The Glengarry News - - Straight Talk -

Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic

The Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic has be­come some­thing of a fre­quent des­ti­na­tion for stu­dents of Alexandria-based École Le Re­lais.

Re­li­gion and ge­og­ra­phy teacher Hu­bert Gau­thier says he’s been tak­ing stu­dents to the Caribbean na­tion for more than 10 years so that young peo­ple can spend their March break volunteering their time and see­ing how other peo­ple live.

This year, only six stu­dents went. Although Mr. Gau­thier says he usu­ally brings twice as many stu­dents, he adds that it was still a pro­duc­tive week.

“We stayed at an or­phan­age and we did some gar­den­ing, con­struc­tion and we also painted a park,” he says.

They also vis­ited a school where they did some tu­tor­ing, worked in a bak­ery and did more con­struc­tion.

Also on the agenda was a trip to the sugar cane fields so they could see how the work­ers lived and a trip to the town of Higuew so they could visit a slum.

The lat­ter was a real eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as stu­dents wit­nessed fam­i­lies liv­ing in de­crepit huts, sur­rounded by garbage and raw sewage, forced to pre­pare meals out­side.

They also vis­ited a free trade zone, com­plete with sweat­shops. Mr. Gau­thier says they weren’t al­lowed to visit the sweat­shops be­cause the peo­ple who run them wanted to hide what was go­ing on in­side. All in all, Mr. Gau­thier says the stu­dents learned a lot. “They saw a dif­fer­ent cul­ture,” he says. “Down there, they don’t have all the gad­gets we have but in­stead, they value their hu­man re­la­tion­ships.”

Bethune makes big time

One of early Glen­garry’s lead­ing re­li­gious fig­ures re­cently got a shout-out in the The Mon­tréal Gazette.

John Bethune, who was born on the Isle of Skye in 1751 be­fore im­mi­grat­ing to North Carolina, mov­ing on to Mon­tréal in 1779, and set­tling in Glen­garry a decade later, is men­tioned in John Kalbfleisch’s Sec­ond

Draft history col­umn in the March 6 edi­tion. En­ti­tled “The story of Mon­tréal’s first Pres­by­te­rian Church,” the piece talks of how Rev. Bethune helped es­tab­lish that de­nom­i­na­tion’s first con­gre­ga­tion in the city be­fore ac­cept­ing a call in May 1787 “to serve the High­landers and other Protes­tants who were rapidly set­tling the Glen­garry dis­trict some 50 miles west of Mon­tréal.”

It also notes how he over­saw the build­ing of Pres­by­te­rian churches in Wil­liamstown – where he lived – Lan­caster, Mart­in­town and Cornwall.

Rev. Bethune also re­sumed du­ties as a mil­i­tary chap­lain with the lo­cal mili­tia – af­ter serv­ing in that ca­pac­ity for the Bri­tish army dur­ing the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War.

In his col­umn, Mr. Kalbfleisch re­calls a story of the rev­erend’s ser­vice in the War of 1812, when, dur­ing the raid on Og­dens­burg, N.Y. in Fe­bru­ary 1813, he spurred on the Pres­by­te­rian mem­bers of the Glen­garry Light In­fantry Fen­ci­bles mili­tia unit as they charged more than a mile across the frozen St. Lawrence River, “wav­ing his Bi­ble while his friend, Fa­ther Alexan­der Mac­donell, did the same for the Catholics with his cru­ci­fix.”

Of­ten re­ferred to as the ”fa­ther of Pres­by­te­ri­an­ism in On­tario,” John Bethune died in Septem­ber, 1815 at the age of 64.

RIP Tis­cha

Gilles’ Bar­ber Shop in Glen Wal­ter is a lit­tle qui­eter now that Tis­cha, the daschund/Jack Rus­sell mix who greeted cus­tomers for more than a decade, has passed on.

Tis­cha’s for­mer owner, bar­ber Chris Bour­gon, has tied his dog’s col­lar around one of the chairs as a mem­ory to her.

Tis­cha had been sick for some time and was in a great deal of pain. Mr. Bour­gon had to have her put down last Satur­day.

He says there’s a new dog at the bar­ber shop, a daschund/York­shire Ter­rier mix named Dex­ter. Un­for­tu­nately, he’s a bit more shy than Tis­cha and does not ven­ture into the bar­ber­shop very of­ten.

Pan­cake Day nets $20,000

We sure were de­lighted to hear that the sixth an­nual Der­ick’s Pan­cake Day, which took place ear­lier this month in Ste. Anne-de-Prescott, raised more than $20,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foun­da­tion.

Named to hon­our the mem­ory of Der­ick Car­di­nal – who died eight years ago when he fell through ice at the age of 22 – the event has been grow­ing more and more pop­u­lar with each pass­ing year.

Der­ick’s mother, Joanne Car­di­nal, says that when the fam­ily first started hold­ing the fundraiser six years ago, they thought they’d be happy if they could raise even $300. In­stead, they wound up rais­ing $5,000. In the crowd was Mike Wlotzki, fund de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor for Make-A-Wish, Eastern On­tario, who said, “We have no ter­ri­to­rial rep­re­sen­ta­tion in this area ex­cept for Joanne and Ré­jean Car­di­nal and they have found chil­dren who qual­i­fied for a wish who might never known that we ex­isted. It’s all about com­mu­nity.”

The event in­cludes a silent and live auc­tion and one dol­lar pan­cakes.


WISHES COME TRUE: Thou­sands of pan­cakes were flipped and hun­dreds of litres maple syrup flowed at the sixth an­nual Der­ick’s Pan­cake Day fundraiser at Le Su­crerie du Ruban, Joanne and Ré­jean Car­di­nal’s sugar shack in Ste-Anne-de-Prescott. Over 700 peo­ple, many from Glen­garry, at­tended, help­ing to raise a record $20,530 for the Make-A-Wish Foun­da­tion, Eastern On­tario, in mem­ory of the Car­di­nals’ son, Der­ick, who died ac­ci­den­tally in 2006. Joanne and Ré­jean pose with their son, Alex. The event also fea­tured all-day live mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment.


DOWN SOUTH: Shown in front of the NPH or­phan­age in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic are Le Re­lais stu­dents (back row) Jes­sica Sa­rault, Chris­tine Bella­vance (adult chap­er­one), Alyssa Ro­chon, Char­lie Par­ent, Tommy La­mon­tagne, Hu­bert Gau­thier (teacher). Front row: Fran­cis Ler­oux, Au­drey Levert.

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