By Suzanne Hoag
Driving past St. Paul's United Church in Harrowsmith in recent weeks, you may have noticed ladders and scaffolding in the front of the near century-old heritage building. It has been five years since the church council decided the stained glass windows were in desperate need of repair and now this project is finally underway.
Delay occurred in 2010 when St. Paul's was in a dire financial situation. With an internal debt approaching $25,000, rumours circulated that the church would have to close and the stained glass window refurbishing project came to a halt. What happened next is nothing short of a miracle. Within two years, after intensive fund-raising, countless volunteer hours logged by dedicated church members, and overwhelming community support, St. Paul's was back in the black and able to continue its ministry and outreach to the Harrowsmith area.
In 2013, council decided to move cautiously ahead with the project that is estimated to cost around $45,000 and enlisted Mark Thompson of Traditional Glassworks out of Westport to do the restoration work. The work is labour intensive and highly specialized. It involves removing the stained glass and transporting off site so that the glass can be re-leaded and repaired. The frames are being rebuilt as much of the wood is rotting. The stained glass windows are then reinstalled with a tempered glass protective glazing on the outside. This process makes the refurbished windows stable, energy efficient and more visible and esthetically pleasing.
To date, five out of 14 windows have been refurbished. The two transom windows were refurbished using donations made in memory of Mr. Fergus Brown, a long time member of St. Paul's. A previous cookbook fundraiser and individual donations paid for the three east facing windows of the sanctuary.
This project will be on-going as funds become available. An Old-Fashioned Fish Fry and Corn Roast is our next scheduled window refurbishing fundraiser. Come out and join us on Friday, August 22 from 4:30 to 7 pm! Local pan fried fish is on the menu with fresh corn on the cob, salads and homemade pie. Advance tickets preferred. Adults $13, Children over 6: $6, family rate $30. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling John or Suzanne Hoag at 613-386-7751 or by visiting Willows Agriservices or Tiffany Gift Shoppe in Harrowsmith. Please note tickets at the door will be $15 for adults; $35 family rate. Child rate will be unchanged. Anyone wishing to make a donation toward the Stained Glass Window Fund may do so by contacting the church at 613-372-2525 or by mailing your donation to St. Paul's United Church Harrowsmith, Box 506, Verona, ON K0H 2W0.
Pastor David Moran, who has been leading the congregation at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist church for the past two years, was busy on May 31 flipping burgers for those who came out to enjoy the church's annual Community Fun Day.
He said the event is a way for members of the church to “let the community know that they care”. Numerous games and activities were set up outside for kids, including a giant bouncy slide and castle while inside the community hall a huge community garage and bake sale was well underway. NHL goalie and Canadian Olympian Mike Smith also made an appearance, as did his Olympic gold medal.
All proceeds from the event will go towards the church's Community Assistance Program (CAP) which has been developed over the last 14 years specifically to help families in need in the community. It was through the CAP program that the church was able to present a $500 cheque to the local family whose Boundary Road home burned down in a fire earlier this year.
Now in its sixth year, the annual Grandmothers-by -the-Lake plant and bake sale attracts such a sizable crowd of shoppers that organizers have to guard the goods (especially the green ones) from over zealous shoppers prior to the 10am start time. Those in the know know that the sale is a great opportunity to purchase both delicious home-made baked goods and plants of all kinds. For gardeners, the sale is great opportunity to peruse and purchase a wide array of vegetables, herbs, perennials and annuals, special plants for pollinators like moths and butterflies, house plants and more - all for a fraction of the normal cost while supporting the local branch of the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmother to Grandmothers Campaign.
The campaign, which operates across the country, invites concerned Canadians to raise money for the thousands of African grandmothers who are doing all they can to support the countless children left orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Susan Howlett, who organizes the plant portion of the sale, said that the sale has been gaining in popularity over the years so much that some members of the group now grow their own plants to sell. “This year we definitely have more plants for sale than in other years, knowing how popular the sale has become,” Howlett said. She grew all of her plants herself from seed. Howlett said she likes to see people especially purchasing vegetables and believes its important for people to grow their own food. Cardboard boxes were on hand for those making multiple purchases and large lines formed shortly after the sale began.
The sale takes place every year at the Tiffany Gift Shop in Harrowsmith. It is usually the group’s biggest fundraiser, but this year their fundraiser featuring popular gardening guru Ed Lawrence, which took place in April in Verona, surpassed the plant and bake sale.
The Grandmothers-by-the-Lake group was founded by Carol Southall in 2007 and today has upwards of 25 members. Anyone interested in finding out more about the group and the work they do can visit grandmotherscampaign.org
Few can boast of offering a free service to members of their community for over four decades, and because Barb Garrison of Harrowsmith is not someone to boast, Brenda Taylor took it upon herself to recognize the fact that Barb has served as hall keeper for the Golden Links hall in Harrowsmith since it was constructed there 41 years ago.
At their monthly roast beef fundraiser, which took place on May 18, Brenda briefly interrupted the diners to announce the special presentation and recognition of Barb’s 41-year service to the community. She presented Barb with a plaque on which was mounted a large key and an inscription.
Both Barb and Brenda are long-time members of the Rebekahs in Harrowsmith and in fact it was Barb and her late husband Gerald, who was an Oddfellow, who donated the land to the Oddfellows and Rebekahs so they could build a new hall after their former hall burned down in 1972. After the new hall was built, both Barb and Gerald were elected to sit on the board. When the board needed someone to look after hall rentals Barb offered to do the job and has been doing it ever since.
Barb said during her term the hall was often rented for monthly dances, Jack & Jills, wedding receptions and other social events. Barb said that she has greatly enjoyed meeting people from in and around the community.
Barb decided to turn in her keys after she moved to Sydenham last November and would no longer be living in close proximity to the hall.
Brenda Taylor will taking over the role but said, “There is no way that I will be around for another 41 years to match Barb's term.”
Barb said that she will continue to make regular appearances at the hall both as a Rebekah and to attend the regular fundraising events there. She was pleasantly surprised by the recognition, and her family, who knew about the presentation in advance, were able to be present.
The Golden Links hall can be rented by groups and or individuals for any number of social events and functions. For more information contact Brenda Taylor, the new Keeper of the Key at 613-372-2410.
In an effort to reach out to parents and their young children in their catchment area, staff of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) celebrated the United Way's Success by Six week by organizing a special event at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church on May 7.
The Success by Six campaign promotes the idea of making moments matter between young parents and their children by encouraging healthy, fun and creative interaction between them. NFCS staff, who have received grants from the United Way in the past, organized the event, which was called "Fun with Fairy Tales".
Volunteers Katie Scott, Shelly Sayle-Udall (from Pathways), Zoe Ferland and NFCS staff member Max McLean charmed children by coming dressed as popular fairy tale characters. They were decked out respectively as Snow White, Pooh Bear from Winnie the Pooh, Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Captain Hook from Peter Pan. The volunteers interacted with children at a number of different stations set up in the room.
Children had a chance to make their own hooks with Captain Hook, enjoyed a tea party with Belle, made gingerbread men with Pooh and made apple prints with Snow White. Local musician Glenda Nicol came in to entertain the children with live music and staff also read fairy tales to the assembled group.
Maribeth Scott, who is the manager of NFCS, said she decided to hold the event in Harrowsmith this year to give an opportunity to young families in the south part of their catchment area. Staff also offered free transportation to families from the north who wished to attend. Children and their families enjoyed the event and many youngsters came dressed as some of their own favorite fairy tale characters, which made for a very colorful and cute event for all.
Regular vendors at the Frontenac Farmers Market (FFM) braved a cold and rainy season opener on May 3 at their new Saturday location. The FFM has moved from its long time location at the Verona Lions Hall to the parking lot of Prince Charles Public School in Verona, where it will be holding its regular market from 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
In addition, the market has expanded to include a regular Friday afternoon market that will be held from 3 – 7pm beginning May 16 in Harrowsmith at the junction where the K&P Trail meets Road 38 just south of the village. The moves have been made in an effort to increase attendance by making the market more visible to passing traffic, and the additional Friday afternoon slot hopes to attract weekend traffic as cottagers and tourists head north on Road 38 to lake country.
Debbie Harris, who is the treasurer/manager of the market and also a vendor, hopes the changes will make a difference in the number of visitors who attend. “The short 45 second drive that it takes from Road 38 to the Lions hall is not the real issue; it is more an issue of visibility to local traffic, which we are hoping to benefit from,” Harris said.
Road 38 is a busy corridor, especially in the warm weather months when cottagers and tourists use the road to access cottages and other weekend destinations in the area and further north. The Friday market, according to Harris, will be the only one in existence in the local area.
Many of the market’s usual vendors were in attendance at Saturday's opener including Haanover Farms who sell ecologically raised pork; Tuckamore Farms and Casey’s Cookies who sell seedlings, produce, and home made pet treats; Melody, the Tye Dye lady with her tie-dyed apparel; newcomer Pat and Kate Joslin of Bear Root Farm in Verona who sell seedlings and produce; and Judy of Judy's Jams Jellies and Jarfuls. Also on hand was Middle eastern cuisine from Memories of Alexandria, knitted items from Gina's Warm and Woolies, cards and butter tarts by Sharron Sole, and produce and meats from Sands Produce and Rock Ledge Farms. Interested vendors and shoppers can find out more information about the market and its vendors by visiting www.frontenacfarmersmarket.ca. While Harris said that certain aspects of the old location will be missed, (especially the Lions' breakfasts), she is hopeful that the move and the addition of the Friday market will increase attendance for the 2014 season. The Saturday market in Verona will run from May 3 to October 25 and the Friday market in Harrowsmith from May 16 to August 29.