What a difference between this weekend, and the last one in March. The lion did not sleep last Saturday night when we got 6” to 8” of heavy, wet snow to clean from our cars. Some folks just looked and went back to bed, I think. In comparison, this weekend almost felt like Spring with temperatures close to 15°C, in spite of there being no sunshine. I discovered I have a number of spring bulbs peeking though the grass where I have naturalized a few dozen. The birds seem slow to arrive back, but I think they know what they are doing. Swans, blue herons, and song sparrows are back even though most ponds are still mostly frozen. We live in hope.
Some of these notices are several week old, but best wishes go out to Jeanette Herrema Ehinger on her birthday. George and Jenelle Harwood not only celebrated the birth of their daughter Mia, but also their first wedding anniversary. Great granddad Bruce, and grandmother Barb Harwood celebrated their 62nd anniversary last weekend so they can almost celebrate together, from a distance.
Congratulations to Mim Harder who was presented with the Governor General’s Award/Medal for volunteerism. Mim was one of the ladies that facilitated our Blanket Exercise, over the last years, among the many other things she is involved in.
Some very notable birthday congratulations go out to Bill and Violet Kirton, who have both reached the age of 100 within a few weeks of each other. Both of them were born close to this community and lived their lives here. A celebration was held on Sunday, April 7th, at the Egypt Hall, which I’m sure was a great occasion. It’s rare enough when one person to reached that milestone, but two at the same time is phenomenal.
Reports are that the Scott Central Grade 8 Spaghetti Supper was a lively affair. Certainly the students looked quite professional in their white shirts and pants as they served up a great and tasty meal.
Big congratulations go out to our young musical stars. Robyn Ottolini was nominated, for the first time, for a Rising Star award by the Country Music Association of Ontario. Leah Daniels has been nominated by the CMAO for Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Music Video of the year. What a fantastic achievement for both of these young ladies, whether they win or not. Not to be outdone, Julien Kelland is releasing a new single on April 19th. Well-done ladies.
Last Monday our Xi Epsilon Upsilon Sorority met for the first time since Christmas. Some of our members are still ensconced in Florida but will be back for our Founder’s Day lunch on April 25th.
North Durham Nature met in Scugog Public Library on March 26th, with a large crowd eager to hear Jay and Bev Theibert talk about their hike across Auyuittug National Park on Baffin Island. This was a very extreme trip over difficult terrain but they made it, as they always do. Our next meeting is at the Uxbridge Seniors Centre, on April 23rd, at 7 p.m. Note that the meeting night has been changed to the last Tuesday of the month.
The Uxbridge Genealogy Group meets at the Library, lower Hall, on Thursday, April 28th, at 7 p.m. All are invited to these informative meetings. Admission is $2.
On Friday evening the Epsom/Utica Church is holding a Ham and Scalloped Potato Supper at the Utica Hall from 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Adults are $15, youth $8, and children under 5 have free admission.
Church last week was in Sandford with Reverend Eiko conducting the service, and Nancy Wolfe playing the organ. We were also treated to a couple of special numbers when Nancy was accompanied by Bill Richardson on his mouth organ (harmonica). Surely we must have that combination again, especially as a number of people were absent due to the storm.
This week, and all subsequent April Sundays, the services will in Zephyr with Reverend Eiko conducting and Ruth Baker accompanying at the piano. Reverend Eiko taught us a new song which we sang at the end of the service as a choral blessing. The Minutes for Mission discussed human trafficking. We usually think this is something that goes on far from here but an article, in the Toronto Star, this week makes us aware that is can be happening quite close to home.
There will be a Good Friday service in Sandford at 10 a.m. All are invited to attend this service, and every other service this Easter season. The last Sunday of April will be Holy Humour Sunday, and also the day that we say goodbye to Reverend Eiko, and Ron, as she will no longer be our Minister.
On May 5 there will be a fund-raising concert at the Sandford Church. The “Bach to Blues” company from Stouffville, under the direction of Ann Gage, will present their spring selections for us. They are a great group with an excellent accompanist. Cost for tickets is $20 for adults, and $10 for those aged 16 and under. Snacks will be sold following the concert.
The following Thursday, May 9th, the UCW will meet at 1 p.m. at the church. Deborah Clements will show slides, and talk about their latest trip to South America. All are invited to attend, including men.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all the Irish and all those wannabes. One happy guy was our former Mayor and community worker Pat Molloy, who also celebrated his birthday on the same day.
The David Ball family spent March break in wild Florida enjoying many of the natural sights and sounds. Other families also took special trips over the March break, or had staycations, which is the new thing now.
I was sorry to hear that Bethany McGillivray, and her husband Lee Collingwood, had to cancel a couple of events last weekend because their baby Sybil suddenly took ill, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Sending best wishes and prayers for all of them.
Our community was saddened to learn of the death of life time resident Marion Thompson. Marion had not been well for some time, but got out whenever she could. Our sympathies go out to her daughters, Pam and Laurel, and their families, as well as to her sister-in-law Margaret McNelly. Her celebration of life will be at the Zephyr church on Monday, March 18th, at 1 p. m. with the visitation to be held before that time.
At church this week, the service that was originally planned for last week, but was cancelled due to ice, took place. There was good attendance, and all partook of the Imposition of Ashes, a ceremony that usually takes place on Ash Wednesday. The use of ashes is a symbol of sorrow and repentance, and predates the crucifixion of Christ by thousands of years. Fittingly, it is also a symbol of new life and fertility, as those who use ashes on their garden know. Following this, Holy Communion was served with Earle Lockerby, and with Rod and Joanie Sine assisting Reverend Eiko in the distribution of the elements. We also had a new musician; Karen Ritchie from Uxbridge. Karen is the assistant at the Trinity Church in Uxbridge, but was helping us out. The church was decorated with green and purple symbolizing St. Patrick’s Day and the church season. A Resurrection Garden was also set up at the front. The Zephyr congregation held their AGM in the Sandford sanctuary following the service.
Church at Sandford again next week, at 10 a.m. with Ruth Baker as the musician for the day. The following week, March 31st, Nancy Wolfe will once again be with us playing the organ. On Thursday night the newly formed Zephyr Council will meet briefly at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr, after which the new Official Board will convene at 7:15 p.m. The Sandford Council does not meet until April 2.
In April, the Sandford UCW will hold a 'Bakeless Bake' sale. Donation envelopes will be distributed next Sunday. Please give generously so we can be generous towards our community projects. The next UCW meeting will be on May 9th. The guest speaker will be Deborah Clements, and she will talk about their trip to South America.
Looking ahead even further, the Sandford UCW and Council will host a concert by the Stouffville group, “Bach to Blues” on Sunday, May 5th, at 2:30 p.m. This is a great group of singers. Several of the singers are from our congregation, and others that we know from events we have hosted. Tickets will go on sale in April.
The Scott Central School Grade 8 students are holding their annual 'Spaghetti Supper' at the Sandford Hall on Thursday March 28th, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $30 for a family of 4, adults $10, and children $6. Funds go toward their graduation. Please support these young people. They usually do a super job for the evening.
On April 3rd, Durham Farm Connection will host an Open House at the Luther Vipond Arena in Brooklin, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On June 15th, the Zephyr Community is holding its 'Annual Garage Sale' throughout the village. Also, the United church folk are holding their 'Bake Sale and BBQ' as a fund-raiser for the church. Please mark this date and support their efforts.
The Aurora UCW is holding a book sale at the Trinity Anglican church on April 6th, from 10 a.m - 2 p.m. You will recall that a few years ago the United church burned down, and since then the Anglican church congregation and the United church congregation have shared worship space and many other things.
As soon as we hit Pearson Airport with that very cold windy weather, I literally caught a cold, or at least it made itself manifest then. Well, it wasn’t as cold as the forecasters had predicted, but the wind made it feel that way, especially after the 90F+ temperatures of my second home in Belize. Lucky for me I have missed all those previous storms, but no doubt there will be more to come. Here we are almost a week later and it has been above freezing most of the day, with significant melt taking place under the rain. The problem will be tomorrow after the temperature drops overnight and all that water turns to ice, perhaps covered with snow. We will see. However, there will definitely be no school bus cancellations since it is winter break, and hopefully those who were going away have already gone. For the folks still at home, please be very careful all week. Birthday wishes this week go out to Dan Moore, who tackles things most of us never have to think about twice. He is an example of courage in the face of adversity. Another young man celebrating this week was Joel Speers. Joel is a great example of youth volunteerism. Whenever there is something going on such as 4H, Junior Farmers, Heritage Days, or other community events, you will find Joel volunteering his time and effort there. We need more young people like him to keep the community running in the future. Best wishes to both of these gentlemen in the coming year. Another happy event is that Rachel Sutherland Arnaud, former curator at the Uxbridge Scott Museum, and her husband Graeme, are the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy, named Simon Jonathon, who was born on Sunday, March 3rd, and weighed 7 lbs, and 3 oz. This is their first child, but he was born right on the predicted day. Congratulations to all the family. Rachel’s sister is also expecting a baby any day now.
Condolences go out to the family of Jean Cain, who passed away in Guelph on March 4th. Jean was born Jean Smith, in Sandford in 1920, so she was almost 100 years old. She has a very large family to prove that milestone. Deepest sympathies also go out to my friend, neighbour, and former colleague, Isabelle Smith, in the loss of yet another sister-in-law. Jean will be buried in the Sandford Cemetery in the spring. Margaret Cain and David were able to spend some time in a southern climate, and arrived home to more wintery weather. It does make a good break though.
I arrived home in time to be present at the Sandford Pancake Supper on Tuesday evening. In spite of the fact that several local churches also observed the evening, there was a nice turn out there, and a fun time was had by all. My thanks go out to Bill and Sheila Richardson, who took over the organizing for the event. Thank-you to all those who flipped pancakes, cooked sausages, and made desserts, as well as those who did the set-up, and the clean-up. Following the feast, a number of guests remained to play several rounds of crokinole and other games to round out the evening. Speaking of pancakes, what would pancakes be without maple syrup? It’s a toss-up as to what this year’s crop will be like as the past few winters have been very erratic. However, we know the sap always rises sometime in the late winter and early spring, otherwise our maples would all be dead. Several operations in the area have announced Maple Syrup festivals during this Winter Break, so we hope that things progress as desired. The First Tap for the Syrup Producers has already happened. Our family wood lot is ready to begin tapping for the syrup this week too.
Although we had rain and above freezing temperatures most of the day, Reverend Eiko and Ron awoke to find 2 centimetres of ice in their driveway. After consultations with Linda Wagg and Earle Lockerby, it was decided to cancel church service. This was unfortunate as it was the First Sunday of Lent, and we were to have Communion and also the Imposition of Ashes. Also, following the service, the Zephyr congregants were going to hold their Annual General Meeting there.
We generally associate the Imposition of Ashes with Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, but Ashes were used as symbols of mortality and repentance centuries before the death of Christ. Dusting oneself with ashes was a way of expressing sorrow for sin and hope for new life. Ashes were also used as a symbol of fertility as the new season arrives.
It has now been decided that the Zephyr congregation will hold their AGM in Sandford following the service next Sunday. The revised date of the Official Board will be chosen on that day. It had previously been set for this Thursday, but cannot be held now until new council members for Zephyr are chosen. As it stands now, the Zephyr council should meet on March 21st, and Sandford on April 2nd, but this may change.
Next Sunday is the second Sunday of Lent. I expect several of this week’s events will happen then. It is a joint service in Sandford, at 10 a.m. All are invited to worship with us.
The Durham West 4H group will hold their rally at the Cannington arena on Saturday, March 15th. There will be free skating from 10 a.m - 11 a.m., after which you can sign up for the clubs you want to learn more about. The registration fee is $95. On Sunday, March 24th, there will be a sign painting workshop held at the Sunderland Co-op by the Exchange Club. Come out and get painting.
The Uxbridge Genealogy Group meets on Thursday, March 21st, in the Lower Hall of the Library. The topic this month is ‘Brick Walls’. We all have them. Come out and ask the local experts what they would do. North Durham Nature meets on Tuesday, March 26th at the Port Perry Library. Jay and Bev. Thibert will show their photos of their exciting hike through Auyuittug National Park, in Nunavut. Please note the change of day, as all meetings will now be held on the last Tuesday of the month.
The Pine Ridge Chorus kicks off the ‘Friday at the Foster’ concerts on May 3rd. Please come and support the preservation of this marvellous treasure that we have.
I missed another snowy week, but by the time you read this I will be back in the land of snow and ice, rather than with the sun and tropic plants. I gather that some parents are somewhat disgruntled about the number of school bus cancellations; some of which seem unnecessary.
Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Sarah Moore, who is an expert horsewoman and great helpmate for Dan. Good wishes also go to Steve Wilson, my neighbour and lifelong friend. His wife Debbie has undergone a number of surgeries, and credits him with her continued recovery. We are happy about that. Another birthday boy is celebrating this week. He is not from our community, but is well known as Superman, especially by the younger people. He played this role at all special events in the town for many years. Actually, he is a super teacher and a super, super photographer who has won a number of awards. Our best wishes go out to these folks, and any others I may have missed, and also to those celebrating anniversaries or other special events.
Sadly, condolences must go out to the family of Grace Walker, who passed away last weekend, and whose funeral was held at the Zephyr church on Monday. Our sympathies go out to Cheryl, Elaine, Lynn and Ellen, and their children and grandchildren, and Grace's many friends.
Both of the Sandford and Zephyr church councils have met recently, to address the most pressing issue of finding a pulpit supply, and musician, following the completion of Reverend Eiko's term. This is not an easy job, with no indication of how long this situation may last.
The service this past Sunday was a joint service at Sandford, with Reverend Eiko conducting. Nancy Wolfe once more graced us with her presence at the organ. It's so nice to have her back.
Sunday, March 3rd, was Transfiguration Sunday, when Jesus and his 3 disciples went up into the mountain to pray. The title of the message was, " Revealing the Nearness of God". This was followed by the singing of "Open My Eyes That I May See". After the service next Sunday, the Sandford congregation will hold their AGM. It is essential that anyone with church connections come and make themselves aware of the future facing our churches.
We are now in the season of Lent. Remember the 'Pancake Supper' at the Sandford Church on Tuesday, March 5th, which is Shrove Tuesday. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Cost for adults is $5, and children under 12 have free admission. Games will follow. Contact Bill and Sheila Richardson for more particulars. On Sunday March 10th, the venue will switch back to Zephyr, as they are having their annual meeting that afternoon. On March 17th, we are back in Sandford. Please take note of these switches as it is hard to keep track of sometimes.
March 10th is a special Sunday when Reverend Eiko will conduct the 'Imposition of Ashes', and we will seldom observe Holy Communion.
On Thursday March 14th, the Official Board will meet. This will be the first meeting with the new members present, and new executive will be chosen. (note: this was originally scheduled for Monday, March 11th, but Reverend Eiko will be attending an all-day workshop that day). The new Zephyr council meets on March 21st, and in Sandford the meeting will be on April 2nd.
More winter doses of weather are arriving. This really has been a winter to remember. I heard it said that in Toronto they haven't had to close the schools since 2011. At least our schools stay open. It means the teachers have to be there even if their kids aren't. Actually, I am not suffering as I am basking in 90+F temperatures, which is quite a switch.
There are a lot of birthdays again, and some are quite relevant to Sandford and Zephyr, and others are not really so much relevant. Keith Elford is first. The Elford family lived on a farm for many years just south of Sandford. Second is Harry Paisley, who grew up in an area north and a bit east on Paisley Acres, which is known for their sale of skidoos and other equipment. Harry and his brothers also raised a large herd of goats for milk, which they had to transport to Peterborough to be transformed into cheese. Then they had to peddle and sell this cheese. Not easy for young boys. Third is Eileen Wilson, who may not be well known here and does not belong to our local Wilson's, but who was the guiding light of the Uxbridge Genealogy group for a number of years, and is still a fount of information on that subject. Fourth is Dianne Crittenden, who now lives in British Columbia, but her mother was a sister to Lewis Weir, who lives just north of here. Fifth is Joanie Sine, who has been a resident of Zephyr for a number of years now, along with her husband Rod, and has been very involved with our church, and other churches. Sixth is Barbara Banks Harwood, who has spent all her married life on the farm, north on the fourth line, and who grew up in Marsh Hill and Uxbridge. She had an illness some time ago, and she still has some difficulty getting around, but she is looking and feeling much better. Very happy birthday wishes go out to all these folks, and to anyone else who added a year more of experience to their life. Happy anniversary as well!
Our communities were very saddened to learn of the passing of Grace Walker. Grace lived all her married life with Horner, in the Zephyr area, and raised daughters Cheryl, Elaine, Lynn and Ellen, all of whom have married locally, and given her many grandchildren. Grace was a tireless worker for the Zephyr church until moving to Butternut Manor and suffering mobility issues. We know her thoughts were always with the church, even if she wasn't. Both her visitation and celebration of life were held at the church on Sunday afternoon and Monday. I'm sure it was a packed house. She will be greatly missed.
It was great to hear the pancake breakfast at the Zephyr church went really well. Don't forget the pancake supper coming up at the Sandford church on Tuesday, March 5th. The cost is $5, and children under 12 get in free. There might be some games to play as well. Bill and Sheila Richardson are in charge of this event. Come and enjoy.
On Sunday, Reverend Eiko's message was entitled, "God's Amazing Grace", which was followed by the beloved hymn of the same name. There was no coffee hour due to preparation for Grace's visitation.
Beginning March 3rd, church will be held in Sandford at 10 a.m., with the exception of March 10th. On March 3rd, following the service, the Sandford Congregation will hold their Annual Meeting. On the 10th, the service will be back in Zephyr as they will have their Annual Meeting after the service. On that day, as well, Reverend Eiko will conduct the Imposition of Ashes. On Monday, March 11th, it was scheduled to have the Official Board meeting, but Reverend Eiko will be attending a full-day workshop on that day, so the meeting has been moved to Thursday, March 14th, in Zephyr at 7 p.m.
I have been asked to publicize the documentary, "Before The Plate" showing at the Roxy on Saturday, March 2nd at 4 p.m. The admission will be $5. This documentary attempts to educate viewers about modern farm methods, and what is involved in farming today. This is a joint venture by the Durham Junior Farmers, and the Federation of Agriculture, and the funds raised will go to Loaves and Fishes Foodbank, and Durham Farm Connection. A Q&A session about the movie will follow, and will be held at the Second Wedge Brewery in Uxbridge.
This week started off on a very wintery note and it seems like it will continue for the rest of January, at the very least. How can it be the end of January already? I know, it is closer to spring, but the months all seem to go so quickly now and then spring will be gone too.
Because of the pending storm warning church was cancelled on Sunday. Actually, most of the morning was quite beautiful, but that gradually changed with clouds, gusts of wind, blowing snow and then more snow after the 6”, or so, we received overnight. It was a great day for taking bird photos, as the birds spent copious amounts of time at the feeders stocking up. Snow on trees is always a good photo subject, one I still haven’t mastered that very well yet.
Generally speaking, this has been a good news week. Gord Rolling is home, in Mount Albert, from the hospital but is pretty much confined to a wheelchair. We wish him better health and comfort in the days ahead. Debbie Wilson is also out of the hospital after her surgery, and she will know in a few days what is to follow. Best wishes for a complete recovery for Debbie and many more healthy years ahead. Ted Meyers was also given a clean bill of health and by now is back on the golf green.
Best wishes to Willa Worsley who has retired from her 30 year ownership of “Presents, Presents”. This business was probably one of the longest running stores in the downtown area. I expect she will do some more travelling, and maybe more bird watching activities. The Worsley family has lived just up the road from me, for many years, and have contributed very much to the community over the years.
A number of people have celebrated birthdays this past week. Best wishes for continued good health and enjoyment of life go to the original Mustard twins, Chris and Craig. Their parents, and grandparents, must be very proud of the way these young men have carried on the family farm.
Congratulations also go out to my former PSW worker, Pat Snooks. Pat was also raised in this area, and sees many old friends in her daily work. Jennifer Wilson and Phil had a very special birthday, and recently returned from Florida after attending the wedding of their son Jeff to new wife Rachel.
Rachel Sutherland Arnaud celebrated this week as well. Rachel will be remembered as the former assistant curator at the Uxbridge Scott Museum, and is now the full time curator at the Port Hope Archives.
Les and Erin Smith have returned from a 10 day stay in Florida. So many people are coming back to this cold weather.
Stan and Amy Smalley are very proud of their daughter, Catherine, who graduated last weekend from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, with a double major in Sociology and Psychology. Wow. How amazing is that. Congratulations to the whole family. Stan and Amy spent the weekend in Halifax with her.
I have been asked by Nancy Marr, former Museum curator, to place the following notices for our neighbours in Udora: Udora Hall Board is looking for more volunteer members. Our next meeting is on Thursday, February 7th, at 7pm at the Udora Hall located at 24 Victoria Road. Uxbridge and Georgina residents are eligible to join the board, and are invited to attend the meeting.
Yuk Yuks Stand-Up Comedy is returning to the Udora Community Hall on Saturday, February 23rd. This is a fundraiser for the Udora Community Hall. Doors open at 7pm, and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25 per person and are available at the Udora General Store, and U.P.I. Gas. Cash only. There will be a cash bar at the show. The show will sell out, so please pick up your tickets ahead of time.
On Tuesday, the Sandford church council met at the church. A number of items were discussed. We are all saddened to learn that because both churches are having a cash flow problem, Reverend Eiko will only be with us for a few more months. There are still many things to take care of in the meantime.
On Thursday, the UCW met with only a few members present, but hosted two lovely guests. Some expected attendees were unable to attend due to illness, and the fact that school buses were cancelled that morning and the kids were at home. We had a scrumptious meal before the worship service, which was followed by the annual business meeting. The executive will remain the same, and the dates for future meetings have been planned. All women are welcome to attend with us.
That evening, at the Scugog Public Library, the North Durham Nature group met at 7 p.m. Because of the weather, I suspect, there was a smaller turnout than usual, but it was an interesting evening. Several members gave short slide presentations using their own photographs. One particularly lovely display was given by local photographer Steven Wright. He had some gorgeous shots of the recent super wolf moon eclipse. Ross James also had some “real” slides from years ago. Ross comes from Sunderland area, and was the former curator of birds at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Next Sunday, weather permitting, church will continue, as a joint venture, in Zephyr starting at 10 a.m. This will be the venue for the rest of the month. Reverend Eiko will be away on the 17th. Adele Boy will tell us about some of the highlights of her three month working experience in Palestine and Jerusalem, which may not have been very safe.
On Wednesday, February 6th, the UCW ladies, and friends, will be serving the “Souper Lunch”, at St. Andrew’s church for the Loaves and Fishes Foodbank. It is always a fun day for all. There will be good food and good company.
On Tuesday, March 5th, it will be Shrove Tuesday. The Sandford UCW and Council are having a pancake supper. Admission is $5, and for children 12 and under, it is free. You are welcome to contribute some food to this event. There may also be a few games to play afterwards. Everyone is invited to the church. A sign-up sheet was available last Sunday, but it will move to Zephyr next week.
Winter has descended; for a few days anyway. Probably, by the time you read this it will be above freezing and perhaps raining again. As I write on Sunday, it is the coldest day of the year so far. Last year, at this time, we had 2 or 3 days of -30C degree temperatures, so we can’t complain about this. Today was also a day of sun, which somewhat compensated for the cold wind.
Did anyone spend time watching the moon which is being called the blood wolf full moon eclipse? I was out for a few minutes, but it was too cold for even a 'once a year' opportunity. There will be plenty of photos from warmer climates and indoor observatories, no doubt, to feed our curiosity.
Steve and Lorraine Ottolini enjoyed a stay in Bermuda, visiting Steve’s sister and enjoying the balmy weather. Lorraine was lucky to stay there for two weeks, while Steve had to be content with one.
Birthday wishes go out to Pastor Gord Shreeve, as well as anyone else celebrating this week. Best wishes to my neighbour Debbie Wilson (Steve) who underwent a serious operation last weekn and is in the Markham Stouffville hospital. Our prayers and thoughts are with her.
On Wednesday I travelled to Maple Grove United Church, near Bowmanville, accompanied by Carol Johnson, Lorraine Ottolini, Faye Ashton and Elva Kerry. We attended our first meeting with the Lakeridge Presbytery, U.C.W. It was a very interesting meeting, and indicated some of the differences we will find, as we meet more often, about how Living Waters and Lakeridge operate. Our next general meeting will be in March, and it is hoped that more of the members can attend.
On Thursday evening the Uxbridge Genealogy Group met at the Uxbridge Library. There were 26 people in attendance, and there were several new and unfamiliar faces. Our speaker was, our own, Linda Boyd who informed us on how to use the program, 'Family Tree Maker' to tidy up your mountain of paper files and information. By the time she finished speaking, there were a lot of heads spinning with all the information she provided. Another night will no doubt be needed in order to take it all in. The next meeting will be on February 21st. At that time there will be more information given about accessing the Ontario Archives. We have discussed the Ontario Archives before, but there is always new information to use, and new perspectives given on what to look for.
This morning was the gathering of the North Durham Nature Feeder Watch. It went ahead, in spite of the cold, but as of yet, I don’t know how successful it was. I know that yesterday, when it was warmer, but snowing, the birds were steadily flocking to the feeders all day, which is nothing unusual. The same birds as have been coming to the feeders, but in greater numbers and more frequently. Today, though, they seemed to not be coming out as much; hiding away in the trees and shrubs no doubt, to keep warm as best they could. This Thursday evening, at 7 p.m. at the Scugog Public Library, the NDN will hold their first meeting of the season. There will be several short presentations by members and several nature displays of various types. All are welcome to attend. The fee is $5 for non-members.
This past Sunday church was held in Sandford. Attendance was smaller than usual, but I was privileged to conduct it. There were several lovely music videos about candles and how they represent light. There was a cake shown with birthday candles, a quiz about candles, and several songs talking about candle light and how we can be lights for Christ. Ken Welsh lit the Christ and Care candles, and afterwards gave me this quote from the 'Merchant of Venice', which fits in perfectly with the theme for this week. The quote was, “how far that little candle throws its beam, so shines a good deed in a naughty world”. If only we could all be this light. Next week's service will still be in Sandford, with Reverend Eiko conducting. She has been having a great time in Vancouver visiting her mother, and other relatives, and arrived home just in time to welcome the coldest day of this year. As of February 3rd, we will be attending the Zephyr church for the joint worship, in the month of February. Following the service, the Worship Committee will meet to plan for the upcoming Easter season and beyond when, at that time, we will be without a Minister.
On Thursday this week, the Sandford U.C.W. is holding their annual Potluck Lunch and Meeting. This is our business meeting of the year, and all ladies are urged to attend and enjoy the food and fellowship. Meeting time is 12:30 p.m. Please note the time change.
Discussions are underway regarding a transmission tower that is suggested to be put up in the middle of Sandford Village. There was a meeting at the hall about this issue last Tuesday evening. Everyone agreed that they want greater speed and more data, for various reasons, but the overriding issue was whether that location is the best spot for the tower. The tower will apparently be similar to the one recently installed in Zephyr, although it will not be as high, and therefore cannot reach quite so far.
Its been three weeks, and it seems like a very long time since I last wrote a column. Things went from being super busy, to nothing much happening, as far as community activities went. Most families, of course, had some gatherings to keep the excitement rolling. There were so many, in fact, that if I started enumerating them all, the page would be full, and I’d be bound to miss someone.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season, and that 2019 will be the year of health, happiness, some prosperity, and more peace in the world; although that seems to be a vain hope in light of the political situation.
A large number of people celebrated their birthdays during the Christmas season, including Wilma Doucette, Carol Meek, Cathy Ellig, Nancy Wolfe, and Pam Noble. Anniversary wishes also go out to Lynn and Walter Campbell as they celebrate their 30th year together.
Gord Rolling has been in the hospital for several weeks now and Grace Walker has also been in hospital. Dorthy Baker and others have been laid low by the flu bug.
On December 18th, the owners of The Standard Newspaper hosted an Open House at their office on Reach St. It was fun to chat with younger members of the staff, as well as several other columnists, who don’t necessarily fall into that category. Thanks to the Greens' for providing us the opportunity to broadcast our community events and activities.
Zephyr hosted a “Breakfast with Santa” event on December 8th. The event provided several activities for the kids to enjoy, and there was a great turnout. Unfortunately, Sandford did not have one this year.
On Thursday, December 19th, I attended, along with a few hundred others, the Christmas concert at the Port Perry High School. My great-niece and nephew were involved, as well as a couple of other young people I knew. It was a fantastic event with a variety of entertainment ranging from choral groups, and several band groupings, to dance and drama. You could not find a better musical event anywhere else when you think about how old (or how young) these kids are. Kudos to their music instructors and all the others involved. It is too bad that all schools do not have such programs, although I must say that UHS is pretty good too.
On Sunday, December 23rd, in Sandford, the 4th and last Sunday of Advent was held. It was the Sunday of Love; a commodity seemingly in short supply in so many parts of the world, including our own. The candles for Hope, Peace, and Joy were relit. It was to remind us of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and of a mother's love and care, as well as God’s love for us. Also, as part of the service, there were two baptisms. One for Hunter Steven Michael Dunsmoor, and another for Skyla Ann Boy-Fitzsimon, the grandchildren of Adele Boy. Adele took part in the sacrament. Her son, and his wife and children, stayed with Adele for two weeks following this event. Our musician for the service was our wonderful Carol Gibson, and we can never get enough of her music. Adding to that was the reading by Ken Welsh of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, with all the drama you would want added to it. We thank them both for their wonderful blessings to the service.
On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a joint service in Zephyr, along with the Missionary church members. Pastor Gord Shreeve collaborated with Reverend Eiko, to put together a lovely worship with a couple of young ladies from that church also participating.
On Christmas Day, because the other members of our family were engaged, Ivan and I attended the lunch at the Senior’s building for the first time, as did several others from our area, and a lot from the town of our acquaintance. It was a very tasty meal, and the friendship was great. Thanks to all the volunteers who put it together, including food donors, and servers and the cooks.
A flyer arrived in the mail announcing that Dr. Karen Bardecki was selling her veterinary practice to Dr. Rachel Stadnyk. Rachel hails from up north, but met and married Jamie Risebrough. Jamie is the son of David and Judy Risebrough, and works with his uncle Michael on the long-time family owned farm located on Davis Drive. Jamie, Rachel and the children live in the house where his grandparents Gord and Dorothy lived prior to their passing, so she is definitely a Sandford resident. Congratulations Rachel.
On December 30th, Reverend Eiko was away, and the joint church service was conducted by Carol Johnson, with her granddaughter Casey Spenser on the piano. Carol spoke on what life was like for Jesus as a child, and had a number of Jewish regalia to show, and special articles to share to illustrate Jewish traditions. It was a very interesting topic that provided a lot of information. The adults were shown up by Tanis’s grandson, though, who seemed to know more about this topic than we did because he had a Jewish friend in school.
On January 6th, the first Sunday of Epiphany, was held in Sandford. All the services in January will be in Sandford, and will start at 10 a.m. Reverend Eiko spoke about creation and how it never ends. He spoke about how there is always something being made anew, and how new light is being shone on some things and many others. This was all the more interesting in light of what is happening in space with small craft travelling millions of light years away past rocks formed billions of years ago. Nancy Wolfe was at the organ; we missed it. Following the service, a lengthy meeting took place with discussion and some voting on the future direction of the individual churches and the charge. Of course, one change happened to us on January 1st, when we were made part of the new Region 11. As of yet that has not had any impact on anything we might do in the future. The hard part lies ahead with many options being potentially made available.
Next week the service will be at 10 a.m. in Sandford with Reverend Eiko conducting. On January 24th , the UCW Annual Potluck Lunch and meeting will be held. All ladies are welcome. We are also invited to a meeting with our new group on January 16th. I hope that several other ladies can attend with me.
It has been another gloomy weather week, with only a few sparse hours of sun shining. I understand that November was a record month for not seeing the sun. Can you imagine living in the North where it is dark most of the day for several weeks? It must be pretty depressing, but I guess you get used to it.
Things are gearing up for the Christmas season and there are events and concerts, with many different styles, of Christmas and seasonal music. There are also Santa Parades, tractor parades, still craft sales and many shows being held to get you to part with your money. It really is a wonderful time of the year, and you can forget the cold and snow while enjoying these things.
On Monday, Lorraine Ottolini and I attended the last Living Waters Presbytery, held at the Stouffville United Church. There were 76 ladies present, but about a dozen of us may no longer continue in this Presbytery. There will also be a name change to this church and it will no longer be called Living Waters. As mentioned previously, Zephyr, Sandford, Uxbridge, Goodwood and Epsom will be in what is presently called the Lakeridge Presbytery, in Bay of Quinte Conference. All these names will be changed as well. This Presbytery is much smaller in area; consequently being far less to travel to meetings. Time will tell how it works out. The UCW executive from both of the Presbyteries have been meeting for some time, and have tentative plans for the future.
On Thursday afternoon a huge number of friends and family gathered for a Celebration of Life for Ross Smalley at the Sandford Hall. The children and some grandchildren gave their remembrances, eliciting quite a bit of laughter. Travis sang as a solo tribute to his grandfather, “The Green, Green, Grass of Home”. I was sitting beside some relatives who had never heard him sing before, and I know they were quite impressed.
The Bethesda Reach WI met at Epsom United Church on Thursday evening. There were a number of visitors present and the guest speaker was Kate Johnson. Kate showed slides and spoke of her experiences in Austria, which was a trip which she won from the Junior Farmers. During her time there she also travelled to other nearby countries such as Holland and Germany.
On Friday, I was at the Salvation Army Kettle, and it was an interesting 2 hours as a number of friends wandered by and stopped to chat. The money ball was getting quite full when I left, and there were still several hours for collection to come. Thanks to all those who donated.
Karen Shreeve hosted a get-together for some ladies at her home on Friday evening. The party was hosted by a representative of Aloette beauty products. A good time was reported by all.
The “Fantasy of Lights” was being assembled on the weekend, and it looks like it’s going to be another bumper show because there were very few vacant areas unclaimed. There appeared to be quite a few new exhibitors this year, outnumbering last year’s participants, which itself was a record. Xi Epsilon Upsilon is fortunate to keep our favoured spot under the big pine tree. Make sure you take a drive or walk through when it is officially opened.
When coming home from Elgin Park I noticed that there was a pair of trumpeter swans on the pond. I returned back on Sunday and was fortunate that the swans were right at the bank, and so I was able to get some close-up pictures. They are really hanging around later than usual; perhaps because some people are feeding them. There is a goose hanging around too. He is not with the large flocks wheeling around every day, but he is by himself, because he had a broken wing and cannot fly. He is also being fed, so I hope he survives.
Karen and Jerry Popadynec hosted a meal for the Harwood family on Saturday, in order to show off and introduce their 2 newest granddaughters, Cecelia and Natalie who were born on September 28th and October 29th respectively. Congratulations to all. Happy birthday to Ron Herrema.
The Bethesda/ Reach WI organized a trip to see Mamma Mia at the Town Hall in Port Perry and a large group of members, spouses and friends enjoyed this great show. The music was wonderful as was the acting. The only cast name I recognised was Cathy Christoff, who sang beautifully, and executed her part so professionally. That lady ought to be in the movies. Thanks to Barb Weese and Corinne Croxall for organizing this outing.
On Sunday church there was a joint service at Zephyr, and we welcomed back Reverend Eiko from her trip to Japan. As well as being the first Sunday of Advent, it was also communion Sunday and we prepare for the coming of Christmas.
On Thursday this week the UCW will get together for their Christmas meeting. There will be special music, a worship period, a craft time and a time to designate where our charity gifts might go. All ladies from the community are welcome to attend at 1 p.m.
Next Sunday, on December 9th, the service will be in Sandford at 10 a.m. To the Sandford people, please bring your White Gifts for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Uxbridge. Following the service we will enjoy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The ladies might bring some dessert to top it off.
On December 16th, we are back at Zephyr and on December 23rd church will be held in Sandford. The format of this service is still being planned, as is the arrangements for a Christmas Eve service. Everyone is invited to attend these services with us.
By morning most of the snow will be gone leaving a few dirt piles where the plow dug in. It still doesn’t seem like the grass will get its final cut or that the leaves will be mulched. Nature will have to take care of itself.
Our sympathies go out this week to Annabell Jones, whose sister Earline passed away mid-week. No service for Earline is planned until the Spring.
Our sincere condolences also go out to the Smalley Family on the passing of father Ross. His death occured just a couple of days before the wedding of his granddaughter, daughter of Joan and Bruce, on Saturday. Ross had been in palliative care at the hospital for awhile, so his death was not unexpected, but it is still a big loss to this large family. Ross had lived his whole life in Sandford. A Celebration of Life will be held for Ross at the Sandford Hall on Thursday, November 29th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with words of remembrance at 4 p.m. Ross was able to fulfill his wish of dying at home.
On Saturday afternoon a huge crowd attended the Celebration of Life for Ron Shier. The Udora Hall was over-full, and some people had to return home as there was not even standing room available. It was an event most attendees will not forget. There was an abundance of stories told about Ron and his escapades over the years and the first hour (plus) was one continuous laugh. The crowd listened to all the tales as told by old friends and family, including his grandchildren, who gave a stellar performance. The gathering included all sorts of family and friends, and there were plenty of both to talk with. My family has some connection in 2 ways with Ron’s family, so there were some new people to meet, and people to see again that we don’t get to see often enough.
On Tuesday evening the Sandford church council, followed by the Official Board, held a marathon discussion session as we debated the fate of both the Sandford and Zephyr churches. In the absence of our minister, Rick McKinley sat in with us. One decision made was that for most of the rest of the year there will be joint services offered that would alternate each Sunday between the churches until Christmas, and then alternate monthly for January, February and March.
Correction from last week’s column: Reverend Eiko does not return until this week, and she will conduct Sunday’s service, in Zephyr, 10 a.m. She takes an extended holiday because she is paid for ¾ time and is not contracted on a full time basis. We welcome her back, and know she thoroughly enjoyed her stay in her home town in Japan. She will be at the church in Sandford on December 9th at 10 a.m.
On Thursday afternoon the Sandford UCW met at the church. Our guest speaker was Bev. Northeast, who talked about the work of the Salvation Army, in general, and about their work in Uxbridge, in particular. All the money collected, either from mail-in donations or from donations paid into the Kettle goes directly to purchase items for the community such as food hampers, clothing, school bags full of supplies, and other items. The Salvation Army employs no paid staff, including those people work as volunteers to collect donations for the Kettle. At the completion of the talk, Bev was presented with a cheque, for the Salvation Army, from the UCW as well as a cheque from the church.
On Thursday evening a large crowd met at the Senior’s building for the North Durham Nature meeting. For the program, James Kamstra gave a slide presentation of the trip to Cuba he led last February. Slides came from his collection as well as some from Derek Connelly and Jay Theibert. Jay’s wife Bev, myself and five other persons were a part of the trip as well.
Friday afternoon I did a stint with the Salvation Army Kettle, relieving Jim Campbell. It’s usually a fun two hours because there are often friends and acquaintances passing by. If you have a couple of free hours you might call Bev, as I last heard she still had some slots to fill.
On Friday evening several Sorority sisters, and family, attended the show “9-5”. This is quite a hilarious musical directed by Melinda Delorme. There certainly are some great singers in the show and the actresses playing the three female lead characters, and the actor playing the male lead were excellent. It was a full house, both on the floor and on the balcony.
The Christmas Concert at the historic Leaskdale church was held on Saturday evening. It was a very enjoyable programme with the Pine Ridge Chorus opening and closing the numbers, and performances given by the Notable Music Studio, Alan Ely, and the Lindsey Rose Highland Dance Co. in the first half of the show. After intermission Caitlin Crane and Casey Spencer also added their lovely youthful voices. It was a great mix of art forms, and there was a full house to appreciate it and add to their voices on a number of occasions.
Sunday morning service was held in Sandford and was conducted by Al Sopel and Joan Sine. In the absence of Melinda, CDs were used with varying degrees of success. The guest speaker was Christy Hackner, one of Jim and Sandy’s daughters. Christy spoke about her participation in soccer at the college she attends in Toronto and how they had travelled to Mexico and Panama to play and also to share their testimonies with other young people. They also spent some time at an orphanage playing with the children. She created a slide presentation which showed these activities, and showed the people with whom they mingled with when there.
We were so glad to welcome back, safe and sound, Adele Boy who has spent the last 3 months as an observer in Israel and Palestine; not exactly the safest places in the world to spend your time. We look forward to hearing more about her experiences soon.
It was the last Farmer’s market of the season, which also included a Craft market as well, so I dropped in after church. What an array of things to look at and purchase. Same beautiful displays of crafts, but also many displays of produce, such as vegetables, honey, beeswax, garlic, and baked goods which were works of art themselves. It was late when I arrived there, but the place was packed and it seemed everyone was enjoying themselves.
December 6th is the U.C.W. Christmas meeting. There will be a special guest musician, as well as a worship period, crafts, and discussions and decisions to be made about the charities we will support. It will be held at the church at 1 p.m. and all ladies are welcome.
A Celebration of life will be held for Ross at the Sandford Hall, Thursday, November 29th from 3-5 p.m. with words of remembrance at 4 p.m. Ross was able to fulfill his wish of dying at home.