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ZEPHYR & SANDFORD by Pat Asling

Well, we are now past the middle of November and possibly set for winter now, at least a taste. My lawn is cut for the last time, the leaves mulched, and some put on my flowerbeds where new bulbs and plants were placed. There are still apples on the tree, but they are falling at a faster rate. If anyone would like some, I have lots to give away. They make lovely pies and applesauce!

There may have been some bad words said when drivers came down Ball Road and Davis Drive just before 1 p.m. Sunday, and they came across a line-up of tractors, at least a mile long. Maybe more! This was a gathering of friends and family of Gary Hill, and they were headed to the sales barn for a Celebration of Life for Gary. What a fantastic tribute to a well-known and well-thought-of man! And a unique and very appropriate way to honour him!

Speaking of parades and honouring lives, the Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremonies took place this year again, although on a smaller scale than usual. The Legion Pipes and Drums were busy this week as they played for this parade, at several of our seniors’ homes and Long Term Care facilities. The parade also included firefighters, legion members and some others. The wreaths had been placed on the Cenotaph previous to the parade.

The Uxbridge Poppy Project was in full view as a great swath was hung on the fence and at the Roxy and various other shops in town. This was the brainchild of Laura Taylor, and she organized the workers and did much of the work putting them together. Over 5000 poppies were crocheted or knitted by area ladies. Laura also made other items such as an afghan and wreaths, which were raffled off, and the funds were given to the Legion, who were fully in support of the project.

Birthday Wishes go out to Betty Aldred this week. Betty is an active Legion volunteer and enjoys being part of the group. She is also the mother of Debbie Smith, who lives across the road from me. When Gary and Debbie ran Twinkeberry Store, Betty was often seen assisting customers with their produce and strawberries.

Another special couple is celebrating birthdays. They are Elsie and Cyril Giles. Although they live in Sandhook now, they are well-known throughout Uxbridge Township. I used to marvel at Elsie, as you saw her walking all over town, until the last couple of years, a great example to us all. Cyril celebrated his birthday on November 5th, while Elsie still looks forward to hers on the 16th. Happy birthday to all these great folks.

I listen to AM 740 radio station and each day at noon, to one a program called ‘Fight Back with Libby Znaimer’. This past Thursday, Remembrance Day, it was really special to hear her interviewing one of our own veterans, Jim Parks, 97. He spoke of his own experiences during World War II (WW2) and how so many of his comrades and friends died before they even reached the beach.

In concluding, he mentioned the banners that are spread throughout the town honouring veterans from WWI, WW2 and more recent wars. This was another project spearheaded by Tish MacDonald and is now being copied in towns and cities all over the area.

Tish not only instituted the banners but organized a group in the high school that do special things for the veterans. Several teachers in the primary schools have also become involved, and their students write letters and send cards to our veterans on birthdays and other special occasions. For Remembrance Day, there were 24 charcuterie boxes with desserts, cards and letters, and pieces of art delivered to our local veterans. What a wonderful program this is, and many thanks to Tish!

Sandford and Zephyr congregations have been holding worship services since early September, alternating between the two churches. Our minister has primarily been Carol O’Neil, a Licenced Lay Worship leader (LLWL). Carol has faithfully sent out full services during the whole of the pandemic shut down, although she was not paid to do so.

Carol provided the music via her phone when we started in-person services because we are still not supposed to sing. They were able to persuade Ruth Baker to come and play, which she did accompanied by her granddaughter on the violin. This was beautiful!

On October 17th Sandford held its Anniversary Service where eight individuals were given certificates to honour their service to the church over the years. Our minister that day was Doug Ferris of Port Perry, an LLWL and a candidate for the ministry, a teacher and a great musician, singer, and songwriter. Besides a couple of songs Doug provided, we also had as our musician Melinda Delorme, who both sang and played. It was wonderful!

At Zephyr’s anniversary, the following Sunday, Carol was the minister while the musician was a young lady who was born and raised in Zephyr. There was also a special guest soloist, so another music-filled day.

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