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Zephyr & Sandford news

PAT ASLING Special to The Standard

So it's January 2024, one week in already. Regarding social activities, it has been a quiet week. Still, the world seems to be digging itself deeper and deeper into chaos. Even here in Ontario, some terrible things are happening, fuelled by events on the other side of the world. Those things are truly horrific, but the people who live here are not responsible for what someone of their ethnic or religious group does in another part of the world. Again, let's look at what is happening to, and in, our community and try to help in some way, not make things worse. One small thing I see is garbage building up along the sides of our roads and highways.

Usually, you see that at the end of winter after the snow melts. But we really haven't had any amount of snow yet to hide the garbage. Everybody gets regular pick-up; you pay for it, so use it. Rather than throwing your cans and boxes out the window, carry a bag with you and take it home.

To start, I want to clarify something I said last week about the Bierema girls, especially Sandi Ott. Sandi's grandparents were actually Sid and Vera Cullingham, not Cunningham; a slip of the finger there. Sandi, of course, was born and raised around her and went to Scott Central and Uxbridge High School. When I put this correction on Facebook, there were a lot of very positive comments about her parents, Lucy and Stewart Annand, who were indeed a lovely couple.

Birthdays were few and far between. The first was Ruth Cordingley Bachelier, sister to Ron, Don and Wayne. Long-time residents will recall Ruth's heroic action in her teens of saving a boy from drowning in Elgin Pond. Marion Meyers also celebrated a birthday. Fortunately, Ted and Marion were home to celebrate and be with their new granddaughters of only a few months. Birthday wishes also to Bev Northeast. Bev is an amazing woman who has accomplished so much already in life, from being on Council, working with MADD because of the death of her daughter, having been killed by a drunk driver, running the Salvation Army office with all they do to within the community and her unwavering loyalty to maintaining the Foster Memorial. Including organizing all the Friday Night concerts from May to September, seeing what needs to be done in maintenance and finding someone to do it, and keeping the Council informed about all the necessary duties. Truly inspirational.

Although Christmas and New Year are times of Joy, Love and Peace, family gatherings, and many other social events and remembrances, I have often noticed it is a time when many people pass away. Maybe it just seems that way, but this year has been no different. Our sympathies go out to Jackie Leppard and her family on her father's passing, Larry Atkinson. Condolences to her mother and other family members. Also recently passed away was Barb Beach nee Brown. Her husband had predeceased her. Her parents were Harry and Jean Brown, who produced a large family, some of whom have also passed away. She had one daughter, Tanya. Rev. Craig Wilson conducted her funeral on Saturday afternoon at Low and Low Funeral Home. Craig, as you probably know, was born and raised just down the 7th from here and, as far as I know, is presently ministering to a church in Stouffville.

Lastly, and the one to most impact our community, was the death of Bruce Harwood. Bruce has been the backbone of our church for his whole life, as were his parents, Bob and Ezella before him. He loved to farm and was blessed to have been born and died in the same house after almost 88 years. And he was able to spend three different holiday occasions with his children. His wife, Barbara, nee Banks, predeceased him in 2019; they were a wonderful couple who raised five children, Steve, Brenda, Margaret, Karen and Brian (predeceased 1984). There are 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is brother Bill. To show I am not as up on things as I should be, Bill told me he and his daughter Mary, with whom he lives, now reside in Smith Falls, as do his other daughter Helen and her son, for two and a half years. A visitation was held at Low and Low Funeral Home on Sunday, January 7th. Of course, that's the place to see old friends and neighbours you don't see otherwise and tell stories about those who have left us. Well, Bruce was many things. A loving husband and father, a farmer to the core, in his youth, belonged to Junior Farmers, he drove a snowplow for the township many winters, he learned to play the violin at an advanced age, he and Barb both sang in the Sandford United Church choir for many years, with both Wilhelmine and Nancy playing. I am sure he held most positions in the church council several times over, and only stopped basically when our joint Council was formed. And sadly too, another long-time family farm will be looking for someone else to make memories on. More next week.

In the meantime, something to think about:


One smile can begin a friendship

One hand can lift a soul,

One word can form a goal

One candle can wipe out darkness.

One laugh can conquer gloom,

One hope can raise your spirits

One touch can show you care.

One life can make a difference,


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