Our County Correspondents
If anyone out there has some pull with Environment Canada, I would really appreciate cooler temperatures this week. For that matter, a bit more snow also wouldn’t be amiss, because one of the defining characteristics of a winter carnival is “winter.”
Nevertheless, at the time I am writing this, it looks like we may have survived Sunday’s downpour with enough snow to carry on. And if we can get the mercury down to the negative side of the scale, the standing water on top of the pond ice should freeze to a Zamboni-like finish. This will eliminate the need for hours of cold and tedious gaspowered flooding. Although, just in case, Ben does have Donnie Raymond’s auger, pump and fire hose standing by.
Behind the scenes
While I can’t speak for the “Breakfast Buffet at the Hall” side of things, I can report that this past weekend was a beehive of activity at our place east of the crossroads. Saturday, Ben Williams, Vivian Franklin, Denis Comier and Sean Burgess rolled into the parking lot armed with shovels and chainsaws. In anticipation of impending rainfall, they wanted to clear last week’s snow off the three rinks back at the pond. And this they did in short order. They also packed down the sliding hill to give the snow cover a fighting chance of surviving the deluge.
With these missions accomplished, Ben, Denis and Vivian moved on to creating a fire pit by collecting fuel and building a circle of log benches. This is the first year we’ve had a bonfire at the Dunvegan Carnival and I’m looking forward to this new addition.
Sam and Jake Wensink also stopped by on Saturday with their shiny new-to-them pickup to offload the component parts of their familiar red and green sleigh and get it ready for the test runs scheduled for the following day.
As promised, the two hardworking lads were back on Sunday morning with their father, Peter, to pack the trails and clear away any trees and branches that had fallen since Jim Tilker and I last checked in the late fall. To be frank, this one is my favorite Carnival times — going around and around the trails to the accompaniment of the sleigh’s creaks and groans, watching the clouds of steam rise off Limerick and Sarah and listening to Peter’s fascinating stories. It just never gets old.
And that’s just a fraction of the behind- the- scene activities. I surmise that Kim Raymond, Vivian Franklin and their team of volunteers have been putting the finishing touches on the hall for the carnival breakfast. And Terry has baked 16 dozen butter-rolls to go along with her pots of beef vegetable soup.
Given all the volunteer time that has gone into it, I hope you’ll drop by on Saturday, Feb. 6. Start the day right with our country-style breakfast buffet from 8-10 a.m. at 19053 County Road 24. It only costs $7.50 per person; $3 for children aged five to twelve.
Then, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Carnival moves down to 19314 County Road 24. There, if all goes according to plan, you'll be able to skate on the pond, toboggan down the hill, go on the Star Wars scavenger hunt, watch an exciting "Snolleyball" tournament between the Dunvegan Dynamos and the Alexandria Gold Diggers and more. Remember, the outdoor Carnival activities and refreshments are FREE... and everyone is welcome to participate, even if you’re not from Dunvegan.
There was a great cartoon in the New Yorker magazine a couple of years ago. Two fashionable young women were lunching at an outdoor café with the caption: “I’ve only been gluten-free for a week, and I’m already totally annoying.”
This cartoon came to mind last Sunday when Terry and I were shopping in a local grocery store and I came across a shelf of premium-priced potato chips with a label proudly declaring that they were “gluten free.” Duh!
According to the Celiac Sprue Association potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are totally free from gluten. And, as glutenfree alternatives to flours made from wheat, rye and barley, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness recommends potato flour and potato starch.
Don’t you love marketing? Can a sticker declaring that the gasoline we buy is “gluten-free” be far behind?
Given how cash-strapped the Glengarry Memorial Hospital is, I totally understand their decision to charge for parking. With the provincial Liberals squandering money as fast as it can be squeezed from taxpayers and Hydro One customers, it’s no surprise that the hospital board needs to look at every potential revenue stream it can. I just wish there was a more equitable… and yet still affordable way… to charge for it.
All too often I’ve found myself having to pay $5 to stop by the hospital for just a few minutes. At the other extreme, people can park there for days on end for the same five-loonie fee.
A small short-tem parking lot could be one possible solution. But human nature being what it is, I know it would be packed with vehicles that wouldn’t move all day, their owners knowing that the hospital lacks the resources to police such a lot.
So the only really fair approach would be to install a “take a ticket/pay inside” system like the ones they use at big city hospitals. At least this way people would be paying for the actual parking time that they use. No doubt this option was explored and rejected as being too expensive at the time. But maybe prices have come down in the interim. It can’t hurt to check.
While not strictly a Dunvegan news item, our community is closely allied with the Town of Maxville, so what the heck. There’s also the fact that I love spaghetti and look back fondly on the days of the Old Spaghetti Factory.
If you and your pair bond share my passion for tomatosauced meatballs and long, slinky noodles, then mark Saturday, February 13th on your calendar. That’s when Maxville’s St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is holding its Sweetheart Spaghetti Supper fundraiser at the Maxville and District Sports Complex from 4-7 p.m. Also on site on the 13th will be a bake sale put on by the Glengarry Girls Choir. They’re trying to raise funds for their trip to sing at the Antigonish Highland Games.
So, this Valentine’s Eve, treat your sweetheart to a delicious meal and take home some extra dessert while you’re at it. I’m told that everyone is welcome.
Our thoughts go out this week to my cohort from North Lancaster, Inez Franklin and her whole family. Her mother, Katherine, passed last week and I can say, judging by the lineup at her visitation, she was one very well-liked lady. It's hard losing someone, but there has to be some solace for her family in knowing she touched so many. I spent my days growing up in this town with a few of her grandchildren and I can say they are one helluva family. Lots of fun. Good people to have on your side.
Advice to all readers of this column: You should never speak ill of anyone in this community because everyone is a cousin or grandchild or niece or nephew of someone.
The Cornwall Colts will be hosting “Crusader Night” on Thursday, February 4 at the Ed Lumley Arena in Cornwall. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Some familiar Char-Lan faces from both present and past are currently playing for the Colts. Tickets are available at Char-Lan D. H. S.
The new semester will begin on Thursday, February 4 for grades 9 through 12. Parents please take note, report cards will be sent home on February 12 for grades 9-12 and February 17 for grades 7 and 8. Make sure to check under the bed.
The school will be hosting an open house on February 17 for students interested in attending classes in the fall of 2016. Registration is from 6-6:30 pm. The presentation and tour will begin at 6:30 with refreshments to follow. For details contact Sherry at 613-347-2441 or [email protected]
Diners Club will be serving a beef and potato bake on Wednesday, February 3 and salmon pot pie on Wednesday, February 10. There will be Therabands from 9-10 a.m. on Thursday, February 4. There will be Meals on Wheels, Yoga 9-10 am and the Day Away 10:30-3:30 on Friday, February 5. The Wellness Clinic will be held on Monday, February 8 along with Chat Group and Bridge 1-3:30. On Tuesday, February 9 there will Therabands 9- 10 a. m., Euchre 1-3, the Foot Care Clinic and Meals on Wheels.
St. John’s Anglican
Rev. Jason Pollick will be leading a trip to Costa Rica this month. The church will be celebrating morning prayer, led by lay readers, on Sunday, February 14 and 21 in his absence. Gary Smith will leading service on the 14 and Steven Barkway on the 21.
The church will be serving Shrove Tuesday supper at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9. The supper will be followed by an Ash Wednesday service at 10 a.m. on February 10.
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church of South Lancaster will be hosting the churches of South Glengarry for the 2016 noon hour, ecumenical Lenten Services. The services will be held every Wednesday from Feb. 10 to March 23 with meditative music beginning at 11:50 a.m. and worship at 12 noon.
The first service, Ash Wednesday, is on February 10 and will be led by Gary Stokes representing the St. Lawrence Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada.
A free-will offering will be taken at these services with the proceeds going to the Glengarry affiliate of the Canadian Food Grains Bank. A lunch of soup and sandwiches will follow the service provided by members of the church(es) of the presiding worship leader.
The Soirée du Bon Vieux Temps was a huge success again this year with over 175 suppers served. Hilda and her crew outdid themselves with another delicious meal of turkey, boulettes, tourtières, stuffing, potatoes, veggies and pudding chomeur for dessert.
We were entertained by the Flipsen family who played several violin and mandolin tunes and even did some tap dancing. Then it was the turn of the MacMaster dancers. But the clou of the soirée was when Lacey and Taylor Hambleton walked on stage with their grandmother, Marie Hambleton Titley, and performed a tap dancing show. Marie has taken lessons for a few years and had said last year that this year she would join her granddaughters on stage. It was just beautiful to see. Marie is 74 but she is young at heart and loves dancing.
Later in the evening, Patrick Hamelin, and his teacher, Donna, performed a great tap dancing show.
For the rest of the evening Roger Hamelin, his son, Patrick, Oncle George Boucher and his daughter, Lisanne, entertained us all with good old country music which had a lot of people up dancing, including this correspondent. At 11 p.m. the 50-50 draw was held; Germaine Boucher drew the winning ticket. Congratulations go out to Betty McDonnell, of Glen Robertson, who won $905.
The evening was organized by the Knights of Columbus Council 1919, the Daughters of Isabella and La Soupière.
A big thank to Gérald Trottier for being emcee for the evening.
Birthday wishes to Gloria Poirier who turned 65 in January. Also birthday wishes going out to Bruno Carrière, who celebrated his birthday this past Sunday.
Deepest sympathies going out to the family of Wilfrid Major of North Lancaster who passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at Chateau Gardens in Lancaster at the age of 86. He leaves his wife, Thérèse, his son Jean (Lise) and daughter Nicole ( Jean), his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His funeral was held Saturday, Jan. 30, at St. Margaret of Scotland church in Glen Nevis. He was owner of Major Feeds in North Lancaster for as long as I can remember, because I remember going there when I was a little girl.
Sympathies also going out to the family of Yvette Claude who passed away at the Nursing Home in Alexandria on Friday, Jan. 22, at the age of 95. She leaves her children Michel (Micheline), Francine Sabourin (late Richard), Yvon (Gail) and her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Her funeral was held Saturday, Jan. 30 in the chapel of Glengarry Funeral Home. God bless.