If South Frontenac Museum Society secretary Al Boyce had his way, there would be museum buildings all over the Township, and the County, each focusing on a different aspect of Frontenac history.

“But that’s just me dreaming and rambling,” he said Saturday as the South Frontenac Museum in Hartington opened its doors Saturday for the summer season, which runs through Labour Day Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Group visits can also be arranged email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Boyce said its been a “busy and dynamic year” for the society focusing on making the Hartington site more accessible.

“We’ve been working on the displays to reduce the crowded feeling,” he said. “So, we picked a theme and topic and you can get a wheelchair around it now.”

The theme, he said, is South Frontenac 1900-1930.

“We chose Doug Lovegrove’s work on the 146th regiment (a First World War unit recruited from the area) as an anchor, including the displays on nursing sisters and women on the homefront,” Boyce said. “It’s kind of a before, during and after the war, with at home and on the farm.

“It’s like this is what Ma was doing while the boys were away, and this is what Pa was doing on the farm, including the tools he used without electricity.”

Boyce said this is only the beginning. They’d like to have more space to display items as well as storage space so they can accept some of the donations they’ve been offered.

“We’re no what we’re going to be in five years,” he said. “We’re hugely indebted to the Township and all they’ve done for us (but) we’re not going to turn somebody away just because their stuff comes from North of Hwy 7.”

Boyce said there’s no way to know just what the museum system will turn into but he sees a great opportunity to preserve parts of history that the Royal Ontario Museum or the seven national museums in Ottawa can’t do.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love the ROM, but I think museums like this one provide a local service you don’t get at the ROM,” he said. “Saws for example.

“I we don’t preserve these things . . .”

He said their mission is to share and catalogue the history of the area, whatever that might be.

“Who knows, in five to 10 years, we might have the world’s best collection of fishing rods,” he said.

Boyce said their biggest challenge is finding people with the skills they think they need.

“The people we’ve got are really keen but we need computer people, graphic arts people and carpenters,” he said. “If you let it go away to the dump, it will be gone.

“But if you take the providence of it, it can be shared.”

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10:08

Arden Batik returns to the Arden Hotel

It isn’t as if too many people will get lost if they go to the former Arden Batik location on Elm Tree Road in Arden. The new location will be in sight and only a few steps away in the converted hotel where Sarah Hale has lived for over 45 years. But for Sarah Hale, the change of location will bring her batik business back to where it started.

It will also allow her access to a full-size studio on a year-round basis, and more wall space to show the larger, framed batiks that she is most interested in creating.

Sarah dates her career as a professional batik artist to the first larger craft show that she attended in 1977. She remembers the day well, because after packing up for the day she drove to Perth hospital to give birth to her daughter Julia. For the next 20 years she travelled to craft shows, large and small, across the province, selling larger and smaller framed and unframed pieces, famous Arden Batik name cards, and more.

Gradually, first at a shop located next to the Arden post office, and since 2001 from the former café at the bottom of the hill, Arden Batik has been open throughout the summer and by chance or appointment in the shoulder seasons.

Now, the same basic selling hours will be maintained in the hotel, with half of the bottom floor setup as a shop and a studio. Sarah will not be attending any shows or studio tours this year “in order to focus on the store,” she said.

She said that at this point she is not really interested in “growing my business just maturing it, and having the freedom to explore some more challenging work.”

After over 40 years using the wax resist batik method to capture the feel of the Canadian shield landscape in her work, it will be interesting for her fans and admirers from near and far to see where her work goes in this new/old space.

Arden batik will be open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon this weekend, and by chance or appointment until mid-June when it will be open for regular summer hours.

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 16:14

When Sharon met Kari

February 2017 - This story began when Sharon was referred to Sandy, coordinator of the Hospice Palliative Care Program at Southern Frontenac Community Services. When Sandy met Sharon and her husband Dale, Sharon had been struggling with COPD since 2005 and her shortness of breath was increasing to the point where she needed constant oxygen. Despite the oxygen, her shortness of breath was worse with any exertion. Whenever Dale had to leave the home Sharon became anxious and that caused more difficult breathing.

Sandy offered to match her with a volunteer who could provide some companionship for Sharon, someone other than family or health care workers. Sharon thought that having a volunteer would be a good option to explore, her husband Dale was open to the program, so a volunteer was selected to visit with Sharon.

“I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning,” said Sharon.

Once Sharon and Kari met, it was clear that they were going to become friends. They were comfortable with each other right away.

Kari recalled: “At our first meeting, we made a list of things we could do together to fill the time when I would be visiting.” The list included many things, such as watching movies, playing cards, going to Bingo, and “helping with small tasks around the house.” Kari even coloured Sharon’s hair! This was a first for Kari. Sharon quickly came to look forward to Kari’s visits.

The pair reviewed that list when they were approached for this article: Kari and Sharon laughed when they looked at the “to do” list of activities. They realized they had accomplished a lot! They have done many things over the two years, and sometimes they sit and talk, depending on Sharon’s energy level. “Kari is always so flexible. She is willing to help with whatever I need.” There have been times when Dale has been away and Kari makes extra visits to help alleviate Sharon’s anxiety.

“Kari has had a great impact on my life. Her visits are something to look forward to, different from family. She has become a really good friend. I didn’t expect that; we are a really good match. I would absolutely recommend the program to anyone.”

Kari echoed Sharon’s sentiments about the surprise of warm friendship, “That aspect is a real bonus. I knew what COPD was but I have learned about the impact it has on a person’s life. Volunteering with the Hospice Palliative Program is so incredibly rewarding. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to make a difference in another person’s life and get the benefits from helping.”

If you or someone you know would benefit from this service, or if you would like to become a volunteer, please connect with Sandy at SFCSC for more details.

613-376-6477 (ext. 308)


Wednesday, 01 May 2019 11:25

RFCS Volunteer of the Year Bob Webster

Long serving Rural Frontenac Community Services (RFCS) Treasurer Bob Webster was named Volunteer of the Year at the agencies Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Monday Night (April 29)

“Bob originally came to RFCS to volunteer with the income tax program, where he was recognized as a skilled experienced financial ‘guy’ and quickly recruited for the Board of Directors. It didn’t take long for him to take on the role of treasurer where he has been a vital contributor to the agency,” said RFCS Executive Director Louise Moody as she announced the award.

Moody describe Webster as a “quiet leader with insight and foresight that are both extremely valuable when managing through the minefield of government regulations, funding and bureaucracy.

She also said that his “positive attitude, ability to see all sides of an issue and his unwavering commitment to Rural Frontenac Community Services over the last eight years is remarkable. He is held in high esteem by the board, who all value his contribution and appreciate the opportunity to work with him.”

He has served as RFCS treasurer for 8 years.

In an email to the News on Tuesday (April 30), he said he was “surprised and honoured to be recognized as the Volunteer of the Year.

“In particular, I was humbled to be in the company of so many other volunteers who were in attendance. Whether providing drives for folks to attend medical appointments, delivering meals on wheels, assisting with social activities such as Diners or any number of other contributions, these volunteers cover hundreds of thousands of kilometers, and donate tens of thousands of hours of their time to making life better for their neighbours in rural Frontenac.”

RFCS operates programs for children, youth, adults and seniors. Over fifty of the agencies’ volunteers attended the annual appreciation dinner this week.

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 11:24

The Hard Road

Author of "The Hard Road Ahead: The Addington Colonization Road of Early Ontario", Linda Corupe, visited The Cloyne & District Historical Society last week.     She shared her research about Road Agent Aylesworth Bowen Perry and his supervision of the building of the road.   It started in Sheffield Township, north of Napanee to Brudenell Township, to meet the Peterson Road in the 1860s.    Perry's descendants were in the audience that gathered from Ottawa, Kingston, Tweed, Belleville and Trenton.

The two-volume book shall be available in The Cloyne Pioneer Museum and Archives in the Spring.

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 11:24

Opening Minds Innovations with Liz Bonser

Liz Bonser is a retiree on Brewer Roar near Sharbot Lake, and has been seeking an outlet for her creative energy.

She found it by attending a workshop in Ottawa that introduced her to Paverpol, a glue-like material that hardens when it dries. Using it as a textile hardener, it can be used to make statues, both for indoors and outdoors, as well as abstract objects, wall decorations, vases, bowls, animals, jewelry and masks.

She took to it right away.

“I love this art form so much, from the start. I took the intensive teacher’s course and am now a certified instructor,” she said. “Being who I am and always looking for ways to have fun I decided to start my own business.”

She now has a studio space set up in her home, where she is able to do her own work and is also offering workshops for others who are interested in working with Paverpol.

“This art is so easy and so much fun to work with. Yes, everyone is an artist even if they don't think they are. There are still so many more new ways to create using Paverpol.”

Starting this month, Liz will be conducting workshops for 3-5 participants in May and June. Participants will create a seated figure. For those who really enjoy the process, intermediate and specialty workshops are also being planned, and Liz also sells Paverpol so people can work on their own projects at home.

For information about Paverpol and dates of upcoming workshops, or to see a gallery of Liz Bonser’s work, go to openingmindsinnovations.ca.

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 11:23

Cinco de Mayo at Holiday Country Manor

When the owners of the Holiday County Manor, Jeff Day and Cor Lee, were living in Toronto, they enjoyed many of the cultural events, and one of their favourites was Cinco de Mayo.

They loved the food, the music, the cocktails, and the Pinatas. So, when they realised that the 5th of May is going to be on a Sunday this year, they thought that holding an afternoon party on the front porch and the lawn of the Manor would be a great way to kick off the summer season.

They are inviting their neighbours, and friends from around Frontenac County and the City of Kingston to enjoy some tacos, nachos, empanada’s, take a salsa lesson, dance a merengue, or drink a margarita. It runs from 2pm -6pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Those who register in advance, which can be done at the Holiday Country Manor Facebook page, will automatically be eligible for door prizes.

“We want people to come out and enjoy themselves and have a party on a Sunday afternoon,” said Jeff Day. “It’s been a long winter.”

“We are also kicking off our season. We have a murder mystery night the following Saturday as part of our Mother’s Day Weekend, and then the Sunday brunch on Mother’s Day, which is always busy and this year will be extended to 3 o’clock, so we are excited about that as well,” said Cor Lee.

For those who have never been to the Holiday Country Manor, these events are a great way to be introduced to the historic building in the centre of Battersea that is enjoying a renaissance as a destination spot to eat and spend the night.

For further information, go to Holiday country Manor on Facebook or call 613-353-2211


Very few people do anything for 82 years.

However, Eileen Whan is a bit different in that regard. You see, at age 93, Whan is still writing to a friend in Quebec — a friend she began writing to when she was 11 years old, 82 years ago.

“I was 11 and she was nine,” Whan said. “Her name was the same as mine — Eileen.

“But she was a Beattie and now her name is Eileen Greer.”

Whan, who now lives just south of Sharbot Lake, was born on a farm near Leggat Lake, the eldest of 11 children. When they moved to Crow Lake, she began selling Gold Medal products — greeting cards, seeds, etc — door to door.

“I got a slip in the order sheets saying they wanted pen pals,” she said. “So I thought why not?

“I sent a letter and within a few days, I got one back.”

They’ve been doing it ever since.

So, what do they write about to each other?

“They say you’re not supposed to write about religion or politics,” Whan said. “So we don’t.

“We just talk.”

A big topic of conversation is their kids. Whan had six and Greer had seven.

“The best letters were usually about what we got the kids for Christmas,” she said. “We both shopped out of the Sears Christmas Wish Book and we could tell each other what page and the colour we ordered.

“It was nothing to write eight pages or so.”

It’s not that they completely ignored what was going on around them in the world. When 9/11 happened, they talked about it.

“You couldn’t avoid it,” she said. “It was everywhere on TV for weeks.”

And there were other things that couldn’t be avoided, such as when Greer’s first husband took his own life, or when Whan’s second oldest, Vickie, died in an accident.

But mostly, they just talk.

They have met over the years.

“We went to Quebec the first time,” she said. “Then she came here with her first daughter about four or five years later.

“That was around ’59, I think.”

And Greer came to visit when Whan married her second husband, Doug, in 2000. (They’ve both been married twice.)

And they’re planning to meet up again in May if things work out, in Cornwall, which is about halfway between them.

“My second oldest, Brian (who is married to Doug’s daughter) thought we should do it and he’s arranging things,” she said. “We haven’t heard back yet.”

But even if they don’t meet up, the letters will continue, she said.

“Aren’t memories wonderful things?” she said. “I wouldn’t say having a pen pal has played a ‘major’ role in my life, but it is part of my life.

“We never talk about finances but we didn’t have any secrets from each other — we never held anything back.”

And has the content of the letters changed over the years?

“Not really,” she said. “Except that as we got older, we started telling about all our aches and pains.”

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 12:51

7 Days in May

Doug Kennedy did not know about the 7 Days in May fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer Canada, but he knows all about cycling on Easter Ontario Roadways.

Kennedy operates his business, Frontenac Docks, out of his home on Oak Flats Road near the Frontenac Community Arena. He is an avid cyclist who has seen his share of danger and disdain from motorised vehicles over the years while cycling on small and larger roads in Frontenac, L&A and beyond.

The 7 Days in May fundraiser is pretty extreme as charitable events go. Participants who commit to the entire 7 days cycle around Lake Ontario, starting and ending the ride in Mississauga. The average ride per day is an ‘imperial century’ 100 miles (160km)

“The level of effort involved in a one-hundred-mile cycle is roughly equivalent to running a marathon. So doing the whole ride is like running a marathon each day for seven consecutive days,” said Doug Kennedy, when interviewed at his home/shop last week.

Kennedy heard about the ride the way many others in the region did. Last May 27, on the second day of the 7 days in May event, a number of cyclists were helping one their party who had suffered a crash and injury when passing over some road work on Bath Road in Amherstview.

A van had slowed down as it passed the cyclists and a car tried to speed by the van on the inside and hit several of the cyclists. Jeff Vervaike, 42, was seriously injured and later died in hospital.

“It really struck home with me. I cycle myself so I know what some drivers are like, and when I read that Jeff Vervaike was participating in a charitable rider raising money for Pancreatic Cancer research it really hit me.”

As a member of the Kingston cycling community. Kennedy learned about a memorial service for Jeff Vervaike that was being planned for July 13 of last year. The memorial service took place at a spot on Bath Road near where the accident had occurred. A ghost bike, painted white, was installed there as a permanent marker.

“Myself and my wife Eleanor participated in the ride and ceremony,” said Kennedy.

After the ceremony, the Kennedys went on a 90-kilometre ride with the 7 Days in May cyclists.

“I had the opportunity to meet these people. I was very moved by their dedication and knew I couldn’t be a bystander anymore. So, I decided to do the 2019 ride with them to raise money. Not everyone can put aside 7 days for the ride, and there are other options. May is my busy season, but I have decided to ride for two days, from Mississauga to Cobourg, and then Cobourg to Kingston,” he said.

On the weekend of May 25 and 26, Doug Kennedy will ride two imperial centuries as part of this year’s 7 Days in May. And he is encouraging all of his friends, neighbours, and all Frontenac County residents to help by sponsoring his ride.

“It doesn’t have to be much. If 200 people put in $20, that adds up,” he said.

The best way to help is to go to Pancreaticcancercanada.ca/7-days-in-may, click on donate, and choose Kennedy. To contact Doug Kennedy directly, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Green Party is the first national party to name a candidate to attempt to unseat 5-time incumbent Conservative Lanark Frontenac Kingston MP, Scott Reid, in the coming federal election.

The candidate is Stephen Kotze, who operates In Balance, an accounting company specialising in small business and not-for profit corporations out of his home in the tiny hamlet of Elphin. He has a long history in social and environmental activism.

Kotze was one of three Lanark County residents vying for the nomination, and won the nomination in the first round of counting the ranked ballots, at a meeting last Thursday (April 11), at McMartin House in Perth.

The other nominees were Doug Barr, a Tay Valley Township musician and advocate of sustainable living, and Kelvin Hodges, a resident of Perth who owns and runs a solar energy and storage business.

In a telephone interview this week, Kotze said that the other two candidates gave very strong presentations at the meeting.

“They were both very good candidates. I did not feel that confident coming into the vote.”

Kotze was born in South Africa, where his parents were prominent anti-apartheid activists. He moved to Europe when he was a young man and eventually made his way to The Farm, an intentional community in Tennessee.

With his wife Rosemary, he moved to the Elphin-McDonald’s Corners area in the early 1980’s to work at Plenty Canada. The Kotzes worked on a project in Lesotho, a country surrounded by South Africa, in the mid 1980’s.

In 1994, Stephen became a Canadian citizen. He worked at the Canadian Environmental Network in the mid 1990’s, eventually serving as the Executive Director. He established In Balance in 1998. The Kotzes have 7 children and two grandchildren.

In a telephone interview this week, he said that the Green Party is ready to take a larger role in Canadian politics.

“[Party leader] Elizabeth May has done an incredible job, but she can’t do it all on her own. We need more Green Party members in parliament to help influence policy.”

As to his motivation to seek the party nomination this time around, he pointed to the urgency surrounding climate change.

“We are in a crisis, people realise that and they also realise that our leaders are not responding appropriately,” he said. “The Liberals are floundering. Trudeau has signed the Paris accord, saying thathe takes climate change seriously, but not really, in my opinion, doing very much.”

As a long-time Lanark County resident, Kotze is certainly aware of how entrenched the Conservative Party is in the riding, but sees an opening this time around.

“There are a lot of people who don’t support the Conservatives in this riding, and I want to give them a voice. Scott Reid does a good job representing his constituency but not representing all of the people in this riding. It’s time to get people into power who will represent the broader public.”

He also argues that the greening of the Canadian economy does not mean the end to economic prosperity.

“As Greens, we don’t want our economy to lose jobs just because we are getting rid of fossil fuels. We are interested in maintaining a strong economy. There are things we can do that are concrete and are based in reality. Other countries have led the way in this area, and we need to make changes in order to catch up.”

(Editor’s note – Stephen Kotze provides accounting services for the Frontenac News)

Published in Lanark County
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