Nov. 11, 2009

Week 46 Issue 19


As this issue of the Bayfield Breeze is published on Remembrance Day, Bayfield Historical Society President, David Gillians, was kind enough to provide us with a history he compiled regarding the connection this village, and particularly Clan Gregor Square, has had with war.

The cenotaph, a focal point in Clan Gregor Square, was completely refurbished and rededicated in July 2008. (Dennis Pal photo)

The Village of Bayfield and surrounding Stanley Township have a long and proud history of military service and sacrifice.  Clan Gregor Square is the heart of the community where generations of Bayfield residents have come to celebrate and mourn. It’s appropriate that our Remembrance Day Ceremony takes place there every year. If you look around the village from the perspective of the Cenotaph there are a great many reminders of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to enable us to enjoy the quality of life we have today.

During the village’s very first year of existence in 1837, when the old growth forest was still being cleared around the square, all 15 of the men in the settlement joined the Militia and were sent to spend the winter in tents at the junction of the Huron and London Roads, at present day Clinton, to defend against a possible rebel uprising.

In June 1865, a false alarm was issued about seven boat loads of well armed and trained Fenian invaders that had purportedly landed at the Wallace farm just north of Bayfield. As a result, over one hundred men from the area led by W.W. Connor, who lived in the yellow brick home on the south east corner of the Square, passed by, with their hunting rifles and any weapon they could find, on a suicidal mission to defend their homes and country. Although it was a false alarm and many stories must have been told at the ensuing celebrations at the Albion Hotel that day, it’s important to remember that most of the men in the area headed into danger when the alarm was raised and they met the test of courage when they could just have easily run east to safety.

At the beginning of World War One, residents burned Kaiser Wilhelm in effigy around a huge bonfire in Clan Gregor Square. The men, who had enlisted in the army from this area, drilled in the Square before they were dispatched to training camps. Over 45 men and women from an area that had a population base of less than 1,000 people enlisted and after they had left, a Home Guard was formed and drilled each week in the Square. War Bond fundraisers were held in the Town Hall and villagers met there frequently to prepare bandages and other supplies for the war effort. Although the village was far from wealthy, after the War it was honored for its very high percentage of War Bond purchases.

From the Cenotaph you can see the Gairdner family home and the old Post Office on Main Street. The family must have been very proud when a grandson, Dr. Francis Scrimger was awarded the Victoria Cross. The many friends and family of Nursing Sister Maud Stirling, who lived for many years on the corner of Victoria Place and Ann Street, just behind the Gairdner House, must have been very proud when she was mentioned three times in dispatches for heroism and was awarded the Royal Red Cross by King George V.

The local churches were busy during both great wars and it’s not difficult to envision the sadness when a memorial service for one of the dead was held. When the ceremony for Victor Evans was held in May 1918, St. Andrews United Church was filled and the crowds of mourners spilled over into the Square.

During the Second World War, farewell ceremonies for the men who enlisted were held in the Town Hall and when the sons of two local Main Street business owners, the Weston’s and the Hopson’s, were killed the whole town shared their pain.

Brigadier General Fred Clift, who purchased the large yellow brick home on the north east corner of the Square, was a World War Two hero and one of the Canadian Army leaders in Korea.

One of the most poignant old photos in the Bayfield Archives is a newspaper clipping of a smiling Eric Earl, in his Lions' Club attire, tapping the maple trees in the Square for maple syrup. The affable Earl worked at Brandon’s Hardware. Few in the village knew that he had been a prisoner of war and that he had endured indescribable hardships and suffering.

Everyone in Bayfield has stories about family and friends who have served their country and sacrificed so much. When you look around the village from the Cenotaph, it is easy to remember the terrible sadness and feeling of loss in the community while savoring the many scenes of joy and happiness that this wonderful spot has given villagers for generations.


Major the Rev. George Youmatoff C.D. (Ret.) is a staple of Bayfield’s annual Remembrance Day services. His determination to remember those who fought to give our country freedom is an evident part of the event each passing year.

His daughter, Olga Palmer, was kind enough to share with the Bayfield Breeze the story of this officer and a gentleman’s amazing career. '

The Officer: Major the Rev. George Youmatoff C.D. (Ret.) salutes. The Gentleman: Youmatoff shares a moment with his daughter, Olga Palmer. (Dennis Pal photos)

George Youmatoff was born in 1918 on a British ship in the Port of Helsinki, Finland as his parents fled from the Russian Revolutionary forces.  His father, an Imperial Russian Ship’s Captain, and his mother, traveled to France where they remained for eight years.  At that point, they emigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal, where George learned to speak English. 

As a young man, he gave up an opportunity to study music professionally in New York, and enlisted in the army, in the 6th Hussars, Montreal.  He was shipped overseas where he became, among other things, a motorcycle dispatch rider.  He attended Sandhurst for officer training and graduated ready to serve in the armored regiment.  However, due to his fluency with the Russian language, he was seconded to the British Forces Intelligence Corps where he served for the remainder of the war. 

He returned to Canada with his wife, Florence and two young daughters, Olga and Theo at the end of World War Two.  In the following years, he served in the Army Intelligence Corps in Canada and overseas, until he left to become ordained into the Anglican Church. 
His first civilian parish was in Hardisty, Alberta; however, after two years he was called back into the army as a chaplain.  After a number of postings, he retired from the Clinton Air Force Station in the early 1970s and became the parish priest at Trinity Church, Bayfield and St. James’, Middleton.  Before retiring to Bayfield, he served at the churches of St. John’s & St. Luke’s, Brantford.

A few years after his wife’s death, he remarried and moved to Goderich where he and his wife Terry Boa-Youmatoff reside today.

He is a long serving Canadian Legion member and was the Legion Chaplain at Branch 140 in Clinton for many years.


HGTV is looking for three families in Bayfield to compete in a “friendly, festive decoration face off”.

Actually we had over 40,500. I fell short of my goal of 50,000, but it seemed like several things were against me this year for setup. The weather / snow set me behind on the roof. Then I got the flu which took me out of action for a couple of days. I got most of the display up by the first of December and started my shows that night. There were a couple of things missing. I noticed, but most people didn't. About a week later everything was as finished as it was going to be.
A little inspiration for potential contestants from a decorator's perspective: "Actually we had over 40,500 lights. I fell short of my goal of 50,000, but it seemed like several things were against me this year for setup. The weather / snow set me behind on the roof. Then I got the flu which took me out of action for a couple of days. I got most of the display up by the first of December and started my shows that night. There were a couple of things missing. I noticed, but most people didn't. About a week later everything was as finished as it was going to be." (click image to link to website)

A new series of holiday specials entitled, “Holiday Battle on the Block” is now being cast. Two episodes will be shot in Ontario and two in the United States.

“We’re looking for three Bayfield families who love to go crazy and pull out all the stops when decorating the outside of their homes for the holidays,” said Sue Skinner, a casting director with SMS Concepts Ltd. of Toronto. “It would be wonderful to do an episode in Bayfield. It is a very special place and so beautiful at Christmas.”

Each episode will feature families in one community who pride themselves in decorating the outside of their homes for the holidays. Each family is provided with a healthy budget and asked to create something super-special from scratch within 48 hours. They may keep only their lights and controllers from previous years. In a race against the clock, each family works together to design, shop, source and build their holiday home masterpiece.

At stake are the bragging rights and the honor of being awarded the title of Best Holiday House in front of the local community.

On the Sunday evening of filming, crowds will gather in the neighborhood and the show’s hosts, Kim Myles and Steve McGillivray, will ask each family for their home’s big reveal, “Hit that switch!”

The hosts, and a local panel of judges from the area, will carefully deliberate their final decision based on beauty, originality and execution. And at the end of the episode the winner will be announced.

Holiday Battle on the Block will begin shooting on Nov. 27 and each episode shoots for four days. The families will be provided with an honorarium.

If your family would like to be considered for participation in the show please contact Skinner at 416 690-2390 or email


The members of the Bayfield Agricultural Society are preparing for their annual fundraiser: the making of wreaths for the Christmas season.

The wreaths are hand made from at least four different greens collected and donated from the surrounding area.

The wreaths created by the members of the Bayfield Agricultural Society for their annual fundraiser can last the whole winter long
The wreaths created by the members of the Bayfield Agricultural Society for their annual fundraiser can last the whole winter long


“We always have a good time, there is lots of food in the form of pot-luck lunches and it has been known to be warm enough in the greenhouses that participants can wear shorts.”

These wreaths are made by society volunteers, and anyone else who would like to join in, during the weeks leading up to, and after (depending on orders), Christmas in Bayfield. Tails or swags are also made.

A wreath making session will take place at Te-Em Farms on Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. People are invited to help for as much time as they can spare. A pot-luck lunch will be served with tea and coffee supplied by Te-Em Farms.

Wreaths and tails include red bows. Extra bows are available for $3 each.  The wreaths sell for: regular size, approx. 18 inches wide, $25; large size, up to 24 inches wide, $35; tails or swags starting at 24”, $20 and up. Custom sizes can also be created and are priced accordingly.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help or place an order should contact VanderWouden by email at or call her at 519 482-3020. Wreaths will also be for sale in front of St. Andrew’s United Church during the Christmas in Bayfield Weekend.


There are less than three days left for individuals to purchase their raffle tickets on a one-of-a-kind work of art and support the Bayfield River Valley Trail Systems in the process. 

From now until Nov. 13, raffle tickets will be sold giving people the opportunity to win a valuable, signed publisher's proof Bateman print entitled, “First Arrival – Killdeer.” There are only 20 of these prints in existence. The proceeds from the raffle will go to the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) for trail development. Tickets are $10 each or three for $25. 

Tickets are available at Marten Arts, Plover's, Outside Projects, Sugar, Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy and Brandon Hardware.

The draw will be made at the "Lighting of the Lights" ceremony in Clan Gregor Square on the Friday night of the Christmas in Bayfield weekend.

For more information on the raffle and to help sell tickets please email Helen Varekamp, trail association fundraising and membership chair at .

This signed publisher's proof print entitled, “First Arrival – Killdeer,” by Robert Bateman, will go to one lucky individual after the draw on Nov. 13.


Christmas celebrations commence in the heritage village on a great lake this coming weekend, Nov. 13-15.

Bayfield 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 Friday. 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, 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.


It has been 20 years since a committee was formed to save the Bayfield Town Hall from demolition. Since that time a number of fundraising efforts have been held in an effort to preserve it and make it a vital part of the community social scene.

Now The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society is looking to improve the entrance to the building to make it more visibly appealing for weddings, festivals, concerts and business meetings.

The latest fundraiser will be the sale of commemorative bricks to be installed in the front walk, at the hall entrance and a new walk leading to the property’s “great lawn”.

The paving stones can be engraved to showcase a family name, honor loved ones or celebrate a special occasion such as a wedding or an anniversary. They could even make a unique family Christmas gift.

According to the fundraising brochure, “These stones will be placed along the walkway so that generations to come will enjoy this wonderful legacy left in honor of the revitalization of the town hall.”

There are three stone styles to purchase: a large stone, 8X12, with one line of engraving up to 12 characters, $250; a medium stone, 8X8, with one line of engraving up to 12 characters, $100; and a place holder, 4X8, no engraving, $50.  Tax receipts will be provided. Cheques can be made payable to The Bayfield Town Hall and mailed to PO Box 2078, Bayfield ON, N0M 1G0.

Organizations, school classes, businesses and corporations are encouraged to be part of this worthwhile community project.

The society hopes to have the brickwork installed in the spring of next year.


There is room for more people to join in the fun of badminton on Tuesday nights at Huron Centennial School near Brucefield.

Organizers state that it is basically backyard badminton, played inside and is great exercise and lots of fun.

The games are played from 7-9 p.m.

For those looking for something to exercise the mind – Mah Jongg is played on Thursday afternoons in the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building. If Mah Jongg isn’t your game bring one that is – Scrabble or Crib anyone?

Games are played from 1-3 p.m.  


Paschendale is the third of four films brought to the village for the fall series by The Bayfield Film Society. It will be shown at the Bayfield Town Hall on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

The final theatrical offering for the season will be Stone of Destiny on Dec. 10.

Individual show tickets may be purchased at the door for $10 each.

For ticket inquiries please contact Lynne Gillians at 519 565-5884 or email


The Bayfield and Area Horticultural Society (BAHS) will hold their Annual General Meeting on Nov. 16. Elections will be held to put into place a slate of officers to oversee the 31st year of the organization. The membership can look forward to another great season of gardening both in the community and at home.

The meeting will be held at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building starting at 7:30 p.m. The guest speakers will be Leigh and Jerry Selk who will share their knowledge of Viticulture.


Operation Christmas Child is a tradition at Trinity Anglican Church and the latest campaign will wrap up this Sunday, Nov. 15. Filled boxes should be returned to Trinity on or before this date as they will be blessed at the church service that morning.

This year boxes from Trinity and churches throughout Southwestern Ontario will go to Argentina, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissua, Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sierre Leone and Uruguay.

The congregation hopes to fill 100 shoeboxes as part of this Samaritan’s Purse project.

Trinity will also be helping those in need on a local level as well. Gifts of food, toys and clothing will be collected for the Huron County Christmas Bureau on White Gift Sunday, Nov. 29. In addition, there will also be a Children’s Clothing Tree set up in the parish hall on which people can attach mitts, hats, scarves and pajamas, all of which will be donated to the bureau.

The next Men’s Breakfast has been schedule for Nov. 14 at 8:30 a.m. at the church.

Looking ahead, the next Sundays at Eleven Program will be held in the parish hall on Nov. 29. A representative from Rural Response for Healthy Children will speak about the community action program they offer for youngsters in our area.

Lighten the Load for a Loonie-a-day is an initiative of Trinity’s Fundraising Committee. The congregation is encouraged to pick up a little paper bag from the basket in the parish hall and place a loonie in it each day until the return date of Dec. 6. This project was run successfully last year and it is hoped that this season’s venture will be just as lucrative in assisting with the parish finances.


This year spectators at the upcoming Santa Claus Parade will be well fed due to the efforts of Knox Presbyterian Church.

The church will be holding a barbecue on their lawn at the top of Main Street across from Clan Gregor Square from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The parade will pass by this location shortly after 11 a.m.

Barbecued hot dogs and sausages, plus chili and a bun, popcorn and hot drinks will be on the menu. Popular condiments, fried onions and sauerkraut will also be offered.


The St. Andrew’s United Church Women will hold their annual Christmas Holly Bazaar on the Christmas in Bayfield Weekend.

The event will be held at St. Andrew’s on Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organizers report that there will be a wonderful selection of items available made and donated by the talented members of the Bayfield Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild. Items include dolls, pillows, table runners, scarves, quilts, and bags – certainly something for all on your shopping list.

The choir at St. Andrew’s United Church is now holding holiday practices for their Christmas Carol Service on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. It is not too late to join the choir for the special candlelight service performance to be held on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

St. Andrew’s will host their annual Hanging of the Greens party on Dec. 5 starting at 4:30 p.m. At this event the 3Ms Group presides over the decorating of the church for the Christmas season. A potluck supper and sing-a-long of Christmas carols follows the decking of the halls.

White Gift Sunday will be held on Dec. 6 at St. Andrew’s. Financial gifts will be shared with the Bluewater Centre for Youth and the Huron County Christmas Bureau. Gifts may be brought in suitable bags but should be unwrapped. 


Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies have arrived in Bayfield. These cookies are now available for $4 a box from members of Bayfield Guiding or the Bayfield Village Inn.

The Centenary Celebration Calendar 1910-2010, created by members of Bayfield and Clinton Guiding, and for sale in Mid-western Ontario, is also available.  The calendars are selling for $10 each.

Locally, calendars are available for sale from members of Bayfield and Clinton Guiding as well as The Village Book Shop, Bayfield Village Inn, Interior Trends and Drs. Haney and Van Maanen’s Dental Office in Clinton.

Also this Christmas in Bayfield Weekend the girls will be selling cookies and calendars at a location on Main Street so please stop by and say hello.


A beautiful handcrafted chest filled to overflowing with toys for boys and girls of all ages may sound like a holiday dream but for one lucky person it will be reality come Dec. 13.

The Bayfield Optimist Club is once again holding a raffle on a hand made and hand painted wooden toy chest filled with Christmas wishes. The chest replete with toys will be unveiled at the Christmas in Bayfield weekend festivities but tickets are available now from Optimist members and at the Bayfield Village Inn.

Toy chest tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The draw on the chest will be made at Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 13. 


Looking for an evening of cards?

The Wednesday Evening Bridge Club will meet next on Nov. 11 at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building. The cards will be dealt at 7 p.m. and new members are always welcome to join.  


The Bayfield Euchre Club is now enjoying their fall session.

The club meets on alternate Wednesdays at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building at 7:30 p.m. They will meet next on Nov. 18.

New players are invited to come and join returning regulars. The cost is only $1.50 per person. For more information contact Lee at 519 565-2765 in the evenings. 



Members of Bayfield and Clinton Guiding were anxiously waiting for the unveiling of the 2010 calendar in which they appear as models.
Bayfield’s Remembrance Day Service not only honors soldiers from the two world wars but current conflicts as well. The wreath for soldiers of the Afghanistan war was placed by Gary Brandon.

Bill Higgs and Olga Palmer chat following the service. Higgs participated in the service by giving a reading. 

Ed Hoekstra acted as the Parade Marshall for the service with a large contingent of legion members from Clinton Branch #140 taking part

Members of Clinton Legion Branch #140 salute.

All ages took part in the services including Liam Pal, Doug Grant, Major the Rev. George Youmatoff, C.D. (Ret.); Geordie Palmer and Janice Nelson. Here, they join together in the singing the National Anthem. 

A generous crowd stood among the fallen autumn leaves to remember.  

Keith Crittenden, piper; and Paul Dearlove, trumpeter, provided music during the service. 

Members of Bayfield Guiding understood the solemnity surroundng the service. They took part by laying a wreath and marched in the parade with their own color party.

Members of The Royal Canadian Legion, Clinton Branch #140.

The color party and legion members move toward St. Andrew's.



Glorious sunshine and uncharacteristic warm temperatures blessed the Service of Remembrance held in Clan Gregor Square on the morning of Nov. 8.

The fine weather encouraged a large crowd to gather around the cenotaph to honor our fallen heroes.

Bayfield’s services are held on the Sunday prior to Nov. 11, when musicians and clergy can avail themselves to the smaller centres.

The ceremony began with a parade of legion representatives, local politicians and members of Bayfield Guiding and Zurich Scouting making their way up Main Street to the park.

The parade was led by Parade Marshall, Ed Hoekstra. Representatives from The Royal Canadian Legion, Clinton Branch #140 carried the Canadian flag; The Royal Union Flag, the provincial flag and the legion flag. Members of Bayfield Guiding represented their units by also carrying flags. They were: Jordan Berard, for Bayfield Pathfinders; Fiona Brands, Bayfield Girl Guides; Fatima Palacios, for Bayfield Brownies; and Johannah Palacios, for Bayfield Sparks.

The following wreaths were laid by: Gary Brandon, Royal Canadian Legion; Gregg and Hugh Lobb, Government of Canada; Dianne Denomme, Province of Ontario; Dave Johnson, Municipality of Bluewater; Olga Palmer, Trinity Anglican Church; Eleanor Coutts, St. Andrew’s United Church; Ed Kelly, Knox Presbyterian Church; Tyler Hessel, Bayfield Optimists; Lloyd Huffman, Bayfield Lions; representatives of Zurich Scouting; Shari Evans, Brayden Knox and Harmony Palacios, Bayfield Guiding. Additional wreaths were laid for soldiers for the war in Afghanistan by Gary Brandon; and Bosnia, Capt. The Rev. Dwight Nelson C.D. 

The service was presided over by chaplains Capt. the Rev. Dwight Nelson C.D. and Major the Rev. George Youmatoff C.D. (Ret.). Paul Dearlove performed The Last Post and The Reveille on the trumpet and the piper was Keith Crittenden. Dianne Alexander, Bayfield Chairperson for the Royal Canadian Legion, Clinton Branch #140 coordinated the event. Bill Higgs gave a reading and songs were led by Janice Nelson.

Following the service at the cenotaph the color party and parade participants marched to St. Andrew’s United Church for an indoor service. Lunch was served after worship. 

Kathy Kelly-Ingram of 1st Clinton Pathfinders welcomed those who attended the festivities.
One of the chaplains to preside over the service was Capt. the Rev. Dwight Nelson C.D.

Liam Pal, John and Sheila Orrell, all of Bayfield, placed their poppies in wreaths following the service.

Sunshine and warm temperatures were a pleasant surprise for attendees to the service held on the morning of Nov. 8. Jean Bowman and Cobie Love took a moment to soak up some sunshine.

Major the Rev. George Youmatoff C.D. (Ret.) was chaplain for the Clinton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and he continues to assist with the Bayfield service.

Capt. the Rev. Dwight Nelson C.D. at the microphone.

Gregg and Hugh Lobb placed the wreath for the Government of Canada.

Representatives from The Royal Canadian Legion, Clinton Branch #140 carried the Canada flag; The Royal Union Flag, the provincial flag and the legion flag.

Barb and Tom Beecraft, of Bayfield, participated in the wreath laying ceremony.

Following the service at the cenotaph, the color party and parade participants marched to St. Andrew’s United Church for worship.


I have had quite the whirlwind of a week…on Saturday I had the pleasure of watching my handsome step-son marry his chosen bride. It was a time for family and festivity on the seemingly enchanted grounds of Hart House and Knox College Chapel at the University of Toronto.

For that reason, I enlisted some help in collecting the content for this week’s Bayfield Breeze. I would like to thank the very capable Dennis Pal, for providing us with the images for this week’s photo story, and Dave Gillians and Olga Palmer for sharing their words so that we could honor Nov. 11 in a way that it deserves to be recognized.

The date is symbolic of those freedoms that we take for granted the other 364 days of the year. The freedom to watch two people very much in love pledge their lives to one another and the freedom for me to sit in the front pew, albeit a little teary eyed, watching.

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome. Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m. Please email me at or call 519-565-2443. Hope to see you online soon at - Melody


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Writer, editor, photographer: Melody Falconer-Pounder

Web publisher/Graphic Designer: Dennis Pal

Advertising Sales: Mike Dixon

Logo Design: Kyle Vanderburgh, Goderich Print Shop

Special thanks to the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce

Breeze Committee: Ian Matthew, Roger Lewington, Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder