Bookmark and Share   May 6, 2020   Vol. 11 Week 19 Issue 565

chamber requests council proceed with revitalization 

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Mayor of the Municipality of Bluewater, Paul Klopp and council for presentation at their May 4th meeting. It was prepared by the Executive of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC): President Jamie McDougall, Past-President Leanne Kavanagh, Treasurer Ian Matthew and Secretary Tony Scott and appears here in its entirety.

IMG_0035May 3rd wasn't your typical spring Sunday afternoon on Bayfield's Main Street. Necessary COVID-19 regulations have created a ghost town. Concerns regarding the economic impact the pandemic is having on the community were addressed in a letter to Bluewater Council by the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce. The organization would like to see the Main Street Revitalization project scheduled for 2020 proceed as planned in hopes of a more positive outlook in 2021. Council agreed. (Photo by Jack Pal)  

We write to you in very difficult times, as COVID-19 has caused a total collapse of our tourism businesses. Outside of wartime, this is the greatest disruption in 100 years, and there will be no quick recovery. Clearly the priority is health first, but as the pandemic subsides, we need to find a way to restart the tourism economy in Bluewater. This will not be an easy task as health experts forecast that reinfections will continue for a length of time.

Tourism is a major contributor to the economy in Bluewater.

Cottagers, campers and visitors drive our economy with shopping, hospitality, services and general employment. The impact is felt throughout Bluewater. Ontario Tourism recognizes this through Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4) and their focus on Bayfield as one of three heritage destinations in Southwestern Ontario. Bayfield Main Street, with heritage designation is a major draw as well as the shoreline and marina, which is the largest recreational marina on the east coast of Lake Huron. Apart from COVID-19, high lake levels have created havoc along the shoreline.

We understand the economic implications for Bluewater and that various levels of government each have a role to play in the recovery. Our tourism-based economy is in a state of disaster and we ask for Bluewater’s assistance to move ahead with the Bayfield Main Street Revitalization prior to the 2021 season.

Downtown Revitalization: This project has been under consideration for 40 years and is a key component of Bayfield tourism. The 2020 season is a write off. We ask that you advance the project to complete both the drainage and the heritage streetscape prior to the start of the 2021 season. Council has wisely set aside funds for the project and there would appear to be opportunities for grants from senior levels of government. This should have no great financial impact on Bluewater as this project has been in the planning process for infrastructure.

The federal government has assigned infrastructure funds for the recovery effort. We anticipate the provincial government will further enhance this funding. This is a shovel ready initiative that can take advantage of timing to ensure the future of tourism in Bluewater and continue to support its expanding tax base.

We appreciate your consideration of this urgent request. We have looked for a path to minimize the financial impact on Bluewater yet maximize the economic impact. We attach several documents to support our requests (Editor’s note: not included.)

The economic outlook for extended closures is simply grim. The best we can hope for is a restart in 2021. This initiative would be viewed as a very positive step by the residents of Bluewater and help them to look to a brighter future.

Follow Up: Bayfield Ward Councillor Bill Whetstone reported that at Monday's meeting of council a motion was passed in support of the BACCs request to speed things up to be shovel ready and to get the revitalization project done this year pending infrastructure grants from the government.

Snook's sanitizer campaign kicks off with $5,000 donation 

ROR Hand Sanitizer Photo - Huron

Ryan (Snook) O’Reilly has always been known for assisting his teammates on the ice, but once again, he is doing his part off the ice, right here in Huron County.

With the overwhelming demand for safety products for places like the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital and every long-term care and retirement home in Huron County, O’Reilly has a plan and people can help.

O’Reilly’s group of volunteers have got their hands on over 350 cases of Health Canada approved hand sanitizer. Each case contains 12 - 750ml bottles. The cost of each bottle is below retail at $20 per bottle. Cases can be purchased by businesses, organizations or the general public to help support the need to stop the spread of COVID-19.

O’Reilly has kick started this campaign by donating a hat-trick of donations to the following: 90 bottles to the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, 90 bottles to the retirement homes in Huron County, and 90 bottles to long-term care homes in Huron County. Ryan’s contributions total over $5,000 and he hopes that people will get behind him towards this campaign. Ninety bottles are the equivalent of 7.5 cases.

“This is a great initiative for the hospital as well as local retirement and long term care facilities. We all have to do our part and this is a simple way to get behind the frontline workers and residents in all these facilities,” O’Reilly said. “Our plan is to sell all these cases and get them in our community as fast as possible.”

These cases will be distributed to the following properties within Huron County: Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, Maitland Manor Nursing Home, Goderich Place Retirement Residence, Harbour Hill Retirement Community, all in Goderich; Blue Water Rest Home, Zurich
Braemar Retirement Centre and Gilbert Hall Retirement Home, both in Wingham; Exeter Villa, Fordwich Village Nursing Home; Seaforth Manor and Maplewood Manor, both in Seaforth;
Huronlea Home for the Aged, Brussels; Anfield Manor and Huronview Home for the Aged, both in Clinton; and Queensway Nursing Home and Retirement Residence, Hensall.

Every single person or business that donates one bottle will be entered into a draw to win a personalized Ryan O’Reilly, St Louis Blues jersey.

For larger corporate contributions, please contact Faris at . To help support and donate bottles or cases, contact Abbey Faris at to place your order. 

Fitness classes resume via YouTube and instructor sandy

Anyone missing familiar fitness classes that need a little motivational push to get up and move during social distancing, can now watch Sandy Scotchmer, of Bayfield via YouTube as she has posted two cardio classes converted from DVD.

Here is the link:

The classes were recorded by Scotchmer about five years ago for Snowbirds leaving for warmer climates during the winter months. At the time, participants wanted to maintain their level of cardio training and Scotchmer was asked if she could record classes. Rising to the challenge, she approached Pat and Steve Baker with The Virtual High School (VHS) to see if they could help with recording the classes.

“Thankfully, VHS jumped on the idea wholeheartedly and the rest is history!” said Scotchmer.

She added, “We invite you to click on the link and enjoy two cardio classes - perform one class or two, it’s up to you. Remember to work at your own pace and stretch after cool down!”

bayfield centre for the arts requesting photos from 2020

Screen Shot 2019-11-28 at 3.58.16 AM

Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) would like to invite people to participate in a Special Project set to the theme: “Navigating the year 2020 - events, people and places of Bayfield”.

The year 2020 is shaping up to be a new and unusual reality for the world. BCA has begun a project of collecting photographs of moments in time that will act as a retrospective of the COVID pandemic and emerging behaviours across the village and surrounding area.

“We are collecting a variety of photographs of people, pets, wildlife, parks, trails, lake/rivers and buildings. Photos can include landscapes, waterscapes, portraits (candid and posed), still life photos and more. We hope to document this significant, historical human experience through visual storytelling,” President of the Bayfield Centre for the Arts, Leslee Squirrell.

Anyone, professional or novice using smart phone or professional camera, can submit a photo(s) one time or multiple times over the course of the collection period - Jan. 1-Dec. 30, 2020. The photos should reflect aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which are important to capture for future generations and family story telling. A focus on positive actions and beauty are encouraged.

High resolution photos are best for reproduction. The collection will be curated into the “Special Project” and made available in the spring of 2021. Submission does not guarantee use for the Special Project.

By submitting to the collection, the Photographer grants to the BCA rights to their photographs (if selected) for: Reproduction of selected photos as images in their Special Project; subsequent sale proceeds (if any) to the BCA for fundraising and community purposes.

The BCA recognize that except as identified above, the photographs and rights therein, including copyright, remain the sole and exclusive property of the photographer. Any additional use by the BCA requires the prior written agreement of the photographer (with terms to be separately negotiated) between BCA and the Photographer.

How to submit your photo: Give your file and photo a name; include your name and a brief description of the image.

If a participant’s own email address is a GMAIL account they can submit directly to and include the above information in the body of the email.

For any other email address account participants can submit through the web-based tool and send photos to Please wait for the verification code on this website, prior to exiting. The appropriate info can be included in the message section.

A Letter from Lockdown in Soller, Mallorca, Spain 

49856164846_9e569baa68_kLockdown Day #52 - Freedom Walk #3: Finally able to go for a walk within 1 KM of their residence the couple were out and about at 8 p.m. during the nightly Balcony Clap for essential workers. During the event, Gary captured a photo from a new physically distanced angle, of Andrew and Sally Bowden, who own a jewellery store, "Lluna 52", located below their residence. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees)  

Bayfield residents Gary and Kate Lloyd-Rees are currently in Soller, Mallorca one of the Balearic Islands (which are part of Spain), under a government decreed COVID-19 lockdown, from where they sent this update on May 4.

Today, Monday, is our 51st day of the lockdown that came into effect across mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands on March 15th. The lockdown period has now been extended three times and the current extension is due to end on May 10th – the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced that he will seek Congress (Parliament) approval this week to further extend the lockdown by two weeks to May 24th. It is becoming increasingly anticipated that there will be a continuing lockdown (albeit it with increasing relaxations) into late June or beyond.

Eight days ago, was the first major nationwide relaxation of the confinement restrictions when children aged 13 or under could leave their home for up to an hour each day, within a 1 KM radius, accompanied by an adult from their family unit. The nation was promised that if the relaxed confinement conditions were well observed, and that the nationwide health statistics continued to improve, that the rest of the population would also have their confinement relaxed - and so it came to pass…

Walks all

Two days ago, after being confined for 48 days, we were finally allowed out to walk and exercise. The chart illustrates how this has been organized – as always, the rules required a lot of clarification and gave rise to some bizarre anomalies. In essence, there is a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.; between 6-10 a.m. and between 8-11 p.m. a person aged between 14 and 70 can go for individual exercise within the confines of their municipality or a person, or two from the same household, can go for a walk within a 1 KM radius of their home. Soller is a municipality in itself - like Bluewater, but a fraction of its size and with twice the population. Between 10 a.m. and noon and between 7-8 p.m. persons over 70 can go out for a walk individually or as a couple from the same household; between Noon and 7 p.m. an adult can take out up to three children 13 or under from the same household for up to one hour and within 1 KM of their home.

We can now go out together in the 10 a.m. to Noon or 7-8 p.m. time slots in addition to our individual trips to the grocery store. If we had a dog, we could now take it for a walk.

Given the complexity of the rules, drawn up by a committee, there are some bizarre anomalies: surfing is an allowed exercise but not swimming; we could pole walk to the beach which is beyond 1 KM but we can’t walk to it; and a parent can take out three children 13 or under, but two parents together can’t take out their only child of 14. Still, we are grateful for what are referred to locally as “freedom walks”.

How are things in Spain and Mallorca?

Microsoft Word - Document1  An image of Soller and surrounds. (Submitted photo)

Last week’s “letter” reported that Spain was down to “only” about 2,000 new infections and about 320 deaths each day - in the past few days the numbers being reported are half those levels Today, both Murcia (where our son and family live) and the Balearics reported zero new infections and zero deaths. These reduced numbers, together with the freedom walks has given rise to a huge sense of relief and optimism that the ‘new normal” is not too distant.

What are the de-escalation plans?

This is where things get extremely convoluted…Today, Spain entered Phase 0 of its de-escalation plan – small businesses (<400 sq. m.) can open by appointment, customers can pick up restaurant orders (delivery was already allowed) and renovation on private homes can restart (all accompanied with a raft of health safety measures). Under Phase 1, small businesses can open without appointments at 30 per cent capacity, groups of up to 10 can gather (keeping social distances of 2 metres), open air markets can open at 25 per cent capacity and outside bars and restaurants can open at 50 per cent capacity. Phases 2 and 3 relax the restrictions further until Phase 4 (which is being called the “new normal”) is reached. Travel within a region is allowed at Phase 1 except for travelling to a second home which is only allowed at Phase 2.

Moving from one phase to the next will be done asymmetrically by region, only when specific health conditions are met can a region move to the next phase. To make matters even more complicated, the other three of the Balearic Islands (Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera together with three of the smaller Canary Islands) have started today at Phase 1, due to their low level of cases. Between Phase 0 and Phase 1 is a minimum of one week, and between 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 is a minimum of two weeks. Therefore, in theory, Mallorca (and all of Spain) could reach the “new normal” by June 22nd. Importantly, travel between regions will only be allowed once the departure and arrival region are at Phase 4.

We continue to be safe and well and are starting to tackle the logistics of making our way home. We remain grateful to our friends back home in the Bayfield area for your best wishes and words of support.

See you back in Bayfield. Stay safe and well everybody.

Bayfield declared Greatest Small Town Thanks  to voters 

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 29, Bayfield was declared the “Greatest Small Town in the Taz and Jim Listening Area”! Due to the efforts of a determined legion of daily voters Bayfield made it past 64 other communities for the title. And it was no easy feat as they went up against their neighbors to the south, Grand Bend, in the final round. It was an epic battle and a close one right to the end with the heritage village garnering 52 per cent of the popular vote as the poll closed.

The next morning Bayfield Ward Councilor, Bill Whetstone – or Bayfield Bill as he was affectionately named by radio personalities Taz and Jim – took part in an on-air interview with the two hosts.

Highlights of this interview, which was all in good fun, are included here:


 bayfield eats

Bayfield Eats for Hospitality Relief (Bayfield Eats) is entering its fifth week of operations.

Every week, Chef Brian Clarke and Timothy McDonald, of the Black Dog, with help from Trevor Sawchuk, of Drift, in conjunction with River Road Brewing and Maelstrom Winery, release a new unique menu through their Instagram account @bayfieldeats with all profits going to help local hospitality workers who have been laid off due to COVID-19.

To date the team has been able to raise over $4,000 and they are continually, completely humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.

Bayfield Eats has featured menus of "Baytucky" Fried Chicken, Mexican, Italian and last week Southern BBQ to rave reviews from all who were quick enough to reserve their spots. The team only prepares 80 meals per week so as to not take business away from other restaurants operating in the village. Chef Clarke posts new menus every Monday morning at 10 a.m. on Instagram and Facebook and is selling out all 80 meals within hours of posting. The meals are then prepared for Friday pickup in front of Drift on Main Street.

Although advanced menus are a closely guarded secret upcoming weeks will feature: Thai, “At The 1950s Drive-In”, Cuban and 1920s Parisian. Stay tuned to both Bayfield Eats Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming menus.

The team at Bayfield Eats wants to remind hospitality workers that if they wish for assistance they can send a confidential email to or people are also invited to confidentially nominate someone for assistance. 

Delivery service 

The community continues to come together to serve each other during this time of crisis.

Lake Huron Chrysler in Goderich, in conjunction with The Little Inn of Bayfield, is putting a van on the road with a driver to pick up and deliver groceries to people from Bayfield Foodland and Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy’s Bayfield location.

There will be no charge for this service. Please contact Dean O’Brien at 519 525-0420 or email for more information.

Food Bank

Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) can provide emergency food for free.

Anyone who has had their income reduced or anyone struggling to meet their food needs is asked to call 519 955-7444 for assistance.

BAFB has prepackaged boxes on hand and arrangements can be made for free delivery.

Farmers’ Market

The Bayfield Farmers’ Market will soon launch a new online market store where customers can shop directly from food/beverage vendors. This will enable the market to operate in compliance with current pandemic health and safety requirements.

The market will be held every Friday from 3-5 p.m. in the parking area on the north side of Clan Gregor Square. This market will serve only as a pick-up point. Customers will not be able to shop or purchase in person at the market.

The market is also working on offering delivery service for customers who are unable to travel to the market or simply do not feel comfortable with pickup. More information will be coming soon.

The market’s board continues to work diligently to be ready for opening day on May 15. Updates will be available on their Facebook page, Bayfield Farmers’ Market, and in the Bayfield Breeze as they become available.


A number of very generous people have signed up with Home4Good as volunteers to help people with their shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who is self-isolating or otherwise advised not to shop, is encouraged to contact Leslie Bella at Home4Good, or text 519 955-1531, and Home4Good will assign someone to help.

Home4Good has tracked advice for safe shopping, and posted suggestions on their Facebook page Home4GoodinBayfield. This information suggests that the use of homemade face masks is recommended when shopping, or when visiting medical services, particularly for those of people over 65 or with underlying health conditions.

Leslie Bella has been digging through her treasure trove of surplus quilting scraps and producing a seemingly endless supply of “one of a kind”, 100 per cent cotton, washable masks, in two models. Bella will supply two free masks per household, one to use and one for the laundry.

IMG_0279Mask Version One: donations of 1/4" elastic is needed to make more of these. (Submitted photos)  

IMG_0277Mask Version Two is available through a Home4Good initiative.  

Email her at to get the masks. One design has 1/4” elastic ear straps, but elastic is in short supply. The other model has ties and is more comfortable for many, particularly those people wearing aids and/or glasses.

The second model is not in short supply, particularly if local quilters are open to sharing more of their scraps with Bella. Pieces at least 10”X7” in a tight weave of 100 per cent cotton are requested. Twill tape and 1/4” elastic would also be welcome. Please drop off supplies to 18 Louisa St, Bayfield.


Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Grand Bend and Area Chamber of Commerce has undertaken various efforts to support local business, this latest effort, “Shoreline ToGo”, crosses all local municipal and county “borders” to support local food and beverage providers with a single online hub of delivery and takeout options open to residents.

Launched Apr. 20, already has 32 food and beverage businesses listed, a number that grows daily. Published with address, phone number, takeout-delivery menu and hours of operation, restaurants, farm-gate operations and craft beer, wine and cider producers are ready and open to serve. Residents in Lambton Shores, South Huron, Bluewater and North Middlesex can check out the offerings online, order takeout or delivery, and help support the same businesses who have contributed so much to these communities over the years through donations and sponsorship.

Restaurants, farm-gate and beverage producers throughout the market area – Bluewater - Lambton Shores, South Huron, North Middlesex - are encouraged to visit to register and showcase their delivery or takeout options. There is no cost to any business to participate and the process is the completion of a simple online form. Any business needing resources or assistance can contact Chamber Manager Susan Mills at

Throughout this area, restaurants, farm-gate and craft beverage providers have contributed hugely to the local economy and the livability of towns and villages. Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will be in large part energized restaurant owners, chefs, kitchen staff and servers, and the support of local customers.

Garden Club

Due to the Covid-19, the Annual Plant Sale hosted by the Bayfield Garden Club (BGC) has been cancelled. The sale, planned for Saturday, May 9th is always fun and a great fundraising event for the club.

“We'll miss the chance to buy interesting plants at great prices and look forward to the sale in 2021,” said Susan Beatty, representing the BGC. “Our June event is also cancelled. We have a great line-up of events planned for the remainder of the season and hope they can go ahead sooner than later. We'll keep you updated.”

Memberships are important to the BGC - the cancellation of both the Bayfield Lions' Home and Garden Show and the Annual Plant Sale makes renewal difficult this year. Membership fees go a long way in funding the work the BGC does to beautify the village as well as covering
meeting expenses. Beatty invites people to support the BCG by renewing their membership for 2020.

The membership fee is $10. Cheque made payable to Bayfield Garden Club may be mailed to C. Barrett, 32 Thimbleweed Drive, Bayfield ON N0M 1G0. Please include your name, address and email address with the cheque.  Cheques can also be dropped off at the above location. Please email to make arrangements. 

After that a membership card will be either mailed or delivered to your home. The BCG appreciates the community’s continued support.


faith low res4 6Faith, age 12, shares an example of what the Bayfield Historical Society is looking for as part of their efforts to collect stories and art from children documenting their experience of living during an historic pandemic. (Submitted photo)  

faithwritingFaith's story - the Bayfield Historical Society is asking that the children sign their artwork or story on their cover page and on the back cover list their age and school. (Submitted photo)  

Youngsters are unleashing their creativity in a variety of ways while staying at home during the pandemic. And a local group would like to capture this creativity for posterity. Especially the stories and artwork that the children, ages 12 and under, are producing right now while they are truly living through history.

The Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) wants to help preserve these memories of what life during the pandemic was like for children.

According to Barb Durand, “The Bayfield Historical Society is asking children in Bayfield and surrounding area to submit written stories and or their artwork for a future collection. We will display this collection in our windows (at the Archives on Main Street) when we are allowed back on the street. Either a scanned copy or their original artwork will be kept at the archives for a future collection. We may also use the material to create a printed book.”

Durand, who looks after publications for the BHS, notes that, this is not a contest but a collection that will document the children’s stories. She asks that the children sign their artwork or story on their cover page and on the back cover list their age and school.

“We will ask for the submissions when the time comes for us to re-open. We are documenting history. Thank-you and wishing all families to stay safe and healthy,” Durand concluded.

For more information on this BHS project please email






   dReaming about llamas back home in Bayfield  

91133211_686996472071476_5476467933901225984_nPeter Keightley has been keeping a journal of his travels since the fall of 2019 when he and his wife, Erika, embarked on a working honeymoon working aboard Super Yachts. The Bayfield Breeze has invited him to share some of this log with our readers. (Photos courtesy Peter Keightley)

A Note from the Editor: Peter Keightley and Erika Smith were married on Aug. 24, 2019 in Bayfield. In early September, they embarked on a working honeymoon travelling the world aboard Super Yachts, as chef and stewardess respectively. Peter, will be familiar to Bayfield residents as the founder of both Drift the restaurant on the village’s Main Street and Drift the lobster boat used as a charter in the summer months out of Bayfield Harbour. While on this adventure Peter has been keeping a journal and the Bayfield Breeze invited him to share some of this log with our readers during this time of uncertainty in the world…

It’s now day 58 of being at sea without having set foot on land. We have been anchored in Cypriot waters within sight of land for just over three weeks and are finished our mandatory yellow flagged quarantine period. Unfortunately, we now must remain aboard the vessel until such a point when non-Cypriot citizens are permitted to enter the country.

According to an article that fellow Bayfield ex-pats Kate and Gary Lloyd-Rees in Mallorca sent us, this might be another month yet! The temptation to jump overboard and swim to the beautiful sandy beaches is ever present. No sharks seem to be circling the boat, only the occasional sea turtle or octopus. Once overboard though, due to the boats huge size, re-boarding wouldn’t be an option without the transom and swim platform engaged. The currents also run swiftly beneath the otherwise serene surface of this Mediterranean bay and we’ve figured that 2 KMS swimming in the cold water would be far from a walk in the park. Dreams of escape aside, Erika and I still try to entertain ourselves aboard.

She discovered a treasure chest of 70s and 80s Disco costumes and we organized an epic Saturday Night Disco party…complete with flashing lights, Disco balls and all the crew dressed head to toe in flowers and glitter. That helped boost crew moral immensely… there is nothing quite like disco dancing to Abba to make everyone forget their woes.

95423323_827519557754906_2076676739848732672_nPeter and Erika Keightley have now been over 55 days at sea without having set their feet on terra firma. Peter notes that everyday they still make time to walk a few laps around the top deck, look around for sea turtles and give thanks for being healthy, happy and together during this time of crisis.

Between working the dance floor and working the galley, Erika and I have had ample time for contemplation. Back home in Bayfield, our llamas, Stephanie and Charles, were just relocated to a farm near Windmill Lake to take up jobs as guard llamas for a flock of lambs. Before leaving we had them “trained” to the point of going for walks with friends and family, as well as they were participants in our wedding, escorting our nieces and nephews down the aisle. Shockingly, and much to the surprise of many, Stephanie and Charles are very gentle and loving llamas, not once having spit or otherwise acted in a malicious manner (knock on wood). It’s our hope, if we ever get back, to continue “experiences” with them and bringing them out to functions and activities within the community. A while back my friend Alex in B.C told me he had seen Llama experiences being offered out in Aspen with lunch included. A running joke and popular meme we shared with each other was: “Hey, did you forget your lunch? …Don’t worry, Alpaca picnic”.

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely enthralled by llamas. My earliest childhood memory is watching a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch on TV with John Cleese as a singer in a mariachi band. There is an image behind him of a large white Llama. He makes bold statements about the llama, such as, “The llama lives in the rivers of the Amazon and has fins for swimming… and a long beak for eating honey…. and if you see a llama shout, ‘Llama! ...Olé!”. The sketch ends with Graham Chapman, dressed as an old lady on a moped, driving in and popping a brown paper bag.

At 19 years-old I moved to Tokyo. I lived in Japan for almost three years, and using Tokyo as my home base, visited many of the surrounding countries including Thailand. It was during a visit to a Bangkok tattoo parlor that I ended up with a half deer, half horse looking creature tattooed on my right shoulder. Of course, they don’t have llamas in South-East Asia, so my explanation of a soft footed, fur coated camelid from the Andes was to deaf ears. But I now had a permanent reminder of my llama obsession.

image1Erika Keightley discovered a treasure chest filled with 70s and 80s Disco costumes on board the vessel and the couple organized an epic Saturday Night Disco party that helped boost crew moral immensely.

Years later, it all came full circle, and Erika and I visited a llama farm halfway between Blyth and Collingwood. Stephanie was five months old and Charles was still a baby; only a couple months old. They were the only two llamas that hadn’t been sold off and were ridiculously cute. Erika was the first ever girlfriend, technically my then fiancée, to wholeheartedly encourage my deep seeded obsession with llamas. We had two hundred dollars on us combined, and not knowing how, where, or what we would do, put down a deposit. We had to buy them as a pair, as Llamas are herd animals and cannot be alone. We were to pick them up in May once Charles was weened and old enough to travel. Since we knew nothing about animal husbandry we took out every book we could from the Bayfield Public Library and ordered in many more from surrounding branches. We spent three months preparing as best we could for their arrival.

3D2C2886-3770-4E48-9370-D0D8E2F0A1C8Peter Keightley's nephews were in charge of the llamas on the couple's wedding day as Stephanie (left) and Charles were included in the festivities.  

Bayfield resident and horse expert Bud Robinson provided most of the tips, tricks as well as techniques for animal handling more so than any of the books that Erika and I read. Kirsten Harrett, always keen to help, courteously offered the horse trailer, and Bud and I went up on a beautiful May morning to pick the llamas up. A home was found for them at horse stables just outside of the village a year ago on May 1st. Charles, the smaller and younger of the llamas was, and still is rather shy, but Stephanie immediately bonded with one of the stable owners, so much so that she actually would saunter right up to her and give her a little smooch on the lips! We don’t think a better first home close to the village could have been found for the llamas.

Along with the stable owners amazing care, love and life experience with animal husbandry, they have developed into the most amazing creatures. So now here we are, the llamas all grown up, and off into their next stage of life with jobs and a life purpose. We might not have been able to make it back in time before Easter to see them make this transition, but we certainly are happy that Stephanie and Charles are still our beloved Llamas in Bayfield!

82BB582E-C125-42A8-A64F-18BF77B42FE0 Charles (left) and Stephanie are now holding down a job guarding sheep on a property near Bayfield. To follow their adventures and for more pictures they can be found on Instagram @llamasinbayfield.

Individuals may now apply to the covid-19 Urgent Needs Fund  

Having already funded over a dozen programs through their COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund to help organizations and the people they serve during the pandemic, United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is making funds available through Social Services in Perth and Huron Counties to individuals and families in need.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis and many people are struggling to cope, particularly our most vulnerable,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “Organizations are doing incredible work across Perth and Huron but sometimes needs fall outside existing programs and that is where the COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund for Individuals comes in. It’s important for us to put our arms around everyone in the community and help them get through this.”

UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund for Individuals is administered by the City of Stratford Social Services Department on behalf of Perth County and the Huron County Social and Property Services Department on behalf of Huron County. People looking for help, whether paying a bill or buying groceries to get them through the week, are encouraged to visit and download an application form. Huron residents can also find application forms at

In Perth County, submit applications via email to, or drop off or mail to Social Services, 1st floor, 82 Erie Street, Stratford, ON, N5A 2M4

In Huron County submit applications via email to or drop off or mail to Huron County Social and Property Services, 77722D London Road, RR 5, Clinton, ON, N0M 1L0

If someone is unable to submit their application by email or postal mail, call Social Services directly at 519 271-3773 Ext. 277 in Perth or 519 482-8505 Ext. 4501 in Huron. Mail applications may be slower due to possible mail processing delays. Funding is limited and will be given on a first come, first served basis provided eligibility criteria is met. Applications opened on May 4.

“We’re happy to be partnering with UWPH to help citizens get the help they need,” said Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson. “We want to ensure everyone is supported through this pandemic.”

“This is an extraordinary time requiring innovative solutions,” added Huron County Warden Jim Ginn. “Huron County has been working hard to help residents in need and this partnership with UWPH is an added layer of support for individuals and families.”

stewardship Projects underway thanks to huron clean water 

Landowners are completing new projects to improve water quality thanks to funding from the County of Huron.

The county has allocated $400,000 for the Huron Clean Water Project (HCWP) in 2020. The long-standing program provides grants and technical assistance to Huron County residents.

Nearly 3,000 projects have been completed since 2005.

“The Huron Clean Water Project is important to the residents, the environment, and the economy,” said Huron County Councilor Jamie Heffer, chair of the committee that reviews the projects. “It helps people do practical, on-the-ground projects that make a difference.”

Funding covers up to 50 per cent of project cash costs. Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) deliver the program on behalf of the county.

“Projects improve surface water quality in rivers and lakes by reducing contamination by pollution, nutrients, soil erosion, runoff, and septic systems,” said Doug Hocking, of MVCA. “Decommissioning unused wells or upgrading existing well casings protects groundwater by eliminating the connection between surface water and groundwater. Community and youth education programs and events are also eligible for funding.”

The HCWP has 17 different categories including: erosion control, watercourse fencing, tree planting, cover crops, wetland creation, septic systems, manure storage decommissioning, well decommissioning, well casing improvements, forest management plans, and community projects.

The HCWP funded septic system upgrades last year (2019) for the first time. The 50 per cent grant up to $2,000 per septic project is available again this year.

“Faulty septic systems can be a source of pollution,” Hocking said. “We’re happy we were able to help fund repair or replacement of 19 septic systems.” This has an immediate benefit for the protection and improvement of water quality, he added.

Kate Monk, of ABCA, has been working on the county program since it began in 2004 and she said the improvements are encouraging.

“The projects make a difference at the site and downstream,” she said.

One particular project comes to mind for Monk. She has been watching this particular project for the past ten years. The project was stream restoration in a cattle pasture. It was completed with funding from the HCWP. Fences on both sides of the creek keep the cattle excluded and trees were planted between the fences. Cattle now drink water from the farmstead well instead of the creek.

“The grasses on the streambanks hold the soil, the trees shade the water, and the fence keeps the cattle out of the creek,” Monk explained. “The cattle are drinking clean water which is good for herd health.”

Although program staff are working remotely during the current pandemic, people can contact them by calling the MVCA at 519 335-3557, Ext 236, or ABCA at 519 235-2610, Ext 227. Staff monitor the phones and reply to messages.

More information is also available at:


public health  

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:


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting communities across Perth and Huron, with students among the many groups facing added uncertainty and stress. Effects on children and youth are wide-ranging but perhaps the most critical area impacted is nutrition.

“Overall, it’s a challenging time for students and their families,” said United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) Executive Director Ryan Erb. “But one critical area that’s been affected is students who normally would benefit from the Ontario Student Nutrition Program. With schools closed, the students and parents who rely on getting healthy snacks there can’t access it. That’s why we’re working with Social Services and our friends at the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC) to lend a hand to those in need.”

Using their group of passionate volunteers, the HCFBDC is packing bags with healthy school snack items and delivering to participating food banks and aid agencies across Perth and Huron.

Additional student nutrition funds are flowing through UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund. Families with students will be able to apply for funds for groceries through the City of Stratford Social Services Department. This organization is administering the program for Perth County. In Huron, it is the Huron County Social and Property Services Department. Families in need can call 519 271-3773 Ext 277 in Perth and 519 482-8505 Ext. 4501 in Huron to apply. Applications opened on May 4.

For both parts of the program, the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) and the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board (HPCDSB) will work to connect with families and let them know about the help available to them. Families can also reach out directly to Social Services in Perth and Huron or local food banks. To find a food bank, dial 2-1-1 any time day or night and talk with a trained operator.

“UWPH is committed to supporting non-profit organizations across our region through our Urgent Needs Fund as they work to support local communities,” added Erb. “We’re proud to work with the HCFBDC, AMDSB and HPCDSB to support students and their families and ensure they continue to get the healthy food they need to learn and grow.”

The COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund assists organizations helping individuals and families in need. Organizations apply to UWPH and a volunteer committee ensures each application is reviewed quickly so funds are distributed as soon as possible. For applications go to

To donate to UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund, go to or call the United Way offices at 519 271-7730 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon and 1-5 p.m.

ABCA online learning

Students may be out of the classroom at the moment but there are educational activities online that can help to keep learning going. These are new and creative ways to connect to the natural world including some activities that can be done indoors.

To help keep children and youth engaged and learning while at home, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has compiled online science lesson plans and links to other educational resources.

The ABCA website at is full of scientific, local and up-to-date information on soil, water, and habitat for living things in the Ausable Bayfield watershed. The Teachers’ Resources-Lesson Plans web page has new links to ideas and activities to help learning about nature at home. There are activities and lesson plans that help to meet Ontario Curriculum expectations for every grade from Grade One through 12.

The link to teaching and learning resources is at:
Conservation educators at ABCA are not currently delivering student field trips or in-school programs. This is part of the nation-wide response to COVID-19 as school buildings and child care facilities are closed during the current pandemic.

For Notices of Service Disruptions visit this link:

COVID-19 Course 

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:

Coping through Covid-19 

eugene_dufourEugene DuFour

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 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 suggests how to provide a safe space for people dealing with loss. The second reflection reminds us to be open to new ways of learning. 

Dealing with Loss and Crisis: Past - Present - Future

The first step in grieving a loss or dealing with a crisis is to give permission to talk and express strong emotions. Part of our culture sends the following message when experiencing a loss or crisis: “Don’t Talk – Don’t Trust – Don’t Feel”. This makes life seemingly go by smoothly, but it takes a devastating toll on people. The second step is to be aware that we deal with loss or a crisis in all three tenses: “The Past – The Present – The Future”.

When confronted with a loss or crisis we need to ask the following questions:
1. Does this event bring back emotions of previous losses or crises that I may need to work on?
2. How am I coping right now with this loss or crisis?
3. Will this loss or crisis define who I am as a person?

Several years ago, I conducted a group at a Long-Term Care Facility for 12 female residents that had experienced the death of a child. This group took place on the Friday before Mother’s Day and was to last no more than an hour. The residents were from 89 to 97 years of age. The focus of the group was for the residents to share about their experience of living without their child in a safe caring environment. The group lasted for two and a half hours and was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. At the end of our time the eldest resident stated, “I have not talked about my daughter in 67 years. This is going to be the best Mother’s Day ever!”

We need to provide for ourselves and others a safe place to work on loss or crises as they touch our past, present and future.

Look for the Flicker of Life

This response to the COVID-19 pandemic is long and difficult and many of us are grieving the death of family members without the comfort of visitations, funerals or celebrations of life. Many are suffering the effects of being physically distant from our loved ones. Many members of our community are suffering from financial stress. Our frontline workers are tired and scared - just like us. The Chinese word for “crisis” means danger and opportunity. I share the following story to highlight the need to look at what the COVID-19 crisis might be teaching us and where we can get strength to keep looking at the theme of “meaning” and “purpose” during this pandemic.

I had been working with, or what I like to call “walking with” a couple that had just experienced the death of their 17-year-old son. This couple had never been to a therapist before and they thought counseling was a sign of weakness. Despite my best efforts I did not feel that we made a connection during our first session. I did not think that I would see them again. But for the next 22 months they came faithfully to each session and it turned out to be a powerful experience for all of us.

At the end of our last session I told them that, after the first session, I thought that they would never return and asked them why they continued with the counseling. They explained that they had a very strange but comforting experience when they left the office. They always had a nighttime appointment and after the first session, as they were walking down the stairs, the streetlight in front of the office began to flicker. The couple felt that this was a message from their son to keep on going on this journey of healing. The couple continued to share that this experience happened often as they were leaving the office. I never saw the street light flicker when I left the office.

About a year latter I was leaving the office one night feeling somewhat dejected. The four sessions that I had just completed did not go particularly well and I was questioning my ability to be a therapist. As I walked down the stairs of the front porch, I looked up at the streetlight just in time to notice that the light was flickering. I felt a strange but comforting feeling and was encouraged to keep on this journey of healing.

If we are intentional about being open to new ways of learning, we just might find them in the strangest of places.





Volume 11

In this section we showcase images that may or may not have their historical data provided with the hopes that one of our subscribers might be able to identify the individual(s) in the photo. Please email your information to the Editor’s attention at the address listed near the bottom of the page in “Submissions”.

This week, we feature a newspaper clipping from the collection of Tara Heard. No information was provided with this one. Does anyone know the story behind the picture or some of the people in it? 

New Doc 2020-03-17 10.13.35 




 ISSUE 563

group photos 

In Issue 563, we highight another image from Tara Heard's personal collection with this newspaper clipping. The details surrounding this image are a mystery. Can anyone help us solve it?


New Doc 2020-03-17 10.11.36 

In 564, we highlight another image from Tara Heard's personal collection with this newspaper clipping. This picture appeared in the Oct. 3, 1984 edition of the Clinton News-Record. The image was taken by James Friel.

"The Bayfield Community Centre held hockey and figure skating registration on Sept. 29. Some of the children enrolled are Mark and Kim Scrimgeour, Tara Hessel and Kim Schilbe. Kim's mother, Nancy Schilbe looked on."  




Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY

bayfield bridges    

historically frustrating designs a part of heritage 






Bayfield’s new bridge appears to be well designed and should improve first and last impressions of the village for decades to come. This may be the first Bayfield bridge that hasn’t been mired in controversy.

Since 1840, our bridges have been designed by “experts” from outside the village who had all the answers but never bothered to ask the questions. Local knowledge and advice were ignored and since the village’s beginning, there have been significant, irritating and dangerous design flaws in every one of our bridges.

To save money, the Canada Company and Baron van Tuyll, the Dutch property developer, decided that the best and cheapest place for a Bayfield River crossing was on top of a wooden dam at a bend where ice was frequently trapped. The few locals that were in the area at the time, warned about the power of the ice in spring and they weren’t surprised when the whole structure was destroyed during the 1841 spring ice break-up.

The 1850 wooden bridge was built a few hundred yards downstream. Again, local warnings went unheeded. The structure was so fragile that the Township Council passed a bylaw, anyone who drove over the bridge at a pace faster than a walk could face a five pound fine. This was a significant amount at a time when the Township Clerk was only paid seven pounds per year.

Almost every spring it was damaged and every few years, floods and ice jams would destroy parts of the structure. For weeks at a time, the village would be shut-off from the north unless they were brave enough to try the old native crossing upstream near a spot known as the “Hog’s Back”. Sometimes enterprising fishermen would operate a ferry service and rowed people across the river.

According to an article written by Philip Keightley for a Bayfield Historical Society newsletter, “Following the incorporation as a Village in 1876 and during the period that works were being carried out to construct a new harbor, a new three span bridge was built in 1878 utilizing steel trusses that had a tendency to catch the ice during the spring thaws.”




Not only did it catch ice but it was so narrow that pedestrians risked their lives crossing if a horse and wagon or carriage came from the other direction. They’d sometimes have to climb onto the railings if they were trapped at the halfway point.

Its location was also a problem because it shrank the size of the harbor for the fishing fleet. Despite pleas from the fisherman, the bridge planners placed the bridge so close to the lake that when a storm from the west came into the harbor, the waves were funneled up the river and tossed the little boats around.

In April 1904, during Bayfield’s greatest flood, the old steel trussed bridge was destroyed and its temporary replacement was no wider. This width issue was surprising because tourism boomed during the 1890s and during a typical summer, thousands would enjoy camping, picnics, boating and the north beach at Jowett’s Grove. The only way these “summer visitors” could access the village’s Main Street was by crossing the narrow bridge.

Floods and ice jams pounded these low bridges and in 1908, a new, elevated two span bridge was built.

According to the Clinton News-Record of Apr. 2, 1908, “Everyone who has seen the new Bayfield Bridge is amazed to find that the driveway is to be only 14 feet wide. To put up such an expensive bridge on such an extensively travelled road and then botch the job in this manner, to say the least, is more than surprising. Situated as the bridge is halfway up the hill with a sharp turn required to get on to it, its narrowness is bound to be the cause of accidents.”

One of my favorite Bayfield legal cases is about two stubborn area men who refused to yield to the other. It was tried in October 1940. According to the Goderich Signal Star, “John McLeod, of Bayfield was convicted and fined $5 and costs for careless driving.

The bridge that is currently being replaced was constructed in 1949 and it has had its share of critics. The concrete decked, two span bridge did its job for cars and trucks but the engineers who designed it, either ignored the needs and safety of pedestrians or weren’t aware that anyone who walked across the bridge was squeezed onto Highway 21 with no barriers between them and traffic.

The existing pathway didn’t even exist when snow-covered and all walking across the ice-covered bridge had to be done on Highway 21. Complaints were written, delegations to Queen’s Park were organized but it seems that once this type of construction is complete, corrections must wait another 70 or 80 years.

Political leaders at all levels just shrugged and said that they understood the Village’s frustration. At one meeting, a local resident complained that they were forced to break the law when they were walking south with their back to the traffic on a Provincial highway. The answer, only walk across the bridge heading north!

At the time the bridge was planned, the north shore of the river had Deer Park Lodge and Jowett’s Grove, one of Southwestern Ontario’s most popular camping and entertainment spots and an extensive fishing industry. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Bayfield spotted the problem immediately.

Since infrastructure planning such as bridges are visionary exercises which should project usage over the lifetime of the project, this failure to provide for pedestrian safety was unforgiveable. No one could have precisely predicted that over the 70 year lifespan of the bridge, Jowett’s Grove would evolve into the Harbour Lights development, the popular Casme Restaurant would ultimately become The Dock’s Restaurant and that one of the larger marina’s on the Great Lakes would be created.

Let’s hope that this generation of bridge planning experts have asked the necessary questions so that over the next 70 years, Bayfield residents and visitors will not suffer any consequences.

This article was written with the support and encouragement of the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS).



Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY 2

under construction   

Bailey bridge stands alone 


IMG_2064Apr. 28 (Submitted photo)

IMG_2067Apr. 29 (Submitted photo)  

IMG_2106May 3 (Submitted photo)  

IMG_2105May 3 (Submitted photo)  


On Apr. 14, the Bailey Bridge was opened to traffic and the next day demolition of the 70 year old Bayfield Bridge began.

Progress has continued since that time. These images were taken from Apr. 28 to May 3.

As the pictures show by the weekend the bridge built in 1949 was no more. 

Bailey Bridge  (7)May 3 (Photo by Jack Pal)

Bailey Bridge  (10)May 3 (Photo by Jack Pal)  

Bailey Bridge  (11)May 3 (Photo by Jack Pal)  

Bailey Bridge  (2)May 3 (Photo by Jack Pal)  

Bailey Bridge  (12)May 3 (Photo by Jack Pal)  





People are having to think outside the box when celebrating birthdays during the COVID-19 crisis. One such sister duo asked me if I could help them make their father’s birthday special despite the miles between them. As a regular reader of the Bayfield Breeze, they were certain he would be surprised to see such a greeting in this spot this morning so…

To Bayfield resident Alan Monahan who will be celebrating a birthday this Saturday, May 9:

Happy 68th Birthday Dad!
We miss you and love you lots!
We hope on your birthday it doesn't rain and you can go for a walk at least!
From: Hayley (Edmonton, Alberta) and Sarah (Toronto, Ontario) - XOXO

And, Alan, may the staff of the Bayfield Breeze also send our birthday congratulations to you as well! – Melody





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 519-525-3830.


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Founding Members
Goderich Honda
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd.
Bayfield Foodland
Outside Projects
Brad's Automotive
Bayfield Garage
Pharmasave Michael's Pharmacy
The Dock's Restaurant
Ian Mathew CA
Royal LePage Heartland Realty Brokerge


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:Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder