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Happy New Year, everyone!

January 2, 2014 Volume 8 No. 85

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As we celebrate the new year, this issue features stories The St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News ran in 2013. Each month in 2013 brought its own important, exciting and entertaining local news and views. We hope you enjoy a look back at the previous year, as we work hard to bring you all the best local news in 2014. From our family to yours, we wish you good health and happiness in the new year.

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

In January 2013 ...

On the right track

The first of its kind in Canada, On Track’s ambitious elevated park project will not only bring notoriety to the city, but is the perfect example of recycling. Using the old MCR Kettle Bridge as the park’s base, Serge Lavoie, On Track secretary and treasurer, says the group is “really excited” for this project. Six months into the planning and development stages, the community development group is in its final discussion to purchase the 1.6 km parcel of land surrounding the bridge that stretches from King Street to

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Munro Avenue. The first $250,000 piece in Services for John were held at Knox Presa multi-piece puzzle will eventually allow byterian Church on Jan. 14, and, according St. Thomas residents to witness something to former Liberal MPP Steve Peters, there unique being created right in their backyard. was not an empty seat. Brian Mulroney, one of the prime ministers John worked under, Wise remembered couldn’t attend because he was in France, so John Wise, a lifelong dairy farmer and one he sent a taped message. of Elgin County’s best-known politicians, died Jan. 9 in London. He was 77 years old. Corridor funding boost Born Dec. 12, 1935, Wise served Elgin Federal funding totalling $411,000 was County as Yarmouth Township Deputy announced by Joe Preston, MP for ElginReeve, 1966-1967; Yarmouth Township Middlesex-London for the renewal of the Reeve, 1968-1969; Elgin County Warden, London and Port Stanley (L&PS) rail cor1969; MP in Elgin, October 1972-Octo- ridor in St. Thomas. The announcement was ber 1988; Minister of Agriculture, June made in council chambers on Jan. 15. 1979-March 1980 and September 1984-Sep- The money comes from the Government tember 1988. He chose not to seek re-elec- of Canada’s Community Infrastructure Imtion in 1988, making way for lifelong friend provement Fund and will help fund the redevelopment project. Ken Monteith. Joe says downtown St.Thomas deserves this corridor, and that it will make the area look much better. “It’s about looking after your community and finding good plans that are worth doing and we found one here that fits all of the roles. Congratulations, it looks like we’re going to have a beautiful looking segment of downtown there in the London and Port Stanley railway corridor.”

Ballerinas invited to study in Toronto, Belleville

Three local ballet students from Dance Pointe Studio in St. Thomas auditioned and have been accepted to summer ballet programs at the National Ballet School and the Quinte Ballet School. Twelve-yearold Camryne Quinn and 10-year-old Sara

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DeVrieze will head to the National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto, while 11-yearold Bianca Sinclair will travel to the Quinte Ballet School (QBS) in Belleville. Spaces in each program were limited, and thousands of ballerinas auditioned across the country for the few spaces available. Auditions for both the NBS and QBS were held at Dance Steps in London and consisted of different skills such as bar work and open floor work. Dance Steps was one of 15 locations across Canada where auditions were held.

In February 2013 ...

Health unit gets new home

The new Public Health building is right on schedule, so says Dave Warden, chair of the Board of Health for Elgin-St. Thomas. “It’s our hope to be moved in by midNovember of this year. Child and Family Services take over that [former] building on Dec. 31, 2013.” Family and Children Services of St. Thomas and Elgin will be moving into the building that currently houses the health unit on Edward Street, where they have been operating from for the past 20 years. What this new building means for residents is upgraded services, as staff will finally have the room to run the increased number of programs the public health departments deals with. An earlier report identified a need for 30,000 square feet of space to have programs run effectively.




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Academic cademic e excellence and innovative arts, music and inno athletics programs pr

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


Wide range of technology options – from hairdressing, fr hospitality hospitalit and horticulture to health care, construction trades and more eachers, coaches and Teachers support suppor staff recognized as some of the best in Canada C ee wi-fi for Free f students ward-winning bullying Aw prevention programs and pr anonymous reporting anon at all schools ariety of online courses Var

Claire Tully from Central Elgin C.I. and Diana Idibe from Sir Frederick Banting S.S. represent Thames Valley students on the Board of Trustees.


nclusive schools where Inclusiv students studen and families of diverse cultures, faiths and div abilities are respected and welcomed

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The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


In February 2013 ...

Ojibwa tours start

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

Despite losing $1.5 million of a $1.92 million Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) grant from the federal government, Project Ojibwa is still running smoothly. The grant was lost after the Department of National Defense (DND) took longer to release the submarine than the grant allowed. Melissa Raven, director of communications for the Elgin Military Museum, says the Department of National Defense wanted to make sure the sub’s move went well, and dragged its heels because of previous issues that occurred with sister boat, Onondaga.


“The long and short was it took DND longer to agree to give us the submarine, and it timed out the grant. So were were able to claim some of the money, about $400,000 for the move. . . but the other $1.5 million we couldn’t claim.” The grant timeline ran out in October, 2011, and the Elgin Military Museum was given the submarine on May 15, 2012. The group now holds the sub in trust for the Canadian people.

Tourism strategy faces ­potential changes

The City of St. Thomas could start its own plan for tourism, if the $120,000 the County is requesting is denied. That’s why, at the City’s request, the County has provided a 12-prong ‘menu of options,’ each a separate



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tourism service that the county provides, but the city helps fund. Alan Smith, general manager of Economic Development at the County of Elgin, is hopeful the partnership between City and County will continue, but says the City will let the County know for sure. “It all depends on what services they select, really. In anticipation of what might happen, we’ve reduced our budget a little bit with certain programs, but that will not affect what we do. We’ll still remain strong promoting tourism in our area, we’ll still promote our programs.” Menu options range from the most expensive — $23,056 for the Experience Elgin County & St. Thomas Guide to $2,025 for each individual piece of tourism signage. There’s also a $9,300 cost for the Railway Capital of Canada Campaign, something that promotes events related to St. Thomas’ railway history.

Elgin’s first female warden passes away Feb. 20

One of six children, Marian Millman (nee Churchill) never struggled to be noticed. The first female warden of Elgin County, Marian impacted a lot of lives, and not just those involved in politics. Her brother Lloyd Churchill recalls growing up in Sparta and life in Elgin County. He says Marian’s interest in politics began at an early age. “I guess maybe at the time she developed an interest, it was because she felt she might be able to make a difference by running,” he says. And what a difference she made. Marian is responsible for current Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters’ foray into politics. Back in 1990, when then Reeve Bill Martin passed away, Marian, who was deputy reeve at the time moved up to reeve, then another man moved into the deputy

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Sewer expansion raises stink

After a period of uncertainty regarding the East Side Development Area Sanitary Servicing project, residents of Centennial have finally been given some answers in a letter from Central Elgin. “They want $18,000,” said Ken Doggett, a Centennial Avenue homeowner. “$15,000 to Central Elgin and $3,500 to St. Thomas. Then you have to pay a contractor to run it into your home.” The reason the fee is split in two is because Centennial Avenue itself is in Central Elgin, but the sewer system belongs to the City of St. Thomas. Central Elgin’s portion can be loaned long term (debentured) to residents’ property taxes over 10 years at around a three per cent interest rate. The $3,500 to St. Thomas will be required up front. Then there’s the additional cost of plumbing the new system into their homes. No St. Thomas contractor was willing to go on record with a cost estimate.

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In March 2013 ...

Getting rid of your old electronics while helping the Earth has never been easier thanks to a new program at Bibles For Missions in St. Thomas. The idea started with new store manager Sheila Pelleboer, who includes: Oil Change, Tire started a similar program at her Rotation, Brake Inspection, previous place of employment. Multi Point Check and 120 Day Through a company called the Roadside Assistance *Most Cars Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), St. Thomas residents can Ask us about now bring in their old electronic my Speedy equipment, free of charge, to be disposed of. recognition program Simply grab your old electronics, head down to BFM and let Sheila BRAKE PADS or any staff member know you something that needs recyAND ROTORS have cling and they will take it and put Most vehicles, per axle, 1 year warranty Valid until 31 January on pads, Lifetime warranty available at it in the bin provided by OES. This 2014, plus HST extra cost, see manager for details. is because the bin is locked at all times. “At Speedy You’re A Somebody” “Being a good steward to the environment. Metals do not break OIL CHANGE down in the ground, so this compawe use New oiL ny will break down the electronics most cars completely,” Sheila said. When the bin is full she simply places a call and another is sent 519-637-Auto (2886) over. The only ask is that if you 845 talbot St., St. thomas drop something off that has a cord, the cord must still be attached. our cuStomer Service iS whAt SetS uS ApArt!



reeve position, leaving a hole on council that Marian encouraged Bill to fill. She stayed reeve for seven years, while Bill remained on council. When Central Elgin was formed, they both ran for mayor. Bill won. Marian was a past warden for the County of Elgin, the first female reeve of Yarmouth Township, as well as deputy reeve and councillor (1982-1997), former Chairman of the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital Board, former Board Chairman of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and appointed a member of the provincial “Who Does What“ panel under then premier Mike Harris




Aylmer couple’s essay ­contest to give away house

In a unique twist, Aylmer couple Calvin and Diana Brydges want you to write them an essay of any length detailing how having their house would benefit you. Submit that essay with a $100 certified cheque or money order made out to them and you’re in the running to win their three bedroom, two bathroom house, located on three quarters of an acre on the outskirts of Aylmer. With over 200 entries received to date, the couple is hoping 3,000 people will step up with an essay and $100 to pay for them to buy a house in Barrie to live and open a second branch of their secondhand store This ‘N’ That — This ‘N’ That II. Their best advice for writing? Be truthful and creative. “We know we’re going to get hardship stories, but be creative. Our best advice? Be creative, catch our attention and give us a truthful story,” says Calvin.

Bee population in decline

Bees across North America are dying as new pesticides are being introduced to plants the require pollination. It’s a stark reality in an ever-growing fight against the use of Neonicontinoids, a nicotine based insecticide sprayed onto crops. The insecticide became more widely used in the 1990s and is now being directly linked, through studies, to the decline in the honey bee population. The insecticide is sprayed onto crops, where is ingested by the plant, contaminating the plant’s nectar and pollen, so that when the bee expose themselves to a plant sprayed with the chemical, it becomes disoriented and unable to find its way home.

Grant loss could cause ­closure

The loss of a $8,500 grant from the city of St. Thomas could spell the beginning of the end for a local cat sanctuary. Pets Friends for Life, a non-profit, volunteer-run cat sanctuary, has been in operation for 12 years in St. Thomas. The group relies mainly on donations and fundraising, along with an annual city grant. Typically, each animal welfare group in the city - Pets Friends for Life, All Breed Canine Rescue, and Animal Aide - receives Odour lessened, complaints a grant from the city in support of the work they do. With changes to that policy by the reduced Toronto representatives for the Green Lane Animal Welfare Committee, a group that is Landfill say they have been working hard to comprised of one member from each agency plus Mayor Heather Jackson and Alderman ensure the site emits minimal odour. Jim Harnum, general manager of Solid Waste Management Services for the City of Toronto, says to control the odour, the city continues to put in more infrastructure to collect the landfill gas, which is the source of the odour. Based on requirements passed down from the Ministry of the Environment, in 2008, Toronto conducted a comprehensive air quality monitoring program, where tests confirmed no air emissions that were a risk to human health left the site. Sheraton Hotel in London held over three days, April 19-21. He competed on Saturday night against a boxer from Warriors Boxing and Fitness in London and walked away with the golden gloves title, and endless bragging rights. “I felt good, I was proud of myself and I was proud because I worked hard for it and was successful.,” he said. He will always retain the title, and the corresponding gold medal.

Gord Campbell, the full amount of $22,000 5 went to the city animal shelter.

Deal in Works for old Ford plant

A deal that’s been years in the making could soon be coming to an end as St. Thomas’ old Ford Assembly Plant gets set to welcome new business. Beacky Sanch, Ford’s Communication’s Manager, says the company has selected one party for exclusive contract negotiations for the plant, something she says could still take a considerable amount of time. “Marketing of the site began in 2011 and probably a dozen or so buyers were interested. Since that time we’ve been narrowing the list and have now selected one party for exclusive negotiations.”

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

with a new pair of gloves — golden ones. Nick competed at the Ontario Golden In April 2013 ... away Gloves Tournament at the Four Points by

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Pet Week

The zombies are coming

Zombies are set to invade the City of St. Thomas as the search for Tom Zombie begins. The legend starts hundreds of years ago, and involves 19-year-old railway employee Edward Thomson and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his untimely demise. Bryan Bakker, owner of Bizbio, a local video production company, says the event is designed to promote fun, friendship and allow people to dress in their zombie best while capitalizing on the evergrowing zombie genre. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Canadian Derrick Shirley’s It Takes 2, a new national fundraising initiative supporting youth in Canadian communities.

Amateur St. Thomas boxer wins prestigious title

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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

In May 2013 ...

of the


St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


Imagining the future the United Way The view from here Terry Carroll


nited Way of Elgin-St. Thomas has been completing its final push over the holidays. As long as pledges and donations are dated December 2013, they can still count toward the 2013 campaign supporting community agencies and programs – including some of the most vulnerable people in society. For that reason, and also because United Way has a good review process for determining where donations are allocated, please consider a donation or pledge, if you haven’t done so already. The annual United Way campaign brings together people from all levels of society. Business and labour, rich and poor, professionals and working class stiffs, teachers and students come together for the common good. Over the years, that common good has expanded beyond United Way’s primary purpose. The local United Way has engaged in various other activities that are sometimes called community capacity building or community asset building. These activities can be as simple as acting as a clearing house and referral source for

people, agencies or organization. Or they can be more time-consuming and complicated projects. The Talbot Teen Centre is one example of an organization that was founded, in part, because of a community building exercise nurtured by the local United Way. And there’s another big example. Were it not for United Way, the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation may never have got off the ground. A dozen years ago, volunteers and staff with United Way, launched what they originally called a Community Fund as a division of United Way. Money and other resources were earmarked to this Community Fund. Ten years ago, United Way shepherded this organization to a new incarnation as a separate not-for-profit organization, the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation. Volunteer boards of directors and executive director Karen Laine have worked very hard to bring the Community Foundation to its current level. At its 10-year anniversary, the foundation announced that it has assets of over $1,250,000 and has granted $453,400 over the years from its various funds. It’s a striking example of the truism that when you give to United Way, you are not only supporting the most vulnerable. You may also be helping to build your community in ways you can barely imagine.

Having to deal with loss of your eyesight huge disability. This is probably because I have spent 56 years seeing. Becoming blind at my age is huge! Something to The ancient warrior kings would gouge think about out their opponent’s eyes. If a warrior king cannot see - he cannot fight. If he canPastor Cusick not fight - he cannot lead his troops. If he cannot lead his troops - he will never rise to his former position and always serve his istory has some rather graphic disgusting moments. Not of the victor king. If you cannot see - you are at a huge disleast of these would be as follows: When a kingdom and their king was advantage. What about seeing the non-madefeated, there were several things that the terial things? If you cannot envision your victor would do to that king. They could - future, you are at a huge disadvantage. If you have no passion to get you going for instance, cut off the captor king’s big in the morning, or no vision to save your toes and thumbs. This would make them unsteady on their feet and make grasping money, plan for an event, plan for your things difficult. Another inhuman activity marriage, retirement, or whatever, you have, in effect, lost your eye sight. Oh you was this - gouge out their eyes. may still be able to read the sports page Absolutely no disrespect to those who but your future is actually quite dark! And are blind but, to me who sees just fine that is something to think about. (with glasses), I think of blindness as a



Brian Wilsdon photo

School house rock: The Derrick Drover band brought their version of What Child Is This to the annual ­Candlelit Christmas Spirit Walk Dec. 7 as they performed in the old school house. An estimated 800 people attended the event, which raised money for local the Elgin Hiking Trail and Springwater Trails.

Isn’t it time for a New Year’s resolution? As I see it Ric Wellwood


nother Christmas done and a new year to come. Perhaps it’s a sign of a more pragmatic society, but I haven’t heard one friend or acquaintance say they were going to make a New Year’s resolution. Proud people would shout them out loud, as if to defy anyone else to make a stronger, more binding resolve than theirs. If you make a resolution that is very easy to keep, you may be regarded as a wuss. If it is too hard, then you are either a masochist or suffering from delusions of grandeur. The most common resolutions usually have something to do with weight

Terry Carroll - General Manager: Jesse Cnockaert- Reporter:

A Community Newspaper, published by Metroland Media. 15 St. Catharine St., (Lower) St. Thomas, N5P 2V7

519-633-1640 Fax: 519-633-0558

[Ext. 25]

or any addiction such as smoking (even crack cocaine.) Some people will say they will diet to effect a weight loss. The foolish will set a fixed number of kilos to lose and then reward themselves with a boston cream pie. As Jack Nicholson said in As Good as it Gets, “you make me want to be a better man.” A new year signals renewed hope and the notion that things will be better than in the year past. It’s a dream that is as strong and gripping as winning the lottery, and just about as achievable. The cynics (or are they just being practical) don’t usually make any resolution so they won’t have to break them. That would be unforgivable and in refusing the resolution, they also think they are avoiding failure. I will do my best to avoid failure in 2014, but I am beginning the new year by failing to make a New Year’s Resolution. You just can’t win.

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one end that can stretch out up to 45 ft. a platform on top that can rise 35 ft. for In June 2013 ... onand additional repairs on any ceiling. Behind closed doors, 35 employees in engineering, sales and management departments are working hard to keep St. Thomas’ reputation as a rail town alive. Arva Industries, located in one of St. Thomas’ smaller industrial areas, has spent the last one and a half years working on a piece of equipment for New Jersey Transit that comes with a hefty $2 million price tag. The Overhead Catenary Inspection Vehicle, the first of its kind to be built in North America, will be used to complete repairs in subway tunnels, electric street car lines and on the rails of freight rains. Weighing in at 60 tonnes, the machinery features a man basket

Effortless Style.

The Corporation of the Municipality of

Central Elgin

Fingal gets new playground equipment

The sounds of happy kids running and playing could be heard in Fingal Park June 7 as children enjoyed new playground equipment. The new equipment was celebrated with a ceremonial ribbon cutting attended by government representatives and Fingal residents. The new equipment was made possible through a $35,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as the Green Lane Community Trust and the fundraising efforts of a Fingal Fundraising Committee.


$ Rebate when you purchase† Duette® honeycomb shades with PowerRise.®

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

Manufacturing doing well


CE BUZZ Happy New Year Mayor Bill Walters and Council extend their best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Christmas and New Year’s Holiday - Municipal Office Closing The Central Elgin Municipal Office is closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. nd The office will re-open at 8:30 am on Thursday, January 2 , 2014. Throughout the holidays, urgent matters can be reported to the Municipality through the Municipality’s main phone number, 519-631-4860. This number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Holiday Garbage and Blue Box Collection


There will be no waste collection on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1 . If your waste is normally collected that day, it will be collected on Thursday. Waste will be collected one day later than normal for the balance of that week.

Christmas Tree Disposal Depots nd

From January 2 to 10th, 2014, you may dispose of your Christmas tree:  at the Municipality’s White’s Station Operations Centre, 42343 Fruit Ridge Line (1 km west of Sunset Road), or  at the Belmont Arena, 14020 Belmont Road.

WALLPAPER LOFT 1026 Talbot St. St. Thomas 519-631-1187 Mon. – Fri. 7:30 – 5:30 Sat. 8:30 – 4:30 Offer effective between January 1st and April 30th, 2014.


† Purchase 3 Duette® honeycomb shades with PowerRise® and receive a $200 rebate. Also, when you purchase any number of these additional shades, you’ll receive an extra $50 for each. To learn more about PowerRise,® please visit Valid at participating dealers only. *Effortless Style rebate will be issued in the form of a Hunter Douglas Prepaid American Expresst Gift Card. THE PROMOTION CARD is a trademark of Hunt Diversified Marketing Inc. All Rights Reserved. THE PROMOTION CARD is a Prepaid American Express® Card issued by Amex Bank of Canada. ® Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express.

2014 Garbage Bag Tag Pick-up Garbage bag tags can be picked up from the Physical Services Department in the Central Elgin Municipal Office, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

2014 Dog Tags Dog tags are available at the Central Elgin Municipal Office, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The price per tag is $30.00.

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Municipality will be chipping the trees for mulch. Please remove all tinsel and garland from the trees.

St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


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45 ELIzABETH STREET JuST LISTEd! cOMMercial JUSt liSteD court House district 2 apartments! VACANT 364-366 Triplex, set on a ravine lot! 7% return 4 + 1 Bdrms, backyard paradise..... Deep lot, private parking, 4 bdrms, Talbot (near Elgin) very fast closing incredible hardwood floors.

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Come and Cheer on Your Stars! EXCITING JR. B HOCKEY AT ITS BEST! Friday, January 3, 2014

Lambton Shores Predators vs. Stars @ 7:30pm Adults $10 • Seniors & Students $9.00 • Kids (6-12) $5.00 (Under 5: Free) Ticket details:

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Business Profiles of St. Thomas/Elgin at businesses & visiting rooms

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Crime Stoppers month flag raising at St. Thomas City Hall front steps 9 a.m. Alzheimer Society education session Frauds and Scams 10 a.m. until noon Elgin Mall Community Room

Bridges out of Poverty and Circles info session 6:30 p.m. St. Thomas YWCA, 16 Mary Street West

Specialists in Philips, Braun and Remington Shavers, Trimmers, Parts and Accessories

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Aylmer Winter Bowl for United Way 6-9 p.m. Cy's Lanes and Lounge, Aylmer

16 18

Alzheimer Society Walk for Memories 10 a.m. until noon Parkside Collegiate Institute, 241 Sunset Drive

23 25

St. Thomas Uncorked event 7-10 p.m. St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, 301 Talbot Street

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The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

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The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


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It isn’t just wishing for a thing that makes it so; it’s action. Wish Upon a Song, an annual fundraiser in St. Thomas with live music, will be returning for its third year July 20 at Studio Arts Academy & Rock School, 156 Edward Street. Over $15,000 was raised from the last two years to support various causes in the local area. This year’s attractions will include The Stink Beatles (a Beatles tribute band), youth bands and singers, fiddler Jesse Grandmont. Jesse, Ojibway on display and a graduate of the Don Wright FacAt one time, bringing an entire ulty of Music at Western University decommissioned submarine to Port Burwell was just a dream of the and toured China for two weeks in December, 2011. Elgin Military Museum. But four years of hard work later FreshFest is back Elgin tastes good. and HMCS Ojibwa, an Oberon At least, that’s what some people Class submarine from the Cold War era, is now at rest in Port Bur- must be thinking after the fifth anwell, and open for public tours. nual FreshFest was held July 19-21 “I have to remind myself every at the CASO Station is St. Thomas. The annual event includes live so often that it’s really here,” said music and the tastiest morsels and MP Joe Preston of Elgin-MiddlesexLondon during an official drinks made from local ingredients opening ceremony July 6. “It’s and prepared by local vendors. “Our main goal has always been here, and it’s an incredible piece of history sitting right here on the to connect the people in Elgin County to the farmers. All of our shore in Port Burwell.” chefs have to showcase a local HMCS Ojibwa was the first submarine built expressly for the product,” said Joanne Rowles, one of the organizers. Royal Canadian Navy. A series of heavy rainfalls in the days leading up to the Sparta 200th anniversary celebrations had members of the organizing committee holding their breath June 29. The forecast looked dim, but when it was time for the parade to begin, skies over Sparta did a wonderful thing: they cleared. “We had about three drops of rain five minutes before the parade,” said Sally Martyn, committee chair.


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In July 2013 ...

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In August 2012 ...

Aylmer buzzes with bee bear competition

Bee-ware. Bee still. Do not swat at or annoy it if a bee lands on you. That was the advice of Chris Hiemstra, owner of Clovermead north of Aylmer, and organizer the annual Bee Beard competition, which was held Aug. 10. “This place is just buzzing with excitement,” he joked. He also claimed it was a very unique event,

Arts Mingle in St. Thomas

The St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre is where the artists, and the community, go to mingle. The 2nd annual West End Arts Mingle opened at the art centre Aug. 24. The building was filled with the work of local artists, paintings and photographs, that showed off the beauty and the intrigue of the west end of Talbot St. that only an artisticeye can see.

11 The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

possibly the only Bee Beard competition in the world. The eager participants lined up Justice for family after 20 on stage, prior to going into their Bee Beard Huts with their Bee trainers. They each had years a Queen Bee necklace to attract bees from After 20 years of heartache and anguish, the hive. a child abduction case from St. Thomas has Wellington house fire reached a conclusion. No one was hurt in a house fire in St. On July 24, Benham Slim, a now 52-yearThomas, thanks to a passerby who entered old former St. Thomas baker who, in 1993, the burning house to warn the people inside. whisked his three young daughters away A fire broke out at 346 Wellington St. durfrom their mother and took them to Lebaing the morning of Aug. 16. Murray Mugnon, was sentenced to four and a half years ford was driving to St. Thomas Ford that day in prison by Justice Gregory Pokele. and traffic caused him to divert down WelThe case began in June, 1993, when St. lington. As he drove passed the house around Thomas Police were dispatched to a Park 7:45 a.m., he noticed smoke and flames risAve. address in regards to a parental abducing from the roof. tion of three girls, ages two, five and seven Murray stopped his car immediately and years old. called 911. St. Thomas police chief Darryl Pinell, who Murray saw cars in the driveway, and no was the lead investigator at that time, said at sign of activity from the house. first it took several days of investigation to “My first instinct was there must be people be sure what they were dealing with. It’s not sleeping,” he said. unusual to have missing children, but cases where the children are taken away from the Murray went inside and began yelling out to anyone who might be inside, which turned country are much stranger. out to be three adults and three children.

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In September 2013 ... Zombies take the streets

Sunset Drive is closed

Closure of a section of Sunset Drive for maintenance has resulted in heavy traffic instead moving down Chester Street, causing complaints from residents and leaving the city council wondering what can be done. Sunset Drive, between Chester Street and Elm Street was closed Sept. 3 to allow for a slope stabilization project, which is expected to last for over two months. A detour was set up to redirect traffic along Elgin Street and Wilson Avenue. The trouble is not every driver respects or notices the intended detour route, resulting in a high volume of vehicles heading down Sunset and then turning onto Chester, giving that street more traffic than it was ever intended to deal with.

With the passing of the Trimeric bell, St. Thomas is safe from zombies for another year. That’s the legend, anyway. But, whether you buy into the superstition or not, the first ever Tom Zombie Festival was held Aug. 31 outside the Elgin County Railway Museum, bringing out crowds of people all wanting to have fun while dressed as the living dead. “No one’s ever tried anything like this around here before. The zombie sub-culture is intensely popular. There’s huge potential,” said Bryan Bakker, organizer. “Really, what we’re trying to do is create a tourism industry out of thin air. If we can pull this off and create a Salem or Sleepy Hollow type of atMurder plot foiled mosphere, we could potentially draw in mil- Two St. Thomas women have been arlions of tourist dollars into our town.” rested following investigation into a murder plot. We provide families with respectful After receiving a tip, St. Thomand affordable funeral, memorial and as police began an investigation, cremation services. Free, no-obligation which revealed that two women, preplanning and prepayment consultation a 46-year-old and 51-year-old, is available. had allegedly funded and solicited For more information, please call or help over the last several months in Shawn Jackson visit our website. committing the murder of one of their common-law husbands. “Based on that investigating they felt they had to take action right away,” said Const. Jeff DeLeeuw, Crime Prevention officer. Funeral Director/Owner

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railway heritage, and giving the city a new brand to capture tourism. The replica London & Port Stanley (L&PS) Terminal Rail station at 600 Talbot Street opened Sept. 20 at a gala event with live music and a large crowd in attendance. “The opening of the station represents not only the return of our roots for St. Thomas, but a significant step forward in the development of our downtown core and our brand as the railway city,” said Dennis Broome, president of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “While this brand has been present in St. Thomas for a long time, we’ve never really used it to its full potential.”

In October 2013 ...

Arva product ready to ship

It’s been over one and a half years in the making, but Arva Industries in St. Thomas is almost ready to ship a piece of equipment that represents nearly $2 million in parts and labour. Arva received the order from New Jersey Transit to build the Overhead Caternary Inspection vehicle in January, 2012, after beating out two major rail equipment suppliers in the US for the contract. Once final tests are completed, the vehicle is expected to ship out Oct. 7. The completed vehicle weighs about 60 tonnes and includes a crane arm that can extend up to 45 ft. Considering this vehicle had to be designed and built from scratch, the fact that Train is on track it’s almost finished in so short a time is “inThe train is back in downtown credible,” according to Wayne O’Shell, sales St. Thomas, recapturing the city’s representative of rail products.

Paw Prints Adam Mahovlich, BSc. DVM Veterinarian, Partner/Owner

Oral Care Products Chews, dental toys, rinses, and water additives are available as well. Be careful, not all products are advisable for every animal. It is best to speak with your veterinarian before using these items. Veterinary Checks This will depend on your pet and their individual needs, but as a rule, Puppy – teeth should be examined at each puppy visit and at 6 months of age 1 – 3 yrs old – annual dental exam 4 – 6 yrs old – teeth should be examined one to two times a year 7+ yrs old – dental exam / health check every 6 months If your animal is due for a dental check, or you have any concerns with your pet’s mouth – call us today for an oral health check!

Elgin Veterinary Clinics Elgin Animal Hospital – 9789 Sunset Rd. St. Thomas 631-0430 Talbot Animal Clinic - 930 Talbot St. St. Thomas 633-5970

They say it takes a real man to wear pink. Every Friday this month, on-duty St. Thomas fire fighters will be wearing pink T-shirts in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Care Enough to Wear Pink campaign. “The pink is a little bit flashy. That’s the idea, right?” said Warren Scott, fire fighters association president. “The public may see us coming out on a call and see us in pink shirts.”

Homeless advocate hits the streets

When it comes to the homeless, Jason McComb considers himself an advocate instead of an activist. World Homeless Action Day was Oct. 10, so Jason strapped on his shoes and walked from St. Thomas city hall to London city hall to raise awareness about the homeless. While in London he attended a ceremony to unveil a memorial in honour of the homeless, an initiative of the London Homeless Coalition, in Campbell Park. “I’m going to show that I’ll go any length to help the homeless,” Jason said. “I don’t beg. Not all people who are homeless are beggars. I’m able to make it to London by walking.”

Pavilion opens in Pinafore

The ribbon was cut Oct. 18 on the newly completed pavilion in Pinafore Park, bringing to completion a project the St. Thomas Lions Club has been working on for over a year.

Asthma-If you can’t breathe, not much else Matters

Keeping your Pet’s Teeth Healthy

Our pet’s teeth are often overlooked when it comes to their health, but it is an essential aspects of their well being. So what can we do for our animal’s oral health? Brushing your pets teeth This is one of the most important things you can do for your pet, and is probably one of the least performed activities for our pets. Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth daily, but brushing at least 3 times / week will help prevent problems. Your vet is a great resource for advice on how to brush teeth! Foods and treats Feeding a high quality diet that promotes healthy teeth will help control plaque and tartar build-up. Dental treats may also help, but are not a substitute for brushing and regular check-ups.

Fire fighters go pink

By Steve Bond BSc.Phm., CDE, FASCP

Pharmacy Operation Manager

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I was reading the newspaper this week and I realized two things: Firstly, news comes out apparently more than weekly; secondly, I’ve never written anything yet about Asthma. I was reading about the private members bill: Ryan’s Law (Ensuring Asthma Friendly Schools) and I thought with all that we know about the disease, its negative effects and high prevalence perhaps maybe that MPP had a good idea. My medical dictionary defines asthma as “a disease of the airways or branches of the lung (bronchial tubes) that carry air in and out of the lungs. Asthma causes the airways to narrow, the lining of the airways to swell and the cells that line the airways to produce more mucus” It’s a simple definition for a complex condition. The word Asthma comes from Greek (Like many good words) and it means “Panting,” likely describing the breathing pattern that physicians may have observed. In Canada, it is estimated that asthma affects some 2.2 million people over 12. In someone with ‘normal’ lung function, air is inhaled through the nose and mouth. It passes through various air tubes in the lungs and ends in many small sacs called alveoli, which provide oxygen to the blood which our body needs and they take away carbon dioxide which we don’t. In someone with

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asthma, these tubes are made sensitive by triggers. This can cause the lining to thicken and produce more mucus and the muscles around the tubes can constrict or close. This limits airflow and makes it difficult for air to get to and from the lungs. In asthma, these airways are always inflamed to some degree. In the presence of triggers, the inflammation increases and can cause serious symptomseven death. While every person with asthma may have specific triggers, some common ones include: animals, mold, pollen, dust, viral/ bacterial infections (known as inflammatory triggers); and exercise, cold air, chemical/ scented fumes, intense emotions (known as symptom triggers). Knowing and avoiding these triggers are the first steps to a good asthma management plan. Treatment options are too many and complex for this article, but in general we have controller medications such as steroids which help to reduce the overall inflammation, reduce symptoms and hopefully prevent attacks. We also have reliever medications that work to quickly alleviate symptoms during an attack. Knowing how to and effectively using both will help to improve the quality of life of those with asthma. (Wow. Now I’m out of breath) Take care of yourselves and each other.

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Downtown clock installed

funding going its way as outlined in the 2014 capital budget for St. Thomas. City council tried to decided on where millions of dollars should be allocated when the budget was discussed Nov. 18. The budget discussion opened with Ald. Lori BaldwinSands, acting as finance chairwoman, recommending that council approve expenditures of $10.3 million as Part 1 of the 2014 capital budget. Just over $2.2 million of that expenditure would come from the 2014 property tax levy.

It’s about time. If you’re passing by the St. Thomas tourism office, located inside the replica L&PS train station on Talbot Street, and you’re wondering what time it is, cast your gaze to the new 11-foot cast-aluminum standing clock which was installed in front of the building Oct. 30. The clock, which was funded by the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board (DDB), cost $15,000. The clock is atomiccontrolled, meaning that it is self-adjusting. Home alone but unharmed It also has its own battery supply, allowing it Two young boys escaped unharmed from to continue ticking away even in the event of their burning home on Wellington Street, a power failure. St. Thomas, thanks to a passerby who noOvernight police standoff ticed the blaze. A 14-hour stand-off between St. Thomas St. Thomas firefighters responded to a police and a man who barricaded himself in- call about a structural fire at 187 Wellingside a South Edgeware Road home Nov. 5 ton Street at about 8:25 p.m on Dec. 1. Two boys, ages 10 and 12, were in the ended peacefully. The incident started when a 30-year-old house at the time of the fire. The boys’ St. Thomas woman visited the police sta- mother, the homeowner, had stepped out, tion and reported being assaulted by her according to Bill Todd, chief fire prevencommon-law partner several times, dating tion officer. back to September. The woman had suffered Barn fire kills 900 goats minor injuries from these assaults. A barn fire over the weekend cost Ed After investigation, police decided there Donkers 900 of his goats, but despite this were grounds for arresting the common-law major setback, he plans to rebuild. partner under three assault charges, assault Donkers returned home to his farm on with a weapon, uttering threats and breach Mill Road near Shedden, late on Dec. 7 of probation. after attending a hockey game. He passed City tackles 2014 budget his barn while heading to his house, and It looks like the Horton Farmers’ Market everything appeared to be fine. He went to will be getting some upgrades, thanks to tax sleep around midnight, anticipating getting

In December 2013 ...

up in just a few hours to feed and milk his goats, which he does every morning before sunrise. However, at 1:25 a.m., Donkers was woken by a police officer who told him his barn was on fire. Nine hundred goats were trapped inside.

ously hindered attempts at road work, forc- 13 ing work crews to abandon their most recent target completion date, which was by the end of December. The estimated time for completion has been pushed back to the end of January.

Inferno on Talbot

Four St. Thomas businesses on Talbot Street lie in ruins after two unrelated fires completely destroyed them in less than 16 hours. A major fire broke out Dec. 11 at around 7:30 p.m. at the Canadian Woodenware building at the corner of New Street and Talbot. St. Thomas firefighters had the fire under control by about 9 p.m., but the building was lost. But before anyone could rest easy, a second fire started around 4 a.m. in the front of the Big John’s Plumbing building, just next door to the previous blaze. The owner of the plumbing building was inside using a candle, which he placed on a desk. The candle fell over, setting the desk on fire.

Sunset delayed again

It seems motorists and residents of Sunset Drive are going to have to wait a little longer as plans to reopen the road have been delayed... again. Snow removal and frost permeating the granular road bed have seri-

“So many books, so little time!”

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014

In November 2013 ...

Indulge yourself

at the Library Friends’ Book Shop January special: Buy a bag of books for $5 (we supply the bag)

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Your career is waiting for you.

Call (519) 649-2600

Fax: (519) 649-2608 Business Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Telephone Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Friday 8:30 am - 5 pm

15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 2V7

Circulation: 519-451-1500

Adjustments: Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of your ad. Please check your ad on the first insertion. For multiple insertions of the same ad, credit will be made only for the first insertion/ Credit given for errors in connection with production on ads is limited to the printed space involved. Cancellations must be made by 10:30 a.m. two business days prior to publication date. Cancellations must be made by telephone. Do not fax or e-mail cancellations. Farms for Rent/Wanted FA R M L A N D WA N T E D for Rent/ sharecrop. Short or Long term. Please call for more info. (519)617-1267

Articles Wanted WANTED TO Buy Diecast 1-18 scale cars. Will buy your collections. Hot Wheels, Corgi, Dinky. I will pickup, pay cash. Call 519-672-1219 anytime

Child Care Available LICENSED HOME CHILD C A R E - W E E WAT C H provides safe, educational reliable child care in your neighborhood with loving committed Providers. Educational programs and monitoring ensure worry free child care. Spaces available for all ages, full time or part time. 1-866-333-3299

Support Services

ClassiďŹ ed Call Centre Holiday Business Hours Monday December 30 8:30am - 5:30pm Tuesday December 31 8:30am - 3pm Wednesday January 1, 2014 CLOSED

To Place an ad in Classifieds please call Call 519-649-2600 Fax: 519-649-2608

Thursday January 2, 2014 Regular Business Hours Resume The St. Thomas / Elgin Weekly News will be published on a holiday schedule from December 23, 2013 J a nu a r y 3 , 2 0 1 4 . T h e r e g u l a r publishing schedule resumes Monday January 5, 2014. Happy Holidays to all our customers and readers on behalf of the Classified Department.

Your next job is closer than you think!

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Drinking is your business. Helping you to stop is ours. Call 519-633-0430 or Write P.O. Box 220001, St. Thomas, ON N5R 4P5.

Are you


Deliver your message to more than 30,000 households in St. Thomas & Elgin! Your career is waiting for you.

Tel: 519-649-2600 Fax: 519-649-2608 Let the Weekly News recruitment staff help you achieve your hiring needs.

Whether you’re looking for work close to home or need to hire the best talent in your community..... is operated by Metroland Media and is suppor ted by over 100 local newspapers and community websites.

Please email your non-profit event to before Monday at 10:00am (25 words or less) No web addresses or email addresses please. Limit of one listing per organization per issue. Space permitting. No attachments please.

Has your life been affected by someone else’s drinking? If so, ALANON is for you! We will help. Call 519-434-2613 or 1-888-4al-ANON. Troubled by someone else’s drinking? We will help! Alateen - Mondays at 6:30pm, St. Thomas Christian Church, 451 Wellington Street, St. Thomas. Phone 519-434-2613.

at St. Andrew’s United Church, 60 West Ave., info 519-631-4558

5 free. Tickets at door. 519-631-3494 Parkinson Society Canada St. Thomas Support Group meets Jan. 14, 2014, 2 until 4 pm at Knights of Columbus Hall, 265 Wellington St., St. Thomas. Information call 519-631-9313.

Optimist Club of Port Stanley offers Free Skating at Port Stanley Arena, Sunday January 5, 2014 - 1:00 to 2:30pm. January 7 - Tuesday, Creating into a Mystery/Prayer Shawl Group 10:30 am at St. Andrew’s United Church 60 West Ave.  For info 519631-4558  Everyone is Welcome January 8- Wednesday, Bible Questions at St. Andrew’s United Church, everyone is welcome. for info 519-631-4558

January 16- Thursday, Euchre Games & Lunch, 2 pm at St. Andrew’s United Church , 60 West Ave. Everyone Welcome for info 519-631-45558

The More We Know – Education Session - Alzheimer Society Monday, January 9- Thursday, Kickers 6pm January, 6th at the Elgin Mall at St. Andrew’s United Church , mid Community Room 10:00 a.m. to Noon.  week group ages 5- 13 , games music craft everyone welcome January 2- Thursday Euchre Games & Lunch, 2 pm at St. Andrew’s United for more info 519-631-4558 Church , 60 West Ave. Everyone January 10- Friday, Chili Cook-off Welcome for info 519-631-4558 5-6:30 pm movie to follow fund raiser for growing youth, at St. Andrew’s Jan 3/14 Friday - Field Naturalist United Church, 60 West Ave., everyone Meeting -   7:30 pm at  Knox  welcome info 519-631-4558 Church  St. Thomas.  Presentations by members. Info 631-5279 Friday, January 10, Beef Supper, Odd Fellows & Rebekahs Hall, 54 Moore January 4- Saturday, Messy Church, 4:30-6:30 pm, all ages learning together St. Doors open 4pm. Serving 5 - 7pm. Adult $11, Child 6 – 12 $5, Child under

January 21- Tuesday, Creating into a Mystery/Prayer Shawl Group 10:30 am at St. Andrew’s United Church 60 West Ave. for info 519631-4558  Everyone is Welcome January 23- Thursday, Kickers 6pm at St. Andrew’s United Church , mid week group ages 5- 13 , games music craft everyone welcome for more info 519-631-4558 January 25- January Thaw Indoor Yard Sale 8am- noon , at St. Andrew’s United Church, 60 West Ave. info 519-631-4558 January 29-Wednesday, Bible Questions at St. Andrew’s United Church, everyone is welcome. for info 519-631-4558

St. Thomas Rotary Music Festival Syllabus, Maestro, Central Academy, Public Library or Ron Somerville. Festival Feb. 24-28, 2014. Registration deadline Dec. 15.

Alzheimer Society Education Session –Getting the Most of your Dr. Visit Monday, January 27th at the Elgin Mall Community Room 10:00 a.m. to Noon

Alzheimer Society Education Session - Frauds and Scams Monday, January 13th at the Elgin Mall Community Room 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Worship Services

Grab & Go Chicken Divine Dinner January 10, at New Vision Community Church (formerly St. Mark.s) 38 Aldborough Ave., Pickup 4:30 - 6:00 pm. Pay $12 at door.

Knox Presbyterian Church Hincks Street at Wellington Street

Info sessions about Bridges Out of Poverty, and Circles (a program that links these individuals with allies) Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m. at YWCA St. Thomas. 519-631-9800 ex. 31. St. Thomas Seniors Centre Chicken and Ribs Friday January 24th, Dinner At 5 pm. Tickets $12 Advance $15 Day of.


Minister: Rev. Mavis Currie Organist & Choir Director:

Dr.Wayne Carroll January 5, 2014 - 10:30am Guest Minister Rev. Dr. David McKane Sermon: Our Treasure Box Won’t you join us? COME AND WORSHIP WITH US, EVERYONE WELCOME

Trinity Anglican Church The Church with the Purple Steeple Epiphany 9am [BCP] Holy Communion 10:30am [BAS] Holy Eucharist and Sunday School The Reverend Valerie Kenyon Preaching Liz Rae Minister of Music “Remember as we enter into 2014 it is with no mistakes” 519-631-7000

Alzheimer Society Education Session – Tax Planning Opportunities Monday, January 20th at the Elgin Mall Community Room 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

Your connection to the professionals in your community Professionals... to advertise, call us today at 519-633-1640

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Death Notices AUSTIN, Gloria Faith of St. Thomas passed away on Thursday, December 19, 2013 in her 84th year. Mass of the Christian Burial was celbrasted on Monday, December 23, 2013. Williams Funeral Home Ltd. BANNON, Dorothy Margaret of St. Thomas passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2013. Mass of the Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, December 28, 2013. Williams Funeral Home Ltd. BOURGEOIS, Ernestine of Tillsonburg passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2013 in her 86th year. A funeral mass was celebrated on Saturday, December 28, 2013. H.A. Kebbel

Funeral Home COSSETTE, Wendy Erlene of St. Thomas passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013 in her 61st year. A funeral service was held on Friday, December 27, 2013. Williams Funeral Home Ltd. LEGAY, Ruth of St. Thomas passed away on Thursday, December 19, 2013 in her 79th year. A funeral service was held on Monday, December 23, 2013. Williams Funeral Home Ltd. LUMLEY, Olive of St. Thomas passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013 in her 97th year. A funeral Service was held on Saturday,

The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


December 28th, 2013. Williams Funeral year. A funeral service was held on Friday, Home Ltd. December 20, 2013. Rodney Chapel of MILLER, Jacob Jr of St. Thomas passed away Denning Funeral Directors on Thursday, December 19, 2013 in his 70th year. A funeral service was held on Monday, December 23, 2013. H. A.Kebbel Funeral Home THIESSEN, Sandra Alene of Aylmer passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013. Sandra was 7 months old. A funeral service was Sifton Family Owned Since 1926 held on Monday, December 23, 2013. H. We offer a full range of funeral planning options A.Kebbel Funeral Home 519-631-1160 TUNKS, Rosaleen of Dutton passed away 118 Wellington Street, St. Thomas on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in her 81st

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St. Thomas - Elgin Weekly News The Weekly News - Thursday, January 2, 2014


January 2, 2014  

St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News

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