Another beautiful week with plenty of sun and a replenishing rain to end the week! Grass is growing at a phenomenal rate, along with the weeds, but the lilac bushes, honeysuckle, and other flowering shrubs are perfuming the air while iris, tulips, and many other spring flowers bloom quickly; they don’t like the heat quite so much. I noticed that my fruit trees have all finished blooming and, except for the towering cherry tree, none had nearly as many blossoms as usual. Anyone else see that?
One correction from last week! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, not York.
The highlight of the week for the town and township was, of course, the unveiling of the Samuel Simpson Sharpe memorial, created by local sculpture Wynn Walters. A huge crowd lined Brock St. on either side, from the top of the hill to the intersection. There was a parade led by the Legion Pipes and Drums, with several other military and non-military groups. The band of the Royal Regiment of Canada, in their brilliant red uniforms, played from the hill and Bella Nove, in deep blue dresses, added their youthful voices, both there and back at the reception held at the Uxbridge Scott Museum.
As always, Ted Barris did a skillful job as the master of ceremonies and added informative comments. The opening blessing was given by Philip Ralph, padre for Wounded Warriors, Bruce Clayton Commanding Officer of Ontario Regiment, MP Jennifer O’Connell, MP Erin O’Toole, Regional Chair Gerri Lynn O’Connor, Mayor Pat Molloy, and Mr. Walters all gave enthusiastic speeches. It was a double, and triple celebration in reality, as there was also a large plaque unveiled.
The day previously, on Parliament Hill, a great victory was won when all MPs voted unanimously to allow the bust of Samuel Sharpe, created by Port Perry sculptor Tyler Briley, to be hung in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill. Previously he had not been recognized as a war hero, having committed suicide, but thanks to the perseverance of our MPs, he is finally allowed his full respect and hopefully, this will spread more light on the condition of PTSD, faced by military personnel, first responders, and others.
The reception was held at the museum with three of the buildings dedicated to displays surrounding his life, and a tent for refreshments. If you didn’t make it that night, plan to go soon. It is noteworthy that 31 of Sam Sharpe’s relatives, from Toronto, Western Canada and USA, attended.
On Thursday afternoon the Sandford U.C.W. met at the Church. After welcoming remarks Dorothy Baker conducted a worship service followed by a talk, by Carolyn Hicken, about the origins and work of the Jennifer Ashley Children’s Charity. Then a number of us had fun trying out one of the six drums, and other smaller music makers, she had brought along.
The church service on Sunday was a joint service held at Zephyr. Rick McKinley conducted the service, but the music was provided by the Key Note Senior Choir of Newmarket, composed of mostly females, with a few males. They performed a variety of music, just going to show that age is not a barrier to singing, as they were polished musicians. They were led by a former Zephyr resident Keith Profit.
Sunday afternoon I attended the 80th birthday of Harvey Dearborn, long-time friend, at Port Perry Scout hall. So nice to see friends and schoolmates under happy situations!
Unfortunately another long-time friend did not reach that milestone. Jim Noble passed away in the U.S.A. recently. He was the son of Harold and Dorothy Noble, who lived and farmed for many years just north of the Foster Memorial. My dad and Dorothy were neighbours and went to school together, so as children we were often at the Nobles for Sunday dinner.
To do this we had to drive by the Foster, but never went in. For many people this is still the case, drive by but never stop. Tours are available to describe all the wonderful carvings and details of this building. Conrad Boyce’s book “Jewel on the Hill” is available for purchase and every Friday evening “Friday at the Foster” concerts bring another seasoned performer. This Friday Larry Coguen, a country style fiddler, who plays street festivals, is the featured artist. Join us at 7 p.m.
On June 9th, at 9:30 a.m., Sandford United Church is hosting a Blanket Exercise. Pre-register at: firstname.lastname@example.org; the cost is $5. A snack and lunch are included. Bring a blanket to stand on as part of the exercise. The afternoon speaker, Dr. Laura Peers, daughter of Gail and Reg Peers of Udora, has been working in the Pit River Museum, Oxford University in England, for many years as curator. Finally back home, she will talk about her work in repatriating many of the artifacts that were taken from Indigenous communities.
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