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Here we are, almost at the end of January. It will be interesting to see what the amount of precipitation and sunlight hours have been. Not a lot of snow, and much of it melted with above zero temperatures during the day. Of course, the temperature also brought the clouds. People who suffer from SAD must really be sad this month, along with all the other oddities of the month and year.

There are some compensations for a photographer though, quite a number of birds, not a great variety, but I do have a number of Pine Siskins among the Goldfinch, and one day I counted 45 Mourning Doves in my small tree.

There are several Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and a Red Bellied comes by periodically and once a Pileated graced me with his presence. Juncos, Chickadees, Tree Sparrows make up the rest of the assembly. When it is quiet, I know my Cooper’s Hawk or Red-tailed are about!

I had a note this week from Gordon Dick informing me of the passing of Ken Harten on Thursday. Like many here, I did not know Ken well, but he married Gordon’s mother Ruth after her long-time husband, Stuart Dick, had passed away. They lived in the Ottawa area, so we didn’t see much of them. Ken was a veterinarian, I think. He would have been 94 in June. He had been in good health but suddenly, getting ready for bed, just slumped over and was gone. Our condolences go to Ken’s family, including daughter Laura who had been with him on Wednesday, and the Risebrough and Dick families.

Congratulations on their fifth anniversary go out to Katie and Phil Bottomly. Katie is the former Katie Wilson, daughter of Phil and Jennifer. They have two beautiful children and Katie is a music teacher.

Last week someone asked me again, what was going to happen to the old hospital. I didn’t know so posed the question on the Facebook page “Connecting to Uxbridge”. What followed was a fairly comprehensive answer, using an article posted back in 2019 and an answer from the Mayor. The old hospital; will be torn down, but not until the new one is built at the rear of the medical centre that is well on the way already.

Jumping in was Ian Hogg. Very few will know Ian, but might have known his sister Mary, who owned the dress shop “Strawberry Threads” for many years. What do they have to do with it? The hospital was built in 1958, 62 years ago, so it is safe to say that the majority of today’s Uxbridge population were not around then or too young to remember.

The hospital was built on Campbell Drive. Where did the name come from? The land was donated by Dr. and Mrs. Graham Campbell, although I think Dr. Campbell had died several years before. Mrs. Campbell had married a Dewart, a government guy, previous to Dr. Campbell, and they owned Queenbush (on the east) and Brookdale (on the west), and I think also the farm. If you have travelled Brookdale Road, you know where these are.

Frances Hogg was the niece of Mrs. Campbell and she, her husband Norman and family spent summers on the farm, and raised Shetland ponies. We often wintered some of them in our barn. My grandparents worked there for 35 years, granddad as the head gardener. A couple of people who were on the hospital board in the ‘80s recall that there were conditions, one being the land only be used for expansion of the hospital or medical facility. This is what is happening, although I have no idea of the legal conditions. We will get a new hospital, but like everything, it will take a while.

The Genealogy Group held a Zoom meeting on Thursday evening. The guest speaker was the chairperson Marian Bellamy, who spoke at length on DNA and how to use it, what to expect and what not to expect. Many in the group have had their DNA done, a few in different ways. Marian also informed us that Grant Baines would be taking over the chair, but we still needed a programme coordinator although programmes are set until June.

Congratulations to Altona Lea Farm on winning the fourth Master Breeder Shield from Holstein Canada. Altona Lea is the Barkey farm south of Blackstock. The matriarch is Donna, nee Johnson, who was raised at Glen Major. One of her daughters, Carolyn, married Fraser Puterbough, grandson/son of Dr. Carl and Sheila Puterbough so there is a big Uxbridge connection. Most of Donna and Frank’s large family are involved in the enterprise.

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