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Summer is well on its way, and already we have had a little bit of everything. Be thankful we are not in Alberta, where they had quite an accumulation of snow on the first day of summer. We did get a good rain, but much as we needed it, it wreaked havoc on my peonies and other tall flowers. However, the gardens are really coming along, not to mention the grass. I hope the Saturday rain did not dampen the Lucy Maud Montgomery Garden Tour after all the work the gardeners and the organizer did to prepare for the day.

As much as it has been a beautiful summer week here, and many good things happened around the country and the world, tragedies struck, beginning with the bus collisions in Manitoba, which killed 16 seniors out for a day of fun. Then the sinking of the migrant boat with 700 people on board, where approximately 75 percent perished. The crash on 401 just south of us closed the highway and killed three. Two more Indigenous communities were evacuated because of the forest fires, one for the second time, and finally, the implosion of the submersible in search of the Titanic. A great cartoon on Facebook contrasts the millions spent on that search and rescue operation and the money not spent on the migrant boat sinking.

Here at home, there was some sadness too. Double sympathies go out to Sylvia Gross, who lost her husband, Lloyd and her sister Doreen Dolly Lee, of Port Perry, in the space of a couple of days. Lloyd was the TD Bank manager for many years downtown and had been enjoying retirement with a mix of sports and community involvement. Sylvia will always be thought of as the lovely lady who models for the Bethesda Reach WI Fashion Show. Our deepest condolences to her and all her family on both sides. Condolences also to the very extended family of David Charles Eng, who passed away at the young age of 36. Although born in Toronto, he spent most of his life in Uxbridge and Zephyr areas, where his parents came from.

The garage sale at Zephyr apparently went well last week, with 10 households taking part, as well as the library selling books. There was no set community cause, but many of the sellers did donate to various charities. The Uxbridge Seniors met last Tuesday for the final lunch before summer. Lunch was delicious, as always. The guest speaker was Judy (Warren) Risebrough, who talked about the work she did with the committee planning the rejuvenation of the downtown, including the parkette, Centennial Park and Lower Brock. She showed some very descriptive photos and drawings of what the areas will hopefully look like in the near future. Judy grew up in Uxbridge, and it was fun to reminisce with her about what that area of town was like way back when.

This week's wedding anniversaries included Henry and Donna Webster, who have been married for 54 years. Both are lifelong Uxbridge people. Dale Ashton and his wife Lorene have been married for 32 years. Dale was born and raised and went to school in Uxbridge, but they live in Keswick now. Tish and Mike MacDonald also celebrated 33 years of wedded bliss, either on their tour of France, the 79th anniversary of D-Day, or shortly after. They also celebrated the birth of their first grandchild, and that happened before they arrived home.

Happy birthday to my friend and sorority sister Doreen Whitney Johnson who beat me to 83. Via her deceased husband, she is another relative of mine. Birthday wishes to the dynamic duo of Garry and Yvonne Harrison, who celebrate only a couple of days apart. Another lifelong association since both the Hackners and the Harrison are several generations in the area. Another relative is Cindy Barnett, celebrating a birthday after returning from Italy on tour with Lynn Bernier and 21 other ladies, including her mother and several others of my sorority sisters.

Birthday greetings again to Bob Kirvan, another year older and another responsibility. Bob took on the task of finding people to give talks for the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society. No sooner said than done, and on July 13th, Allan McGillivray will be speaking about the "2 ½ Mile History of Quaker Hill". This will be 7 p.m., at the School House, at the Museum. In the autumn, Erin O'Toole will be speaking about his endeavours to bring Sam Sharpe out of the dark and into the light. Membership is $20. For that, you can also become a member of the Horseshoe Club.

Birthday greeting also to Debby Jennings Wilson, my close neighbour. Good to see she is able to stay healthy after a protracted session of treatments. Happy birthday also to Cheryl Hinzel, whose birthday follows soon after her husband's. No doubt they celebrated on a patio. Cheryl lost her business to the downtown fire, Keith Flowers, but can still do great business while waiting for the decision on what will happen to that heritage building. Last but not least, happy birthday to another cousin, David Beare, a local fireman who was also born and raised in Uxbridge. Best wishes to all these good people for many more great years.

At the Foster, this Friday night is singer Melanie Hebert. Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is by donation at the door. All funds are used to restore and maintain the building. Our guest minister was at Sandford United Church Sunday morning Darlene Hallett LLWL, of Valencia. We sang several of the old favourites, and Ruth was at her best. Next week we go back to Zephyr United Church with Pastor Gord Shreeve as the worship leader. The following Sunday, the leader will be Pastor Laura Kay-Ntongwe, and on July 16th, the fabulous group "Reflections" will be singing for us. Love it.

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