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

Club members and dignitaries gathered at the Social and Athletic Club in Harrowsmith Saturday to acknowledge a $19,500 grant the club received to renovate its building o Colbrooke Road.

The grant was presented by Ontario Trillium Foundation Bob Burge, who began his remarks by acknowledging the Anishinabe and other First Nations history of the area.

“This year, OTF was asked to administer the Ontario 150 Community Capital Grant Program,” Burge said. “And the Harrowsmith District S & A Club was one of just over 200 Ontario150 grantees to get the good news that you’d received funding.

“And the Club’s done all this work to make sure that this community space continues to be a great meeting place for years to come. Thank you for bringing your request to our attention and we’re so pleased that we could help you continue to make your community a healthier and more vibrant place.”

S & A Club treasurer Penny Lloyd said the grant was used to do new electrical wiring, new insulation, drywall and painting and perhaps most importantly, a new steel roof.

“We won’t have to do the roof again,” she said.

The S & A Club, a registered charitable non-profit corporation began in the mid-’60s. Since its beginning, it’s offered a wide variety of community and family events such as Canada Day in the Park, the Santa Claus Parade, family movie nights, dances, softball and various other activities. They encourage new families to join the association

No pressure is placed on members to volunteer, making it the members’ choice as to how much time they want to commit to volunteering and as to which events.

The hall itself is available to rent for meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, family dinners and reunions.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

Twice a year, Five Star Farm on Scanlan Road in South Frontenac opens up its barns and fields for the public.

“We really believe in education and giving people an opportunity to see what rural life is like,” said Tracy Parker who owns the farm with her partner Curtis Moore and their five kids.
Parker and her family have lived on the farm (she refers to it as a “homestead”) for four years and started doing the Festival events last year.

“It’s a big hit with young families . . . we open at 10 so of course they started showing up at 9:30,” she said jokingly. “We’re pretty new but we like to show off what we have in Frontenac County.”
This was the first time they’ve had vendors in for the event, like Cota’s Catering Truck, Conboy’s Maple Syrup, Barb’s Perogies and Perry Farms.

“The food seems to be popular,” Parker said. “Previously, it was just poor mom running around making coffee.”
Parker said although she didn’t grow up on a farm, it’s in her genes and she’s always wanted one.
“My family were farmers but my mom’s generation sold the farm,” she said. “But I still had the vision, I love the history, I love the kids and I love teaching.
“This is the best scenario, I get my fix of little kids.”

While they do have horses and feed them with the hay from their own fields, most of the animals on the farm are chosen “for their personalities” and a “love of people.”
She said they grow food for themselves (“five kids and all athletes”) including some chickens but mostly the operation is about the spring and fall events, as well as birthday parties and weddings etc.
The next event is scheduled for next spring, around Easter, she said.

“Our events are a success if we educate some people, nobody gets hurt and at least one kid is crying because they don’t want to leave,” she said.
But after the last guest leaves on this Saturday, “it’s time to put the equipment and animals in the barn, and turn back into a farm for winter.”

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC

South Frontenac Students interested in exploring painting, pottery, and printmaking will have an opportunity to take classes this fall.
Gabriel Deerman and Ashley Doucette Pilles operate Salmon River Studios out of Tamworth. Last year they started offering afternoon art classes in Tamworth, Enterprise, Centreville and Newburgh in Lennox and Addington and this year they are expanding to Frontenac.

The two artists are establishing their own practices out of their studio and one of their goals is to foster the arts in their community by offering the classes. It makes for a bit of a juggling act to keep making and teaching art while running a studio, and for Ashley even more so since she is also a supply teacher, but they love teaching art and exploring different materials and media with their students.
“We both taught oversees for four years, teaching art mostly.  We came home and we decided we wanted to try and start a private art teaching practice. We found that what was most valuable to parents is if we started working in the schools. It’s turned out to be a lot of fun.  A lot rural schools are lacking in arts programming, and that’s where we step in for families and kids who are interested,” said Gabriel Deerman.
Salmon River Studios is committed to arts education for all ages and all abilities. Workshops for adults in various media are being offered out of the studio, and the artists also work with special needs young adults in association with New Leaf Link in South Frontenac.

They are also looking into some other schools in South Frontenac where they might offer classes   
The classes take place once a week after school, at a cost of $50 per month. Students in all elementary grades (Kindergarten to grade 8) are welcome to join in.  There is a limit to class size, somewhere between 12 and 15 students depending on the room that is available and makeup of the classes.

Students at Harrowsmith and Prince Charles are encouraged to have a look at the Salmon River Studios website. Registration forms will be available at the school offices when school starts next week, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about booking a spot.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
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