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Twila and Roger Cruickshank

Thanks for the Boost Roger and Twila!

For over 20 years, Roger and Twila Cruickshank were the boost behind the "Booster". They dedicated the majority of their time to informing Vittoria residents and members of the Vittoria and District Foundation about happenings in our small hamlet, by editing the "Vittoria Booster" newsletter. They consistently focused on stories about the achievements and successes of the people of Vittoria, which are legendary and limitless. Volunteers will try and carry the torch as Twila and Roger have recently retired from the Vittoria and District Foundation. We are all very thankful for the countless hours gathering articles and information about Vittoria and sharing their love and passion for our little community all over the globe. Through their hard work over the years, Roger and Twila have truly boosted the profile of Vittoria, helping to celebrate the many individuals who make our historic hamlet the "Center of the Universe". -2-

Vittoria’s Good Bread Company

Fresh out of the oven

Practically any day it is common to see the parking spaces at the Good Bread Company full and the bakery at 1550 Old Brock Street filled with shoppers all enjoying both the aroma of fresh-baked bread and the animated conversations of other customers. License plates tell the stories of local residents and travellers from all over Ontario and the USA having heard of the growing enterprise. The attraction, of course, is bread of the highest quality and of the most creative recipes – all hand made, with no additives or preservatives, a rare commodity in these days of chemically manipulated baked products from industrial bakeries. This is the second incarnation of the small re-purposed bungalow. Owners Rick Posavad and Daniel Pruden recognized the limitations in the current facility after opening almost 6 years ago. Consequently the bakery will be moving, in the not-to-distant future, around the corner into the historical Vittoria Baptist Church on Lamport Street, Norfolk County's oldest church, and the oldest Baptist church in Ontario and Quebec. Even now, when travellers come to the bakery, it is common that they get a history lesson along with butter tarts and bread. Many have remarked that the Good Bread Company has put Vittoria back on the map with more glory days for the community yet to come.

Rick Posavad


Article by James Christison

Uniquely Original Wood Church

Constructed in 1844, the Church sits in the middle of Vittoria’s historic square and is flanked by the United Church (1845), Town Hall (1870) and former Baptist Church (1853). This area provides a rare and valuable legacy of early architectural styles of Ontario. According to University of Toronto professor, the late Marion MacRae, OC, “of the timber churches which were designed in the continuing Georgian tradition, one of the handsomest yet standing is Christ Church, Vittoria.” The church is constructed entirely of wood, namely native Norfolk County pine. The structure, outside and in, remains uniquely original. The exterior is clad with flushboarding, beveled on either matching edge, and grooved to imitate the joints of masonry. The corners of the building are finished with heavier planks to form cornerstones. The overall wood detail makes the church look like it has been constructed solely of stone blocks. This particular characteristic is what makes the building so historically important. According to the Ontario Heritage Trust - Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Christ Church is the last of its style from this period in all of Ontario and likely the entire nation. In true Vittoria fashion, the care and concern of the community has ensured that Christ Church continues not only to have a spiritual presence but also to be part of the village’s heritage legacy. After closing in 1976 to weekly services, a group of dedicated trustees have been looking after its operation and ongoing preservation.

Christ Church Anglican, Vittoria View of the church ca.1910

Lynn Valley Voices at the Annual Spring Service

As a Chapel-of-Ease, two services are held a year. Since 2014, trustees have been working on a number of goals to build a stronger presence for a viable future. Through individual donations, the generosity of the Vittoria & Evening Folk Music Concert with the UK's District Foundation Inc., Rosie Hood and Ollie King and the support of the newly appointed Rector, many of these goals will be realized. This year, a business plan will be formalized, even more events scheduled and most proudly, the church is now available for wedding rentals. See www.parishoflongpointbay.com for rental and upcoming event details.


LOYALIST DAY CELEBRATION Unveiling the Long Point Settlement Plaque Sunday, june 18, 2017

GRAND RIVER BRANCH, UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS’ ASSOCIATION OF CANADA On June 18, 2017 a celebration of Loyalist Day at Christ Church Anglican, Vittoria, took place. There was a  Flag-Raising Ceremony to unveil the Long Point Settlement Plaque. The contributions of many people who helped to organize this day were acknowledged. Special thanks to the Empire Loyalists Association of Canada, the Port Rowan / South Walsingham Heritage Association and the Vittoria and District Foundation for their financial support.


Mennonite hens a fact of life in west Norfolk By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer Friday, July 14, 2017

Jody Hoag of Hoag Family Farms, near Vittoria, says backyard chickens are good company and produce delicious eggs. This week, Norfolk council modified its policy on poultry by allowing residents within hamlet boundaries to keep a handful of chickens in their backyards for a trial period of one year.

VITTORIA - Norfolk’s hamlets soon may be known for their omelettes. In a piece of after-the-fact fine-tuning this week, Norfolk council modified its position on urban chickens in the county. Keeping chickens and other livestock within the boundaries of Norfolk’s urban centres continues to be forbidden. However – as of this week -- anyone who wants to keep a half-dozen chickens in their backyard can do so in any of the county’s 23 hamlet areas. Norfolk council made the adjustment Tuesday after learning many Mennonite families in hamlet areas of west Norfolk already have a coop in the backyard. There seems to be no problem with this arrangement and council wants to leave well-enough alone. "If this had passed, this would take this privilege away from them,” Mayor Charlie Luke said [referring to the original proposal to Council-in-Committee on] July 4, which recommended against backyard chickens outside the agricultural zone. There was support for poultry in hamlet areas but not in built-up urban areas. Council distinguishes between the two because homes in hamlet areas tend to back onto farmland. There is not the cheek-by-jowl housing density in Norfolk’s hamlets that one sees in urban subdivisions. Over the past few months, Norfolk staff identified several red flags that prompted council to reject the idea of urban poultry July 4. There are concerns about odour, noise, flies and the possibility of chickens and their feed attracting coyotes, raccoons, skunks, rats and other vermin to areas they would otherwise avoid.

Council concluded that an across-the-board approval would prompt new kinds of complaints it isn’t used to hearing. “There are a lot of people in hamlet areas that already have chickens and it doesn’t seem to be a problem,” Port Rowan Coun. Noel Haydt said. farm in Walsingham. At Tuesday’s meeting, Haydt suggested the concerns some have about chickens are overblown and probably unfounded. “The other night I had a coyote come up on my front porch but they leave my chickens alone,” he said. “Some say flies will be a problem but chickens eat bugs. I think that might be one reason why their eggs taste so good.” Haydt’s chickens produce about one wheelbarrow of manure a year but he said that’s not a problem. “It’s good for the garden.” Hamlet chickens in Norfolk could prove popular. People who keep a few hens around say chickens are interesting animals and pleasant company. Jody Hoag of Hoag Family Farms of Vittoria has about 50 Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock layers. They each produce about one egg a day and are popular with visitors. Hoag Family Farms sells the free-range eggs they produce for $3 a dozen. “Their eggs are absolutely delicious,” Hoag said Thursday. “And knowing where your food comes from is really good. They’re friendly and they follow you around.” Council will review the new policy in the summer of 2018. Modifications are possible depending on how the community responds to the change.


Event i Vittori March: Vittoria and District Foundation Spaghetti Dinner and Auction March 17, 2018 April: Lions Club; Wing Ding April. 21, 2018 at the Vittoria and District Community Centre Vittoria Fire Fighters Steak BBQ April 28, 2018 June: Annual Spring Service at Christ Church, Vittoria June 3, 2018 Decoration Day & Memorial Service at Vittoria Baptist Cemetery June 10, 2018 Vittoria Wide Yard Sale Sunday, June 16, 2018 Lions Club; Chicken BBQ June 20, 2018 at the Vittoria and District Community Centre August; Decoration Day St. Andrews United Church, Vittoria Aug. 12, 2018 September; Annual Fall Service at Christ Church, Vittoria Sept. 23, 2018 With Lynn Valley Voices October: Lions Club; Wing Ding Oct. 17, 2018 at the Vittoria and District Community Centre


Spaghetti Dinner and Auction We are accepting quality donations of ANTIQUES & NEW ITEMS for the auction.

If you have something to donate please contact: Mary Caughill mcaug@bell.net Brenda 519-428-8700 or Tom 519-420-9620 Deadline: March 1, 2018

This is how the Vittoria Foundation contributes to the community.

The Vittoria & District Foundation was formed to enhance the quality of life for residents of Vittoria and the rural areas and hamlets in close proximity to Vittoria. Since our evolution in 1997 from the Vittoria Bicentennial Committee, we have been fortunate enough to be able to raise more than half a million dollars to help provide and maintain facilities and programs to achieve that objective. HEALTH Alzheimer's Society $1,240 Canadian Diabetes Association $5,320 Delhi Community Health Centre $7,000 Kidney Foundation $200 Norfolk General Hospital Foundation $117,000 Norview Lodge $5,000 HERITAGE Baptist 200th Anniversary $118 Christ Church Anglican $500 Community Archives $508 Norfolk War of 1812 Committee $2,000 Port Ryerse Book Reprint $2,500 Vittoria Mill Cairn $2,758 Walking Tours & Brochures $1,087 Woodhouse Church History $2,000 NORFOLK COUNTY FACILITIES Norfolk Soccer Park $5,000 Parks & Environmental $3,000 Port Dover Harbour Museum $5,000 Port Dover Library Fund $5,000 Thompson Memorial Park* $20,905 Vittoria & District Community Centre* $144,438 Vittoria Town Hall* $103,905


Norfolk County Fair - Ag Awareness Christ Anglican Church Norfolk Cardiac Club Grand River Branch United Empire Loyalists Association Port Dover Skating Club Norfolk Pregnancy and Family Resource Centre Norfolk Musical Arts Festive Diabetes Canada (sending a local child to camp) Norfolk General Hospital

OTHER Crimestoppers $500 Donnybrook Fair - Charlotteville $1,000 H-N Information Centre $200 H-N Resource Centre $500 Lynn Valley Trail Association $1,000 Non-Profit Organizations $8,389 Norfolk Tourism $620 Miscellaneous Community Improvements & Goodwill $14,996 Vittoria Firefighters $8,500 Vittoria Lions Club $2,260 SENIORS Framed Milestone Certificates $1,293 Park Bench at Post Office $1,065 YOUTH Ag Awareness $15,500 Big Brothers Big Sisters $5,650 Black Cap Players $500 CAS - Fresh Air Fund $5,200 Child's Journey through Norfolk $1 000 Doverwood Public School $1,000 Girl Guides $6,100 Norfolk Musical Arts Festival $4,200 Norfolk Pregnancy Centre $9,000 Norfolk West 4H Club $500 Norfolk Youth & Children Association $9,978 Port Dover Leo Club $800 Annual Scholarship $32,000 SCS Sabres Rising from the Ashes $5,000 Special Olympics $1,500 Theatre Norfolk $200 Vittoria Scout Hut $2,490 Walsh Schools Projects $3,500 Other Miscellaneous Youth Programs $7,645

(* that, on some of the major projects involving Norfolk County facilities, The Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. partnered with some or all of the other community service organizations we fondly call “The Magnificent Seven” – (The Thompson Memorial Park Committee, The Vittoria Firefighters Association, The Vittoria Lamport Club, The Vittoria Lioness Club, The Vittoria Lions Club and The Vittoria Women’s Institute, along with the Foundation).

We are naturally very proud of these accomplishments, but we realize it would not have been possible without the help of all of you who support our work through your membership, your donations to and participation in our fundraising Auctions, and the countless hours contributed by our valued volunteers. Thank you all so much!

www.vittoria.on.ca Foundation e-mail: tvdf@kwic.com -9-

The Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. Scholarship Winner

Abi Peck Abi Peck, the 2017 winner of the Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. Scholarship is presented with acertificate of achievement and $2500 from Mary Caughill left and Don Fort right.

Abi Peck, daughter of Cheryl and Scott Peck of the Vittoria area, a graduate of Simcoe Composite High School is this year’s recipient of the Vittoria & District Foundation Inc’s annual scholarship award of $2500. It has been 21 years since this scholarship was initiated in 1997 by the Heritage Committee of the Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. to recognize scholastic and extra-curricular achievement and to provide financial assistance to students of Vittoria and district in their pursuit of post-secondary education. The money for this scholarship is raised by the Annual Vittoria Spaghetti Dinner and Auction. The selection committee, consisting of Mary Caughill, Don Fort and Linda Vancso, evaluated the applications submitted. Chairman of the scholarship committee, Don Fort noted of the several submissions received for the award this year, based on the students’ written application, essay, transcripts, references and interview, all applicants in the competition were individually outstanding. These students are to be commended for having accomplished remarkable goals and are a credit to their families, schools and community. SCS Principal Alison High notes that Abi “ has represented our school very well at numerous competitions and community events. Outside of school, Abi volunteers at Norfolk General Hospital and at Ryerson Camp. She has participated in the Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Welshpool exchange program and the Rotary STEP exchange to Belgium during the summer of 2015.”

Abi is enrolled at Laurentian University, Sudbury, in the Bachelor of Nursing program beginning in the fall of 2017. Abi notes that “ I have always had an interest in the healthcare field especially in the areas of anatomy and physiology of the human body, work that is hands-on and involves human interaction, particularly in the field of mental health.” She also noted that volunteering at summer camp taught her “ leadership skills, patience, equanimity, compassion and how to work effectively in a team in addition to how to diffuse conflict and tense situations.” Abi credits the Simcoe Composite School’s Health Sciences course, in partnership with Norfolk General Hospital, which is designed to educate high school students in the different areas of the Canadian healthcare system, for opportunities that encouraged her to pursue a career in healthcare. The Vittoria and District Foundation Inc. is proud to be able to recognize Abi’s achievements and contributions to her school and community thus far. We wish her every success in her future endeavours. Congratulations Abi!

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2018 application on www.vittoria.on.ca Submission Deadline: July 20, 2018

The musical sounds of father and son Bezzo

By STAN MORRIS, Port Dover Maple Leaf

Jarri Bezzo is pictured holding a Summer Garden adverting poster featuring photos of his father, Benny Bezzo (at right) and Bobby Gimby.

The music scene has changed as fast as a drum beat over time. Music for peoples' enjoyment today is different than that in the 1990s, the 1970s, and so on. This week I had an interview with longtime musician Jarri Bezzo of Simcoe who told me about his music career and that of his father Benny Bezzo, who preceded him in dance bands throughout this area. The late Benny Bezzo grew up in Simcoe in the 1930s, marrying Donna Gilbert of Port Dover in 1954. Those were the years of the big bands. Benny was drummer extraordinaire, he joined a group called Variety Club Orchestra in 1946, he then joined a band The Four Flames the following year. By the mid 50s Benny's All Stars was formed. At that time he played in the Summer Garden every Wednesday night... he broke a 27-year absence of a Simcoe band playing in the famous Port Dover dance hall on Walker Street. Drummer Benny played with a local band The

Clubmen in the mid 50s, later joining with The Blue Notes ... and he also played drums for the Simcoe Lions Club, along with fellow musicians, for their annual show of songs and skits for about nine years. I asked Jarri how he became involved in music. "I could not stay away from it," he replied, "I grew up with music all around me!" He told me of some of the early bands he drummed in over the years: Sound Spectrum was one of the more popular wedding and dance bands in this area ... Jarri on drums, Brian Berry on guitar and vocals, lan Madge on keyboard and vocals. Rick Mullin on trumpet with Margo Davidson on sax and vocals. Margo left to go to school in Toronto and eventually joined the group Parachute Club the group went on to win a coveted Juno award for their song "Rise Up." When Rick left it the band continued on as a trio called Twilight. For 28 years Jarri was the drummer in the Show Band at the Simcoe Lions Club's annual variety show. In that era, the Summer Garden was a magnet attracting crowds of people who liked dancing to live (and lively) music. There were three dance halls here of the same name over a span of 58 years, beginning in 1921 until hall #3 was destroyed by fire in 1979. The third Summer Garden was open in 1932 featuring the music of Stan Williams and his orchestra. In those days large dance halls were referred to as ballrooms. In 1936 Summer Garden founder Ben Ivey turned management over to his son Don. He was a born showman with his white suit and ever present red rose in his jacket lapel. He brought Canada's (and many US) leading orchestras to Port Dover. Mart Kenny and His Western Gentlemen, Bobby Gimby and his orchestra, Ellis McLintock and his orchestra, Tim Eaton and his orchestra, just to name a few. Many local bands also played gigs at the Summer Garden. Jarri fondly recalled his earlier playing days when he drummed with a local band called the Country Driftwoods, featuring Al Collins, Allen McMann, Dick Yeager, Glen Gulley and Dean Lampman. During my interview with Jarri he recalled an incident involving me that had occurred in the Summer Garden dance hall back in the 1950s. From the Bezzo family's scrapbook came this item. I was there with camera in hand to take publicity photos of the Benny Bezzo orchestra. In those days I used large flash bulbs to take pictures with a Crown Graphic camera. For the series of photos I had placed a remote flash unit directly behind the drummer to illuminate the background and eliminate any shadows. Well. when I snapped the first picture the flash bulb exploded with a loud 'bang' and drummer Benny rose

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suddenly off the stool, with drum sticks flung up in the air then coming down and striking the drum creating another bang. It was all very embarrassing at the time ... I had forgotten about it until now when Jarri showed me the references in the family scrap book. Orchestras and bands with four or more musicians suddenly lost favour with the teen crowd of the late 1950s. The music of choice was by an upstart named Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks whose second home was the Summer Garden with regular Sunday night performances before an energized standing crowd in a concert-style performance. He became a Canadian music legend. For more than five decades father and son, Benny and Jarri, were a part of the Norfolk music scene. Jarri continues to play drums on the Worship Team at his church, The Simcoe Gospel Chapel... he plays out once in a while with the old gang and is still interested in playing ... he says he'll continue to keep on drumming. Interviewing Jam for this column brought back memories for both of us ‘... and hopefully for readers too.’

Jarri Bezzo continues to play drums on the Worship Team at his church, The Simcoe Gospel Chapel and he plays out once in a while saying he’ll continue to keep on drumming.

The flashback photo shows (left to right) Jarri Bezzo, Brian Berry and Ian Madge as ‘Twilight’ (previously known as Sound Spectrum) in the 1950s.

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The Catherwood and the Kiln

The building originally known as the Lower Hotel is located at 1560 Old Brock Street, Vittoria. Its origins date back to the year 1835. Since that time the building has been known by many names; the Catherwood, the Pavillion, and the McLennan Hotel to mention a few. Besides being used as a hotel the building has been home to many a general store. During the period of 1889 to 2004 the building was also the meeting place of the Masonic Lodge #359 as well as the Eastern Star. The establishment was created in a style called ‘Neo-Classical’. The characteristics of this style included finely scaled wood siding and boards running up the building’s corners. Today, the good folk of Vittoria know the building as the Catherwood and The Kiln. The current owner, Jenn VanGroenigen purchased the building in 2007 and along with the new owner came some new updates, both internally and externally. The west side of the building that once housed the village’s general store became a pizzeria/restaurant. Jenn has added nostalgic photos throughout the restaurant adding a nice historical touch to the new design. Jenn gives credit to Roger Cruickshank for taking the time to provide her with the history of the village as well as the photos that grace the walls of her business. Stepping into the pizzeria through the massive glass doors at the entrance, you find yourself in an inviting atmosphere. The open kitchen allows you to see the Catherwood staff hard at work making not only pizza but also many other items available from their menu. The beautiful ceramic and hardwood floors add to the atmosphere and there is plenty of seating if you aren’t ordering food to go. Be sure to check out the peephole in the floor that shows the stone

Article by Michele Crandall

basement and many artifacts from the village’s past. As well as the store getting a facelift, the old walk in cold room at the back of the property has been entirely re-purposed. It is now a show room for local artists and it’s exterior looks like an old tobacco kiln, hence the name ‘The Catherwood and The Kiln”. Jenn being the business woman that she is, saw another opportunity when the old Vittoria Fire Hall was put on the market. On June 25 th, 2014, Jenn purchased the Old Fire Station located just to the left of The Catherwood and renamed it ‘The Red Door’. It has become well known as a venue for birthday, retirement, and Christmas parties. Jenn and her staff will even cater your event and your choice of food does not have to be from the Catherwood menu. She will work with you to come up with a menu to go along with your celebration. Jenn enjoys being a part of our village and is very community minded. She participates in the annual ‘Christmas in Vittoria’ weekend by turning The Red Door and The Kiln artisan’s markets. The vendors are local artisans and their works vary from carvings, paintings, and jewelry to stained glass, pottery and sculptures. She holds an Anniversary party every summer celebrating the birth of The Catherwood and The Kiln, complete with food and live music. During the Father’s Day Weekend celebrations in Vittoria, she hosts vendors at The Red Door and offers food to the throngs of folks enjoying the Vittoria wide yard sale. If you haven’t been to the Catherwood and The Kiln yet, do yourself a favour and go. It’s located in the heart of Vittoria.

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Vittoria Heritage Buildings Finlay-Bingleman residence This classic, revival style, red brick house was built before 1861 by successful businessman and merchant William Finlay for his family. At the time, he operated businesses in both Simcoe and Vittoria including a mill and a distillery. He sold the house to Edwin Potts, another well-known local gentleman, in 1868. It remained in the Potts family until about 1880 when it was purchased by the Vittoria Baptist Church. It was used as the parsonage until the mid 1920s. After a number of subsequent owners, the house has been in the Bingleman family since about 1951. The exterior walls are triple brick thick with the front eleva-

Article by Mary Caughill

tion finished in, what is termed, Flemish bond, a style of brick work used to strengthen the integrity of the three layers. Originally there was a front porch with a bell-cast roof flanking the handsome front door with its square transom and sidelights. The windows which, in many instances, are original were once shuttered and are the classic double-hung, 6/6 sash style. The house was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1990 with the permission of the owners, Knisley and Audrey Bingleman, by the former Township of Delhi during the era of regional government.

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Old Town Hall


Catherwood and Kiln St. Andrew’s United Church Post Office Vittoria and District Community Centre The Cider Keg



Baptist Church Cemetery




















Good Bread Company



Kernal Peanuts


Yo Cre ung’ ek s


Become a member

The Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. The Vittoria & District Foundation Inc. P.O. Box 45 Vittoria, ON N0E 1W0 E-mail: tvdf@kwic.com | Website: vittoria.on.ca - 16 -

Profile for vittoriabooster

Vittoria Booster, Winter 2018  

Vittoria is located in Southern Ontario, Canada The booster is published by the volunteers of the Vittoria and District Foundation. E-mail:...

Vittoria Booster, Winter 2018  

Vittoria is located in Southern Ontario, Canada The booster is published by the volunteers of the Vittoria and District Foundation. E-mail:...