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ZEPHYR & SANDFORD by Pat Asling

We are halfway through January 2023! We have had Spring, Fall and Winter again in those two weeks. In my last column, I left out one important thing about the moon. I did say to watch out for the blue moon, but that statement means there should be two full moons, so there is a full moon on October 1st and another on the 29th. Something which only happens occasionally. This accounts for the phrase we use to describe a rare occurrence.


Lots of birthdays again in those two weeks. We start with Tawn McDonald. Tawn is the daughter of Grant and Nina Elliot and, for many years, was a teacher at Epsom school before its untimely closure.

Wilma Bakelaar also celebrated a birthday, somewhat more than Tawn's but just as exciting. Wilma's family, the Homan's, owned a clothing store in town for quite a few years, then Wilma and her husband, John, opened a shoe store. Later they moved to Port Elgin, where they ran a B&B for a number of years before retiring. They now live in Kitchener.

Jeff Stewart also celebrated a birthday. He is busy solving everyone's computer problems, but I am sure his wife or kids took time to party with him.

Happy birthday also to Darrel Sultana. Darrel works for the SPCA in Newmarket; unfortunately not tending the pets. He and his wife, Melinda Delorme, have a great time harmonizing together.

Another birthday boy was Brad Clark. The farm work doesn't stop, but he still had time to spend with his five lovely ladies, or they had time to spend with him as the photos showed them at the barn.

Ted Meyers was a young man happy to be having a birthday once more. Ted is very involved in the future of Trinity United Church, so he is always busy. It was nice to see them at the senior's lunch last month.

Another gentleman, in better shape than many, Scott Campsall, also celebrated a birthday. Scott and his wife Jennifer are extremely busy with their martial arts work, singing and teaching and hosting a radio program.

Happy birthday also to Donna Barkey, the former Donna Johnson. Donna was born and raised in Glen major and went to Uxbridge High school before marrying Frank Barkey. She is raising a new contingent of grandchildren to follow in farming's footsteps, as most are actively involved in 4H and other farming organizations.

Finally, there is a birthday coming up that many of us are looking forward to, and that is the 100 birthday of Ted Croxall. There will be a party for him at the Senior's Centre on February 19th from 3 to 5 p.m. Ted was born and raised in the Bethesda area and farmed for many a year. He is another of those folks I have known all my life, and I appreciate his wit and musical abilities very much. Mark your calendars!

For the first three Sundays of January, Laura Kay is the worship leader at Zephyr church. It was nice to meet her husband as it was only a few weeks ago she told us she had been married during the summer months. She will be with us again this coming Sunday, followed by Rick McKinley on the 29th.

Sorry to learn Shirley Hewlett slipped and fell on Christmas Eve and broke her elbow. She said it is healing well. She was not the only one who had difficulties that night, and we wish them all quick healing.

Our sympathies go out to John Scott, whose wife Gwen passed away recently. Gwen was the former Gwen Harrison, a sister to Garry Harrison. They have two children and two grandchildren. Gwen was noted for her skating abilities from a young age. She played on a boys' hockey team and enjoyed skiing. Condolences to all the family.

It was exciting to learn the Uxbridge children's library now has a new name. It is now called the Gerri Lynn O'Connor Library in honour of our long-time mayor, and so much more, as she had been active in Uxbridge affairs since she was a teenager.

Congratulations, it is certainly well deserved, and about time some recognition was given.

There is a running joke in our family lately that the only people in the family who are shorter than me are my baby eight-month-old great-great-niece and her two-and-a-half-year-old brother. Today these two beautiful little kids were baptized at Epsom United Church, and I had to go if only to see if it was still true that they were shorter than me. They are, but maybe not for long since I seem to be shrinking. It got me thinking about how long our family had been associated with Epsom and that Church.

My great-grandparents, Chester Asling and Jane Macgregor, were married in 1883 and bought the house on the corner of the extension of Reach and Marsh Hill Road, which was a store and post office combination owned by a man who came from Uxbridge and removed to Uxbridge. Chester died in 1926, and Jane remained in the house until her death in 1935. The house is still in the hands of descendants, but that means our family has been associated with the Epsom church for 140 years. Sadly, like all the small churches in this area, like Sandford and Zephyr, they struggle to carry on.

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