Canadians for Women in Afghanistan will be hosting its annual fundraising gala at the Italo-Canadian Club in Kingston on Friday, April 26th, from 5:30 – 9:30pm. The event will feature a sit-down dinner, a guest speaker, a silent auction, and the sale of books and Afghan goods.
The featured guest speaker is Dr. Lauryn Oates, the Executive Director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, as well as university lecturer, activist, and author. She is a much sought-after speaker from Vancouver who has done extensive work in Afghanistan.
The C4WAfghan fund-raising gala supports education programs for Afghan women and girls. This currently includes full funding of a school for 400 underprivileged girls (including daily hot lunches), extensive literacy programs for young women in many provinces, and an expansive on-line library, among other initiatives. The organization has, in the past, educated 50,000 girls.
The program will also feature a tribute to Rona Mohammad and the Shafia sisters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti, to mark the 10th year following the tragedy. The Kingston and area community has so far generously supported legacy grants, in their names, to 41 Afghan girls and women over the years. “We need to remember these women and celebrate their positive legacy which has greatly improved the educational opportunities of many Afghan girls and women,” says Shafia Fund organizer Susanne Schurman.
Canadians for Women in Afghanistan is a member-based, not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 with 7 chapters across the country. C4WAfghan is one chapter of the umbrella organization Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. CW4WAfghan is a non-religious, non-political, federally registered Canadian charity. Volunteers work together to advance Afghan women and their families, and to educate Canadians about human rights in Afghanistan. The local Chapter, founded in 2003, has raised over $300,00 to date.
The organization has been grateful for the support from individuals and businesses in the readership area who have acted as sponsors or attended the event.
Tickets are $100 each (including a $40 Income Tax Receipt), available at the Limestone District Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, during business hours, or by contacting Madeleine by phone or email (below).
For further information contact:
Central Frontenac Council passed a motion to declare the old Parham Fire Surplus and approved it being listed for sale at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Sharbot Lake.
The motion came as a part of a proposal from Fire Chief Greg Robinson who, in his report, proposed that the “net proceeds of the sale be transferred to the fire reserve account.”
The old Parham station was replaced with a new fire station in 2016 and the old one is currently used as a warehouse for fire equipment.
However, Robinson said that the fire department has two surplus stations in Mountain Grove and the one by the rink could be used for storage as well as continue as change room for the rink. He acknowledged that there are some recreational materials in the building but the Facilities Manager assured him that they are rotting skateboard park items that will be disposed of or relocated by Facilities.
“We have received serious interest from two parties that want to purchase the old station,” Robinson said in his report.
However, there are two potential problems with a sale of the property.
The property has two neighbours, one a residential property directly west and the Township itself in conjunction with the Parham Agricultural Society on the other two sides. The property in question is directly adjacent to the fairgrounds.
In his report, Robinson said “the land severance will be about half an acre and will not impact the fairground.
Three councilors (Tom Dewey, Bill MacDonald and John Purdon) all pointed out that under the Official Plan, the minimum lot size in Central Frontenac is 1.25 acres.
Robinson said that the entrance to the fairgrounds could be moved in order to comply with the minimum lot size requirements but Coun. Phillip Smith, who is the treasurer for the Ag Society said it was the first he’d heard of the entrance being moved.
The other issue is that there is a well on the property that is used by the ball fields. Robinson said that one of the interested parties said they didn’t use much water and would be prepared to let the fairgrounds/ ball fields continue to draw water from the property. If someone else wanted to buy it, Robinson said “we’d have to drill another well” for the ball fields to use.
It is conceivable that the neighbours to the west might want to add the property to their own but in any other scenario, there is a lot of process to happen before the property could be sold including a survey, addition of property from the fairgrounds (either by moving the entrance or taking some from the children’s play area), determination of fair market value and quite likely a zoning change, depending on what the new owners might want to use it for.
Former Coun. John Purdon was sworn in to replace the departed Jamie Riddell around the Council table. Riddell was also at the meeting in his capacity as Dep. Fire Chief and wished Purdon luck “considering the size of the shoes you have to fill.”
Budget deliberations for Central Frontenac Township began in earnest Monday night at the Oso Fire Hall and although it was only the capital budget discussed (the operating budget, which tends to affect the tax levy more than the capital, is still to come), it could be an expensive year.
Granted, the pencils haven’t been sharpened yet to make cuts but out of the gate, capital budget is at $2,779,000 as opposed to last year’s $2,491,111, an increase of $287,889.
“You need to increase capital to provide services or change your service delivery level,” said Clerk Administrator Cathy MacMunn.
Some items aren’t likely to fly such as a $20,000 ask for a wireless microphone system for Council meetings.
Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey argued for the system citing it being easier to set up and take down as well as no cables to trip over or get in the way.
But Coun. Brent Cameron responded “is there $20,000 worth of frustration there?”
There was also a $20,000 request for a new hard-wired generator for the emergency operations centre (aka the Oso firehall).
But Mayor Frances Smith had to ask three times how many generators they already have and it turns out that each firehall already has a large generator and the Arden hall has a smaller one. They just don’t turn on automatically when the lights go out. There’s also a large portable generator which was used when power went out at a Council meeting not too long ago.
Fire and emergency services also has put in for $216,680 for more bunker gear. That spending has already been approved but the reserve fund has to be replenished.
Speaking of reserves, replenishing them is also a priority.
“Does $884,000 sound like a lot?” said Smith.
“It is but it is within ministry guidelines and it eventually gets us to a point where we can loan to ourselves and thus save interest fees,” said Treasurer Michael McGovern. “I’m not in favour of capital loans because of the interest factor.”
And then there was Fire Chief Greg Robinson’s plan to use the former Parham firehall for a storage facility.
But Smith wasn’t on board with that.
“There’s places in that building where you can look through the cracks and see outside,” she said. “I think we have to make a decision that when we shut down a building, we don’t heat it.”
It looked like Public Works Manager Brad Thake’s plan to buy a new grader for about $300,000 might have wings and he made a case for three new ½ ton pickups.
“Right now we’re using big trucks to do jobs ½ tons could do and this would save wear and tear on our larger, more expensive equipment,” he said.
He also said he’s looked at equipment for sidewalks in Sharbot Lake but because they tend to be narrower, it will take specialized snow removal equipment.
“I’d like to address the sidewalks next winter,” he said.
Coun. Jamie Riddell made a plea to finish up the Mountain Grove ballfield.
Smith responded: “That should be your job and Victor’s (Coun. Heese).”
“I’m just here to ask questions and point fingers,” said Riddell.
McGovern wound up the meeting by saying there is a 2.7 per cent increase in assessment this year, which will have a $220,000 impact and that a spending increase of $72,500 would increase taxes by 1 per cent. He also said he’s looking at the end of January to bring in an operating budget.
RKY Camp of Eagle Lake near Parham has officially launched a $1 million capital campaign to support the RKY Revitalization Project.
To kick off the campaign, a very special recognition plaque was presented to the camp’s biggest benefactor, Brit Smith and Homestead Land Holdings. Brit Smith has provided the camp with a legacy of support and a recent $485,000 contribution to seed the overall Revitalization Project. The uniquely crafted wood and glass plaque was designed and created by the staff of RKY Camp and Fort Glass.
The primary goal of the RKY Revitalization Project is the construction of a new 5,000 sq. ft. welcome centre. Having outgrown the current building, this new barrier-free facility will contain a new dining hall with seating for 260, a new commercial kitchen, washrooms, a boot/multi-purpose room and administrative areas. Construction of the new welcome centre will commence in Fall 2019 giving the fundraising team the time they need to seek out support for the project.
Upon completion of the new welcome centre, the overall RKY Camp Revitalization Project will turn its attention to the renovation of the current dining hall and kitchen known as the Homestead – named after its construction leader, Brit Smith, in 1979. A renewed Homestead outdoor education centre will provide barrier-free washrooms and showers, staffing spaces and a much needed out tripping centre.
RKY Camp was named after its Kingston service club founders, Rotary, Kiwanis and YMCA, and was formally established in 1930 as a camp for kids. Today RKY Camp provides traditional overnight summer camp experience and outdoor education each year to over 3,000 children and youth from all over Eastern Ontario. RKY Camp is committed to providing electronic-free traditional camp experiences. Programs focus on leadership development, social skill building and good old fashion summer fun through ropes courses, environmental education, and a whole range of waterfront activity on beautiful Eagle Lake.
To learn more about the RKY Camp Revitalization Project, people are encouraged to visit the RKY Camp website at www.rkycamp.org/revitalization or on facebook where they can also make a donation to the project.
Contacts: David Crane - Board Chair 613-767-3626, D’Arcy Munn - Camp Director 613-539-0036
Daniel Shipp - Revitalization Project Manager 613-583-0853
OK, it may be time to re-think the name for it, but there’s no disputing the popularity of the 101 Nativities display at Cole Lake Free Methodist Church on Road 38 south of Parham.
Now in its seventh year, 101 Nativities no longer seems appropriate because the final count this year was well over 300 nativities, albeit some of that count includes tapestries and pins.
“Nativities Unlimited?” suggested Jean Freeman, who started the event with Kris Caird.
“We started a little earlier this year,” said Caird. “And different people brought in their collections, some with more than 30 nativity scenes.”
The event ran Friday night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Sunday has historically been the busiest day and this year was no exception with a full parking lot and a steady stream of visitors coming through the door commenting the customary “ooohs” and “aaahs.”
Again the displays featured just about every kind of nativity one could imagine, included carved wood, metal, stone, embroidery, crochet, plastic, glass, fabric — you name it.
And again much of the world is represented with several sets originating in Africa, Asia (Israel), South America, Haiti, the U.S. They even changed the table coverings to blue and white fabric and added an arch with a sign featuring a nativity.
“And there are lots of nativities that are home-made,” said Caird. “That’s always nice.”
The oldest nativity (“that we know about”) was made in 1955, she said.
“And I don’t think we have any doubles.”
Although Freeman and Caird started and are still the instigators of the project, they’re quick to acknowledge that they haven’t done it alone.
“We’re always appreciative of the help we get,” said Freeman. “There’s the baking (and they do have some of the best munchies you’re likely to see at these sorts of things including squares and hot cider).
“And there’s the put up and take down workers — it takes the whole church community.”
“It goes down quicker than it goes up,” Caird said. “Jes sayin’.”
“It’s not an onerous task, but it doesn’t happen all by itself,” said Freeman.
As for a name change?
We’ll probably have to wait until this time next year for a decision on that one.
Central Frontenac Council came out of a closed session at its regular meeting Tuesday in Sharbot Lake and immediately introduced a motion to spend $207,509 “to mitigate legislative health and safety risks.”
It was an unusual outcome given the stated reason for the in camera meeting discuss two instances of “personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.”
In an interview, Fire Chief Greg Robinson said the $207,509 was mostly for personal protective gear — bunker suits, helmets, gloves and some training for supervisors. He said none of the funding was for breathing apparatus.
The resolution allows for the $207,509 to be taken from reserves suggesting that the equipment is needed immediately.
Mayor Frances Smith said after the meeting that the Township doesn’t have enough gear for its firefighters.
“The legislation says we have to have so many of this and so many of that and we don’t have it,” she said. “In some cases, there’s gear that needs to be replaced.”
She said that they expect there to be some funds left over in this year’s budget but whatever shortfall there is will be made up from reserves and discussed in the 2018 budget deliberations which are scheduled to begin Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. in the District 3 (Oso) Fire Hall.
$200 boot allowance for PW staff
Council agreed to raise the boot allowance for full-time Public Works staff to $200 per employee per year from the current $120 (which was approved in 2015).
“I work in much the same environment they do and $200 doesn’t meet the need for work boots today,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald.
Thake said the anticipated cost of the measure will be $4,400 (an increase of $1,760) and will be included in the 2018 budget.
Elm Tree road construction to begin
Thake also said he expects work on Elm Tree Road culvert to begin shortly. The holdup came when the conservation authority required a larger culvert than what was planned because “Arden is in a low-lying area.” However the larger culvert isn’t a stock size and has to be manufactured individually.
Thake said the asphalt on Elm Tree will be held off until next year to give the gravel bed time to settle.
He said there will likely be traffic disruptions once the actual work begins but school boards (for busing) and emergency services will be notified of such closures, which might be able to be scheduled over the Christmas break.
Frontenac County Clerk Jannette Amini, who coordinates the County Accessibility Committee, gave Council a progress report.
Specifically in Central Frontenac, in 2017 a seniors housing task force was set up with the direction for allowing seniors who cannot function in their homes to have a place to move that would allow them to stay in Central Frontenac and a fully accessible library was built in Mountain Grove to replace the old inaccessible one.
In 2018, the committee is looking at a crossing on Road 38 at Elizabeth Street, a ramp for the barn at the Parham Fair Grounds, signage for crosswalks, work on the Eagle Lake Dock, designated parking areas at the Parham, Mountain Grove, Piccadilly and Sharbot Lake libraries and community centres and LED stree lights with wifi capability.
One of the more pleasant surprises at this year’s Parham Fair, its 125th edition, was tucked away into a back corner of The Palace. There, among the prize string beans, slices of pie and various craft goods, Wendy Parliament was premiering her documentary series On the Farm, Looking to the Past — Looking to the Future.
At 2 ½ hours plus, the 3-disk documentary covers a lot of history, not only of the Parham Fair, but of the Parham area, and farming in general, as told by several generations of farmers along Wagarville and Long Lake Roads (augmented by a short trip north of Hwy 7 to Conboy’s Maple Syrup).
Parliament lucked out a bit in that the Benn and the Goodfellow families had quite a number of home movies. That got her thinking . . .
“About two years ago, the Benns (Roy and Joanne) showed me some footage from the ’30s to the ’60s,” she said. “I was going to put in some titles for them but as we were talking, I realized — there’s a story there.”
The next thing you know, Parliament, her camera and her tripod were off on an adventure that included 25 interviews, 20 of which were on-camera.
“As I was talking to people, I realized that for many of the older generation, farming was very much a lifestyle choice,” she said. “Their kids ate good food and while they may not have had a lot of things, they had a good life.
“With the younger generations of farmers, it turns out it’s the same thing.
“They may have a little more environmental aspect to it, but they wanted to know what was in the food their children were eating and again, there are things they may miss out on, but they have a good life.”
Parham’s own Shawn McCullough wrote the opening music for the documentary — a song called We Had Everything, and it kinda says it all.
“In just this one little area, you can get beef, lamb, pork, goat, rabbits and several kinds of poultry,” she said. “There are vegetables that literally will serve you all year round as well as wool, maple syrup, honey, lumber, and even goats for pets. “And horses, lots of horses.”
The historical footage is quite captivating, and locals will probably recognize family, friends and ancestors (where else can you see footage of horseman Bill Lee as a 10-year-old?). And the interviews contain both historical anecdotes as well as contemporary farming insight.
“Fred Lloyd told me about raising horses that people ate, and for dog food,” she said. “I had no idea.”
On the Farm (DVD format) is available at the Parham General Store, $10, with proceeds going to the Fair Board.
As if to underline the theme of renewal in Parliament’s film, the fair itself flourished this year under a new board that came on in January. Although they faced the inevitable challenges, including a much diminished midway due to a mishap faced by Gable brothers, the midway provider, and threats of rain on Saturday, Fair Board Chair Sharon Shepherd said afterwards that the board and volunteers came out of the fair enthused and ready to start planning Parham Fair number 126 on August 18 and 19, 2018.
“The rain held off on Saturday and the children so enjoyed the old fashioned fair games, the animals, and the show by Magoo that the midway was not missed at all. And the stands were full for the horse pull. Attendance was up by over 50 over last year on Saturday, and the Demolition Derby drew over 500 adults on Sunday and was extremely well run by Mitch Cox. It was a great fair this year,” she said.
The 125 year old fair is still embracing its past as it takes on its future.
Imagine the driverless demolition derby in 2046, when the fair will be run by the kids who were playing egg toss and winning the three legged race last Saturday.
This year the Parham Fair is running on Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19.
Saturday is a traditional Fair Day. The Palace displays, featuring contest entries in dozens of categories from baking to zucchini, as well as crafts and much more, open at 10am. So does the Tryon Farm petting zoo and vendors alley. The 4H cattle show starts up at the same time and runs until noon.
Fair games start up at 1:00, the opening ceremonies are set for 2:30 and the horse pull follows at 3.
Entertainers Magoo (who will do a Children’s Show and a songwriting workshop) and the Zack Teal band take place in the late afternoon and early evening, and the midway runs all day and into the night. It promises to be a long, active day at the Parham Fair.
On Sunday the Palace show runs again, as does vendor’s alley and at 10:30 the best dressed cowboy/girl contest starts up, and the pet show begins at 11:00. At 1:30 the demolition derby returns to the Parham Fair.
This year’s fair also includes the debut of a new video by former Fair President Wendy Parliament. The video is a 125th anniversary project featuring interviews with people who have been integral to Parham and the fair over the years. The video also features interviews with a new generation of farmers who have been taking a whole new path to success in a changing marketplace. This combination of the farming tradition and a new generation is being seen on the fair board as well this year. A new board, including chair Sharon Shepherd, and executive members Owen Tryon, Mark Howes and Theresa Hicks and a dozen directors, has stepped forward to ensure that the oldest and longest running event in Frontenac continues on.
The best way for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the fair is to come out and have a good time on August 19 and 20. For further information about the Fair, go to Parhamfair.ca.
The Parham Fair is also one of the featured events on the Frontenac-Five web page in August. Check out Frontenac-live.ca/events/frontenac-five
The Frontenac Five, events you should not miss in August, have been posted. This month they include The Wolfe Island Music Festival, which runs this coming weekend – August 12 and 13, is the first one on the calendar, check wolfeislandmusicfestival.com for details. The following weekend, August 19 and 20, the Parham Fair is featured. See Parhamfair.ca for more.
Ongoing events this month include the Godfrey Sculpture Park, see Godfreysculpturepark.ca for more, and the Thursday Night Battersea Porch Sessions, different musicians each Thursday all summer between 6:30 and 9:30 at Holiday Country Manor. Rounding out the list is the K&P Trail day grand opening on Saturday August 26 at the trailhead in Sharbot Lake.
For the full Frontenac-Five experience, go to Frontenac-live.ca/events/frontenac-five.
RKY camp has been a fixture on Eagle Lake, near Parham, since the 1930’s, and its roots go back to the 1920’s, when W. Goodfellow allowed the Kingston YWCA to run boys camps on part of his property on Eagle Lake for two weeks each summer.
In July of 1930, Goodfellow and J. Snider sold a 25 acre parcel of land to the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Kingston, and the YMCA provided in kind contributions of equipment, providing for a three way partnership to form the RKY Eagle Lake Camp. The original deed was put under the trusteeship of the 3 representatives, one from each of the 3 organizations: J.C. Reynolds (Rotary), C.E. Walker (YMCA), and W.H. Herrington (Kiwanis).
By the mid 1930’s the camp operated from late June until Labour day, and it has continued to thrive throughout the summer ever since, except during the war years between 1942 and 1944 when not enough staff were available. After the war, however, the camp continued to expand and new cabins, docks, dining hall extensions were all built over a 20 year period.
In 1968, the nearby Mohawk girls camp merged with RKY and the camp took the form that has remained to this day.
Darcy Munn, the current camp director, oversees a summer schedule that is fully taken up with 1 and 2 week camp sessions with about a 150 camper capacity. There is one week left open each summer, when the camp is rented out to a group from Ottawa that runs an LGBTQ camp. The camp is open year round for school and other groups to use for a variety of purposes. There is a March Break camp and programming on Professional Development Days at the Limestone School Board.
For Munn, the greatest strength of RKY camp lies in its traditions.
“All of our counsellors, camp directors, all of the people who run the activities are former campers. They know what the camp is all about. This is not a specialty camp or a designer camp, it is a summer camp in the same way it has been for 85 years,” he said.
Activities at RKY include swimming, canoe/kayaking, camp craft, arts and crafts, Adventure (wall climbing, ropes, etc.) nature and music. Campers participate in a variety of activities
Among the camp traditions that has developed recently is the cell phone policy. Campers don’t have access, and counsellors face severe restrictions.
“Some kids have a problem with that for a day or so, but they get over it. We want them to be immersed in camp life, and cell and computer games are not what RKY is all about,” he said.
RKY does, however, need to upgrade its facilities for modern times, to improve its standards and become more accessible.
The main camp building is called the Homestead Centre, named after Homestead Land Holdings, which is owned by one of the camp’s major benefactors, Brit Smith. It was constructed in the 1970’s with help from a grant from Wintario (a precursor to the Trillium Foundation) as well as donations from private individuals, including Smith.
The building is showing its age after 40 years, and it is time for a new dining hall/office complex/visitors centre to the camp. The kitchen needs an upgrade, the office space is cramped, and the dining hall is too small.
Already, from its ongoing fundraising efforts, the camp is putting in a brand new septic system, capable of managing a new, larger dining hall. The septic system is being installed near the RKY parking lot, and a location for the planned new building has been selected. The current building will remain as program space.
“The camp is not going to change. The capacity is meant to stay as is, but it will be better served with a fully accessible building like this. The time is right for RKY to do this,” said Munn.
That’s where the RKY board of Directors newest employee comes in. Daniel Shipp has been hired to oversee fundraising and take care of project management for the construction of the new building, which has an estimated cost of $2 million.
Shipp has only been working at RKY since the beginning of June, but he already has developed a sense of the camp\s place in the lives of the campers
“I am really taken with the feel of the camp,” he said. “It has its own unique history. The campers and counsellors and program directors all cherish the place. The staff who run it have been here for years and they love it too. To be able to help bring the right new facility in order to keep the camp going for another 40 or 50 years is a great challenge for me.”
The first thing that the RKY Board did when they decided to work on a new building was to contact Brit Smith, who is now 97 and still runs Homestead Land Holdings.
“He came on board right a way, and that had given us out start,” said Shipp.
Over the next few months the details of the project will be worked out and Shipp will be working with the board to prepare the ground for a capital fundraising campaign.
Shipp is optimistic that the goal can be met and the building project will take place as scheduled in the fall of 2018 for completion by the time the summer of 2019 rolls around.
For further information about RKY camp, go to rkycamp.org.