| Jun 15, 2006

Feature Article - June 15, 2006

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Feature Article - June 15, 2006

Summer Solstice gathering inSharbotLake

by JeffGreen

From early in the morning until dusk, activities involving a broad spectrum of community groups, from schools, church and seniors groups, and the Sharbot Mishigama First Nation, will take place at the Sharbot Lake beach on Wednesday, June 21.

The events are being organised mainly by Cheryl Matson and the Highway 7 Community Development Corporation.

“I have always had a solstice party,” Matson said in describing how this new event came about, “and the CDC wanted to do something social, and I thought this would be something that would not be limited to a single group but would be for the entire community.”

The 21st of June is also National Aboriginal Day, and since the Sharbot Mishigama Anishnabe Algonquins (SMAA) and their Chief Doreen Davis were interested in sharing their celebration of the day with the rest of the community, a day of events began taking shape.


In the morning, children from the Child Centre and from different playgroups will come to the beach for a story and a craft. At noon, students from Land o’ Lakes Public School , Hinchinbrooke School , Sharbot Lake Public School and St. James Catholic School will arrive. They will be greeted by a set of stations around the beach where they can participate in many activities.

Martin Wotherspoon, a student in the St. Lawrence College Alternative Energy program will set up a solar wall display, and Sun Volts (an alternative power business) will also set up a display. There will be two solar telescopes available, and the Friends of the Salmon River will be bringing a solar oven. There will be an opportunity to paint a sun on a T-shirt; the KFL&A Health Unit will have display about sun safety; the SMAA will present Algonquin stories about the bear/star constellation and the students will be able to make sun catchers as well.

At about 1:30pm Leo Enright will take the students and, outfitted with planets that were made at Sharbot Lake Public School last week, he will place students around the park in the same relative location as all of the planets are at this time of year. Other classes will then be placed around the park in the location of different constellations at this time of year. The students will turn the beach into a human model of the solstice night sky.

Organisers are hoping that the students will go home and tell their families to come back to the beach, because events will continue to develop throughout the afternoon and evening.

At four o’clock, clergy from area churches will be on hand to judge the biscuits and white cake competition (entry forms are available at the Treasure Trunk and the Valumart store), and the cakes and biscuits will then be used as the base for fresh strawberry shortcake which will be available to one and all (strawberries will be supplied by Crooked Hill Farm and cream by Robinsons Dairy. The Arden Glee Club will sing.

The public is then invited to bring a picnic to share with friends and the Sharbot Mishigama Algonquins will provide traditional food as well.

At 7:00 the planet/puppets will be put to use again as a parade winds its way through the park. There will be Celtic music and the SMAA drum as well, and a ceremonial fire will be lit as dusk approaches. Leo Enright will be on hand to point out the constellations as they appear in the June sky.

There is no entry fee for the Summer Solstice Gathering, and people are invited to attend at any point in the proceedings.

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