HARRY'S BAR RESTAURANT, A MAIN STREET ICON, WILL BE MISSED
Sherrie described the sale as “bittersweet”.
BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
“Harry MacDonald and Hugh Garton were two individuals that a lot of people won’t forget too quickly.”
Harry’s Bar Restaurant on Main Street will close its doors on Oct. 31. The owners, Sherrie Garton (middle) and her son R.J. (right) described the recent sale of the property as “bittersweet”. Joining them behind the bar for a photograph is bar manager, Marria Frayne.
According to Hugh’s wife Sherrie Garton, many people often commented on their similarities; how they were a lot a like in their attitudes and how they could never stand still. The two also shared a love of ownership for Harry’s Bar Restaurant. For over 30 years the establishment has been a mainstay for both locals and visitors alike. This village icon will be closing its doors, forever, on Oct. 31.
Following Harry’s passing, the Gartons, along with son, R.J., became the owners of the business in May of 2006. Hugh’s death in the spring of this year has prompted the sale of the business.
The new owners will take possession of the property in mid to late December. It is Sherrie’s understanding that they will be adapting the space for retail. Six of the seven existing retail shops at the back of the building are leased for the spring and the new owners will be assuming those leases.
Sherrie commented that many people have come in and said how much they are going to miss the patio and she admits she will as well.
“Hugh and I always loved to sit on the patio, talking with the tourists who came in and with our friends. It was a real social patio,” she said.
She described the sale as “bittersweet”.
“We had four summers here and it was a huge learning curve for us – it was a lot different behind the bar than in front. It really gave us a different perspective,” she said.
She also noted that despite how taxing the industry can be they did have a lot of fun.
“I have never been in business in any other community but I feel that if you’re going to be in business, Bayfield is the place to be, everyone is very supportive,” she said.
She went on to comment on how wonderful their staff has been over the past four summers.
“R.J. had his first job in Bayfield working for Harry and a lot of other kids have come through here either working for Harry or for us,” she said.
R.J. plans to return to Victoria, B.C. in the New Year.
“He has lived out there in the past and really loves it; it will be good for him,” she said.
As for Sherrie she is not certain what her future holds but she plans to remain in Bayfield.
“I just need some time to think and process. I’ve been so busy these past few months. I’m sure I’ll drive my friends and family crazy in the meantime,” she laughed.
“It will be an end of an era party and we hope to have a lot of locals come out and celebrate.”
But first there will be a time to celebrate and music will be a big part of the festivities.
“The musicians who we had come through here were amazing. I was constantly blown away by the local talent. And they enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere that Harry’s offered for performing,” she said.
In keeping with tradition, some fine local talent will take to the stage at Harry’s on their final weekend.
On Friday night, Oct. 30, Lake Effect, the band in which Sherrie was lead vocalist, will reunite for one final gig at Harry’s. They plan to start the show at 9 p.m.
“We welcome any musicians who would like to come and join us for an open mic forum,” she added.
Then on Oct. 31 from 4-8 p.m. the band Cheap Shirts will perform.
“It will be an end of an era party and we hope to have a lot of locals come out and celebrate,” she said. “We want it to be the Harry’s of old, full to the rafters, with everyone having a great time, we want to party the doors off – it will be a great way to go out.”
Harry and Hugh would know doubt agree.
TRINITY CHURCH RINGS BELL FOR 350.ORG AND PLANET EARTH
Trinity Anglican Church’s bell rang out once per minute for 350 minutes on Oct. 24 as part of a global effort to raise awareness of growing global carbon dioxide levels and the resulting increase in global temperature.
The website 350.org called on people around the world to organize an action this past Saturday incorporating the number 350 at an iconic place in their community and Trinity answered that call.
“I would think about 40 to 45 people came in - from those who volunteered, to those who simply dropped by. Most were local folks, although, one family came in from Seaforth,” explained Bill Higgs, who organized the event at Trinity.
“Historically churches have rung their bells at times of threat and crisis; on such occasions as, 9/11, VE Day, VJ Day, the Lockerbie tragedy and the Fenian raids,” he said.
The idea behind 350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.
According to the 350.org website, on Oct. 24, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history. At over 5,200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.
The focus is on the number 350, as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in the atmosphere.
Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 390 ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IS THEME OF DECORATING CONTEST
With just over three weeks remaining before the Christmas season begins in Bayfield – businesses and restaurants are being invited to take part in a decorating contest depicting the theme: The 12 Days of Christmas.
The judging criteria for the contest, sponsored by the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce includes, the general effect of the presentation; the craftsmanship involved in the exterior decorations including, effective use of colors and materials used; how the theme is adapted and illustrated; and originality.
Two Turtle Doves, last years theme window display by Marten Arts Gallery. (photo by Dennis Pal)
Each of the four judging categories, general effect in presentation, workmanship, theme and originality will be allotted five points and the winner will be based on the amount of points added from each category to a total of 20 points. The deadline for participating is Nov. 13.
Then the village will be decked out in holiday splendor for the tree lighting ceremony which will be held in Clan Gregor Square at 7 p.m. on Nov. 13. The jolly old elf, himself will make his first appearance in the village for 2009 and the Hullett Public School Choristers will add to the flavor of the evening by serenading the crowd with Christmas carols. To cap things off festive treats will be served on Main Street.
The following morning at 11 a.m. the Santa Claus Parade will make its way along Main Street complete with pipe bands, floats, horses and the Shriner’s mini cars.
Then on Sunday, Nov. 15, the Main Street shopping experience will be enhanced by some festive music.
The Christmas in Bayfield Weekend is only just the beginning as The 12 Days of Christmas will continue on Main Street with special shopping events from Nov. 21 to Dec. 13.
LOW WATER ADVISORY DESPITE RAIN
It would appear there has been a great deal of rainy weather recently in the Bayfield River watershed but stream flows have only increased slightly.
The Water Response Team (WRT) has responded to persistent low stream flow conditions by continuing a Level 1 Low Water Advisory for the entire watershed.
Click image to view full map (pdf file, 566KB)
Rainfall for the Bayfield River, measured at Varna from July to September was 211 mm, about 72 per cent of the expected 294 mm. Based on early October precipitation values, conditions have improved slightly but still remain within a low-water-advisory condition for both precipitation and stream flow indicators.
Monthly stream flows in the Bayfield River were approximately 25 per cent of the normal for September.
Stream flow in local watercourses declined substantially through the summer in response to the drier than usual weather of late summer.
“Rainfall amounts, from July through September, were approximately 50 per cent of normal for each of those months with the exception of some areas in the northernmost regions of the watershed,” said Alec Scott, Water and Planning Manager with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
He added, “With regards to stream flow, we approached this summer in a positive situation but variations in weather patterns have had profound impacts on the availability of water, to the point that some streams have dried up completely.”
The Chair of the Water Response Team (WRT), Bob Norris, said conservation of water is important to prevent further reduction in water levels.
“We generally encourage a 10 per cent voluntary reduction in water use by everyone in the identified areas based on the current conditions but with a reduced demand for water at this time of year, the low water program’s main target is general awareness of watershed conditions,” said Norris. “Everyone has an important part to play in preserving our water supply.”
October will be a pivotal month, according to the WRT. Conditions will improve if the wetter weather experienced early in October persists through the month, and the team may then be able to drop the low water advisory.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff will continue to monitor rainfall and stream flow data and keep the public informed of any changes in watershed conditions. Visit www.ontario.ca/lowwater for further resources on the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
"We generally encourage a 10 per cent
voluntary reduction in water use. "