Fire extinguishers aren’t for putting out fires, per se, said Glenna Shanks of Perth Fire Protection.

“They’re for use upon exit and to get people to safety,” she said. “They’re not used to play the hero.”

Shanks was at the Ompah Fire Hall Saturday to certify extinguishers as well as inform the public. The fire department also had a demonstration set up where people could ‘use’ an extinguisher to ‘put out’ an electronic fire, to get the hang of using one.

“To use an extinguisher, it’s PASS,” she said. “You Pull the pin, Aim, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep the base of the fire.”

She estimated that about 95 per cent of homes have extinguishers.

“This is important in areas like this one because of all the cottages where your fire protection options aren’t as extensive as more urban areas.”

She said the reason they do these clinics is that many people keep their extinguishers in cupboards and don’t realize they have to be certified every six and 12 years.

“Every six years they have to be emptied and tested inside and every 12 years, the hydrostatics have to be tested,” she said. “The first year we did this, many people thought their extinguisher was fine but then we had them go out and test it on a real fire.

“A lot of them didn’t work — it does make a difference to keep them updated.”

Shanks should know, she’s been involved with fire extinguishers since she was three years old.

“It was dad’s (Reg) hobby,” she said. “Then he started the company and I bought him out eight years ago.”

She recommends a five-pound ABC extinguisher, all metal.

“They’re pretty much multi-use,” she said. “And the government won’t let us certify anything that’s plastic.

“In a five-pound, you have five to 10 seconds of powder at 585 psi.”

But they have to be kept in good working order, through certification.

“You’d be amazed what it does, when you need it,” she said.

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.


“We are making excellent progress, people are starting from a more informed place,” said Maureen Bostock, spokesperson for the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation.

Bostock was commenting on feedback garnered from the organization’s booth at last weekend’s Festival of the Maples in Perth where they shared a booth with indigenous maple syrup producer Richard Lalande and Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, founder of Birch Bark Coffee Co.

“We were pleased to have Mark there as his company raises funds for water systems in First Nations communities and he made several contacts to sell coffee with local outlets,” she said. “We were pleased to introduce him to our community.”

One of the things the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation are particularly interested in is the history of First Nations as it pertains to this area. In particular, there is the instance of Chief Pierre Shawinipinessi, who was born in 1790at Lac des Deux Montagnes, a mission set up by the Sulpice missionaries at what is now known as Kanesatake. In 1837, purchases made by Shawinipinessi started showing up in the log book kept by Benjamin Tett, a magistrate and business person who operated a mill store near Bob’s Lake.

Shawinipinessi settled on an island in the Long Bay area of Bobs Lake’s (Lot 31, Concession 9) Eastern Basin. Other Algonquin people started arriving at the north end of Bobs Lake and on July 17, 1842, Chief Shawinipinessi petitioned in Canada West for a land tract of 2,000 acres straddling the Townships of Oso, Bedford and South Sherbrooke. He argued that a land tract for agricultural purposes would enable his people to sustain themselves given the depletion of game from hunting and loss of habitat due to logging and forestry.

On March 21, 1844, an Order in Council from the government of the Province of Canada approved the application for 2,000 avres to be set aside under a license of occupation in Bedford, Oso and South Sherbrooke.

However, logging activities (timber cutting, shanty building and trespass) continued on the tract, resulting in ongoing conflict similar to that in other logging –related incursions across unceded Algonquin territory. Shawinipinessi wrote a number of letters complaining to the Department of Indian Affairs trying to convince the government to intercede with loggers and trespassers on their behalf.

Although the government did intervene, confiscating timber harvested from the tract, proceeds were retained “as part of the hereditary revenues of the Crown,” rather than being used for the benefit of the indigenous group whose land had been trespassed upon at the discretion of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province.

Efforts by Shawinipinessi and other chiefs on the Bedford, Oso, and South Sherbrooke tracts to retain rights to the timber and even build a mill continued unsuccessfully for many years and many had moved away by 1851.

Shawinipinessi himself moved to the Piwakanagan community (as evidenced by the census of 1881 and 1882) where he lived with his daughter until his death at the age of 101.

The land that was once the Bedford tract is now the site of cottages on Bobs Lake and little remains in the area to remind visitors of its history as an Algonquin community.

However, Bostock and her organization are working to change that.

“What we’re really focusing on is permanent installations for First Nations History,” she said. “A proposal for a plaque and monument similar to others depicting exploration has been submitted to the (Tay Valley) township and a location will be determined when approved by the Heritage committee.

“It’s so gratifying to see people are becoming aware (and) reconciliation is the single-most important issue for Canada.”

Published in Lanark County

Repair Cafe Frontenac is organized and plans initial cafe for Sunday, May 26 from 2-4:40pm at St. James Major Catholic Church in Sharbot Lake.

Subsequent cafes are planned for June 23 at the Bellrock Community Hall and July 28 at Perth Road United Church.

One of the organizers, Peter de Bassecourt, said: “we’ll be putting out the call for volunteers shortly.”

He said they’ll always be looking for fixers but also welcomers and guides, who will greet visitors and direct them to the proper table. They are also looking for someone to do some publicity and someone to maintain their new Facebook page If you’re interested, contact the organization via Facebook or the new email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Repair Cafe concept was begun in the Netherlands by Martine Postma in 2009. Currently, there are 1,822 Repair Cafes worldwide.

“Repair Cafes are essentially free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things together,” the parent website ( says. “Visitors bring broken items from home (and) together with the experts, they start making repairs in the cafe.

“It’s an ongoing learning process.

“If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or lend a hand with someone else’s repair job.”

Example items to be repaired include clothing, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, toys. The cafe doesn’t stock a lot of spare parts but volunteers can usually assist in finding out what part is needed and how to go about getting one. Anything you can manage to get there on your own has a good chance of getting properly repaired. If you want to find out if someone will be available to help you mend your broken item, contact them via Facebook or email.

There is no charge but there is a tip jar or piggybank for donations to cover costs.

Repair Cafes do not take donations of broken items. Tools and/or repair products (such as glue) are sometimes accepted.

Published in General Interest

Amanda Pulker-Mok has only been living in Almonte for 3 1/2 years but she has already made her mark. When a council seat came open in April of last year in Mississippi Mills township after a tragic death, she was one of 11 applicants for the position. All of the applicants appeared before Council and made their pitches, and voting began. Three ballots later, she was declared the new member of council from Almonte ward, no mean feat for a newbie in small town Ontario. It was a result that surpassed her expectations.

“Being new to the area, I applied for the position in order to improve my name recognition, as I intended to run for Council in 2018,” she said, when interviewed last week in her parked car, while preparing to drive from one municipal meeting to another one.

She tries to schedule many of her responsibilities, which include sitting on three committees as well as council itself, around the days when her young children are in daycare. She may still run for council this coming fall, that is if her attempt to wrest the new Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston riding from the Conservative Party proves unsuccessful.

On December 20, 2017, she was confirmed as the Liberal candidate at a riding association meeting in Perth. She will remain on Mississippi Mills Council until the writ is dropped and the election starts up in earnest, around the beginning of May, at which time she will be taking a leave of absence from council to contest the election.

In the meantime she will be spending time attending riding forums that are being organised by the Liberal Riding Association.

She said that she will be taking advantage of those forums, as well as other opportunities to meet people in the riding.

“It is a very large riding. I don’t want to be going into different parts telling people this is what I think needs to be done, I would rather build on what people are saying,” she said.

Her commitment to the Ontario Liberals comes from what she calls “my political inclination towards the party, which has made me a supporter. More recently, I have come to feel strongly about the Premier’s messaging around opportunity and fairness.”

She said that she will be considering all the issues that are important in the riding between now and May so she is ready to answer questions at public events, during door to door campaigning at all candidates forums, but one thing about her candidacy that is already in place is her attitude towards politics.

“I think I need to be who I am, and my feeling is that the people of this riding are ready for a change, a positive fresh change, and that is what I am offering.”

The issues that she thinks will be top of mind for many voters in the coming election, particularly in this riding, will be education, child care and health care, “three areas that touch on everybody’s lives. Dealing with the urban versus rural reality will also be a challenge,” she said.

And she is happy to be representing the current government, and representing some of the initiatives they have undertaken.

“I feel the current government has done some really great things, such as OHIP Plus and changes to the Ontario Student Aid program.

“It would be good to have someone who comes from a younger demographic sitting at the table.”

Pulker-Mok went to Trent University, where she studied Business Administration and Cultural Studies. Before moving to Almonte, she was working in Newmarket in health administration as a cancer screening co-ordinator at the South Lake Regional Health Centre.

Published in General Interest

On January 30, Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is hosting a fun Nature Quiz Night at the Golden Arrow Pub, 71 Foster Street in Perth.


This fun evening is a part of the current campaign to raise the funds needed for the stewardship of the 100-acre Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve located near McDonald’s Corners. This ecologically significant property was bequeathed to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust by Joel Byrne, a true nature lover who, through this act of giving, fulfils his dream of protecting forever this special place.


Come to socialize with friends, tell stories about Joel and test your general knowledge of nature trivia. The Quiz Night starts at 7:00pm and there will be a cover charge of $10 that will go towards the fund.


More than 80% of the $48,500 goal has already been received. The MMLT hopes that all those who care about preserving wilderness in Eastern Ontario will visit the MMLT website at and donate generously to the cause.

Published in Lanark County

Councillor Amanda Pulker-Mok will carry the Ontario Liberal Banner in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston in the upcoming provincial election.

“We are all very happy Amanda has stepped forward,” said local Liberal Association president David Campbell. “Amanda will be a tremendous representative for our riding at Queen’s Park and we are looking forward to doing all we can to help Amanda win the election this spring. Our communities need a Liberal MPP who will focus on building a fairer and better society for everyone.”

In the meantime, Amanda Pulker-Mok will continue to carry out the duties and obligations that come with being a Councillor in Mississippi Mills until the Provincial election campaign begins.

The riding association will host a nomination meeting tonight at the Perth Lions Club, 50 Arthur Street.

Published in General Interest
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:07

MERA Hosts The Tritones

OnSunday, December 3rd at 2:00 PM, the fine local band, The Tritones, will be presenting a concert at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners.

The Tritones is an original Jazz, Funk Jam Band. Playing the compositions of guitarist Franc van Oort, as well as standards from many different genres, their sound takes a refreshing new direction, celebrating the roots of American music while venturing into uncharted territory. It is sensitive, yet with an edge — adding elements of Latin, Blues and Rock.

The Tritones are made up of three very talented local musicians, who got together a number of years ago, and play at a range of local venues.

Frank van Oort plays lead guitar and contributes his own compositions. He moved to the Perth area from his native Holland in 1987, and has since been playing in local groups such as Powersnooze, The Usual Suspects and Tell Mama. A growing interest in Jazz led him to join forces with Cam and Dave.

On drums is Dave Colter who has been a mainstay of the Canadian music scene for 40 years. He has played with Grammy Award winners Bo Diddley and Pinetop Perkins, Juno Award winner Jack de Keyzer (with whom he toured for two and a half years and recorded the Juno-nominated album “Blues Thing”), and many others. He now lives near Perth.

Rounding out the group is Cam Gray on bass guitar. Cam’s love of music started with listening to his dad play the piano and the ukulele. After 8 years of dutiful piano lessons he picked up the guitar. Something to do with Hendrix and Johnny Winter. He, Franc and their friend Tim Wynne-Jones started a band in the late 1980s. Cam jumped from guitar to bass when they became a five piece with keys and drums. He’s still lovin’ music.

Tickets for the concert are $20, children under 16 are free, and are available only at the door.

Trina Conboy

MERA Administrator

Published in Lanark County
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:06

Update from Knitters for Global Warmth

The knitting continues.

We have donated over 11,800 articles in the last ten years. This past year we sent knitting up north with the Anglican Church Bales in the spring and recently Marge Taylor from Ompah took a hundred and thirty more toques, afghans, sweaters, mitts, socks, dolls and teddy bears to go north of Igualuit.

Many thanks to knitters Yvonne Leblanc and Liz Bruce from Sydenham and Val Kennett from Perth for their continued support. Also thanks to Bev Murdock and Jackie Saville for their generous donations of yarn. Best wishes to all during this Christmas season and keep knitting.

For info call Peggy Beckett at 268-2443.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:08

Annual Guatemala Stove Project Fundraising Dance

Come on out and dance for a great cause! On Friday, November 17, the Guatemala Stove Project is hosting a fundraising dance featuring the talented local band, Under the Covers. This band will have you up on your feet and dancing all night.

This annual fundraiser will feature a silent auction of unique items crafted by local artisans or donated by local businesses.

The Guatemala Stove Project, a volunteer-based organization is continuing its efforts to raise funds for the construction of masonry cook stoves for impoverished, rural Mayan families. Over 6,400 stoves have been built so far, creating a lasting legacy for rural families in the western highlands of Guatemala. Consider that a single stove extends the lives of each family member in a household by 10 – 15 years and reduces the amount of firewood needed by half which helps to preserve the country’s precious forests.

The Guatemala Stove Project also supports sustainable-development projects in over a dozen communities and issues micro-loans to indigenous women to start small businesses that will help lift them out of poverty. The Guatemala Stove Project recognizes the importance of education in creating opportunity and hope for the future. It provides scholarships to a number of students who would otherwise not have this opportunity.

You’ve heard about the GSP and maybe you have even made a donation in the past. Now is the time to show your support for the indigenous people in Guatemala. Bring your dancing shoes to the Perth Civitan Club for this fantastic licensed fundraising event! Mark the date on your calendar and get your tickets! Tickets are $20 at Tickets Please in Perth, on-line at, by phone at 613-485-6434 or at the door. Civitan Hall doors open at 7 p.m. Under the Covers starts playing at 8 p.m.

For more information, please call 613-267-5202 or Check us out at




Published in Lanark County
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