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Turnout for Lakes and Trails Festival surprises organizers

Turnout for Lakes and Trails Festival surprises organizers

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: July-19-2017 | Category: SOUTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Sydenham, Community Event

Like all event organizers, the committee for the Sydenham Lakes and Trails Festival were hoping for a nice day and a good turnout. Well, as it turned out, they got a beautiful day and a turnout that ...

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Significant upgrades coming to Oliver Scott Memorial Park

Significant upgrades coming to Oliver Scott Memorial Park

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: July-19-2017 | Category: CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Arden, Council

Central Frontenac Council authorized the go-ahead for a septic system and canteen/washrooms/warming/storage area at Oliver Scott Memorial Park in Sharbot Lake with the intent to complete construction ...

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Sydenham Walking Tour

Sydenham Walking Tour

Written By: Wilma Kenny | Published: July-19-2017 | Category: SOUTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: History, Sydenham, Community Event

An historical walking tour of Sydenham Village was part of the program at Saturday’s Lakes and Trails Festival. It offered a quiet but fascinating change of pace from the variety of paddling and cycli...

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Trail Time Junction in Harrowsmith

Trail Time Junction in Harrowsmith

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: July-19-2017 | Category: SOUTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Business Profile, Harrowsmith

The Trail Time Junction bike shop sprung in a previous abandoned corner of the Johnson Real Estate Office in Harrowsmith in early June without much fanfare. Martha and Sean, the volunteers who operate...

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Local Lion Bill Zwier named Lion's District A3 Governor

Local Lion Bill Zwier named Lion's District A3 Governor

Written By: Craig Bakay | Published: July-19-2017 | Category: CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Lions, People, Sharbot Lake

On July 1 of this year, Sharbot Lake Lions Bill and Linda Zwier travelled to Chicago, Ill. But this wasn’t any regular Lions convention. You see, this year’s gathering of Lions featured a ceremony wh...

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Butter tarts fly off the shelves at new Maberly bake shop

The small straw bale building in the parking lot of the Fall River Pub and Grill at Hwy. 7 and the E...

Perth Road Fire Hall cost: $1.5 million

South Frontenac Council held a brief meeting this week to resolve the question of exceeding the amou...

Local chef finds a niche, a converted motorhome with a pig on top

Chances are if you’ve been to an area event where food is being served in the past couple of years, ...

Accomodations #Infrontenac

An anticipated report by Paul Blais of MDG Insight and Libby Smith of Terra Consulting that reviewed...

Sharbot Lake Criminal Court: 60 days for 'over 80', driving while under suspension.

James Godin, 55, was convicted on one count of driving with blood alcohol over 80mgs per 100mL's of ...

Pine tree and sign at Arden Hall

At the Central Frontenac Council meeting in Arden last week, District 1 Rec Committee Chair Wanda Ha...

Neonics impact aquatic ecosystems

Neonics are pesticides that are coated onto many seeds sown on Ontario farms. During sowing, a lot o...

Friends of Bon Echo Park

If you haven’t witnessed majestic Mazinaw Rock with your own eyes then you’ve missed out on one of t...

Ironwood Sword School coming to Bellrock Hall

On July 29th, Robert Mcleod of the Ironwood Sword School is coming to Bellrock Hall to present a wor...

Harrowsmith Car Show this Sunday at Centennial Park

2nd annual Harrowsmith Car Show is set for this Sunday (July 23) at Centennial Park. It will featur...

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50 STORIES 150 YEARS

Virgil Garrett: A Salute to a Teacher and Beekeeper

Virgil Garrett: A Salute to a Teacher and Beekeeper

Q. What do grandfather clocks and bees have in common? A. Virgil Garrett This past summer there was a construction project on Road 38 at the northern edge of the village of Sharbot Lake. For a time there was a stoplight for southbound traffic in front of Virgil and Beryl Garret...

Wolfe Island Past and Present – as of 1973

In 1973, Winston Cosgrove published a 60-page book on the history of Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island Past and Present outlines how the island came to be settled, how it remained in use by indigenous peoples as fall and winter fishing and hunting grounds until the middle of the 19th Century, and how the population peaked in the late 19th Century before beginning a long decline that has only recently been reversed. The book is written in a kind of discreet manner that suggests its focus was more in the past than on what was then the present, and of course 40 years have passed since it was published. It contains, however, much information about how the island community developed from the late 17th until the 20th centuries. In 1685, Robert Cavallier, Sieur de Lasalle, having been granted the Signeury of Fort Frontenac by King Louis the 14th ten years earlier, conferred ownership of what would become known as Wolfe Island on James Cauchois. It was the “first conveyance of any part of Ontario from one subject to another”. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre. Grant had married the Baroness of Longeuil in 1785, and although the sale of the island to Grant and Langan severed all ties to the French monarchy it did establish the Baron of Longeuil as a major force on Wolfe Island. In 1823, David Alexander's son, C.W. Grant, the 4th Baron of Longeuil, owned about 11,000 acres on the island. A similar amount was split among the three daughters of Patrick Langan. Two-sevenths of the land had been turned over to England's King George when the British overturned French rule in the entire region. Grant sold off 100 acre lots starting in 1823, and settlement began in earnest. He also had a large house constructed near Marysville. The house, which was called Ardath Chateau, was known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters and was the “focal point for many years of life on the island”. In 1929 the house, which had been unoccupied for at least 15 years, was razed in a fire. “Being a native born Islander, this writer recognises the staunch loyalty among the Islanders for one another and out of respect for this tradition, would prefer 'to let sleeping dogs lie' rather than delve further into the matter.” This suggests that Winston Cosgrove knew more about the fire than he was willing to say, and in all likelihood further information about what happened that dark night in 1929 is still carried by any number of Wolfe “Islanders”. Although “The Old Castle” was certainly grand, the housing situation for Wolfe Island settlers in the early to mid 19th Century was more modest. Fifteen settler families lived on the island in 1823, and this increased to 261 persons by 1826. The population grew steadily, peaking at 3,600 by 1861. When the island was being settled in the 1820s and 30s “the typical house was a log cabin, 20 feet long by 16 feet wide, 6 logs high, with a shanty or sloping roof. Some had glass but most often the windows were only holes in the wall, which could be covered in the winter.” During the 1850s, demand for lumber for D. D. Calvin's shipbuilding operation on nearby Garden Island led to a lumbering boom on Wolfe Island, and the boom ended when the trees were gone. The population began to dwindle at that point, and by the time Cosgrove's book was published in 1973, it was down to 1,200. It had dropped to 1142 by 2001, and the 2011 population survey lists Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe and Howe Island) at 1864. The current permanent resident population of Wolfe Islands, according to Wikipedia, is 1,400, although it is twice that or more in the summer (perhaps excluding this past summer due to the Ferry Fiasco of 2015). Wolfe Island Past and Present contains a wealth of information about landmarks and renowned island residents. It explains how Marysville was named after Mary Hitchcock, who lived all of her 92 years on the island and was its first postmistress between 1845 and her death in 1877. The General Wolfe Hotel, originally known as the Wolfe Island Hotel, was built in 1860. It was renamed the General Wolfe by the Greenwood brothers in 1955, and benefited from the results of a liquor referendum in 1957, which was won by “the wets”. The hotel remains an island landmark and a major part of the hospitality industry. It's 130-seat restaurant has won a number of provincial awards. The final chapter of the book deals with a crucial subject, one that has been top of mind on the island this summer and was also the subject of a discussion and slide show on Wednesday, December 2, “Ice Travel” with Kaye Fawcett and Ken White, which was organised by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Throughout Frontenac County the history of road and railway construction is full of colour, hardship and a fair taint of corruption and scandal. On Wolfe Island there is an added dimension - the water that separates the island from the mainland and the City of Kingston. It was 50 years ago, in 1965, that a year-round ferry service financed by the Province of Ontario was established on Wolfe Island. Until then the ferry service ran only until freeze up, and during the winter an ice road was the way across. In 1954 the winter was so warm that the ferry was only inactive for 2 days, but between 1955 and the onset of the year-round ferry in 1965, the range was 60 to 110 days, with an average of about 80 inactive days each winter. Over the years, tragedies and near tragedies occurred on the ice on many occasions. One of the more famous events was the near drowning of entire families on Christmas Day in 1955. The ferry was out of commission because of an early winter, but a tug boat, the Salvage Prince, waited at the edge of the ice at Barrett's Bay for families who had come to the island for Christmas Day and were returning to Kingston late in the afternoon. They were being drawn across the ice in a sleigh, but just before reaching the boat, the sleigh went through a wet spot in the ice, forcing a hurried and dangerous rescue, as children, adults and seniors, were luckily all pulled out of the freezing water back to the tug and a boat ride to Kingston. Some were taken to the hospital for observation. An account of the trip by Brian Johnson is available at thousandislandslife.com. In the concluding pages of his book, Winston Cosgrove makes the argument that the economy of Wolfe Island will be doomed unless a bridge is built. “In the past the economy of the island has been purely an agricultural one, with hunting and fishing and summer residents as minor items. Under this system the population has dwindled. The key to the problem is transportation. There is much beautiful undeveloped shoreline and land that is is well-suited for permanent homes but better ways are needed to get to and from the mainland if the community is to develop and grow. A ferry service is not efficient enough ... Meanwhile the Islanders who want a bridge must be content to await future developments while acting as guardians of a great land developed by pioneers, to whom all are indebted.” Although Cosgrove's views may have had a lot of currency this past summer while the Wolfe Islander ferry was in dry dock, Wolfe Island has reversed the population slide over the past 10 years and a number of tourism-related businesses are thriving.

Frontenac Provincial Park: from mica mines to trails

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. 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. (An account of the life and times of the Kemp family can be found at Frontenacnews.ca under the “50 Stories/150 Years” tab) The level of poverty among late 19th Century settlers is reflected in some of the minutes of meetings of both Hinchinbrooke and Loughbrough Townships. In the minutes there are accounts of grants for as little as $1 for families in need after the death of a partner or a debilitating illness. Families who had settled on the worst pieces of land, who suffered from any kind of ill health, or for some reason were not able to keep up with the demands of clearing land, building shelter, keeping warm in winter and raising enough food, ended up in desperate straits. That is why settlers would take over abandoned fields and houses and only settle the ownership later on, if they decided to stay. Far from disputing this practice, as long as the property taxes were paid the local townships did not question the ownership of the properties. Mining was one of the few means of getting money for labour, and was also a major impetus for the establishment of the K&P Railroad. The village of Godfrey, to the west of Frontenac Park, was originally called Deniston after the name of the post office but it was known as Iron Ore Junction by the local population. The Glendower company mined 12,000 tons of iron ore between 1873 and 1880, and later the Zanesville company took over and a spur line was constructed between the mine and the Bedford Station (renamed Godfrey in 1901) of the K&P. A large deposit of Feldspar was found between Desert and Thirteen Island Lakes, and it was mined, on and off, between 1901 and 1951, producing a total of 230,000 tons in that time. In and right around the park, it was mica that was the most commonly mined mineral, in small mines as a kind of cottage industry and on an industrial scale as well. There is an account of how a mica mine operated in one of the issues of “The Frontenac News” (not this newspaper but the newsletter of the Friends of Frontenac Park) Below is an excerpt: 1905 - early in the morning Tom Gorsline, the foreman at the Tett mine, is checking the steam piping as a worker starts a wood fire in the boiler that will provide the steam that runs the drill and the water pumps. The miners had been following a vein of amber mica (phlogopite) since 1899 - the main pit now plunged close to 80 feet into the rocks and water sometimes was a problem. Fortunately, the price for mica is on the rise again and the main vein is still good. The hand drillers are already at work. Their job is to make holes in the rock to receive the explosives. The drillers are working in teams of two using a method called "double-jacking". One person, the holder, manually holds a steel drill against the rock. The other, the striker, swings an eight-pound sledgehammer hitting the end of the drill. In between the blow, the holder twists the drill to loosen the rock chips so it does not get stuck in the rock. Then the next blow comes with a sharp clank when steel meets steel. They are drilling at a rate of 1.5 to 2 feet per hour. After a half-hour, the holder and striker exchange places so the striker can have a rest. As you can imagine, accuracy is crucial. If the striker misses, the holder could be maimed for life. This is dangerous enough when they are drilling on the floor of the mine, but often the veins are at the roof of a drift or on the wall of the pit. As soon as the steam from the boiler reaches the right pressure, a miner starts the steam drill. It is faster and easier than hand drilling but the steam drill is enormous, unreliable and unwieldy because of connections with the steam pipes that come down from the surface. As a result, the steam driller is assigned fairly open spaces while the hand drillers work in tight quarters. Drilling is hard and dangerous - there are no hard hats, goggles, or electrical lights - but the dollar a day they are earning helps to feed their families. Now that the holes are in place, Tom calls the blasters. They make sure the holes are dry, otherwise the charges may not go off. They put the black powder in waterproof covers, attach a proper length fuse, and place it down in the hole. They pack the rest of the hole with clay. The length of the fuse is important or they could meet their maker faster than expected. After a few minutes, all charges are ready. The head blaster gives a signal to Tom Gorsline who orders all miners and equipment out of from the mine. When all is clear, the blaster lights up the fuse and moves quickly out of the way. The explosion rumbles and the ground shakes. After the smoke and dust settle, Tom sends in the muckers. They have a hazardous job. Everyone knew of George Amey, a mucker at the Birch Lake mine, who lost an eye when his pick hit a charge that did not fully explode. Some muckers sort the ore from the waste while others, with picks and shovels, load the waste rock in a large bucket until it is full. Then one of them yells: "BUCKET." Upon hearing the signal, a man at the surface gets the horse moving on a circular track so that the winch can hoist the bucket up to the top. The bucket is dumped on the tailings pile. As soon as the muckers are finished clearing the debris from the last blast, the drillers begin to make new holes. Cleaning the mica is the job of cobblers who work on the surface. Some cobblers "thumb trim" the mica by the pit while others are working at the cleaning shop attached to the main mine building, "knife trimming" the mica to remove all traces of unwanted material. They store the clean mica in barrels. The mica is shipped down the Hardwood Bay Road to Perth Road then north to Bedford Mills. There, the mica will be shipped to a buyer in Ottawa via the Rideau Canal. The Tett mine operated from 1899 till 1924. It produced 99 tons of mica for a value of $27,279.00. For a few months, it was the largest mica producer in Ontario. By the 1940s the mica mining boom had passed and most of the homesteads in the area had been abandoned or were on their last legs. It was then that 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 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. Among the features of the park, and on the nearby Gould Lake Conservation Area, are hiking trails that pass by and over mica mine sites. In the Park, the 10 km Tettsmine Loop passes by remnants of a log slide from the lumbering days, abandoned mica mines and the remains of McNally Homestead. At Gould Lake, the Mica Loop passes over several small mine sites and mica minerals can still be seen sparkling in the rock faces.  

First Frontenac County warden from Wolfe Island

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.

Frontenac Provincial Park, the ultimate jewel in the rough

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.

NORTH FRONTENAC NEWS

NF Mayor “two months” away from futuristic plan for community development

NF Mayor “two months” away from futuristic plan for community development

While many rural municipalities are still looking to squeeze more dollars out of tourism and Frontenac County wants to turn us into a community of goat farmers, one of our township mayors is definitely thinking outside the tourism/agrobusiness box.North Frontenac’s Ron Higgins is...

St. Kilian’s in Ardoch celebrates 125 years of country worship

St. Kilian’s Catholic Church in Ardoch celebrated 125 years as a parish last Sunday with special guests, a special mass and luncheon. The current building celebrated 50 years. Wayne Manion, chair of the cemetery board has been around for many of those years and shared some of his memories. “I’ve known Father Murphy for a long time — I was at his ordination,” Manion said. “That’s why I was picking on him (during the service). “In the city, they probably would have thrown him out of town but he fit right in here — always joking around.” Manion said St. Kilian’s is a “mission parish” of the Flinton parish. “This goes back to the days of horse and buggy,” he said. “Now it’s a short trip but in those days it would take at least half a day to make the trip so we had to have a place here in Ardoch where the priest could sleep.” He said it was hard for him to put into words what the church has meant to the community and how things have changed. “It helps keep the faith,” he said. “But it’s mostly older people now. “When we were kids, Plevna was mostly Protestant and Ardoch was more Catholic. And now, the parish serves a much larger area, from Vennachar to Myer’s Cave and up to the Mazinaw.” But, he said, there are some changes for the better, for one thing the way different faiths are coming together. “When we were kids, Protestants were ‘evil’ and they thought Catholics were ‘evil,’” he said. “But now ecumenical services are becoming more popular. “Churches are starting to emphasize the things they have in common.” The church’s current pastor, Rev. Paul Njoku, had similar sentiments. “We’re just the chief actors in the joy we’re celebrating,” he said. “I send my greetings to parishioners in all parts of the world.” But he also had thoughts for the men and women who built the church and those who kept it going. “The many founding mothers and fathers couldn’t be here to see this today,” he said. “May the Good Lord grant them eternal repose.”

The best Sail Mazinaw yet!

Saturday July 8 was the third annual Sail Mazinaw.  14 different sailboats and dozens of sailors participated.  The weather was very cooperative.  There had been repeating thunderstorms through the night, but the skies cleared and a very sailable wind set from the northwest.  The fleet included a couple of sailboards, a variety of singlehanded dinghies, and a fleet of keelboats. Many of the crews met for breakfast at Mazinaw Lakeside Resort.  Then later, a few boats made their way to the lagoon in the provincial park for the Friends of Bon Echo barbecue.  After an afternoon of sailing, crews and friends met for dock drinks and a meal. This year's winners of the Mazinaw Cup are single-handed sailors Kerry Skipper of the Lower Lake and Terry Napier of the Upper Lake.  The cup will be presented at a separate ceremony in the near future. For additional photos and comments please visit the Sail Mazinaw Facebook page.

Fiddlers and Friends Return to Ompah

Fiddlers and Friends have filled the Ompah Community Centre several times in the last few years and the appreciative audience left wanting more.  In fact the audience joined in whenever the opportunity arose and felt that they were part of the concert too.  The band has always talked about the great audience and all fun they had.  They are delighted to have the chance to return to Ompah to play a completely Canadian set of tunes. Fiddlers and Friends love to entertain by sharing their joy of music and zany sense of fun.  They play a cheerful set of old-time fiddle tunes that has the audience clapping, toe tapping and singing along.  Fiddlers are joined by keyboard, double bass, and cello.  The irrepressible Lois Webster who makes many of her own percussion instruments and costumes, dances and keeps everyone guessing what she will do next.  Special guests will be the Ompah Community Choir. Mark Thursday, July 20 at 7:00 on your calendar.  Admission is $10 at the door.  Following the concert, musicians and audience can mingle over refreshments.  For further information, contact Marily Seitz (613-479-2855).

Back Forty Artisan Cheese

Making a living from June to September in this area is a relatively simple matter. However, the rest of the year is often quite problematic, as many a failed business owner has found out. But Jeff and Jenna Fenwick may have found a wrinkle that others have missed. You see, the owners of Back Forty Artisan Cheese on Gully Road in Mississippi Station have gone about things in a slightly different manner. Instead of immediately taking advantage of the readily available clientele summer in the Frontenacs provides, they got their main business — providing artisan cheese to restaurants and tea rooms — up and thriving before getting into the summer cottage and tourism market. Last Saturday, they opened their shop and patio for the season, the second year they’ve done so. “The shop is a bonus,” Jenna, who’s also operated a textile business for 10 years, said during the busy opening day. “We weren’t sure anyone would come but we’re very pleased with the turnout and the community support we’ve received.” In 2011, the Fenwicks bought an existing sheep cheese business in Lanark township and Jeff worked with the owners to learn the business. “It was an opportunity,” Jeff said. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own because it’s difficult to get started.” A couple of years ago, they found their farm, made all the necessary arrangements and renovations and moved everything to the banks of the Mississippi River. “This land provides all of our food and we’ve started shaping fields to one day raise our own sheep for milk,” Jenna said. (They currently have arrangements with some family farms for their milk to make cheese.) “But there’s no rush on that,” Jeff said. They’d also like to expand the patio and its menu, get a liquor licence and maybe even build some cabins to rent out. But, again, no rush. “I do like food,” Jeff said. “So yes, we think about a cafe, a bar, whatever. “For now, we’re just trying to make good cheese and we have a good spot for that. We do have about 300 restaurants we have to take care of.” Jenna said that “on some level, we’ve always dreamed about having a restaurant, even back when we lived in Hamilton.” Jeff does like to take things cautiously, for example while he’s considered expanding to cow or goat milk cheese, the certification process alone presents its own hurdles. But in the case of having the shop open on Saturdays in the summer, that’s a slightly different matter. “If you’re back here making cheese, it’s kind of reclusive,” he said. “I like people and I like to talk to people. “I’d like to make money (with the shop and patio), but it’s not about that.”

CENTRAL FRONTENAC NEWS

Significant upgrades coming to Oliver Scott Memorial Park

Significant upgrades coming to Oliver Scott Memorial Park

Central Frontenac Council authorized the go-ahead for a septic system and canteen/washrooms/warming/storage area at Oliver Scott Memorial Park in Sharbot Lake with the intent to complete construction in the fall of 2017 at its regular meeting on Tuesday July 11 in Arden. Specifi...

Local Lion Bill Zwier named Lion's District A3 Governor

On July 1 of this year, Sharbot Lake Lions Bill and Linda Zwier travelled to Chicago, Ill. But this wasn’t any regular Lions convention. You see, this year’s gathering of Lions featured a ceremony wherein Bill would be inducted as the Governor of District A3, a large geographic area stretching from Courtice to Storrington, Denbigh to Cherry Valley. It’s an area that contains 50 Lions clubs, seven Lioness clubs, three Leo Clubs and some 1,300 members. Needless to say, it’s a time commitment but so far, so good for the new Governor. “I get a lot more emails and phone calls,” he said. “There’s a lot of paperwork and a lot of visiting other clubs for activities and fundraisers.” But he’s fine with that. After all, it takes seven years to become Governor, starting out with being club president, then moving up to zone chair, region chair, 2nd vice-Governor, 1st vice-Governor and then Governor. “Then, after a one-year term as Governor, you become immediate past Governor and then you’re on an honorary committee that finds solutions,” he said. This is the second time the Sharbot Lake club has provided a District Governor. Dave Hansen filled the post in 1976-1977. As Governor, Zwier will be able to set priorities aided by his advisory council as Lions International enters its second century. “I’d like to see us doing more service, as opposed to fundraisers,” he said. He cites several Lions programs in that, such as vision and hearing screening, environmental programs, youth programs and two new programs — diabetes and pediatric cancer. “We managed to raise enough to send 11 athletes to the Special Olympics last weekend,” he said. He’s also big on the vision and hearing screening programs in schools, citing examples of children who were doing poorly in school before screening programs identified a need for glasses or hearing aides. “And we do a lot of disaster assistance,” he said. “For example, during the Ice Storm, we had $10,000 here in 10 days.” And while all the Lions programs are important to him, there is one that seems to have a special place in his heart, judging by the way he talks about it — the Lions Foundation Guide Dog program that provides service dogs free of charge to those with vision or hearing impairments, epilepsy, seizures, diabetes or autism. He tells a story about collecting bottles at the Beer Store one day when two people from B.C. came up and thanked him personally. Their son has autism and they got a dog and training for free. “That’s what I get out of this,” he said. “It’s not money, it’s things like those two people from B.C.” Zwier retired five years ago from Home Hardware in Perth. He didn’t have any aspirations of becoming a District Governor at the time (“I joined to serve”) but there is some pride there when he shows off his new blazer with the governor’s patch (as well as the Helen Keller pin and Founder Melvin Jones pin). But, Linda puts it all into perspective. “He’s not a put on fancy clothes kind of guy,” she said. “He’s a blue jeans, T-shirt, scramble the eggs kind of guy.” Bill nods in agreement.

Local chef finds a niche, a converted motorhome with a pig on top

Chances are if you’ve been to an area event where food is being served in the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen a converted motorhome with a pig on top of it. There’s only one and that belongs to Cota’s Mobile Catering. And since they got the operation up and running two years ago, business has been growing and growing. “It’s getting busier all the time,” says Tim Cota, chef/vehicle converter/entrepreneur. Cota, who still lives in the house he grew up in on Eagle Lake, was a maintenance supervisor at RKY camp for 24 years. In the year 2000, he and his wife Penny got married. “We couldn’t find a caterer,” he said. “So we decided to do it ourselves with some help from Glenna McGill.” At their wedding, the Cota’s must have done a good job because they got offers from “several guests who wanted us to do their weddings,” he said. That got Cota to thinking. “I’ve always been a big fan of cooking,” he said. So, in 2008, he got his chef’s papers. Now, you can’t just start cooking and selling it, there are a lot of regulations involved. “Food has to be cooked in an inspected kitchen, there are requirements for time and temperature and pest control,” he said. “Now there are places, like Oso Hall, that have inspected kitchens and that’s fine. “But we started to get calls for events where there was no inspected kitchen like out in a farmer’s field and barn dances.” So,  . . . Cota got the idea to bring an inspected kitchen with him. He bought a good used motorhome and started to work on it getting it to the point where it fulfilled all the required regulations, and the next thing you know, he’s booked solid every weekend into October. “We already have some bookings for next summer and one in 2019,” he said. Cota is big on preparation. Sometimes the mobile unit is used for just that and sometimes the preparation is done on site. He has an assortment of smokers and barbecues he can use that can do 30-40 steaks, 50-60 hamburgers, 100 pieces of chicken all in one go. He has propane and charcoal units depending on the demand. He also has the necessary gear to cook pulled pork overnight and he has developed something of a reputation for being the go-to guy if you want an entire pig roasted. He does admit to needing a bit of help with a whole pig though. “Pigs are heavy,” he said. “At about 220 pounds, that’s a lot for one guy to lift.’ Although his mobile unit could be used as a chip truck, that’s not his thing, he said. It’s get back to the preparation thing. “I like to know if I have to have 300 tomato slices ready,” he said. “And I don’t like the idea of waiting around for customers only to be swamped all at once.” He does use local suppliers for some things though. For rolls and pies, he uses Gray’s Grocery. “They’re up to my standards,” he said. “And I’m pretty particular.” And he’s especially particular about his meat. He tells a story about buying a pig that came with only one ear. “That was unacceptable,” he said. “Presentation with something like a whole pig is a big part of it. “We had to take the whole head off.” Now he gets all his meat from Gilmour’s on 38 in Harrowsmith. While he can make things like coq au vin, he said his business is more geared towards the foods people in this area are used to, things they grew up with and expect to see when they’re out for a meal. “I can cook fancy French things but it doesn’t work here,” he said. “When the dinner bell rings, you gotta have a lot of good food on a plate. “And we’ve never run out of food.” By the way, the pig on the motorhome . . . it’s a lawn ornament that came from Mike Dean’s. Tim Cota’s converted motorhome with the pig on top has become a familiar sight at many area functions.

Sharbot Lake Criminal Court: 60 days for 'over 80', driving while under suspension.

James Godin, 55, was convicted on one count of driving with blood alcohol over 80mgs per 100mL's of blood, and one count of driving while under a suspension order. He will serve 60 days in jail and his license will be suspended for a further 3 years. Godin, who lives outside of Arden, was stopped at a ride check in May and pulled to the side when it turned out the plates on the vehicle he was driving did not match the vehicle. It turned out his license was under suspension, he was uninsured. After noticing an odour of alcohol, he was given a roadside breath test, which he failed. Later a breathalyser results showed blood alcohol of 123 and 111. Judge Griffin accepted a joint Crown and defence submission for 60 days jail time, and warned Godin that if he come to court again on similar charges “the sentence will be measured in months”. Two “drive while uner a suspension order”, and single charges of driving without insurance, driving without a permit, and using an illegal plate were all withdrawn. Charges withdrawnA charge of possession of an illegal substance against Chloe Lellemand-Brasseur, 22, was dropped after she completed court ordered diversion. Christine Webster, 56, agreed to sign a peace bond with the condition that she stay away from her brother Martin for 12 months, and a charge of assault against her was withdrawn. OngoingJeremy Pershaw, 33, is facing two charges of operating a ehicle while disqualified, two charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle, two charges of failing to comply with court ordered conditions, and one charge of failing to appear in court. He has a lawyer and will return on August 21. Allison Potter, 40, is facing charges of  possession and production of an illegal substance and un-authorised possession/storage of a firearm. She also has a lawyer and will return on August 21st to deal finally with charges that have been before the court for a year. John Texiera, 65, is charged with “Theft under $5,000”. He will return on August 21.

Pine tree and sign at Arden Hall

At the Central Frontenac Council meeting in Arden last week, District 1 Rec Committee Chair Wanda Harrison and Glen Matson addressed Council on two issues — one being safety issues concerning the large white pine at the entrance to Kennebec Community Hall and the other being the sign on the hall. “It’s grown to the point where maybe there is a problem,” Matson, who operates a tree business and offered to cut it down, said. “There wouldn’t be any charge to the municipality and perhaps we could make a plaque from it.” “We’ve had issues with the needles on the ramp and stairs,” Harrison said. “When it rains and in the winter, they can get quite slippery.” The tree was planted in a ceremony before amalgamation and the committee suggested replacing it with a smaller variety, perhaps in a ceremony in conjunction with the opening of the Heritage Garden across from the Mill Pond in late August or early September. Council did approve the removal of the tree. Concerning the sign, the District 1 committee is still hashing over several options, Harrison said. While there is little doubt it needs some work, the question is just how historically significant it might be. It’s painted plywood that has sustained some rot and it could be quite fragile to remove intact. Estimates vary as to when it actually went in (circa mid-’80s) and the actual name of the hall for that matter. But where the sign is now was the window of the principal’s office when the building was a school. There are no plans to change the diamond below the hall sign. “Things are pretty much up in the air (regarding the sign),” Harrison said after a Rec committee meeting this week. “The presentation to Council was pretty much a stick-your-toe-in-the-water-to-take-the-temperature. “We’ve had some offers to restore it but many people would like to see something new that incorporates the Township Logo. “And at the end of the day, the Township owns the hall and all we can do is make recommendations.”

SOUTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Turnout for Lakes and Trails Festival surprises organizers

Turnout for Lakes and Trails Festival surprises organizers

Like all event organizers, the committee for the Sydenham Lakes and Trails Festival were hoping for a nice day and a good turnout. Well, as it turned out, they got a beautiful day and a turnout that exceeded their expectation, so much so they ran out of ice cream, hot dogs and b...

Sydenham Walking Tour

An historical walking tour of Sydenham Village was part of the program at Saturday’s Lakes and Trails Festival. It offered a quiet but fascinating change of pace from the variety of paddling and cycling-related events, which drew the majority of the day’s participants. Like several of its neighbours, Sydenham village had been an important and busy centre from the mid-1800’s all the way into the 1930s and ’40s. But over the years, many of the one-time landmark buildings have burned, been torn down, or, like the high school, lost the features that once distinguished them. The stories, however, remain; passed down, retold, some in danger of being forgotten, others still just whispers, too fresh to be told yet. The tour was based on an illustrated booklet published several years ago by Ginny Trousdale and Wilma Kenny, written by Kenny. Participants were provided with a map outlining a walk through the village with storytelling stations where four local storytellers, Peter Hamilton, Joanne Ankers, Christine Kennedy and Ginny Trousdale, entertained the walkers with stories and pictures about the village’s past. Joanne and Ginny both wore dresses made by Lorraine Lobb of Sydenham in the style of 150 years ago. Christine was in period costume of her own creation, including her grandmother’s apron and a splendidly decorated hat. All four have real theatrical talent and distinctive personalities: their performances were funny, individual and polished. Approximately 40 people of all ages took the tour, and from their comments, had fun and felt they had learned a lot, too.

Trail Time Junction in Harrowsmith

The Trail Time Junction bike shop sprung in a previous abandoned corner of the Johnson Real Estate Office in Harrowsmith in early June without much fanfare. Martha and Sean, the volunteers who operate the shop for the owner, who is disabled, were motivated by a love of cycling and an enthusiasm for the K&P and Cataraqui Trails. “We knew that people were using the trails for cycling and that cycling is gaining in popularity in South Frontenac, and we were able to make this space into a decent shop, so here we are,” said Martha when I visited last week as they were opening for the day. Since they have opened they have quickly become a clearing house for people who are interesting in getting back into riding a bike after many years, avid cyclists looking for repairs or upgrades to their bikes, and curiosity seekers from around the community. They sell refurbished brand name bikes, mostly from Giant, Trek or Norco, in a price range of around $250 to $350. They also recondition bikes and buy and sell. “We get people who want to upgrade their bikes and people who have old bikes that are in good shape and might need a bit of work. For us its all about getting them out on the trails or the roads in a safe bike that is set up properly for them,” said Martha. Sean does all the repairs in a small workshop behind the showroom, where there are 20 or 30 bikes available for sale or for rent. “Mostly what we have been doing, and it has been very busy, is getting people back on a bike after many years and helping those who are already active with the sport to improve their enjoyment,” said Martha. Sean is an avid cyclist himself, and he loves being located at the junction of the two trails because that gives him options for rides on his breaks and lunch hour. “There is some really good cycling on the K&P and Cataraqui Trails,” he said, “the scenery is fantastic, it is quiet. The trail is smooth and flat. You can’t really beat it.” “That’s why we named the store Trail Time,” said Martha. When the first part of the K&P Trail in Frontenac County was opened, the celebration ceremony took place just south of the Trail time shop, just on the west side of Road 38 where the K&P and Cat Trails, which are joined at that point, are about to split off, with the Cat traill heading west and south and the K&P turning north to head up to Hartington and Verona. With road word scheduled for Harrowsmith, Sean and Martha are hoping that plans to build a trailhead in Harrowsmith can be resurrected. Frontenac County commissioned an architect to come up with a plan several years ago. The proposal, which included parking, washroom facilities, a roofed structure, landscaping and a park,. Was received by the council of the day but no action was taken. “With the amount of use people make of the two trails, it is an ideal location for something to be put in. Said Sean. In the meantime, Trail Time has been providing a rest stop behind their shop, offering couches, shade and water to trail riders. They have posted signs at the trail letting riders, and walkers, know there is a cool rest stop available. Then major goal of the store is to get people out on bikes, enjoying the countryside. Since they have opened they have been busy buying and selling bikes, and helping people. “Whether people are looking to upgrade, or to find something simple to get them on their way, we can always find a way to make it work. Whatever their level of fitness or financial situation, we can get them on a bike,” said Martha. Trail Time is now open 7 days a week, 9-5 (or thereabouts) until at least Labour Day. They intend to remain open all year.

Perth Road Fire Hall cost: $1.5 million

South Frontenac Council held a brief meeting this week to resolve the question of exceeding the amount ($1,000,000) budgeted for the construction of a new fire station at Perth Road. The current station is in disrepair and considered unfit to be used for training meetings, and Council has already purchased a larger lot on the main road for the new fire station. Public Works Manager Segsworth confirmed that only the supplemental water tank has been removed from the specifications presented at last week’s Council. There was brief discussion confirming the intent that the same building design could serve as a prototype for future firehalls in the Township. The training room has potential to be used by the Township for public meetings to gather community input on issues, training space for public works, and Federal and Provincial Polling stations. Mayor Vandewal said that while in an ideal world all the Township fire halls would be replaced in the not-too-distant future, in reality some of the halls are functioning adequately, and with proper maintenance and upkeep could have their lives extended. “We need to keep our halls maintained to a higher standard; there has been no upkeep on these buildings for years.” Council unanimously agreed: to award the contract to Anglin Construction in the amount of $1,465,569 (the low bid); to fund the extra $491,363 from the Facilities/ Property Reserve; and to budget the costs for site works, paving and landscaping in 2018 for the estimated amount of $200,000. Councillor Schjerning noted that the final cost of the building was close to the original architect’s estimate. No one commented on whether or not the 2017 budget might have been trimmed unrealistically.

Ironwood Sword School coming to Bellrock Hall

On July 29th, Robert Mcleod of the Ironwood Sword School is coming to Bellrock Hall to present a workshop for children 8 and older. The Ironwood Sword School offers training in the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). A HEMA school teaches an actual period style of fighting art based on the study of historical manuals and sources. Ironwood bases its training on the sources for the German Longsword covering roughly the medieval period from the mid 14th century to the late 16th century. The school teaches the unarmored style of fighting where the longsword is the primary weapon, but the system includes techniques for dagger, wrestling, spear, and one-handed sword. Ironwood Sword School has been offering classes since 2014. Robert MacLeod  has been studying German longsword since 2008. The introductory workshop includes a brief introduction to the period and the importance of swords to the culture followed by hands on training with blunt swords specifically designed for training safely. Children will learn how to handle a sword safely, the basics of stance and footwork, the basic cuts and guards, and a few elementary exchanges of attack and defense. Students get to practice making proper cuts on a “pell” – a wooden post with a cross piece which has been used since the middle ages. Drills are performed under supervision in pairs with the appropriate safety gear. The workshop ends with a session of “Fight the Knight” where groups of students get to attack the instructor in his full fighting kit. The workshop runs from  1pm – 3:30pm and costs $20. Pre-registration is required. Call  613-358-9642 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Participants will need to wear long pants and shoes (no shorts and sandals).

FRONTENAC COUNTY NEWS

Accomodations #Infrontenac

Accomodations #Infrontenac

An anticipated report by Paul Blais of MDG Insight and Libby Smith of Terra Consulting that reviewed the existing inventory of accommodations for visitors to Frontenac County and proposed a strategy for growth in the sector, is being presented to Frontenac County this week. Memb...

Frontenac Five on Frontenac-Live

A week ago, just before Canada Day, the Frontenac News teamed up with Frontenac County to launch the Frontenac Five, a web page that is hosted on our Frontenac-live site. The Frontenac Five are signature events or features of Frontenac County that are being highlighted each month. The page includes links to information about the event or feature and links to other information. It will be promoted on our social media feeds, including the newly launched Frontenaclive Instagram page, as well as those of Frontenac County, as well as in the newspaper each month. The initiative is part of an effort to promote the Frontenac County brand ambassador program as well. The Frontenac Five for July are the Canada Day events, The Cardinal Cafe Thursday Night music series (don’t miss Tara Holloway tonight, by the way) The Lakes and Trails Festival in Sydenham on July 15 (see page 8 for details) Dark Skies in Plevna on July 22, and Wolfe Island Culture Days all month long. Look for the Frontenac Five for August to go up the last week of July. For more details visit: www.frontenac-live.ca/events/frontenac-five

10 years on, hospitals want more cash

10 years ago Frontenac County made a commitment of $540,000 over ten years towards the re-development project at Kingston General Hospital and the Ontario Cancer Centre. Since then, a lot has changed in the operation of hospitals in Kingston.  Last week, Denise Cumming, Chief Executive Officer of the University Hospitals Foundation of Kingston, led a delegation to the monthly meeting of Frontenac County Council. The Foundation is the fundraising arm for the amalgamated Kingston hospitals. Cumming talked about all of the improvements that came from Phase 1 of the redevelopment campaign, and then moved on to talk about Phase 2, which is getting underway. This phase, which is a $65 million campaign for which $52.5 million has been raised to date, will bring new operating rooms, new labs and a new emergency department, neonatal birthing suites and a new neonatal intensive care unit to Kingston General Hospital. At Hotel Dieu, it will be used to update the operating suites, the consolidated cardiology and the ophthalmology departments. Also planned is a redesign of the endoscopy centre, the children's outpatient centre and the diagnostic imaging suite. The pharmacy is also slated to be relocated. At Providence Care, fund raised dollars will be used for a number of equipment upgrades. Cummings said “I am here to provide you with information about the success we have had in the  past thanks to the support of municipalities such as Frontenac County, and to talk about our current and future projects.”But the pending request for a new commitment was on her mind as well, and that of members of council as well. Cumming pointed out that 539 staff members at the Kingston Hospitals live in Frontenac County, there were almost 42,000 visits to Kingston hospitals in 2015, the most recent year for which such statistics are available, and that represents a 94.6% increase since 2006, the year when the last funding commitment from Frontenac County was made. “You are going to be looking for more money from us, I expect” said Warden Ron Vandewal Cumming said she would, but not until the fall. She said the request we will be for about $200,000 per year. The City of Kingston has made a commitment of $1.3 million per year to the foundation. Cumming said that the foundation is going to base its request to Frontenac County, which will be forthcoming in the early fall, on a formula that uses that $1.3 million commitment as a base. Since the ratio of visits to the hospitals from Frontenac County residents as compared to the amount of visits from residents of the City of Kingston is a ratio of about 1 to 6.5. The $200,000 requests therefore comes from dividing $1.3 million by about 6.5 Cumming then said, when interviewed after the meeting, that she is of course aware that  $200,000 per year request is much higher than the $54,000 that has been paid by county residents through property taxes for the last ten years, but added “we asked for $220,000 the last time, and the county council of the day decided on $54,000. The amount they donate is going to be up to them, but we thought the comparison with what Kingston City Council has committed is something to go on.” Frontenac County will be entering into budget deliberations in October for the 2018 budget, at which time a request for funding support from the University Hospitals Foundation will certainly be on the table. 10 years on, hospitals want more cash

Frontenac CFDC AGM

As befits a crowd of entrepreneurs, the breakfast Annual General Meeting for the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation started early last Thursday morning (June 15) with Marty G Sensations breakfast pies on the menu, starting at 7:30. By 8 the meeting was underway. One of the key note speakers, Ryan Reynolds of Capital Waterfowling had to back out because he was pulled in another direction as his company continues its meteoric rise. Billy Day, whose high tech custom metal and 3d print shop on Sydenham Road came along in time to help Capital Waterfowling get underway, and now does work for a number of new companies, was also scheduled to speak. He asked to go early so he could get back to his shop to fill an emergency order. He credits the CFDC with helping him get his start. “They got me the funding for my first machine, helped me get the ball rolling. I try to tell everyone to go and see them as long as they are working in Frontenac County. At that time the banks had no interest in supporting what I was doing, but the CFDC was interested in a big way,” he said, when interviewed a few days after the meeting. In terms of overall numbers, CFDC Board Chiar Jan Dines reported that the corporation loaned $1,776,925 to Frontenac businesses in fiscal 2016/2017, an increase of 38.75 over the previous year. Combined with $1,257 that the 21 businesses that received loans collectively invested from their own funds, it represents over $3 million in business spending in the county last year, impacting a total of 100 jobs. A further $454,454 was injected in the local economy trough Eastern Ontario Development Program projects. Adide from loans and grants, business advice and counsellling are also a major focus for the corporation. Anyone starting, expanding, or shifting their business to fit the times is welcome to call 623-372-1414 (1-888-372-9962) to find out what services they might be able to make use of.

Farmer in dispute with county over fencing along K&P Trail

Daryl Kennedy said that he has nothing against the K&P Trail, but as a cattle farmer working land that the trail bisects, he wants a fence put up to block access to some of his pasture land. And since the trail is located on former railway lands and is a continuous stretch, he feels that the Ontario Line Fences Act, as amended in 2006, stipulates that the current owner of the trail must put up a fence if he asks them to. “What I am asking for is a fence along 1750 feet of pasture land, only on one side since that is all I need. I requested on April 6/2016 to Anne Marie Young, who was dealing with the trail for Frontenac County at the time, that the work be done. I was expecting it would be done last summer.” Kennedy also asked that a gate on his property that had been severely damaged while the trail was being constructed, be repaired by the contractor working on the trail. He also wants the county to pay for some of the work involved in lining up crossing gates on the trail near the north end of his property, for him to use as a cattle crossing. But none of that happened last summer, although Young remained in contact. On July 19th, Young sent him and email, saying “Thanks Daryl … the act [Ontario Line Fences Act] also says the farmer must be the one to request and provide a Farm Registration Number …  This can happen...we just need to have the information as requested.” The next morning, Kenedy emailed back, providing his farm registration number. On October 11th, Kennedy received another email from Young with an attached drawing marking off the section of land that required fencing. “Please take a look at the attached and verify that what I have marked is what you want fenced. I have estimated the length to be approximately 1750 feet. I want to make sure before I send it to the contractor,” said Young in the email. Nothing happened last fall, and after Anne Marie Young retired in December, Kennedy has been corresponding with Frontenac County though Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. On March 15th Frontenac County Council met and discussed the matter. According to a letter to Kennedy from Pender after that meeting, the council, based on a legal opinion, now feels it is only responsible for half the cost of the fence. They took this position because even though the Line Fences Act says that the owner of an uninterrupted section of former rail line that is purchased from a railway company is subject to pay 100% of fencing costs for farmland that abuts the fence, the county did not purchase the former rail line from a railway company. CP rail sold the line to Bell Canada, and the county purchased it from Bell Canada, which is not a railway.  This new position is being taken by the county on the basis of a legal opinion from the county solicitor, Pender said, in a letter to Daryl Kennedy on March 16/2017. The key item in the letter is item 2, which reads, “where a land owner provides proof of farming activities and where trail lands were purchased from a person or entity other than a railway company, that the county will be 50% responsible for the construction and maintenance of fencing along the property line, with the property owner having the choice of sharing equally in the construction and installation or the fence or having the county supply the fence.” The letter concludes: We have confirmed with our solicitor that the trail lands adjacent to your property were purchased from Bell Canada, not a rail company and as such option #2 above is applicable ... I trust this clarifies the county’s position.”Kennedy does not accept this. In his view, the obligation does not end with the first purchaser of a former rail line. His position is supported by the Christian Farmers Organization, with which his farm is registered. Kennedy has also been in touch with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the body which over-sees municipal governments. In a recent email, (June 15) Carol Church, Municipal Advisor MMAH, said she “would encourage the owner of the farming business to continue to bring his request for a fence to the County of Frontenac” and she attached the decision from a landmark court ruling in southwestern Ontario which ordered the municipality of Tilsonburgh to pay the full cost of a fence for a farm located on either side of a former rail-line which had been converted into a recreational trail. “I talked just last night to Peter Sizov from the ministry, who said he has never heard of a case where the fact that a rail line had been sold twice was used as a reason not to pay for a fence,”  Daryl Kennedy told the News on Tuesday, June 20. The News called Mr. Sizov’s office on Tuesday afternoon, but got his voice mail and did not hear back in time to confirm he had made the statement that Mr. Kennedy attributed to him. In fact, however there is a precedence for Frontenac County to pay the full cost of a fence along the K&P trail, a recent one. On July 20/2016, Council passed a motion authorising the construction of 850 feet of fence to separate the trail from farm property owned by Frank Goodfellow, at a cost of up to $10,000. The motion came about as the result of a staff recommendation by Anne Marie Young that was submitted to council by CAO Pender himself. It included the following explanation: “Fencing is a concern of some landowners. The costs involved in the installation or repair of fences along a right-of-way can be significant and fencing can be required for pasture and farmland registered with the Ontario Farm Business Registration. In the development of the Cataraqui Trail, the Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority split the cost of fencing 50/50 with the landowner, supplying the materials while the landowner installed the fencing where required.” But in the Goodfellow case, the cost was not split. The County paid for it. When contacted on Tuesday evening (June 20) Frank Goodfellow said it took him three years to get the county to construct the fence, and “they did offer to pay half, but I held my ground since I had the Line Fences Act supporting my claim. Eventually they came through.” When asked, Goodfellow said that not once in the three years was the fact that the former rail line was purchased from Bell Canada raised as a reason for not doing the fencing. “I own or rent quite a bit of farmland along the trail, near Godfrey and up by Tichborne as well, but I only asked for fencing where I pasture cattle, not along hay fields, even though I could according to the Act,” said Goodfellow “I don’t want to go to court, but I think it is very clear the county, by the terms of the line fenced act, and their own actions in the past, need to pay for this fence,” said Darryl Kennedy, “I don’t want to add legal fees to all of this, but if I go to court I will certainly do that.” The estimated cost of the Kennedy fence is about $19,000. A further three landowners, who are registered farmers, are located within the vicinity of the Kennedy farm. Kennedy’s property is located about 5km north east from the point where the K&P crosses Road 38 at Cole Lake, 10 km from Tichborne. The section between Tichborne and Sharbot Lake is not county owned, and has required individual arrangements with numerous landowners. Looking further north, the trail from Sharbot Lake to the township border is owned by Central Frontenac Township. The township purchased the former K&P lands directly from CP, and  has paid the full cost of fencing on several stretches of the trail, at significant cost. The build out of the trail continues to be a complicated, and expensive process, and one way or another all the fencing issues between the county and farmers with land abutting the trail will need to be sorted out, at further expense, both Goodfellow and Kennedy said that the section of trail between Godfrey and Tichborne has turned out to be very popular among cyclists, hikers, and ATV’s since it was built.

ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS NEWS

Friends of Bon Echo Park

Friends of Bon Echo Park

If you haven’t witnessed majestic Mazinaw Rock with your own eyes then you’ve missed out on one of the natural wonders of eastern Ontario. Just 20 minutes north of Northbrook within the bounds of Bon Echo Provincial Park, the gorgeous granite cliff rises 100-metres straight out...

Pine Meadow Charity Golf Tournament Raises Over $17,000

The 15th annual Pine Meadow Charity Golf Tournament took place on June 24th at Hunter's Creek Golf Course on Hwy. 506 near Cloyne.  As in previous years, this year's tournament was generously sponsored by numerous businesses and community members, raising over $17 000.  These funds are used for a variety of items at Pine Meadow which cannot be included in their regular budget and which enhance the lives of the residents at the nursing home. Funds raised this year will be used to subsidize the monthly excursions planned for the residents and to purchase active therapy mattresses, slings for lifts, blood pressure monitors and a new half wall shelf unit in the entrance area. This year, 69 golfers participated in the tournament on a beautiful sunny day at Hunter's Creek Golf Course.  Raffle prizes included a beautiful quilt made by Treadle Quilters and valued at $1300 which was won by Helen Yearwood and a BBQ donated by Lookout Home Hardware and valued at $1000, which was won by Allison Legeault.  There was also a 50/50 draw with a prize of $167.50, won by John South. The microwave, donated by Smitty's Appliances, was the prize for the golf ball toss contest and was won by Cole Maschke. The members of the first place team at the tournament (pictured) were Paul Andrews, Hailey Andrews, Marty Lessard and Matt Lessard.  The second place team included Randy Andrews, Mike Sagriff, Derek Maschke and Cole Maschke who donated their winnings back to the Pine Meadow Special Needs Fund. The men's closest to the pin was won by Nelson Gould and the women's closest to the pin was won by Karen Stacey, who donated back to the fund.  The men's longest drive was won by John South and the women's longest drive was won by Karen Tryon.   The raffle sales brought in close to $6000.00 and we are especially grateful to the many ticket sellers, who gave of their time and enthusiasm.  Special thanks to Mike Donahue and the staff at Hunter's Creek for all their hard work in support of the Pine Meadow Golf Classic.

AH unlikely to take over septic inspection

“KFL&A Public Health has no plans to get out of the septic inspection business,” Director of Programs Ed Gardner told Addington Highlands Council at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Flinton. Reeve Henry Hogg said he’d invited public health officials to the meeting because “people were asking us why we weren’t doing it ourselves, which prompted this discussion.” Gardner begin his brief presentation by giving a short history of septic inspection in Ontario highlighting that the responsibility was downloaded to the municipalities in 1998 and is now governed by the Building Code. “(But) KFL&A has been doing septics since the early ’70s,” he said. “We do all nine municipalities in our catchment area.” Coun. Tony Fritsch asked what effect there would be on the health unit if municipalities opted to do their own inspections. “It would have a very deleterious effect,” Gardner said. “We have three septic inspectors as well as Public Health Inspector Gordon Mitchell and support staff. “It would mean a big part of our budget would be gone.” Gardner said they’d had to raise fees a few years ago to cover costs and costs are still rising but “we’d like to keep in it. “We have no immediate plans to shelve the system.” Coun. Bill Cox asked if there were any benefits to a Township for handling the inspections themselves. Gardner conceded that townships could charge fees but suggested any profit gained would likely be more than eaten up by training people and especially with the inevitable litigation that occurs. “We’ve had years and years of experience and we know what to do when it goes to court,” Gardner said. “It’s built into our fee structure. “It’s very difficult to go cold into septic inspection and our inspectors train for years and are used to a lot of travel and litigation.” Gardner said he didn’t know if there was a right or wrong answer to who should handle septic inspections but he’s seen municipalities take it over themselves or go to the conservation authorities, but most come back. “Stone Mills opted out but ended up asking us to take over again because they were facing more and more litigation,” he said. Mitchell said that of the 20-30 septic permits issued for Addington Highlands in an average year, most were for new systems and one-third to one-half are for replacement systems. Overall, he said KFL&A issues about 550 permits in an average year. New tandem truck, just shy of $200,000Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle cab and chassis truck with complete roll-off hoist package plus an optional tarp system. Road & Waste Management Supervisor Mark Freeburn told Council there was only one quotation received, that being from Winslow Gerolamy Motors Ltd. for $190,348 plus GST. “I think this is money well spent,” Freeburn said. “Especially for the safety of the drivers.” “Especially if we’re entertaining the idea of moving bulkier items ourselves,” said Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed. Dust suppressionFreeburn said they’re putting down dust suppressant as weather permits. “This has been an abnormal year,” he said. “I can’t understand how a road gets so dusty when it’s raining all the time.” Fire crews nice and quietFire Chief Casey Cuddy told Council that aside from the Canada Day weekend, “it’s been quiet and call volumes are down.”

New park in Cloyne

They went all-out in Cloyne Saturday to officially open Benny Lake Heritage Park, with several musical guests ranging from a First Nations drum group and the Pickled Chicken String Band, poetry readings and a host of politicians including Shabot Obaadjiwan Chief Doreen Davis, two MPs and two heads of council. On Aug. 2, 2002 a microburst tore through downtown Cloyne, destroying a grove of 200-year-old white pines. The public space has been renewed as a joint project of the Township of North Frontenac, the Land O’Lakes Garden Club, Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. and the Cloyne and District Historical Society. It now features a 5-foot-wide, 600-foot pathway constructed with stone dust with very little slope follow integrated accessibility standards. They also planted a lot of new pines “If you come back in 150 years, it will be just as beautiful as it was several years ago,” said master of ceremonies J. J. (Red) Emond. “Today you’ll hear a lot of ‘I remember.’ “Let’s not forget the people that swung the axes, ate the food, the people that came before us.” Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MP Scott Reid quickly picked up on the fact that this is Canada’s 150th birthday year. “We have the third oldest written constitution in the world,” he said. “After the U.S. and the Swiss. “And we were one of the first jurisdictions in the world to abolish slavery.” Cloyne is a rather unique hamlet in that it straddles two federal jurisdictions split right down the main road (Hwy 41). Cloyne’s other federal representative, Hastings-Lennox & Addington MP Mike Bossio said: “This is a valuable asset for Cloyne (and) it’s all about you.” Cloyne also straddles two townships — Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Since the park is on the North Frontenac side, Mayor Ron Higgins got to cut the ribbon. “This (Benny Lake Heritage Park) shows the dedication, hard work and perseverance of our volunteers,” Higgins said. “Thank you to Scott, Mike and MPP Randy Hillier for providing financial assistance. “Before taking office, I didn’t realize the amount of work our volunteers do. “I’m very proud of them.” But perhaps the best speech came from Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg. It was, in typical Hogg fashion, short and to the point. “I live (literally) right across the street,” Hogg said. “I remember the devastation. “Acknowledge the hard work the volunteers have done and have a good day.” Before the proceedings got underway, Hogg recounted a bit of what that day in 2002 was like. “I was there that day,” he said. “We must have lost 40 trees, it was a mess. “I don’t know how it missed the little house right across the street. “It wasn’t just us that the microburst hit, though, I have a friend on (Lake) Kash(wakamak) who had five buildings. “There was a tree on each one of them.”

Belleville man drowns in Lake Mazinaw

On June 24 at approximately 2pm officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Napanee detachment, OPP Marine Unit, with the assistance of local paramedics and fire departments, responded to a report of a missing male on Mazinaw Lake. Police investigation revealed that a 47 year old Belleville man took his family and friends tubing in a smaller aluminum boat. The man entered the water to assist the female tuber as she was experiencing some difficulty re-entering the boat while the spotter remained in the vessel. The small boat began to drift away from the two in the water. The male, who did not have his personal flotation device on appeared to be in distress, went below the water and did not resurface. The female tuber and the spotter in the drifting boat were assisted to shore with the assistance of paddleboarders and another boater.   A search of the area was being conducted but was suspended due to weather conditions. The OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit were called to the scene and will continue the search.

EDITORIALS

  • Recycling - Why bother
    (Editors note - The path forward for our waste systems in Eastern Ontario has become identified as a long term issue by Frontenac County Council, and Addington Highlands Council as well. Here Gray Merriam takes a look at recycling in terms of environmental impactgs, in contrast to the incineration option)…
    Written on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 12:44 in Editorials
  • Local groups love Canada 150, but the Feds not so much
    Those of us who are over 55, have some memory of  Canada's Centennial year. I happened to be a kid living in Montreal in 1967, and as part of their efforts to make the World's Fair, Expo '67, a crowd pleasing success and to make it accessible to Montrealers, there…
    Written on Wednesday, 14 June 2017 12:51 in Editorials
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LETTERS

  • Re - Chip trucks
    Mr. O'Connell has suggested that council take Adam Smith's "level playing field" into account while they ponder where a chip truck should go. I agree that you'd want to put a chip truck somewhere level, so that the grease didn't spill but I'd like to point out that you couldn't…
    Written on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 14:24 in Letters
  • Re - futuristic plan
    Craig Bakay’s report in the July 13 News about NF Mayor Ron Higgins being “two months away from futuristic plan”, missed making one point very clear. This does NOT have the backing of North Frontenac Council. The Mayor brought these ideas to our June 30 meeting, where Council agreed that…
    Written on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 14:22 in Letters
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