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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND QUINTE REGION
Anthony Lemke’s Wellington Walkabout
by Catherine Stutt
by Lindi Pierce
by Amy James
Faith, Love, and Friendship in the County
by Michelle Hauser
The Mason’s Moira Lodge: 215 years to celebrate by Kate Kneisel
Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca
by Michelle Hauser
IN THIS ISSUE
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
Bay of Quinte Mutuals
Swamp College Road
by Orland French
by Lindi Pierce
Tourist in Your Own Town: TWEED
Gravitas The Festival Players’ Sarah Phillips
by Kelly S. Thompson
by Alan Gratias
ON THE COVER
Anthony Lemke and his five-year-old son Dane enjoy a Wellington weekend. Photo by Daniel Vaughan
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Bailey Marketing & Design estnut spread | Candied Violets | Soft French Nougat | Provence fruit jellies | Raspberry firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ey Tea | Sea Salt Caramel Spread | Local Jams and Preserves | Organic Acacia Honey | Duck legs Kate Kneisel Orland French Alan Gratias | Lobster Bisque | Grapefruit infused Olive Oil | Quince Vinegar | French Jacquard Kitchen Lindi Pierce Catherine Stutt Michelle Hauser Kelly Amy James ovence | Blackcurrant Vinegar | Dijon Mustard | Almond and Pear Chocolate | Smoked Olive Oil S.| Thompson | Lobster infused olive oil |Star Anise Candies | Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Banyuls Vinegar |PHOTOGRAPHERS CONTRIBUTING Brad Denoon Catherine Stutt ampagne shortbread | Kampot Black Pepper | Honey Vinegar | ProvenceGerry fishFailberg soup | Grape mustDaniel Vaughan Alan Gratias Blackcurrant Pepper | Chestnut spread | Candied Violets | Soft French Nougat | Provence fruit ADMINISTRATION | Orange blossom Earl Grey Tea | Sea Salt Caramel Spread | Local Jams and Preserves Organic Sharon LaCroix |email@example.com Distribution ellness Teas | Goose Cassoulet | Lobster Bisque | Grapefruit infused Olive Oil | Quince Vinegar | Paul Mitchell 613.966.2034 x 508 agon Mustard | Herbes de Provence | Blackcurrant Vinegar | Dijon Mustard | Almond Pearquarterly and is available County & Quinte Living isand published free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber commerce offices, retail outlets, t mustard | Bourbon Vanilla beans | Lobster infused olive oil |Star Anise Candies | ExtraofVirgin and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written uit jellies | Raspberry Macarons | Champagne shortbread | Kampot Black | Honey Vinegarby contributors are their consentPepper of the publisher. Views expressed own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of & Quinte Living. Subscription nic Acacia Honey | Duck legs Confit | Blackcurrant Pepper | ChestnutCounty spread | Candied Violetsrate| $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. r | French Jacquard Kitchen Towels | Orange blossom Earl Grey Tea | Sea Salt Caramel Spread | Mail Address: 250 Sidney Street, ON K8P 3Z3 613.966.2034 r Chocolate | Smoked Olive Oil | Wellness Teas | Goose Cassoulet | LobsterBelleville, Bisque | Grapefruit www.countyandquinteliving.ca Find us on Facebook gin Olive Oil662 | Banyuls Vinegar | Tarragon Mustard | Herbes de Provence | Blackcurrant Vinegar | hwy 62, Bloomfield ©2016 Metroland Media Group Ltd. Ontario Canada EDWARD COUNTY Vinegar | PRINCE Provence ﬁsh soup | Grape must mustard | Bourbon Vanilla beans | Lobster Printed infusedinolive www.maison-depoivre.ca lets | Soft French Nougat | Provence fruit jellies | Raspberry Macarons | Champagne shortbread | pread Jams and Preserves | Organic Acacia Honey | Duck legs Conﬁt | Blackcurrant Pepper | 6 | Local COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016 PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND QUINTE REGION
Editor’s Desk t
could be said, it has been said, there is a distinct possibility I was irrationally exuberant with my tomato seeds this past spring. It has been said, many times, by my 11-year-old friend Emily, that I have issues with spheres. This is usually accompanied by a magnificently dramatic eye roll and occasional piece of artwork for our fridge. Emily may have a point, but I blame it on Seedy Saturday in Picton. And Trenton. And on Edible Antiques, Vicki’s Veggies, and Terra Edibles. Plus seed catalogues, and a very indulgent husband who loves a sandwich with a slice of tomato freshly picked, still warm from the garden. There’s also the garden bling so easily available from Lee Valley, and that darned Epic Tomatoes book by Craig LeHoullier, and of course, the Facebook community of fellow growers on Heirloom Tomatoes and Seeds. Then there’s Paul Battilana, whom many of you know as the winemaker at Casa-Dea, but to me he’s a garden mentor, casually mentioning varieties I have yet to meet. He does that on purpose. There are many of us out there – you know who you are, Kathern Bly, designer by day, gardening instigator by night – who love the idea of growing honest food, and the County and Quinte region is a hotspot for those so afflicted. Karyn at Terra Edibles is a pioneer in heirloom vegetable and flower seeds. Her little shop in Foxboro is chock full of good ideas, from seeds to seedlings. Vicki’s Veggies in Milford, a stone’s throw from Black River Cheese, is a mecca for
veg heads. Her Victoria Day seedling sale is a pilgrimage, and the customer names on boxes awaiting pick up are a who’s who of County cuisine. Then there’s Edible Antiques. Forget the incredible selection of seeds. It’s worth a look just for the original artwork on the biodegradable paper she uses as packaging. Okay, buy some seeds, too, because Stacy kindly donated seeds which eventually were planted at the New Life Home garden in Consecon. Last year, I successfully started 77 seeds (yes, I keep charts, and Dot, I know you’re laughing and adding to the eye roll collection) and since I only needed about 30 for our garden, gleefully gave the rest to friends and neighbours. This year, due to an experiment in straw bale gardening (a pox on you Joel Karsten for your excellent book Straw Bale Gardening Complete) I needed more. Like maybe 10 more. Of course, a good gardener always plans for failure, so I started extra. Anyone need a couple hundred seedlings? Like 400? And some peppers? Lots of peppers. Peppers aren’t really spheres, are they, Emily? It started innocently. First, get some seeds to look like tomato plants. Done. Now, narrow it to a theme, which this year was locally developed tomatoes, inspired by a listing for Bellstar, developed in 1981 at the Smithfield Experimental Farm on the border of Brighton and Quinte West. Then came Seedy Saturday, and Vicki mentioned Quinte (which she grew for me to test the viability of the seed), Trent, Bonny Best,
and Moira (which Karyn warned, accurately, were poor germinators). Seems this region’s canning history led to a lot of experimenting, and Darryl’s sandwich is the benefactor of generations of research. One cannot live on local heirlooms alone. Well, one could, but one has a friend who is a retired biology teacher who prowls the area looking for interesting tomatoes. I’m trading my cousin Henrike’s aptly named pearl seedlings for OSU blue from Gary Bugg, who liberated a rotting tomato he noticed while he was driving through the County. He asked permission. Good gardeners have good manners. Only heirloom tomato growers would see the potential in this pile of goo and seeds, but that’s what gardening is, along with fear, middle-of-the-night temperature monitoring, and the final stage of growing tomatoes from seed – begging friends and neighbours to adopt just a few – just one or two, or three – plants. Maybe Emily’s right, but thankfully her Mom, Christy, agreed to host the fruits of my obsession. That’s what friends and tomatoes are for. I’m off to garden. Have a great summer, make a BLT, and thanks for turning the page.
Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living firstname.lastname@example.org COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
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A dreamer and a doer create...
Clearwater Designs 10
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
Article by Michelle Hauser Photography by Daniel Vaughan From their office overlooking the Bay of Quinte - sitting at custom-built, side-by-side desks - Ian Crerar and Michelle Laframboise, owners of ClearWater Design Canoes & Kayaks in Picton exemplify the successful marriage between a dreamer and a doer.
“I explained to Michelle we were going to ideas,” with a boyishly exuberant demeanour, get a machine and stuff is going to happen,” “I’m only 14 up here,” he says, pointing to the says Ian of the glimmer-in-his-eye stage of top of his head, cruising into the office on a the business he and his wife have owned and longboard skateboard (with a brown puff of operated for more than two decades. “She fur named Eva, the family’s Yorkshire Terrier supports crazy ideas, I have and makes them and Pomeranian mix, in hot pursuit) “I’m 65 come true.” everywhere else.” Ian is a visionary, which he defines as a person with, “No responsibilities, just good
Having foregone an Australian adventure so they could start their first business COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
together, Ian and Michelle have been on an entrepreneurial track since the day they met. They dabbled with a couple of different business concepts until the genesis for ClearWater finally came about in 1995. It was, “Partly out of spite” says Ian, recalling the moment that altered the course of their lives.
“We do injection moulding ourselves, we do sewing ourselves - just about everything we possibly can do we do here or we do locally.”
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
Ian acknowledges competing globally is challenging, “The big manufacturers in the U.S. are making a lot of their stuff in China now and that has definitely put some pressure on us, but we have really good staff and a pretty efficient production scheme so it works well.”
One advantage they have over their Ian grew up canoeing with his father in the Kawartha Lakes area, and loved boats, but overseas competition, Michelle says, is kayaks he’d worked for another Canadian canoe and and canoes are too bulky to ship economically, kayak manufacturer in the 1980s and when his “You can only get about 80 kayaks in a former employer had a machine for sale, but container.” Another plus is seasonal sales refused to sell it to him; it was a game changer. which are heavily influenced by the weather, “I looked around and they were working on a “If the Victoria Day weekend is sunny and fantastic, all the dealers sell through a pile product I had actually developed while I was of their stock and the phone just explodes,” there and I said, ‘Damnit! I’m going to do this says Michelle. She self-identifies as the paper on my own,’” Ian recalled. pusher in the partnership and takes the lead Today, the ambitious innovators are at with communications, customer relationships, the top of their game: leaders in a globally- and production logistics. competitive industry who are committed to “We do injection moulding ourselves, we environmental stewardship and have never do sewing ourselves - just about everything compromised their self-proclaimed ‘painfully we possibly can do we do here or we do patriotic’ core values. ClearWater is more locally and not just for the patriotic angle than just a Prince Edward County success but it makes us faster on our feet,” says Ian. story; they are an example of Made in Canada “If someone needs a purple such-and-such, it can be made by the end of the day. If we had at its very best.
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to reorder more stuff from China, forget it. The summer would be over before we could react to anything.” ClearWater’s speed-tomarketplace competitive edge makes them a perfect fit for smaller dealers who shy away from the higher-risk proposition of committing to an entire container of Chinese boats they may, or may not, sell.
“Whenever we have an interesting new project Terry will draw some pictures and work on a prototype for it... One such project has been ‘The Most Comfortable Chair in the World’ which is Ian’s brain-child.”
cooked lunch and even the 40,000 square foot factory, with the buzzing of saws, buckets of plastics in a rainbow of colours, and large industrial ovens for cooking the kayaks – “Like a chocolate bunny in a hollow cavity mould,” says Ian - maintains a family atmosphere. Ian and Michelle readily brag about Terry, their safety guy and design engineer who once worked on the Avro Arrow. Now in his mid 80s, Terry has been with ClearWater for nearly a decade and is a key member of their product development team. “Whenever we have an interesting new project Terry will draw some pictures and work on a prototype for it,” says Michelle.
While Ian doesn’t like to come off as overly sanctimonious about the Made in Canada angle, there’s no denying the feel-better factor is yet another bonus for ClearWater. “If a retailer is competing with our product next door to a retailer who is selling made in China product, the question becomes, ‘Does it matter to you?’” It does, to many consumers. Sales in One such project has been ‘The Most Ontario and Quebec are brisk and represent Comfortable Chair in the World’ which is their bread-and-butter. They also ship coastIan’s brain-child, seeking to rid the world of to-coast and have built relationships with the scourge of, “Traditional outdoor chaise distributors in Poland, Germany, and the U.S. lounge architecture that compresses your In 2004, with a thriving business and a lower lumbar on the posterior side.” more growing family - their son and daughter are colloquially known as, “Murder on the back.” now 16 and 14 respectively - Ian and Michelle Using the same material and process as eventually exceeded the capacity of their first the canoes and kayaks - rotationally molded, factory in Kingston and had to look for a polyethylene - the virtually indestructible new place to set up shop. “We looked from lounger (which only comes in one colour, best Trenton to Gananoque and then we found described as sand) is a relaxing but quasithe listing for this building,” says Michelle. “It was pretty decrepit and needed a lot of work medicinal chair which, “Decompresses your but we put in an offer.” They were also able lower lumbar, raises your legs to the same to rebuild the house next door to the factory height as your heart, and lowers your blood on County Road 15, completing the home- pressure.” It also has a remarkably comfortable business-waterfront triangle. “We’ve loved it arm rest, solving the perennial chaise lounge from the day we set foot here. You couldn’t problem of what to do with one’s arms? invent a better spot.” The man who, 21 years ago, told his wife, Ian and Michelle are quick to credit their “Stuff is going to happen,” can shift gears into local staff as major contributors to their the science and specifics with tremendous success. All of the workers share a home- fluidity. On the way back to the office, after
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testing the lounger, when asked about the referring to their joint passion for racing absence of industrial odor in the factory, which has taken them to the Gaspé, Missouri, Ian explains, “We use linear polyethylene Alberta, and beyond. Ian is quick to point out and there is no catalyst for volatile organic that Michelle is the fastest North American compounds being emitted so it has almost woman rally car driver, and that even he can’t no emissions.” Michelle is also very proud keep up with her. To this she gently demurs, of ClearWater’s environmentally-friendly “We go about the same speed. Ian’s better at manufacturing process, “We have very little the shorter stage where you have to be on the waste because all of the plastic scraps we cut ball right away, but for the longer endurance away during the trim process are recycled and stage that’s where I come out a little bit ahead.” used in the molding of seats and small parts.” There seems to be no shortage of ways in Back in the office Michelle is looking at her which the two complement one another.
computer and an inbox full of new mail. They When asked if they are happy about are gearing up for their busiest time of year - having devoted their lives to canoes and March to September. Ian takes his seat across kayaks, Michelle lets Ian answer, still with from her. They can look at the scenic bay, stare that youthful nonchalance, but a little more into each other’s eyes, or contemplate the serious, “The thing is we could have made piles of papers serving as a constant reminder widgets or valves or something, but at the end that running a successful business is a ton of of the day, we can actually toss a boat in the work. water and go paddling and say, yeah, this is In having revisited their origin story, what we do.”
Ian jovially reminds Michelle their trip to Australia is 25 years overdue. Michelle is unfazed, “We still get holidays,” she says,
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
“It is very satisfying. I could not have picked a better way to live.”
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Friday Evening: Military Tattoo and outdoor concert featuring: ALAN DOYLE
Saturday • Admission: Adults $5 - Children under 12 FREE Heavy Events Competition • Heritage Tent, Live Music, Dancing, Art, Food, NEW children’s area & more!
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Anthony Lemke’s Wellington Walkabout Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan There are a lot of demands on Anthony Lemke’s time these days. The full-time actor – an actor with a law degree he smiles – is at home in Wellington only on weekends during a hectic shooting schedule for his hit SyFy Channel series Dark Matter. He recently learned he’ll have to squeeze in time this summer to shoot The Kennedys: After Camelot, a television miniseries starring Katie Holmes and Matthew Perry. Anthony is also an ambassador for Handicap International (HI), an organization close to his
heart, with a strong focus on helping victims of landmines, and people displaced by political conflict and natural disaster. Closer to home, he is partnering with his brother and best friend to develop retail properties in Wellington. Right now, though, there’s a much higher priority – there’s a bumble bee waging war in his waterfront home – or at least that’s the battle assessment from his five-year-old son Dane, who insists the intruder is keeping him from his outside footwear.
Photo courtesy James Heaslip
Gently explaining the plight from the bee’s perspective, Anthony convinced Dane to brave the boots and head out to play with his sisters Maggie, 9 and Lara, 7. The children were a huge factor in why Anthony and his wife Maria Gacesa decided to settle in Wellington. All three were born in Montreal, the family is completely bilingual, and until recently lived an urban lifestyle. The children attend a French school near 8 Wing/CFB Trenton and having that opportunity was a key factor. “The trigger for the move was the French school on the base,” recalled Anthony. “The kids are Quebeckers, and their swimming, skating, and learning was all in French. We spoke English at home and it came as a shock to our daughter when she discovered she was an Anglophone,” he shares. The different perspective found locally is a welcome change. “People think a large city offers diversity, and it does, but the neighbourhoods are mostly populated by the same type of people – similar educations, income, interests, and outlook. Here, through school, their friends and other parents at the school, skating, and living, we meet all manner of people from all walks of life. Here, we have a very broad demographic while in the city it is a very narrow slice.” Anthony and Maria take particular joy with the military connection offered through school. “Our kids have friends whose parents are frequently absent because they’re supporting overseas missions. Through HI and their friends, our children are aware of what’s going on in Syria and other areas of conflict and disaster.”
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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
Long before Anthony’s connection with HI and 8 Wing, the Lemke family had a very personal awareness of the ravages of war. Anthony and Maria’s parents are from Europe. Anthony’s German father fled Poland with his family in advance of the Russians. They fled with what they could cart and carry, part of a wagon train. Anthony’s aunt broke her leg on the journey and the family had to break away to get treatment at a hospital in the south. It saved the family. The rest of the wagon train was bombed by the Russians.
Maria’s mother is of Serbian ethnicity and was born in a displaced person’s camp in Italy, where her parents fled after the Second World War. When HI approached Anthony, he was unfamiliar with the organization. “That’s not unique to Canadians. Its focus is not on first world countries; it’s response is more to conflict zones and natural disaster areas, with an expansion to less well-functioning states where there is a mass displacement of people.”
After learning a bit about HI, Anthony felt a deep kinship. “This is my story. This is my family’s story, and Maria’s.” So little of this is history; it’s headlines. “We hear the stories of migrants and accept 25,000 Syrians in Canada. We don’t hear about the millions left behind, and their stories before this effort. We don’t hear about wars ended but still a threat. During the Vietnam conflict, Laos was carpet-bombed. It is the most polluted country in the world in terms of unexploded ordinance. Now. Still. To this day.”
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This is not an actor reciting facts for his charity. Anthony visibly aches for these people, these countries. With limited time on a weekend home from shooting Dark Matter, he is focused on HI, on people in danger, not on promoting his show or his career. He is soft-spoken, direct, educated, and intense. “People are injured or killed every single day from left over mines. HI and other agencies 22
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
are there demining, but there are so many. When a child loses a leg to a mine, HI is there until they are grown, providing artificial limbs and psychological help to the victim and the family”
only part of the need. “An injured farmer who stepped on a landmine may have his life saved, but then what? He had no access to artificial limbs, no occupational rehabilitation. He was just one more farmer with one leg.”
In the beginning, the grassroots efforts by the co-founders arose from a year watching maimed victims seek help for their injuries. The doctors soon realized saving lives was
HI uses local products and knowledge to help integrate victims back into a new life, and accompanies them long-term. “We walk beside them,” Anthony explains.
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It’s a sunny gorgeous Saturday in Wellington, and Anthony takes a breath and realizes – thankfully – his hometown is at peace, and he recalls how quickly he and Maria fell in love with the village. “We started our relationship with the area on a drive from Toronto to Ottawa and we noticed the Loyalist Parkway signs. We wondered what that was about, and detoured. We came around the bend, saw the lake, the sandbanks, and the cathedral of trees in Wellington. I remember saying to Maria this place was going to be part of our lives for a long time.” They camped, they cottaged, and when Dane was born they found a perfect home. The owners were away for long stretches and loved the thought of a young family sharing the home in their absence. Sharing turned more permanent when Anthony and Maria bought the residence
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and began planting very strong local roots. Just down the street, two modest buildings were waiting, and Anthony convinced his brother and best friend to share his investment in the community. He shares a vision of a walkable village – off-street lanes and courtyards connecting businesses and greenspace away from traffic – and the new retail development at 305 Main Street is a great example. A less-than-aesthetically pleasing tired storefront is now an attractive retail fiveplex, including Nice Ice Baby, Ideal Bike, Sybil Frank Gallery, and Pure Honey, which also offers yoga and massage space for Mindful Movements. The building is board and batten, and continuing with the beach theme each store is painted a different complementing colour. “It’s very east coast inspired,” promises Anthony. “We don’t have the
built stock of Picton with the red brick; we’re a beach community so we’ll play it up and turn it into a touchstone.” Anthony is pleased some of the tenants are expanding their business to Wellington, including Ideal Bike and Nice Ice Baby, both anchored in Belleville. “They help to animate the main street and increase family attractions, which is a main goal with our development.” Anthony is building on the strong foundation and charm that drew him to the village, including the diversity he admires. “This is a beach community surrounded by agriculture; we have camping and we have wine tourists. We’ve been both, we loved being both.”
The urban actor with the law degree smiles at some of the misconceptions, including the perception city friends have about his waterfront home. “However crazy real estate has gone in this area, the 600 square foot condo I rent in Toronto during shooting recently sold for more than I paid for this house and lot.” This charming, gracious, and modest young man shattered another misconception, recalling when an American actor was onset and remarked about how much fun it was. “Actors in Canada are lucky when we work. We don’t make the money actors in the States make, we don’t make enough money for egos, so we have fun.”
Anthony and Maria bring the joy with them. The two met – as theatre people often Recent additions helped the family’s do – underemployed. In the late ’90s Maria transition, too. “Wellington has a good worked in the music store at Roy Thomson foothold with retirees and accommodations Hall and Anthony was an usher. It was the and both are solid markets. Certainly having the Devonshire as a neighbour helps,” last non-acting job he had, and the couple he admits, adding the planned courtyard is finding a home in Wellington for their behind 305 and 303 Main will soon be talents, including a Shakespeare camp for linked to the famous hotspot. “It’s all part kids last summer. of the walkability of Wellington, and we’re This summer the couple is looking so close to the Millennium Trail. Almost forward to Anthony wrapping Dark Matter everything is within walking distance.” for the season and returning to Wellington, The Devonshire was more than a enjoying the people and property and wellcommercial neighbour. “It was a comfort earned off-screen time with his family, but factor,” he recalls. “We lived in Toronto and it’s a busy time. Montreal in urban neighbourhoods. The There’s an upcoming trip with HI to Devonshire helped us feel like we were getting Laos and of course, there’s a five-year-old the best of both worlds – the urban life and boy who needs help making friends with a the energy and openness of the village.” He’s quick to note a stronger draw. “Those bumble bee. families who lived here for generations and make this a great place to visit and live had greater weight. There’s a rooted sense of belonging and place.”
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Memory Junction Article by Lindi Pierce Photography by Brad Denoon There is a display case at Memory Junction, chock full of tiny tools and gadgets, personal and household items. A sign on the glass reads, ‘If you can name everything in this case, you’re older than you think!’ All of these items were once the newest-fangled inventions, and now they have slipped from use, and from the memory of all but the oldest among us. “It’s amazing in one century, the things that have come and gone,” muses Ralph Bangay, owner/curator, with his life’s partner Eugenia, of Memory Junction Museum in Brighton, Ontario. Ralph’s lifelong passion is to preserve artifacts from Brighton and area history - railway, commercial, agricultural, architectural, and social - to share with the future. He calls Memory Junction, “A place of learning about the way we used to be and live.” He is pleased when people make personal connections with the collection, and appreciates the coincidences and memories that occur when they visit. Collectors occasionally approach Ralph to purchase items from the museum. Ralph gets indignant as he recollects being called a hoarder by a spurned purchaser. “If I didn’t hoard them, they’d be all over the place! I collect them so other people can see them. If I sell it to you, then it’s only for you to see.” Lest a reader who has never ventured to Memory Junction Museum should come away with a mental picture of a stuffy shoebox of a place, a trip south along Maplewood Avenue is in order. There’s a handmade sign and a chain across the entry, an interpretive panel, and straight ahead, an archetypal heritage railway station in locallyfired brick with crumbling white paint. But there’s more. Memory Junction Museum is three acres spread out along active railway lines. Trains speed by; some whistle a greeting when they spot Ralph at work on the property. The station is surrounded by an outdoor museum of four buildings including an
1880’s hop barn, freight and baggage sheds, and 14 pieces of railway history. The giant among these is the 110-ton steam locomotive, dating from 1906, one of only three remaining in its class. Were Ralph’s commitment to preserving history in any doubt, the story of the move would satisfy the most sceptical.
caboose, a 1930 boarding car, a 1913 box car, two steel CP cabooses and an 1898 velocipede. Three bright yellow speeders sit on tracks laid by volunteer labour. They are favourites of Ralph’s, tiny gasoline-powered vehicles that replaced the old wooden handcars used by railway maintenance workers.
components. An array of glass bottles includes some from Brighton’s own Coca-Cola bottling plant. Cases of motoring memorabilia contain forgotten treasure: when was the last time you saw a Supertest roadmap or Dist-o-meter? A display of cancelled Standard Bank cheques date-stamped 1923 reminds Ralph of waiting in line at that bank with his mother, when he was four years old.
The 1998 acquisition of CN locomotive These railway cars and heritage structures #2534 might just be Ralph Bangay’s career are not just pretty faces; each contains a highlight. “We got it because we were the mind-boggling collection of area historical Don’t plan to write a history book, or hold only ones who were going to save it, not melt artifacts and archival material. The steel-clad a school reunion without a trip to Memory it down.” Belleville City Council conceded Morrow Building (Interpretation Centre) - Junction’s boarding car archives. The former the mouldering engine in Zwick’s Park was its name still imprinted in the cement ramp railway bunk car contains a vast collection beyond their capacity to maintain. Moving - is historically significant as the freight of community photos, business calendars the locomotive, coal tender, and boiler shed built in 1910 by J.H. Morrow, local and receipts, death notices, and wartime required three flatbeds, and many thousands Ford dealer, when his firm had automobile correspondence. Ralph recalls a Brighton high of Ralph’s dollars. There were challenges with distribution rights for the area from Oshawa school reunion decorating committee using overhead clearance and road use. Friends to Gananoque. Historic photos show crowds his thousands of Northumberland County and volunteers came out to reassemble, sand mobbing an arriving trainload of those fragile school pictures. “School pictures get people and paint; the project took several years. vehicles that foretold the end of passenger rail talking. In those days there was no money for Lots of people thought he’d never manage supremacy. cameras. I have copied pictures for so many it. “Wouldn’t do it again,” he concedes, This is just the outside story. Inside is a visitors. Maybe they never had a picture of then laughs mischievously.” Well maybe if seemingly endless collection of early 1800’s their brother.” The collection seems limitless: somebody had a particularly good engine...” to 1950’s artifacts: lumbering and carpentry, signs from the Presqu’ile Hotel, a sash and Ralph has accumulated other iconic rolling blacksmithing, harness-making, shoe-making, door factory and a doctor’s office, uniforms stock including a weathered 1929 wooden tin-smithing, and ceramic house wiring from the Hilton hockey club and a local war 28
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veteran, photos of a handsome young Ralph with school chums, and teenaged Eugenia playing baseball. Ralph’s saved it all. He knows the history and provenance of each article, and has some personal memories, too.
from Brighton station. Even the forensic for grants. Eugenia had had enough of that evidence from the celebrated Dr. King murder during her career. The couple pays for the case departed from here. For over a hundred attraction sign on Highway 401. Yet Memory years, the comings and goings of passengers Junction Museum is an important tourism created memories. Eugenia recalls sitting asset for the community. Only a visit can do justice to the faded red in the waiting room with her grandmother, It’s hard to remember the original idea wooden caboose recreating the travelling wondering at the poster warning about war- was to find a place for Ralph’s stuff. And stuff office and living quarters of the train time spying; how could a little girl understand there was. Ralph always had a fascination for conductor, with the distinctive cupola from ‘the walls have ears.’ At one time, 20 passenger history. As a kid, he began collecting junk. which he directed operations. The weathered trains stopped daily at Brighton; by 1965 “On my way home from school I would drop green box car coupled to it tells Applefest there were none. into the blacksmith shop, looking for ‘new’ country’s history, from job posters to barrel The rooms of the train station are now filled old horseshoes.” They’re on display in the stencils, can labels to cider presses, peelers to with railway memorabilia. Restored station Morrow building today. pictures, creating connections for folks from agent’s and telegraph offices and two waiting As an adult, Ralph joined his brother in the Brighton farms and orchards. rooms contain priceless memories of the way plumbing business, and, “Was in every attic Memory Junction’s main attraction, the we used to think and live and travel. and cellar and barn in the area. After the iconic little brick Grand Trunk Railway station, The ladies’ waiting room houses a small gift Second World War, people were throwing was one of 32 built during the boosterish days shop with railway history books, a few toys, out really good history, in favour of new stuff. of the new Grand Trunk Railway in 1857. It first day covers of a 2006 Memory Junction I collected museum quality material: War is one of nine remaining. Through its doors, Museum stamp issue. Ralph and Eugenia of 1812 pieces, the original 1854 survey of across its platform, optimistic young soldiers count on donations and gift shop proceeds Brighton and Cramahe townships on linen marched off to the battlefields of two world to pay the taxes, and keep Memory Junction with seals.” wars, and war-weary immigrants arrived functioning. The museum has always been Eugenia joins Ralph in telling the story. from Holland and Denmark in the 1950s. privately run; the couple receives no financial Fresh and canned produce from the area’s support. Early on they decided they didn’t Their 66 years together show. Their words spill rich farms and orchards travelled the world want the paperwork involved with applying over each other, they interrupt, continue each COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
other’s stories, supply missing names, toss out reminiscences, ask questions. Eugenia recalls a time when, “The basement was so full of stuff there was only room for Ralph’s chair.”
of the damage for the police report. “I was within hours of putting a sign in the window to say goodbye to friends, and thanks,” Ralph recalls.
One day in 1993, Ralph was downtown when he heard that there were men and machinery on the site of the old Grand Trunk station, preparing for its demolition. The town had declined CN’s sale offer. Ralph raced to Toronto to begin negotiations that resulted in the purchase. “We thought we were buying the station, but got three acres! It grew from an old place to store an old collection. When we stood back and looked at it, we realized it was an instant Brighton and district museum,” reflects Eugenia. The museum opened ‘as is’ in 1994.
Anja won’t take credit, but somehow the Friends of Memory Junction and a Facebook page were born from the despair. Social media galvanized dedicated long-time volunteers and brought in new energy. A fundraising party in August, with Dot Connolly at the helm, raised over $3,000 for much-needed security lighting. A September work party organized by Kerry Boehme and Drew Macdonald attracted several hundred people. More are planned. Ralph and Eugenia were recognized for their work - and reminded how much they are loved - at Riding the Rails, the Brighton History Open House in February. Local media have been attentive. The Municipality of Brighton recently presented the couple with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Personable Eugenia, freshly retired from 27 years at Canada Post, was thinking, “Now I can shop ‘til I drop. “ But as soon as Ralph began cleanup at the property, people started coming. “He needed me to talk to visitors about the idea, the stuff. I didn’t know too much, but I’m the bigger talker.” And she needed to be. She recalls, “People from out of town on buses, all excited, either born in Brighton or having some connection or memory.” Her joy was, “To see people happy, ooh and ahh at the collection.” This was almost 20 busy years ago. The doors at Memory Junction were close to closing in the Spring of 2015. Discouraged by yet another act of vandalism at the property, Ralph asked friend Anja Croes to take photos
Eugenia’s joy: “To see people happy, ooh and ahh at the collection.”
This summer Ralph and Eugenia plan to open Memory Junction three days a week, and by appointment. When asked about the future, Ralph acknowledges, “Everybody asks me that.” He responds stoically. “I keep on going and never think about it. Main thing is it stays open.” Saving the past for the future. That’s what it’s all about. Something good will come of all this. Full steam ahead.
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Movies and Memories, the Makings of the...
Article by Amy James Photography by Daniel Vaughan The Mustang drive-in theatre, located off County Road 1 in Prince Edward County is best defined by its own vernacular, a cult classic. Combining the best of modern technology with throwback nostalgia, the Mustang offers customers movies with the chance to make some memories. Paul Peterson and Nancy Hurst are 29-year veterans of the industry, owners and operators of the drive-in with a singular strategic
plan - fun. Actually, the whole proposition originated from a 1980s buzzword when the couple passed by and saw the theatre for sale. Paul recalls saying to Nancy, “Well, that would be cool.” Laughing he adds, “So we bought it and that was the extent of our business plan.” Previous workers with the Children’s Aid Society in Kingston, the dynamic duo undertook their new passion with the same commitment to family and especially children.
The whole experience at the drive-in is centred upon having a good time – old-fashioned, family-fun, with all the current highdefinition visuals and sound. From providing children their first opportunity to be out late at night, hanging from the playground equipment beneath the big screen, to visiting the canteen in search of Nancy’s homemade fudge, the children enjoy a freedom not easily found elsewhere.
Mustang Drive-In Theatre
The theatre is popular, even fashionable Paul opens the theatre on mic encouraging drawing away from the fun but recognizing it, among locals, cultivating a fan base that the requisite horn-honking as well as a legacy to the people who made the drive-in extends for three generations. Yet, the group extending birthday wishes. His sarcasm is come alive. The trees are reminders of good is neither eclectic nor exclusive. All are endearing and lighthearted, giving him a times and promises of more to come. welcome, year after year, including surprised reputation far outside Prince Edward County. Each May, the Mustang pulls open the gate passers-by, who see the big screen from the He boosts cars that have died in the yard and and moviegoers drive in, stopping at the old road and cannot resist stopping in. Out-of- even shares the mic for marriage proposals. City of Kingston bus to pay the fee. Each towners, who book the same campsite each There have been moments of silence too, year, Paul takes note of largely empty vehicles year, come rain or shine, to enjoy a favourite remembering customers who became friends and smiles recalling, “How they pull back pastime. With 5,000-plus followers, the over the years and have since passed on. Two blankets exclaiming, ‘we made it,’ and I say, Mustang is a must. memorial trees are set on the property. Not ‘not quite’, and they make the walk of shame
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back to the bus to pay.” There is no anger in the story, just humour, of kids coming of age, trying to sneak-in, almost like Paul would be disappointed if they didn’t try. When the two purchased the theatre in 1989, the Mustang had been in existence since 1956; it never closed. Part of a chain of theatres, each was slowly sold off to independents, and Nancy and Paul became the lucky proprietors of the one in Prince Edward County.
customers who wanted to continue to watch Spiderman and those who wanted a different movie. Adding the second screen not only offers more movies for customers, but also provides people the opportunity to rent one for corporate events or local film festivals. It also shows Nancy and Paul listen to their customers and respond. Nancy states, “We had requests for a non-smoking section at the drive-in so we made one available.”
Initially, the drive-in needed some attention. A riot the year previous left the theatre in need of both cosmetic repairs and an intensive clean-up. Paul states, “It took us a few years to change the nature of the place, to bring it back to the family-oriented drive-in we wanted, and we succeeded.” Nancy also recalls how once the family focus returned, “We have almost had children born here. One client who comes regularly went into labour here, and we call their son our drive-in baby.”
From splicing reels to splicing memories, Nancy and Paul offer a fun that cannot be counted in dollars today. The time to sit together, outdoors, share a moment of humour or horror, snuggle and kiss, to be close. To find each others hands in the popcorn, and remember.
About 15 years into the operation, Paul and Nancy added a second screen, because they played Spiderman for six weeks, and had
Cola signs with the plastic letters. Popcorn and poutine, chocolate and candy, the drivein offers the best greasy fare with sugary
treats, dinner or snacks, keeping moviegoers energized and entertained for any double feature. People set out picnic tables, cook dinner out of the back of their car, and eat together, while watching the latest release. Children camp on the hoods and roofs of cars, transfixed by Nemo or Captain America. The old fire truck sits waiting for the imagination of small hands and feet to bring it back to its former glory, the same little people swinging from monkey bars, all while dressed in pajamas. It is these memories, which seem to fade as quickly as the old carbon bulbs that Paul and Nancy bring back in full colour. The xenon bulb replacing the brown edges of our own childhood delights, bright as sunshine, reliving the best with our children and grandchildren. Living out memories and making new ones.
Remember the hard-to-hear speaker posts, now sitting headless and acting as parking markers. Remember the old black and Yes, there are bugs - it is an outdoor movie whites featuring giant insects and excessive theatre. Yes, when it rains the ground is soppy With a minimalist marketing budget, the screaming. Remember the puppet shows and wet. So pack insect spray and rubber boots two put their time and energy into offering the people made between the reels. Remember, because there are also gentle breezes and best experience possible. Nancy works year- that perhaps, not so much has changed. The community. The relaxed atmosphere means round to collect items for goodie bags, free annual tradition of loading into the car to see on some nights you can change screens for to each child on pajama party nights. With what’s playing, munching while the crickets the second movie. It means no one is going no cost for the children, adults in pajamas chirp, sitting atop the tailgate or in lawn to check your car for outside food. It means also get a discounted price. Doggy bags are chairs. Turning into the radio station, hiding the place is truly customer and family friendly. available too for canine friends. One year, a under blankets, planning what to buy at It means you can sit back and watch the stars, onscreen or off. Listening to the laughter and Frisbee giveaway showcased photos of clients intermission. capturing summer, one frame, one memory, with their Mustang Frisbees in New York and Movies capture moments in time, as does at a time. the Dominican Republic, even atop the Eiffel the Mustang drive-in. The old reels line the Tower. Now that is a hard-core fan base. walls of the canteen, alongside the retro Coca-
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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alan Gratias
Billy and Kato
“Not too early for a glass?” Billy greets us at his house-cum-stage set in Cherry Valley. Joanie and I are invited for an early lunch on a rainy Saturday in May, a rare window into the hectic world of Billy Munnelly and Kato Wake, travel adventurers, pretension deflators, and art mentors. I wasn’t about to deny the creator of the well known Canadian wine guide on his home turf. Billy’s Best Bottles was a bestseller through 22 editions ending in 2012, the same year he received a lifetime achievement award for promoting Ontario wines.
Article and photography by Alan Gratias
As we settle into the small art-filled living room, Billy serves us each a glass of his ‘breakfast sparkling,’ the generosity of which makes me understand the second of Billy’s bête noirs, after snobbery, the stingy pour. Outside there is the bustle of community life, the draw this weekend is the church auction around the bend. Because Cherry Valley with its English village streetscape, undulating pastures, and views of East Lake has not yet been voted one of the prettiest towns in Canada, it remains a secret. The shire capital Picton, the Sandbanks beaches, and Point Petre are minutes away. There is no doubt that Cherry Valley is the real deal - the genuine Comte profound - deep in the heart of Prince Edward County. Kato, dressed in a light grey turtleneck sweater over black jeans, brings in four giant white speckled turkey eggs, gifts from a neighbour. As a painter and art teacher, Kato sees them as much as beautiful objects as ingredients for an omelette. Something she could use in her thrice weekly classes at Baxter Arts Centre in Bloomfield where she has become its public face. The couple got their start in Stratford - Kato in the visual arts and Billy as restaurateur and co-founder of Rundles. As our glasses are replenished, the conversation turns to logistics. The focus these days is on planning their trips to Europe, this year to Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. Travel Adventures with Billy and Kato, now in their fifth year, have gained an enthusiastic following bordering on cult devotion. The trips reflect the style of the hosts, understated but full of surprises. The journeys are informal and small scale, featuring superb accommodations and food with generous pours at every stop. The best testimonials are the legion of repeat bookings. “I would follow them anywhere,” one client sighs. We move to the intimate dining room next door even more overflowing with objets d’art, memorabilia, and Kato’s paintings. The long view out to the marsh and East Lake beyond is exhilarating, reinforcing
the principle that perspective is everything. Without sight lines, there is no soaring of the spirit. Kato serves ravioli stuffed with mushrooms over a bed of asparagus. Simply prepared, lavishly devoured. We sample several bottles as Billy outlines his approach to wine tasting. “It’s all about emotional connection…how you feel at the moment,” he enthuses. “Wine pleasure is as much about what’s in your head as what’s in your glass.” He gets animated, Billy does, and more Irish as he gets going on wine, food, music, and life. His trademark white chin tuft bobs over a yellow shirt and green pants. He is reputed to have the finest repertoire – The Munnelly Collection - of colourful trousers in the County. “Wine is a feeling experience,” he continues. “It’s all about heart. Wine is part drink, part desire, and part imagination.” After Kato’s signature compote of ginger, yogourt, and stewed rhubarb, I corral my hosts outside in the rain, somewhat reluctantly, for a quick photo. Like most of what they do, their trips, their wine camps, their art, and their personalities, Billy and Kato are masters of the slow reveal. An incremental exposure to the whole. What you see at first is just a teaser. It is the journey through the stages that count. Their house is no exception, from the road a simple abode with a vernacular wooden façade. On the other side, stunning vistas, garden terraces, and art installations - more movie set than homestead. A walkabout on their multiple decks overlooking the grasses of the fen show off a partnership hooked on colour, design, and the flow of space. An extraordinaire venue for performances, or solitude, or outdoor parties. We stand on the threshold for one last photo in the drizzle. Billy and Kato are framed in the doorway with an oversized abstract collage behind them. “What recipe for a happy home life do you want to share,” I toss out to divert them from posing. “Live close to good friends, spend half your life at the dinner table, open more wine than you need,” Billy jumps in. “Love your home and listen to it,” Kato adds. “And lighting on dimmers and a partner who shares your recipe.” Billy Munnelly and Kato Wake, co-creators, co-directors, co-producers of their life in Cherry Valley. Another play is being written, the players are being selected, and the music contemplated. Let the adventure begin.
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
his is one of her final services at The Manor on Loyalist Parkway. The improvised altar is being set up and rumours The Reverend Dorothy Lancaster has sold her home in Bloomfield and is preparing to leave the County make their way around the room of faithful worshippers, about 20 in all.
educated in Ireland and England, immigrated to Canada with her family and ultimately settled in the Port Credit area in 1958. “My early days were in the Presbyterian Church and then my parents made the big mistake of their lives: they sent me to an Anglican school, James Allen’s Girls’ School, in Dulwich, The rumours are true, of course. The one- England.” In her ministry, Dorothy is sensitive time Principal of the Havergal College Junior to the fact most of the residents of these School (1977 to 1997) - who felt called to a homes aren’t Anglican, so she does her best to be inclusive and inter-denominational. second career as a priest in the pretty place Back at The Manor, in the common room she visited decades before - is indeed winding turned church, the service has begun and down and moving on. the pair of love birds in the cage near the For 17 years Dorothy Lancaster has served window has settled down - although two the Anglican Church’s ministry to seniors in residents in the corner carry on a remarkably nursing and retirement homes across Prince loud and distracting conversation that draws Edward County. For several hundred of the the ire of the small congregation. Dorothy County’s most vulnerable residents - who remains composed, however, and later says, have counted on her for faith, love, and “If you’re going to do services in nursing and friendship - it will indeed be a sad goodbye. retirement homes you’d better be prepared Dorothy inherited the seniors’ ministry for interruptions.” from The Rev. Ted Goodyear. “When I came The vines of the County are frozen in the down here (she’d retired from Havergal, sold January wind as she reads from the Gospel
comes by this understanding honestly, having been profoundly influenced by her family legacy, “I think there was always in my life, stories of what people in the family had done. People on the margins were always important.” Dorothy’s great-great-grandfather had worked to get children out of the mines and factories in England and her great-grandfather taught himself to speak Norwegian so he could minister to the Norwegian sailors. “His wife used to say to him, ‘James, come home with your overcoat,’ because he would see someone on the street without a coat and give it to them. He even gave away his shoes.” Her great granny Sarah’s funeral procession stretched for blocks, lined with people all wanting to tell her family stories about what Sarah had done for them. “I always had this feeling that life is about being fortunate enough to be able to give.” When asked why she chose the less financially rewarding path of an unpaid priest, she says, without hesitation, “There were a lot of young people who needed jobs as parish
Faith, Love, and Friendship in the County Article by Michelle Hauser Photography by Daniel Vaughan
her house in Cabbagetown and hadn’t decided what to do next) Ted told me he’d been praying for somebody to take over.” Of the timing, she says, it still blows her mind. Ted was dying of cancer, “He would come from having radiation one day and do a service the next day.” In 1999, Dorothy, having graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Trinity College, was ordained wearing Ted’s stole by then-Bishop Peter Mason as a non-stipendiary (unpaid) priest. Together with a team of other clergy and volunteers, she would steadily grow the seniors’ outreach ministry to 10 services per month in different nursing and retirement home locations. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland before the Second World War, Dorothy Lancaster was 40
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
of John, ironically enough the story of the priests and I had a teacher’s pension. I could wedding of Cana, when the wine has run out. not take a job from a young person.” She preaches about the wine of unconditional Over the years, Dorothy has celebrated love. As is her custom, she challenges those many joyful occasions with seniors in the gathered to keep on giving, to not be undone County. There have been baptisms and even a by age or infirmity, “No matter how old we couple of nursing home weddings, but she has are, we can reach out, give that wine of love to also witnessed much suffering and loneliness, those around us.” “There are people who are visited very regularly Dorothy is passionate about the attitude of and there are people who never have a visitor. aging, and the power people have to shape it They usually get flowers on Mother’s Day, but for the better, “Regardless of our age we have a visit would mean a lot more.” work to do. How are the young going to know Dorothy is not a fan of how our society how to grow old happily and productively if warehouses seniors and she has a message we don’t show them?” to the community. “The greatest gift you can Dorothy often encourages people in nursing homes to reflect on the power of storytelling, which is something they can pass on to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She
give to a person in a nursing or retirement home is the gift of your time, even if it’s only an occasional visit. People, I think, are sometimes afraid of the nursing homes,
because it’s like the ghost of Christmas yet to come. Am I going to end up here?” She also wants people to know some of the challenges experienced by staff in these facilities. “These people live with sickness and death and they become very attached to residents - some of whom are in nursing homes for more than 20 years. When they die, the caregivers are left to grieve as well.” Dorothy has frequently been called upon to help staff deal with grief and loss. It is disheartening that stories of abuse in nursing homes are what catch the public’s attention when the day-to-day reality is more often punctuated by generosity and compassion. “At Christmas, the staff will do everything possible to get gifts for the people there. They know who doesn’t have family and who does and they make sure the people have a great Christmas.” In spite of the bonds she has built up these past 17 years, however, it is the attachment to her own family, and the desire to live closer to them as she heads into the next phase of her life that is pulling her away from the County. Her son and daughter both live in the GTA and she has two grandchildren, Taylor, 25 and Charlotte, 11. “At Christmas, Charlotte was saying, ‘Oh Granny, it’s going to be so wonderful when you come to live in the city.’” Dorothy’s doctor is less happy about the official retirement, saying the work is good for her. “It’s not just a matter of age, or of shoveling snow. I would like to do some things I can’t do when I’m here. I would like to be able to go to the symphony.” Dorothy says her father gave her an excellent example of how to age with courage and vision, “Dad would try anything new. I’m a bit like that. I’m always interested in what’s going on.” Leaving the County, and all the people she’s come to know and love, will be difficult but unlike many of her peers in similar circumstances, Dorothy isn’t traumatized by the prospect of downsizing “The house is beautiful and I’ve enjoyed living here, but it’s only a house. You never really own anything. You’re just a caretaker for a while and then you pass it on to somebody else.” The one-acre garden in Bloomfield is on her mind, though, as she looks out past the screened-in porch. One can only imagine how beautiful it is in the height of summer. “I’m a very keen gardener, and I’ll miss it, but you can look forward and think, there will be good things, or you can spend your days regretting what you’re no longer going to have. That would be terrible. That would be like a prison.”
The service at The Manor is nearing an end and Phil Robins, Dorothy’s friend and faithful pianist for many years, tells her there’s a special, off-season request: In the Garden. Phil plays the first few bars, familiar to anyone who’s spent even a little time in church, and the love birds decide they’re ready to sing along. As the interview draws to a close, Dorothy shares a story about her and her dad, “He once said to me ‘You were always very religious, even as a child’ and I said, ‘Dad, don’t say that,
it makes me sound like a pious poop.’ That’s not who I am, but I’ve always felt this sense of something much greater to which we’re all yet attached. I’m a very imperfect person, but I’ve always been very conscious that God’s there for me.” Of difficult journeys and sad goodbyes, Dorothy takes comfort in knowing, “God’s getting me through. I will come out in the light.”
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The Masonic symbol explained The universal symbol of Freemasonry, the Square and the compasses, which adorn Belleville’s Masonic Temple at 132 Foster Avenue at Dundas Street west, represent Masonic teachings: Tim, a Mason in the U.S. since 1998 who oversees an unofficial website MASONSMART [www.masonsmart.com, which does not represent opinions of any Masonic Grand Lodge] explains that the Square represents the obligation to square our actions with all mankind, i.e. to do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and the compasses symbolize the need to circumscribe our desires and follow Aristotle’s advice of “moderation in all things. The letter “G” symbolizes the science of geometry, which helps unravel the mysteries and wonders of nature, Gnosis (Greek for knowledge), and God, because belief in a supreme being is a required to become a Mason.
The Mason’s Moira Lodge:
215 years to celebrate Article by Kate Kneisel Photography by Daniel Vaughan The Masonic Order – in keeping with its credo – has been “making good men better” in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (PEC) since 1801, when Captain John Walden Meyers presided as the first Worshipful Master over the first meeting of the Mason’s first Lodge, now named Moira Lodge. Belleville was still known as Meyer’s Creek and Lodge meetings were held on the second floor of Simpson’s Tavern, a log building that stood on the southeast corner of Dundas and Front Streets near the mouth of the Moira River. The hamlet of Meyer’s Creek was a collection of log buildings, according to an accounting of the history of the Mason’s Moira Lodge compiled by H.S. Robbins. “The living conditions of the people at the time were extremely pioneer in style, living in log huts with bark roofs, eating pork, game, and maize (corn) for bread, and drinking much whiskey and beer. From these people came the men who formed the Lodge, and they apparently prospered and did well.” That first meeting on March 10, 1801, “Was a very happy day, and it enlivened [participants’] dreams of the future”. These mainly United Empire Loyalist settlers of Thurlow Township, who were already members of Masonic Lodges before coming here, “Realized there were not organized churches, or other societies, and that they now had an organization in which they could secretly confer,
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socialize, and organize to their mutual benefit and happiness.” Simpson’s Tavern was destroyed by fire 11 years later - a historical plaque marks the location - and the “determined Lodge of Masons” have met in many locations in the 215 years that have passed have since their inaugural meeting. While the achievement of building their current Masonic Temple in 1950 was impressive, Masonic tradition holds that a Lodge is not necessarily a building, but the men who form it. The Mason’s Grand Lodge of Canada website notes, “It is here [at Lodge] that Masonry teaches its lessons: kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, concern for the unfortunate and respect for one another. As long-time Mason and past master of Moira Lodge, Hugh Brown, explained, “Masonry is a code to live by – it requires a commitment to do and be the best that one can in life.”
Like any fraternity, being a Mason gains immediate acceptance from fellow Masons, as Ralph Swan, now celebrating his 60th year of membership, explained, “When I had just joined the Masons and needed to get to Toronto for work, I met a member of another Lodge who saw my ring and asked what Lodge I was in.” After sharing some Lodge talk, the fellow Mason ended up giving Ralph a ride to Toronto and putting him up in his house for the night. “You run into those things from time to time – brotherhood is what it’s about for me.” The arms of the fraternity have a long reach. Ralph, who was Moira Lodge Master during Canada’s centennial year celebrations in 1967, said, “It doesn’t matter where you go in the world – Germany, England, where ever you are, you can go to the Lodge.” Of course, gaining entry involves knowledge of the closely guarded handshakes and signs, he added with a smile. “It’s not a secret society, but it has its secrets.”
Many of the signs and symbols go back to the medieval stonemasons who traveled through Europe building cathedrals and castles, and needed ways to recognize each other and their degree of skill as working stonemasons. Today, the tools, traditions, and terminology of those stonemasons are used by Modern Freemasons as allegories for building temples in the hearts of men. That may be what members cherish most about being part of the brotherhood – this knowledge is earned as a Mason’s rite of passage, and preserving these secrets is matter of personal honour. “If you want to belong, you have to ask a Mason – we won’t ask you. And we hope what we do will make people want to belong,” said
In the Lodge room, peace and harmony are Vincent England, who joined as a newcomer required and all Masons are equal, regardless to Belleville in the 1970s, described being of their vocation in life. As members of an at a large gathering of complete strangers organization that welcomes men of any and asking a man wearing a Masonic ring, race, colour, and creed [i.e. religious belief], ‘You have been to the East?’ That question Masons respect tolerance of other viewpoints. along with a special Masonic sign was all Richard Verrall, who joined in the late it took. “We shook hands and instantly I 1960s at the age of 22, believes “Being a Mason was in with everybody. It’s like Rotary and has made me a better person. You’re always other groups in that way, but it gives you a learning things – it teaches you to participate different perspective on life. The symbolism and the fellowship is a big part of it too. I have of Masonic traditions is really beautiful,” he met so many good people. My wife never added, referring especially to one particular worried when I was going out to Lodge – we charge - a Masonic teaching that is recited by might have a beer after the meeting and then new members - where “You’re in poverty and be on our way. Family comes first…that’s part you have nothing, but you’re given the hand of of the Mason’s code.” friendship. It’s very moving.”
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Ralph Swan. Masons support each other in of the local Masonic Lodges, chapters, and times of need, as well as a wide range of many concordant bodies currently meet there. charities, locally and provincially. Bonnie There is no doubt new members are English is a long time the Order of the Eastern welcome. “It’s a beautiful, well organized, Star (OES). This predominantly female group democratic organization and it is very sad is open to female relatives of Masons (which membership is dwindling,” observed Beth is for men only) and Masons as well. Bonnie’s Moore, a 44-year member of the Eastern Star. husband Doug is a Mason and currently “When I first decided to get involved, I knew Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star. Bonnie my husband [a Mason] was home taking care noted, “Every year the Eastern Star and of our young children. It’s harder for young the Masons give to selected local charities, people these days, with so many competing including Camp Trillium, Quinte Healthcare’s interests. It’s a wonderful organization and Oncology unit, and the Alzheimer Society.” does so much for so many – it’s about time it Local Masonic Lodges also donate to the came out of the closet.” charitable Masonic Foundation of Ontario, which provides bursaries to Ontario college and university students who need financial help, assists hearing-impaired children, supports deafness research and autism services, funds alcohol and drug education programs, and raises money for prostate cancer awareness. In addition, the MasoniCh.I.P. program is offered to parents – who are provided with an Amber Alert CD with information specific to their child to assist police in finding missing children. Thanks to the support of Ontario Masons, more than 42,000 kits have been distributed since 2007. This year, Belleville’s Masons offered the MasoniCh.I.P. program in conjunction with their May 29 open house, held to celebrate the 215th birthday of Moira Lodge. The current Masonic Temple at 132 Foster Avenue has undergone extensive renovations and upgrades over the past five years, according to Hugh. “The improvements reflect the spirit and dedication of those who built it 65 years ago.” He estimates about 700 members
Occasionally, Eastern Star members cater events for the Masons, or for groups who rent the hall, which thanks to the extensive renovations, boosts new lighting, fresh paint, and a spacious stainless steel kitchen. In addition to the usual Christmas parties, wedding receptions, and celebrations of life, the Mason’s hall has been enjoyed by a diverse range of groups, from poker players to ballroom dancers to punk rockers celebrating Hallowe’en. And of course, the public is invited to regular fundraising events to see the Masons working in the kitchen, including pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners, and every spring, a lobster dinner. Members are currently working on creating a Lodge museum where Masonic artifacts will be on display – perhaps including the key to the original Simpson’s Tavern and Captain John Meyers’ Masonic certificate and tie pin which are currently locked away. As well, the Hastings County Historical Society is overseeing the preservation and cataloguing of all available paper documents relating to Masonry in Belleville; the collection will be available to the public at the Belleville Public Library.
Like the Masons, the Eastern Star meets monthly. Its chief role is fundraising with an emphasis on the fun – they hold teas, bake sales, bowlathons, even scrapbooking parties to support causes near and dear to Hugh Brown, whose dedication to Masonry the members’ hearts. Beth said, “When my and to Moira Lodge is unmistakable, said, husband and I lost our home due to fire, the “Anything that has the staying power that is Masons and Eastern Star really rallied around Freemasonry must have benefits to offer each us – the Lodge will always be special to me. I generation, no matter what fads prevail over have held an office in the Eastern Star almost the years.” every year.”
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Article by Orland French Photography by Daniel Vaughan You’d better be hungry when you attend the annual shareholders meeting of the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Company. They lay on quite a buffet. Mountains of roast beef. Piles of mashed potatoes. Rivers of gravy. A smorgasbord of salads. And a whole flotilla of homemade pies to round out your belly. Seconds, too, if you want them. On the invite to the meeting, they called this lunch. It was a full meal. It’s very rural church basement supperish, except it was the annual meeting of a farmers’ mutual insurance company in Tyendinaga, east of Belleville. Every year Bay of Quinte Mutual lays on a sumptuous lunch to draw its shareholders out to its annual meeting. This year, it was a depressing rainy day in March, and attendance was down. About 45 people showed up to taste the food and take in the company’s annual report and listen to guest speaker Jim Kennelly, a local historian, well versed in local history, paint a portrait of early days in Tyendinaga Township.
Policyholders in a mutual insurance sense of confidence in the company.” company are automatically shareholders, Grant Ketcheson can attest to the power invited to break bread with company officers of personal contact. Grant, who lives near once a year. The annual meeting is the Madoc, has been a director of the Bay of company’s way of maintaining the essential Quinte board since 1992, and his father before bond between its shareholders and its nine- that, from 1955 to 1991. “I can remember member board of directors. Produce of the annual meetings of the company as far back farm is returned as a tribute to the loyal as 1955. My dad used to get on the phone shareholders who have their roots in the and call around to all the farmers to get them agricultural community. They and their out to the meeting. Insurance is not the most ancestors have been keeping the company exciting topic but it was a social thing as well.” prosperous since its founding in 1874. A phone call from a farmer friend was a It’s a matter of loyalty and company lot more effective than an impersonal letter recognition, says Jeffery Howell, president of from a head office inviting you to an annual Bay of Quinte Mutual. “We serve our clients meeting in downtown Toronto. well. Of our 15,000 or so clients, maybe 500 Grant, who is also an adjuster with the have a claim in any given year. We’re right company, acknowledges most people don’t here in the County, or we have an adjuster have any idea who their insurer is. They know near them, and we give them a personal touch the name of their broker; they trust the broker you may not get from a larger company.” to come up with a company that can meet Scott McDermott, an agent with R.J. Brown their needs at a reasonable cost. Insurance Brokers in Peterborough, says, “Bay Grant says his father picked up Bay of of Quinte does an excellent job of looking at a property and analyzing the risk. They’ll Quinte coverage in the late ’40s; before that look at each case on an individual basis, and he was insuring through the brokerage now sometimes they will send out someone to known as Burr Insurance Brokers in Belleville. look at the property. It really gives the client a Burr itself can claim some original contact
Bay of Quinte Mutual... Protecting farmers for almost 150 years
with Bay of Quinte: the brokerage was the first to be employed by Bay of Quinte Mutual outside Prince Edward County to act as its agent. Until then (c. 1932) the company had been operating solely within the County. Not that the shareholders were reluctant to expand; it just takes time in the County. The question arose at the first annual meeting in February 1875, only a few months after the company was formed. Fifty-seven years later they got around to expansion. Today, Bay of Quinte’s client field covers much of eastern Ontario, from the eastern edge of the GTA and Peterborough in the west to Gananoque in the east, and as far north as Renfrew in the Ottawa Valley. Within that area it faces direct competition from other mutuals: HTM Insurance Company in Cobourg, L&A Mutual Insurance in Napanee, Amherst Island Insurance Company (the smallest of the lot), Lanark Mutual Insurance Company in Perth, Farmers Mutual Insurance Company in Lindsay, and Grenville Mutual Insurance Company in Kemptville. It’s a thriving company but the first annual report may have been a bit discomfiting. Bay
of Quinte Mutual began to sell policies in the fall of 1874, and by year’s end had issued 115 policies insuring $117,165 in property. The total amount of premiums sold was $2,791.93 but the amount of cash collected was only $280.80. After expenses, the total amount of cash in the company account was $28.22. Maybe that’s why shareholders started nervously looking for business outside the County.
of Upper Canada and proposed a piece of legislation that would benefit thousands of farmers for decades to come. Along with John Alexander Wilkinson of Essex riding, Mr. Roblin introduced a bill to allow the creation of farmers’ mutual insurance companies. The Roblin name is still plentifully spread throughout Prince Edward County, and the Roblins of the area can take some pride in the achievement of their namesake.
Over the next 142 years the company became substantially more solvent. The balance sheet at the end of 2015 showed assets of $60,656,440 against liabilities of $26,769,664 for a net surplus of $33,886,776. This is its resource for protection of policyholders. That has a little more breathing room than $28.22.
It was not an exciting piece of legislation, to be sure – unless you were a farmer. What is offered was some measure of security against the most likely source of instant disaster ¬– fire.
Of course, the mutuals don’t rely only on their own resources. In a bad year they could go bankrupt. They’re backed up by each other and larger reinsurers. Insurers need insurers. While Bay of Quinte Mutual was founded 142 years ago, Prince Edward County’s association with the concept of farm mutuals goes back to 1836. That was when John Philips Roblin of the County stood in the Legislature
Farming carried high fire risks. In the barn, spontaneous combustion, kicked-over lanterns and careless smoking were the chief culprits. In the home, fire hazards abounded: long skirts swirling around fireplaces and long sleeves dangling into candles, open flames everywhere for light and heat, beds lined with dry straw and cedar bows. Help was not always close at hand. The nearest neighbour might be a mile away, where the only signal reaching them was a plume of smoke during the day or an eerie glow in the
sky at night. Firefighting equipment was no more than an array of buckets; the source of water might be a well or a pond. But nothing could devastate a farm building faster than a bolt of lightning. The only defence was a properly installed lightning rod, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1749. Nothing is quite so quick to destroy a farm as fire. When a farmer loses his barn, he loses property, he loses sustenance, he loses potential income, and he loses the operational centre of his livelihood. If his house burns, he loses shelter for his family. Large insurance companies, no welfare systems they, understood the risks very well and refused to provide coverage. Or if they did, rates were so high insurance was out of reach.
Farm mutuals were essentially societies of farmers banding together, throwing their money into a pot and insuring each other under the close regulation of government. Their company names reflected their specific interest: Bay of Quinte was originally known as The Bay of Quinte Agricultural Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Times change. Today’s mutual companies offer a wide range of insurance, and they are no longer restricted to farms. At Bay of Quinte, says Jeff, farming operations today represent only about 15 per cent of the company’s business. Consequently, many mutuals have dropped the reference to farms and fire in their title. For instance, the Hamilton Township Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company had a name that rolled off the tongue, and rolled and rolled. Today
that same company in Cobourg has given itself a short and snappy modern title: HTM Insurance Company. It’s part of self-preservation. Keep up or go under. Some companies have folded, others have merged, but 180 years after the Roblin legislation was introduced, there are still more than 40 farmers’ mutuals in Ontario. Most of them have been around for more than a century. What they insure has also changed. Barns and farmhouses, yes, but there are other items pertinent to the County. Vineyards and wineries, for example. Docks and boats, because of the huge shoreline around the peninsula. Wind turbines and solar panels, if they are part of a farm operation, but not the large commercial installations. Jeff says Bay of Quinte was the first farmers mutual to
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suffered a loss. Six of the company’s directors are also adjusters, so they are in constant contact with clients. “It gives us a unique view of both sides of the coin. Sometimes you think you have the answer but when you have to talk to people who have lost their house, you get a different story.”
Or large multi-million-dollar houses. There might be a few in Bay of Quinte’s coverage field, but the company won’t touch them. There’s too much exposure.
Having a rural base means the company can also offer a knowledge of matters beyond In fact, recent increases in the numbers of the understanding of larger companies. Jeff total-loss fires have baffled insurance officials. discussed the case of a potential client who Bay of Quinte Mutual had more total-loss fires was refused coverage by a large well-known Like other insurance companies, Bay of in 2015 than in any year since the company company because his house was more than Quinte has invested in modern technology. was founded in 1874. The company calls 2015 100 years old. “That’s cookie-cutter coverage,” Still, one old-fashioned principle still stands: “The Year of the Fire”. The trend has continued he said. “The company cuts out all the riskier a real live person answers the phone at the into 2016. elements of coverage, and then offers lower office. “It’s important for people who are Of the 60 fire losses recorded by the prices. If you don’t meet the conditions, you stressed to hear a personal voice,” says Grant. company last year, 18 were significant fires don’t get coverage.” Rural companies also On the other hand, the smaller mutuals costing more than $300,000 each. The understand the issues of external wood sometimes don’t offer coverage on certain common cause was carelessness; the leading furnaces and septic systems, risk subjects that items in their neighbourhood. Vehicles, for specific causes were improper disposal of large companies don’t want to touch. instance. “We offered auto insurance for about ashes from a wood-burning device, careless Insurance companies sometimes get a bad five years, but we got out of it,” said Jeffrey. smoking, and inattention to stoves while rap for not paying claims, but Grant says that’s “There’s too much political intervention in cooking. not the case at Bay of Quinte. “Paying claims auto insurance.” If you have a policy with Bay of Quinte is what we do. Our job is to get people back in Drones, too. Insurance might be offered Mutual, you can discuss this with a director business. That’s what we’re here for.” on personal drones for hobby usage, but not over next year’s annual meeting lunch, cooked He says there is nothing like human contact for commercial purposes. That comes under by a careful chef. to minimize stress for a client who has aviation insurance.
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Tweed in its Twilight Art, beauty and nature in Tweed The small town of Tweed, Ontario, just 20 minutes north of Belleville, is a tidy diamond in the rough. Surrounded by local farmland, Tweed rises from Stoco Lake, paying tribute to historic Loyalist days gone by, but still a provider of countless farm-fresh food options. Nestled into Hastings County, the community of approximately 6,000 people isn’t a motoring metropolis, but instead is like stepping back in time, when the pace was slower and people stopped to appreciate the finer details of everyday life. Tweed is a town that invites visitors to come stay a while, unwind, and explore the local offerings in a friendly and unfussy locale. Established in the 1830s, Tweed is loved by many, including international bestselling author, Michael Ondaatje, who has a holiday house in the area and is known to be seen about town. Tweed is also the site of the first Canadian all-female municipal council, making it a step ahead of its time. “For business, Tweed is a beautiful town, situated on a river and lake amidst farmland and forests,” said Paul Dederer, owner of a local art gallery. The town is also home to an annual Elvis festival, and Our Backyard Feast to Farm festival, a delight for any foodie seeking local flavour provided by nearby farms. With art, history, and relaxing retreats nearby, Tweed should be on your next list of must-sees. Start your trip at North America’s tiniest jailhouse turned info centre. At the entrance of town is a pint-sized limestone jailhouse, complete with bars on the windows that harken to days where a stint in jail would have required sleeping standing up. Today the jail houses the information centre, where visitors can learn about the latest events, excursions, and places to stay in the bedroom community of Tweed. It’s the perfect blend of history and education wrapped up in one tiny building! After your visit, while strolling through the downtown area, pay attention to the adorable painted fire hydrants that add an artistic appeal to purposeful items. The mini murals were painted by participants in the Canada World Youth program, with kids from across Canada and Pakistan involved in the project. For those who love the writing, painting, and performances, Tweed is a refuge for art-loving visitors. Thanks to several thriving galleries and art
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shows, shops and centres, there’s an artistic medium for everyone. The Marble Arts Centre is one artistic entity. A former United Church, the Tweed Arts Council purchased the Marble Arts Centre in 2008. The organization installed lighting, sound, and visual projection equipment to make it the perfect location to take in a show and has become a hub of artistic appreciation. On top of the events and plays that take place there, it has also become a meeting facility available for rent, hosting weddings, gallery displays, and more. Most important of the events at the Marble Arts Centre are performances put on by the IANA Theatre Company, which puts on spectacular productions that brim with local talent. Fundraisers, comedies, dramas, and more are all on offer, with a new range of shows put on each season.
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The Tweed Arts Council is at least partly responsible for the arts presence in the area. Their diligent work helped bring local projects to light, like coordinating with the elementary students to produce countless decorated buses that now dot the fence of the Boldrick’s bus yard. “For every dollar spent on the arts, the return to the community is 3.8 times,” said Don Herbertson, Co-Chair and Treasurer of the Tweed Arts Council. Don notes that partial dues are owed to the high level of volunteerism in the area, including youth theatre projects every spring and fall and the Art in the Park event, where local artisans sell and display their wares along with musical entertainment and food. www.tweedartscouncil.ca Tweed exists in a bubble of natural beauty. Aligned so closely with Algonquin Park, Tweed is a natural haven that sits just shy of one of the most popular areas in Ontario but without the tourism bustle that can put
off some visitors. A visit to Vanderwater Conservation Area is an example of stunning outdoor ranges. At Vanderwater, hikers seeking to explore their 15 kilometres of trails will be impressed by the rushing Moira River, which bursts over limestone boulders and makes for a relaxing spot for a picnic. This beatific locale shouldn’t be missed on sweltering summer days where spray from rushing water offers a relaxing place to fish, stroll, or snack. For those looking for more action, take a kayak, canoe, or boat out to Butternut Island in Stoco Lake, which offers stunning scenery and a chance to explore local wildlife. If neither of these options stirs your fancy, check out some of the local farms for fresh produce, eggs, and meat directly from the healthiest source, all while learning about local farming practices, crops, and where our food comes from. www.twp.tweed.on.ca/ parks
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There are many pleasant B&Bs offering some of the most stunning sculptures and local flavour full of insight into the inner home wares. Winding through the aisle is workings of the town. Black River Retreat like making friends with countless wooden goes above and beyond. “Catering to just artifacts all carved with the greatest care by one couple at a time, we are able to create a local and distant artists. There are also stone private and peaceful getaway that allows our sculptures to grace gardens and other unique guests to enjoy romantic tranquility with the finds that add something special to that drab one they love, while pampering them with corner of your living room. There are many luxurious surroundings and delicious dining,” said Trevor Telford, owner of Black River handcrafted items from all over the world just waiting for the perfect owner. Retreat. If the arts don’t pique your interest, then Central to the Black River Retreat experience is the town, which Trevor feels is make the most of Tweed by indulging in vital to the getaway escape. “When looking some of the general store type shops, like the for a location to build a couples resort, I Old Cheese Factory. www.quinnsoftweed.ca stumbled upon Tweed and immediately fell www.blackrivertradingcompany.ca
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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
in love with the breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape of rocks, water, and trees.” With an abundance of wildlife and a humble locale to call home, visitors flock to the escape, even those who live just three minutes away. Continuing the trend of artistic promotion, many local businesses make their home in the arts. Proudly promoting the latest and greatest in artistic merit, Tweed houses Quinn’s on Tweed, a gallery that boasts countless local artisans in the historical 1880s limestone and brick building. Exploring the 30 painters and more than 45 artisans is like stepping into a painted dream. Paul Dederer, owner of the gallery, opened it in 2011. “It is rare to find an elegant, superbly built, magnificent building like Quinn’s of Tweed in its original condition,” said Paul. “At Quinn’s we strive to make our visitors feel welcome, to feel at ease and to know that this isn’t a stuffy place where they’ll feel out of place.” For another unique artistic flavour, visit Black River Trading Company, which houses
Undoubtedly, thanks to the location near one of Canada’s oldest cities, Tweed thrives with historical flavour, evident on every street corner. Worth visiting are the many churches in the area, including St. John’s United Church, a stunning limestone treasure that sports a beautiful bell, which rang continuously for one hour to mark the end of the Second World War. The bell also had the previous purpose of serving as the Tweed fire bell. Of course, don’t miss St. Carthagh’s Roman Catholic Church, which lords over the town and offers spectacular views of the lake from its perch on top of the hill. For an excellewnt source of historical information, visit the Tweed and Area Heritage Centre, a self-professed, “Onestop introduction to the heritage, past and present, natural and built, of the community and region.” By paying a drop-in fee of $5, visitors can access information, documents, and other historical data about the local area, giving further insight into the ways the Loyalists forged the community.
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Swamp College Road Article and photography by Lindi Pierce Even the most peculiar road names become commonplace after awhile, and their origins are forgotten. People adapt to them in the everyday business of finding their way around. So it is with Swamp College Road in Prince Edward County.
A conversation with Sandra Karaz at Hadherway Farms gleaned recollections from Sandra’s 80-something mother. She remembers a one-room school just west of the swamp. It was first called ‘the school in the swamp’ but the name evolved to Swamp College. A charming cottage now occupies the slight rise where the school sat. Locals recall the foundation and steps remaining on the property for some time.
Swamp College Road is a three kilometer stretch in Hillier township, between historic Danforth Road and Belleville-bound County Road 2. A The Quinte area is fortunate to scattering of 19th century barns and farmhouses, expanses of efficient modern have well-run archives and museums fields, a well-established equestrian preserving our local history. Questions centre, and a proliferation of bright blue find answers there. Peggy Ritchie of solar arrays border the road. An S-bend Quinte Educational Museum and and a dip in the road introduces a scenic Archives (QEMA) in Ameliasburgh was swampland with tall trees and a winding able to corroborate Sandra’s mother’s creek, spring marsh marigolds, and frogs. story, and to share a tangible link with the past along Swamp College Road. Swamp College Road is the sort of place Peggy provided copies of two undated people write songs about. In 2010, its letters on the subject printed in the Picton enigmatic name prompted a nomination Gazette. Warren McFaul, still in the area, to CBC’s Song Quest, a contest pairing songwriters with ballad-worthy Canadian confirmed the name change. A completely locations. Local singer-songwriter David different attribution was offered by Simmonds occasionally performs his respected local historian, the late David R. Taylor, who blamed a Toronto journalist own philosophical homage to the swamp for coining the name after a night of college. listening to professorial croaking from Local history go-to people were unable the swamp’s many frogs. to provide any clues as to the origin of QEMA yielded definitive proof of the road’s odd name. There was never a the existence of Swamp College school. college, even an agricultural research A 1920’s photo shows teacher Miss station, which would have made sense Huyck, and 24 scholars squinting at the in this farming county. Another theory photographer in front of the plain frame emerged after judicious online travel. schoolhouse along Swamp College Road. Ithaca, New York and Upper Arlington, The photograph was loaned by John Watt Ohio each boasted country schools and printed in the March 11, 1977 edition dubbed Swamp College. of the Gazette.
COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
celebrates... Photography by Gerry Fraiberg
Hospice Quinte #hospicequintegala Full coverage on facebook
The Invisible Ribbon Gala. #The Invisible Ribbon Gala
Above: Tim and Judy McKinney with Linda and Peter Kempenaar
Above: Jennifer Keiver enjoys a light moment with her husband, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton Commander Colonel Colin Keiver. Later in the month, Jennifer her dance partner Ryan Williams won Quinte’s Dancing with the Stars.
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CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED, Brokerage 43 MAIN STREET • PICTON, ON • K0K 2T0 TEL: 613-471-1708 • www.chestnutpark.com
$2,600,000. Recognized as one of the top 25 small hotels in Canada. Built in 1878, The Merrill Inn is located on Picton’s Main Street and offers 13 rooms with private ensuites, 50-seat restaurant, gift shop, parking for 24. Outstanding opportunity!
$1,569,000. Spectacular “seaside shingle” home right on Lake Ontario! Much admired executive home on 2.8 acres with lake views from almost every room. 4 bedrooms, media room, library and 2 family rooms. Wraparound verandah for lazy summer afternoons.
$1,495,000. Much-admired Waupoos farm on 80 acres right on Lake Ontario! Beautifullyrenovated 1867 red brick farmhouse, handsome barn plus a charming cottage at shoreline. Incomparable family retreat!
$999,000. Spectacular stone executive on 7+ acres. Minutes from Belleville! Total privacy & expansive water views. Sprawling lawns, ideal for pool! 4+1 bedrooms, family room, den, huge principal rooms & recreational spaces. Don’t miss this value!
$995,000. Exquisitely situated on more than 1,000’ of East Lake waterfront! Gracious bungalow, charming cottage, and much-admired roadside stone barn. Outstanding opportunity for 2 families or multi-generational situation. 36.5 acres and your own private inlet minutes to Sandbanks!
$995,000. Spectacular family retreat on sheltered cove in PEC! Stunning 6-year old house on 2+ acres, features 4 bedroom suites, amazing family room and huge waterside porch. Property can be run as a marina with 31 boats slips, 8 moorings & clubhouse. Opportunity!
$979,000. Private estate property on with 534’ of Lake Ontario waterfront! 3 levels of fullyrenovated living space, large outdoor terraces & patios. Lower level could be completely separate living quarters. Perfect for multigenerational situation!
$959,000. One of the County’s oldest houses (circa 1820) with additions in 1850’s & 1870’s – now completely renovated. Geothermal heating. Views over nature-rich Pleasant Bay. Glorious mature gardens, naturalized areas, and striking alleé of flowering crab apple trees. Not to be missed!
$896,000. Much-admired County landmark! Impeccably restored Colonial Revival classic featured in “The Settler’s Dream” and other publications. 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, exquisite period detail, two staircases and splendid entrance hall. Unique opportunity!
$659,000. Classic “Arts & Crafts” beauty in heart of Picton! Gracious centre-hall plan feature exquisite wood trim, distinctive stained glass, and generous spaces. 4 bedrooms, library, and unforgettable reception rooms! Updated mechanicals and recent salt water plunge pool. Outstanding outbuildings!
$549,000. The impeccably-executed modern home sits on a lush, naturalized lot just minutes from Wellington. Perfect for “Dwell” magazine fans: exquisite lines and finishes, limestone and pine floors, vaulted ceilings. Superb master suite separate from guest spaces. Chef’s kitchen. Rare and beautiful!
$439,000. Bring your binoculars! Spectacular views over the marsh out to West Lake! Two expansive levels of living space provide 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, large family kitchen and generous entertaining spaces. Wonderful family home, weekend property or rental income opportunity!
www.lauriegruer.com • www.samsimone.com www.monicaklingenberg.com COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Summer 2016
S a i ta rg ’s G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T Gravitas Quotient is a measure of o n e ’s r e s e r v e s o f i n n e r w i s d o m .
Sarah Phillips answers 16 Gravitas questions with Alan Gratias Name one universal rule of friendship. Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. What are you going to do about growing old? Pretend it’s not happening. Get enough sleep. What makes your heart stand still? Birds. The swoop of a bird of prey, the hop hop of a chickadee, the skitter of a shorebird. It always feels like I’m witnessing a gift If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? I’m pretty horrible at keeping secrets. I don’t know how I’d manage not to share. We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what? One more hug. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? Busyness. How would you like to rewire your brain? Less fear. More love. If you were to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for? See # 7 What are you fatally attracted to? Chocolate. Though I hope it’s not fatal. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? Careful planning. And when that fails, quick reflexes. What do you wish you understood about the workings of the universe? Quantum anything. How do we get to the authentic self? Quietly. If you were in charge of the world for one day, what would you change? For one day? And the change only lasted that day? Everyone in the world has a delicious meal, and friendly company, and a comfortable place to rest. What takes you down the rabbit hole? Rabbits. When do you release your inner quirkiness? When dancing. If we come into this world with sealed orders, what are your orders? Water often, walk daily, will do better in partial shade.
Photo courtesy Catherine Stutt
Sarah Phillips was born in Peterborough, Ontario and grew up throughout the southern part of the province but Prince Edward County has been a constant since the earliest days. Her family traveled to Sandbanks (or Outlet, as they called it then) every summer since she was born. She always came back. In 2003, the County became home. An alumnus of the Directing program at the National Theatre School, Sarah found herself working in nearly every theatre space in Toronto, and many more across the country. After a decade of freelance directing and running an awardwinning independent theatre company in the ‘big city’, teaching in various post-secondary drama programs, and starting a family, the lure of the rural paradise drew her east. She took up the reins of Festival Players of Prince Edward County in 2007 as Artistic Director, bringing outstanding all-Canadian professional summer theatre to enthusiastic audiences from near and far. This year is the 10th anniversary of The Festival Players of Prince Edward County. Sarah is unequivocal in her enthusiasm. “Walking with my kids on the beach, enjoying fresh produce in season, being part of an awesome community, and being able to bring great theatre to the people – it’s pretty much the best thing going.” As Saitarg’s Last Word, I ask Sarah what has she learned from life so far that she might characterize as a ‘universal truth’? The Director has a ready answer. “Everyone has a story. Just tell it.” By Alan Gratias
Discover your Gravitas Quotient at www.gravitasthegame.com