an armoured troop carrier for Clan Gregor Square?
BY DAVE GILLIANS, AUTHOR OF "FOR THE LOVE OF BAYFIELD"
Floy (Edwards) Watson sitting on ‘Big Gun'. (Photos courtesy Bayfield Historical Society)
One afternoon several years ago when I was on the Board of the Bayfield Historical Society, Mayor Bill Dowson called me and loudly exclaimed, “What are you up to now! I just received a phone call from the Department of National Defence, offering us an Armoured Troop Carrier for Clan Gregor Square!”
Bill and Bob Parker playing on Bayfield’s “machine-gun” in 1939.
“Its OK Bill, calm down, I know what this is about,” I said. But I couldn’t resist a dig at our Bluewater Council when I told him that we wanted to point it at the Municipal Offices in Zurich.
I was helping Dave Nearingburg with his Cenotaph rehabilitation project when we agreed that it would be a good idea if Bayfield asked to have its cannon, “Big Gun”, restored to Clan Gregor Square. I wrote a letter to both the Department of National Defence and to Paul Steckle, our Member of Parliament at the time, asking for a spare cannon that might be in the Canadian military’s inventory. We figured that in the Canadian military, with all the government funding cut-backs, it was possible that they wouldn’t throw any weapons away. No matter how obsolete.
In 1894, the village had been presented with an old Crimean War cannon in recognition of the valiant service our local Militia rendered during the 1866 Fenian scare when the Bayfield men were called to respond to someone’s false alarm claiming the enemy had landed.
Some locals claimed that the village was awarded the cannon instead of the badly needed harbor dredging and repairs and they were enraged when the Village Council was required to pay the $26 shipping charges. Finally, cooler heads prevailed and the cannon became part of the village’s folklore. It was initially placed on the lake bank in the future Pioneer Park.
‘Big Gun’ was actually fired during the village’s celebration about the fall of Pretoria during the Boer War in June 1900. Main Street was the scene of parades with Union Jack flags, national songs, whistles blowing, bells ringing and guns firing. In the excitement it was decided that a pair of “experts”, the barber and the butcher, would make good “gunners”. According to the Clinton New Era, in June 1900, “The gunners overbalanced their charge of powder by ten pounds, let off the fuse and ran a distance of 100 yards. The cannon was lifted fourteen feet from its resting place, while the report was louder than thunder and most deafening to the ears of the artillerymen.”
Village elders then decided it was time to move the cannon so that others wouldn’t be inspired to repeat the prank. ‘Big Gun’ was remounted in concrete in Clan Gregor Square but for some reason they didn’t spike it so that it couldn’t be used again.
According to Phil Gemeinhardt, “The story about that first blast was enough to inspire the Atkinson brothers and their buddies to see if they could outdo the earlier explosions.”
They did get the cannon to blast another batch of sod and wood but fortunately the cannon was pointed down Main Street and no damage was done. Enough was enough. Finally, the village elders had the old cannon spiked so that once and for all time it would never explode again.
Bayfield had also been awarded two old German portable machine guns for village sacrifices during World War I. Fortunately, none of the village ruffians from the next generation figured out how to use the bullets from hunting rifles in the machine gun or Main Street could have been shredded by machine gun fire.
Both of these military awards were like grandad’s old medals and it was a shame when the village’s leaders were duped into giving up the cannon and machine guns when they agreed to a request for metal to melt down during the second Word War. They turned in the village cannon and machine guns and now Bayfield is one of the few villages in Ontario that can’t proudly display their honors.
Steckle lobbied eloquently for a cannon but it seems all of the Crimean War models have already been distributed. Instead the Department of National Defense offered the Armoured Troop Carrier that had seen service in Afghanistan.
Dowson’s ancestor had been a member of the Bayfield Militia during the Fenian scare and he supported our goal but we both agreed that an Armoured Troop Carrier wouldn’t be appropriate even if it wasn’t threatening the Zurich Municipal Chambers.
Every once in a while, there are rumors that some town, village or government park doesn’t have a place for their cannons and attempts are made to convince them that Bayfield is a deserving destination but so far with no success. If we ever do manage to reacquire a cannon, this time it should immediately be spiked or inevitably the exploits of village rowdies of many years ago may be repeated.
This article was written with the support and encouragement of the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS).
Time is of the essence to remove Gypsy Moth eggs
European Gypsy Moth is a defoliating insect (an insect that consumes leaves) and it can severely weaken trees. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff, while working in forests over the winter of 2019-2020, noticed a higher than normal number of Gypsy Moth egg masses. This follows localized infestations in Port Franks, Grand Bend and Hay Swamp in the summer of 2019.
“We’ve definitely seen pockets with a higher than usual number of egg masses on trees, with some trees almost completely covered,” said Ian Jean, ABCA Forestry specialist.
Gypsy Moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of several species of trees.
“In our area, Oak, Aspen, Birch and Basswood are the tree species preferred by the Gypsy Moth,” said Jean. However, in years with high populations, Jean cautions caterpillars will move on from preferred hosts to eat a wider variety of trees including Maple, Pine, and Spruce.
“When there are a lot of them, they’re hungry, they’ll eat whatever is available,” he said.
Homeowners can take steps to reduce the population now, according to ABCA. During winter and early spring, the caterpillars exist as egg masses which are clusters of 100 to 1,000 eggs, covered by a coating of tan-coloured hairs. Egg masses look a bit like a cocoon but are flatter and attached to the outside of tree bark, rocks, or the sides of buildings.
“The egg mass is a critical stage and it is the most efficient time to manage this pest,” advised Jean. “By disposing of egg masses homeowners can, with minimal effort, eliminate literally thousands of potential caterpillars.” Egg masses are easy to scrape off surfaces with a dull scraper and dispose of in a ziplock sealable bag or similar bag.
“It’s important to dispose of the egg masses,” said Jean, as eggs left on the ground will still emerge and find their way back up to the trees.
Caterpillars begin to emerge in late April and early May. Fortunately, there are also ways to manage the caterpillars as well. After caterpillars emerge they climb trees to disperse on silk thread, a stage called ballooning. Encircling trees with barrier bands of double-sided tape, or duct tape coated with sticky material such as Vaseline, will collect the caterpillars as they climb back up to the trees. Barrier bands should be in place by late April.
As the weather warms in late May and June, caterpillars tend to feed at night, and climb down the tree to shelter from the heat during the day. At this stage, burlap or light-colored cloth can be wrapped around tree trunks to collect the caterpillars. “It is important to fold the burlap back over itself to create a cavity, they’ll congregate within there for disposal,” said Jean. Caterpillars should be collected and disposed of daily by scraping them into a bucket of soapy water and re-applying the burlap.
Gypsy Moth was introduced into North America in 1869 in Massachusetts with the intent of interbreeding Gypsy Moths with silk worms to develop a silkworm industry. It took another century before the moths were first detected in Ontario. Severe defoliations were experienced beginning in the 1980s and Gypsy Moth is now firmly established in southern Ontario.
Most years the caterpillars go unnoticed with many natural agents helping to keep populations low. Black-capped chickadees feed on egg masses in trees and rodents feed on those near ground level. Outbreaks have tended to occur every seven to 10 years in eastern North America. Fortunately, when populations spike, a viral agent, called NPV (nucleopolyhedrosis virus) usually causes a major die-off in caterpillars, ending the outbreak. In some cases, aerial application of the bacterial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki, a bacterium found naturally in soils and commonly referred to as Btk or kurstaki, has been employed to control very large and very severe infestations. While defoliation is a major stress on trees, Jean advises “rarely does it kill the tree, and most recover and re-grow smaller leaves later in the same summer.”
Homeowners can take-action now to reduce the caterpillar’s impact. Jean suggests people can “check out your trees, the side of your house, other surfaces and remove and dispose of those egg masses.”
coping through covid-19
Bayfield resident, Eugene Dufour is a clinically trained Individual, Marital and Family Therapist, Bereavement Specialist, Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist and a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Facilitator. He presently works as a Psychosocial Spiritual Care Clinician with the Huron Perth Palliative Care Outreach Team.
Dufour received his Bachelors and Masters degree from King’s College at the University of Western Ontario. He has been working in the area of bereavement and trauma work, hospice palliative care, and the HIV/AIDS movement for the past 30 years. He is a past president of the Ontario Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
In 2002 Dufour was presented with the Commemorative Medal for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth IIs Golden Jubilee by the Governor General of Canada for his work in hospice palliative care.
Dufour was approached by several organizations to provide them with “Reflections” to offer coping techniques through the COVID-19 crisis. He was kind enough to submit these to the Bayfield Breeze and we hope to share them here as space allows.
This week we include two, the first offers suggestions on how to be supportive of others while coping with the fear of COVID-19 infection. The second reflection provides strategies on how to grieve during physical distancing and self-isolation.
At a time of crisis, I often feel overwhelmed, helpless and hopeless. I try to let those feeling run wild for a few minutes and then work at becoming grounded. I often get in touch with a drive within to want to fix, fade, dismiss, ignore my pain and the suffering around me. I then get in touch with a very powerful tool that helps me stay present to pain and suffering while not trying to fix the situation. It is called “Holding Space”.
What does it mean to “hold space” for someone else?
It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.
Holding Space for Others:
1. Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom.
2. Give people only as much information as they can handle.
3. Don’t take away their power.
4. Keep your ego out of it.
5. Make them feel safe enough to fail.
6. Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness.
7. Create a container for complex emotions and trauma.
8. Allow them to make different decisions and have different experiences than you would.
The wonderful thing about Holding Space is that we can also use this way of being with ourselves. Try Holding Space for yourself this week.
During the COVID-19 crisis, experiment with Holding Space for others and yourself. Once I do this, I often find myself becoming much more creative in approaching suffering and pain. It grounds me in overabundance, refreshes my dedication to a life of service, and most of all, gives me hope.
How Do I Grieve in Isolation?
“It’s not what happens to you that is important, it’s how you choose to respond that really matters.” - Dr. Victor Frankl
Working with grief in isolation will be very difficult. This goes against all that is important in processing grief. It was so helpful to be able to hug and physically cry with my family during and after my Dad’s death a few years ago. It is important to remember that grief is not an event. It is a process and it is a long process. But the crisis of this pandemic brings our attention about the event of the death. We can not let this pandemic rob us of “walking with grief”.
It is necessary to spend time reflecting on the event of the death and all the complicated factors. However, it is crucial that we become very intentional on working with the process of grief especially during these times of isolation and physical distancing. Here are a few suggestions:
1. If possible, find a shirt or sweater of your loved one that has died. Wrap the item around a pillow and hold or hug that pillow as you sit with your grief. It is not the real thing, but it is a substitute for your loved one and a temporary substitute for your supportive family and friends.
2. Change your environment. Doing grief work in the comfort of your recliner is good. Allow yourself to do some grief work outside, nature is healing.
3. Plan for support. This is very important in a time of physical distancing. Make several phone appointments at one time with your support people. Search out “Virtual Support Groups”. Contact your local hospice.
4. Tell your story of the death of your loved one over and over, this is healing.
5. Create a “Place of Grief Reflection” in your home. Have a few pictures, a candle, and some important reminders of your loved one. This can be your own funeral home visitation time.
6. Journal writing can be very healthy and healing. Start out with writing: “Today I am feeling…” and let the words flow.
7. The pandemic is forcing us to physically isolate. We can not let the pandemic shut down our grief. We need to become very intentional and practical in allowing our unique grief work to happen.
8. Create rituals where rituals have been taken away. Planning for the memorial service that will replace the funeral can be a part of your grief work. Try not to delay this important task.
9. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve – just your way.
10. Know and feel that you have a loving village supporting at a distance.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated daily with confirmed case counts received within the last 24 hours.
“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/en/health-matters/covid-19-in-huron-and-perth.aspx
CPH foundation Gala
The Clinton Public Hospital (CPH) Foundation Board of Directors held a virtual meeting on Thursday, Apr. 9 to discuss their biennial Gala fundraiser, which was set to take place on Saturday, June 20. The decision was made to cancel the event.
The decision to cancel this year’s Gala was not made lightly, but given the current restrictions with the COVID-19 situation, along with the concern for the well-being of the people of the community, the board feels that this is the right decision to make.
CPH Foundation Fundraising Chair Una Roy commented on the cancellation, “As Fundraising Chair, I am so disappointed that we are unable to host this event, as it is always a memorable evening in support of our local hospital, with many generous people attending and supporting. Our hospital is so important to our community and surrounding areas. During this unprecedented time, it is important to recognize the essential services and healthcare staff, as they work the front lines for us, potentially at the risk of their own health and that of their families. How wonderful would it have been to be able to host an event to celebrate them and give back? This will happen in the future, but for now the board acknowledges that everyone’s health and well-being should come first. Thank you to all those who have come forward during this time to donate, sew, make signs and for all of the heartfelt gestures of support. We are so grateful!”
The biennial Gala is the largest fundraiser for the CPH Foundation. In past years, the Gala has been successful in raising an accumulative total of more than $700,000 for the CPH. Funds raised from previous Galas have been used for a refit and
refresh of the hospital, ENT equipment, enhanced cataract services for Huron-Perth, Operating Room upgrades and most recently a Digital X-Ray Unit and Suite.
The Foundation had identified a refresh of the Medical Devices Reprocessing Department as the project to raise funds for at the 2020 Gala. In order to achieve compliance, this department requires renovations in both the operating room and equipment sterilization room, two transport carts and the purchase of equipment/instrumentation for various surgical procedures, including dental, orthopedic, ENT, cataract, urology and general surgeries. The anticipated cost for this project is nearly $607,000. This project still needs to be completed and the Foundation will be discussing alternate ways to raise the funds to support this project.
Discussions regarding options for the biennial Gala fundraiser will resume in the fall, but at this time the Gala has not been rescheduled. Any vendors, donors, sponsors and those who have already purchased tickets to the event will be contacted by the Foundation in the near future with further information.
“The Foundation Board of Directors and Staff wish to thank the community for their continued support of the hospital, through financial donations, volunteering and showing your support for the front-line healthcare workers throughout the fight against COVID-19.”, stated Foundation Coordinator, Darlene McCowan. “We already know that we live in a very kind and caring community, but this has been reinforced ten-fold in the current situation. Thank you!”
While the CPH Foundation office is currently closed, please feel free to contact the office via telephone, 519 482-3440 Ext: 6297 or email, email@example.com, as both continue to be monitored regularly.
URGENT NEEDS FUND
United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) teamed up with the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC), Apr. 3-13, to raise funds through UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund to purchase added food to help Perth and Huron food banks. Now, the results are in.
“We are incredibly grateful to our communities,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “Thanks to over 120 donors from across our region, we raised $18,802.68. That means more individuals and families affected by this pandemic will have access to nutritious food in their communities.”
The HCFBDC works to provide food security for all people and is a major hub and supplier of nutritious food for food banks across Perth and Huron. HCFBDC’s collective work allows them to buy larger quantities than individual food banks are able to; allowing the organization to stretch donations further and help more people.
“When people are under added stress in times like these, community resources like food banks are also stressed,” added Erb. “It’s important to help ensure food banks have the resources they need to lend a hand. We appreciate those who are still able to give in our communities who stepped up to contribute to UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund. We’ll continue working to help local organizations and the people they serve make it through this crisis.”
The COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund assists organizations helping individuals and families in need. Organizations apply to UWPH and a volunteer committee ensures applications are reviewed quickly so funds can be distributed as soon as possible. Applications are available at perthhuron.unitedway.ca/community-resources/urgent-needs-fund/
To donate to UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund, go to give.unitedway.ca/donate/WSTRAT-UWPH or call the United Way offices at 519 271-7730 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m.
May 1st is the next deadline for individuals and organizations to submit applications for the Huron Heritage Fund (HHF). Established in 2007, the purpose of the Huron Heritage Fund is to encourage the preservation of heritage assets and activities of heritage importance to the County of Huron and its residents.
Many initiatives from throughout Huron County have been supported by the HHF since its inception. In recent years, projects have included support for the Reuben Sallows Gallery, Bayfield Historical Society, printing of the book, “Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz”, and upgrades to Elimville Community Park.
“The County will contribute up to 50 per cent of the costs of a project to a maximum of $5,000,” according to Beth Rumble, director of Cultural Services. This investment leverages other groups or individuals to invest in Huron County’s heritage also.
Projects will assist in the preservation and restoration of heritage landmarks, historic buildings, and objects of historical significance not owned by the County of Huron. Heritage publications and events also qualify for support under this program.
More information about the application process can be found on the Huron County Museum’s website at www.huroncountymuseum.ca/huron-heritage-fund/.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) conservation areas and trails remain closed to the public until further notice.
Barriers and signs are at property entrances. Even if a barrier is not in place, the property is closed. Information is also on the ABCA website at abca.ca.
The closure affects all conservation areas: Clinton, Bannockburn, Zurich, Morrison Dam, Crediton, Lucan, Parkhill, Rock Glen, and Ausable River Cut. Other closed properties include Mystery Falls, L-Lake, Sadler Tract, and Linfield. The closure also includes MacNaughton – Morrison Trail. The ABCA owns thousands of acres of forests where there are no trails and these properties are also closed until further notice.
“This has been a difficult step to take but it is in the best interest of our community and Province to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said ABCA General Manager Brian Horner.
The conservation authority thanks all those people who are staying away from the properties. When people do enter closed trails, conservation areas, and properties police are called. The police have increased patrols of the areas and are receiving reports from the public when people are using closed areas.
The decision to close these properties is made for public health protection and follows the Province of Ontario’s direction to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians by closing all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities.
This closure also extends to all properties of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) including the trails of the Bayfield River Flats. The closure affects the Bayfield River Flats Nature Area; Mayhew Tract; Heaman Tract; and Woodburne Farm.
For this and other Notices of Service Disruptions visit abca.ca at this web page: https://www.abca.ca/news/disruptions/
Global learning technology leader D2L announced on March 23 that it is partnering with Bayfield Design to offer an online course on COVID-19 at no cost.
The unique, complimentary course was built by educators and is based on the science behind COVID-19. The course helps learners and educators understand the global pandemic, its risks, and how to effectively manage it. D2L and Bayfield Design are key players in the online education sector and strongly believe they have a duty to help the 850 million students who are out of school worldwide.
“As educators, we believe that knowledge is essential to dealing with a crisis in a steady and effective way. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive review of all that we know to date about COVID-19, and made it available to everyone, at no cost,” said President and CEO of D2L, John Baker.
“With years of experience developing online courses Bayfield Design was well-equipped to partner with D2L on this initiative. In times like this, knowledge and education are powerful tools that can help us navigate challenging situations. Our goal is to provide a resource that promotes interaction and learning from scientific, social, and economic perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can work together to respond to this crisis,” said Senior Director of Operations at Bayfield Design, Kim Loebach.
The medical community continues to learn about both the virus and the disease as new research and information becomes available. The course gives people the most up-to-date, reliable, scientifically accurate information to limit the spread of misinformation. It also gives strategies for dealing with the pandemic, knowledge about symptoms, tips on proper hygiene, and definitions and proper terminology around the COVID-19 pandemic. Users can test their understanding of the content and bridge any gaps in their own knowledge about COVID-19.
Click on the following link to access this course: opencoursesstore.d2l.com