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The Creemore


Friday, December 16, 2011

Vol. 11 No. 50

News and views in and around Creemore


An Update from Majengo

BIA Transition

And a plaque for Noel!

Lynn Connell continues her work in Africa



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A SPECIAL VISIT WITH SANTA Santa Claus himself was making the rounds in Creemore last Saturday on a wagon

being pulled by a couple of the McArthurs’ Belgians. And lo and behold, who should turn up on the wagon with Santa but Jacob Kenwell and his mother Diane Montgomery. Jacob, who was injured in a tragic ATV accident last spring, came home to Creemore about a month ago, after five months in Toronto at Sick Kid’s Hospital and Bloorview Rehab Centre. He still has some challenges, but the fact that he’s home and smiling about Santa Claus is a miracle in itself! For more pictures of last Saturday’s wagon rides, see page 6. And remember, Santa will be back in the little Creemore Springs building and the McArthurs will be giving rides again this Saturday. See page 2 for details.

by Brad Holden Weeks after Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cohorts seemingly dug in their heels on the issue at Queen’s Park, Clearview Council passed a resolution Monday night requesting, as many municipalities have before them, that the Ontario government rethink its position on municipalities having no ability to zone or issue building permits for green energy projects within their boundaries. The resolution, crafted by Councillor Thom Paterson after Council received a similar one from Mulmur Township two weeks ago that didn’t encompass all of Clearview’s concerns, read as such: (See “Council” on page 3)

Save the GNE Education Day by Brad Holden For the second year in a row, the Simcoe County District School Board has scheduled a PA Day for the Friday before the Great Northern Exhibition. In September 2011, this caught Fair Board members by surprise. They had gone ahead with planning their Education Day for the Friday of the fair weekend the same way they have for the past 25 years, and all of a sudden they found out that a PA day was about to rob them of all their students. The Board scrambled to fix the situation, offering free admission for up to six students with each adult who arrived on the Friday, and running the same programs as usual. But, as Fair Board president Gary Milne told us this week, only 250 kids showed up.

The SCDSB recently released its 2012/2013 calendar for review, and September 21, 2012 – the Friday before the fair – is again set to be a PA day. But this time, we’ve found out early enough to do something about it. Between now and January 13, 2012, anyone can go to, click on “School Year Calendar Input 2012-2012,” click on a similar link on the next page, and then register their disapproval with this scheduling conflict. Milne is hoping everyone who reads this will take the time to comment. After all, for the past 25 years (minus this past year), 800 to 1,000 Grade 3 and Grade 7 students have had this great opportunity to learn about the agricultural industry that surrounds them, an aspect of their education that is too valuable to be lost.

GENEROSITY The 1944 EME Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps recently

completed a food drive and donated what they received to the Clearview Stayner Food Bank. Wendy Jeffries and Sheila Fenton were on hand to accept their donation. The Creemore Echo will be accepting food and monetary donations for the same cause until Wednesday, December 21. Our toy drive is now over. Serving Mulmur & The Creemore Hills for 35 years

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• The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011

Community Calendar

Submit your community events phone: (705) 466-9906 fax: (705) 466-9908

This Weekend Saturday, December 17

• Curiosity House Author Event/Book Launch from 10 am to noon with Bruce Brigham, author and photographer and his  books Abandoned Ontario and Abandoned Ontario, Book Two about abandoned houses, ghost towns and other abandoned historical sites from various locations in the province of Ontario. Bruce will be visiting with customers and signing copies of his books at this official launch of Abandoned Ontario, Book Two. • Turkey Shoot at New Lowell Legion at 10 am. For more information call 705-424-0471. • Curiosity House Monthly Story Hour from 10:30 to 11:15 am with Miriam. Children from 18 months

to 6 years of age will hear stories and do a craft activity with a Christmas theme. • 3rd Annual Battle of the Blades Competition at Creemore Arena from 11:15 am to 1 pm featuring members of the Creemore Skating Club partnered with local hockey players. Admission $2, free admission for children 12 and under. Creemore Skating Club will have a bin at admissions table for food bank donations. • Santa’s Workshop downtown from 1 to 3 pm. • Wagon Rides through the village from noon to 2 pm. • Nottawasaga Junior Farmers will be travelling around Creemore spreading some Christmas cheer starting at 7 pm. They will be carolling and

Upcoming Events Monday, December 19

• Skyway 124 will be holding a Public Meeting from 5 to 9:30 pm at the Creemore Arena Hall to inform area residents about the proposed wind turbine project in Maple Valley.

Wednesday, December 21

• Creemore Echo’s Food Drive Deadline. Get your non-perishable items and monetary donations in by 4 pm today for the Stayner Clearview Food Bank. • A Memorial Evening at Sunset Manor, 49 Raglan Street, Collingwood from 6 to 9 pm hosted by Hospice Georgian Triangle.Anyone surviving a loss, recent or long-term, and wanting supportive company at this particular time will be welcome. Acome-and-go gathering. Non-denominational, candles, stories, music and a Tree of Remembrance. Call 705-444-2555 for details. • Winter Solstice Celebration at 7 pm at St. Luke’s

Anglican Church.

Friday, December 23

• 32nd Annual 95.1 The Peak FM / Hospital Christmas Draw. Win a Sony HDTV, 3D Blue-ray & more! Draw made live on 95.1 The Peak FM starting at 9 am. Tickets $2 on sale at Creemore Echo or online at

Sunday, December 25

• Community Christmas Dinner at Station on the Green. Social hour serenaded by the Wippers at 4:30 pm, dinner at 6 pm. All welcome. Call 705-466-3126 or to reserve your seat, volunteer or donate. TD Canada Trust Account #0330 5202657 will accept financial contributions.

Friday, December 30

• Combination Art Opening of Lynn Connell’s new work and Majengo Fundraiser from 5 to

NEW! Drama Training Program

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collecting non-perishable food & cash donations for the food bank to help families in need this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 18

• Christmas Church Services are on page 5. • A Christmas Cantata at Mansfield Presbyterian Church at 2:30 pm by Knox Presbyterian Church Alliston Choir and friends. Free will offering. Refreshments to follow service. • St. Luke’s 7th Season of Gift of Music presents “The Divasâ€? sopranoes Meghan Lindsay and Erica Huang along with a tenor & a baritone at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Caroline Street West at 3 pm. Refreshments following concert. Tickets at Curiosity House and the Echo $15 per concert.

7 pm at Curiosity House. Call 705-466-3400 for more info.

Saturday, December 31

• CreemoreCentric 2012 – Art Submission is due 5 pm today. Buy your canvas for $20 at Mad & Noisy Gallery (includes participation fee). 705-466-5555 or 154 Mill Street. • New Year’s Eve Skating at Creemore Arena from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Free. Sponsored by mSPEC.

Saturday, January 7

• CreemoreCentric 2012 Art Opening today. Show runs to January 30. 705-466-5555 or www. 154 Mill Street.

Next Year

• Wondering what’s going on next year? Check out the calendar on

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Donate to The Echo’s Food drive and make the holidays a little happier for families that need a helping hand. All donations go the Clearview Stayner Food Bank. Food & monetary donations will be collected until Wednesday, December 21. The Creemore Echo • 3 Caroline St. W. Creemore

• 705-466-9906

The Creemore

ECHO News and views in and around Creemore

The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011 •


Council asks for more control over Green Energy projects (Continued from page 1) “Whereas the Province of Ontario, through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), is moving forward with its commitment to review the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program; and whereas the stated purpose of the review includes the consideration of issues related to local consultation and the renewable energy approval process (REA); And whereas the Township of Clearview is in general support of the concerns expressed by the Township of Mulmur in their resolution passed on November 01, 2011 and forwarded on to the Minister of Energy for consideration as part of the OPA review of the FIT program; And whereas the REA process, as currently being implemented, limits the ability of Municipalities to comprehensively review and comment on matters normally within their purview and now specifically excluded as they pertain to alternative energy projects. “Therefore be it resolved that the Province of Ontario be requested to establish limited, complementary responsibilities for Municipalities under the Green Energy Act, thereby ensuring that alternative energy projects address local municipal issues to better balance the interests of ratepayers with the needs of the Province to encourage investments in new clean energy in Ontario. “And further that the Province be requested to establish direct consultation with municipalities, perhaps through the offices of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, AMO, to discuss concerns regarding building permitting and zoning matters with the objective of better addressing these issues in the Provincial process. “And further that the Township staff be directed to circulate this resolution to the appropriate Provincial agencies, our local MPP, AMO, the NEC, NVCA, Mulmur Township and to the other rural and small urban municipalities in Ontario.” While the resolution is correct that the province is currently undergoing a two-year review of its Green Energy Act, with one of the goals being to an “assessment of government policies and tools to ensure that Ontario remains a center of manufacturing excellence and clean energy job creation,” the digging in of heels has been happening on several fronts lately, including the Liberals’ recent quashing of the Local Municipal Democracy Act, a private-members bill put forth by a member of the PC caucus that would have placed jurisdiction over green energy programs back in municipal hands. Even more recently, Premier McGuinty balked at his government’s 2011 Auditor’s

Report, which was heavily critical of the way the Green Energy Act has been administered. This information led Clearview Deputy Mayor Alicia Savage, always one to speak bluntly about sensitive subjects, to signal her hesitation in passing Paterson’s motion Monday night. While she said she’d be alright with a request for more building permit control to ensure the safety of infrastructure, she noted that including a request for zoning control sounded like a “backdoor” approach to obstructing the development of industrial wind turbines. To that, she registered not only her disapproval, but also her belief in the futility of such a motion. “This isn’t going to go anywhere,” said Savage. “The province has been so clear. If you really think, Councillors, that we’re going to be able to zone for wind turbines in this municipality, you’re sadly mistaken.” Paterson, however, stressed the inclusion of the words “complementary” and “limited” in the resolution, and explained his view that zoning is a positive thing, not a bad thing. “This just asks that we can give these projects passage through our zoning bylaw,” he said, “and that bylaw would be able to test the suitability of a project on a given piece of land.” When asked for his opinion of the resolution’s wording, Clearview planning director Michael Wynia approved, saying that “a focussed effort” on behalf of the Township would lead to better siting. “This would give us a greater role,” he said. “Maybe not a full role, but at least a greater role.” With that, the resolution was passed by a slim margin, with Councillors Paterson, Shawn Davidson, Doug Measures and Brent Preston and Mayor Ken Ferguson casting their votes in favour of the motion, resulting in a 5-4 vote.

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Burn Permits to cost $10 in 2012

Council debated long and hard Monday night about how much annual burn permits should cost beginning next year. Up until now, burn permits have been free, but Clearview Fire Chief Bob McKean explained that his department now hoped to use the permits to pay for the administration and occasional fire calls required to deal with permitted fires. McKean’s proposal was for permits to cost $15 per year, but Mayor Ken Ferguson, Deputy Mayor Alicia Savage and Councillor Brent Preston predicted a sizable backlash at that price. (Last year, by the way, there were 1,200 permits handed out.) Others, however, felt that the higher cost was in line with neighbouring municipalities and was suitable. Eventually, Savage introduced an amendment to the original motion, adjusting the price from $15 to $5. That amendment did not pass. Councillor Shawn Davidson then proposed $10, and that amount was passed.

A Visit from Collus

Ed Houghton, president and CEO of Collus (Collingwood Utility Services), paid a visit to Clearview Council Monday night to bring everyone up to date on the company’s quest to sell 50 per cent of itself to a larger electricity delivery company. Currently, the town of Collingwood owns 100 per cent of Collus. The situation is of interest to Clearview because Collus delivers electricity to Creemore and Stayner, pipes water to Alliston through the pipeline that also services New Lowell, and runs the sewage treatment plants in Creemore and Stayner. Houghton explained that, foreseeing a time in

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• The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011

Opinion EDITORIAL An important meeting Skyway 124 and its rejuvenated five-turbine wind proposal north of Maple Valley, on the blind line east of 124, will be on display at the Creemore Arena Hall on Monday, December 19 from 5 to 9:30 pm. Councillor Brent Preston, who represents the area, has informed Council twice that the majority of people in his ward have concerns about the project, and also that several representatives of the group have met with Township staff and have developed an amicable relationship with the municipality, and an understanding of where Clearview can help them and where it can not. It remains to be seen whether there will be protesters outside the meeting, like there were at the Fairview meeting in Stayner, or whether people will be willing to go inside and engage the proponents in a thorough discussion about their concerns. We sincerely hope, as we’ve said before, that Skyway 124 will be open and ready with information. Last time, in Dundalk, they failed. This time, it remains to be seen. This will be an important meeting, and we hope to see many of you there.

Feedback and old photos welcome call (705) 466-9906 fax (705) 466-9908


Reg Young brought us in this great photo of the Creemore Train Station on October 13, 1952. The building on the right, with its windows boarded up, is the older Creemore Station, in this picture being used as a freight shed.


The Divas are back for their annual Christmas concert by Laura Walton The ‘Divas’ are the traditional end of season concert for the Gift of Music series, and this year is no exception.  Of all classical musicians, vocalists seem most often to move into international careers, and this has certainly been true with our sopranos.  The divas that we originally booked last spring, Sahara Sloan and Cassandra Warner, were offered major auditions or musical opportunities, some of them in Europe,  during our performance season. Fortunately, all of our sopranos tend to stay in touch, and this year, much to our delight, Meghan Lindsay and Erica Huang will grace our stage this Sunday. And, for the first time, they will be accompanied by both a tenor and a baritone, which will add a whole new dimension to their performances. Soprano Meghan Lindsay, here to sing for us for the 4th time, has always delighted us with her lovely voice and her charming stage presence.  Meghan began the 2011/12 season with her Canadian debut as Donna Anna in Opera Atelier’s Don Giovanni in Toronto.  In the spring of 2012, she will sing Sidonie and Nymphe des Eaux in Opera Atelier’s production of Lully’s Armide,  which she will reprise at the Royal Opera House of the Palace of Versailles, as well as at the Glimmerglass Opera as a member of their prestigious young artist summer program.  During the 2010/11 season, Meghan was a young artist with Opera Studio Nederland where she made her international debut as Euredice in Pierre Audi’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.  As an accomplished concert artist, Meghan has been featured on CTV television and CBC radio broadcasts, and she was part of a group that toured China representing the Royal Conservatory of Music in a program that was broadcast nationwide on Chinese television and radio.

Mezzo-soprano Erica Iris Huang began her career touring throughout North America and Europe with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, and for four consecutive years was offered a choral position in the European Music Festival of Stuttgart, Germany, subsequently singing throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Initially intending to teach, Erica’s years studying with the Faculty of Music at Laurier University developed her passion for performance, and she went on to graduate from the Opera Diploma program at the University of Toronto, where she took part in several operas, including performing the lead role in Bizet’s ‘Carmen’.  Erica was the 2011 winner of the prestigious  E-Gre National Music Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music, which included a threeweek residency and a recital with the Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy.  Noted for her powerful and highly expressive voice, as well as for the warmth and character of her stage presence, Erica also enjoys engaging an audience with art song and cabaret. Tenor Andrew Byerlay, returning for his third season with the Gift of Music, is currently in his fourth year of study at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory.  His most recent musical engagements include performances in the role of Monostatos/Tamino in the Glenn Gould School of Music’s production of The Magic Flute, as well as summer performances as part of the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy.  Andrew has also had an extensive musical theatre career in Vancouver performing in such productions as Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, Man of La Mancha, and West Side Story. In addition to his vocal achievements, he is also an accomplished oboist, and has performed for several seasons with the National Concert Band of Canada. Baritone Maciej Bujnowicz received his Master

of the Arts degree in Poland, and is currently studying (Artist Diploma Program) with the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Finalist of the 2010 NYCO Mozart Vocal Competition in Toronto and the 11th International Brahms Competition in Poertschach, Austria, Maciej was also chosen to sing the title role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”  in Sulmona, Italy in June 2011, as a member of Center for Opera Studies in Italy.  His recent performance highlights include the role of  Jimmy in “Mahagonny Songspiel “ by Kurt Weil  at both the COC Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts and at the Glenn Gould School,  and the title role in “Don Giovanni”  as part of the  Solt’s Summer Young Artists Program. Pianist Rachel Andrist has worked extensively with conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Antonio Pappano, Ivor Bolton, Rene Jacobs, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Jordan, and Kazushi Ono over the past decade.  Since 2008 she has been the head coach for the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival, the head of Musical Projects at the Royal Danish Opera Academy, and a guest at the Chicago Opera Theater. In the fall of 2010, Rachel returned to Canada to join the music staff at the Canadian Opera Company. The Divas never fail to charm us and bring us into the spirit of the season, so it is no surprise that they are traditionally our most popular concert.  We have been promised an unforgettable afternoon, with a number of familiar arias and duets, a few art songs, and a sprinkling of seasonal favourites.  Gift yourself with an afternoon of music in the warm and intimate setting of St. Luke’s Anglican Church this Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. Join us after the concert for complimentary refreshments and a chance to meet our young musicians. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Curiosity House Books, the Creemore Echo, and at the door.


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Editor Brad Holden

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The Creemore Echo is published every Friday and distributed free locally. Editorial and advertising material deadline is Tuesday at 5 pm. To receive a weekly copy of The Creemore Echo by mail outside of the circulation area or email version please contact us at Subscriptions are $45 (plus 5% hst) Publication Agreement # 40024973 Please return undeliverable Canadian mail to address below.

3 Caroline St. W., Box 1219 • Creemore, ON L0M 1G0 • Tel: (705) 466-9906 • Fax: (705) 466-9908 •

The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011 •

Creemore Big Heart Seniors Seniors

There were 54 of us out officers, our 2012 dues ($3) for cards today, and Bob are due and payable, and our Veale asked for a “head box of charitable donations count” as to the number of for the needy at Christmas diners that we can expect will be available for anyone for our catered Christmas who would like to donate. dinner. It seems that 57 or Our congratulations to Sylvia so is likely the number that Mark Madill who won the GALE will be present. $1,000 draw at the Legion The 50/50 draws went to recently. Mark and his Mercedes Veinot, Marion Kelly, Jim family are from the Angus/Borden Rigney, Beulah Dunn, Gerri Miller, area, and he works locally with Bob Marcia Cameron, Doris Hare and Ray Leighton. Moon shots were played by Barb Pilon, Bob McNichol, Karl Seifert, Avening W.I. met at St. John’s United Carol Faulkner and Warren “Hound Church Hall on December 8 for their Dog” Gale (according to Jim Rigney, annual Christmas potluck dinner with who just lost his bet with Warren!). 13 members and nine guests present. So it ended up that Warren was the Roll call was to bring something for winner of the $1 moon shot prize, the the Clearview Stayner Food Bank and $5 travelling prize, the Sidewinders hats and mittens for the Christmas loot and the side bet money with Jim tree. President Dorothy Shropshire Rigney! welcomed everyone and when the food High scorers were Bert Douglas and was all prepared we sang the Institute Elsie Longson tied with 283, Irma Grace and then sat down to dinner. Flack 282, Karl Seifert and Lucy After the meal the members held a Young tied with 281. Low was Marge short business meeting. An updated list Douglas with 92. of members with the year they joined This coming week is our election of

Hanson at Hans On Lawn Care in Creemore. He is also an awesome chef who has been the “chief cook and bottle washer” at many Legion functions and dinners. May Johnston received the following poem from her sister, Effie Rowbotham, and she graciously shared it with us on Thursday: If you see a fat man who’s jolly and cute; In a long flowing beard and a red

Avening Women’s Institute

Christmas Church services Sunday, December 18 Avening United Church: Service at 9 am St. James Clougher-Lisle: Service of Lessons & Carols at 9:30 am followed by refreshments in the Church hall Mansfield Presbyterian Church: Sunday School Concert at 9:30 am; Christmas Cantata at 2:30 pm New Lowell United Church: Service at 10:15 am St. Andrew’s Maple Cross Presbyterian Church: Morning Worship at 10 am Knox Presbyterian Church, Dunedin: 4th Sunday of Advent Service at 10 am Youth Concert at 4 pm followed by Potluck Supper Stayner Brethren in Christ: Service at 10:35 am Salvation Army Hope Acres Community Church: Family Service at 10:45 am Creemore Baptist Church: Service at 11 am St. Luke’s Anglican Church: Service at 11 am St. John’s United Church: Service at 11:30 am, coffee & conversation at 11 am St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Singhampton: Service at 11:30 am Monday, December 19 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Stayner: Confessions at 7 pm Wednesday, December 21 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Stayner: Confessions at 7 pm (No Mass) Thursday, December 22 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Stayner: Confessions at 7 pm (No Mass on Friday, December 23)

W.I. will be compiled. Christmas gifts with be delivered to eight shut-ins. Edith Eedy and Dorothy Shropshire had prepared some entertainment for us. Edith began with a Name That Christmas Tradition Contest. Then the ladies formed six groups, while the men gathered together to visit. Each group of ladies was given a mason jar and a recipe, and the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. Recipes were followed and mason jars filled with the cookie ingredients. Then they placed a decorative top on the jar along with recipe instructions to follow to bake the cookies. These cookie jars along with the hats and mittens will be delivered to My Friend’s House in Collingwood. We then ended the meeting by sharing our childhood memories of Christmas. Many remembered Christmas concerts at the one-room schoolhouses they

flannel suit; And if he is chuckling and laughing away; While flying around in a miniature sleigh; With eight tiny reindeer to pull him along; Let’s face it, dear readers; You’re eggnog’s too strong! We would like to wish all of you a festive, Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2012!

attended and the teachers among us remembered all the hard work that went into preparing those concerts. We will not meet again until February 9, 2012 at the home of Gwen Taylor at 1:30 pm. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

Christmas Services at

Stayner Brethren in Christ Church Christmas Eve Service at 7:30 pm Christmas Day Service at 10:35 am 6th Conc., 1 Km N. of Cty. Rd. 91


CreemoreCentric2012 Pick up your gallery-depth canvas ($20, which includes participation fee)

Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Sat. Dec. 31, 2011 From Sat. Jan. 7(Opening), to Sun. Jan. 30/12

Painting: Marilyn Jonston

Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve St. Luke’s Anglican Church: Family Christmas Service at 4:30 pm Holy Eucharist at 8 pm Christ Church Banda: Family Holy Eucharist 6 pm New Lowell United Church: Christmas Eve Communion Service at 6:30 pm Mansfield Presbyterian Church: Candlelight Service at 6:30 pm St. James Clougher-Lisle: Hymn Sing at 7 pm; Holy Eucharist at 7:30 pm Creemore Baptist Church: Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 7 pm Knox Presbyterian Church, Dunedin: Christmas Eve Family Service at 7 pm St. Andrew’s Maple Cross Presbyterian: Christmas Eve Service & Communion 7 pm Stayner Brethren in Christ: Christmas Eve Service at 7:30 pm St. John’s United Church: Christmas Eve Communion Service at 8 pm St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Singhampton: Christmas Eve Service at 8:15 pm Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic, Brentwood: Service at 9 pm St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Stayner: Carolling followed by Christmas Eve Vigil Mass starting at 10:30 pm Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day St. Andrew’s Maple Cross Presbyterian Church: Open from 10 to 11 am for personal meditation Knox Presbyterian Church, Dunedin: Service at 10 am St. Luke’s Anglican Church: Holy Eucharist at 10 am Stayner Brethren in Christ: Christmas Service at 10:35 am Salvation Army Hope Acres Community Church: Christmas Service at 10:45 am Creedan Valley Leisureworld: Christmas Day Carol Service at 11 am. United Church presiding. All welcome. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Stayner: Christmas Day Mass at 11 am (No Masses December 26 to 28) Creemore Baptist Church: Service at 11 am


Art from the entire community ...reflecting life in and around Creemore Mad & Noisy Gallery, 154 Mill St. Creemore (705) 466 5555


• The Creemore Echo •

Friday, December 16, 2011




Several residents and visitors enjoyed wagon rides around town last Saturday courtesy of Robert and Rusty McArthur, and Santa was hanging out in his “workshop” (in the little building at Creemore Springs) taking toy requests from passers-by. See page 2 for this Saturday’s schedule!

You’ll get a warm welcome and cold beer.

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At Creemore Springs we take pride in introducing folks to the great taste of our beer and showing them how we make it. So the next time you’re near the town of Creemore, drop by the brewery, the hospitality is on us.



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The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011 •


Lynn Connell’s African orphanage needs funds to expand by Brad Holden It’s been a few years since we checked in with Lynn Connell’s activities in Africa, but that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been eventful. This month, she’ll be back in the limelight, with two events planned, one in Toronto on Sunday, December 18 and one in Creemore on Friday, December 30, which aim to celebrate the success of the Majengo orphanage in Mto Wa Mbu, a town in the Arusha region of Tanzania. They will also kick off Connell’s biggest fundraising effort yet, as she and the orphanage’s other organizers get set to raise $300,000 to build an entirely new facility on six acres given to them by the district government. For those of you who need a refresher on Connell’s story, we can give you a quick run-through. Back in 2006, Connell decided to shut the doors on her Creativity Art Retreat Centre in Dunedin for one summer and travel to Tanzania with an organization called ICA Tanzania. She spent several months working at an HIV/AIDS centre operated by that organization, using her creative talents to deliver arts therapy to the many HIV sufferers who dropped into the centre. When that experience ended, Connell toured Tanzania for a couple of months, visiting the Masai tribes (where she eventually set up a foundation that would pay for Masai girls’ high school studies) and going on safari. But before she did that, she visited the “Blessed Comfort Orphanage,” a run down place on the Safari Trail (there were several orphanages along this trail, set up there in hopes of receiving donations from tourists who pass through.) The children’s clothes were torn, the floors on the orphanage were muddy, and food was scarce. Connell spent several days in the vicinity of the orphanage, and even took ten kids on safari with her. Weeks later, she was back in Canada. She could not stop thinking of Africa though. In January 2008, she was back. She spent a few months working at the

Wednesday & Thursday

Lynn Connell, at left, at the Majengo orphanage which she helped found. same orphanage, trying hard to raise money and find donations of supplies; anything to bring up the standard of life of the children living there. That’s when Africa dealt Lynn a serious blow. One day she found a hidden closet at the orphanage, full of supplies that were not being used. One thing led to another, and it was found out that the man who ran the place was keeping the kids in squalor, in hopes of getting more money from passing tourists – money that was being funneled straight into his personal bank account. It was a low point, a time that Lynn now says she can’t think about without crying. But soon after, Charles Luoga, the ICA Tanzania director who had been overseeing Connell’s work at the AIDS Centre, took her to Mto Wa Mbu to visit 52 children squeezed into the dark and leaking mud-floored foyer of someone’s house, which was set up as a makeshift daycare. It was an orphanage of sorts, but in such terrible condition it had been refused official orphanage status. They had no furniture, no books or resources except for one teacher offering his time voluntarily, and a few neighbour women who came by to cook lunch – which in most cases was the only food the children would receive all day. Connell and Luoga found a half-built house down the road, and committed

themselves to starting an orphanage for these children. Then Connell came back to Canada and raised about $25,000 to renovate and refurbish the house. In March 2009, 27 children moved into the “Majengo Orphanage,” with new beds, sheets, towels, an outdoor kitchen, showers, toilets, a playground and an on-site pre-school for the children under age 7. The older kids attend local primary schools in the area. All was going great, especially with the serendipitous addition of Pennsylvania resident Matt McKissock to the fundraising and organizing team. In the spring of 2009, McKissock was looking to rent a cottage in Muskoka for his family, and came across an ad for one owned by Connell’s family. During a brief conversation about keys and deposits and such, Connell mentioned she was heading off for Africa in the next few days. McKissock was interested and asked more. The following discussion led him to wonder about the nature of what Connell had done: faced with an intolerable situation, she stood up and did something about it, when others would likely have walked away. Seeing the same reaction in himself, he flew to Tanzania weeks later and before long created a fundraising foundation that his family would administer in their hometown of Warren, Pennsylvania.

For the last two years, that foundation has covered the operating fees of the Majengo Orphanage. Then, in September 2010, something happened that nobody expected. The district government made a decision that all five of the corrupt orphanages along the Safari Trail, including the one that Connell had started out at, would be closed down. And the 67 children at those places, most of them without clothes, shoes or belongings and many of them malnourished and sick, were dropped off at the Majengo Orphanage. Operating costs went up and conditions became more crowded – “it’s a bit of a mob situation,” explains Connell with a laugh – but the orphanage continued its work. Today, the orphanage supports the needs of 114 children, between the ages of 1 and 14, with food, housing, medical needs, education and clothing. Seventyseven children live inside the orphanage, and 37 live out with relatives and friends, spending every day at Majengo. And now, with the new land available to them and plans for a whole new facility, Connell has been charged with fundraising. She recently set up Majengo Canada, a registered charity that can issue tax receipts, and in January she will travel to Tanzania with a large group of people with “connections,” she says, hoping one or several of them will be as taken with the project as McKissock was. And on this Sunday, December 18, she will host a reception at her Toronto home (284 Major Street in the Annex; all are welcome), and on Friday, December 30, she will be at an opening reception for a January show of her latest artwork at Curiosity House. Connell can also be reached on her cell phone at 416951-6528 if anyone has questions or fundraising ideas. As for Connell herself, she is a woman transformed. “I have my kids, my grandkids, my art, and everything else is Africa,” she says.

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8 • THE The CREEMORE Creemore ECHO Echo

• Friday, December 9, 16,2011 2011

Ontario Energy Board

Commission de l’énergie de l’Ontario

EB-2011-0161 NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND HEARING FOR AN ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION RATE CHANGE COLLUS Power Corporation COLLUS Power Corporation (“COLLUS Power”) has applied to the Ontario Energy Board (the “Board”) for permission to decrease its delivery charges beginning May 1, 2012. The application was filed on november 25, 2011 under section 78 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c.15 (Schedule B), under the Board’s guidelines for 3rd Generation incentive Regulation Mechanism which provides for a mechanistic and formulaic adjustment to distribution rates between cost of service applications. COllUS Power’s application also includes a request to recover the impact of lost revenues associated with various conservation initiatives and the disposition of account 1562. delivery charges are one of four regular items on Residential and General Service customers’ electric bills and vary depending on the amount of electricity consumed. if the application is fully approved, the monthly bill for a Residential customer who consumes 800 kWh per month would decrease by about $1.57. The monthly bill for a General Service customer consuming 2,000 kWh per month and having a monthly demand of less than 50 kW would decrease by about $1.39. The proposed changes to the delivery charges are separate from other potential changes to the electricity bills. for additional information on billing items visit the Consumer page of the Board’s website at The Board has assigned the application file no. EB-2011-0161. The Board’s decision on this application may have an effect on all of COLLUS Power’s customers. How to see COLLUS Power’s Application To see a copy of the application, go to the Consumer page of the Board’s website and enter the case number EB-2011-0161 in the “Find an Application” box. A copy can also be seen at the Board’s office and at the applicant’s office at the addresses indicated below, or on the applicant’s website Written Hearing The Board intends to proceed with this matter by way of a written hearing unless a party satisfies the Board that there is a good reason for not holding a written hearing. if you object to the Board holding a written hearing in this matter, you must provide written reasons why an oral hearing is necessary. Any submissions objecting to a written hearing must be received by the Board and copied to the applicant within 10 days of the publication or service date of this notice. How to Participate You may participate in this proceeding by requesting either intervenor or observer status, or by submitting a letter of comment: 1. Intervenors participate actively in the proceeding (i.e., submit written questions, evidence, and arguments, and cross-examine witnesses at an oral hearing). You may request intervenor status by sending a letter of intervention to the Board and copying the Applicant no later than 10 days from the publication or service date of this notice. The letter of intervention must include: a. A description of how you are, or may be, affected by the outcome of this proceeding; b. If you represent a group, a description of the group and its membership; The Board intends to only consider cost awards in this proceeding in relation to COllUS Power’s proposal for lost revenue adjustment mechanism recovery and request for the disposition of account 1562. You must indicate in your letter of intervention whether you expect to seek costs from the applicant and the grounds for your eligibility for costs. 2. Observers do not participate actively in the proceeding but receive documents issued by the Board in the proceeding. (There is no fee for observers to receive documents issued by the Board.) You may request Observer status by sending a request to the Board no later than 10 days from the publication or service date of this notice. 3. Letters of Comment are to be sent to the Board no later than 30 days from the publication or service date of this notice. All letters of comment will be placed on the public record, subject to the privacy terms for personal information stated below. This means that the letters will be available for viewing at the Board’s offices and will be placed on the Board’s website. Interrogatories and Submissions Board-approved intervenors or Board staff wishing information and material from COllUS Power that is in addition to the evidence filed with the Board and that is relevant to the hearing shall request it by written interrogatories filed with the Board and delivered to COllUS Power on or before January 20, 2012. COLLUS Power shall file with the Board complete responses to the interrogatories and deliver them to all intervenors no later than February 3, 2012. Written final submissions by an intervenor or Board staff must be filed with the Board, and copied to all other parties, by February 17, 2012. If COLLUS Power wishes to respond to the submissions, its written response must be filed with the Board and delivered to all other parties by March 2, 2012. YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS TREATED DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON HOW YOU CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HEARING: x

Intervenors - everything you file with the Board, including your name and contact information, will be placed on the public record (i.e. the public file and the Board’s website).


Letters of comment or observers - the Board removes any personal (i.e. not business) contact information from the letter of comment or the request for observer status (i.e., address, fax number, phone number, and e-mail address of the individual), however, your name and the content of the letter of comment or of the request for observer status will become part of the public record. Filing Information for Intervenors

if you already have a user id, please submit your intervention request through the Board’s web portal at Additionally, two paper copies must be submitted to the address set out below. if you do not have a user id, visit the Board’s website under e-filing Services and complete a user id/password request form. For instructions on how to submit documents and naming conventions please refer to the RESS document Guidelines found at, e-filing Services. The Board also accepts interventions by e-mail, at the address below. Additionally, two paper copies must be submitted to the address set out below. Those who do not have internet access are required to submit their intervention request on a Cd in Pdf format, along with two paper copies. Need more information? for more information on how to participate please click on “Get involved” under the “OEB and You” menu on the Consumer page of the Board’s website, or call the Board at 1-888-632-6273 (toll free). How to Contact the Board or COLLUS Power Corporation Please reference Board file number EB-2011-0161 in the subject line of your e-mail or at the top of your letter. it is also important that you provide your name, postal address and telephone number and, if available, an e-mail address and fax number. All communications should be directed to the attention of the Board Secretary at the address below, and be received no later than 4:45 p.m. on the required date. IMPORTANT IF YOU DO NOT FILE AN OBJECTION TO A WRITTEN HEARING OR DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE HEARING BY FILING A LETTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS NOTICE, THE BOARD MAY PROCEED WITHOUT YOUR PARTICIPATION AND YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO FURTHER NOTICE IN THIS PROCEEDING. ADDRESSES The Board:

The Applicant:

Ontario Energy Board P.O. Box 2319 27th Floor 2300 Yonge Street Toronto ON M4P 1E4 Attention: Board Secretary Filings:

COLLUS Power Corporation

E-mail: Tel: 1-888-632-6273 (Toll free) Fax: 416-440-7656

43 Stewart Road P.O.Box 189 Collingwood ON L9Y 3Z5 Attention: Mr Tim Fryer E-mail: Tel: (705) 445-1800 Ext. 2225

DATED at Toronto, December 07, 2011 ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD Kirsten Walli Board Secretary

Fun & Games 5011

Sudoku Barbara Simpson 2





Can you believe there was six inches of snow in Barrie this morning?!


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Weekend Weather Friday, December 16

Few flurries High 0 Low -6 Winds NW 30 km/h POP 40%

Don’t complain, Spike, Creemore only had a

Saturday, December 17


Cloudy periods High -1 Low -5 Winds N 20 km/h POP 20%

Sunday, December 18

Variable Cloudiness High 2 Low -4 Winds SW 35 km/h POP 30 %



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Spike & Rusty Word Scramble



The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011 •

Find this week’s answer in Classifieds


by Ken Thornton

Answer in Classifieds

Call For An Introductory Ski Day Today! 705-435-3838 or 1-800-461-1212 ext 245 Laugh a minute

A Saudi Prince went to Germany to study. A month later, he sends a letter to his dad saying: “Berlin is wonderful and I really like it here, but I’m a bit ashamed to arrive to school with my gold Mercedes when all my teachers travel by train.” Sometime later he gets a letter from his dad with a $10 million cheque saying: “Stop embarrassing us, go and get yourself a train!”

5 4 3 9 7 2 6 1 8 1 2 6 4 5 8 7 9 3 9 8 7 1 3 6 2 4 5 8 7 4 5 2 1 9 3 6 2 3 1 7 6 9 5 8 4 6 5 9 3 8 4 1 7 2 Brian’s Canadian Crossword 3 1 2 6 4 7 8 5 9 7 6 5 8 9 3 4 2 1 4 9 8 2 1 5 3 6 7 #0155


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Wood or Wilson of the CBC Swindlers Laval living room Warren Buffet's hometown Toronto heavyweight who never hit the canvas End of hostilities Dissuade Role of Arthur Ellis Gordie's wing Canadian version of a sand dune Prairie grain containers Labour Day mnth Channel of How It's Made Modern chamber pots Crazy Canuck Irwin Canadian Secretary Of State Bouchard Project worked on by former Avro engineers Apartment dweller Call __ _ cab! He's a fighting man from head to toe (3) Actress Mirren (The Last Station) Makes a pit stop Sir John A., for one Victoria ___, Africa

#0154 Solved www. cancross. com













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Lobsters and shrimp Does a pirouette Prance around Massive parts of Popeye Governor General Hnatyshyn Don't mention One who wins More conservative SNL player David ___ Race result with no number Uses a divining rod Generous one Agonize Knocks on the door Austere The ___ ___ Daughter (Timothy Findley) Fly catcher __ ___, why not? Popular New Brunswick fiddler of the 1960s (2) Cuchi-Cuchi coiner Invigorating Hot spot for a pot Roll shaped like a donut Gets there Caravan stops Guitar sound Canadian wildcats Down in ___!











#155 by Brian Paquin © 2011 1


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Agrees silently Revival cry Cold War alliance Grind up Temporary flea market (2) Roundtree and Jackson role Easter event Part of DJIA Dodge product First Canadian to win 5 medals in one Olympic Games Like the Avro Arrow's boom Worked hard Up and about Haul Oh no! to a Scot Mesh Intel products Clinton's Attorney General Easy pitch Victor Borge and Brigitte Nielsen Psychologist Pavlov Senator and general Dallaire Triangular road sign Luggage Grand tale Karate school Conspirator Clearings Soviet news agency Squeals on Boxer Berbick Damaged Galbraith's subj. By ___ and away Acceptable (3) Pull the trigger Knights' wives Crumple Coffee houses Bell bottoms and big hair Confess (2) Halifax conductor Armenian Filing tools Shopping outlet What's the big ___? Small sea bird




















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68 74









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Large lake bird Reminding factors (2) House of Commons skill Meat in a can Less biased Wrap up Actor Ely (Tarzan) The ___ Of a Sourdough (Robert Service) 77 Fable lesson 78 Pitches



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Hunt for old gold Celebrity Only adequate (hyph.) Equal Take a break King Of Kensington's network So there! Long ___ and far away Coffee brewer Deep ___


• The Creemore Echo •

Friday, December 16, 2011

The noise of the season FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Like presumably most always wondered why the people, I have given up trying day Jesus was crucified is to experience some sense called Good Friday, and by of spirituality during the contrast this seemingly happy Christmas season. Volumes day of big bargains is called have been written about the Black Friday. Someone in a need to put Christ back into high place should propose a Craig Christmas, but all in vain switch in names. SIMPSON up against the juggernaut of So now Thanksgiving commercial interests. morning begins with the Santa That is why Thanksgiving – whether Claus Parade, filled with commercials in Canada or the United States – became about door crasher sales beginning at my favorite holiday. The whole notion midnight. Just a few years ago these of Thanksgiving involves stopping for a events started at 5 or 6 am, but why day to be thankful for what we have, in waste good shopping time? This year contrast to the basic Christmas dynamic Black Friday sales were up seven per of making lists of what we want. Add cent over 2010, which in these times of in family and a turkey dinner and you prolonged economic distress was cited as have a relatively simple, warm, human very positive news. Of course, the figures occasion. for the entire pre and post Christmas But in the U.S. Thanksgiving shopping season will provide a more now hovers somewhere between accurate picture of economic health, at endangered and extinct, another victim least at it relates to consumer demand. of the Christmas onslaught. American The media, which used to feature stories Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of of how to brighten up leftover turkey, November, and because of this timing, now focus on the lowest prices for 42” has also served as the unofficial kick-off LED TV sets ($199 at Best Buy for for the Christmas season. But up until example). Radio seems to make a 100 recently, all parties respected the annual per cent conversion to secular Christmas opportunity to give thanks on Thursday music that is the mainstay of the malls and showed restraint before firing the gun sound systems – perhaps they even use to start the race to the malls on Friday. the same tracks? No more. The days before Thanksgiving The noise is deafening and numbing. are filled with ads for Black Friday The best escape is a good book and a promotions and sales. In case you turkey sandwich. wondered about this curious name, it Merry Christmas and Happy New was coined because many retailers lose Year – and may you all find at least some money all year and do not get “into the measure of spirituality and peace during black” until this day. As an aside, I have this holiday season.

photo Bryan Davies

The Creemore BIA had its annual general meeting last week, and besides acclaiming a new executive, it also gave Noel Van Wallegham a commemorative plaque for his 50 years of running the Meat Market on the main street. Above, from left to right, are past president Aiken Scherberger, Noel, Council representative Thom Paterson, past secretary Lily White, new president Corey Finkelstein (in back), new secretary Cheryl Robertson, new vice president Karen Gaudino and new treasurer Michelle Zorychta.

The Clearview Fire Department welcomed 13 new firefighters to its ranks at Council Monday night, and most of them are pictured above flanked by Deputy Chief Colin Shewell (left) and Chief Bob McKean and Training Officer Roree Payment (on the right). The new recruits have been through 140 hours of training.

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The Creemore Echo • Friday, December 16, 2011 •

Echo Classifieds


$15 plus hst for 25 words or less Deadline is Tuesday at 5 pm Email

Call (705) 466-9906 or Fax 466-9908

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thank you


death notice

A Creemore Garden Calendar prepared by Helen Blackburn. Get one for 2012 at Creemore Meat Market.

The NCPS School Council would like to thank all our community members who made Breakfast With Santa such a huge success. Thanks to the many businesses and individuals who donated to our all-local breakfast, silent auction and shopping room. A very special thank you to Cardboard Castles, Sovereign Restaurant, Affairs Bakery, the NCPS staff, Mr. Morrison, Mrs. Ellis and, of course, Santa.

Pottery Classes in Creemore. Courses in hand building, sewing on wheel and glazing. 6 week course. Sessions: Monday 6 to 7:30 pm, starting January 9, 2012; Tuesday 4:30 to 6 pm starting January 10; and Friday 4:30 to 6 pm starting January 13. Ages 8 and up. Cost $20 per lesson. Contact Leanne Cohen or Pierre Marcoux at 705466-3253 or 705-794-1614 or email

We want to thank all those who sent their sympathy, flowers & cards plus all the visits, hugs & prayers. Also to the Leisureworld staff who have their love, hugs & support to me and my family. Vera Pettigrew & Joan Truax and family

in memoriam

Thomas, William Keith - Passed away peacefully at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston on Monday, December 12, 2011. Bill Thomas of Cookstown in his 82nd year. Dearly beloved husband of  Alwyn Thomas. Dear father of Keith, Marie Miller (John) of Creemore, Neil Thomas (Susan) of Orillia. Grampy of Marc, Shawn, Alexandra and Mackenzie. Brother of Jim Thomas and his late wife Rosemary and sisters Helen Hamilton (Norman) and Anne Fitzimons (Michael). Uncle to many nieces. Friends may call at Knox Presbyterian Church , 160 King Street, South, Alliston on Friday, December 16, 2011 from 9 am until time of   service at 11 am. Interment Cookstown United Church Cemetery.    Memorial donations to  Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Knox Presbyterian Church or the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.  Special thanks to Dr. Affoo and the emergency staff and medical surgical staff at  Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston. (Arrangements entrusted to the Paul F. Kent Funeral Home, Cookstown 705 458-4402)

Need a great Christmas gift? Ken Thornton’s newly launched book The Elusive Dream and his collection of short stories A Barnyard Affair are available at Creemore Echo.

for rent New Rooms for rent. Furnished. $150 per week includes shared living room, heat, hydro, wireless internet, satellite TV, parking. Linens supplied. No smoking. Call 705-444-4852. Large ground floor apartment at 149 Mill Street. See Noel at Hillview Cellars or call 705-466-3635. 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments in Creemore. Available January. $500 plus hydro. Call 705-443-9417.

ski rentals Ski Season Rental. Nicely furnished 1 bedroom apartment with sofa bed in living room. Full kitchen, cable tv, wireless internet and snow removal. 2 min. walk to Creemore, 10 min. drive to Devil’s Glen and 20 min. to Blue Mountain and Mansfield. Available weekends, weekly or monthly. No pets. Call for details 705-466-3635.

lost / found To the customer who lost a ring at Jug City: please visit Jug City. It has been found.

Creemore Minor Hockey would like to send a big thank you to the Creemore Legion Branch 397 for their continuous support and generosity again this year. Your donation and support at the Remembrance Day Legion Dinner helps to provide hockey to our children. Thank you! Creemore Echo would like to say thanks for the treats to Helen Blackburn, Victor Narusis and to Santa Claus who paid us a visit this week. The family of the late Norma Royal wishes to express sincere appreciation for those many acts of kindness, messages of sympathy, and visits to the funeral home during our recent loss of our Mother. We especially wish to thank Rev. Lorna May, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 397 and the Ladies Auxiliary, and the management and staff of Fawcetts Funeral Home. The Royal Family

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christmas Want to wish your loved ones, family and/or friends a Merry Christmas? Contact Creemore Echo by Monday, December 19 at noon with your words. 705-466-9906, fax 705-466-9908 or 5011 email A Victorian Fairytale Christmas like you’ve never 3 seen before. 2 Hundreds8of antique linen and lace, fine china and 5 all vintages9 from silver,2Christmas of rustic to Victorian all decking the 7 4 halls 5 of our 1878 farmhouse. Handmade gifts 7soaps, knitwears,1 honeybutters, 9 6 include baking, gift baskets and more. Evening fireside 6 tea9and3scones by reservation. 7 Make this a Christmas to remember. 3 1 Nov 26-Dec 24, 10am-5pm 8 OPEN daily. 6Bring slippers. Accepting 9 2 cash and cheques. Evenings by appointment. 4 East of2Stayner on 3Hwy26 to 2kms Centerline Rd., South 3kms to Con. 9, East 1km to “A Day at Victoria’s” (fire#5681). Cathy 705-428-0445.

Spike & Rusty: SMIDGEN

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Christopher Vokes

You are always with us in our hearts In loving memory of a special son, grandson, nephew and cousin; who we lost 5 years ago on December 18, 2006. He made us stronger and more willing to accept life’s challenges. Each dawning day A thought of him At eventide a prayer And in the hearts that loved him He always will be there. Never forgotten, forever loved by Kathy, Eric and family.


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• The Creemore Echo •

Friday, December 16, 2011

Amaizeing Corn, Part One ESOTERICA

I don’t imagine that most people give much thought to corn. They drive by a Al field of corn CLARKE and comment on how much it has grown or wonder why this area is doing better than another, or they stop and buy some corn on the cob for dinner. Recent events, however, specifically my involvement with BMO’s agricultural Exchange Traded Fund, have peaked my interest in corn. This is not to say that corn has gone unnoticed to me; to the contrary I have always liked corn. I do prefer the old-style “Golden Bantam Corn,” first introduced in 1902, over the newer, milder “Peaches and Cream” but it’s now hard to find. I even like creamed corn. However, to appreciate corn’s invasive role in our lives we need to understand what is special about corn. Getting technical for a moment, corn is referred to as a C4 plant (as are sugar cane and broccoli as well), because during photosynthesis it creates compounds using four atoms instead of three, as most C3 plants do (for example soybeans, wheat and potatoes). This gives the C4 plants a huge advantage over C3 plants in hot, water-scarce environments because C4 plants lose only one third the amount of water that a C3 plant loses to evapotranspiration, Because of this, very few plants can produce energy (ie. calories) from the land like corn is able to. If you remember last summer, July turned hot and rain didn’t materialize and the corn just got higher. Eventually, as they say in Canada, it was as high as a moose’s eye. There’s more to corn than just being its ability to grow, though. The simple fact is that when it grows, its yields simply dwarf those of other grains. Corn yields in Canada ran at 115 bushels per acre in 1997, 150 bushels per acre in the US, and as high as 200 bushels per acre in some special areas like Iowa where the topsoil is rich, dark and up to four feet deep. Western Canadian wheat, on the other hand,



produced 40 bushels per acre; barley produced 57 bushels per acre and soybeans averaged 50 bushels per acre. Now there are lots of variables here: heat units, latitude, climate, rain, soil, etc. – but you get the drift. No crop produces calories as efficiently as corn (incidentally, soybeans are the most efficient way to produce protein, but that’s a topic for another article). So the ability to grow well in harsh environments and produce high caloric yields per acre are corn’s big advantages, but it doesn’t stop there. To understand the real commercial advantage of corn we have to explore corn sex. I don’t know how old I was when I first realized that plants have sex, but I know it still comes as a revelation to some, particularly city folk. So if you’re a prudish Presbyterian from Rosedale, you might want to skip this next bit because corn sex is key to what makes corn really special, and I am about to let you in on all the sorted details. As soon as it’s dark, two corn plants get together for dinner and a movie… okay, so that’s not how it happens. The male organs of corn are the tassels that sit atop the plant and the female organs are the hundreds of small flowers arranged in rows in the sheathed cob that, if fertilized, will develop into plump kernels of corn. Fertilization occurs when, on the very same day that the tassel is set to emit pollen, each flower on the cob sends a silky strand out through the end of the husk, whose function is to collect that pollen. Here is the fascinating part: when the pollen lands on the moist

silky strand, its nucleus divides and creates identical twins. The first twin bores a path down the silk strand some six to eight inches into the husk to the waiting flower, and the second twin follows down the tunnel and fertilizes the flower, producing the big starchy kernel. The stunted kernels you see at the tip are unfertilized flowers. So why is this important? Because the male and female organs are so visible and distant from each other, it makes it easy for humans to intervene in the fertilization process and develop hybrid corn, as did Native Americans long before the Europeans arrived. The ease of which corn can be hybridized is not the only factor that

caused its dominance as a food source in North America. Strangely, the most important reason is that corn, unlike other plants, allowed corporations to control and patent their hybridized seeds. Here’s how that works: With most plants, after some trial and error, you might discover a great hybrid plant seed that produces a much-improved crop. You could sell it to a farmer but after harvest he can put aside a portion of his own production for next year’s seed. He would not need to return to purchase more, and thus unfortunately your discovery and work is of little commercial value. But corn seems like it is in cahoots with Big Agribusiness, because with corn, unlike other plants, the seeds of hybrid plants mutate and will not produce a true copy. Therefore, the farmer must return to buy new seed each year, making corn the perfect commercial agri-product. And if someone creates the perfect, high-yield grow-anywhere hybrid, like Henry Wallace did in 1927 when he created what’s known as “F-1,” you can make a bundle of cash. So high yields and commercial viability is why corn is so successful and pervasive, but how does that translate into corn being so prevalent in our lives, to the point that North Americans are essentially made of corn? Stay tuned for “Amaizeing Corn, Part Two” and find out how that happened.


New Year’s Eve

Community Skating Party Dec 31, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Creemore Arena

Non-perishable food donations for the area food bank will be accepted at the door Sponsored by

Please make your cheque payable to TREE SOCIETY OF CREEMORE P.O. BOX 2073 CREEMORE, ON L0M 1G0

The Creemore


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Christopher Vokes

You are always with us in our hearts In loving memory of a special son, grandson, nephew and cousin; who we lost 5 years ago on December 18, 2006. He made us stronger and more willing to accept life’s challenges. Each dawning day A thought of him At eventide a prayer And in the hearts that loved him He always will be there. Never forgotten, forever loved by Kathy, Eric and family.

Telephone: (705) 466-9906

Fax: (705) 466-9908



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