“I think we have a legitimate shot at first or second,” said Karl Hammer Monday at the Stock Sports demonstration in Harrowsmith’s Centennial Park as part of the Canada Day celebrations. “Brazil is a powerhouse but we’ve put in a lot of time.”

Many will know Hammer as coach of Sydenham High School’s football team, but in this particular case, he’s talking about Stock Sports, a curling variant that can be played on tennis courts or any other smooth surface. The granite rocks of curling are replaced by stocks (which can be and are played on ice) with plastic or Teflon bases. The game is very similar to curling with some differences.

“There’s a perfect Venn Diagram of similarities,” Hammer said.

There is a world championship organization for the sport, which will be holding its championship in Asuncion, Paraguay July 9-11 and Hammer, along with teammates Mike Osborne, Tyler McComish and Karl Hammer Sr. will be representing Canada in the four-nation event, which is called the America Cup of Stock Sport. Tammy Lambert will also be going as a member of the women’s team.

Worldwide, South America is a perhaps the most enthusiastic about this sport, Hammer said.

“The origins of the sport are Austrian-Bavarian,” he said. “There was a large emigration to South America from those areas and they brought the sport with them.”

Canada hosted the championship in Angus, ON in 2015 but this will be Hammer’s first championship.

“Our other members were there,” he said. “Including Tyler, who came seventh out of 15 in the target competition.

“He was the first person to ever compete in the world championships who has an exceptionality.”

He said McComish has become something of a celebrity in the sport.

“Some people were worried about him competing but it’s turned out he’s bolstered the sport’s reputation,” Hammer said.

Obviously, Hammer and squad want to do well but there’s also an underlying reason they’d like to put in a good showing.

“We’d like to host the 2021 championships in Sydenham,” he said. “We’re making a push for a playing area specific to the sport.

“It would be nice to have level asphalt without any pressure cracks.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

When she learned that nothing was being planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion in South Frontenac, Harrowsmith’s Brenda Crawford knew just the place that a ceremony should take place.

She started working the phone. Soon she had arranged for the Mayor and some other local politicians, legion and community members, and several classes from nearby Harrowsmith Public School.

On the afternoon of June 5, a gathering was arranged at the new Harrowsmith junction, where there is a public square and a sculptured-metal poppies as a permanent feature. The former site of the Harrowsmith train station is just metres away, and Crawford remembers her own father walking to the station with other men from Harrowsmith and vicinity, to board the train that started their journey to World War II.

“Right there,” she said, pointing northeast to the corner of road 38 and the Harrowsmith-Sydenham Road, “my mother stood, leaning on the only gas pump in town at the time, watching my father walk to the train station to go off to war.”

Mayor Vandewal said a few words, some wreaths were laid to mark the occasion and a few people were wearing poppies, which they pinned to one of the wreaths. After a few moments, one of the Harrowsmith PS teachers, said “the students would like to sing ‘Oh Canada’”.

The students sang ‘Oh Canada’, and everyone else joined in. The students slowly walked away, back to school, and the assembly slowly broke apart as people went back to their daily routines.

“I feel that it is important,” Crawford said as people were leaving, “for us to acknowledge these events that shaped who we are, so the next generation will have some memory of what my parents’ entire generation endured in those years.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

Ever wonder what the Oddfellows and Rebekahs are all about?

The roots of the International Order of Oddfellows go back to the medieval ages. In the days before the advent of social services guilds organised to take care of their members who fell ill or ran into difficulties. This commitment to community support was taken up by fraternal societies, and the Oddfellows became established in the United Kingdom.

In North America, the Oddfellows consider the founding of an Oddfellow Lodge in Baltimore in 1819 by Thomas Wildey as the start of the International Order on this continent/

In 1842, the North American order split from the order based in Manchester, England, and took on the name International Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) Women were welcomed into the order in 1851 with the formation of the daughters of Rebekah. To this day the command of the Oddfellows and Rebekahs is to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” 

The Oddfellows and Rebekahs of Harrowsmith provide service in both Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. They also operate a hall that is available for community events, the Golden Links Hall.

This weekend they will be marking the 200th anniversary of the IOOF with a special celebration on Sunday afternoon (June 23) from 2-6pm. There will be presentations and memorabilia on display about the history of the IOOF locally and internationally. All are welcome to attend. For information, call Brenda at 613-372-2410

Published in ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS

Under what was likely the first ideal day of the season, keen Pickleballers from the Frontenac Pickleball Assocation were out in full force for the 9am – 12pm session at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith last Friday morning (June 7)

They took a short break to pose in a photo-op to mark a $1,000 donation that they, and the affiliated Kingston Pickeball Association, has made to South Frontenac Township to help cover the cost of defibrillators for Centennial Park and Gerald Ball Park in Sunbury, the other outdoor Pickleball location in South Frontenac. But they were soon back on the courts.

Even it is a relatively low-key recreational session at the park three mornings a week, the level of competition on each point is pretty high. Pickleball is popular with seniors partly because it requires less running than tennis or badminton, two of the sports that it is loosely based upon. But that does not mean that the players aren’t competitive, or that hand eye-coordination, court positioning, and killer instinct aren’t keys to success.

Kelli McRobert is an Inverary resident who handles promotions for the Kingston Pickleball Association and is a passionate advocate for the sport, and she sees a massive potential for the sport in South Frontenac.

“Pickleball is a sport that anyone can play, and it has become very popular with the young senior population, and with South Frontenac’s growth and its demographics, that’s a lot of people. We tell the township that if they provide us with the facilities to play, we will fill them with players, both from Kingston and South Frontenac,” she said.

She explained as well that Pickleball really has nothing to do with pickles.

“The man who invented the game, Joel Pritchard, had dog named Pickles who would take the ball whenever it came his way, thinking it was ‘Pickles ball’ – hence the name of the game.”

As the game has developed as an organised sport, there are levels of play, which Pickleballers call Ladders, and that allows players to start at a more gentle level and progress in the sport.

Pickleball is also inexpensive. It costs $5 to drop in and only $20 a year to join either the Kingston of Frontenac associations and play all year.

Kingston Pickleball will be hosting the national championships later this month at the Invista Centre, which will raise the profile of Pickleball in the region.

Ashley Bates, the recreation co-ordinator for Southern Frontenac Community Services, has organised Pickleball at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church and worked with the township to get the Gerald Ball Park tennis courts marked up for Pickleball as well.

The township is paying attention to the potential to offer more opportunities to local residents to enjoy the sport.

Recreation Co-ordinator Tim Laprade said that the township is looking at improvements to the surface at Gerald ball Park and at fence coverings for both parks to keep high winds from hindering play. As well, the possibility of developing a multi-use court at the Point Park in Sydenham for Pickleball, tennis and basketball is being looked. And then there is the arena.

“They are also interested using the Frontenac Arena for Pickleball in the off-season, and any way we can get more use from the arena would be a good thing,” said Laprade.

For more information about Pickleball, contact Lesley Inglis as 613-449-1757

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church celebrated their hundredth anniversary last Sunday with a packed church filled with fellowship and music in a service led by Jason Silver.

“They must have been shorter in those days,” commented Bishop Cliff Fletcher, who towered above the pulpit from the original church. He brought greetings and congratulations on having come a long way from 1919, when the Rev Charles Fairbairn’s first meetings were pelted with tomatoes by Harrowsmith protesters. Today the church is an important and welcome part of the whole community, sharing its facilities with a variety of groups and activities. Glen Snook, who at 88 is the oldest living member of the congregation (he joined 81 years ago, when he was seven years old) said, “I am an old man now, and I say to you, ‘Stay with it, stay together’.” Mayor Vandewal brought greetings, both personal and from the Township.

The downstairs hall told the history of the church and its congregation through a display of artifacts and story-boards, one for each decade, filled with photos, newspaper clippings and excerpts from church documents. Two more exhibits featured the women’s contributions, which combined fellowship with food preparation, bake sales, sewing and missionary outreach. These were all compiled by Maureen Adams.

Following the church service, two newlyplanted “Autumn Glory” Maples were dedicated on the front lawn: one in recognition of the past hundred years, and the other looking forward to the future. After that came lunch on the back lawn, near the newly-built outdoor stage, which will host a series of musical concerts this summer.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 13:12

Almost Home Café opens in Harrowmsith

Mayor Ron Vandewal will cut the ribbon this Saturday morning at 10 am to officially open the Almost Home Cafe, Harrowsmith’s newest business establishment. It’s on Road 38, just opposite the road to Sydenham, with a side entrance off the parking lot. (Look for the balloons).

Owner/operator Cindy Murphy prepares all food on the premises; the menu includes macaroni and cheese, chili, nachos and a daily special, as well as a variety of salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups. There are all-day breakfasts (beginning at 6:00 am weekdays), homemade sweet treats, and jars of old-fashioned candies. Cindy’s taco salad is already winning praise from those who’ve tasted it!

Currently, the cafe is take-out only, but the Wolsey family has donated a bench for outside, and a there will soon be a picnic table.

“At last, Harrowsmith folks can get an ice cream cone within walking distance!” says one local resident.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:33

Upcoming Harrowsmith softball season in jeopardy

The upcoming softball season in Harrowsmith could be cancelled if help isn’t found to oversee the teams.

“We hope to continue playing softball in Harrowsmith, but we have encountered a few challenges that are making it difficult to continue,” says Pam Morey, President of the Harrowsmith Social & Athletic Club which is affiliated with softball in the area.

“This year, we have run into a few issues,” explains Morey about the need for help. “And after talking with the area convener, we have learned that these issues are not isolated to Harrowsmith, but are prevalent everywhere.”

According to Morey, the community needs one or more people to manage the program this year after a volunteer stepped down from the role.

“It’s a commitment, but I’m hoping to divide all of the responsibilities up,” she notes.

“We have a few members who are willing to help with registration and maybe even a year-end tournament, but are not able to make the day-to-day commitment,” says the community activist about the job. “If a few parents or players could become involved with putting-out the bases and lining the field, we could possibly make this year work.”

At stake this year is four children’s teams and one Junior Men’s team.

“It is the children’s teams that we are the most concerned about,” says Morey. “The men’s league pretty much takes of itself.”

In Frontenac County, Harrwosmith is known for its competitive baseball teams. This year, the teams are full of players and are almost full of coaches. All that is needed is someone to run the program, a roughly 40-minute commitment four nights a week at the ballfield in Harrowmsith.

“If anyone whose children play ball could help with the bases and lining the field, we would very much appreciate it,” explains Morey. “It would be great to have more than one-person to do this work because many hands make light work.”

Speaking from her home in Harrowsmith, Morey notes, “Time is marching-on. We are going ahead with registration on March 7 in hopes that someone will come forward. If everyone did a little bit, it would help. Otherwise, we’d would hate to see softball not exist in Harrowsmith. Let’s keep ball alive in Harrowsmith for our children.”

For more information about this volunteer opportunity in Harrowsmith, please contact Pam Morey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or attend the upcoming softball registration night on Saturday, March 7 from 6 to 8 pm or Saturday, March 10 from noon to 2:30 pm at the Harrowsmith Social & Athletic Club on Colebrook Road

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

The South Frontenac Time Capsule Committee is still accepting submissions to be included in a time capsule that will be buried at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith and will be unearthed in 50 years, to mark Canada 200.

Submissions have been open for some time, but the committee has not received the number of items for consideration that they had been hoping for. They are therefore asking the community one more time for submissions to the project

They are looking to community clubs and organisations for submissions, which could include: posters, brochures, lake association AGM agendas, photos, deck of cards from card groups, autographed sheet music from jam sessions, art from the kids at play groups, and more.

Other ideas for submissions include letters from long time/ multi-generational residents of the township, letters to future family members, magazines/ books, sports memorabilia, t-shirts, or photos. Another idea is aerial photos of properties, villages, schools, stores, churches, etc. (think of how different it may look in 50 years!)

These are just a few ideas of some possible submissions! Limitations include batteries, organic material, and some size requirements. If submitted items are not suitable, all attempts will be made to return them to the sender.

Submissions can be dropped off at the township office in Sydenham (4432 George St.), or if you are unable to get to the office please get in touch with Amanda Pantrey and pick-up can be arranged.

If there are any questions regarding this project, please do not hesitate to contact Amanda via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone or text at 613-483-1176.

Thank you for supporting this community project.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

On Saturday afternoon, Mary Murphy and her crew were busy as bees setting up nativities in the St. Patrick’s Church hall in Railton for Sunday’s Nativities Display.

“This is our 10th year and it’s grown every year,” she said. “We have about 250 so far.

“Many of them are little ones so there’s a lot of rearranging to do.”

Murphy said they started out “very small” 10 years ago and it’s grown every year.

“We wanted to have some different from Santa, whom everyone loves,” she said.

It’s “so neat” to see all the different interpretations of the Nativity story that depicts the birth of Christ, she said.

“We have some very old ones like the one that came from my husband’s aunt that we became the caretakers of,” she said. “And Father Bill has this one from 1947.

“And we have this one from around 1830 but we can’t tell if it’s bone or ivory.”

But that’s not all.

“We have a Lego one, a puzzle one, one of all teddy bears,” she said. “We have scenes from Mexico, Chile, Austria, Kwanda and Quebec and the ladies from the Cole Lake Nativities display sent down several from their ‘permanent collection.’

“Also, the students at St. Patrick’s in Harrowsmith sent in some of their Nativity projects.

“We have some with lights, one with Charlie Brown characters and even two made from Popsicle sticks.”

Also, they always set up a kids activity table with books and “things that kids can touch and play with.”

Over the years, she’s picked up on some of the finer point of Nativity display.

“Well, the biggest crowd comes right after mass on Sunday,” she said. “But maybe the most important thing we’ve learned is to keep some of the more tempting ones at the back — out of the reach of little hands.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

On Saturday afternoon, Mary Murphy and her crew were busy as bees setting up nativities in the St. Patrick’s Church hall in Railton for Sunday’s Nativities Display.

“This is our 10th year and it’s grown every year,” she said. “We have about 250 so far.

“Many of them are little ones so there’s a lot of rearranging to do.”

Murphy said they started out “very small” 10 years ago and it’s grown every year.

“We wanted to have some different from Santa, whom everyone loves,” she said.

It’s “so neat” to see all the different interpretations of the Nativity story that depicts the birth of Christ, she said.

“We have some very old ones like the one that came from my husband’s aunt that we became the caretakers of,” she said. “And Father Bill has this one from 1947.

“And we have this one from around 1830 but we can’t tell if it’s bone or ivory.”

But that’s not all.

“We have a Lego one, a puzzle one, one of all teddy bears,” she said. “We have scenes from Mexico, Chile, Austria, Kwanda and Quebec and the ladies from the Cole Lake Nativities display sent down several from their ‘permanent collection.’

“Also, the students at St. Patrick’s in Harrowsmith sent in some of their Nativity projects.

“We have some with lights, one with Charlie Brown characters and even two made from Popsicle sticks.”

Also, they always set up a kids activity table with books and “things that kids can touch and play with.”

Over the years, she’s picked up on some of the finer point of Nativity display.

“Well, the biggest crowd comes right after mass on Sunday,” she said. “But maybe the most important thing we’ve learned is to keep some of the more tempting ones at the back — out of the reach of little hands.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
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