of 11 bay windows in the original Pine Meadow building, which was built in 1993 to standards that are not what they are today. The new section of the building is up to those standards, but there are still challenges in the original building. The repair is extensive since it includes the supports, and the cost is $13,530 per window plus HST, about $165,000, which would be about $25,000 per year for seven years from Frontenac County,” said Betty Hunter. “It is a matter of some urgency.” “The home operates within the funding envelope provided by the Ministry of Health,” said Ernest Lapchinski, “and we manage our operations within budget and have always done so, but since the home is owned by the Land O'Lakes Community Services, which has its own funding challenges, there is nowhere to turn except fund raising and grants for capital projects such as this one.” “For years Pine Meadow has been coming to us looking for money. Council needs to find some niche to allocate money to this building, which is important to our residents in the North. We have to find an envelope to pull that money from; that is our challenge,” said North Frontenac councilor, John Inglis. “May I point out there is no long-term facility in Frontenac County,” said Betty Hunter, referring to the fact that Fairmount Home, although county-owned, is located within the City of Kingston, “I would try to see us do something; when it comes to budget time, I will be supporting this,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith. While Pine Meadow (60 beds) and Fairmount Home (128 beds) receive money from the Ministry of Long Term Care according to the same funding formula, and also charge resident fees, as a municipally owned home, Fairmount receives an additional $2.6 million from municipal sources. Of that money, $1.7 million comes from the City of Kingston and $900,000 from Frontenac County. The total operating budget for Fairmount Home in 2015 is $11.6 million. The discrepancy in funding has been brought up at Frontenac County Council in the past, particularly under the late warden Bud Clayton, who coincidentally also chaired the Pine Meadow Management Committee. Steve Silver, the interim administrator of Fairmount Home, said recently that care staff tend to be paid more at municipal homes as compared to the not-for-profit sector, based on how arbitration hearings tend to settle contract disputes between unions and management in the municipal sector. Silver, along with Chef Administrative Officer Kelly Pender and Councilor John Inglis, are visiting Pine Meadow this week to get a first hand look at the operation and its finances. They will also be paying a similar visit to Rideaucrest Home, which is another municipally owned home in the City of Kingston. Frontenac County will be entering budget deliberations for 2016 on November 12, when the draft budget will be tabled by staff.
The play, the Miracle Worker, is the inspirational and true story of Helen Keller and her miraculous transformation from a wild, frustrated, and unruly child who throws tantrums and lashes out at people into a literate, well-behaved, respectful young girl. The North Frontenac Little Theatre's production of the play, now half way through its four-show run, is well worth taking in. Helen Keller, 1880 – 1968, became deaf and blind due to an illness when she was 19 months old. She eventually became a world-famous author, speaker, activist and advocate and was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. Helen is played by Sydney Drew in the NFLT production and the story focuses on how she gradually learns from her young and dedicated teacher Annie Sullivan (Annika Putnam), not only to become communicative and literate, but equally how to behave as a civilized human being. Sullivan, who herself had a very difficult life growing up in “the poor house” with her young brother and who remains haunted by those memories, refuses to abandon her young charge although her efforts are questioned and criticized by Helen's family. Their love and pity for Helen proves detrimental to the child and leads Sullivan to conclude in one of the play's most poignant moments that it is their love and pity that is more of a handicap to Helen than her deafness and blindness. The beauty of this story is in watching the changes in Helen, who from the start is a bright and intelligent child. This transformation is the main dramatic and narrative arc of the play, with Drew and Putnam front and center, and many of their scenes are perfectly drawn. There are numerous subplots that weave throughout this drama, which include the family patriarch Captain Keller (John Stephen), whose denial and obstacles are almost insurmountable. Other softer obstacles posed by Helen’s loving mother Kate Keller (Barbie Matson) are also depicted. There is the coming of age sub-plot of son James (Nic Alarcon Belanger), whose mother's death leaves him not knowing his proper position in his father's new family, while Aunt Evelyn's (Angie Cowdy) confusion exemplifies the conflict of wanting progress but also trying to maintain the status quo. The play also investigates the history of the conflicting values of America's North and South at that time, with this Alabama family having trouble coming to terms with the outcome of the Civil War. The play is profound, dramatic, and covers some heady subject matter, and director Carol Belanger along with her formidable cast and crew are up for the task. It is a play that will long be remembered as one of the NFLT's most successful undertakings in the category of drama. The Miracle Worker continues its run at the Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, with shows on Saturday, November 28 at 7pm and Sunday, November 29 at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy, the Cardinal Cafe and at the door. or by calling Nina Jenkins at 613-279-2945.
Two back-to-back fundraising events in Sharbot Lake on November 21 were organized by members of the District 3 recreation committee and raised $3,000 for the Sharbot Lake rink project. The first event was an open mic fundraiser that took place at the Sharbot Lake Legion in the afternoon, and later that evening a dance was held at Oso hall featuring three bands, Franny and Beeb'z Breezeway Pickers, Greatest of Ease, and Plan B. The latter event was attended by over 100 people, who danced the night away to the sounds of old country, rock 'n roll and the blues. The Oso hall event included a silent auction with numerous items donated by individuals and businesses from the local community. The $10 ticket included a full buffet that was served at 10pm. To date the Oso Recreation Committee has raised $10,000 for the rink project, which they estimate could cost $200,000. The project's organizers have secured a site for the rink that will be located at the Oliver Scott Memorial Park near the Granite Ridge Education Centre. A geo-technical survey has been done and that report is currently being reviewed by the project team. Local surveyor Tom MacDonald will also be surveying the site sometime this week. The next steps for the project include hiring an engineer to draw up the design, after which time it will be determined which aspects of the project can be carried out by skilled local volunteers. I spoke to Lesley Merrigan one of the organizers of the project who said that she is hoping that local skilled trades people who support the project and who plan to use the rink will help out by volunteering their time and know how to work on the project. Merrigan also said that there are plans to hold a town hall meeting sometime in the near future to inform the community about the project with the hopes of attracting local businesses who may want to sponsor it. Similarly, the team is looking at possible grant funding from various sources. In the meantime the District 3 Recreation committee will be fundraising through the winter months. Merrigan said that she has been speaking with Paul Hogan of Wolfe Island, who was involved in a similar project there that has been successfully completed. Anyone wanting to get involved in any way with the District 3 Recreation Committee's Sharbot Lake Rink project can contact Lesley Merrigan at 613-483-1839 or Dave Willis at 613-279-2844.
Young artists had a chance to try their hand at painting landscapes at this year's annual installment of the Land O' Lakes Art Club. Eighteen students aged 8-13 took part in the classes under the tutelage of grade 7/8 teacher Lee Hull, himself an accomplished and talented artist. The students spent seven weeks painting the fall landscape surrounding the school. They took their easels, canvases and paints into the great outdoors and chose a section of landscape behind the school that they wanted to paint. Part of the challenge for the students was dealing with the ever-changing fall colours and Hull said that the students, who painted just once a week, were forced to remember the scenes in their mind's eye since the colours in the scenery were constantly changing. The students also focused their talents on painting exactly what they saw rather than just the idea of it. Mr. Hull explained that, “Rather than painting the idea of a tree, the students had to paint a particular tree if that was their focus in the work.” Other scenes included a wooden gazebo, and one student chose to focus on a bush with bright red leaves at the far end of the school yard. The students learned about scale, how to make objects in the foreground come to the front while keeping the other background elements towards the back of the canvas. The students learned how to mix colours and were also given the challenge of not using the colour black in the process. The students began by painting a canvas with a neutral toned background and then used the colour green to sketch in with their brushes a drawing of the scene, paying close attention to detail and scale. The next step was to fill in the neutral section of the background, with the idea that once that had been done, the painting was then finished. The final step was to apply the colour white to hit the highlights in the scene and to bring the lightest parts of the picture forward. To celebrate their finished works, the students held an art show and vernissage at the school on November 19 where the artists and guests enjoyed a multitude of fancy snacks courtesy of student parent Linda Tremblay, bringing to a close a successful exploration in landscape painting for students at the school.
Members of the Sharbot Lake and District Lions were out in full force on November 21st at their Oso hall/den and served close to 120 all you can eat pancake, sausage and egg breakfasts to hungry diners looking for a hearty and fair-priced feed to start to their weekend. Proceeds from the meal will help fund the Salvation Army's annual Christmas Basket campaign in the township. For diners with a sweet tooth, Lions members were also selling their seasonal fruitcakes and cookies, the former for $18 in a tin or $17 in a box and the latter for $6, all of which make great gift giving items for Christmas. Anyone interested in purchasing Lions' cookies and/or fruitcakes, please call Dave Hansen at 613-375-6318.
Farmers gathered November 9 at Long Road Eco Farm near Harrowsmith for a year-end farm tour, with a cooking class, potluck lunch and open stage variety show. The event wrapped up the eastern Ontario CRAFT's (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) season of on-farm educational opportunities, which included tours as far north as Maberly (Ravenfield farm), with visits to farms in Inverary (Edible Forest), Battersea (Patchwork Gardens) and into Kingston Township (Farewell Farm), among others. The CRAFT chapter is seated in Kingston, but welcomes farmers from as far as are willing to travel to a given tour. Monday's event drew farmers from as far west as Prince Edward County, and as far north as Jasper, as well as the many more that came from within the Kingston area. Ontario currently has two chapters: one in eastern Ontario and another serving mainly the southwest. While the latter has focused its efforts towards facilitating internship opportunities in its network of farms, the east has focused more on education in the form of farm tours and workshops. Farmers benefit from learning from other farmers with similar challenges and values (most member farmers are either organic or ecologically-focused). The season-ending party coincided with a slowing workload on many farms as field production wanes for the season. Around 20 people attended, and participants learned how to make Chinese dumplings and steamed buns in a workshop led by local farmer and food vendor Xiaobing Shen. After a late-morning tour of the farm, attendees enjoyed lunch and music by several talented farmers, as well as guest performance by Kingston-based singer-songwriter David Parker, who performed songs from his most recent CD release, "Calm Me Down".
The 22nd annual installment of the Roberta Struthers Craft and Bake sale attracted hundreds of shoppers to the Golden Links Hall in Harrowsmith on November 14. The event, which is sponsored by the local Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, is named in memory of Roberta Struthers, a long time Rebekkah who initiated the sale as a fundraiser for the local Golden Links hall. Struthers passed away in 2006 and the event has been carried on ever since. The sale included loads of home made baked goods and a wide range of gift and hand crafted items from 26 vendors, with a portion of the proceeds helping to pay the costs to keep the community hall up and running. A raffle was held for a number of items donated by vendors, individuals and businesses in and around the local community. New to the sale this year were Elaine Peterson and Walter Busse, owners of Bee Happy Honey of Gananoque, who had a “sweet” display of their products up for grabs. The two run over 200 hives and have been making honey for decades. They just recently started selling their products locally at various markets. The annual event included a lunch, and shoppers who attended no doubt made a sizable dent in their gift giving lists for the holiday season.
Developer Terry Grant has submitted a revised proposal for his Hartington subdivision, which scales the plan down from the original 47 lots to 13, all of which would be located within the hamlet of Hartington. Hartington resident Michelle Foxton came as a delegate on behalf of her neighbours, many of whom were present, to express concerns about the current proposal. She thanked Council for their continued willingness to hear the community, and listed some questions which she said still have not been addressed. Foxton focussed primarily on the ASC assessment of the nitrite/nitrate levels on the property. (ASC is the company hired by the developer to comment on the independently commissioned Macintosh Perry report, which in turn had peer reviewed the original Malroz environmental investigation/assessment of the site.) ASC says that nitrate levels are high, but “Thirteen lots are proposed within the Hamlet, with the remainder of the property being vacant for the foreseeable future. On this basis and utilizing the full 45 hectare property for nitrate dilution, the anticipated nitrate loading for the proposed 13 lots would be well below the 10 mg/l (MOE) criteria.” Foxton said that because there was no guarantee that the rest of the property would not be developed in the future, this was not a satisfactory answer, and recommended a maximum of 7 or 8 lots instead of 13. Signs held up by several audience members supported this. Other remaining concerns included: lot frontages, uncertainty about hydrofracturing - has this been done, and if so, when and where, and what effect may it have had on the groundwater? Why has the provision for parkland been removed? Is there danger of future contamination from the corner of 38 and Holleford Road? Is there any way the community could be consulted about the aesthetics of the subdivision, i.e., the addition of a long stretch of chain link fencing and in one place, a high board fence, neither of which were seen to be compatible with the hamlet? Planner Mills presented a lengthy revised report with a preliminary list of 27 draft plan conditions for the proposed 13-unit subdivision. He said that he had received more comments that day from Macintosh Perry, but had not had time to read them. Council members seemed to prefer reducing the subdivision size to 7 or 8 units, and asked for a definitive answer about the question of whether or not fracking had taken place. Mayor Vandewal reminded them that no matter what Council might recommend, final approval did not rest with South Frontenac, but would be based on the County’s interpretation of the recommendations of the environmental and engineering reports. “The County will not approve a plan that cannot be defended at the Ontario Municipal Board no matter what our Council recommends,” he said. Harrowsmith Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Anne Marie Young, the County’s Economic Development Officer, announced that Harrowsmith had been chosen as recipient of this year’s Community Improvement Plan. Although initiated by the County, the actual program will be carried out by the township, and will begin with public meetings and community consultations. The goal of the program is to provide seed money (total $70,000) which can be issued as matching grants to assist in projects chosen by the community. Last year, Verona used the program to improve facades, signage, and general “sprucing up” of the village. Harrowsmith is seen as the gateway to the Frontenacs for anyone travelling north on Road 38. 2016 Budget Report Treasurer Louise Fragnito reported on some budget details that would need Council approval before the final draft budget is brought to the December 1st Council meeting. Six items have been put on hold pending follow-up reports to Council in early 2016: radio communications, baler (for recycling), playground equipment for Bowes Park, Storrington Centre, Fermoy Hall and Glendower stairs. Fragnito assured Council that these projects, representing a total of $586,000, are included in the budget so they can be completed once Council has further information. She also listed ‘updates and additional information’ that will provide the funding necessary to establish a SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) reserve with an initial amount of $40,000, as requested last week by the fire chief. The adjusted budget now represents $28,061,653 in reserve transfers and $16,534,642 to be raised from taxation, for operating and capital expenditures. “These adjustments align with Council’s direction and amount to a 2.0% or $26.22 impact on the average phased-in residential property.
Sitting as a Committee of the Whole, Frontenac County Council had their last look at the 2016 budget on November 12, and are set to approve the document at a meeting this week. The budget was developed with a target for operational costs of a 1.2% increase, based on the annualized Consumer Price Index increase as of August. Although costs were higher, a reserve fund was used to get to that number. On top of that, Council approved two extra expenditures of $30,000, one for a study and one for an allocation to the sustainability reserve fund, bringing the increase up to 1.9%. Then, another $56,000 (0.65%) was put aside for replacement costs for county-owned buildings, bringing the total increase to 2.55%. The only outstanding item is a potential donation to Pine Meadow Nursing Home, which will be decided before the budget is finalized (see Pine Meadow on page 1). If the County does decide to support Pine Meadow, and does so over five years ($21,150 per year) it would increase the overall budget by 0.25%, bringing the overall increase to 2.8%. Before sending the budget to this week's meeting for approval, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal asked, “Can I make my comments now or should I make them later?” “You might as well make them now,” said Deputy Warden Frances Smith, who was chairing the meeting. “I will not support the budget. I did not support the Economic Development strategy or the cost. I am not in favour of 2.5%. I will be voting no to this,” said Vandewal. “Do you have a number that you could support?” asked Smith. “I do not want to go over 2%,” Vandewal replied. “Should we bring this back on the 18th of November or do you want to bring it back in December?” Smith then asked Vandewal. “I won't be here next week, so December is best for me,” said Vandewal. “I might not be here on December 16,” said Warden Dennis Doyle. A motion to consider the budget bylaw on November 18 was approved. In a recorded vote, only Ron Vandewal voted against the motion.
Funding request is defeated in a 4-3 vote (Update on this story. Tom Dewey of Central Frontenac has decided not to support the motion. Higgins still against it. The motion being voted on is for $105,750 over 10 years. There are only 6 members of council in attendance. 5 have indicated how they will vote. 3 for and 2 against. The final vote comes down to Natalie Nossal from Frontenac Islands. Recorded vote nossal votes no, motion defeated in a 4-3 vote.) North Frontenac mayor, Ron Higgins, said he will be voting against a proposed grant of $125,000 for Pine Meadow Nursing Home when it comes up this week at Frontenac County Council. The home, which is located in Northbrook, has asked the County for money in the past to help with capital projects. They asked for support on a yearly basis in the run-up to the rebuild of Pine Meadow, which was completed last year, but Councilors representing South Frontenac and Frontenac Islands have always voted as a bloc against the funding, ensuring that it has never happened. When the matter came up last week at a meeting of the Committee of the Whole of Frontenac County Council, this time to pay for replacement bay windows in the older part of Pine Meadow, Councillor John McDougall from South Frontenac indicated he would be supporting the motion. This would give the elusive fifth vote needed for a majority in the nine-vote council (there are eight members of Frontenac County Council, and Ron Vandewal has two votes by virtue of being Mayor of South Frontenac). But then Ron Higgins spoke. “I struggled with this myself, but I can't see that the County of Frontenac should start supporting other homes. Based on the budget restrictions that we have in pace, I can't vote in favour, just from the fiscal responsibility perspective. I know I will hear about this,” he said. Deputy Warden Frances Smith and Councillor Tom Dewey, both from Central Frontenac, as well as North Frontenac Councillor John Inglis, along with John McDougall, all indicated they would support the request. Ron Vandewal said that since he was already set to vote against the proposed 2016 Frontenac County budget because it includes a 2.5% increase, “so I can't support this because it will add even more to the budget.” Warden Dennis Doyle and Councillor Natalie Nossal, both from Frontenac Islands, did not speak to the motion. Frontenac County is the owner and operator of the Fairmount Home, which is located adjacent to the county offices. As a municipally run home, the 128-bed Fairmount Home receives $2.7 million from municipal taxation in addition to provincial funding and resident fees towards its $12 million annual operating budget. City of Kingston ratepayers contribute about $1.8 million and Frontenac County ratepayers will pay $908,920 towards the home's operating expenses in 2016. By contrast, the 60-bed Pine Meadow Home receives only the provincial funding and resident fees with which to finance its operations. Betty Hunter, a member of the Pine Meadow Management Committee, made the pitch for funding at the regular monthly meeting of Frontenac County Council on October 21. “We are looking for only capital support,” she said at the time, “not operating funding, but this is a matter of some urgency for us. Pine Meadow is not located within Frontenac County, but neither is Fairmount Home. Pine Meadow serves a high percentage of residents from North and Central Frontenac.” Pine Meadow received $250,000 over 10 years from the County of Lennox and Addington towards its rebuild and expansion project, which was completed a year ago. Like Frontenac County, Lennox and Addington also operates its own municipal home in Napanee, the John Parrot Centre. In his report regarding the application for funding, Frontenac County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender expressed the concern that supporting “a long-term care facility outside of our geographic boundaries will open the door for other facilities in neighbouring communities that routinely receive County of Frontenac residents.” He also said that he was concerned about the “ability to pay” argument, which could surface in contract negotiations with unions and arbitrators representing Fairmount Home staff. “If we can afford to financially support long-term care outside of our jurisdiction, the argument that we can only keep salary increases to the cost of living for our own employees would be weakened,” he said. Pender also told the Committee of the Whole last week that he had requested financial statements from Pine Meadow after receiving the funding request in October, but had just received them and had not had a chance to look at them. Ron Higgins then proposed a deferral of the motion to support Pine Meadow pending a review of the finances, and the matter was deferred until a meeting this week, Since last week's meeting, the funding request has been clarified by Pine Meadow. The request is now $105,750. Pine Meadow administrator Margaret Palimaka said the Home would be happy to receive the money over five or even ten years. “We would be happy to receive anything,” she said. The proposal is included in the agenda for the county meeting that is set for Wednesday, November 18. (This story will be updated at Frontenacnews.ca to reflect the results of that meeting) A delegation from Frontenac County, including Pender, Fairmount Home interim administrator Steve Silver, and North Frontenac councilor, John Inglis, paid a visit to Pine Meadow in late October to meet with staff and administration.
The holiday season is upon us, and the New Year is fast approaching, so this seems like an opportune time for an update on the happenings at Land O’ Lakes Community Services. 2015 has been a busy and productive year for both our community based services and Pine Meadow Nursing Home as well as for the board of directors. Following are a few highlights of what’s going on. Christmas Hamper Program: With the support of our community and the hard work of our dedicated staff, the Christmas Hamper program has been helping local area families at Christmas time for 31years. Through this program, we are able to provide local families with all the ‘fixins’ for a traditional Christmas dinner and a bit extra to help through the season. We also provide gifts for the kids to help make the season a little brighter. The deadline to apply for a Christmas Hamper this year is December 4; you will need to come to the office and request an application. Hampers will be ready for pick-up on December 22 and delivery on the 23. If you would like to help, we are accepting donations of non-perishable food items and new toys that can be dropped off at the office. Of course, monetary donations are also accepted, with tax receipts provided. For more information about the program, please call the office at 613-336-8934 and ask for Penny. Partnerships: Once again this year, we partnered with Napanee Community Health Centre and the O.P.P. to take applications for and help provide 40 local area children with winter boots, and with Clothes for Kids to supply 60 area children with warm winter outerwear. Community Support Services: Adult Drop-In: The Christmas dinner for Adult Drop-In will be held on Dec. 15 at noon at the Lions Hall in Northbrook. For a cost of $13 you can enjoy a home cooked Christmas lunch, prepared by our volunteer cooks. You also get to enjoy a bit of entertainment and the company of others from the community. If you plan on attending this drop-in, please contact Pam by Dec.1, as we need to know the numbers for preparation. “The Golden Girls” is a new women’s group and their first meeting was very successful; 18 women participated in the group and it sounds as though everyone enjoyed it. If you are interested in joining the group or would like more information, call the office @ 613-336-8934 and ask for Pam. Pine Meadow Nursing Home As you are probably already aware, the redevelopment of Pine Meadow is complete, and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care gave us the designation of a “new” home. However, as with all infrastructures, there are ongoing needs, and we are currently undergoing efforts to replace many aging windows. We have also applied to the South East LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) for licensing for four new beds. This has been an ongoing process and our waiting list shows the need for these beds. There are petitions available in the community for you to sign and show your support of this need; petitions are located at Pine Meadow Nursing Home, Land O’ Lakes Community Services, and Lakelands Family Health Team. Please consider stopping to sign one of the petitions.
At their meeting on November 16 at the Barrie hall in Cloyne, members of the Cloyne and District Historical Society were treated to a special presentation by local artist Brian Lorimer about his Project Remembrance. Lorimer grew up in Belleville, Ontario and made regular trips throughout his life to his family cottage located on Massasaganon Lake. He eventually moved to the area in 2002, where he met his wife Margaret. Lorimer was trained in art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and has had an impressive career. He started out designing exhibits for trade shows between 1984 and1989 before becoming a free lance artist. It was a famous Toronto restauranteur, Peter Oliver, who gave Lorimer his first break by asking him to paint a huge mural for one of his many renowned restaurants. A series of other mural commissions for various locations in Canada and the United States inspired Lorimer to start his own mural business in 1995, called Lorimer Murals Inc. Since its inception, Lorimer has created hundreds of large scale murals, many of which measure 76 feet in length. A trip to Asia in 2008 led to a series of works titled “Landscapes of Solitude”, which depict the people and places from that part of the world. In 2009 he painted his “City2Sunrise” series, and used the proceeds to help fund the building of a school at an orphanage in Cambodia. In 2010, a trip to Ethiopia inspired his “Omo Series”, comprised of various portraits of tribal culture from that country. It was a friend of Lorimer's who first asked him to do a painting of Vimy Ridge, which led to his exploration of Canada's role in World War 1. That first painting inspired him to create 36 large scale works measuring 6 feet in width, and to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the onset of WW1 with a project he titled as “Project Remembrance”. The paintings were begun in November 2011, and were completed over a period of two and a half years. Painted in oils, Lorimer's palette is unconventional for paintings that depict war. His colours are far from muted and muddy - they are intense and vibrant, showing his intention to create works that are “explosive in both colour and energy”. Influenced by Canadian artists like Alex Colville, the Group of Seven, and Charles Pachter, Lorimer's works are powerful and compelling and capture the intense activity and feelings that must come from experiencing war first hand. In an effort to better understand what soldiers living and fighting in the trenches experienced and to capture the feeling of that place and time, Lorimer hired a back hoe to excavate a 40 foot long by six foot trench on his property. “I wanted to get an idea of what it might have been like living and fighting in those conditions and the experience proved both therapeutic and cathartic for me.” He also traveled to Belgium and France in 2013 to do further research for the project, an experience that he says left him with “the palpable emotions that the unprepared and overwhelmed soldiers must have felt”. Lorimer says he painted the works from a very Canadian perspective and chose to focus on Canada's key contributions in WW1 like the battles at Vimy Ridge and the Third Battle of Ypres. “I am a proud Canadian and a big advocate for all things Canadian and have long believed that Canada first came onto the world stage in World War 1”. Project Remembrance was 100% funded by Lorimer himself and he is selling the works to recoup some of the funds he spent. To date 20 of the 36 paintings have been sold. Also included in the project is a book titled “Project Remembrance” with pictures and descriptions of the works and the artist. The proceeds from Project Remembrance will go towards the Support Our Troops Fund, which helps support military families. For more about this impressive collection and/or to purchase a copy of Project Remembrance visit www.projectremembrance.ca
Township to deal with MNR beaver dam Addington Highlands has the go ahead to remove a beaver dam and “harass, capture or kill beavers” on a piece of Crown land that is located on the east side of Hwy. 41 at Mazinaw Hill, north of the entrance to Bon Echo Park. Reeve Hogg sent a letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in early September, informing them that a beaver dam has created a 'small lake' adjacent to the highway, and that when the dam inevitably gives way there is every chance of flooding on several cottage properties to the west of the highway on Mazinaw Lake. Flooding is also possible on Road 41 at the bottom of Mazinaw Hill, Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath told Council in early November. Subsequently, the township has received a response from Suzanne Shalla, the resource management supervisor out of the Bancroft office of the Ontario MNR. Shalla said that the township has the authority to enter onto “Crown land to destroy a dam in protection of property, which includes travel corridors and utilities, with no prior approval required... As the municipality whose infrastructure is threatened by this dam, your staff are empowered to manipulate or destroy the dam in order to protect your property as needed.” At their meeting in Denbigh on Monday night, November 16, Reeve Hogg asked Rosenblath if his crews can begin dismantling the dam. Rosenblath said crews will dismantle part of it and will then engage trapper Eythel Grant to set some traps before pulling the dam down entirely. “They are bound to be pretty aggressive now as it is near winter,” said Rosenblath. Meeting with new MP Mike Bossio, the newly elected federal MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, has requested a meeting with Council in the wake of his election in October as part of the Liberal Party victory nationally. The township is interested in talking about what role they can play as far as welcoming refugees is concerned and will bring that up at the meeting, which is set for 9am on November 30. AH to second stage of provincial funding The township has received notification that after considering their expression for interest for funding under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) for a $900,000 construction project on Matawatchan Road in the northeast corner of the township, the project has been selected to move forward to the application stage. The application is due on December 16. If the project is approved, which is not guaranteed at this point, it will receive 90% funding from the province and will need to be completed by the end of 2017. Long memory hurts Greer Galloway The engineering firm Greer Galloway, which has done work for 22 municipalities in south and north-eastern Ontario, sent a letter to AH asking that they be put on the township's list of approved vendors in order to bid on contracts in the township starting in 2016. “Greer Galloway built a bridge for us in the 1980s and they were a metre off-line with it, leading to all sorts of costs that we had to pay. When we asked them to help pay, they said the MTO had approved the project so they were off the hook,” said Hogg. “That was a long time ago,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch. “Yes, but I remember, and I'm still here,” said Hogg. Approval in principle for recreational program at Flinton hall. Sara Clayton approached the township for free use of the upper floor of the Flinton Recreation Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the winter for a sports and arts recreation program she is setting up for children between 3 and 17 years of age. Council approved the request in principle, saying that Clayton will need to see what uptake the program gets and return with a final request. Road work on Old Addington Road Wayne Snider approached Council for permission to do some work on the un-maintained Old Addington Road for logging purposes. The request was approved.
As always, a large gathering of all ages from the local and surrounding communities attended the Remembrance Day service at the Flinton cenotaph on Sunday, Nov. 8. Led by Mike Powley, president of the Northbrook Legion Branch 328, the service was attended by numerous members of the Northbrook Legion, many local dignitaries, and a number of young members of the 640 Cadets from Cloyne. The service took place under sunny skies and included prayers by Legion Padre Harry Andringa, remarks by Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg, and the laying of 35 wreaths whose dedications were read aloud by Pastor Rob of the Kaladar Pentecostal Church. Powley opened the service with the words, “Let us pause to think reverently of those of our comrades who by sea, by land and in the air laid down their lives for their sovereign and country. Their sacrifice will ever inspire us to labour on, to the end that those who survive and need our aid may be assured of assistance, and that the country in which we live, and for which they died may ever be worthy of the sacrifice they made.” Following the laying of 35 wreaths, members of the community who attended the service were invited to place their poppies at the cenotaph. The service concluded with a lunch that was served at Through the Roof Ministries located just down the road. Legion President Powley, who led this and other Remembrance Day services for his first time as the new president of the Northbrook Legion, said he was honored to be asked to fulfill that role. “My father, Corp. Reg Powley Sr., who was from Odessa and was a veteran who served in the Canadian army in Europe in WW2 from 1942-1945, helped to liberate Holland. He met my mother Dixie following the liberation there. Leading these services has allowed me to pay my respects not only to my own parents but to all of the veterans who served as well.”