My column has been absent for two weeks as I was travelling in Cuba, in parts where internet was hard to find. Our group was headed by James Kamstra of North Durham Nature. Others from the NDN were president Derek Connelly, Jay and Bev Thibert, as well as Jean Jacobs. There were two ladies from the Pickering Naturalist group and two from North Vancouver and a fellow from California. We travelled with a wonderful local guide, which is necessary for anyone touring, plus several National Park rangers each time we entered a new Park.
They have an amazing number of National Parks and people live within them, carrying on their mostly traditional ways of farming, whether it be raising cattle, growing tobacco, sugar cane or coffee. They do have tractors but they are used mostly for transporting people and crops, not for working the land as they believe in what we now call "no till" type of farming. The horse is still the primary means of farming, carrying goods or people and they have an variety of carts from ones that look like sulkies to wagons and all sizes of trailers. Many were used as taxis! Occasionally we even saw oxen pulling carts and the odd mule.
The history of Cuba, the revolution, the rise of Castro and the coming of
Socialism to the Cuban people was given on a different slant than what we usually hear, which of course is from the US perspective. There is much more to tell with a few thousand slides, as we were naturally focused on bird life as well as culture and history.
The most beautiful things I saw were these hundreds of classic cars, beautifully painted and not at all held together with duck tape as you might think. Most were taxis but many were private vehicles and ranged from 1930 to 1980 vehicles. There were newer cars as well but not quite up to date because of the embargo.
Happy birthday to Joel Spears who celebrated this week. You can see Joel volunteering at almost any event having to do with Jr. farmer, 4H, museum and others. Happy birthday or anniversary to any I may have missed while out of the loop.
I was glad to hear that Jean Sopel is coming along well after her fall and breaking her hip and is under the special care of her mother, caregiver extraordinaire!
This Sunday was the third before Easter as we journey along. Rev. Eiko was on study leave and busily planning the special services to come, which include Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday as well as Holy Humour Sunday. Good Friday will be a joint service at Sandford; possibly Holy Humour will be a joint gathering as well but that is to be decided. Rick McKinley took the service this week filling in for Rev. Eiko with Melinda at the pianos.
Next week services are back to normal again but following the Sandford service the ladies are asked to bring sandwiches and squares for a lunch, after which the congregational meeting will be held.
This is a very important meeting, especially in light of the changes coming to the United Church in 2019. Everyone is urged to attend.
Here we are, past the middle of February already! The snow has melted and will probably disappear entirely in the next few days. Is it a teaser? More than likely, but Spring is still that much closer. I keep looking for my hyacinths that are planted close to the wall. They usually poke their noses out way too early and I have to keep covering them up, but it’s always nice to see anyway.
It has been a busy couple of weeks for birthdays, with Bill Lockie, Gisela Rolling, David Risebrough, Travis Smalley, Bruce Harwood, and Grant Hill among the several I know of. Congratulations to them and to any others.
Congratulations also to Kirsten (Wilson) and Tim Merrill on the birth of their sixth child, Judah Benjamin, another grandchild for Wayne and Marcia Wilson.
Also becoming grandparents for the second time are Ron and Ellen Smalley, as Eric and Erika have another small daughter, born way back December 20th, 2017! Her name is Brielle Anne Roslyn, a wee sister for Brooklyn.
Happy to report that Aunt Elaine Cox is steadily improving and getting around much easier now! Another friend, George Johnson, is home again, but learning to walk without a hip joint for the time being.
On Tuesday night, February 13th, a goodly number of members and friends met at the church to enjoy a pancake supper. There was an over-abundance of food, as usual, with lucky draws and valentines for all. We were happy to welcome several people we don’t see often and hope they will come more often.
Thursday evening the Uxbridge Genealogy Group met at the library. Serge Pacquet, an archivist from Ontario Archives was the guest speaker and delivered a dynamic and information packed talk on the Canada Company, a public agency which sold land to settlers beginning in 1824. Although most of the lands they owned, and subsequently sold to settlers, were in the Huron Tract, previously belonging to the Chippewa Nation, it was very interesting. There were some lots also in the Uxbridge area. There were only a few, but something to look for if researching here.
On Friday night the family of Betty Munro Somerville surprised her with a huge special birthday party at the Piano Cafe in Port Perry. The room was crowded with friends and family from all around the area. Betty has been involved in many aspects of the community for years, and latterly in politics, presently serving as a councillor for Scugog Township. She was born and lived her early years just north of Epsom, where her parents still live, and when she married Len they moved to the family farm south of Seagrave. It was a wonderful evening celebrating the life of a wonderful lady and friend, while she still is very much with us.
Saturday evening, along with a couple of sorority sisters, Robin John and Laurie Bond, their spouses Tom and Mike, and a friend Joan McKenzie, we had supper at Wixen Bridge followed by the drama at the Music Hall, the “Drowsy Chaperone”. This was the funniest thing I have seen for years! I had no idea of it at all, but it was terrifically well done, both the acting and the singing, with flamboyant costumes and overdramatic moments. If you need a good laugh, and who doesn’t these days, make sure you go to see it this weekend.
Sunday afternoon was another Celebration of Life but this time for a friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago. There was a huge crowd at Scugog Recreational Centre to remember Hillis Wilbur. Hillis live most of his life in Utica, first with his parents Ralph and Vivien, his sister Dorothy and younger brother Glen, who predeceased him, and still lived there with his wife Carol.
Hillis’s mother was one of my public school teachers at Epsom. Hillis was a year ahead in high school, but wife Carol Beare was a classmate and teammate for most of our years in PPHS. Hillis was well known for the many teams of both hockey and baseball that he coached over the years. His three sons, a daughter-in-law and a couple of friends gave heartfelt eulogies.
Because church services at Sandford and Zephyr were cancelled last Sunday, we had a double event this week as we observed the Imposition of Ashes and the Holy Communion. Each person who wished was marked by a cross on their forehead or the palm of their hand, with ashes made from burning last year’s palm leaves.
The Communion Service was preceded by learning a, somewhat, new song, “Eat This Bread” led by Rev. Eiko and Melinda. Before the message Melinda had sung a lovely song for meditation. Al Sopel assisted Rev. Eiko in distributing the elements while Carol Johnson read the scriptures.
Another week of snow and more snow! A Belizean friend, visiting her kids in Chicago just loves the snow. I say she can have my share of it! Of course she has never had to shovel yourself, and your car, out, in the early morning darkness, or drive in a snowstorm etc, which is something we all know about.
The past week or so has seen an assault on mailboxes, as there were reports of a couple of them found with gunshots through them. I thought I was getting off lucky this year, until last week when the snowplough, on the clearest day of the week, sheared mine off right at ground level. No doubt there are others around suffering from the same fate. That was Friday. However, I must say that the Region boys were quick and had it replaced, temporarily of course, by Tuesday morning. No way I’m going out there to paint my number on this new one though, until moderating temperatures!
Lots of birthdays to celebrate this month, including Don Cordingly, George Paisley, Marcie Clark, Bruce Harwood, and Paul Risebrough! Pat and Bev Molloy also celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary so best wishes to all, and best wishes to any others not known to me.
Last Monday night there was an accident just north of the Sandford Rd. All I could see was a flotilla of fire trucks, police cruisers and ambulances and I guess I came late to the sighting. It was a clear night, there should not have been a problem. I understand one of the drivers passed away, although there has been no confirmation of this on the news.
Tuesday afternoon saw a goodly crowd at the Community Care luncheon, although several of our usual regulars were missing. We had a delicious meal followed by a talk on taking care of our lungs and on lung disease. This comes in many forms and it is something many seniors have to cope with.
Wednesday was a bad weather day but in spite of this a large number of people attended the Soupers lunch at St. Andrews. Our Sandford ladies, and some gentlemen, served up some delicious soups and desserts; over $140 was raised for the Food Bank. Thanks to all our members who assisted and to all those who braved the storm to come and dine!
The services at Sandford and Zephyr were cancelled Sunday in anticipation of poor driving weather, which never materialized. However, hopefully the weather improves this week as there are many events coming up as we approach the Lenten season and Easter. Each Sunday is a milepost along the road to those very special Easter days.
Our pancake Supper is Tuesday and we can only hope the weather is good for that event. More next week on how that turns out!
On Thursday this week the Uxbridge Genealogy Group, with Serge Paquet from the Archives talking on Canada Company Records, how to find them in the Archive holdings and how to understand what information they contain. Again, when speakers come from a distance we can only hope for travelling mercies.
The Sandford Church Council will meet on Tuesday, February 20th, 7:00 p.m. There will likely be an official board meeting that week as well.
The first Friday in March is designated World Say of Prayer, March 2nd this year. As usual we are invited to join with our Uxbridge friends. The service is at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, at 1:30 p.m. This started as an event for women, but it has morphed into an every, and anybody, service, with both men and women welcome. The following Thursday is International Womens’ Day so we will have plenty of (hopefully good) exposure. You would think that after so many of these days we wouldn’t be constantly assaulted (physically and by the press) with more and more reports of sexual abuse, harassment etc. as we have been hearing lately!
Looking ahead some more, a photo day is planned for April 15th following the service that Sunday. It has been 20 years since we had a photo record made of our congregation during which time there have been many changes. However, other people besides regular attendees are invited to come along and be photographed if you have any connection with the church, such as a family member, former Sunday School pupil, were baptized or married there, attended a family funeral etc. or just come out once in awhile. The cost of the booklet will be arrived at later when we know how many wish to participate.
During April the U.C.W. will also be having a Bakeless Bake Sale to raise funds for their charitable donations. Watch for more information on that.
It keeps us guessing! What is the weather going to be tomorrow, or will it be something totally different the next day? The school buses have not run for two days already, since school got back in session, necessitating two postponements for pizza days at Scott Central. I hope the kids finally got their pizza this past week.
Happy birthday to Eric Swan who celebrated becoming 21 this past week. He is assistant manager at Boston Pizza and doing well. Maybe that’s where the kids got their pizza? The family celebrated at Wixen Bridge. Also celebrating birthdays were the original Mustard twins Chris and Craig. Double fun! Jennifer Wilson, of the village also enjoyed a great birthday as did Rachel Sutherland Arnaud, former assistant curator at the Scott/Uxbridge Museum. Rachel is now furthering her career at Port Hope Archives.
Best wishes for a full recovery after hip operations go to George Johnson and Gloria Gorman. Gloria was sent home after two days with no home care assigned or anyone to look after her or check on her, aside from her friends. Is this the way they are doing it now? I hear them talking about more home care etc. Constantly, but this certainly doesn’t show that. It is good to hear that after all this time Elaine Cox is coming along very well. We are all happy for that!
Condolences go to the family of Shirley Davis, nee Elson, wife of Mervyn, who predeceased her, who passed away on January 18th. The Elsons and Davises have lived in the area for many years. Shirley was mother to six children, 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. That is quite a record!
After a number of thefts in the areas others have suffered different losses. Bruce Harwood had his tractor burst into fire; it was just luck that the bales and barn did not catch fire too.
Audrey Adams came home from spending Christmas and New years with her son, to find her basement flooded and some appliances damaged. What a mess! We hope this gets cleaned up soon.
On Tuesday night the Sandford Council met and discussed various up-coming events, as the next couple of months will be quite busy.
On Thursday the U.C.W. members met and enjoyed a potluck lunch and a nature quiz. They came up with a slate of officers for the coming year, which looked much like the last one, and discussed their up-coming meetings and other events.
Following that meeting the worship committee met and consolidated services until the end of April. This period includes the season of Lent through Easter. Several special services are planned as detailed below.
Attendees at the Yuk Yuk concert at Sandford Hall Saturday night reported a full house and a fun time for all. Photos certainly indicated standing room only.
There was a disappointingly small group at the North Durham Nature A.G.M. on Thursday evening. The A.G.M. itself was quite short as there are no elections until next year. Around the room were set up tables with a number of bits and pieces of wildlife and you and your partners were to guess what they were. This was quite fun! It’s one thing to see the whole bird or animal, quite another to guess what it is from a few feathers!
On Sunday I went to the Scugog Heritage Centre to hear master photographer and traveller, Jonathan van Bilsen, talk about several of his trips (to 99 countries) and offer advice on how to travel more efficiently and safely. It was very interesting as only his talks can be, full of humour too.
Also on display was an exhibit of fabric art called “Threadworks 2016”. It was a fabulous set of art, any piece of which would have taken hours to do with very fine needlework which looked like photography, many types of needlework, some appliqué, others that resembled scrapbooking and more. Most amazing and ingenious! I think it is on until end of February. Don’t miss it!
On Sunday February 4th, Rev. Eiko will build her service around the topic of Black History Month. She will continue to utilize video material, which is going over quite well with the congregation. On February 11th, we will be celebrating communion.
On Shrove Tuesday the congregation will host a Pancake supper at the church. The community, friends, and family are invited. It begins at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $5 per person. The evening will be joined with Valentine’s Day as well.
February 14th, is Ash Wednesday. We will not be holding a special service for this, but it will be incorporated into the following Sunday service on February 18th. Everyone is invited to join with us, in Sandford at 9:30 a.m. and Zephyr at 11:00 a.m.
A lovely weekend with promise of a few more spring-like days! We will take what we can get. I had a pleasant walk-about Sunday afternoon, looking for more signs of spring and they are there; also signs that winter does not conquer all, as there is still much colour hidden under the snow and coming out on some of the new tree buds. It's easy to feel happier when the sun is shining too. I hope you saw the gorgeous sunset on Saturday evening. It was coloured with gold and reds and purples, with a ray of light shooting straight up into the clouds! Magnificent!
It seems like awards are being handed out this past week at school! Congratulations to Mac Moore, who won the certificate for kindness and to Chandler Ball, who won for empathy. Chandler’s family are also happy to tell that he has won a role in the musical, “The Little Mermaid”. It will soon be aired by the Scott Central School.
The speaker for the Uxbridge Genealogy group cancelled Thursday night, because of possible inclement weather, as she had a long distance to travel. That weather never materialized, at least not here. John McLean covered the subject of Scottish research quite handily, with help from Marian Bellamy. It is hoped that the weather will be better for the March meeting, when the speaker is rescheduled to attend.
Quick healing is wished for Mary Catherwood, who had a knee replacement last Tuesday and came home Thursday; and to my friend and sorority sister Gloria Gorman, who had a hip replacement on Thursday and came home Sunday. Sorry to say that George Johnson has still not recovered from the hip operation he underwent several months ago.
North Durham Nature held their feeder watch on Saturday. It was a much warmer day and not a day which caused flocking to feeders, like a stormy day would do. On six properties the ten participants saw 150 birds of 13 different species. This number is considerably lower than last year. The participants all enjoyed the morning however!
On Thursday night, January 25th, at 7 p.m., join with us in a new feature, “Quiz Night”. Attendees will be divided into teams to compete against other teams, who can identify the most items being shown at a table. Come along and test your skill. Memberships are also due as this is also our A.G.M.
Saturday afternoon I attended the birthday party for Keith Bacon, celebrating his 80th year. I went to high school with him and rode on the same bus. Other Port Perry High School (P.P.H.S.) attendees were also there to congratulate him. Congratulations also came from many other friends and relatives, from this area and all over, as Keith is well known for his work on the Uxbridge Fair Board and other community groups in Greenbank. Keith also has a Sandford connection with the Smalley family.
I was pleased to meet the new minister of the Greenbank/Seagrave churches. Unlike our Rev. Eiko, who comes from Japan, Rev. Stephanie Richmond was raised in Pontypool and lives now in Yelverton, with her husband. She has two children and several grandchildren. We are privileged to have all these caring female ministers in our area!
I was in Greenbank for a short while, as I had tickets to “Oklahoma”. That was a wonderful show. The lead part of Laurie was played by our own Melinda Delorme, using her beautiful voice in both song and drama. Darrell also had a starring part and if you don’t recall his dialogue, you sure would recall the suit he was dressed in as the peddler! They both played their parts to perfection, as did the rest of the cast.
Church this week at Sandford and Zephyr was a little different again, as Rev. Eiko took advantage of technology to display some of her sermon, as well as using it for her Young at Heart time. It went over very well with everyone. The theme was the well known fishers of men (people) story and she talked about how we can all be fishers in our daily lives. Casey was at the piano in Sandford and Nancy at Zephyr, while Melinda is in Oklahoma!
This Thursday the U.C.W. ladies will meet at the church for their potluck lunch, followed by the annual meeting. Following a worship period, the executive for 2018 will be selected, we will discuss the Prayer Shawl program and the Soupers lunch at St. Andrews on February 7th. All ladies are welcome to attend.
Subsequent to the U.C.W. Meeting, the Worship Committee will meet at Sandford Church, at 3 p.m. We hope to plan some activities for the coming three months at least, in the midst of which is Easter.
The meeting scheduled for after the church service at Sandford on January 28th, is cancelled, but will likely take place before many weeks have passed. Next Sunday the church services are as normally scheduled.
It was nice but hard to believe that so much snow could melt away as quickly as it did midweek! And then on Friday we had three seasons in one day, as the temperature plummeted from +8C in the morning to -20C at night.
I had one less thing to worry about (two if you count the new battery in my car) on Thursday as I trapped my two little wild kitties and got them in the house. It was while I was driving to and from the SPCA in Newmarket on Friday, that some of the greatest changes took place, including the dense snow, where in the morning it had been fog. And still some crazy drivers were passing while visibility was seriously affected! I am now having fun trying to tame these two little beauties. That makes five now, but the other three are none too pleased.
On January 7th, our Asling family held their Christmas party at Rob and Allison Ashton’s. There were about 35 present coming from Port Bolster, Port Perry, Uxbridge, Whitby, Oshawa, Hanover, Toronto, and Oakville. Having it later gave all those with kids a little break from the hectic pre-Christmas and post-Christmas days.
On January 7th, the Sandford community lost another long-time member with the passing of Carol Ann Taylor. Carol Ann had been battling medical conditions for several years. Our sympathies to husband Neil, son Stephen, daughter Rosemary, and their families! No arrangements have been announced as of yet.
This past Saturday a large crowd attended the celebration of life for Harry Johnson. Our former minister Rev. Diane Bennett-Jones conducted the lovely service. It was great to see both her and hubby Chris, once more. Grandsons Tyler and Kevin, and foster daughter Ashley Briggs gave eulogies and Dwight Clements read a letter from a Dutch friend who had trained in the airforce with Harry and had kept in touch, visiting back and forth, ever since those days. Granddaughter Casey Spencer sang “Amazing Grace” and the beautiful hymn accompaniment was provided by Richard Watson.
Birthday wishes go out to Betty Lummiss, Frank Radley, Jason Popadynic, and Brad Clark. Best wishes to anyone else celebrating birthdays or anniversaries! Betty and Frank were both recognized at the Community Care luncheon Tuesday. Speedy recovery is wished for Bruce Smith, who is nursing a carpel tunnel operation.
Some of the dairy farmers around may receive a magazine called “the Link” from the Ontario Holstein organization. The new winter edition has a three page spread on the Mustard family, tracing the family history to six generations of general farming, to today with their robot milking facilities. There are some excellent photos of the family as well. Great to see some of our local farmers receiving recognition!
Church services today were conducted by Adele Boy, who is completing her lay ministry training. She tells me the course is actually three years long, not two. Casey Spencer played at Sandford while Nancy Wolfe played at Zephyr. Next Sunday we are back on schedule again. Melinda is presently involved in the theatre production of “Oklahoma”!
I spent a nice hour visiting Doreen VanVught on Sunday afternoon. Although she is half a mile away, we seldom get to visit.
On Thursday January 18th, the Zephyr Council will meet at 2 p.m. and the Sandford Council will meet on Tuesday January 23rd at 7 p.m. Some important decisions lie ahead! On January 25th, the Sandford U.C.W. will hold their A.G.M. with a potluck lunch. All ladies are invited to attend at 12:30 p.m. The program for 2018 will be drawn up and a new executive will be chosen. On Wednesday February 7th, the church will be hosting the Soupers lunch, held weekly at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in Uxbridge, for the Food Bank.
On Sunday January 28th, a most important congregational meeting will be held. Everyone involved with the church is urged to attend and have their say.
Uxbridge Genealogy Group meets again this Thursday, January 18th, 7:00 p.m. Guest speaker is Christine Woodcock who will be discussing Scottish settlements in various parts of the country. We hope the weather cooperates when we have speakers from afar.
North Durham Nature has two upcoming events. On Saturday January 20th, there is a feeder watch scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon. This is mostly a driving event where you check out bird feeders in the area, to see what birds are feasting. My experience with this is the worse the weather, the better, as more birds appear, but that is not necessarily great for driving. Call Derek Connelly if you would like to participate.
The second event is the A.G.M. on Thursday January 25th, the slate of officers will be presented and voted on followed by a test of your wildlife knowledge. This sounds like fun as you will be working with a team. Everyone is invited, but it costs $5 for non-members. Members can renew their membership.
Well, a week into 2018 and not a lot going on yet, as organizations and families are still in holiday mode. Kids are still out of school until this week.
Mostly the talk has been about the weather and how cold it has been. How cold was it? Here the lowest was -30C and my car has failed to start three times now, so I guess it’s due for a new battery. I wish it was so easy to recharge a person! We have been luckier than our Maritime friends as howling winds and snow knocked out power lines and filled roads.
Of course, anyone my age can recall when this was a normal winter; roads were often blocked and temperatures well below freezing, Fahrenheit in those days, a good deal of the season. For some of the taller kids walking on the snow banks along the road to school, they could touch the hydo wires, (who remembers HEPC? We used to say “help every poor cat”, more on that later), and snow often came as high as the eaves of outbuildings. It’s not faulty memory. I have photos!
Speaking of cats, there seems to be an epidemic of cats/kittens being abandoned to perish in the cold. Some may be feral, but most are kittens born to a house cat, because they usually try to seek shelter in someone else’s home. Several tiny kittens have been found with frozen tails and feet which necessitate surgery or lots of recovery care.
If you have feral cars around, feed them yes, but with an eye to capturing and taking them to SPCA where they can be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eventually tamed. Cats kill millions of birds every year, so allowing them to roam free again, although it will cut down on the number of cats eventually, will not save birds, many of which are becoming alarmingly scarce.
Happy birthday to my granddaughter Charlene who turned 14 on Wednesday! In 2004 she was the first baby born in Uxbridge Hospital for that year. Best wishes also to anyone else unlucky enough to have a birthday or anniversary at this season, when so many other celebrations are going on; they often get overlooked.
Brenda and Brian Moore spent a wonderful holiday in Alberta visiting son George and fiancée in Okatokes, and sister Margaret and family in Calgary. Going south rather than north, David and LeeAnn Ball and boys have spent a great and hot week in Mexico. Sounds wonderful!
Friday was the Celebration of Life for Clarence Wilson, a life-long resident of this neighbourhood. One of at least half a dozen boys, he farmed on the 7th and was still active right up until his untimely massive stroke on Christmas day, having celebrated family Christmas at his house on the Saturday and attended church on Sunday. There was a large crowd, as between he and his wife Helen, their family ties stretched far and wide, as well as his multitude of friends. Son Steven and daughter Christine delivered eulogies and nephew Craig Wilson conducted the service.
Next Saturday there is the celebration of life for Harry Johnson, who defied the doctors predictions for many months after being operated on for brain cancer. Harry lived many wonderful experiences after being born in England during The Second World War, coming to Canada, joining the air-force, and working at IBM for many years. The service is at Low and Lows at 10:00 a.m., with visitation from 9:00 a.m.
There was a sparse congregation at church this Sunday, perhaps because of the cold, and others besides myself had car troubles, but we were lucky to have two cars in the driveway.
Casey Spencer filled in for Melinda. Rev. Eiko’s sermon was about the circumstances of the baptism of Jesus, and why it was necessary.
Next week, is the Second Sunday after Epiphany, Adele Boy will be conducting the service. Adele has recently completed a two year lay ministry course and this is the final testing. She has already conducted several weddings for friends and family.
Carolyn Hicken has requested that all annual reports be submitted to her by January 15th, in preparation for the AGMs in February. On Thursday January 18th, the Zephyr church council will meet and the Sandford one on January 23rd.
Our U.C.W. will hold their A.G.M. on Thursday January 25th. All ladies are welcome to our potluck lunch at 12:30 p.m.
February 7th we will again be hosting the Soupers lunch at St. Andrews, for the Food bank. Soup, cookies, bread, butter etc would be welcome donations, or cash to purchase. Contact Deborah Clements if you can help.
We are intending to set up a Prayer Shawl group soon. If you would be interested in knitting or crocheting a shawl please contact Deborah as well.
Well, here we are, having suffered through some very cold days and nights, about to ring in the New Year, with promises that the weather will remain this cold for some time yet and the political scene will get hotter as the year progresses. My wish for all is the same as my Christmas wish, peace in the world and peace in your world. If certain political leaders would think about that, the world would be a safer, happier place to hang our hats.
On December 19th, some of my sorority sisters went to Elgin Park to be part of the welcoming committee for Tom Brown, as he hosted the Toy Mountain campaign. If he gave the weather report, I neither saw nor heard it, but it was a nice evening. How is it though, that the big people always stand in the front row?
On the afternoon of December 21st, the owners of The Standard hosted a Christmas party for their employees and columnists. It was nice to meet these folks after writing for several years, and nice to meet other columnists as well. Thanks to the Green family and continued success.
At the end of that week Chris Acton, long-time hygienist with Uxbridge Family Dentistry retired and was feted with a party by co-workers. She will be greatly missed in the office but I am sure she will be found many more places, now with free time.
Best wishes to Betty Lummiss who underwent a cataract operation mid-month. Best wishes also to those with a happier event, as Wilma Doucette, Carol Meek, Nancy Wolfe, and Cathy Ellig, all celebrated birthdays in the latter part of the month. Best wishes also to Melinda Delorme’s parents who celebrated their 43rd anniversary.
The Christmas Eve services at both Sandford and Zephyr were well attended, with Rev. Eiko delivering the message as well as rendering a beautiful solo “O Holy Night”. Melinda was at the piano and later she too gave a lovely solo. Although they didn’t sing a number, a choir led the congregational singing at Sandford. The services ended with a candle-lighting, which is always very moving.
For most Christmas day was a fun and family day with lots of food and good times. For others it was not a great day. Clarence Wilson suffered a massive stroke that day and succumbed to it at Uxbridge Cottage hospital on Thursday, December 28th. Visitation will be held on Friday afternoon and evening from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. January 5th, with his celebration of life on Saturday, January 6th, at 11 a.m., with no visitation. This will all be held at the Baptist Church. Clarence comes from a very large family and will be missed greatly by a huge number of friends and relatives.
On Wednesday our Sandford church lost another member, as Harry Johnson passed away after an extended illness, following diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. Harry was born in England, but came to Canada after the war, was in the air-force for several years, worked for many years with IBM, and was the founding treasurer of the Peterborough Archaeological group. His celebration of life will be on Saturday, January 13th, at 10 p.m., with visitation one hour before. He too will be greatly missed.
At the same time, I received news that one of my female dental classmates had also passed away on Christmas Day. That now leaves only four of us, or maybe three.
On Boxing Day my granddaughter Char and her mother Jenny Jones came for supper and afterwards we took a drive though Elgin park and around town to view the lights. The Fantasy of Lights was truly wonderful this year, with more than 70 exhibits and other attractions. I hope you took some time from your visiting/feasting schedule to take in the sights.
Our church service on the last day, the last Sunday, of the last month of 2017 was a joint service with Zephyr. As both Rev. Eiko and Melinda were on holidays, Rick McKinley conducted the service and we feasted on some more wonderful music as Susan Rymen led the singing and sang a couple of beautiful solos. She was accompanied by Lynn Swanson at piano. Lynn also played throughout the service. Our special thanks to both these super-talented ladies. Susan was extra pleased to have her parents from New Brunswick visiting with her, as well as her daughter Holly.
Next Sunday services will be back to normal with two separated services and Rev Eiko and Melinda on deck. All are welcome to join with us at Sandford church at 9:30 a.m. and at Zephyr church at 11:00 a.m.
Just a week until Christmas! Weren’t we just preparing for it last week? Or so it seems, the way the time goes when you are getting older!
It’s been a week of extreme cold but at least there was quite a bit of sun. Several people reported seeing sundogs; I saw one straight up and down directly in front to my living room window. That same afternoon I saw and photographed what is called “rainbow clouds”, where colours are spread out over the clouds, a result of sunlight hitting ice crystals. Anytime I see something new and different is a good day for me.
Cor and Jenny VanMauik visited their daughter, who lives near Bala, last weekend and this weekend they were doing the entertaining, something most families will be doing in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday, I was a guest at the Epsom/Utica U.C.W. potluck lunch, along with a number of other ladies, and enjoyed the wonderful variety of food that always shows up. Also present was Barb Hughes, to play her accordion for carol singing.
Barbara recently won the 2017 Ontario Senior Award for her many activities, especially playing at Reachview and other such locations.
A very exacting proposal was submitted by Betty Bignell with the award presented by the Lt. Gov. of Ontario. Betty and Gerry were present for this activity.
There was a small gathering at the Uxbridge Scott Museum Wednesday evening when “One Hundred Women Who Care” presented the Historical Society with a substantial cheque for $11,927! What a bonanza!
It was also nice to meet the new curator, Pat Neil, who takes over from Nancy Marr. Nancy spent 10 years in that position, taking over from Allan McGillivray, who was the first and so far longest serving officer in that position.
Our sympathies go to the Molloy family on the death of Pat’s mother, Mary Veronica Molloy, on December 13th, 2017, at the age of 83. It is only three months since his father passed away, so it's a double grief for the family. Pat has 6 siblings with families.
Best birthday wishes to Eve-Lynn Swan, whose mother Marilyn treated her and her family that evening; birthday wishes also to someone a little younger, Gwyneth Smith, at six years old. Congrats to any others who celebrated birthdays or anniversaries, you sometimes get overlooked at this time of year.
On Thursday afternoon, a Blue Christmas service took place at Sandford U.C. Only a few came, but those who did, spoke highly of the service as conducted by Rev. Eiko. I notice that other area churches are beginning to hold these services as well, although they may not be called exactly the same.
Thursday afternoon I again sat in for S.A. kettle duty and it is wonderful how many contribute to the kettle there were, not just by monitory donations, but by sitting for two hours to keep watch. Many of the people who donate their time are also those who are involved in other community activities, such as Maggie McCreath, to mention just one.
Following that, I hurried over to Trinity where the U.C.W. ladies were holding a potluck supper and had invited our U.C.W., as well as ladies from Stouffville and Lemonville. There was a great turnout of ladies, along with Rev. Constable and Fritz. Of course the food was delicious, as it always is, when someone else makes it. The previous evening they had served a supper of chicken, potatoes, and vegetable, to the ever increasing Handi-capable Group, which meets at the church and was instituted by Rev. Fritz.
I had to leave early as it was also the Christmas party for the Uxbridge Genealogy Group. There was a small number, but that meant more goodies for everyone. Since I didn’t need any more goodies, I just joined in on the various discussions and spent a pleasant evening. Regular meetings begin the third Thursday of the month in January and there are some very interesting and informative speakers scheduled to speak, so watch for more details later.
On Friday evening I sat in on the first performance of the Living Nativity. It was quite cold, but there was no wind, so it was not an unpleasant evening and the on-stage action kept the actors warm. There were few bleachers for sitting, indicating a large crowd. It must have been even colder Saturday night, but maybe not on Sunday, as freezing rain is predicted, something we don’t need! Thanks to all the organizers and performers who carry on in such wintry weather!
Sunday was third advent, “Joy or Joyous Sunday”. Bill and Sheila Richardson performed the ceremony of lighting the candles at Sandford, while Tanis Pottage and grandchildren did it at Zephyr. Next week there are only Christmas Eve services. The services are at 6:00 p.m. at Zephyr Church and 8 p.m. at Sandford Church. All are welcome to attend. Donations will go the Salvation Army.
A merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!
So maybe Mother Nature is getting serious about winter, at least we have had some snow, although other areas have much more. I understand some people still don’t have snow tires on. Driving on Saturday night I was sure glad mine were on and this is only the beginning!
It’s been a week when many people have not felt up to par and just as some begin feeling better, others come down with it. A report said that the flu shot, this year, was only about 40% effective; if so I wouldn’t have wanted to get the flu without the protection of the shot! Medics predict a bad year for illnesses!
Congratulations to the Harwood family, as one of those families honoured with the Canada 150 award. Their farm has been in the family for four generation! Any other local families who have not mentioned winning this award, please let me know.
Congratulations to Caroline and Allan McGillivray, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this week, and also to Allan who had a birthday. Granddaughter Felicity helped grandma make and decorate the cake.
On Wednesday, eight of my sorority sisters enjoyed a lunch out in town. It was our Christmas celebration together. This was to make up for the five who are celebrating in Florida!
On Thursday the Sandford U.C.W. ladies met at the church. Having been given a large donation to our coffers, we were able to use that, along with our previous funds, to distribute to local charities and organizations helping a broad spectrum of local area people. Our thanks to our very generous donor!
After our deliberations we listened to, and sang to, a number of Christmas carols and learned a bit about the origin of each. We then worked on a craft which ended up being a button tree to hang as a decoration. We concluded, of course, with some delicious food. Our January meeting will be in the form of a potluck lunch and we will choose our new executive.
Friday night a small but very appreciative crowd gathered at the church to listen to the Children’s Choir directed by Jennifer Wilson. This was a marvellous evening of music, from the singing of a three-year-old holding the mic like a pro, the choir, a percussion band, violins, three keyboards, and Jennifer’s beautiful harp music. Plus there was drama and dance!
A talk was given about the beginning of St. Stephen’s Children’s Home in Embu, Kenya and what it has accomplished over the years, with a live-in centre and help for parents to feed and keep their children in school. Cookies and hot chocolate ended the evening. The same program would have been carried out at Trinity U.C. and Goodwood Baptist.
The weekend was full of music. One Voice performed at St.Pauls Friday night and Saturday afternoon and as always it was a wonderful parade of sound. The added flute and percussion music was fantastic. They were joined by the Port Perry High School Girls’ Ensemble and what a future in music these young ladies possess! I hope they realize how lucky they are!
During the blowing snow of Saturday evening, I travelled to Stouffville, where Bach to Blues Company was performing their second concert of the day. Adele Boy is a member of that group and they were wonderful too. They were joined by Aldbury Gardens Brass Quintet, a very accomplished group of players. Among the songs sung by One Voice and Bach to Blues, there was only one duplicate! There is such a repertoire to choose from when it comes to Christmas music. The final number, with the choir, the quintet and two pianos, was wonderful and garnered a standing ovation!
Sunday was Second Advent. Bob and Evelyn Cox-Meek read, and lit the candles for the day. Unfortunately Melinda was ill, so I did what I could at Sandford, while Rev. Eiko led at Zephyr. Her message was about how we can ‘make the path straight” from the passage about Jesus being baptized by John in the river Jordan. Perhaps we should be thinking a little more seriously about where these places, that we read of in the Bible, are and under what conditions they are living today. It’s not a happy world over there!
Next Thursday Rev. Eiko is having a Blue Christmas service for any who feel sad, lonely, or grieving, at this season. The service is at 2 p.m. at Sandford. Anyone can attend this event.
Sunday December 17th is Third Advent. Please join with us, at 9:30, at Sandford Church; or at 11 a.m., at Zephyr Church.
There will be no morning services on December 24th, but there will be Christmas Eve services at both churches: 6:00 p.m. at Zephyr Church and 8 p.m. at Sandford Church. A candle lighting ceremony will conclude each service. All are welcome to attend this special service with us.