By Lesley Merrigan The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and there is a buzz o...
The Township of Central Frontenac is excited to announce that Sir John A. Macdonald himself will be ...
The Frontenac County offices are located in what county staff call "The Old House", which is at the ...
No one seems to have been officially informed, but a Canada Post official has confirmed that the God...
It was in late August that I went to interview Lee-Anne White at her home on Road 506 at Fernleigh, which at one time was a full-fledged hamlet with a post office, a store and a school, but is now only a clutch of houses around a crossroad. I was accompanied by Jesse Mills, the videographer for the Frontenac County 150th anniversary project, and when we arrived Lee-Anne had a bandage on her leg and was limping when she opened the door for us. “The nurse was just here this morning,” she said, “to change the dressing on my leg.” She had hurt her leg by dropping a piece of wood on it as she was feeding the box stove in her basement to take off the morning chill a few days earlier. But though her leg was slowing her down, she still had a basin overflowing with bread dough in the kitchen and was de-frosting five pounds of ground beef to make meatballs for a family reunion that was coming up on the weekend. Aside from her leg, something else was bothering her. Her car, a 2010 model, was in need of some work. “They tell me that I don't drive it enough. That's why the linkage needs to be fixed and it needs new tires. I haven't told my son yet but I think I'll trade it in on a new one rather than bother with it,” she said. Lee-Anne Kelford was born at Ompah on January 9, 1915, and this week she turns 100. She remembers the kinds of efforts that were required to survive on the Canadian shield farmland in the days before electricity, cars and other modern conveniences. What money her family made came from her father shoeing horses or milling wood, but most of the food they ate they had either grown, gathered or slaughtered from their own herds of cattle, sheep and pigs. For chairs they used burlap bags stuffed with straw or hay. They went barefoot in the summer and in the winter wore gumboots with homespun yarn straight off the sheep wrapped around them for warmth. When she was coming home from school with her brothers and sisters her mother would meet them with baskets and they had to fill the baskets with wild strawberries or raspberries on the way home. In the spring they would catch hundreds of suckers and salt them for winter eating. In the summer they picked blueberries and apples, worked in the garden and helped harvest hay and grain. While the large 17-member Kelford family, seven brothers and seven sisters, father and mother and hard-bitten grandmother Jane Kelford, never had a lot of money, they were certainly not the poorest family around “We were better off than those that were further down the line, I'd say. We always had enough to eat; we had cows and sheep and a big garden and a root cellar and mother was always baking biscuits or something, so we had no complaints,” said Lee Anne. She still talks about her father's capacity to build things and make things work on their property. Although he could not read or write, he managed to build a steam-powered sawmill, a smithy and whatever the family needed to get by. However, he may have taken on a bit much when it came to orthopedics. When Lee-Anne was seven years old she fell out of an apple tree in an old orchard where she was picking apples with her mother. Of course there was no 911 to call. As she recalls it, she had driven the horse-drawn wagon to the orchard while her mother held her baby sister Elsie. Since her arm was broken and the bone was sticking out, her mother popped Elsie on Lee-Anne's lap and tied the baby to her so she wouldn't fall off. Her mother then drove home. When they got back to Lee-Anne's father's wood and smith shop back at Ompah, he looked at her arm quickly and decided it needed to be set. So, “he took an old cedar block, about 6 inches long, that was lying around,” in Lee-Anne's words, cut it and augured out the centre, then cut it again and split it to fit her small arm. He put her arm in and tied it together snugly with string, forcing the bone back into place at the same time. The next day her brother Sam got into a fight with another brother, Wyman, and Sam's wrist ended up being broken. Their father set that wrist as well. The children then had to immerse their arms in a barrel of ice water repeatedly over the next two days, presumably to keep the swelling down. The treatment was successful in both cases - to a point. Lee-Anne was able to use her arm afterwards, but could not raise it all the way up to the top of her head, and her brother developed growths on his wrist. At the time and to this day, after 93 years have passed, Lee White supports everything her father did that day. “A neighbour said he should take us to a doctor but there was no doctor close by and we didn't have money to pay for a doctor anyway,” she said. Her father lived a long life as well. He died at the age of 97 in 1977. When Lee-Anne was older she took a job at a new lodge on Kashwakamak Lake that was opened up by an Ahr family from the United States. The lodge, which became known as the Fernleigh Lodge, is open to this day. She worked there for seven years, cooking and cleaning for over 100 guests at a time, and in the winters she worked at the Trout Lake Hotel in Ompah. It was at Fernleigh Lodge that she met her husband, Melvin White, who was a guide in the summer and fall and trapped in the winter time. Melvin was from Plevna, and although he ran away from home at age 16, when the couple got married, Lee-Anne ended up living at Melvin's taking care of Melvin's parents and their farm for at least one winter during the 1930s, when she wasn't drawn back to Ompah to help her own family get by. Eventually, Melvin was given a one acre piece of land on what is now Road 506 and the Whites built a 23 x 14 foot shack for themselves. Afterwards they built the house where Lee-Anne still lives on the same property (Melvin died in 2009). “We scratched I tell you, but we never borrowed a cent in our lives. When we were building our house, with help from his half brother and uncle, I said to Melvin I'd rather eat one meal a day than go into debt.” The couple had three sons, George, Andy and Danny. Lee-Anne ended up taking a job drawing mail from Fernleigh to Cloyne, a job she kept for 38 years. At her 100th birthday party at the Clar-Mill Hall last Saturday, her sons were all there, as were her grandchildren, daughters-in-law, nieces and nephews and long-time friends. Sitting at the front with her, among the certificates from the governments of Ontario and Canada and one from Queen Elizabeth, was her aunt Agnes, who is 101 and still lives near Ompah. When it came time to take a family picture, both women pulled themselves out of their chairs, even though Agnes recently had an operation, and they walked over to be in the picture. Back in the summer, we left some of our equipment at Lee-Anne's house when we recorded the interview. When I dropped back to collect it a few days later, I found her leaning into the back seat of her car, reaching over, with a vacuum cleaner going. “I'm tying to get it ready for sale,” she said. One thing that Lee White did not do was drive to her own 100th birthday party. The weather was pretty stormy that day so she took a ride from one of her sons. But she insisted that they take her brand new red truck, which they parked just out from the front door of the hall. It's a nice looking truck - paid in full, to be sure. There is a video below, and there is also a second video on Youyube. Click to broken arm video the clip tells the whole story of Lee-Anne's broken arm.
Perry returned as North Frontenac Deputy Mayor The first item of business for North Frontenac Council this week, once the ceremonial swearing in was taken care of, was to choose a deputy mayor from among the six men who were elected to Council along with Mayor Ron Higgins. Fred Perry was the first one nominated, by Wayne Good. The nomination was seconded by Micky Hermer. Gerry Martin was also nominated, by Denis Bedard, seconded by John Inglis. The way the voting was handled was to make a motion in favour of the first nominee, Fred Perry, and if that motion were defeated a motion in favour of Gerry Martin would have been brought forward. That ended up not being necessary. Three hands were raised in favour of Fred Perry, those of Wayne Good, Micky Hermer and Perry himself, and by declaring the motion passed Mayor Higgins indicated that he was voting the same way. Perry not only served as deputy mayor for the last four years, he was also the acting mayor ever since the death of former mayor, Bud Clayton, in early September. Councilors' salaries frozen for 2015 The consumer price index for October indicated a year over year increase in the cost of living of 2.4%, and in line with township policy a proposal was made to increase the total amount paid to township staff by that amount. In North Frontenac the total increase is calculated and then divided by the number of employees, who then all receive the same increase. This differs from the way COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) are normally paid out in institutional settings. Normally each employee receives the same percentage increase, so the dollar value of the increase is greater for the higher paid employees. In North Frontenac the increase is averaged so that every employee receives the same salary dollar value increase. “As Bud Clayton used to explain it,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson, “a loaf of bread costs the same for me, the highest paid township employee, as it does the lowest paid township employee, and since the increase is all about the cost of living increase, that's the key issue.” Members of Council, however, will not share in the increase. Councilor Inglis produced a table he has put together, which shows that North Frontenac Council members receive more pay than those in neighbouring townships. The remuneration for a council member in North Frontenac is $15,067 per year. In Lanark Highlands they receive $12,225; in Central Frontenac $12,557; and in Addington Highlands $12,504. “The question is,” Inglis said “do we want to remain at the top of the heap by taking what would be about a $500 raise for each of us next year?” Even though Inglis' chart included mileage payments that are made in other townships as part of his calculations, Councilor Wayne Good said there were other payments that Inglis did not include. “This chart does not compare apples to apples,” he said. “The mileage is not accurate, but I still support freezing our salaries next year.” Mayor Higgins said that with the township facing budget challenges and “looking at increases in 2015 to deal with policing and other costs, we might well consider sending a message of restraint in terms of our own pay. Council agreed to increase staff salaries but freeze the pay for council members. The deputy mayor received $18,746 in 2014, and the mayor $22,425. Those who sit on County Council receive another $5,000 and mileage to county functions. Council also decided to keep the mileage rate at 48 cents per kilometre in 2015. Building blues The township office has been re-opened and is now fully occupied by administrative staff for the first time since it was hit with an oil leak last February, but the celebrations have been short-lived. Even before the leak happened, Council was looking at the long term viability of the building, a process that was halted by the leak and the damage it caused. In order for the insurance company to cover the repairs, the building has been bought back to the state it was in before the accident. Now that the staff has moved back in, an immediate problem has surfaced. A long-standing issue with water and either mildew or mold damage on the exterior wall to two offices has gotten worse. A staff report recommended a stop gap measure for health and safety reasons to replace half the wall and insulate. Council discussed the issue, and whether it pays to put any more money into a building that might not be viable in the medium term. They decided to replace the entire wall and use foam insulation for the immediate fix. A report from the consulting engineering company Greer Galloway estimated the cost of bringing the building up to standard for long-term use as a township office at nearly $1.9 million One of the issues that will be high on the agenda when the new council looks at its long term objectives in the new year will be the future of the township's administrative offices. A bit of good news The township will be receiving $89,000 per year for at least three years under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. The money is targeted at replacing or repairing ageing infrastructure in rural Ontario. Busy time ahead Council will meet again on January 6 for a special meeting devoted to strategic planning, forming committees and preparing for the budget process. More meetings are already scheduled for later in January.
Join the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” make the Fire Marshal’s wish come true for the most fire-safe December ever. Day 1 Water Fresh Trees Daily. Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles. Day 2 Check all lights before decorating. Before you put up lights check the cords closely. Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged. Never plug more than 3 strings of lights together. Never connect LED to conventional lights. This is likely to wear out LED bulbs more rapidly and could pose a fire or electrical hazard. Day 3 Make sure you have working smoke alarms. It’s the law to have one working smoke alarm on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace smoke alarms as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace batteries once per year or chose models with 10 year sealed batteries that never need changing. Day 4 Protect your family with carbon monoxide alarms: it’s the law in Ontario. If your home has a fuel fired appliance or an attached garage, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home. For added protection, install one on every storey of your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which also identify when CO alarms need to be replaced. Day 5 Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely. Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in your home, as well as guess over the holidays. Once outside stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s house. Determine who will be responsible for helping anyone who may need assistance. Day 6 Use extension cords wisely. Avoid overloading circuits and plugs with extension cords, as this can create overheating that could result in a fire. Never put cords under rugs. Day 7: Give space heaters space. If you are using space heaters to help take the chill off, remember to keep them at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations. Day 8 When you go out, blow out! Candles can set the perfect mood for a holiday celebration, but remember to always blow out candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations. Be candle safe! Day 9 Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children. People often keep matches and lighters handy to light holiday candles. But matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and keep them with you at all times. Day 10 Watch what you heat! The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, which means it's easy to get distracted from what we are doing. Cooking fires most commonly occur when cooking is left unattended. Always stay in the kitchen when cooking; especially if using oil or high temperatures. If a pot catches fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat. Day 11 Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. If you do allow smoking indoors use large, deep ashtrays that can't be knocked over and make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished. Day 12 There’s more to responsible drinking than taking a cab home. With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is all too often a common factor in many fatal fires.
Over 20 vendors took part in the first ever “Get Ready For Christmas” craft show and bake sale that took place at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club on December 6. Over 100 enthusiastic shoppers visited the club house in a steady stream throughout the day and greatly appreciated the wide array of festive offerings created by a host of talented local and from-away artisans and makers in a variety of different mediums. Up for grabs were tasty holiday treats including gorgeous and delectable cakes and cup cakes home made comestibles, as well as truffles and chocolates. There were hand crafted quilts and a wide assortment of hand sewn, knit and crocheted items, plus photography, fine art, Arbonne wellness products, and more. Hanne Quigley of Silent Valley Alpaca in Ompah was one of the participating vendors and had a wide range of cozy, wearable winter items created from alpaca wool, which included shawls woven by Ompah weaver Ellen Good, hats knit by North Frontenac knitters, Canadian-made socks, and alpaca yarn that comes from Quigley's own herd. As well, members of the snowmobile club offered up a delicious lunch menu, which many enjoyed. The event was organized by president of the Snow Road Snowmobile Club, Ruth Wark, and club member Alice Gilchrist and they were very pleased with the turnout for the first time event. In order to get feedback, they offered a survey to the vendors to find out if they would be interested in participating again next year and judging by the smiling faces of the vendors and buyers alike, it looks as though this festive holiday show may indeed become a regular annual event in Snow Road.
By Lesley Merrigan The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and there is a buzz of planning for summer fun. This year, Summer Solstice is also the same weekend as the Relay For Life, which will be held in Parham on June 20. That is why the Relay Leadership team has decided to adopt a Solstice theme. We will be celebrating everything that summer is about in decoration and costume. We will be focusing on summer sun safety as it plays a critical role in cancer prevention as well as physical activity for total body health. Summer is a time of planting and regrowth and starting fresh. It’s a time of water, and sun and beaches and fun. Our hope is that you come and celebrate survivors and remember the cancer warriors who have not survived. It is time to join the fight! Our 2015 goal is to have at least 20 teams of 7 + folks. The Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life has been the largest fundraising event for the fight against cancer. It was estimated that in 2014, there will be 191,300 new cases of cancer reported in Canada. Two out of every 5 people in Canada will get some form of cancer in their lifetime. And thanks in part to 75 + years of research, service and support offered by the Canadian Cancer Society, 63% of these patients will survive longer than five years. We have played a role in making this possible. Our community has supported our relay through business and personal donations, team fundraisers, and committee fundraisers, which do come back to our community. The transportation service “Wheels of Hope” has allowed cancer patients access to transportation to and from their treatment centers throughout our area. From Northbrook to Maberly, from Plevna to Odessa and all the places in-between, our unit office and all other unit offices are committed to helping and supporting anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Every year, donor dollars help support the important work of researchers, some as close as Kingston, to finding new cures and treatment methods. Cancer has touched all of our lives. Having been involved with this event now since 2008, I have seen and heard numerous stories of cancer journeys. Some of them have broken my heart. But some of them have motivated me to fight harder. Some stories have allowed me to see the progress that we are making through research and how the Canadian Cancer Society has supported people right here at home. The Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It is a community of people coming together to fight back against cancer. No matter your story, please consider joining our mission to eradicate cancer and support those living with cancer. Registration will be after the weekly Friday night dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion #425, Sharbot Lake on January 23. And don’t forget….. “Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
The Township of Central Frontenac is excited to announce that Sir John A. Macdonald himself will be participating in the 9th annual Frontenac Heritage Festival, which runs from Fri. to Mon., Feb. 13 - 16 with the official opening taking place at Railway Heritage Park in Sharbot Lake on at 6:30 pm. Members of the public are invited to come out and meet Sir John A., along with Town Crier Paddy O'Connor, and local dignitaries. A short ceremony will include a black powder salute acknowledging Sir John A's 200th birthday, and Frontenac County's 150th Anniversary. We will also celebrate our proud First Nations heritage with singing and drumming. Visitors will be able to keep warm by the bonfire and enjoy hot chocolate throughout the proceedings. For more information visit www.frontenacheritagefestival.ca where you can download our full event schedule and see pictures and videos from previous years. There's something for everyone and all activities are free to attend. "I have fond memories of my travels on the K&P from Sharbot Lake to Kingston. My last trip was especially peaceful." -a quote from Sir John A. (a.k.a. Paul Dyck)
No one seems to have been officially informed, but a Canada Post official has confirmed that the Godfrey Post Office, which is housed at L.D. Powersports, will be closing at the end of business on Saturday. Glen Baldock, who is now based in Belleville but until recently oversaw Canada Post services in Frontenac County, said that the Godfrey location is one of a number that are run under contract with the postmaster, who has their own lease agreement. Canada Post does not have a lease agreement. “In the case of Godfrey, the postmaster applied for a position in Inverary, which was granted, and until we can make an alternate arrangement with someone else the outlet will close,” Baldock said He added that Canada Post has decided to seek a new postmaster for the outlet, but did not know when a public call for proposals will come. Doug Brown, who owns L.D. Powersports, said that although he has known that Dale Pigeon, the postmaster in Godfrey, had applied and been accepted for a position in Inverary, he had no idea that the outlet would be closing until he was told informally last week. “I heard about it last Thursday and called Glen Baldock. I told him that LD was willing to let Canada Post have space for free, since they only pay minimal rent anyway, and he said that would be helpful, but I found him to be vague about everything else. I thought that at the very least there would be notice about this, but there has been none,” said Brown. Brown added that Pigeon knew two months ago that she was going to Inverary, where she will have more hours, but Canada Post has not contacted him or anyone else about plans to find a new person, and he has his doubts that they are really serious about re-opening the outlet. “Dale told me that the backup person, who runs the post office when she is sick or on vacation would be happy to fill in until a new contract can be worked out, but that does not seem to matter.” he said. Even though Glen Baldock indicated that the closure of the Godfrey outlet is not, at least at this point, a permanent closure, he said that a communal box will be installed for those who receive their mail at the Godfrey Post Office. At first glance, it would seem that the closure comes at least close to contravening item 13 of the Canada Post Service charter, which reads: “Where Canada Post plans to change delivery methods, Canada Post will communicate, either in person or in writing, with affected customers and communities at least one month in advance to explain decisions and explore options that address customer concerns.” Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith was informed about the pending closure just two days ago, on Tuesday afternoon this week. She brought the matter forward at the Central Frontenac Council meeting late that same afternoon, and asked council members to get the word out and encourage people to call in to complain. People who use the post office or have any concern about its pending closure are encouraged to phone the Canada Post complaints line. The number is 1-800-267-1177
Gray's Grocery, a long-standing business located at the junction of Highway 7 and Road 38, has been making changes over the last year by adding meat from Gilmore's Meats of Harrowsmith and changing the layout of the store. The store's owner, Jonathan Desroche, has been working lately on building an in-store bakery and this past Monday the bakery opened for business. “Ever since the Rising Bun Bakery closed, people have been looking for fresh baked breads, pies and tarts, and homemade breakfasts and lunches,” Desroche said when interviewed at the store last week. He was waiting for a final visit from a KFL&A Public Health inspector to sign off on the kitchen and said that he anticipated opening on January 12, which he did. Although the product line will be enhanced in the coming months, Gray's Bakery is already offering breakfast sandwiches as well as loaves of bread, pies and other treats. With the cold weather this week, they also sold Beaver Tails They are contemplating adding items such as pizza later this winter. The new asset to their grocery business is being run by family members as well as new employees. “With fresh-baked goods, Gilmore's Meats, local honey and our own relishes and sauces, along with the cold cuts and Wilton cheese we have always offered, things are going well for the future,” said Desroche. The bakery, which has been busy since opening this week, will only increase in popularity in the coming months. “We think we complement everything else that is available in Sharbot Lake,” said Desroche.
Lori Hamilton and her staff had their work cut out for them earlier this week as they were busy preparing for the unofficial opening of the Country Cafe and Bakery, which opened its doors to the public on January 10. In November of 2014, Hamilton, who is a long-time resident of Harrowsmith, took over the lease of the business space located next door to the Harrowsmith Variety Store, just north of the intersection of Road 38 and Rutledge Road. Since then she and her husband Orville have been busy renovating the new space. The renovations have included brand new men’s and women’s washrooms, new glass display cabinets, new electrical and plumbing, and of course a fresh new coat of paint. When I visited earlier this week, Lori and her staff were busy baking up a wide assortment of the daily fare that they will be offering their customers, including fresh-baked muffins, cookies, bars, cinnamon buns, and also a wide variety of pies and fresh-baked breads. Hamilton said that a big part of her business will be her specialty: made to order cakes, which are perfect for weddings, anniversaries and other special events, including Valentine's Day coming up in February. The bakery that formerly occupied the space was only a take out establishment, but the new Country Cafe and Bakery is a totally separate entity from the convenience store. It offers customers five comfortable tables where they can sit down, relax and “dine in”, choosing from a full menu of breakfast and lunch entrees, all prepared fresh on site. They include hot daily soups, and a wide selection of sandwiches (roast beef, pastrami, turkey and smoked ham, to name a few), each of which comes with a choice of fresh vegetable toppings and condiments. A daily selection of home-made hot entrees including chili, lasagne, cabbage rolls, meat stews and casseroles will also be available as well. Hamilton, who worked for over three decades in the dietary departments of various nursing and retirement homes as both a cook and a server, said that she has ample experience in the fields of food preparation and customer service, which have prepared her well for this new undertaking. “I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and entertaining people and this kind of business offers me a chance to do what I love right here in the community. I am hoping that local residents will appreciate having a friendly place to enjoy a meal, and/or snack while socializing with friends, family and neighbours.” Hamilton is planning an official grand opening celebration on Saturday, February 7 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on that day she and her staff will be offering guests free sample goodies, beverages and door prizes from 11 a.m. –1 p.m. Hamilton, who will be cooking and serving at the bakery while also running the business, said that the challenges of opening a new business, especially the long hours, will be tough but she stressed that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. “This is a new adventure for me and a new chapter in my life and it is something that I have dreamed of doing for years so I am really excited about it.” The Country Cafe and Bakery is located at 4937 Road 38 in Harrowsmith and is open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m.- 5 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. For more information call 613-372-5883.
Dave Linton, a long time volunteer with Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS), not only talks the talk but also walks the walk - and in this case, skis the lopp. At 75 years of age Linton knows first hand the benefits to seniors of regular daily exercise, its positive impact on mental and physical health and its ability to help them live in their homes independently and with dignity for as long as possible. It is with those ideas in mind that Linton will be skiing the Gatineau Loppett, a 51 km international cross-country ski marathon, the largest of its kind in Canada, which will take place on February 14 in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec. Linton will be participating this year, not as he has done in the past, to raise funds for the SFCSC (he also has another idea about fundraising that I will mention later), but to raise awareness of the importance of daily exercise while also promoting the seniors programming offered at SFCSC. Linton began volunteering with SFCSC 36 years ago when he and his wife Jennifer, who is the coordinator of the SFCSC food bank, first moved to the area. He currently volunteers as a fundraiser and driver and highly recommends the organization as “a place to hang your volunteer hat.” For Linton volunteering has become a way of life and fulfills an important need. “It gives me an intrinsic satisfaction and makes me feel connected to the community.” SFCSC runs a number of Adult Day programs at the Grace Centre in Sydenham that are geared to seniors, many of whom are physically frail and socially isolated. Some may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and may also be survivors of other illnesses. The programs offer participants a plethora of physical, social and cognitive activities under the direction of trained personnel and staff members, which help to stimulate brain and body function while offering clients a chance to socialize and interact with their peers. The programming at SFCSC has expanded in recent years from three days a week to five and from a capacity of eight clients per day to 12. Participants in the program are provided with snacks and lunch, and trained PSWs also provide any assistance they might require while in attendance. Referrals to the program are typically made by the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) or by self-referral and are followed up with an in-office visit, after which clients receive a free one trial visit to the program. The cost is $20 per day and transportation can also be provided at an additional cost. Dave Linton understands that skiing a 51 km marathon is definitely not for everyone, and stressed that it is the daily training leading up to the event that is most important. “It is the daily exercise required to prepare for a marathon and not the marathon itself that is most beneficial. My training equipment is not sophisticated: a chainsaw, an axe, a wood pile plus regular walking with a set of weighted poles…no running, jogging or any other high impact exercises is how I prepare for the race.” Linton is an incredibly fit 75-year-old and is perhaps not a standard that other seniors can aspire to. He knows this but still he says regular daily exercise is key to overall health. “Daily physical activity changed my life (maybe even saved it on occasions). It is a life-enhancing tool for me and I strongly believe that it can be for others … If we seniors can stay out of nursing homes and long term care facilities, we will not only save tax payer dollars, but will enable ourselves to live healthier, happier, more independent lives in the long term”. Now back to Linton’s idea about fundraising. He suggests that, given the fact that most seniors usually have everything they need in life, when families are celebrating a milestone event like a birthday or anniversary, they could invite guests to make a donation to the SFCSC in lieu of gifts. For more information about seniors’ programming at the SFCSC and/or to make a donation call 613-376-6477 or visit www.sfcsc.ca
South Frontenac takes a first look at capital budget Much of the 2015 South Frontenac capital budget consists of relatively small expenditures and two larger amounts that were set in place several years ago: $5 million in road reconstruction work and $500,000 for the replacement of ageing machinery. The road construction budget is part of a 10-year road improvement plan, and this year involves $1 million for Yarker Road, $1.125 million for resurfacing various roads, along with work on Washburn Road ($300,000), the Camden/Portland Boundary Road ($600,000), Bobs Lake Road ($400,00), and $500,000 for road rehabilitation in the village of Bellrock, among other projects. As far as equipment goes the plan is to purchase a tandem dump truck, two backhoes and one half ton truck. The one item that has the largest effect on the budget is the projected $2.2 million cost of a new fire hall in Perth Road Village. As the result of all this spending, the projected cash reserves of South Frontenac are set to drop from $16.4 million at the beginning of the year to $13.5 million at the end of 2015. In terms of spending on recreational facilities, a lot of work is planned for the Point Park in Sydenham, including a $100,000 cost for shoreline restoration and enhancement and another $100,000 to tear up and replace the football field. The football field project, which would require that the field be out of service for a full year, from spring 2015 until spring 2016, will only be done if the Limestone District School Board agrees to pay half of the cost - $50,000. “We are waiting until we hear from the school board, but the field needs to be rebuilt or it will become unusable,” said Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth. As staff members went over the capital budget, councilors asked a number of questions for clarification. Debate on the merits of proposed projects will take place at a meeting on January 27. At that time details about the plans for the Perth Road fire hall will be available. Federal grant for township museum The federal government has approved a $50,000 grant to help pay some of the costs of making the planned township museum in Hartington a fully accessible facility. “We applied for $76,0000 and they are giving us $50,000” said Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Orr. The rest of the money has been allocated in the proposed township budget for this year. Johnston Point Development The proponents as well as the township planning department made presentations about a proposed 14-unit plan of condominium on a 100 acre parcel of land on a shallow bay of Loughborough Lake off North Shore Road. Most of the required reports (archaeological, hydro-geological, environmental impact, etc.) for the project have been completed and the township planning department as well as the Cataraqui Conservation Authority have expressed support for the project, provided certain conditions are met. The average lot size is 5 acres and water-frontage is over 300 feet for all of the waterfront lots. However, since some of the lots are near provincially significant wetlands, and Loughborough Lake is already highly populated, a number of members of the public would like to comment on the proposal. An official public meeting has already been held on the proposal, in October of 2014, but that was before the old council. A subsequent public session has been scheduled for March 2, starting at 6 p.m. At 6:30 Council will convene and listen to presentations from members of the public about the proposal. Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS) David Townsend made his annual presentation to Council on behalf of SFCS. He talked of the agency's commitment to serving the elderly and those with financial challenges in the township, and reported that in 2014 SFCS was able to run a modest surplus ($4,500) out of a budget that for the first time topped $1 million. Townsend said that SFCS would like to build an addition to their headquarters at the Grace Centre on Stagecoach Road, but that they need to get themselves formally aligned with the Ministry of Health in order to access provincial dollars. Townsend concluded by saying that increasing numbers of South Frontenac residents are accessing their programs and they need continued public support to be able to afford to meet the demand.
At the inaugural meeting of the new Frontenac County Council, Frontenac Islands mayor, Dennis Doyle, took on the job of warden for 2015, the first year of a new four-year term. The meeting took place on December 17, the day after the last 2014 edition of the Frontenac News went to press. The ceremonial first meeting, which was attended by Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington MP Scott Reid and MPP Randy Hillier, MP Ted Hsu from Kingston and the Islands, and newly elected Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, took place in the comfortable confines of the newly refurbished Rotary Club Fairmount Home auditorium, which is located on the same property as the Frontenac County Administrative Office. Doyle, the only returning mayor in the County, was acclaimed to the post of warden, and Central Frontenac mayor, Frances Smith, herself a former warden from pre-amalgamation days, was also acclaimed to the post of deputy warden. It is expected that she will be the warden in 2016. The process of choosing the warden this time around was reminiscent of the clubby atmosphere that prevailed among members of council before the increase to eight members in the most recent term of Council. Unlike in other counties, only the mayors from the four townships can become the warden. The second representatives from each township are not eligible. Warden Doyle has been the acting warden since the death of the sitting warden, Bud Clayton, in September. After the election of officers, Doyle spoke. He urged his fellow councilors to “provide thoughtful instructions to staff, making sure every dollar we spend of our constituents’ money is used very well. We have to build a sustainable and resilient community to put up with whatever comes, including whatever the feds or the province download to us.” He also said that he expects the new council will set a cordial tone in their dealings with each other and county staff. “Let's be civil in these chambers. We must be respectful of staff, must respect the other levels of government. Finally we must have respect for the political process itself,” he said. He stressed the three specific goals that were identified in the Strategic Plan that council completed last year. “The plan calls for us to prepare for the ageing tsunami of seniors, address waste management going forward by seeking a regional solution with our partners from the City of Kingston and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, and look at other means of revenue through economic development. Once we have these three underway we can look at a fourth, but we found that the more items we try to address at once the less successful we were at any of them,” he said. In response to Doyle's remarks, MP Ted Hsu said he was impressed by the specific nature of the goals identified by Dennis Doyle. “We hear from a lot of experts in Ottawa and a lot about process and planning, but there is nothing that gives me more confidence than someone who knows what they want to accomplish in their own community ... this council has a good idea of what needs to be done, and we're in good hands,” he said. MP Scott Reid talked about the changes in riding boundaries that are coming, and said he was happy to work with the county to create the new Frontenac Lanark riding that will be in place for the federal election next fall. MPP Randy Hillier said, “It's a pleasure to be here welcoming the new council. Thanks and congratulations to Dennis and Fran. This term of council is a wonderful opportunity to really shine through co-operation and collaboration. A bit of harmony will also help us look forward when the province throws some curveballs at you. I don't mind helping you throw some back.” Council also made appointments to various boards. Dennis Doyle will sit on the KFL&A Public Health Board for four years; John Inglis remains on the Municipal Advisory Committee for the Algonquin Land Claim for a second four years; Natalie Nossal will sit on the Youth Advisory Committee; Frances Smith on the Kingston Frontenac Housing Board; and John McDougall on the Rideau Corridor Parkland Board. South Frontenac mayor, Ron Vandewal, will be the county rep on the Kingston Frontenac Library Board. In the only contested selection, there were three candidates for two positions as public appointees to the Library Board. John Purdon received the most votes and there was a tie between Ann Peace-Fast and Wilma Kenny (the current vice-chair of the Board). By lot, Anne Peace-Fast was chosen as the second public appointee.
A number of bus companies that serve students in Frontenac County are joining with other members of the Independent School Bus Operators Association (ISBOA) in taking Tri-Board Transportation to court. Tri-Board, which handles busing for students in the Limestone, and the Hastings and Prince Edward public school boards, and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Separate School Board, was ordered to negotiate contracts with the operators by Justice Scott of the Ontario Superior Court in 2012. Over two years later a deal has not been signed and now 29 operators are seeking damages for breach of contract in excess of $2 million, and punitive damages of $500,000, in addition to other costs. The operators, which include Dunham, Cox and the larger Martin's Bus lines, filed their statement of claim on December 1. A response from Tri-Board is due by the end of January, and a court date will follow. When Justice Scott issued his order in 2012 there were eight months remaining in the contract between the drivers and Tri-Board, but in their statement of claim the bus companies allege that Tri-Board stopped making payments for capital payments that were called for in that contract soon after the order was issued. Negotiations stalled, and the contract ran out, but the buses kept running. Negotiations began in earnest in the fall of 2013 and a draft contract was being considered at a meeting in early February of 2014. “Tri-Board represented to the Plaintiffs through the negotiating committee that Tri-Board generally agreed with the terms and that the draft would form the basis for a multi-year contract with the Plaintiffs” says the statement of claim. Two weeks later, everything had changed. “At the outset of the [next] meeting,” the statement goes on to say, “Tri-Board completely reversed its position. It said it refused to consider a multi-year contract despite its earlier representations and instead would only sign a contract for the 2013-14 school year, which by that time was only three months from finishing. “When asked why a multi-year contract was no longer being considered, the CEO of Tri-Board, Gord Taylor, explained that the Ministry of Education (“Ministry”) had directed Tri-Board to take this position.” (item 89) Negotiations have continued since then, and the bus companies presented a proposed contract on October 10, 2014, by which time they were in their second year without a contract. Again, according to the bus companies' statement of claim, “Tri-Board responded on November 7, 2014, by presenting a brief document outlining general changes to the contract, but again without providing any of the underlying detail on the amount stipulated for fixed and variable rates (including driver wages, capital costs, maintenance, etc.). Without this information, it was impossible for the Plaintiffs to assess Tri-Board’s proposal and it certainly could not form the basis for a contract between the parties. Tri-Board presented this to the Plaintiffs in a 'take it or leave it' letter.” Karen Cameron, the President of ISBOA, sees the hand of the province in the way Tri-Board has been handling the negotiations. “Part of the problem for these small operators all the way along is that the Ontario government says they are not involved in this, but now three judges have independently come to the conclusion that the province is directing this. The issue is really with them, with Tri-Board as their proxy,” she said when interviewed by phone this week. Under the ISBOA umbrella, independent operators have had success in court in recent years, as they have been resisting a province-wide initiative to put all busing contracts onto the open market, a move they say favours large national and international busing companies.
For many it is the local Santa Claus parades that mark the start of the Christmas season in these parts and the numerous parades that took place in North, South and Central Frontenac are always welcome and exciting events, especially for youngsters and the young at heart. This year's parades seemed especially festive with a plethora of colourful floats courtesy of the numerous businesses, organizations, service clubs and individuals, who despite the bustle of the holiday season took the time to put together their unique parade offerings. This year it seemed there were more colourfully clad youngsters, more live animals and more live music than in parades past. Whatever the reason, here are just a few snap shot memories from the parades that took place in Sydenham, Harrowsmith, Sharbot Lake, Tichborne/Parham, Northbrook and North Frontenac. Sharbot Lake Elsa waves from the Northern Frontenac Community Services' Disney inspired “Frozen” float Denbigh It was a crisp evening for the Santa Claus Parade in the village; even still, a good number enjoyed the lights and sights. Mr & Mrs Claus had a warm welcome for everyone at the hall, as hotdogs, hot drinks and goodies were gobbled up. The children took their turn making their requests to the Man in Red, followed by a festive program presented by the Rec. Committee. Congratulations to the LCBO on winning people's choice for favourite float with their entry decorated in gingerbread and sweets. North Frontenac The North Frontenac Christmas parade took place on November 29, starting at the township offices in Plavna and finishing at the Ompah hall. Photos courtesy of Michelle Ross. At right: the Plevna Pioneer Club’s float proclaims “Jesus is the sweetest gift”. ton Cottages float
It was ten years ago this week that 911 service was introduced in North and Central Frontenac and upgraded in Kingston and South Frontenac, tying civic address numbers to land line phone numbers in all of Frontenac County for seamless dispatch of fire, ambulance and police service throughout the county. The ceremony marking the launch of the service took place on December 8, 2004 at the North Frontenac Telephone Company office, which had become the central meeting point for the 16 key volunteers, municipal and EMS personnel who had been working on the 911 project, some of them for seven years. The project was in the early planning stages in the fall of 1997, months before the founding of North and Central Frontenac, and one of the first key pieces of information that was identified was the need for up to date mapping for the new townships. Marcel Giroux, who came on as chair of the 911 committee at that time, recalls that the only comprehensive mapping that was available then were the Ontario Base Maps. The problem was that those maps had not been updated for Frontenac County for decades. “The maps were dated from the early 1960s, and were pretty much useless for our purposes,” he said, when interviewed this week. “We pretty much had to start from scratch." The process suffered a few delays along the way, the first of which was the ice storm that greeted the newly amalgamated townships at the very start of 1998. The politicians and emergency services personnel, who put in countless hours dealing with the ice storm and its aftermath, would undoubtedly have benefited from all the mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) that are available today, which are in many ways an off-shoot of the 911 process. As it was, it was local knowledge and chain saw-wielding road crews and volunteers who were relied upon to keep everyone safe and warm. Giroux approached the townships in the late spring of 1998 to get them on board for the 911 system. Two people were sought from each of the seven former townships that made up the two new townships to do the hard work of identifying each of the over 8,000 properties on over 200 public roads and 400 private lanes within the two townships. The people who took this on were: Dick Hook and Bill Rowsome (Barrie), Dave and Nancy Smith (Clar-Mill) Colonial and Annette St. Pierre (Palmerston/Canonto), Marsden Kirk and Jack Nicolson (Kennebec), Faye Putnam and Elva Price (Olden), Gord Whan and Luc Salvador (Oso), and Lloyd Lee and Dave Hansen (Hinchinbrooke). Gleva Lemke took on the role of secretary of the 911 committee, with Marcel Giroux being the 16th member. “One of the big jobs for the committee members was to sort out all the roads in their own districts and match them with the maps. There were roads with no names, names with no roads, roads with more than one name, and names that appeared on a number of roads,” said Giroux. CGIS of Perth was contracted to develop brand new maps for the 911 project, beginning the process that has resulted, 15 years later, in comprehensive paper and electronic mapping covering all corners of Frontenac County. Exact locations of properties and buildings are now just a click away on a computer or smart phone. The 911 process continued for three years, and by the end of 2001, all properties had been identified and civic addressing was in place. It was time to wait for Bell Canada to do some internal work to prepare for the 911 switch over. In the meantime, the townships jointly hired Chris Matheson as 911 co-ordinator, in order to bring the project to its fruition and to provide the kind of support that the project would continue to require even after its launch. New properties would need to be added to the data base and the system would need to be upgraded over time. Matheson was later hired on as the full time IT (Information Technology) person for Central Frontenac and a similar position was created in North Frontenac, in recognition of the role that electronic information and GIS plays in the current workings of municipalities. Matheson, who now works for the City of Kingston as a systems analyst, recalls the 911 project fondly. “It was a good project to work on, particularly because of all the work that the volunteers did right up until the very end, matching phone numbers with addresses. We needed 98% of them assured for Bell to go ahead with it, and they made it happen,” he said. Marcel Giroux is still a little upset over a decision that Bell Canada made to delay the launch of 911 in Central and North Frontenac until South Frontenac and Kingston were ready for 911 enhanced. A process that was supposed to take a few months ended up taking twice as long. “I don't know if it cost anyone their lives or anything waiting the extra 18 months, but it did bother me at the time,” he said. When the system was brought on stream, the volunteers and emergency personnel were all smiles, celebrating the new millennium in Frontenac County. As 911 moves forward, hooking up GPS systems in cell phones with on-board computers in ambulances, police cars, even fire trucks, will make the service stronger yet as cell service penetrates the far reaches of the County. It's all a far cry from 1997, when there were not even reasonable paper maps of Frontenac County.
by Valerie Allan On Jan. 16, 24 students from Grades 3-7 presented projects in a Science Fair held in the library of NAEC. Preparations started in June, when Ms. Randle (a Secondary Science teacher) collaborated with Elementary teachers (Ms. Beeg, Mr. Rewbotham, Mr. Pelow, Mr. Hill and Ms. Cuthill) to design a Science Fair modeled after the regional Science Fair (FLASF). The purpose of the fair was to provide students with a unique opportunity to engage in scientific investigation. Ms. Randle remarked, “Science Fairs are a great way to promote critical thinking skills. Science Fairs allow students to explore and investigate things they are interested in, process information using critical thinking skills, and create something they are proud of. It allows them to learn about the scientific method in a hands-on way.” Students chose experiments, studies or innovations as a basis for their projects, and were judged by a panel of judges for Top Project, and by visitors for Fan Favourite. The top project for Mrs. Beeg’s class went to Abbi Woods and the Fan Favourites for Mrs. Beeg’s class went to Bella DeSa and Owen Bright. The top project for Mr. Rewbotham’s class went to Sarah Reed and the Fan Favourites for Mr. Rewbotham’s class went to Hayden Riley and Ryan Kay. The top project for Mrs. Pelow’s class went to Josie Heyman and the Fan Favourites for Mrs. Pelow’s class went to Amanda Clancy and Beth Shiner. The top project for Ms. Cuthill’s class went to Sierra Baldacchin and Fan Favourites for Ms. Cuthill’s class went to Jessie Cumming and Riley Kay. According to Youth Science Canada, which is a big supporter of science fairs, “Every year, over 500,000 young Canadians participate in project-based science…encouraging them to get their hands dirty and develop scientific and technological knowledge and skills through project-based science.”
AH to go it alone on transportation After attending meetings with members of L&A County Council as well as staff from Seniors Outreach Services (SOS) in Napanee, Addington Highlands Council and Land O'Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) have decided to submit their own application for funding from a Ministry of Transportation Grant program for rural transportation services. Susan Andrew-Allen and Marlene Dacuk from LOLCS were both on hand at a council meeting in Denbigh on Monday night (January 19). LOLCS intends to seek $54,000 in funding over two years to provide dispatch services for volunteer rides to medical appointments and other services for people who are under 60 years old in the township. LOLCS already offers rides for those over 60 using funding from the Local Health Integration Network. Although it would be desirable for there to be only one funding application from Lennox and Addington County, a number of factors, including the $100,000 upper limit for the grant, have made a joint application between LOLCS and SOS unworkable. “It is unclear how the funds would be divided up even if we were able to get the maximum $100,000 funding in a combined application with Seniors Outreach Services,” said Andrew-Allen. There was talk, at the county meeting, Andrew-Allen said, of only 10% of the funding, or $10,000 going to LOLCS. “You wouldn't be able to really do anything with $10,000 over two years,” said Councilor Bill Cox. Council members also questioned whether the Napanee-based organization SOS and the County itself are committed to services in the rural parts of L&A. “SOS kept saying that Arden is in Addington Highlands, to give you an idea where they are coming from,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. Bill Cox moved that the township prepare its own application for $54,000, and council agreed. Saving the Flinton Jamboree Andy Anderson appeared before Council in the wake of a decision by the Flinton Recreation Club and the Thibault family not to continue with the Flinton Jamboree this summer. Anderson, a long-time member of the Addington Highlands Economic Development Committee, said that the Jamboree is an important event for local businesses and that the August long weekend is also a very important anchor for the summer season. “We need to act immediately to stop this from slipping away for a year, because if it does we will never get that weekend back,” he said. He added that he has been talking to people about getting involved ever since he heard that the Recreation Club wants to step back, and feels he can put a steering committee together to save the event provided he can contact people who attended the Jamboree in the past as quickly as possible to reassure them that it will be going on again. “What do you need from us, because as you know we are not about to run it,” said Reeve Hogg. “All I need now is free use of the site and for the township to cover the insurance,” said Anderson. Council was reluctant to commit to covering the insurance since the new group that Anderson hopes to put together in the coming days does not have a legal status, such as a not-for-profit corporation or a committee of council would. A motion to support the Jamboree in principle and look into the matter with the township's insurer was proposed and passed. One convention per councilor A draft bylaw to approve the township covering the cost for one convention/conference (such as the Good Roads Convention in February or the Ontario Municipal Association conference in August) was opposed by Bill Cox, who said he finds it helpful to attend two conferences. “There is a lot of worthwhile information passed out at those conventions,” he said. Reeve Hogg said he put the number one in the bylaw in order to get it on the table, and Council could change the number if it wants to. No one spoke up and the one conference rule was approved with one dissenting vote. AHCC – Denbigh – Septic woes It will cost thousands to pump out and repair the septic system at the Addington Highlands Community Centre-Denbigh. Councilor Tony Fritsch said that the system was backed up week. Part of the problem is that the system has two tanks and the channel between them is blocked and needs clearing. It will require two pump trucks at several hundred dollars each as well as a repair to the opening, which requires someone to go inside. “Any volunteers from Council?” asked Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath, who was waiting to give his own report. The entire job will cost “thousands”, said Fritsch. “It needs to be done,” said Reeve Hogg. You can't please all the people ... Royce Rosenblath said that crews have been busy with winter maintenance and that he receives service complaints on occasion from township residents. “Some of them say we plow too early and some say we plow too late. I even heard both of those complaints from people living on the same road, not far from each other,” said Rosenblath.
by Marcella Neely Fair fa'your honest, sonsie face: These words come from the poem, "To a Haggis" which is a central feature of the Burns Supper. Traditionally, the Haggis is brought out in a procession led by a piper and the poem is recited. Some years after Burns' death in 1796, the Burns supper was developed as a means of celebrating his poetic genius on the anniversary of his birth. Recitation of his poem "To a Haggis" became a central feature of these suppers, which included the consumption of this traditional Scottish dish along with neeps (turnip) and tatties (mashed potato). On January 24, the Cloyne and District Historical Society is putting on a Burns Supper at the Northbrook Lions Hall. Following supper there will be readings of Burns' poems and singing of Burns' songs. His writings are in Scots, the traditional language of lowland Scotland. It uses many words that are close to English but others that are quite distinct (e.g. burn = brook, bairn = children). Those attending will be provided with written translations of the poems being presented.
For their annual drama production this year, grade nine and ten students in the drama program at the North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne chose "Aw, Shucks!" as the play that they most wanted to see performed. Judging by the reception the play received at its inaugural performance on January 13 they made the right choice. The play, written by Toniann Guadagnoli, tells the tale of one large and way over the top "countri-fied" family. The plot focuses in on son Roscoe (perfectly portrayed by Matt Emslie) and his choice of his wife-to-be, Brooke, (aptly played by Brianna Bolduc). The problem is that Brooke hails from Brooklyn, New York, and Roscoe's “Maw”, hilariously portrayed by Selena Pelicos, is not having any of it. Instead Maw sets her sights on her preferred choice, Georgian belle Savannah, played with aplomb by Terri-Lynn Rosenblath. Spurred on by the family matriarch, the family decides to hold a country-style contest where the two dueling possible brides-to-be face off in an attempt to corn shuck and cotton pick their way to the altar. Of course the bridal hopefuls, being the wisest of the bunch, become friendly in the process, forcing Maw to take the outcome into her own hands. Maw hatches a sneaky countrified Princess and the Pea plan to curtail Brooke's win, which fails. Still, in the end it takes Elmer the horse to make Maw see the backwardness of her ways and realize that it is Brooke whom her son should ultimately marry - and of course Roscoe gets his city girl. The actors each nailed their characters, with the countrified family members not only sounding like typical back woods southern hillbillies (I was informed that many accomplished the task by watching numerous reruns of the Dukes of Hazard), but also delivering their lines with the precise comic timing required to meet the mark. The music in the play was lively and the line dancing scene at the family hoedown was one of the play's most memorable scenes. Valerie Allan, who teaches drama at the school and stage managed the play, said the choice of play really fit the students. “They just seemed to naturally get the whole country thing really very well right from the start.” Allan said that the fact that NAEC is a country school was a big reason why the students chose the play and added that the fact that the play presents a problem that is ultimately resolved, while poking fun at a number of typical stereotypes is a great learning experience both for these young thespians and the audience alike. The response by the full house audience at Tuesday's performance proved that not only can these young dramatists do exactly what they set minds to, but that in the process they can entertain a full house of delighted viewers. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew who put one a very memorable performance at the NAEC for 2015.