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G R A N D B E N D ’S F R E E C O M M U N I T Y N E W S P A P E R

Vol. 2, No. 1

Grand Bend






Wed. May 14-27, 2008

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2 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mariah Gilmar and Callum Rankin make faces as part of a song during their Grand Bend nursery school class.

Need a reason to golf? Nursery school has a few little ones Grand Bend Nursery School needs money to cover funding cut

Grand Bend Nursery School Golf Tournament May ,  – Bayview Golf Club  – golf and dinner;  dinner only Register by May ; sponsorships wanted Call () - [ Julia]

Jennifer Barclay, Callum Rankin, Jewel Dinel, and Tate Bushnell clean up after a day of fun.

Story and Photos by Casey Lessard Stretched to the limit of what they feel they can ask parents to subsidize, the teachers at the Grand Bend Nursery School are hoping the community will fill in the blanks left by a government funding withdrawal.

“If you have nine families and they’re paying $300 each, we’re still $6,000 in the hole,” says teacher Jean Irvin. The shortfall comes after the province took away $7,500 or 2/3rds of their grant money, which had been used to cover wages. (Continued on Page 3)

Teacher Jean Irvin lines up her students before they go home. From left, Anna Heywood, Tate Bushnell, Callum Rankin, Jewel Dinel, Mariah Gilmar and Erin Mathers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 3

“It’s heartwarming to see the smile on her face.”

Erin Mathers listens closely to a story told by teacher Jean Irvin.

The hope is that by doing a big fundraiser – this year a golf tournament at the Bayview Golf Club – the parents won’t have to do smaller fundraisers to make up the difference. “We have done pizza sales, etc.,” says teacher Carrie Grainger. “You don’t make a lot of money when the numbers are low. This way, doing something big, that will be the one thing we have to do each year.” The program started about 34 years ago, and moved to the Grand Bend Public School after it was built. The setting is a natural fit for the nursery school. “I think it’s important for kids to follow the natural path from being at home with their parents to starting kindergarten,” says Deana Dinel, who moved here from Vancouver with her husband Ken last year. Their two-year-old daughter Jewel is a student at the Nursery

School. “I think it’s important to get away from being at home with their parents, and to be around other kids and teachers.” Marion Taylor’s daughter Mariah Gilmar, 3, is also in the class. “It’s neat when you go to pick her up and she sees you and comes running saying, Mommy, mommy! She’s excited to show you what they made, and it’s heartwarming to see the smile on her face and see her skills improving. She’s colouring better and singing better because she’s getting direction at school. “She’s learning and doing crafts. They sang a mother’s day song to us and we’re standing there with tears flying down our cheeks because it touches your heart. I know it’s a good learning experience – it’s not a babysitter.”

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Callum Rankin lines up cups while teacher Carrie Grainger prepare a healthy snack.

“It’s a benefit for children to be with their peers and learn how to socialize and learn the pre-school activities that are a start to get ready for JK,” teacher Jean Irvin explains. “They do fine motor skills so they can hold pencils and cut with scissors. We get them to line up, and as silly as it is, it’s very hard on little people because they’re not used to having to wait.” Parents, like Marion Taylor, benefit from having time to themselves. “I know I have Tuesday mornings and Thursday mornings if I need to make a dentist’s appointment or I need to get my hair cut without trying to have her occupied while dad’s at work. “It gives me time to myself so I can go to the grocery store or have an appointment,” Taylor adds. “She only has one set of grand-

parents and they’re about an hour away, so it’s not easy to drop her off with them. For me it’s more about getting things done and time for myself and making life easier. Then when she comes home I have time to sit and play with her because I had time to get things done that would take twice as long as if she were home.” Deana Dinel finds the value in having time off from being a mom, if only for a few hours. “For my husband and I, working at home, it gives us some time together. A lot of parents don’t get that because they’re working. We get our time back, which we haven’t had since before she was born. We go golfing and get nine holes in.” Get in 18 holes on May 30 and help the nursery school stay open. For more information, contact Julia at ELS and Company at (519) 238-2199.

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4 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A tribute to the Regiers and friends

View from the Strip By Casey Lessard

was breaking nationally, Casey decided to tell the story of the victims through the eyes of the friends and neighbours who knew them. Through a series of one-on-one interviews presented in the newspaper in a Q&A format, Casey presented a poignant and fitting tribute to the murdered couple.” Thank you to the Regier family, and to the people who opened their hearts to tell their memories of Bill and Helene. This award honours your stories.

To the Editor, Last Wednesday I had the privilege of attending a conversation about Free Trade and Food Sovereignty. The speakers were Ubali Buerrero, a woman representing a farmers’ organization in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Miguel Conlunga, of the Democratic Front of Chihuahua, and Allan Slater, an Oxford County farmer and team member of the Christian Peacemakers. We heard about the erosion in many countries of food sovereignty and the plight of small farmers around the world, who are forced to sell cheaply regardless of the costs of production. Many countries must now import food staples, and in the midst of world hunger, grain crops are grown to “feed machines rather than people.” Increasing food prices, privatization of water, and in some places victimization and violence toward farmers who attempt to resist these trends add to the gloomy picture. Though our own situation is far less dire than some that we heard about, we too are feeling the bite of these changes. Recently the farmers at Sunnivue Farm in Ailsa Craig (http://www.sun- received an apologetic letter from their flour suppliers, who find it necessary to raise drastically the price of the organic flour they sell. As a result, a loaf of Sunnivue bread will have to cost more. Ellinor, baker-in-chief at Sunnivue, laments this increase. In all her years of bread-baking, she has never before had to raise the price. Despite the high quality of the ingredients and the labour-intensive process, despite sharp increases in the price of electricity and worries about the supply of honey, she has always felt that bread should be as affordable as possible. Truly we are united with farmers and other families in Mexico and many other countries as we face challenges to our easy access to affordable and nutritious food. Perhaps our best hope lies in dialogue such as that undertaken last Wednesday, giving us the opportunity to compare experiences and to support one another in asserting the value of small-scale farming and the rights of all to clean water and decent food. Sally Vernon London

By Anjhela Michielsen

Publisher/Editor: Casey Lessard Advertising Sales: Sid Reaburn Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard

Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781

Reading between the labels Alternative View

It’s not often Grand Bend attracts attention on a national stage. Last summer, the country watched Grand Bend and Mt. Carmel for a horrible reason: the murders of Bill and Helene Regier. Friday night, my work covering their murders for the Grand Bend Strip was honoured nationally when I received the Canadian Community Newspapers Association Award for Outstanding Reporter Initiative. I took the stage with event host Ralph Benmergui and thanked my mom, Anjhela, and the Regier family. Here’s what the judges had to say: “There were many stellar entries in this category this year. The writing was absolutely superb and the initiative shown by reporters across the country is fantastic. “This award goes to those reporters who went beyond normal reporting to give their readers something that was important, relevant, and compelling. “First place: Casey Lessard of the Grand Bend Strip. Faced with murder story that

Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 CANADA

Distribution: Joan McCullough, Rita Lessard and Casey Lessard Contributors: Tom & Rita Lessard Anjhela Michielsen Jenipher Appleton - nature/birding Jeff Reaburn - SHDHS principal James Eddington - Eddingtons of Exeter Tamara Nicola -

Consumers have power. Using buying power in a capitalist economy as an active way of creating social change and is one of the most underused forms of expression, and yet en masse it is so powerful. Our economy is built on supply and demand. Wal-mart started carrying organic produce in Canada in 2006 after the company realized the market demand. The fact that the giant retailer is carrying organic produce - food favoured by people who care about the earth, good environmental stewardship, and fair trade - is a laughable concept; their sale of the food is an attempt to portray Walmart as having good environmental and ethical standards, a form of green-washing for the benefit of those who demand such products. Considering the environmental damage caused by Wal-mart (as an example, “new stores built [in 2007] alone consume enough electricity to add about 1 million metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere” – Stacy Mitchell, and human rights violations committed in its name (Norway’s federal pension fund dropped its investment in Wal-Mart, citing “serious” and “systematic” human rights violations in Wal-Mart’s supply chain - New York Times, May 4, 2007). Yet Wal-mart has added organic products to its shelves because of consumer demand for the products. Our free market economy leaves business to govern themselves, creating a conscience-less money-making machine. This puts consumers in the position of making the crucial decisions about the products they buy, a power which many people do not exercise. More than 70 per cent of Wal-mart’s goods come from China; in fact, if Wal-mart were

Advertising is accepted on condition that, in the event of an error, the portion of the ad occupied by the error will not be charged for, but the balance will be paid at the usual rate. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check their ads on first publication, and the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors in multiple insertions. The Grand Bend Strip reserves the right to reject or edit any advertisement likely to offend community standards and/or the law. All material herein, including advertising design, is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form.

a company, it would be China’s sixth largest trading partner, ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada ( The Boycott Products Made in China campaign has listed some crimes that are being committed in China and how buying products made in China supports this corruption. Buying a product made in China supports the “suppression of democracy and freedom, wholesale and indiscriminate use of the death penalty, commercial harvesting of transplant organs of executed prisoners, denial of basic rights to Chinese workers and farmers, nationwide forced abortions and sterilizations, sweeping and brutal repression of all religions, criminal psychiatric abuse of political prisoners, routine torture of prisoners, military occupation and genocide in Tibet, draconian repression in East Turkestan, military expansion and aggression, world’s tightest Internet censorship (and) the largest dealer of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to rogue states” – to name a few ( People suffer when we financially support China’s economy and its present government. People are suffering here, too, as a result of our actions. Too often we hear of lay-offs in industry jobs and plant shut-downs in Ontario, because domestic companies can’t compete with lower-priced off-shore competitors. Boycotting Chinese products, as well as most foreign made products, can be very discouraging for consumers, but, with some research and sacrifice, it is possible. If everyone stopped buying products made in China there would be no market for products made under the supervision of this oppressive regime. Support our local communities. It’s better for our neighbours and the environment, too. Useful websites:

Grand Bend Strip is printed every other Wednesday in the summer; 7398 homes and businesses in Grand Bend, Zurich, Dashwood, Port Franks, Crediton, and Exeter received this week’s Strip in their Canada Post mailbox. An additional 1000 copies are available to residents and visitors at local stores and restaurants. Alert Canada Post if you live in one of the towns above and want to receive Grand Bend Strip but are not receiving a copy in the mail. Subscriptions are available.

Locally owned and operated © Copyright 2008

Outstanding Reporter Initiative (Circulation up to 9,999)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 5

Hollywood star goes (almost) undetected in Parkhill The Notebook actress Rachel McAdams dines at Kelli’s Family Restaurant By Casey Lessard It’s not every day that a Hollywood celebrity visits Parkhill, so you can’t blame Martha Papadopolous of Kelli’s Family Restaurant for not recognizing Rachel McAdams when she sat down at one of her tables for lunch April 27. “She came in here with her parents and ate,” Papadopolous says. “We didn’t know who they were. Two boys down there (in the corner) were jumping in their seats because they recognized her.” Brittany Lewis was serving McAdams, star of “The Notebook,” “Mean Girls,” and “Wedding Crashers,” but wasn’t sure it was her. “The two guys just asked if I knew if it was her or not,” Lewis recalls. “I said, ‘I doubt it.’ They said, ‘Can you go ask her?’ I said no. I went to the table and thought, wow, that does look a lot like her. I came back and told Martha.” “I could see her from here,” Papadopolous says, sitting at the far end of the restaurant. “She said, ‘Doesn’t she look like her?’ I said, ‘I don’t know!’ “She did!” Lewis exclaims. “She looked so much like her. The guys said, ‘We’re sure it’s her!’” The two boys were waiting outside on a bench across the street, and politely approached McAdams when she left the restaurant. “They shook her hand and I realized…” Papadopolous says. “I have three of her movies, so I went out and told her, “I know who you are.” (Laughs). I hugged her and said, “Can I take your picture?” That’s when they hit a slight snag. Armed

with a cell phone camera, Papadopolous didn’t know how to use it to take a picture. She turned to Lewis. “I said to her,” Papadopolous recalls, “’I don’t know how to use this stupid thing.’ She said, ‘I have one of those and I don’t know how to work it either.’” The two got it working and snapped a few photos. “She looks just like her mother and her mother is very pretty,” Papadopolous says. “Looked like a nice family. “I said, ‘What are you doing in Parkhill?’ She said they were looking for antiques. So I took her picture and said to her, ‘Good luck. Nice to see Canadians get ahead.’ Just a lovely girl. Martha has also met Ricky Nelson, the Platters, Peter Marshall, Elvis Presley’s stepmother (“I wanted to meet Elvis Presley, but he died before I could have done that.”). Still, a movie star at her restaurant was a big surprise. “Never in a million years would I think anyone famous would come here. “She’s a big movie star. I said to her, ‘I know you just finished a movie with George Clooney,’ because I saw her a couple of nights Yes, that really is Hollywood movie star Rachel McAdams, and that is Martha Papadopolous with her. The before on Entertainment Tonight.” two posed for a picture across the street from Papadopolous’ restaurant, Kelli’s in Parkhill. As for the star in person, Papadopolous gives two thumbs up. “She’s a very pretty girl with no makeup on or nothing. She’s not noisy or flashy. I said to G R A N D B E N D her, ‘You’re a lovely girl. Don’t ever change.’ And her mother said to me, ‘Rachel will never change.’” Rachel McAdams’ most recent film “Married Life” is playing at the Hyland Cinema in London. “The Lucky Ones” is set for release in October. McAdams’ latest proj-

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6 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moms say the darnedest things True stories from the front lines of motherhood Advice from mom By Rita Lessard Motherhood. What a great adventure it has been for me; I wouldn’t change my station in life for anything. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes – physically and mentally. My mother was a self-taught woman of her generation. Although she didn’t have a lot of formal education, she was quite smart in my eyes. She was fortunate enough to read and write, and she read a lot and became quite smart. As clever as she was, she used to say the darnedest things. For example, she’d say, “If you fall out of that tree and kill yourself, don’t come crying to me.” My mother was quite concerned about con-

serving energy. She was always saying, “Shut that door. Do you think I’ve got the money to heat the street?” Sometimes I think she got a little confused. For instance, she’d say, “Would you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?” Oh yeah, mom! As a mother, I had a hard time leaving my kids in the care of a babysitter or even in Tom’s care. I just couldn’t get enough of the joy of their presence. On one occasion, I went away for a day and left Tom in charge of Tommy, who was about two, and Glenn, who wasn’t quite a year old and still in diapers (the cloth ones). So I said to Tom, “You might want to give Glenn a bit of prune juice as he seems to be slightly constipated.” He says, “Yeah, yeah, go already. We’ll be fine.” Off I go and have a lovely time. When I get back, I asked Tom how the day went and he says, “Well, it wasn’t too bad, except for

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Glenn’s condition. Since you told me to give him some prune juice for his constipation…” Yes? “Well, he liked it so much, I filled his bottle up and he drank the whole thing. First thing I know, he’s getting rid of his constipation and he’s got it all over himself, it’s in his hair and straight down to his toes. It’s like a volcano all over the place. But he’s fine and happy and I got the mess cleaned up, but I think you might want to get rid of some of the clothing because that purple isn’t coming out.” My God, sir, he could have killed him! It all worked out, though (literally), because Glenn’s still around to tell the tale. I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. Keep smiling and enjoy every moment of your children’s lives (good or bad). They don’t stay young forever and before you know it, they’re parents themselves. Vengeance can be sweet!

Get in the spear-it of spring From the Foodland Ontario 2008 Recipe Calendar Simple is often the best treatment, particularly when you have freshly picked Ontario Asparagus. Try to buy similar sized stalks for an attractive presentation and for even cooking. This can be doubled or tripled and served at an early summer buffet or barbecue. It’s wonderful with all grilled meats.


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A little prank Keeping the Peace By Tom Lessard, C.D. A lot of life spilled through the doors of the Dufferin, most pleasurable, but some not so. I remember one time early in July of 1970 or 1971, Gig, Des and I planned what we thought was a funny prank. The 12th was coming soon (Editor’s note: July 12, 1690, Protestant King William III - on his white horse, as the legend goes - and his armies defeat the Catholic Jacobites at the Battle of the Boyne), and knowing there were a couple of Irish Catholics who enjoyed a drink or two in the pub, we dreamed up a surprise. My job was to rent a white horse from a farmer down the road. Gig was to play King Billy and Des was to play a drum. Fortunately the two Irish gentlemen were in the pub when the day arrived. When we brought that horse inside the front door and out the back, all hell broke loose! These gents came running out and started pelting the three of us with stones from the parking lot. Little did we know that the man who owned the horse was visiting the garage across the street. The farmer hollered at us, “Get that horse back to the barn and don’t ever rent another from me again!” The two gentlemen were gone when I got back from taking the horse home. King Billy and his entourage not only got stoned by the poor Catholic boys, but we helped to empty one of the bar’s kegs. We were happy go lucky RCR soldiers, so we enjoyed the day and started planning future pranks. If you enjoy this newspaper, please write the publisher or email him. Contact information is on the bottom of page two. Also, if you have a story, don’t be shy. Happy Victoria Day everyone!


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Matt Chalmers of Grand Bend winds up for a pitch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 7

Peewee team member Ashlynn Gallant of Grand Bend takes a bat to balls during practice.

Sabrina Morrison enjoys being part of the team.

Grand Bend’s kids need $85,000 to Play Ball! Story and photos by Casey Lessard Grand Bend’s baseball diamond is out of date and dangerous, and it’s going to take $85,000 to get it to standards. For now, the municipality of Lambton Shores hasn’t stepped up to the plate with much help, so the Grand Bend Baseball Project committee is putting the call out to the community. “The fencing isn’t safe in some spots,” says committee president Larry Whiting. “The gates are dangerous, really. The surface is a fine dust that is probably not the proper dust to put on there. The rain has washed all the little particles down so people are skinning their legs when they slide. A lot of the diamonds now are being changed to red clay, so we’re searching for that. The outfields have a lot of potholes. It’s time to have the place fixed up.”

May 30 - A few tickets left for Animal House dinner There are still a few tickets available for the Huron SPCA Animal House dinner auction, (May 30, South Huron Rec. Ctr., Exeter) which raises money for the Huron

level. Last year we had 55 kids out.” Sabrina Morrison, 11, is one of the players with some promise. The energetic Grade 6 Grand Bend Public School student is eager to play and spend time with friends. “Everybody’s working hard and trying their best,” Sabrina says. “I think it’s important for kids to enjoy the outdoors and be active and meet new people.” Mom Barbara Hunt thinks baseball is a great fit for Sabrina’s personality. “She likes to run and jump around and dive. She’s one of those sorts of kids. It helps her work on her social skills, and working together as part of a team. “We just signed up last summer when they started it because Sabrina came to live with us last summer, and she hadn’t been involved in sports before,” Hunt adds. “For her, it was something new and challenging and good to

get to know the kids in the community.” And the skills learned on the field extend beyond the physical. “These kids are learning responsibility and teamwork and accountability,” Grainger says. “Plus it’s great exercise for the kids. The kids will go as far as their potential talent takes them. As long as there’s a base for them, they’re going to go on and improve.” Getting the base (or bases) is Larry Whiting’s job. And it’s a project he’s committed to seeing completed. “We want to have it so when people come to Grand Bend, they say, Wow, they have a nice diamond there.”

County animal shelter. The event sold out at June 21 – Friends of Pinery the end of February, but dinner chairperson Park golf tournament Kate McKenzie says a few tickets have been Support children’s Natural Heritage returned and are available. Education Programs at the Pinery by taking Anyone interested in attending should con- part in the Friends of Pinery Park charity golf tact Kate at 519-236-4044. tournament June 21 at Widder Station.

Packages include: Golf Package ($100): 18 holes of golf, golf cart, 3 course dinner; Sponsor Package ($100): signage on hole and sponsorship recognition. Sponsor and Golf Package ($450); Dinner Only ($35). For more info., contact at 519-243-1521.

The money will be used to fix the infield and outfield to standards, fix fences and gates, buy a new scoreboard, updated lighting, install a playground and build a locker building for equipment. The goal is to meet quality standards set by diamonds in Parkhill and Strathroy so teams can compete appropriately in leagues. A few years ago, “the diamond itself wasn’t being used at all,” says peewee coach Dave Grainger. “The town was going to dismantle it and have it put down in Greenway with the soccer fields. My son and his friends showed interest and they were upset that the diamond was going to be taken away. Once the kids found that out, they wanted to keep it. “We started three years ago as a Saturday morning program to get the kids involved and give them some basics. Now we have enough kids to get them into a league at the Peewee

To donate, call Larry Whiting at (519) 639-6755 or Vince Bury at (519) 243-4015.

SAT., MAY 17 SUN., MAY 18 MON., MAY 19



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8 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Paint the town red (with flowers) Photos By Casey Lessard Lambton Shores hopes residents will get in the spirit and make their community bloom with red this summer. The Lambton Shores Communities in Bloom committee is organizing initiatives to compete for the 2008 provincial title, which is judged based on eight criteria for all municipal, commercial/industrial and residential properties in the municipality: tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage, landscaped areas, floral designs, urban forest, turf and ground cover. The theme for Lambton Shores is red, so you are encouraged to “Think RED for your garden bed” when purchasing your spring plantings. Other initiatives include the Trash Bash Day held last month, Adopt a Pot/Plot program, a Lambton Shores “Brag Book” for the judges tour, the promotion of Lambton Shores “Going Green” strategies, and the Garden of the Week. For the Adopt a Pot/Plot program, a family, business or community group chooses to look after a planter arrangement or plot of land identified by the committee.

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The Garden of the Week program will launch in the last week of June. Winners will receive a sign to be placed in their garden. Judges will tour the community in the summer, and the committee plans to ensure they experience a sunset on the Grand Bend beach. The judges will also meet with local community group representatives to discuss the Grand Bend projects that demonstrate the eight judging criteria. For more information about Communities in Bloom in your town, your contacts are Shirley Andraza and Christine Bregman for Grand Bend, and Grace Dekker for Port Franks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 9

Tourists vs. Residents vs. Businesses Draft community plans stir debate in Port Franks, Grand Bend EDA Collaborative Inc. presented its draft Grand Bend community plans for Lambton Shores at three The May 8 meeting in Grand Bend met separate meetings May 6-8, with some praising less resistance from a much larger audience. and others panning the progress. The Grand Bend plan involves discussion about how best to design sidewalks, roads, parking, bridges, trails and street fixtures. Few Port Franks Moves to make Port Franks a “lakeside resi- questioned the designs, which aim to create a dential natural neighbourhood” mean adver- “sustainable countryside lifestyle,” with Grand tising signs will be dropped from the main Bend billed as an “attractive residential comentrance to the community, a move that is munity,” “lakeside destination,” and site for “regional tourism.” frustrating business owners. Among EDA’s recommendations: two “They’re trying to drive away all of our tourists by taking down our signs,” says pedestrian bridges over the river connectChristine Orosz of Christine’s Marina Bar & ing the River Road area to the main core; Grill. “They should at least have something more pedestrian crosswalks over Highway 21; a road connecting the Legion parking saying there are businesses in our town.” The Welcome signs include advertisements lot to Main Street East and a centre median for Port Franks businesses; businesses pay an on Main Street between Highway 21 and annual fee to advertise on the signs. In his the health centre; shrinking Main Street to presentation, EDA’s Bruce Cudmore noted three lanes with parking on the south side community feedback indicated residents want only; redeveloping the former casino site with underground parking, retail on the main floor signs with no advertising. “You’re not going to please everybody,” says and residential on the second; and renewed Ward 3 councillor Mark Simpson, “but it’s intersection with paving stones and an overhead Welcome sign at the entrance. more of an aesthetic facelift.” Grand Bend resident Bob Sharen is not “It lets people know there are businesses here,” Orosz says. “Port Franks is extremely impressed, noting businesses are being left out hard to get around if you don’t know the area.” of the equation. “Why spend money fixing the physical Cudmore concurred that visitors “get lost very easily” in the community, and the plan appearance of the street when it’s the physiincludes better signage to solve the problem. cal appearance of the buildings on the street The draft plan hopes to make the community that’s most of the problem?” Ward 1 councillor John Dehondt says the more natural and less urban with multi-use trails, more opportunities for recreation, and market must drive change. “Fifty years ago there was a casino. Then seating to enjoy community gardens. The goal is to “protect Port Franks’ quiet (Grand Bend) became more youth oriented. beauty,” Cudmore says. The plan calls for With the aging of our population, there will pedestrian and cycle connections within Port be stores that cater to that clientele.” Sharen thinks the change needs to be driven Franks and to Grand Bend. Betty Urbanski of Harbourside Trailer Park by town council. “Homes pay less tax but get more services. has concerns about the plan. “Port Franks is at the end of the road. To Why not address the issue of the extremely me this (plan) discourages business. How high commercial taxes and the ability to have many locals come to my store? Not very many. a sustainable business when you’re paying that Who is riding bikes in Port Franks? Our kind of money?” Dehondt says giving the community a facecampers and boaters.” Wayne Nelson, who lives in the east part of lift is the first step, not the last. “We can fix and change the things we can the village with his wife Maureen, disagrees. “We have a safety issue because there are control. Step one is to develop a master plan. I so many cyclists and walkers on the road,” he think you’ll see a lot of it redeveloped over the told the meeting, saying he’s excited by the next few decades.” prospect of a better trail system.

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10 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Elyse Trevithick is Sandy with a voice like Olivia Newton-John.

Grease! Scott Lockhart, Thomas Pardo and Geoff Masschelein do Greased Lightnin’!

Students at North Middlesex District High School performed a rocking version of Grease! You’re the One that I Want May 8-10.

Janel Steeper is Rizzo and Brent VanderWal is Eugene.

Photos by Casey Lessard

Teen Angel Emerson Ross sings Beauty School Dropout.

Uriah Linker and Lauren Smith perform Mooning.

Elyse Trevithick with Emerson Ross as Danny

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 11

It’s all in the family for the Martins/Peckitts/Powers, who have come full circle in their ownership of the restaurant now known as Aunt Gussie’s. Left, outside the restaurant in the 50s, and right, LeeAnn (Peckitt) Powers with husband Pat Powers and their children Ethan, Mallory Overholt, and Eddie.

Photos courtesy Aunt Gussie’s Portrait by Casey Lessard

Putting the family in family restaurant Fifth generation now working at Aunt Gussie’s By Casey Lessard If you didn’t notice that Aunt Gussie’s was taken over by new owners a year and a half ago, Pat and LeeAnn Powers are content with that. The couple worked at the Ontario Street South restaurant for a couple of years before taking ownership, and wanted to make sure the transition was as smooth as possible. “We’ve freshened it up,” Pat says of recent renovations, “and done our best to stay true to the tradition here.” It’s become a family tradition to own the restaurant south of the Bluewater Motel. LeeAnn’s parents Bill and Janice Peckitt owned Pizza Delight during the 1980s. “Originally this building was built by Bill’s grandfather, Stanley Martin in the late 50s and it was originally the Bluewater Restaurant,” Pat says, noting Stanley and Ella built the restaurant after building the

Bluewater Motel. “My earliest memories of this restaurant were in the summertime doing dishes,” Bill Peckitt says. “I was eight years old. It was exciting for me. I didn’t realize it was work. There was lots of action. It was a busy restaurant with lots of tourists. Lots of Americans were here; there were probably more American tourists then than there are today. Same kind of food. It was a family restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner. “At eight years old,” Peckitt points out, “I was wishing I was 16. There were some nice looking waitresses.” “Oh, dad!” LeeAnn groans, before noting she, too, has also worked at the restaurant since she was eight years old. “I remember sitting over in that corner building pizza boxes for like a penny a box. My brother and I would race to see who could get the most done. “We lived here until I was in Grade 5 or 6. Our staff room is the room beside my old bedroom. I remember running with my bare feet in the stone parking lot to and from the

Think Spring

swimming pool next door.” Bill and Janice sold the Pizza Delight business to Tony VanDongen in 1990, and former Pizza Delight manager Pete Miller and Gus Merkies leased the building in 1995 to open Aunt Gussie’s. Miller bought the property in1998. The Powers took over in late 2006. “I’ve been in the restaurant industry for the last 20 years,” Pat says, “and LeeAnn has all of her life. This was a great way for us to access what we had done for most of our business lives so far and for us, there was an inevitability about getting to Grand Bend. There’s something nice about the legacy idea of getting the business back in the family.” The Powers hope it will stay in the family; their oldest Mallory, 14, is the fifth generation of her family to work at the restaurant. “I started waitressing at Pizza Delight when Mallory was just a baby,” LeeAnn says. “When Mallory started bussing three years ago, the staff who had been working here since my parents owned it took a double take.” “It’s a nice spot. As busy as it is, it’s really fun. I like talking to people,” Mallory says. “I

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look forward to working here until I go to university.” The Powers treat staff like family, and the staff return the favour. Some have been with the restaurant since Aunt Gussie’s opened in 1995, and one server, Jackie, started during the Pizza Delight era. “Everyone gets along so well,” LeeAnn says, noting many took part in Winter Carnival activities on behalf of the restaurant. The staff are also excited about the new menu, which lost three items but added 12 new ones. “You can hear them going on about the new menu,” LeeAnn says. “For the ones who have been here since it opened, it’s exciting for them to have new fresh things to add to it.” The Powers believe it takes good staff and loyal customers to run a successful business, and they have both. “It’s a great business,” Pat says. “We just want it to stay the busy little spot that it is. This is the career for a lot of people in this community. We just want to support the family and have a decent go of things.”

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12 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tiny wonders of the avian world Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton What lays pea-sized eggs, weighs an eighth of an ounce, and can be confused with a moth? It is none other than the truly incredible hummingbird. Only one species inhabits the eastern region of Canada: the rubythroated or Archilochus colubris. Several other species are found throughout other parts of North and South America. The ruby-throated hummingbird lays two pea-sized white eggs, which incubate for 18-23 days. The miniscule nest resembles a natural knob on the branch of a leafy tree or shrub. The chicks are actually larger than their mothers when they leave the nest because of the stress placed on the parent while raising them. Two summers ago our neighbour Steve Kozak was able to observe such a nest attached to a gnarly branch in one of his maple trees. He used a stepladder to take the odd peek at this amazing sight and managed some interesting video footage.

hummingbird feeder because they arrive back from the sunny south around this time. If you want to establish their presence in your yard, food must be available. I haven’t seen a hummer yet this spring, but my birding friend Val had one at her feeder last weekend. I put my feeder out the moment I heard they were back. (Orioles will be here soon as well, so you might want to think about getting the oriole feeder filled with their preferred orange-flavoured nectar as well.

Amazing stats!

The name ‘hummer’ comes from the sound of the wings, which beat an amazing 4080 times per second. Average flight speed is 50 km/h. The birds are seen darting about, changing directions like green arrows. Their average heart rate is 250 beats per minute while resting (compare that to the human heart at about 70) and the hummer breathes about 250 times per minute. In spite of these high rates of respiration and heartbeats, the hummingbird has been known to live for twelve years, although the average lifespan is between three and five years. The hummingbird has very short legs and consequently does not really walk or hop; it can only shuffle along a perch. However, it can still scratch its head and neck by raising Time to put out those huma foot up and over its wing - quite the acromingbird feeders! May 1st is a good time to put out your bat! Contrary to a popular myth, hummers

do not hitch rides on other birds. They leave their northern breeding grounds in the second half of August or first week of September, travelling vast distances to winter in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean islands. Banded birds show that they return to the exact location the following spring. Last season in our yard, we noted that the hummingbirds that visited us preferred the flowers to the feeders. The bell-shaped flowers of the hosta lilies were a favourite. They also were partial to columbine, bee balm, phlox, petunias, lilies, trumpet vine and virtually any cone-shaped flowers. If you do put out nectar, a homemade concoction of one part sugar to four parts water is appropriate. Make sure to boil the water to dissolve the sugar and allow it to cool before adding to the feeder. Clean feeders at least once a week.

Recent sightings We have had several rose-breasted grosbeaks at our feeders this week. My birding friend Val has had large groups of blue jays (up to twenty at one sitting!). Plus, several people in the Ailsa Craig and Nairn areas have spotted bald eagles. Jenipher Appleton’s columns are available online at You can also reach her through our website.

No Beach Access signs causing friction By Casey Lessard Confusion over the wording of a new No Beach Access sign in Port Franks seems illtimed to coincide with the start of a new beach season. ‘I’ve had a lot of people come in and ask about the sign,” says Christine Orosz of Christine’s Marina Bar & Grill. “They feel they’re not wanted and there are people here who have lived here forever and don’t realize they’re still allowed to go to the beach. “If you don’t have a cottage or home here, you’re not supposed to be on the beach. Residents of Grand Bend, for example, are not supposed to use the beach.” The beach is owned by the Port Franks Beach Homeowners Association and was deeded to the village as part of the transfer agreement from the family that owned it

previously. Technically it is private property, but has been used by the public for years. “We’re going to have a look at the wording,” says Ward 3 councillor Mark Simpson. “The intent was to help the beach homeowners’ association. All the beaches in Port Franks are private; not a lot of people know that. “We have a lot of issues with parking and issues with people parking on lawns, leaving their garbage, and defecating. The London Free Press and some other tourism magazines are promoting Port Franks as a gem, which it is. We’re trying to quell some of the crowds, but now the business community’s upset because of that. It’s a catch-22. We’re trying to work it out. It’s a work in progress.” Orosz is still concerned about the ramifica-

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tions of the sign’s prominence at the main entrance to the village. “If you were looking for a home to buy in this area, you would see that sign and not want to buy property on or near the water because you would think you don’t have beach access.” Simpson disagrees. “The deed clearly states that any resident of Port Franks shall not be denied walk-in access to the beach,” Simpson says. “Technically, (cottagers and visitors to the trailer park) would be allowed. But if someone came from Windsor for the day, technically they would not be allowed. “They’re not standing there checking people for ID. It’s a private beach, but they allow public access as long as people use it responsibly.”

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 13

Never blog while operating heavy machinery

Attendance is critical for final assessments Principal’s Page By Jeff Reaburn Last Thursday I attended the school production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, and I came away from the play thoroughly impressed. It was a truly engaging and entertaining production, and I would like to congratulate and commend the director, Ms. Beth Jantzi, and the entire cast and crew of the show. The performances, which took place over four evenings, were the culmination of months of hard work and preparation by the actors and by everyone else who worked offstage and behind the scenes to make this event happen. A large number of staff, students, and parent volunteers contributed their time and energy to make the shows a resounding success, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to this production. Now that we have hit mid-May, we really are into the home stretch of the school year. That means that all kinds of final assessments will soon be underway in classrooms and it is important that students give these assessments the energy and attention needed to ensure success. Under the provincial assessment and evaluation policy, each course must have a final assessment worth 30 per cent of the final grade for the course. In a few cases, this 30 per cent will be assigned to a final exam at the end of the year. In most cases, however, it will be split into two or three assessment activities that will take place over the next few weeks. For example, there may be a final exam worth 20 per cent of the year’s mark, and a major project worth 10 per cent. Or there could be three assessment tasks, each worth 10 per cent. By now, teachers will have advised

their students how the final assessment mark will be determined, and it is important that students be ready to complete these assessment tasks and meet the deadlines that are assigned. Unlike other summative assessments, students may be assigned a zero, rather than an incomplete, for failing to complete a final assessment task. Unfortunately, we do have a few students who don’t seem to realize the importance of the final assessment and seem willing to sacrifice this portion of their mark. This can, of course, jeopardize a passing grade and could lead to students failing to achieve credits. Parents can play a crucial role in assisting us in this matter, by ensuring that students take these assessments seriously and by encouraging them to give the tasks their best effort. We encourage parents to find out when these assessments are and to make sure students are present for in-class tasks and are working diligently on the take-home projects. We will a listing of in-class exams and the final exam schedule at later this month. May is also one of the busiest months of the year for school activities, and we have students participating in a number of sports - soccer, rugby, track and field - as well as other activities, field trips, etc. that may cause students to miss classes at times in the next few weeks. Our expectation is that students notify teachers in advance if they will miss a test, presentation, or some other in-class assessment task because of an activity. Similarly, if they know they are going to be away f rom school on the day that something is due, we expect them to hand it in earlier unless they have made alter-

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nate arrangements with the teacher. These same expectations apply for absences for medical or dental appointments. If a student misses school due to illness or some other unplanned reason, our expectation is that the student will see the teacher immediately upon his/her return to school to make arrangements for the missed class. Again, parents can be of tremendous assistance by ensuring that their kids attend school regularly and are aware of the dates and deadlines for their tests and assignments. If parents are having trouble getting this information, which I understand happens on occasion, teachers can be reached by email or by phone. There is a link to staff email addresses on our web-site, but I would ask that parents use this as a last resort, as I wouldn’t want our teachers inundated by email requests of this nature. Finally, please don’t excuse your kids from attendance unless they are legitimately ill or have something that must be attended to during school time. It is very frustrating when parents excuse their kids to work on school projects or study for tests, to get haircuts, to go camping or shopping, etc. Such absences are not recognized as legitimate school absences in The Education Act, and we consider them to be truancies. Being excused by a parent for such reasons gives students the wrong message about the importance of school and the value of schoolwork. Parental support and assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated. If you are a parent and have questions or concerns about this, please give me a call.

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Technically Speaking By Tamara Nicola Blog is a term that describes a thing, a website. It also describes an action. To blog is to add/post something to your website. It is a part of what has been dubbed the Web 2.0 revolution: the move to collaborative information sharing on the Internet. What is it in English? It is anything you want it to be. It is an opportunity to share your worldview, your passionate hobby, news & events for a small business or simply to post your family photos. It can cost a little money to start or nothing at all. If you can compose an email, you can publish to the web in 15 minutes or less. There are millions of people doing it and hopefully after reading this column a few more folks will jump in and contribute to the Grand Bend area bloghood. Special software structures your blog like an interactive diary. New posts show up at the top and older posts eventually become archived. Your blog can be open to the public, or a private website you share only with family and friends. If you choose, people who read your blog can leave comments. They can easily subscribe to your blog and see your new posts automatically. Not long ago, adding interactive features like this to a website required extensive computer programming knowledge. Blogging software now makes this and many other features quite simple. If you consider yourself a newbie I recommend that you begin the journey by trying out Goggle’s free

service, Follow the online instructions or take the quick tour for more information. Once you have created your blog, you can post new stuff by logging in from your computer, by sending an email to a special address or even post from your cell phone via text message. It doesn’t take long to become a pro and you will discover there are countless services and software packages to satisfy your blogging needs. Links: - One of my favorite websites for learning. Here you can decipher any computer lingo you encounter along the way as you explore the ever-expanding blogosphere. Local blogs: http://sisterhoodofcelebration. - The self described “Beautiful Bodacious Succulent Diva” who authors the Red Hat Society blog for Grand Bend & Bayfield. - Follow along as David Bannister shares his latest photography projects. Stay informed with regularly updated news affecting our communities. I have started a discussion for new bloggers at Join in; I would love to hear from you.

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14 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Looking for the most perfect gift for mom, your wife or girlfriend? Twin Pines Orchards SATURDAY, MAY 17 AND SUNDAY, MAY 18 & Cider House is offering a wonderfully relaxing afternoon for you! Our Culinary  a.m. to  p.m. –  Lakeshore Road Living Wreath workshop includes all mate(Highway  north of the Pinery) rials, lovely refreshments including delecGarage Sale - household items. table home baked pastries, fruits and cheeses. You’ll go home with your own beautiful SATURDAY, MAY 17  a.m. to  p.m. –  Main St. Parkhill wreath filled with fragrant herbs to snip and Grace Bible Chapel Yard Sale & Barbeque cook all summer long. Gift certificates available in advance. Don’t forget to visit us at the Fundraiser for refugee ministry. upcoming home and garden show. Call Twin Pines for more information, 519-296-5556 SUNDAY, MAY 25 or 519-296-5558.  to  p.m. - Twin Pines Orchards & Cider House,  Kennedy Line, Thedford JULY 7 TO 11 Culinar y Living Wreath workshop.  a.m. to : p.m. - Twin Pines z Do List To More information is available from Don Pearson, Catherine Minielly or Ruth Illman.

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Orchards & Cider House,  Kennedy Line, Thedford Twin Pines Cedar House Arts Camp. Summer fun for boys and girls aged 9 to 12. How would you like a week of drama, music, creative movement, painting, sculpture, pottery, wood working, drawing, hiking, games and MORE? Register for this camp (early registration incentive) by calling 519-2965556 or 519-296-5558.


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SATURDAY, MAY 17  to  p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with Ben Shane and Bobby K

SUNDAY, MAY 18 : a.m. to  p.m. - Pinery Flea Market Live Music with Brian Dale

FRIDAY, MAY 23  p.m. - StarDust Dinner Theatre, Parkhill Almost Abba

SATURDAY, MAY 24  to  p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with Bob Finlay  p.m. - StarDust Dinner Theatre, Parkhill Almost Abba

: p.m. - Parkhill Leisure Club Parkhill Area Horticultural Society Plant Sale and Auction. 6:30 p.m. - Outdoor plant sale ($1, $2, $5). 7:30 p.m. - Live indoor auction of plants, garden tools and accessories.

SATURDAY, MAY 24  a.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend and Area Horticultural Society Bus Tour. Wrightman Gardens (Kerwood), Cuddy Gardens (Strathroy), Dowding Water Garden (Mt. Brydges), buffet lunch at Wayside Dining Lounge (Talbotville), Canadale Nurser y (St. Thomas), and return to Grand Bend between 5 and 6 p.m. Tickets $55; first come, first served. Reserve by contacting Eric Brown, 519-238-1583 or eandbbrown@

Social Workers at the CHC will incorporate definitions, diagnosis, community resources and coping strategies in this exciting three MONDAYS part program. Call Mickey Gurbin at 519: to  a.m. - Grand Bend Legion TGIF - Thank God I’m Fit. Exercise 238-1556 ext 223 or Lise Callahan at ext 230 to register or for more info. class. All proceeds to charity.

more about Type 2 diabetes join us for the fun educational session. You must pre register by contacting Aileen Knip Diabetes Nurse Educator at the Grand Bend Area CHC 519-238-1556 ext. 226


: to : a.m. - Ontario Early Years Ctr (Grand Bend P.S.) Alphabites Program. An interactive session for parents with children 1-6 years. You and your child can explore various activity centres and create a healthy snack based on a special book.


: to  a.m. - Grand Bend Legion : to : p.m. - Grand Bend CHC TGIF - Thank God I’m Fit. Exercise VON 12 Hour Bereavement Education class. All proceeds to charity. Sessions. This program is open to nurses, PSW’s, RPN’s volunteers or interested persons. The program will offer support and  to : a.m. - Grand Bend Legion education of bereavement issues both perLine Dancing sonally and on the job. Sponsored by the Grand Bend Community Foundation and FRIDAYS Grand Bend CHC. Call the VON Huron : to  a.m. - Grand Bend Legion TGIF - Thank God I’m Fit. Exercise 519-235-2510 to register. class. All proceeds to charity.




WEDNESDAY, MAY 28  a.m. to  p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Men Can Cook. Enjoy fellowship, new cooking skills, food and fun. Contact Miranda at 519-238-1556 ext 222.

Grand Bend CHC Diabetes Conversation Map Education : to : p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Understanding Mental Health Workshop. Sessions. If you’re interested in learning

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Grand Bend Farmers’ Market  p.m. - Grog’s Restaurant Ausable Port Franks Optimist Meat Raffle

Mid-May and early June - Forest Canada Day Idol Contest applications. North Lambton Secondary School. Live out your idol dream! There are three age categories: 10-14, 15-18 and 19 and over. Judges will select top contestants from each category to sing on stage at Esli Dodge Conservation Area on July 1. Application forms are avail-able at Woods Pearson & Associates, 40 King St. W., Forest or at

 to  p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw

there, we have a Cider House Theatre Camp for boys & girls aged 12 to 15. This camp will focus on theatre tech, improv, staging, performance and MUCH more. Register for this camp (early registration incentive) by calling 519-296-5556 or 519-296-5558.

 a.m. to : p.m. - Twin Pines Orchards & Cider House,  Kennedy Line, Thedford Twin Pines Cedar House Junior Science JULY 14 TO 18 Camp. This is the first time for this camp for  a.m. to : p.m. - Twin Pines boys and girls aged 9 to 12. Register for this Orchards & Cider House,  camp (early registration incentive) by calling Kennedy Line, Thedford Twin Pines Cedar House Theatre Camp. 519-296-5556 or 519-296-5558. For all those Drama Kings and Queens out

 a.m. to  p.m. - Parkhill Fire Hall MONDAY, MAY 19 Nor th Middlesex F ire Depar tment : p.m. - Grand Bend Youth Centre Annual Fireman’s Breakfast Scrapbooking. $2. Bring your own supplies. Contact Kim Widdis: 519-238-6390.  a.m. to  p.m. - Pinery Provincial Park Store TUESDAY, MAY 20 Lakesmith Conservationists & Friends Garden clean up. Grand Bend and Area of the Pinery Park Fish Fry. Please call 519- Horticultural Society. Rain date May 21. 243-1521 for details.  p.m. - Port Franks Community  p.m. - Thedford Arena Centre Lawnmower Races. Thedford Spirit Club Port Franks Garden Club Plant Auction. presents Spring Lawn-mower Race featur- Silent and live auctions. ing the Western Ontario Outlaws along with local racers. For more information, call WEDNESDAY, MAY 21 Rob at 519-296-4808.  a.m. to  p.m. – Gill St. parking lot




Port Franks Crediton

Grand Bend

Your ad could have reached at least 7398 homes in Grand Bend, Zurich, Dashwood, Port Franks, Crediton and Exeter this week. Call Sid at (519) 262-3234 now to advertise in our May 28 issue.

For a good time...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • 15

This is Our Town Photos of the South Huron DHS performance of Our Town. By Casey Lessard.

Tam Rzan and Liam Price are siblings Rebecca and George Gibbs.

Emily Webb and George Gibbs giggle at the soda shop early in their courtship.

stin hri e’

Nightly Specials



Steve Maas plays Mr. Webb, the newspaper man.

Janita Pfaff is Mrs. Webb, while Leanne Hoffman plays her dead daughter Emily.

Thursday: Fish & Chips Friday: Shrimp & Wings Saturday: Ribs



(519) 614-3614

in a


Casey Lessard Photography , Bar & G





Pizza now available after 4PM

HOLIDAY WEEKEND HOURS: Thurs. 4-10pm - Fri. 12pm-1am Sat. 11am-1am - Sun. 11am-10pm Victoria Day Monday 11am-9pm

10072 Poplar Ave.

Rasha Karim as Mrs. Gibbs kisses her son George on the forehead before his wedding to Emily Webb.

Sat. May 17 - Live music with Undecided Friday nights - Karaoke

Port Franks 519-243-3636

Design, Build & Install: Kitchens, Baths & Mantles Dealer for Olivia Corn/Pellet Stoves

16 • Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Paul Shalley of Thunder Bay represented Manitoba at the championships. “I don’t know what the score is. I don’t give a hoot. Everyone wants to win, but you play it and take it as it comes. You do it to have fun.”

Even grown men cry in crib Photos by Casey Lessard Grand Bend hosted the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Cribbage Championships April 25 to 27. Players from across Canada converged on the area to play cribbage and enjoy the camaraderie. Left and centre: Raymond Rodier of Gatineau, QC cries (with laughter) after trying to score 32 for the win. The magic number in cribbage is 31. His opponent caught him! “That was bad!” he said. Right: Kenny Whalen of Riverhead SMB, NL reacts to the realization he’s about to win his match. “Perfect,” he says of the weekend. “Couldn’t ask for no better.”

Profile for Grand Bend Strip

Vol. 2 #1 - Grand Bend Strip May 14, 2008  

May 14, 2008 edition of Grand Bend Strip community newspaper

Vol. 2 #1 - Grand Bend Strip May 14, 2008  

May 14, 2008 edition of Grand Bend Strip community newspaper