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Page 4 The Chesterville Record

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Road Home

A fitting slogan Kudos to SD&G Counties council for coming up with the new slogan “Where Ontario Began.” Although it did take over one year and several thousands of dollars later to adopt a slogan that was first mentioned in The Record last April as a suggestion put forth by our publisher Robin Morris. Morris’ suggestion was to use “Where Ontario Begins/Where Ontario Began” as the official slogan because it is an appropriate slogan for the area as it reflects not only our rich history, but our geographical location as well. Morris’ reasoning was that if travelling up the river, which is the normal progression, Ontario does begin where Quebec ends. Recognizing both language issues and the need for separate legal systems, the British government realized it must declare two provinces named Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Upper Canada roughly coincides with modern day Ontario and Lower Canada coincides with the political boundaries of Quebec. Technically, Ontario begins as you travel westward which is the normal progression of settlement. Also if travelling up from the New York state, the first place you hit is the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of SD&G. The area is bounded by Quebec and the States. Morris’ other reasoning for the slogan was the historical aspect of the area. The area was first settled around 1785 by veterans of Loyalist regiments that had fought in the American Revolution and had lost their homes in what is now the United States because of their loyalty to the crown. Basically, the Loyalists settled in refugee camps and in 1784 the government had severed 50 acre lots starting at the western end of Upper Canada, around Kingston and then another set at the Bay of Quinte. These townships were known as the Royal townships and were used as the settlement of Loyalist soldiers and their families. This makes it the political beginning of Ontario. It was the first large scale influx of European settlers. It’s where Ontario began. All of this history makes Cornwall and the counties one of Ontario’s oldest settlements and the area can lay claim to many very important events. In what is now South Dundas and South Stormont the major battles for the War of 1812 were fought, the pivotal war that started to define our country. The counties can lay claim to John Strachan who would become the first Anglican Bishop of Upper Canada and of course Ontario’s first premier John Sandfield MacDonald. MacDonald’s final resting place is in St. Andrew’s West. The first Postmaster-General came from Morrisburg, Sir James Morris and the McIntosh apple was discovered here. The Highland settlements of Glengarry, the Loyalists settlements of SD&G, the list goes on. All of these thing started in pokey little SD&G making the area an integral part of Canada’s historical landscape. Lois Ann Baker

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High school memories Carolyn Thompson Goddard Record Contributor Can it really be 50 years since the doors of North Dundas District High School opened? It seems like only yesterday that the youngsters of the area began to hear about how since the Winchester High School had burnt down and the Chesterville High School was in need of major repairs that a new high school for both communities needed to be built. It was near impossible to decide whether Winchester or Chesterville would be the site of this new high school and the decision to locate it midway between the two small towns on Maple Ridge was made. It was with eager anticipation that September 1963 saw the doors to this institution of higher learning open and 50 years later three generations of the Thompson family have donned the cap and gown to graduate from NDDHS! My days at North Dundas were filled with lots of learning, lots of activities and lots of fun. I remember attending “Orientation Day” in June of 1970 as a grade eight student at Chesterville Public. Although I had been to the high school on a number of occasions for drama productions, band concerts and the graduation of

three older brothers, there was a bit of apprehension in my step as I waited at Monroe’s Garage on King Street to get on the school bus that would take me to NDDHS. I still have the very short dress that I wore that day (white background with purple dots on it) and remember vividly going from classroom to classroom, to the full service cafeteria with a variety of foods to choose from for lunch, looking around at all the people eating or outside in the smoking area (yes just outside the doors by the cafeteria there was a smoking area for students to use) and using a vending machine for the first time. The fall of 1970 saw me start grade nine and I remember my home room teacher (Mrs. Karen Graham), where my locker was located and all the opportunities for extracurricular activities that existed. In those days on Tuesdays and Thursdays there were shorter class periods and at the end of the day an activity period of about an hour when clubs could meet, as well as late buses on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For the next five years I joined many different clubs, worked on the high school newspaper, The Dialogue, played in the band and participated in

events such as the Winter Carnival and school dances. I met people from Winchester, Russell, Winchester Springs, Finch, Winchester Township, Mountain Township and learned that no matter what community we called home, we had more things in common than one might imagine. We liked to go to parties, fell in and out of love, enjoyed pizza, french fries, played different sports such as basketball, field hockey or a game of tennis on the tennis courts. We didn’t always behave as we should have, perhaps smoked a cigarette in locations that we weren’t supposed to or perhaps our class attendance wasn’t perfect but for the most part we went to school, worked as hard as we could and had as much fun as possible. In a couple of weeks there will be the 50th Anniversary Reunion at NDDHS. A group of volunteers have spent countless hours making arrangements to ensure that those who attend the event will be able to take a walk down memory lane while enjoying reminiscing with former classmates and friends. There is little doubt in my mind that this will be a successful event and an opportunity to reconnect and remember those days when we were young.

Signs of summer One sure sign that summer has arrived can be seen right at our own waterfront. A North Dundas worker flushes the fire hydrants to get ready for the summer season. With the river now free of ice and other obstacles, water can rush freely through the dam. Below, volunteers get ready to put the fountain back into the South Nation River at the Chesterville waterfront.

The Chesterville Record-June 19, 2013  

Serving Stormont and Dundas Counties since 1894.

The Chesterville Record-June 19, 2013  

Serving Stormont and Dundas Counties since 1894.