planned bayfield seeks online public consultation
Are you interested in the future development of Bayfield? A Secondary Plan is being developed for the Village.
Community input is currently being sought through www.connectedcountyofhuron.ca.
Who is involved? This project was initiated by the Council of the Municipality of Bluewater. A Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), made up of individuals from the community, are advising on the development of the Plan. The members of the CAC include: Councilor Bill Whetstone, Chair; LeanneKavanaugh, Vice Chair; Abby Armstrong, Andre Mech, Councilor George Irving, Dave Gillians, Dave MacLaren, Elaine Coombs, Gary Davidson, Gayle Waters, Jean Anne Hamilton, Jeff Graham, John Van Ogtrop, Kim Loebach and Roger Lewington.
What will this project result in? Planned Bayfield will have two main deliverables:
1) A high-level, conceptual plan showing the preferred location of future residential and commercial development, infrastructure, general street configurations, parks and trails, natural areas and connections. The Plan will include a discussion of cultural heritage features and other community assets such as public art, gateways, treescapes, vistas, etc.
2) A document which outlines the community’s vision and proposed amendments to existing planning tools to implement the vision within future decision making. The document will also include urban design and architectural direction. The tools to be amendment will include but not be limited to the Bluewater Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan Control By-law.
How will this project be completed? The Plan will be developed over the next six months and will include multiple rounds of public consultation through the online platform as well as consultation with stakeholders, such as local community groups, and agencies, such as the Ministry of Transportation. The process has been adapted to respond to current public health protocols.
The initial round of consultation is live now and is designed for broad visioning. Subsequent rounds will ask more pointed questions on a range of thematic areas which will be based on the initial round of input. Draft policy shifts and implementation tools will be posted for the community’s review and input.
How can I get involved? Visit www.connectedcountyofhuron.ca and register as a participant in Planned Bayfield. There are different ways to give input such as surveys, dropping pins onto a map to identify key locations, telling stories, etc. For example, in the first round, aerial imagery of Bayfield in 1955, 1978 and 2015 allows for reflection on how the Village has changed over the past 65 years and how it might change moving into the future. What is the community vision for Bayfield in 20 years and beyond?
Why develop a Secondary Plan now? With increased capacity at the wastewater treatment plant, Bayfield will have the infrastructure required to accommodate new growth. The purpose of the Secondary Plan is to ensure that change and growth, such as new residential and highway commercial developments, are designed to meet the community's long term vision.
New Hiking Buddy program from the Bayfield Trails
Are you interested in a hiking buddy? If you are a new resident or hiker, single hiker, don’t want to hike alone, or would love to meet new people through hiking the Bayfield River Vallery Trail Association (BRVTA) trails, you can now take advantage of the Hiking Buddy Program they have in place. This new program will enable hikers to connect with others on the trails and is available to all BRVTA members. If interested, or for more information, please send an email to email@example.com
Especially during a lockdown, spending time outdoors maintains mental health and well-being. The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) is committed to doing our part to help families and friends enjoy the nature that surrounds us. They will continue to offer guided hikes every Saturday at 10 a.m. from Jan. 2nd through Feb. 27th at the Varna Nature Trails.
Participants are asked to meet at the Stanley Community Complex, Mill Road (Ontario Rt 3), just west of Varna.
The BRVTA will follow Provincial regulations by keeping the hike groups to not more than 10 people, including the hike leader. If necessary, they will run more than one group. Because indoor gatherings are not currently allowed, meeting and sign-in will be outdoors at the trail head. (Sorry, no washrooms will be available).
Hike leaders will guide a one-hour hike (2.5km) on the Mavis/Taylor nature trails. All are welcome, including dogs on leash. Participants will follow social distancing protocols, so please bring a mask. During the hike, hikers may remove their mask as long as they keep 2Ms (6 ft) distance from other hikers. Hikes will be held in any weather as long as the trail is safe, so please dress appropriately.
If the hike is cancelled, organizers will post that information by 8 a.m. on the day of the hike on the BRVTA Facebook page “Bayfield Trails” and website bayfieldtrails.com. For questions or more information, contact BRVTA Hike Coordinator Ralph Blasting at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519 525-3205.
The Trail maintenance crew will work hard to keep the trails open all winter.
Anyone who enjoys walking the trails but has never got around to joining the Association, might consider that with an affordable $30 annual family membership, they would be making a valuable contribution toward the maintenance of our seven trails, ensuring their viability for the future. Membership funds are also needed for programming and insurance. Special thanks to all of you who have supported the BRVTA through membership; they’ve seen record numbers this past year.
If you already are a member, the BRVTA would love you to refer them to your friends! For a limited time – during January and February – they have a special offer. If you refer three new members during this period, please send the BRVTA an email with the details and you will receive “For the love of Bayfield”, a gorgeous and informative book, written by local historian and one of the founders of the BRVTA, Dave Gillians.
Memberships for 2021 are available through the BRVTA website, bayfieldtrails.com. Save the receipt, which will give you shopping privileges at the Columbia Sportswear discount store as well as to several other events and programs.
Anyone who would prefer to write a cheque, is asked to please mail it to P.O. Box 531, Bayfield N0M 1G0.
fundraiser a delicious success
The New Kids (Submitted photo)
Volunteers with Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) would like to send a huge thank you to Sharon Thompson, owner of The Pink Flamingo Bakery and Boutique in Bayfield, for the special cookie fundraiser she organized.
More than $1,700 was raised from the fundraiser with the baking talents of Thompson, her staff, and the great folks at Shopbike Coffee Roasters also located on the village’s Main Street.
“We would Iike to thank them for their help in marketing and selling these unique and delicious specialized cookies,” said Deb Penhale, from BFF. “We are over the moon excited and so very appreciative of all their hard work and the support of all the people who purchased these tasty treats.”
BFF has helped hundreds of feral and abandoned cats find their forever homes but many are still waiting. The New Kids are the Adopt-A-BFF featured cats of the week.
These two New Kids arrived at the Rescue recently and they are settling in nicely. Their previous life wasn’t so bad as they had a nice warm barn and very kind people feeding them and helping them get over their fear of humans. But since the barn was a nice place to live other cats started showing up and the decision was made to move these two before they got a bit older and started producing kittens of their own. The Rescue will ensure a trip to the vet for this pair to help control the pet population and then they will be all set to go to their forever home.
Anyone interested in adopting the New Kids are asked to reach out to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines at email@example.com.
Donations are always welcome as the cost of a vet visit is $125 per feline, a lot more for cats with special needs. Any financial amount whether it be large or small would be most appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the email above or email to arrange for a drop off or pick up of donations. Cheques can be mailed to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced the postponement of her annual New Year’s Levee and Remarkable Citizen Recognition out of an abundance of caution and to respect the province-wide shutdown.
While the event was going to be hosted virtually, the preparation was going to require outreach across the riding and Thompson said, “the need to follow the provincial directive is necessary at this time.”
The MPP is pleased to share her offices have received more than 30 nominations and she is looking forward to recognizing the contributions of the amazing people who make a difference in communities throughout Huron-Bruce, when the time is right to do so.
“Despite everything that we have gone through in 2020, Huron-Bruce still has a lot of remarkable citizens to celebrate and we will! New details for my Levee will be shared by the end of January and until then, I wish everyone a safe new year that is full of hope and continued goodwill,” Thompson said.
Trinity St. James Anglican Church has now suspended their in-church Wednesday morning, Communion Services.
Sunday services will continue at 11 a.m. and are provided virtually over ZOOM. All are welcome. The congregation would also like to invite people to join in their relaxed Coffee and Conversation hour also held over ZOOM every Thursday and Friday starting at 11 a.m. To join any of these ZOOM sessions please contact Rev’d Mary Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The generosity of the community continues to brighten the lives of the people who look to the Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) for support.
“Our sincere thanks to the Bayfield Lions’ Club for the extremely generous cheque from the proceeds of their recent turkey raffle. A very big thank you to the Lions!” said Terry Henderson, president of the BAFB Board of Directors.
Henderson added, “And also to the Andrew’s famiy from River Road Brewing and Hops, we are so grateful for their donation collection on our behalf, held at the Christmas Markets they hosted during December. Our hearts are full, thanks to the care and concern our community continues to express for those less fortunate among us.”
Anyone in need of assistance at this time, is asked to please reach out through either an email to email@example.com or phone/text 519 955-7444. All enquiries are handled with complete confidentiality.
For anyone wanting to drop off a non-perishable food donation, the outdoor bin located at Trinity St. James Church on Keith Crescent, has been moved to the north entrance of the parish hall. This red bin is sitting next to the recycling container at that doorway facing the parking lot, and is emptied frequently, especially with the freezing temperatures to come.
Please note, monetary donations are always a very welcome gift as well, as this allows BAFB to purchase needed items that aren’t otherwise available.
For anyone who would like to support BAFB with a monetary gift this Christmas season, there are a few options available. Cheques can be mailed to: Bayfield Area Food Bank, 10 Keith Cres., Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. A collection container for cash donations is located at The Bayfield Garage at the corner of Hwy. 21 and Jane St. An e-transfer can be made through BAFB’s gmail account: firstname.lastname@example.org or a donation can be received on-line through the www.canadahelps.org website.
All donations of $20 or more will be receipted for tax purposes. BAFB is a registered charity with CRA. Anyone who would like a receipt, is asked to ensure that their name and address are clearly provided along with the donation.
It's cookie season
Bayfield Guiding is pleased to announce that it is Chocolatey Mint Cookie season. For the first time ever, people can order their cookies online and have them shipped right to their door anywhere in Canada! Please note there is a minimum cookie order and a shipping fee.
Here is the link: online cookie portal.
A limited number of cookies have been distributed to the Bayfield membership for in person selling at $5 a box. They will be following COVID-19 protocols. So don’t miss out on supporting Bayfield Guiding directly by emailing email@example.com to make arrangements for cookie delivery.
Centre for the arts
In anticipation of brighter days ahead, the Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) is hard at work envisioning a safe environment for community members and area residents to engage in creative activity.
"The BCA had plans to operate Create Together Open Studio at the Bayfield Community Centre once a week starting in January," said BCA President Leslee Squirrell. "Due to the new provincial lockdown regulations going into effect on Dec 26 for 28 days, the BCA is delaying the start of this program until we have further direction from the province.
"The Bayfield Centre For The Arts remains committed to offering creative opportunities for the general public in a safe manner and will open the Create Together series as soon as is possible."
The BCA is planning a future fundraiser by paying homage to their temporary location – The Barn at 24 Main Street North in the village, the former home of Kryart Studio behind The Village Bookshop.
Artists are invited to donate an original 12” X 12” art piece depicting an Ontario barn in any medium and captured from any angle. These donated barn paintings will be hung and displayed for sale in The Barn in the Spring of 2021. All proceeds will go toward education and appreciation of the arts.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let organizers know of intent to participate and to receive an information package.
abca celebrates 75 years in 2021
The year 2021 is to be a momentous year in local watershed conservation. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) invites the public to help celebrate 75 years of conservation in this watershed community. This is to take place during the organization’s 75th anniversary year, in 2021.
The former Ausable River Conservation Authority was Ontario’s first conservation authority, created on July 30, 1946. The Bayfield River watershed and smaller streams were added in 1971.
ABCA staff members, working with the public, plan to host a number of activities in 2021 to celebrate the watershed community’s past conservation successes and also to leave a legacy for the future with new conservation initiatives.
“Local municipal leaders showed great vision when they called for the creation of this conservation authority back in 1946,” said Doug Cook, chair of the ABCA Board of Directors. “We have completed important projects over the past 75 years to protect life and property, preserve watershed resources, and to improve water quality, soil health, forest and wetland conditions, and habitat for all living things. This success has been possible thanks to the vision of local municipal leaders, the support of our local ratepayers, and an engaged community of donors and volunteers, along with many other community partners.”
An anniversary committee expects to announce, early in 2021, some of the plans for this commemoration year. The 75th anniversary committee will adapt activities to ensure they reflect public health direction to help keep people safe during the current pandemic.
Residents in the watershed may choose to make donations to projects such as tree planting, turtle monitoring and protection, wetland creation, pollinator habitat, conservation education, or other conservation projects in honor of this special year. To learn more visit: www.abca.ca/foundation/donate/
To receive announcements of anniversary plans in the new year, visit the ABCA website at abca.ca and subscribe to the electronic newsletter here: www.abca.ca/news/newsletter/
Conservation Committee plans alternative ways to fundraise
The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of Exeter Lions Club, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), and other community partners. It has raised more than $1.2 million for projects in local communities over 30 years.
The Conservation Dinner Committee is asking for public support of community conservation projects in 2021. The committee has met by video conference to develop innovative new fundraising ideas, including an online auction, to replace – for 2021 – the in-person dinner and auction event. The committee has cancelled an in-person dinner for 2021 and postponed it until 2022. The committee will host an online auction and other fundraising events in 2021, as alternatives, to make it possible to support needed community conservation projects.
Dinner Committee Chair Dave Frayne said it’s disappointing not to have the fellowship of a dinner in person this upcoming year but he said the committee is excited to develop other ways to engage the community and support projects in the community.
“The Conservation Dinner has been a wonderful event for 30 years but it is the right thing to do to postpone the 2021 event and replace it with other ways for people to be part of this community enhancement effort,” he said.
When the Conservation Dinner is held in person there are more than 400 people present so that is not appropriate during a pandemic, he said. That’s why the committee is strategizing other ways for community members to join an auction event ‘virtually’ through an online auction with bidding from Apr. 15 ending on Earth Day, Apr. 22. The committee also hopes to announce other engaging fundraising activities to take place during the 2021 year including a 50-50 draw, on Apr. 15, in support of community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club and ABCF. Other planned activities include special take-out ‘conservation dinners,’ at participating local restaurants, in support of needed community conservation projects.
The Conservation Dinner fundraising initiative supports projects in local communities. Projects include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; outdoor nature education programs; a $1,000 student environmental bursary benefitting students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel at Grand Bend; and other projects.
Organizers say they hope the Conservation Dinner in-person event will return in 2022 when it is safe to do so.
To receive announcements of new fundraising activities, to replace the Dinner in 2021, visit conservationdinner.com and abca.ca.
Thousands have engaged in healthy lake huron campaign
Lake Huron partners are promoting a healthy Lake Huron from land to the lake. The Healthy Lake Huron partnership says we are all a ‘piece of the puzzle’ when it comes to keeping this Great Lake great. Local partners have created videos and social media posts, throughout 2020, to engage people in best management practices for towns, villages, and cities and for agriculture and industry.
Thousands of people have been engaged by this campaign. To view or read some of this information on protecting Lake Huron visit healthylakehuron.ca or search these hashtags on Facebook or Twitter: #healthylakehuron #landtolake #pieceofthepuzzle
The Piece of the Puzzle information campaign began in spring of 2020 and continues throughout December and into 2021. The campaign themes are Soil, Water, Food, Beach, Nature, and Community. Everyone’s actions fit into one or more of these categories, according to the Partnership.
“Together, each of our puzzle pieces create the complete and complex puzzle of a Healthy Lake Huron,” according to the healthylakehuron.ca website. “We cannot see the whole picture without fitting the pieces together first. How do you fit in, and what can you do to help improve the health of this beautiful watershed?”
There have been many positive actions over the past decade. They range from soil health and cover crop initiatives to water quality monitoring and reduction of water quality impacts from multiple sources.
“However, we realize we still have work to do to address ongoing water quality and soil health challenges,” according to Healthy Lake Huron. Community and individual actions work. That is a message, for people along or near Lake Huron’s southeast shore, in an area stretching from Sarnia to Tobermory, from Jo-Anne Harbinson, Manager of Stewardship Services at Saugeen Conservation. She educates and supports the public in their work to improve water quality.
“Everyone has a part to play in water quality and ecosystem health,” she said.
Partners in the Healthy Lake Huron initiative, along Lake Huron’s southeast shore, include local public health, local government, Departments and Ministries, communities and landowners, and local conservation organizations.
Find out more here: www.healthylakehuron.ca/post/?ID=527
The Healthy Lake Huron Partnership encourages people to follow the social media information campaign with topics that include soil biodiversity, stormwater management, the value of wetlands, carbon sequestration, water quality, individual and community actions, and more. The Partnership thanks all the people who have taken positive actions, for Lake Huron, in 2020, and wishes everyone the best for 2021.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca
summer jobs funding
Member of Parliament for Huron-Bruce, Ben Lobb advises local businesses and organizations that the application period for Canada Summer Jobs funding for 2021 has changed this year. Applications are open from now until Jan. 29, 2021.
Those interested will be able to apply online through Service Canada www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html
In 2020, over 140 organizations in Huron-Bruce were approved for funding
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund granted $40,000 to the Clinton Public Hospital (CPH) Foundation as part of its COVID-19 relief initiative to support those on the frontline of this pandemic. The funds announced Dec. 23 will be used to support COVID-19 related upgrades to CPH, including the purchase of a negative air machine, a portable pressure monitor, an ante room panel kit, protective screens at communication stations, workstations on wheels, vital signs towers and a tablet for screening.
“We are truly grateful to have received this funding to support the current and future needs of Clinton Public Hospital,” said Darlene McCowan, CPH Foundation coordinator. “The Clinton Public Hospital Foundation Board of Directors wish to extend a sincere thank you to CMA Foundation for their support of our hospital with this grant opportunity.”
The CMA Foundation announced the COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund as part of its commitment to provide COVID-19 relief. The $5 million fund supports hospitals across Canada with fewer than 100 beds to meet their evolving needs with activities, equipment and training that enhance staff wellness, improve access to care and help prepare for future pandemics.
"I am inspired every day by the dedication of physicians, health care providers and all hospital workers as they continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic head-on,” said Allison Seymour, CMA Foundation president.
"We know these are extraordinary times that require extraordinary support. From managing evolving health care needs to address changes in your community, to ensuring the proper equipment and training for your staff, our hope is that these funds will have a positive impact as you continue to navigate the challenges of the.pandemic.”
The CMA Foundation is the charitable arm of the Canadian Medical Association and provides impactful charitable giving that furthers excellence in health care. To date, the foundation has committed more than $30 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long-term care HOme outbreak
As of Dec. 28, Exeter Villa Long-term Care Home reported additional positive cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number to nine; four of these cases are in residents, and five are in staff. All affected residents continue to be cared for at Exeter Villa. There are no cases in the Exeter Villa Retirement Home.
Administrator, Erika King, said Exeter Villa is working closely with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) to support case and contact management and infection control. Exeter Villa continues to maintain all outbreak measures to protect their staff and residents.
King said she is proud of how everyone has worked together and how dedicated everyone has been to manage the outbreak.
“We are thankful for all the support our community continues to show us in both deed and heartfelt words.”
This outbreak was declared at Exeter Villa on Dec. 18 when one staff tested positive for COVID-19 through regular prevalence testing. All eight cases were found through prevalence testing. All residents in the long-term care side of the Exeter Villa are under isolation as a precaution, including the four positive residents who have been moved to a special, protective area away from others. The four staff members are also self-isolating at home.
Prevalence testing at Exeter Villa is done weekly for staff and every 5-6 days for residents.
King said Exeter Villa is also grateful for the community partners who have provided additional support and assistance, including the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, the South West Local Health Integration Network, and Ontario Health.
Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol
The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich (currently closed to the public). But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 3,000 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at https://huroncountymuseum.pastperfectonline.com.
“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.
This week we take a look at how people have coped with winter over the years...
snow removal photo
This is a glossy black and white photograph of a wintery street in sunny daylight. Viewed from behind, a tractor pulls a snow-blower attatchment that directs a stream of snow to its left, into a dumptruck loaded with snow. Tree signs identify this location as The Square in Goderich. The Huron County Courthouse is visible behind mature trees. Across a strip of yellow masking tape on the bottom margin of the photo, a hand-written inscription reads: "Winter 1953-1954 Town Crew Removes Snow Kingston St."
Double horse team
This black and white photograph of five sleighs loaded with large timber logs was taken about 1910. Each sleigh is hooked up to a double-horse team. There are two men on each log, either sitting or standing. The sleighs are lined up across Main Street, Blyth. There are store fronts in the background. Some of the store names are visible: "Book Store", "E. Ben[?]", "[?] Milne" and "S. H. Gidley Clothier". The people in the photograph are members of the Gray gamily and their descendents (Mason, Manning and Watson familites). These families lived in the Blyth and Londesboro areas.
This black and white photograph is of David and Isabelle (Scott) Stewart. The couple is dressed in what appears to be lamb's wool coats and winter hats. This is a studio image, there is a replica rock and back screen made to look like a forest. Written on the front of the photograph in red pen is "Grandpa David, Grandma Isabella Scott Stewart" on the back of the photograph written in pen reads: "Lived on Lot 57, Conc 1, Grey Twsp - Huron Co. - David Stewart 1820-1910”
huron county historical society
Book on Jack McLaren shares his quiet genius
Jack McLaren in his military uniform at the start of WWI.
Princess Pat's Comedy Company in World War One. Jack McLaren can be found in the back row second from the left.
Linocut by Jack McLaren of his friend Sam McLaughlin.
Oil painting of balls bridge by Jack McLaren.
The original McLaren home on the Maitland River as painted by Jack McLaren.
Editor’s note: James White, a Board member with the Huron County Historical Society (HCHS) recently wrote a review of a newly published book entitled, “The Forgotten Legend: The Life Story of John Wilson McLaren O.S.A - Canadian Artist, Illustrator and Actore 1895-1988” which the HCHS was kind enough to share with our readers.
The review follows:
Shawn Henshall has written an intriguing biography of Jack McLaren. It reads like a thriller - a genuine page turner - that I found difficult to put down, even for meals or other interruptions. It is an accurate reflection of McLaren's rollicking life: accomplished artist, author, actor and entertainer - a true Renaissance Man. But, as Henshall astutely observes: "someone who had accomplished so much and yet received so little recognition".
Henshall's story begins with McLaren's birth in Edinburgh, where he went to school until his father's death at 39, when the family moved to his mother's homeland, Canada. Two high school years later he returned to study at the Edinburgh College of Art. After graduating in 1914 he returned to Toronto where he made for the army recruiting center and, after a long bout of hepatitis, began training as a soldier. Henshall describes his continuing artistic career while serving in France with the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry (PPLI), providing illustrations of his pencil sketches of life in the trenches and paintings of devastated cities. Many of these quality reproductions come from Henshall's own collection.
PHOTOS COURTESY SHAWN HENSHALL
Jack McLaren in the foreground with one of his instructors at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in Edinburgh, Scotland.
McLaren served as a sniper in the trenches. But his third career began when he started writing skits, poking fun at aspects of army life and performing them for off-duty men. He founded and became the organizer of the PPLI Comedy Troupe and its chief actor and writer; McLaren was a man of many parts. Henshall describes how the burgeoning company reached a wider audience through the impact they had on senior officers. The commander of his regiment made them full time "soldiers of song". He arranged for them to perform for the whole battalion and eventually for other units.
Henshal weaves several McLaren’s stories into his account. One in particular had me giggling loudly: after one of the shows featuring the chorus 'girls' a private came backstage carrying flowers for one who had caught his fancy. McLaren met him straightfaced, assured him that she had already left and inviting him back the following evening. He knew the company would be moving on next day!
When the war ended, Henshall tells us, select members of the more than thirty entertainment groups were merged into a professional group, The Dumbells, who toured Canada and then landed a gig in New York. They were wildly popular and Hollywood came calling on McLaren in the person of a baby-faced producer named Irving Thalberg. He agreed to an audition but never kept the appointment, thinking this youth was an office boy of "around fourteen". (He was 21.) Thalberg went on to produce such blockbusters as “Mutiny on the Bounty” and discovered Clark Gable and Joan Crawford! Oh, Jack!
Another 'Oh, Jack!' moment occuurred later in his career, according to Henshall. He had become a member of the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto, which included a number of the Group of Seven. He was invited to join them but his wife vetoed the idea because their long trips in Northern Ontario would take him away from their growing family.
Henshall’s diligent research gave me my favorite Jack story. McLaren was drumming up business from General Motors for his graphic arts agency. Never one to start small, he went to see the head man, Sam McLaughlin, whose secretary sent him away since he had no appointment. McLaren went to a hotel nearby, phoned and was greeted by Sam himself.
"Come right away," he replied. They got on like a house on fire. On subsequent visits, McLaren was chauffeured home with McLaughlin for lunch. One time the regular invite came but McLaughlin's car was out of action so McLaren offered to drive. A horrible thought struck him as they walked to the parking lot: his car was a Ford coupe! Various snide remarks from McLaughlin ensued which finished with: "This contraption has shaken me up so much I have no need of my regular massage."
Henshall tells us that McLaren and his wife, Lilian, growing increasingly exasperated by the traffic and the congestion of Toronto, made several visits to Huron County where they visited friends in Bayfield. Appreciating the beauty and the tranquility, they bought a property on the banks of the Maitland at Benmiller. Soon McLaren was painting some of his most beautiful works in the studio he had constructed as part of renovating their new home. They lived here for the last years of their lives. Over those 26 years, McLaren continued to reinvent himself. He wrote the lyrics and designed the decor for a Centenary musical at the Little Theatre in Goderich - Stereoscope 67 - and he wrote articles for Macleans and various other publications in Canada and abroad.
Although Hensall himself never uses the term, I believe McLaren was a quiet genius. Brush, pen, voice and mind coalesced beautifully and Henshall has spent over ten years and one thousand hours of painstaking research to prove it. As he sums up: "Jack McLaren had it all, he was bold, brilliant, daring, brave and passionate in every task he undertook." Readers owe it to themselves to read Henshall's fascinating biography and to visit the wonderful exhibition of McLaren's paintings, cartoons and caricatures currently at the Huron County Museum in Goderich – when COVID-19 protocols deem it safe to visit once again.
PIXILATED — image of the week
Ice Bubbles on the Pier...By Jocelyn Van Aaken
Email your photo in Jpeg format to email@example.com with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or...Upload your photo to Flickr.
I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued
Christmas 2020 is now one for the history books. On Boxing Day, all the members of the Pounder clan reunited on ZOOM, some of us were about nine miles apart while others checked in from 3,590 miles away.
For the past three years in lieu of gifts we have drawn names for a little charitable gift exchange. And then during Christmas dinner, we have revealed our gifts to the recipients. Camps, medical research, animal rescues, the arts etc have all benefited a bit from our efforts. This year members of the family worked together virtually to allow for this annual charitable gift giving celebration.
In creating the virtual presentation our niece asked me for a few pictures of celebrations past as I have been the official photographer at Pounder Christmas events for about 30 years now. In doing so she unknowingly gave me a very special gift. It was a chance to slow down and remember the special moments from holidays past. I took some time to look back through images captured over the past 17 years and tried to include a few of each family member. The presentation she made from the images was wonderful and I hope the family enjoyed the look back as well.
At the end of the charitable portion of the call, our neice asked everyone to share a positive take-away from 2020 and many positive growth experiences were shared as well as the realization that whether we are nine miles away or 3,590 miles away we remain a very connected family.
Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-525-3830.