Bookmark and Share   May 20, 2020   Vol. 11 Week 21 Issue 567

customers happy with First  farmers' market pick up 


The Bayfield Farmers' Market opened their 2020 season last Friday. Dozens of customers were very happy to access the fresh, local, delicious foods and beverages the market is known for. All orders had been pre-ordered and prepaid on the market's new online store.

Bluewater Councillor Bill Whetstone and Mayor Paul Klopp joined market volunteers and vendors to greet customers and placed orders in vehicles. An inspector from Huron Perth Public Health also attended to confirm all health and safety guidelines were followed.

The online store is open weekly from Sunday at 8 a.m. to Wednesday at 11 p.m. for Friday pickup or delivery.

Whetstone_Klopp_May15_2020Bayfield Ward Councillor for Bluewater Bill Whetstone and Mayor Paul Klopp joined market volunteers and vendors to greet customers. They also helped place orders in vehicles during the opening of the Bayfield Farmers' Market "curbside" pickup program held on May 15. (Submitted photo)  

Vendors joining the market this week include: Alton Farms Estate Winery, Bayfield Berry Farm, CedarVilla Angus Farms, Culture Shock Kombucha, Firmly Rooted Farm, Petojo Food and Catering, Red Cat Farm and Bakery, and Shop Bike Coffee Roasters.

Market pick-up hours are 3-5 p.m. every Friday. The pick-up location is the parking area on the north side of Clan Gregor Square.

Orders can be placed on the market's new online marketplace: Customers of Firmly Rooted Farm are asked to place orders directly on their online store by Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Customers with a last name beginning with initials A-M are asked to pick up in the first hour, 3-4 p.m. and N-Z in the second hour, 4-5 p.m.

Delivery within 15 km of Bayfield is available for a flat fee of $5.

New Music video highlights bayfield and surrounds 

Age of Dysphoria 3.4.20Laura Vandervoort (left), stars in a short film, “Age of Dysphoria”, directed by Bayfield resident, Jessica Petelle. The film will be screened as part of the Canadian Film Fest which has been moved to a television format to be broadcast between May 21 and June 9. (Submitted photos)  

“How Our Lives Would Go” is a new song from singer-songwriter Ryan Malcolm. The song plays over the end credits for a short film directed by Bayfield resident, Jessica Petelle entitled, “Age of Dysphoria”.

The video for the song was shot in and around Bayfield in September of 2019 and was launched on May 12. To view the video visit:


Petelle also directed the video with her husband, Brad Turner, providing his talents as cinematographer. The video features actress Laura Vandervoort, who also stars in the film alongside Gordon Pinsent.

Petelle was anticipating the screening of her film at the Canadian Film Fest in Toronto in March but due to COVID-19 the festival has been moved to television affording anyone who subscribes to SuperChannelTV with an opportunity to screen Age of Dysphoria at home, along with other films. The festival will run from May 21 to June 9. Petelle’s short film will be shown on Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m.

To learn more about this film visit:



Walk around the block or jump on a trampoline for Dog Guides 


The Lions Foundation of Canada’s PetValu Walk for Dog Guides has been a long-standing tradition for the Bayfield Lions’ Club and has always been popular with village and area residents. But like so many things these days, the walk has been considerably changed this year. Due to COVID-19, people aren’t able to walk as a group together but since the need for service dogs continues to grow, there are two ways that individuals can still assist with this great cause.

The first suggestion is to participate in the Virtual Walk set up through PetValu by completing three easy steps - register, walk virtually and share.

For anyone interested in this option here is the information: Register for the PetValu Virtual Walk for Dog Guides and create a team (of one or more participants) at Anyone who wishes to do so can create a team representing the Bayfield Lions’ Club.

“This will enable you to invite people to participate as a part of your virtual team similar to how you would invite them to sponsor your usual physical walk. The creation of teams allows us to track donations and walkers associated with our very own Bayfield walk,” explained Jack Pal, of the Bayfield Lions’ Club.

On May 31st, people can show their support for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides by going for a “virtual” walk by doing something physically active while practicing social distancing. Examples include: a walk around the block, running on a treadmill at home, dancing in the living room, lifting some weights or jumping on a trampoline.

Participants are invited to share photos and videos of what they choose to do for the PetValu Virtual Walk: @LFCDogGuides @PetValu #VirtualWalkforDogGuides This way organizers can see what people chose to do and share these ideas within the community.

The second suggestion is to simply donate.

“If you prefer not to walk literally or virtually you can donate by E-transfer to the Bayfield Lions’ Club at ,” said Pal.

Alternatively, cheques can be mailed, payable to the Lions Foundation of Canada, to Bayfield Lions, 6 Municipal Road, P.O. Box 2107, Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0. In either case please indicate that the donation is on behalf of the Virtual Dog Guide Walk.

“We realize this is a time of concern for all of us, so we really do appreciate any contribution you are able to make at this time,” concluded Pal.

For further information please call Karen Scott at 226 441-2042.

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!”

A Letter from Lockdown in Soller, Mallorca, Spain 

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 18.

49895254667_76a60c5848_kA rainbow shone over Soller on day 61 of the lockdown. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees)  

Today, Monday, is our 65th day of the lockdown under the “State of Alarm” that came into effect across mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands on March 15th and this is amazingly our 10th week of “letters from lockdown”. The “State of Alarm” has now been extended four times and the current extension is due to end on May 24th – the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has indicated that he will seek a further and final extension of one month taking it to June 24th.

As mentioned in last week’s “letter”, on May 11th - day 58 of lockdown - we along with 50 per cent of the population of Spain entered Phase 1 of the nationwide de-escalation process. Today, several more areas moved from Phase 0 to Phase 1. The updated map of Spain shows which regions are now in Phase 1 and which are still in Phase 0 for at least another week (Phase 0 represents 30 per cent of the population and includes the region of Madrid, and the city of Barcelona). At the front end of the de-escalation, the smallest of the Balearic Islands (Formentera) and the smallest three of the Canary Islands have today moved onto Phase 2.

So, how was our first week under Phase 1?

Amazing! There is now full freedom of movement to travel for “an allowed purpose”. Under Phase 1, shopping or getting service at any opened business, going to a bar or restaurant, and meeting family or friends in groups of up to 10 are all allowed purposes. Additionally, as of today, the timetable for walks and exercise was removed for smaller municipalities including us in Soller.

We have a rental car again and are mobile. We have yet to venture outside of the Soller Valley; however, in theory we can drive (or walk) anywhere on the island if we have a purpose to do so. Within the valley, we have so far “had a purpose” to go to the hairdressers (which actually opened at Phase 0 as they came under the category of “small businesses open by appointment”), go for a coffee at the Port, have friends around for a BBQ, go to a bar, and meet friends for meals at a restaurant at the beach and up the mountainside. We did all these activities with proper precautions and physical distancing.

Phase Map
However, all is not completely rosy. Many bars and restaurants have decided that with no tourists and seating limited (under Phase 1) at 50 per cent of outdoor capacity they cannot even cover their costs if they open – in the centre of Soller last Saturday just one bar was open and no restaurants. Similarly, although hotels were allowed to open under Phase 1, only 32 hotels in Mallorca opened last week (there are 723 hotels in the Balearics) and these only did so to cater to those travelling here for work such as healthcare workers or government officials. Many retail businesses appear to not be looking to open again and those that do are finding themselves with old, or out of season stock.


So, when are tourists set to return?

This is the multi-billion € question – annually, over 10,000,000 tourists arrive to visit the island of Mallorca: in the last two months the number has been zero. One by one, EU countries are opening their borders or announcing dates that they will open – a decision partly driven by the economic need to restart tourism. As an example, Italy has said that they will be unilaterally fully opening their borders on June 3rd with no incoming quarantine requirement. Spain is being more cautious – all borders are currently closed until June 15th and it was announced today that initially 13 airports, including Palma (Mallorca), will be handling international flights. There is also a concept under discussion at the EU level of establishing “green corridors” to allow early travel between specific countries or regions. This whole topic develops by the day and we follow it closely as it will determine when and how we make our way home.

What comes after Phase 1?

The Balearics’ improving health data puts the Balearics on track to enter Phase 2 next Monday (more on this next Phase next week) and then onto Phase 3 and finally to Phase 4 - designated the “nueva normalidad” (the “new normal”). The earliest we are likely to reach Phase 4 is June 22nd – which, along with June 15th, is beginning to look like a particularly important date on the calendar…

How are things in Spain and Mallorca?

Overall, Spain’s health data continues to improve - in the past few days, the numbers being reported are now down to under 500 daily infections and under 100 daily deaths. In the Balearics, total identified cases have reached just under 2,000 in total – unfortunately, there have been 218 identified deaths.

The biggest news of the week was the results of a Spanish mass random blood testing program for COVID-19 antibodies (acquired by exposure to the virus) – this is considered to be a world leading study and the results have potentially significant implications for both Spain and the world at large. On average, five per cent of those tested were found to have the antibodies - which when extrapolated to the full population implies that 2.35 Million have been infected. As only 10 per cent of that number have been identified as actual cases, it means that 90 per cent of cases are going undetected by the healthcare system.

This is both good news, as it means that 90 per cent of people infected have little or no symptoms - and also bad news, as 95 per cent of the population have no acquired antibodies.

Infection Rate

In the absence of a vaccine or treatment, the so called “herd” immunity rate of 60 per cent plus is still a long way off. The other significant implication is that the overall mortality rate for infected people is “only” one per cent - far less than the 10 per cent of the headlines which is based on identified cases only. The testing as shown on the map showed significant geographical differences – ranging from a low of 1.4 per cent to a high of 14.2 per cent (Mallorca came in at 2.4 per cent) which will be a factor in considering when travel between regions is permitted. The plan is to repeat the testing two more times with a gap of 21 days between each study. Incidentally, a recent similar study in New York city showed an infection rate of 21 per cent - four times that of Spain.

We continue to be safe and well and are making the most of our newfound “freedom” under Phase 1 whilst taking all necessary precautions to minimize risk of exposure. We remain grateful to our friends back home in the Bayfield area for your continuing best wishes and words of support.

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


image1Nolan and Kyle Geddis, of Bayfield, shared their patriotism during the "Defeating Covid Convoy" organized by the owners of The Albion Hotel on May 17. A wonderful turnout was reported with support from The Bayfield Lions, Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bayfield Fire Department. Many locals participated in the morale boosting drive around town while remaining socially distant. (Photo by Pam Langan)


 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.

historical society 

Due to compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions and out of concerns for community safety, the May 25 and June 29 monthly speaker’s meetings of the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) have been cancelled. The BHS look forward to resuming this series in the future.

afghans for hospice 

Many people have cleaned out closets during the past weeks, getting ready to donate to the local charities once they reopen.

DSC_1281 (2)Helen Varekamp has been crocheting afghans for the Huron Hospice during the pandemic. Every patient at the residence and under home care receives an afghan from the Hospice, which is donated to the family upon passing. (Submitted photo)

Helen Varekamp was looking for something to keep her mind and hands busy and was grateful to receive some leftover scraps of yarn from friends in the village. She has spent some of her time crocheting these yarn scraps into afghans.

“Buying yarn is not an easy option with the stores closed, so working with these random donations was more challenging but also more creative. Every afghan became a piece of art and one of a kind”, said Varekamp. “I also like the fact that these materials are being put to use instead of collecting dust”.

So, what to do with all these afghans? Varekamp realized the Huron Hospice is always grateful for donations of afghans. Every patient at the residence and under home care receives an afghan from the Hospice, which is donated to the family upon passing.

Varekamp has now used up all the yarn she had received and is asking the community for donations of unused and unneeded yarn, so she can keep on crocheting. Any quantity and type of yarn is welcome, providing it is clean and in good condition. Arrangements for a porch drop can be made by calling Varekamp at 519 565-5442.

Anyone who doesn’t have yarn but would like to make a donation to the Hospice of some other kind, they are always thankful to receive items such as food, linens and cleaning supplies. Of course, financial donations are always very welcome too!

Varekamp, and her husband Walter, are avid supporters of the Huron Hospice and have registered for the Hike for Hospice, which will be held virtually this year on June 14. Due to Covid restrictions, hikers will walk on their own in their own neighborhood. Varekamp is encouraging other residents to register for the Hike or to make a financial contribution.

Huron Hospice provides support and hospice care services free of charge and relies on the generosity of the community to provide these services, as they are only partially funded by the Ministry of Health. With many of the fundraising events cancelled this spring, the need is bigger than ever!

For more information on the hike or to donate to the Hospice in general, please refer to their website

REV Advisory Group 

The Municipality of Bluewater has created the Recovery Economic Venture (REV) Advisory Group to assist with economic recovery for the local business community.

Members of the Advisory Group were selected to represent a spectrum of economic categories within Bluewater, including: Tourism/Food and Drink; Manufacturing; Agricultural and Agriculture Value-Added; and Retail.

The REV Advisory Group members are: (Chair) Bill Whetstone, Bayfield Councilor; (Co-Vice-Chair) Leanne Kavanagh, Shop Bike Coffee Roasters, Bayfield; (Co-Vice-Chair) Liz Ihrig, Hessenland Inn, Zurich; Winona Bailey, Five One Nine Print and Frames, Zurich; Roger Lewington, RPL Properties (Bayfield) Ltd, Bayfield; Roger Faulkner, General Coach Canada, Hensall; Jim Fergusson, Deputy Mayor; Jim Hill, Varna Grain, Varna; Jackie Rowe, The Garlic Box, Hensall; Laurie Spence Bannerman, CAO, Municipality of Bluewater; and Dr. Karen Rickers, Economic Development Coordination Services.

The committee’s first meetings focused on ways to provide information and assistance to local businesses regarding best practices for operating safely and within regulations during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the creation of marketing promotions to promote Bayfield and Bluewater to visitors in 2020 and beyond. Specific messaging focusing on the region’s ability to provide safety to both locals and visitors during their shopping and/or stay in the region are being developed.

The REV Advisory Group will work in liaison with Huron County Economic Development in order to take advantage of potential synergies.

Further information can be found on the Municipality of Bluewater’s Facebook page at ‘@bluewaterontario’ online.

Recycling Program 

The wheelie bins are coming! The wheelie bins are coming!

The Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA) has begun distribution of wheelie bins in Zurich. Delivery to residences in Bayfield and the surrounding rural area will follow. Homeowners along the lakeshore can expect their bins later this month.

Residents are reminded that wheelie bins cannot be used for curbside collection until the program starts between June 1-8 depending on scheduled recycling pick-up dates.


patriotic masksLeslie Bella continues to make homemade masks, like these with Canadian themes. She donates them through Michael's Pharmacy for those who need them. She creates two designs depending on materials available - some have straps, and some have elastic. (Submitted photo)  

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.


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

Memberships are important to the Bayfield Garden Club (BCG). Membership fees go a long way in funding the work the BGC does to beautify the village as well as covering meeting expenses.

People are invited 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.

Centre for the Arts 

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.


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






  dockside bBQ in the shipyard a highlight of week in cyprus  

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…

Although we have been docked here in Cyprus for two weeks, things have not changed dramatically and there’s not much news to report. We can see beyond the chainlink fence of the shipyard and the bustle of Limassol city, however we remain unable to leave. Every moment Erika and I consider ourselves so very lucky to be together, gainfully employed, happy and most importantly safe.

image1Chef Peter Keightley, capably assisted by wife Erika, grilled up some BBQ for his fellow shipmates this week in an effort to lift spirits and indoctrinate new crew.

Our daily routine remains largely unchanged with the exception that we have taken on more crew members to assist with maintenance and essential refits of the vessel. These are local Cypriots who have been screened by doctors and passed a COVID-19 test. For them it is a very unique situation, as they cannot leave the shipyard and go home at the end of the day, for fear of bringing the virus back aboard the vessel.

To lift spirits and indoctrinate the new crew we had a celebratory BBQ on the dock. I made some slow cooked lamb shanks marinated in red wine, rosemary and juniper berries as well as baby back ribs, sausages, baked potatoes, veggie skewers and pita bread. The charcoal grill was a delight to cook upon, building up the fire and then evenly moving about the hot coals, a real connection building between cook and flames. Grilling, eating and drinking well into the night, we listened to music and danced, all the while cooling down from the blistering hot daytime sun; unwinding for the first time on land in three months.

By next weekend things should be different for everyone...according to the de-escalation plan we will be granted permission, as foreigners, to go inland where hairdressers, some restaurant patios and most importantly, trees, beaches and more animals for Erika (and I) to pet exist. Flights in and out of the country are still few and far between. The soonest route to Canada seems to be next month via Germany according to the continued support and research from fellow Bayfielder trapped abroad, Gary Lloyd-Rees. When we get back we can’t wait to see him and Kate in person (maybe a hockey stick distance apart if necessary) and thank them immensely! Their messages alongside other communication from friends and family around the world have been so incredibly helpful and meaningful to us during this journey.


Bayfield native new doctor at Grand Bend Health Centre 

doctor-collage-e1589384382706Dr. Erin Wiley (left); Dr. Sakshi Babbar (top right); and Dr. Skylar Van Osch (bottom right) (Submitted photos)

The Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre (GBACHC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Erin Wiley began a fulltime practice at the GBACHC on May 19. The arrival of Dr. Wiley will begin a gradual retirement for two of the GBACHC’s founding physicians Dr. Deborah McNaughton and Dr. Peter Englert. To ensure a smooth transition, Dr. McNaughton and Dr. Englert have agreed to continue to work in a part-time capacity to support patient care until the spring of 2021.

Dr. Erin Wiley grew up on a small farm near Bayfield. She completed medical school at Western University, achieved her family medicine residency at the University of Ottawa and holds a master’s degree in health promotion from Western University. Dr. Wiley enjoys general practice and has special interests in the elderly population, dermatology, and women’s health.

Dr. Wiley said, “I am looking forward to returning to my home community and joining the team at the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre.”

To further facilitate patient care during the physician transition period, Dr. Sakshi Babbar will join the physician team in a locum capacity from July to September 2020. Dr. Babbar may be familiar to some people as she worked at the GBACHC for several months while completing her family medicine residency through Western University.

Dr. Babbar said, “I greatly enjoyed my time at the GBACHC, and I am looking forward to returning as a locum physician.”

The GBACHC is also pleased to announce that Dr. Skylar Van Osch will be joining the physician team beginning in June 2021. Dr. Van Osch grew up on a farm outside of Mt. Carmel and spent many summers on the beach in Grand Bend. He completed his undergrad and medical school at Western University. He completed his residency in Victoria, BC in 2016, and has since locumed at the GBACHC and various locations across BC.

Dr. Van Osch said, “It has been a dream of mine since I was young to be a doctor in my own home community.”

Chief Executive Officer, Melito, enthusiastically welcomes these three talented physicians to the GBACHC team over the upcoming months. She also gratefully acknowledged, on behalf of the board of directors, staff and community, the outstanding work and commitment of the retiring physicians.

Melito said, “As two of the founding physicians of the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre, Dr. Englert and Dr. McNaughton have been tireless in their efforts to serve the community’s health care needs with kindness, compassion and the highest standard of care. We sincerely appreciate their dedication and willingness to provide a smooth transition of patient care with the new physicians. We look forward to celebrating their longstanding contribution to our community in the spring of 2021.”

People can Hike for Hopice wherever they happen to be 


Hike for Hospice is moving to where ever their participants happen to be. The hike will be held “virtually” on June 14.

“Traditionally Huron Hospice has held hikes on Huron County trails, including, beautiful Bayfield Trails, and that was our original plan for this year. However, COVID19 made it impossible to host large gatherings. We decided that we would hold our hike “virtually” so that people can walk safely in their communities and still help Huron Hospice. Hopefully, we will be able to hike the trails and beaches safely soon but while we wait patiently for trails to reopen, Huron Hospice needs your support,” said Christopher Walker, a hospice volunteer.

The hike is one of Huron Hospice’s most significant fundraising events. Organiers hope to raise $40,000 this year. The funds raised stay in Huron County and are used to fund the essential, compassionate care that Hospice staff and volunteers provide. There are no costs for Hospice services.

“Events like the hike do make great things possible here at home. Now more than ever, we need Huron County residents to join us. You can hike safely on the streets of your home town. You can walk around your yard. You can ride your bike. You can even hike the distance from Bayfield to Varna on your treadmill in the basement,” Walker said. “I am walking in Bayfield. I am dedicating the walk to the memory of my Father, who so loved living in Bayfield. While I would like to walk down to the harbor, I am not thrilled with the return trip. It is, after all, aptly named Long Hill Road. I am staying on the flat streets this year.”

Organizers are asking that families hike for Huron Hospice or raise money any way they can. Families could ask parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends to pledge their support by email or over the phone.

“They could even invite people to hike on the same day in their community and help raise funds for Huron Hospice. All anyone needs to do is send the link to their contacts and ask for their help,” said Walker.

To learn more, visit To make a pledge or to create a fundraising team

“Think of it this way; you may not need us today or even tomorrow. However, someday a family member or a friend might. It is essential that we are here in Huron County to provide these vital services. Hiking for Huron Hospice is a fun family activity that helps ensure that important palliative services are available close to home when we need them,” concluded Walker.

United Way Perth-Huron Funding Aims to Help Seniors

Over the past seven weeks United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) has worked in partnership with local organizations to help support vulnerable members of the community as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people across Perth and Huron. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and organizations, UWPH’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund continues to help individuals and organizations weather the pandemic. Now, UWPH is proud to announce the results of a partnership forged between United Way Centraide Canada and the Government of Canada to help seniors in need; funded by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

“We appreciate the federal government’s confidence in United Way to meet the most pressing needs in our local communities,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “We’re committed to funding programs and services that help vulnerable seniors across Perth and Huron.”

The organizations chosen to receive funding from the more than $50,000 received by UWPH represent a mix of existing and new partners. What all recipients share is a desire to help seniors and caregivers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded senior programs include:

The Mobile Food Bank, through the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre, was assisted to purchase nutritious food for this program that serves over 100 households in four communities each month, approximately two-thirds of which are seniors.

Programs within the Town of St. Marys that provide community meals, grocery shopping and support for resident well-being were provided with funds. This money will be used to help support Telephone Reassurance check-in calls through a Community Support Services program for high-to moderately-at-risk residents. Funds will also be used to subsidize and deliver affordable homestyle meals to older adult residents and to assist with subsidies or provide access to food for those who can’t access essential needs.

VON Canada Perth Huron was provided with funding for meal delivery, grocery gift cards and delivery, and care packages. The money is being used to provide delivery of meals to clients and caregivers. Funds are also being used to purchase grocery gift cards as well as to provide a grocery delivery service to clients. The money also allows the VON to provide care packages to ensure food security, personal wellness as well as cleaning essentials and activity kits.

One Care Home and Community Support Services has also been provided with funding to aid in food delivery costs and subsidized respite services. This money is being used to cover the delivery cost for approximately 2,000 food deliveries so seniors with compromised health can physically distance and reduce potential exposure to the virus. Funds are also being used to
help provide subsidized respite services in the home to help prevent caregiver burnout.

“While physical distancing is essential to protecting seniors from COVID-19, it risks isolating them from their community,” said The Honorable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors. “That is why the Government of Canada is proud to work with United Way Canada to help support the needs of seniors during this difficult time. By using local expertise, this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country. As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way.”

Create a virtual team for walk for alzheimer's huron county

People can a make a difference for families living with dementia.

This year, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is moving online, culminating in a live streaming national event on Sunday, May 31 that will connect Canadians and Alzheimer Societies from across the country. Participants can photograph or video themselves throughout May and upload it to social media by following step-by-step instructions at and using the hashtag #IGWalkforAlz.

For over 20 years, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s has brought hundreds of people together to fundraise and to show support for families living with dementia. The pandemic has hit families living with dementia hard. As the lockdown continues, the challenges they face continue to grow. These families are living with increasing stress and complications brought on by self-isolation, lack of in-person connection, and the absence of respite opportunities.

Like the walk, the Alzheimer Society, has transformed as well, offering a wide range of online programming and support. Programs like one to one counseling via phone, Zoom support groups, educational webinars, virtual social recreation, and a weekly connections newsletter that provides caregiver tips, exercises, engaging activities, and virtual programs to help make the days at home a little more manageable. Social recreation kits with games, trivia, and activites, iPods personalized to individual musical interests, and walking poles are all being provided to clients through porch drop offs.

Funds are urgently needed to assist those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, a disease that isolates more than half a million Canadians and has a dramatic impact on their families and loved ones. People are urged to take up the fight by fundraising and participating in the annual IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

"We're calling on you to show your support by walking online," said Cathy Ritsema, Executive director, Alzheimer Society of Huron County. "Each year, 25,000 more Canadians hear, 'You have dementia.' It's critical that we all get behind this cause and raise as much as possible so the Alzheimer Society can continue to help those affected overcome the challenges of dementia and live to their fullest."

Fundraisers will unite under the rallying cry “The Time Is Right. Join. Walk. Help.”

By 2031, the number of Canadians with dementia will increase by nearly 70 per cent and a cure has not yet been found. More funds are required to meet the growing demand for life-changing programs and services, including dementia education, programs for people with dementia and respite for caregivers.

“In these unprecedented times, we are extremely proud to continue our support of the
Alzheimer Society and their work to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for dementia,” said Jeff Carney, president and CEO, IG Wealth Management. “Our employees and Consultants have a long history and real passion for supporting the communities where we live and work.

Although we had to modify the walk this year based on the impact of COVID-19 and physical distancing, we are still optimistic that the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s will be a huge success.”

The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is the Alzheimer Society’s biggest, nationwide fundraising event of the year. In 2019, over 300 participants raised more than $65,000 in Huron County to provide services to the community affected by dementia – where they live.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia strike every community and consume entire families. No one should have to face this disease alone. People can help by registering and fundraising for an IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s in Huron County at They can choose Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Grand Bend or Wingham. Participants can sign up individually or make an even bigger impact by joining or creating a virtual team with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Anyone who would like more information or would like assistance with registering, is asked to please call 519 482-1482.

huron country playhouse cancels entire summer season

Amidst continued concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 and in keeping with physical distancing recommendations, Drayton Entertainment has cancelled its entire summer season on both the Mainstage and the newly named South Huron Stage (formerly Playhouse II) at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. The wellness of patrons, staff, artists, volunteers, and the community continues to be of paramount importance for the not-for-profit charitable arts organization, which has already cancelled a number of productions at its seven stages across the province.

The 49th season in Grand Bend was to have opened in June with Fiddler on the Loose, June 10 to June 27; followed by 42nd Street, July 2-18; Sleeping Beauty: The Panto, July 2-18; and The Dixie Swim Club, July 22 to Aug. 8; these four productions were cancelled earlier this spring. New cancellations include the Broadway musicals Rock of Ages, July 22 to Aug. 15; Kinky Boots, Aug. 19 – Sept. 5; and the musical memoir A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Aug. 19 to Sept 5. The Youth Education Program production of Disney’s Frozen Jr., Aug. 11-15) is also cancelled along with the Youth Musical Theatre Program one-week camp, July 13-17.

“It’s sad and disappointing, but we know this is the right decision. Health and safety must come first,” said Alex Mustakas, Artistic director and CEO of Drayton Entertainment. “We’ve received many wonderful messages of support, which are so appreciated. These may be uncertain times, but one thing we can be sure about is the innate power of arts and culture to bring us together. We’ll be back when the time is right, excited to share the magic of live theatre with the community once again.”

All Drayton Entertainment Box Offices are closed to in-person traffic but continue to operate remotely through phone and email communication in a reduced capacity. Over the next several weeks, patrons who have purchased tickets for cancelled performances will be contacted by the Box Office to facilitate account credits or refunds. Due to the volume of cancellations, Drayton Entertainment requests patience and cooperation as the team works to accommodate patron needs as operational capabilities permit.

Drayton Entertainment has also cancelled additional productions at its other various venues across Ontario. The production cancellations do not follow a chronological time frame due to the company’s unique business model which transfers select productions from one venue to another throughout the season calendar. Cancellations are determined on a production by production basis and impact the playbill at each Drayton Entertainment venue differently.

At this time, 14 of the 18 productions in Drayton Entertainment’s 2020 Season have been cancelled, along with any special concert events or rentals scheduled through Sept. 5.

The status of each season production is outlined by the venue on the Drayton Entertainment website at:

Drayton Entertainment stages over 800 performances per year at its various venues, with paid attendance exceeding 250,000 annually, making it one of the country’s largest not-for-profit theatre festivals. Economically, the Government of Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM) estimates the organization’s economic impact on visitor spending at over $60 million annually, positively affecting multiple communities throughout Ontario, including Huron County. Drayton Entertainment also provides over 400 employment contracts annually to actors, musicians, designers and other creatives, making it one of the largest employers of professional artists in the country across all artistic disciplines. These programming losses are significant for Canada’s arts and culture and tourism sectors.

Drayton Entertainment operates in accordance with advice from public health authorities and in compliance with directives from government agencies. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is significant to all communities and industries. Live theatre involves large gatherings of people, and as such, Drayton Entertainment will continue to reassess its policies and procedures as they relate to future productions based on guidelines from designated Canadian public health authorities and government agencies.

Current information regarding COVID-19 programming cancellations is posted on the Drayton Entertainment website at


RTOERO Donation May 2020 Sharon McNeilly (right) a volunteer with the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC) recently participated in a socially distanced cheque presentation with Gary Jewitt, president of the Retired Teachers of Ontario - Huron Perth District 9. The donation of $2,250 will be used to purchase nutritious foods for food-aid agency clients in Huron and Perth Counties. The HCFBDC is most thankful for the donation. (Submitted photo)


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:

covid-19 assessment centre 

On May 19, the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre (GBACHC) opened a COVID-19 Assessment Centre with a drive-up testing site. The testing site will be open Monday to Friday from 1:30-4 p.m., excluding statutory holidays. People may only attend the Assessment Centre with a referral from a primary care practitioner (PCP) and have an appointment booked through the GBACHC. No walk-in appointments will be accepted.

People who believe they have COVID-19 are required to contact their own PCP to be virtually assessed and to determine if they qualify for testing. If they do not have a PCP, they may book a virtual assessment appointment with a GBACHC PCP.

The GBACHC COVID-19 Assessment Centre will adhere to the testing guideline criteria established by the Ontario Ministry of Health and endorsed by Huron Perth Public Health. These criteria prioritize certain populations based on risk.

To review the Testing Site Process please visit:

alzheimer Society 

Join the Alzheimer Society of Huron County for their free online, presentation: “8 A’s of Dementia” on Thursday, May 21.

This educational presentation explains common cognitive changes people with dementia experience. Because these changes happen inside the brain, they can be hard to recognize and understand. In the “8 A’s of Dementia”, facilitators will describe these changes as a shift in perception - a shift in the way many people with dementia see and navigate the world.

There will be two presentations one at 10 a.m. and a second at 2 p.m.

To participate in this presentation using Zoom, please call the Alzheimer Society at 519 482-1482, 1-800-561-5012 or email:


client with letter - 2Linda Churcott was very happy to receive a letter along with her Meals on Wheels delivery from One Care recently. The agency is asking the public to help bring more smiles to seniors by writing letters and positive messages that can be included in the meal deliveries. (Submitted photo)  

It only takes a few minutes, and a few words, to make a difference in the life of an isolated senior.

One Care Home and Community Support Services has launched a letter writing campaign with the goal of spreading positive messages to seniors who are isolated and alone at home during COVID-19.

“During this time, we know that many of our seniors who receive Meals on Wheels are isolated from their loved ones and have limited connections to others in their communities. We are asking people from the community to write messages to bring some joy to their lives,” said Cindy Gravelle Holbrook, Nutrition supervisor for One Care.

The letters will be included in the daily Meals on Wheels deliveries. Each week One Care delivers more than 900 hot and frozen meals to people throughout Huron County and Stratford, and connects with more than 250 isolated seniors.

The Meals on Wheels program has seen a 35 per cent increase since the beginning of the pandemic and it is helping to reduce the worry of eating well, both for caregivers and clients. To meet the growing demand One Care has received provincial government funding through the Ontario Community Support Association to meet the increasing needs in the community.

“We know that seniors need good food support, and we also know that they are alone, and often lonely. By sending out letters we would like to help reduce the social isolation concerns and spread a little joy with our meals. At Easter our staff members’ children made cards for the clients and we received such wonderful feedback that we wanted to find a way to continue to brighten our clients’ day.

“We are asking people from the community, both children and adults, to write positive messages that we can send out with our Meals on Wheels deliveries. This would be a great project for children and could include pictures of animals or scenery (no faces) and happy messages,” Gravelle Holbrook noted.

It only takes a few minutes to write a letter and to send it to One Care. If they are handwritten the letters should be printed and easy to read. If they are typed, use the font Arial (if possible) at 14 point. The letters should be positive and uplifting, only include first names in the letter and do not include a return address. The agency plans to feature some of the letters on social media to continue spreading the positive messages. Letters can be emailed to One Care at

“Everyone loves getting a letter and this is another way that we can help our seniors. It’s also a great activity for a family, or as a way to give back to community during this time,” said Gravelle Holbrook.

One Care’s Meals on Wheels program provides essential services to people in the community. Meals are delivered from Monday to Friday by screened volunteers and through a contactless delivery service. The service offers a freshly made hot meal, or frozen meal package, and the letters will be an extra treat for the seniors who receive them. For more information and to register for Meals on Wheels call 1-844-482-7800 or visit

Community Support Fund 

United Way Perth-Huron is accepting funding applications for the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). The fund provides financial support to charities and other qualified donees adapting their frontline services to support vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ECSF was announced by the Government of Canada and is administered in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

United Way Perth-Huron is proud to support the important investment of approximately $407,232.00 into local communities.

“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you, in your time of need”, stated The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, “But the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations. With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians.”

“The Emergency Community Support Fund is much-needed and welcome support for those local organizations working tirelessly during the COVID-19 crisis to reach the most vulnerable in our communities”, said John Nater, MP for Perth-Wellington. “Our rural communities face unique challenges when it comes to the delivery of essential goods and services. This funding will allow the United Way Perth-Huron to ensure the most critical needs in our region are being met”.

“United Way Perth-Huron is pleased to support this vital investment by the Government of Canada in critical services for vulnerable people in our community”, said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “We have been closely in touch with local organizations throughout the last nine weeks, and I know these funds will be used well”.

To apply, organizations should visit the UWPH website at Any questions can be directed to or 519 271-7730.

turtle facts quiz 

How many species of turtles are in Ontario? What is one of the biggest threats to turtles? What can you do to help turtles? The answers to these and other questions are part of a Turtle Quiz. The quiz and contest are part of a local social media awareness campaign in recognition of World Turtle Day on Saturday, May 23.

The Ten Days of Turtle Facts campaign starts on social media on May 13 and runs until May 22. All those who complete the quiz, through a survey link to be posted at, will be entered into a random draw for one of two turtle prize packs. The winners are to be announced on May 23.

“We want to make learning about turtles, fun,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds technician at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

The daily posts, the quiz, and the contest prizes are ways to make this year’s World Turtle Day more engaging than ever, she said. Social media posts each day will be a way for everyone to learn about why we need to protect our turtles and how.

“It’s important to think about Ontario turtle species on World Turtle Day, and to learn what we can do to help these animals all year long,” said Brock.

To find out about the contest visit the website at this link:

May is an important time of year to begin thinking about turtles, according to Brock. Turtles often have to cross roads in search of mates, new habitat and suitable nesting areas. Most turtle species nest from late May to early July so people can help to protect them especially at this time by driving slowly, carefully, and being extra cautious about turtles on the road.

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:


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected vulnerable individuals and families across Perth and Huron Counties. A stark reminder of how profound the effects are is reflected in the initial response to United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) opening its COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund directly to individuals through a partnership with Social Services in Perth and Huron. In the first four days of applications beginning May 4, the fund received so many requests UWPH is now looking to raise more money to meet demand.

“Whether it’s people looking for help paying for groceries, diapers or medication the early response has been substantial,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “We’re glad people know about the program and are reaching out for support, but it also points to the seriousness of the situation many find themselves in. We’re asking those who can to please give or give again to the COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund.”

The COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund assists organizations helping individuals and families in need. Organizations apply to UWPH and a volunteer committee reviews each application 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.

 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 one that suggests how to get "un-stuck". 

How To Get “Un-Stuck”.

During the COVID-19 crisis many people have talked about feeling stuck. Physical isolation, fear of infection personally and for our family members can be overwhelming. Waiting for the direction to reduce the physical isolation, and questioning if this is happening to soon, also adds to this feeling of being stuck.

Feeling emotionally or spiritually stuck is like driving a car on ice. No matter how much we prepare for winter driving, hitting ice reduces us to feel terror. When spinning our wheels on ice sometimes it takes someone to throw a small amount of sand under the wheels to get us going. There is the key…allowing others to help us with assistance or observation to get us unstuck. Changing how we approach or view these emotional or spiritually difficult times is also helpful. Pema Chodron, the Buddhist Priest, gives us a different perspective.

Pema stated, “What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our experience teach us we are stuck.”

Let’s take some time today and scan our minds, hearts and souls to look for obstacles that leave us feeling stuck in any aspect of our lives. Then we can reach out and ask for a handful of sand.



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Delevan and Chiniquay Streets     

two of North America’s most aggressive and controversial Temperance leaders honored



When Malcolm C. Cameron Sr. took over the Bayfield properties as sales agent for the van Tuylls in 1853, he expanded the number of lots and created new streets which he named for family members, influential friends and people he admired. Two of those street names, Delevan and Chiniquay had special significance because he was paying tribute to two of North America’s most aggressive and controversial Temperance leaders: Edward C. Delevan and Reverend Charles Chiniquay.

Cameron’s name choices would have been that controversial because even during its earliest years, this village had been a battle ground between the anti-alcohol establishment and the people who enjoyed their liquor. Bayfield had a reputation for liquor abuse. Goderich and Bayfield were the only two settlements of any size in Huron County and already the community had several liquor serving hotels and Arthur Heath’s Distillery. Stories were commonly told about farmers who visited town, who often had to rely on their horses to find their own way home.


Delevan (also spelled Delavan) was a hotel owner, wine merchant and land speculator in New York State who amassed such a great fortunate that he retired in 1827 at the age of 34. After retirement, he was influenced by the anti-alcohol movement and he became so passionate about the cause that he is credited with starting the American Temperance Union. To demonstrate his anti-alcohol epiphany, he publicly poured the contents of the huge wine cellar of his elegant Delevan Hotel into the streets.

He even attacked the use of wine in Christian Communion. He aggressively advocated the “local option movement” in the 1840s in New York State and he was so popular that one group, the Native American Party, even nominated him for Governor of New York State.

Delevan used his wealth to aggressively promote Temperance by sponsoring several newspapers and during the American Civil War, he had a million copies of a temperance booklet sent to every soldier in the Union Army.

Delevan was so convinced that his cause was just and righteous that he ambitiously went to France to try and convince vineyard owners to destroy their vines. It didn’t go well for him when he tried to convince the French that wine and other liquor was evil. He left the country rather abruptly.

Delevan was a passionate advocate of temperance and the elegant Delavan Hotel in Albany, was supposed to be an example of what a temperance hotel could be. It was located near the New York legislature buildings and was a hang-out for politicians, hangers-on and “ladies of the night”. Unfortunately, Delevan’s hotel manager found a loop-hole in his contract and the hotel began serving liquor, much to Delevan’s annoyance and embarrassment.

4522BA7679204013BE8E23D3636AA145Reverend Charles Chinquay


Canadian history can never be labelled boring as long as the stories about scoundrels like the Reverend Charles Chinquay are told. Chiniquay, as Pierre Berton describes him in a “Legends of the North” article in “The Canadian” in 1976, “was the most controversial of all Canadian zealots in the 19th century. In the 1840s, Chinquay was perhaps the best-known Roman Catholic priest in the country. In the 1880s, he was, probably the best-known Protestant.”

He started his career as a small village priest on the shores of the St. Lawrence River but he had a gift. He was a gifted public speaker and once he embraced temperance, his career took off. Thousands would come to hear him passionately preach against the evils of alcohol. He claimed that the survival of French Canadian culture depended upon Temperance. His lectures were spectacles and sometimes over 10,000 people would attend. Once Chiniquay’s graphic sermons were over, most in the audience would pledge total abstinence.

It is estimated that by 1850, he had convinced 400,000 followers, almost one-half the population of Canada East, to sign the pledge against liquor! He was called “the apostle of temperance”. He became the most popular hero of the decade in Quebec. He was comparable to today’s “rock star” and his arrogance, flamboyant style and his predilection for female housekeepers inevitably landed him in trouble with his superiors within Quebec’s Catholic Church.

They sent him to Chicago to minister to the French Canadians who had settled in that area. 



Inevitably, he ran into conflict with his Bishop and was even sued by a prominent Catholic layman, Peter Spink. Chiniquay’s lawyer in this case was a young Abraham Lincoln who convinced Spink to drop the case. Chiniquay claimed that afterwards Lincoln became a life-long friend and confidant. After the assassination, he wrote a scathing book which claimed that the Catholic Church was behind the murder.

In Chicago, his relationship with the Catholic Church became so toxic that he was excommunicated in 1858. After leaving the church, he wrote a number of anti-Catholic Church books and eventually, along with many of his followers, joined the Presbyterian Church in the United States of American. His goal was to convert Catholics to his new church. This relationship did not last long after he got into trouble over the administration of charity funds and he left the United States to avoid an expensive lawsuit.



Back in Canada, he joined the Orange lodge which would have made him a hero in Bayfield and he was then recruited by the Canadian Presbyterian Church to recruit more followers away from the Roman Catholic Church. He married and carved out a second career as a world-renowned writer and lecturer against the Catholic Church. According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, “Everywhere he went Chinquay sowed rage and stirred up violence.” His outrageously controversial book, “Fifty Years in the Church of Christ”, is still sold and parts are used to try and pry followers away from the Catholic church.

Chiniquay’s name does surface in old copies of area newspapers occasionally and I’ve heard that there are some Presbyterian Church members in the Grand Bend area that have French Canadian names and who are related to some of the early St. Joseph families.

Chinquay and Delevan Streets are lasting symbols of an important aspect of Bayfield history. It wasn’t until after a 1972 referendum that over 60 per cent of village voters finally decided that the legal sale of liquor would be allowed in the Village of Bayfield. One of the very last jurisdiction in Canada to reject Temperance.

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



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huron county historical society      



Editor’s Note: Sometimes a writer’s work comes full circle. When members of the Huron County Historical Society reached out to me to see if the Bayfield Breeze would like to highlight an exhibit of artist Jack McLaren’s life and work, scuttled (temporarily) by the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew it was a project I could whole heartedly support.


In 1990, as a reporter for the Goderich Signal-Star I wrote a feature on McLaren highlighting his career as a painter as well as his time on the stage during WWI with the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Comedy Company or “Dumbells” as they affectionately became known. The story was written in advance of an auction of his works held to benefit North Street United Church (now Lakeshore United). Fortunately, I had kept the newspaper clipping as part of my portfolio and I am delighted to transcribe one of the articles (there were five), with a bit of updating, here to share with our readers this week.

At that time, three decades ago, I had the good fortune to talk to Goderich resident Ed Stiles (1916-2003) and Rev. Robert Ball who both knew the artist personally. Ball, now a resident of Peterborough, has also helped the HCHS with their current project.

2  In 1923, Jack McLaren joined the Toronto Arts and Letters Club and became well acquainted with the members of the Group of Seven. This work by Jack McLaren of the Bayfield Town Hall is owned by Phil and Ilse Gemeinhardt, of Bayfield.

It has been said that no one style seems enough to capture the interest of Jack McLaren, the artist. His paintings each have distinct difference, yet all are bold in their stroke and subject.

“When I was young I wanted to draw all the time,” McLaren once said in an interview. “I wish you could have seen my schoolbooks. All the margins were just filled with drawings.”

After completing high school in Toronto, McLaren returned to his native Scotland, to pursue his studies at the Edinburgh College of Art; the school that King Edward VII and Alexander Graham Bell had attended earlier.

While in the army he spent a great deal of whatever spare time he had painting scenes from the front line in France. Those paintings are now part of the Princess Pat’s Light Infantry archives.

“He painted enormous pieces of the war,” said Rev. Robert Ball, McLaren’s minister and friend. “His paintings would cover a wall the height of a regular sized room.”

3  In 1962 the McLaren's moved from Toronto to Benmiller after their home was sold for food control uses following the ravages of Hurricane Hazel. This work by McLaren depicts the River Hotel in Bayfield. It is owned by Phil and Ilse Gemeinhardt.

Ed Stiles (1916-2003), a long-time friend of McLaren, once asked him how he could paint while he was in the trenches, and later how he could remember the colors which seemed so real in his paintings.

“He devised a number code for his colors. While he was in the trenches he would do sketches in his notebook, and place numbers on the sketches which would correspond to certain colors,” explained Stiles.

It was in the early 1920s that McLaren was able to actively pursue his goal of having an art career. This pursuit introduced him to a number of interesting and talented people – including all the members of the Group of Seven.

“I knew them all very well. They were all members of the Arts and Letters Club where we met for lunch every day for 17 years. Lauren Harris was my favorite – a great man. He lived just around the corner from us in Forest Hill Village before he went to Vancouver to do his great mountain paintings.

“The Group of Seven had a profound effect on my paintings. Their style was uniquely Canadian. After a certain time, they followed some European styles but the characteristics that made them great remained. There is no question that they had an influence on my painting, I may not be aware of it, but I absorbed a lot of their thoughts and ideas,” explained McLaren.

And it could be said that McLaren also had a profound effect on the career of the Group of Seven. It was due to McLaren’s urging that Sam McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada Ltd, agreed to start a collection of the Group of Seven’s painting and have a gallery built for their works. McLaughlin’s collection was the foundation for the McMichael Collection of the Group of Seven which is now on display at Kleinburg, ON.

When McLaren and his wife, Lillian (Jill), retired to Benmiller in 1962, he was able to take up his painting full-time.

He painted for several hours daily right up until a few months before his death. Even the stroke he suffered in 1980 did not slow him down a great deal.

“I get so engrossed in my work that I forget all about my ailments. I have to sit on a cushion in the studio now because my rear-end gets sore after sitting for four to five hours. While I’m up there I have no interruptions and take no calls. Work is good therapy,” McLaren once said.

McLaren’s artistic interests included far more than the battlefields of Europe. Using oils on mahogany plywood boards, he painted landscapes around Benmiller and scenes around his home in Toronto. He created murals on such topics as the destruction of the world, and the history of Benmiller.

In later years, instead of going on sketching jaunts he painted from slides shot by his son, John.

In 1982, the Blyth Festival featured his work in their art gallery. The exhibit was opened by former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Pauline McGibbon.

McLaren, who died in 1988, left the balance of his paintings to North Street United Church (now Lakeshore United) in Goderich to be auctioned to raise money for the church. (These works were shown at the Blyth Festival Art Gallery in April of 1990 prior to the sale.)

4  In 1980, Jack McLaren was stricken by a mild stroke that affected the left side of his body but he continued to paint. This work by McLaren of a landscape is owned by Shawn and Kelly Henshall.

Rev. Ball noted that about half of the works to be auctioned were signed.

“Some have a description of what they are and his name written on the back, although they are not signed. I have a painting of his in my home which he did not sign until after I selected it, that was just Jack’s way.

“Jack has probably painted thousands of pieces, for he was always at it. His son was once talking to a gentleman in a corporate office in New York City, when he noticed a painting displayed on the office wall. The painting had no name and he asked the man how he had obtained it. The man explained that he had purchased it at an auction. Jack’s son asked him if he would sell it and he said that he wouldn’t. The man then asked him why he was so interested in it and he answered, ‘It’s my father’s work.’ Jack’s family has no idea where all the paintings are,” said Ball.

“I judge my paintings by what other people say to me about them and then that’s what I think of them,” McLaren once said.

Judging from the comments of local residents, Jack must be pretty proud.

5Throughout the course of his life, McLaren made a number of famous acquaintances: Sir Frederick Banting; the poet EJ Pratt; photographer Yousuf Karsh; and all the members of the Group of Seven. This work by McLaren is of Fall trees in the Laurentians and is owned by Karen Lehnen.

8  In 1918, the comedy troupe that Jack McLaren was a member of gave a royal command performance at London's Apollo Theatre. This McLaren work, tiitled, "Moonlight on the Maitland River, 1968" is owned by Elizabeth Vandenbroeck.  




 exhibit delayed due to Covid-19

Artist Jack McLaren (1895-1988) once said that there are few people in Goderich who don’t have one of his paintings. For those who don’t, or even for those who do, the Huron County Historical Society (HCHS) has partnered with the Huron County Museum to showcase over 100 original works by the prolific painter.

The exhibition entitled, “Reflections: The Life and Works of J.W. (Jack) McLaren” was to have opened at the museum mid-April and run through the summer months but has been put on hold due to COVID-19.

“What was to be the subject of a small project of the Huron County Historical Society turned into a collaboration with the Huron County Museum. Jack’s family, friends and dozens of community members willingly offered up their stories and the loan of their paintings,” said Mary Gregg, with the HCHS.

 “Also, we were very fortunate to have the exceptional expertise of Huron County Museum staff," Gregg added. "As well, Michael Gregg, a former Bayfield resident, helped enormously with research and securing loans from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University Libraries, the Arts and Letters Club, the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada, to name but a few.”

According to the exhibit synopsis, McLaren fought with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in WWI, and entertained troops at Ypres Salient, Vimy Ridge and many other locations on the Western Front with the PPCLI Comedy Company and Third Division Dumbells Comedy Troupe.

He was also an associate of the Group of Seven at the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto, and a talented artist and writer who enjoyed successful careers as a commercial and editorial illustrator, caricaturist, advertising and promotion executive, and painter throughout much of the 20th century.

McLaren, and his wife, Lillian, moved to Huron County in the early 1960s, where he continued to be prolific in both the visual and theatrical fields. He was elected president of the HCHS in 1968. McLaren’s legacy included an endowment providing drama and visual arts awards for Goderich District Collegiate Institute students, as well as scholarships for graduating students enrolling in postsecondary visual and dramatic arts programs.

According to Senior Curator of the Huron County Museum, Elizabeth French-Gibson, there is no set date for the exhibition as the museum has not been provided with a reopening date. However, when the time is right, the show will go on.

In the meantime, organizers hope to keep the show alive in people’s minds and build some excitement in advance of the opening by sharing some of the exhibit collection with the Bayfield Breeze.

1In 1927, Jack McLaren became a member of the Ontario Society of Artists. This image by McLaren is of a threshing machine as depicted at an event held in Blyth in 1973. It is owned by Janis and Peter Bisback

6McLaren once appeared as a guest on an episode of popular Canadian game show, "Front Page Challenge". This painting by McLaren of a buggy on a country road is owned by Mary Gregg and Jim Wallace.  

7The Blyth Festival featured Jack McLaren's life in a play entitled, "The Life that Jack Built" it debuted in 1980. This still life by McLaren is owned by Susan and David Glousher.  

9In 1921, the Dumbells reached the peak of their career performing to packed houses during a season on Broadway. This McLaren painting of a fishing fleet, at Bayfield, on Lake Huron, is from the Huron County Museum collection.  

20200214_125947Jack McLaren died in 1988 at the age of 83. This painting by McLaren depicts the The Little Inn of Bayfield and belongs to the Bayfield Historical Society collection.

Advert 1In 1923, McLaren opened his own studio on Bloor Street in Yonge, Toronto. This was the start of this advertising agency which became known as McLaren and McCaul Ltd. after John McCaul joined the company. This image is an advertisement from those years from the collection of Kelly and Shawn Henshall.

advert 2

An advertisement from McLaren's advertising years with McLaren and McCaul from the collection of Kelly and Shawn Henshall. Kelly Henshall is Jack McLaren’s great granddaughter. Her husband Shawn is currently finishing his book on the painter which will be published later this year by Friesen Press, Canada’s oldest publishing house. The book is entitled, "The Forgotten Legend".









PIXILATED — image of the week


Daffodils.By Jack Pal

Email your photo in Jpeg format to 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








In recent years, Victoria Day weekend has become a favorite at our house. My grandson looks forward to the Bayfield Lions’ Breakfast in much the same way as a boater looks forward to spring launch. He discovered he actually liked potatoes at the first breakfast he attended at about three years of age. Prior to that event he had been reluctant to try them. Since that time “Lions’ Potatoes” have become a staple of his diet, and subsequently that of his little sister. Attendance at the Lions’ Breakfast has become a family tradition. And unfortunately, like most events, the 2020 breakfast was cancelled due to COVID-19.

I should point out that like many children, our grandkids have been fabulously stoic in the midst of this pandemic, missing out on the everyday delights of childhood – like school, birthday parties, swimming lessons etc. My grandson told me a few weeks back he was disappointed that he wasn’t going to be able to travel to the U.S. to celebrate Easter with his cousins, as is the norm, until he realized that just because they couldn’t go it didn’t mean that Easter was cancelled. I thought that was rather gracious of him and was one of the reasons I wanted to make this Victoria Day weekend memorable. Even though we couldn’t be together to go to the Bayfield Arena and share in a community breakfast we could still honor the tradition and share in breakfast virtually.

On the morning of May 17th, we gathered around the table together – they in Toronto and we here on the farm – tradition dictated the menu: pancakes, over-easy eggs, toast, juice, coffee and, of course, Lions’ potatoes. Our grandson even posted a “Lions’ Potatoes” emoji sticker on the screen to create a little festive ambience, once again demonstrating the resilience of children in a time where out of the ordinary is beginning to seem quite normal. - Melody






Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.

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Founding Members
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Outside Projects
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Writer, editor, photographer: Melody Falconer-Pounder
Web publisher/Graphic Designer: Dennis Pal
Advertising Sales: Mike Dixon
Logo Design: Kyle Vanderburgh, Goderich Print Shop
Special thanks to the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce
Breeze Committee:Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder