In a matter of minutes...
In a matter of minutes our little corner of the world has been changed forever. Goderich, our closest neighbor to the north, was ravaged by a F3 tornado at approximately 4 p.m. on Aug. 21.
According to reports, the twister was on the ground for 20-kilometers cutting a path about 500 meters across. It came in off the lake and struck the Sifto Salt Mine made its way up dock hill along West Street through The Square across the East and Kingston Street block and beyond. It reached speeds between 250 and 300 kilometers an hour.
Canada’s Prettiest Town suddenly found itself in a state of emergency.
Just a few kilometers south down the Bluewater Highway, it rained heavily for 10 minutes or so on Sunday afternoon – the hydro flickered off and on repeatedly for a few minutes and then leveled out. I didn’t really think anything of it until I saw police car after police car with sirens blaring traveling past our home and business on Hwy. 21. In our community it is an event when one emergency vehicle rolls past – so multiples were a sign that something was horribly wrong.
Then the word got out that a tornado had touched down in Goderich.
Once I had accounted for close family and friends I sat vigil with Facebook and listened to local radio trying to come to grips with the situation all the while feeling helpless. Then the phone began to ring. Some of our subscribers might not realize but my husband and I own a village hotel and it turns out that providing shelter for those in need was one way we could make ourselves useful.
On Sunday night into the wee hours of the morning we greeted victims of the tornado sent our way through the Red Cross. Teams of reporters from the CBC, The Windsor Star, CHCH in Hamilton and The Record in Kitchener all came through the doors as did service providers looking for a place to rest their heads between shifts.
And by morning’s light, the reporters were gone off in search of “the story”. I, however, found several people with stories to tell sitting eating breakfast in the breakfast room of our hotel. Many of the folks sent our way were residents of apartments above the businesses on The Square. An aerial photograph of The Square was featured in the London Free Press on the morning of Aug. 22, it was handed around and each person found in that picture the area where they lived.
“See that big hole in the roof,” said one young man. “You can see right inside my apartment.”
It is one of those moments in your life you will always remember. Time will now always be measured by our lives before the tornado and after.
About 20 years ago Bayfield adopted me but Goderich is still where I am referring to when I say, “just going into town”. I am a GDCI alumnus, was married there and worked as a reporter there. A lot of the faces I pass on the streets when I go there are familiar ones and always-friendly ones. Someone wrote on her Facebook page that beauty is only skin deep and although the town is battered and bruised it will always be beautiful because its people are. I really couldn’t have put it any better. But these proud folks will need our support in the many, many days to come.
If you would like to make donations, call 211. This information service is compiling a database for items needed and what can be donated. To learn more visit www.huroncounty.ca and click on the button “Affected by the Goderich Tornado? Update on County Services.”
Late Tuesday, the Bayfield Breeze received a press release from the United Way of Perth-Huron in which Ryan Erb, executive director, announced that a Goderich Tornado Relief Fund has been created.
To assist in receiving donations, United Way of Kitchener Waterloo & Area, with sponsorship from Libro Financial in Kitchener-Waterloo, has generously offered to support via-text donations. Text donations can be made in support of the Goderich Tornado Relief Fund from Aug. 23-31. To make a $5 donation, please text “UCARE” to 45678.
One hundred per cent of all donations made to the Goderich Tornado Relief Fund will support the community of Goderich. Those without text capabilities may donate in other ways including, by calling, 1-877-818-8867 (toll-free); online, perthhuron.unitedway.ca; or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any subscribers with fundraising events in the works for the Town of Goderich and its citizens in need are invited to contact the Bayfield Breeze so that I can help spread the news.
I look at pictures of the unfathomable devastation on The Square and I note that the statue of the soldier at the Cenotaph appears to still be intact…standing bravely looking down the street to honor those that return from battle.
The battle in Goderich has just begun. Please know that your neighbors will be with you to take up the fight. - Melody
Penhale family open new gates on 155th Fall Fair
The Tom Penhale family were in attendance at the opening ceremonies for the Bayfield Fall Fair to unveil gates created in his memory. From l-r: Wendy, Kelsey and Tyson Johnson, Doris Bennett, Carol and Rick Penhale.
On Aug. 19, the Bayfield Agricultural Society members held their opening ceremonies for the 155th Bayfield Fall Fair. This year it was held at the entrance to Agriculture Park so that a new gate could be unveiled in memory of Tom Penhale, who died in the spring of 2010.
Penhale was a member of the Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) for over sixty years. His love of heavy horses always ensured the Bayfield Fair show was one of the best in the area. He led the grounds committee and was committed to having Agriculture Park available and used by the public. When it was discovered that the entrance to the park needed repair, it was decided to put a gate in that would at the same time honor Penhale, a man fully committed to the Bayfield Fall Fair.
Members of the Tom Penhale family unveiled and opened the new gates installed in his memory at the opening ceremonies for the 155th Bayfield Fall Fair held on Friday night. Penhale's wife, Carol, pushed open the gates while her children and grandchildren looked on. (Photos by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
Taking part in the unveiling were Penhales' wife, Carol, their children, Wendy Johnston and Rick Penhale, their grandchildren, Tyson and Kelsey Johnston and Penhale's sister, Doris Bennett.
This project received support from the Huron County Heritage Fund and the BAS. Ted Dunn, Penhale’s longtime friend and fellow member of the BAS, designed and constructed the gate.
The opening also marked a time to honor Dunn – a key player in the BAS. Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Carol Mitchell, made a presentation to Dunn recognizing him for his more than 60 years of service to the society.
Ted Dunn (left) was presented with a certificate recognizing his 60 years service to the Bayfield Agricultural Society at the opening ceremonies for the fair on Friday night. MPP Carol Mitchell made the presentation while President of the BAS, Don Brodie, looked on.
taste of huron for bayfield and area "still a go"
Plans for the third annual, award-winning Taste of Huron Culinary Festival were well underway when the tornado struck the heart of Goderich on the afternoon of Aug. 21.
The event planned for Aug. 29 to Sept. 10 is organized to celebrate all things food and blues in Huron County. New this year plans were being made to combine with two other festivals, the West Coast Bluefest in Goderich and the Huron Pioneer Threshers Reunion in Blyth.
In light of the disaster, the Bayfield Breeze contacted Jenna Ujiye, tourism marketer for the County of Huron to ask if plans for Taste of Huron were going ahead.
Her response was as follows, “As for the Taste of Huron, we are still planning to go ahead with what we can and may possibly work on a downtown Goderich fundraiser instead of the weekend we had planned in Goderich. The Bayfield events are still a go.”
The Taste of Huron event kicks-off on Aug. 29 with the first of approximately seven Food for Thought dinners held throughout the two-week celebration. The dinner series will see various dining establishments located in the County present a special menu to compliment a food-related topic discussed by a guest speaker at a $40 price point. All dinners will be served starting at 7 p.m. All menus can be found online.
The Hessenland Country Inn will be the first restaurant to host a Food for Thought Dinner. “Thank a Farmer” is the theme of the evening at which various Huron County producers will tell those who attend how their food product is produced. The meal is set for Aug. 29. For reservations call 1-866-543-7736 or visit www.hessenland.com.
One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato More will be the topic of the dinner to be held at The Black Dog Pub and Bistro in Bayfield on the evening of Aug. 31. The evening will feature a five-course dinner showcasing the world’s favorite vegetable, the potato! For reservations call The Black Dog at 519 565-2326 or visit their website www.blackdogpubbistro.ca.
The Development of Huron County’s Wine Industry will provide plenty of food for thought when The Little Inn of Bayfield hosts a dinner on the evening of Sept. 7.
It is believed that where peaches can grow, so can grapes. To learn more about this blossoming new industry plan to attend the meal. A wine flight will be available for an additional $20, one glass per course; featuring all grape styles that will be grown in the county. For reservations call The Little Inn at 1-800-565-1832 or visit www.littleinn.com.
Culinary workshops will be held at various locations throughout the county. Home chefs and food enthusiasts will have the opportunity to work with local chefs and food specialists. The workshops are hands-on and participants will learn unique culinary techniques for a cost of $20 each or a 5-workshop pass is available for $80. Topics include: fish, pies, spring rolls, eggs, pasta, gluten-free cooking, herbs, butchery, etc.
“Pies, Tarts and Berries - Oh My!” will offer participants an opportunity to learn how to make delicious pies and tarts with Marlene O’Brien of the Bayfield Berry Farm, 77697 Orchard Line. This workshop will be held on Aug. 29 starting at 7 p.m.
The workshop “Eggs On” will help people step their egg dishes up a notch or two with the expertise offered by Chef Dave McMurray. The evening will be held at Whiskful Thinking, 61 King St. in Hensall commencing at 7 p.m.
The Little Inn of Bayfield will host “Deconstruction Site: A Look at the Cuts and Proper Prep of Meat”. Chef Joseph Petrinac will teach people basic butchery at this workshop to be held on Sept. 4 at 2:30 p.m.
To reserve a spot at one of these workshops call the Blyth Festival Box Office at 1-877-862-5984.
On Sept. 10, the Taste of Huron Gala Dinner will be held at Bluewater Shores Resort in Bayfield. For $100 per person, an elegant five-course meal that emphasizes the quality and taste of ingredients produced within Huron County will be served. Prepared by a team of the best chefs found in the county, the gala dinner highlights a different locally produced ingredient with each course. Each course will be paired with a glass of Pelee Island wine. Shuttle services will be provided from Goderich and Bayfield to Bluewater Shores.
For ticket, shuttle or event information visit www.tasteofhuron.ca or call 1-888-524-8394 ext.3. Taste of Huron tickets can be purchased through the Blyth Festival box office at: 1-877-862-5984. Reservations for the Food for Thought Dining Series are made by calling the restaurants directly. Maps and accommodation information is available online: www.ontarioswestcoast.ca.
New board elected for BRVTA
On Aug. 20 the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) held its Annual Meeting where members were brought up-to-date on association projects and a new Board of Directors was elected.
The members of the new board are: Barry Detenbeck, president; Dave Gillians, past president; Martin Van Beek, 1st vice president; Pat Stewart, 2nd vice president and newsletter; Janneke Vorsteveld, secretary; Roz Westwood, treasurer; Heidi Martin and Ken Larone, programming; Helen Varekamp, membership; Ken Magee, Clinton and Hike Ontario liason; Caril Leeming, Wildwood on the River liason; Roger Lewington, fundraising; Ray Letheren, environmental.
The BRVTA currently has four walking trails totaling approximately 15 kilometres in length.
The Varna Nature Trails comprising Mavis’s Trail and the Taylor Trail have been the main focus of attention over the past year joining the existing Sawmill Loop, Woodland Loop and Heritage Loop in the BRVTA series of trails.
The association is grateful to the many supporters, volunteers and those that have contributed financially to make these trails a reality. The BRVTA are also indebted to their private landowner partners for their continued support.
Approximately 1,500 volunteer hours have been invested in constructing bridges, boardwalks, fences and clearing brush this year. Rob Milligan, owner of West Coast Property Care is generously donating his time and equipment to keep the meadows on the Varna Nature Trails cut.
The BRVTA are most appreciative of Dick Peever, and his crew of construction professionals from Goderich, who in a driving rain storm, donated their time, expertise and equipment, specialized ‘Ramjack’ bridge supports, for a major bridge construction project on the Varna Nature Trails
Special recognition must also be given to the Stanley Millenium Fund that contributed $1,700 to help defray the construction costs of the Varna Nature Trails as well as the Bayfield Lions Club, the Bayfield Optimist Club, the Municipality of Bluewater and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation for their financial support and assistance.
Looking for something fun for the kids to do this very afternoon Aug. 24?
The Bayfield Library will be hosting “Our Water, Our World” presented by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff for children ages five to 12 years at 1:30 p.m. This free, one hour program is the final "Splash" session by the Library Summer Reading leaders.
Please note this program will be held outdoors if weather permits. For more information call the library at 519 565-2886.
Puttin' on the Ritz
Vocal Jazz quartet, After Four, will present their lively renditions of traditional jazz, pop and Latin songs in a show called, “Puttin’ On the Ritz”. They will be accompanied by an instrumental quintet.
This will be a return engagement to the hall for Jenny and Ron Nauta, Theresa Wallis and Dave Williams, past shows would indicate that it should an evening of finger snapping and toe tapping fun.
Tickets for this 8 p.m. show are now available for $20 per person. For more information please contact Pat Langley at 519 565-2894 or Charlie Kalbfliesch at 519 565-2244. Tickets can also be purchased online via ticketscene.ca.
This evening is generously sponsored by OLG.
If singing is a favorite pastime and you are of the female persuasion, then the Glee Sisters may be just the choral group you’ve been looking for.
The group rehearses on Friday afternoons from 3-4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church in Bayfield. The group is now accepting new members regardless of singing experience. Rehearsals for their new season will begin after Labor Day.
There is also an opportunity for women to join a musical group if they currently play an instrument or would like to learn how to play one. Interested individuals can learn more about Elliott’s Liquidation Band by contacting the Glee Sisters’ Musical Director, Leslie Bella.
To learn more about these fun musical opportunities for women please contact Bella at 519 565-2373 or email email@example.com.
Our resident playwright and director, Judy Keightley, is calling all local thespians to join her in auditions for her latest work on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Bayfield Town Hall.
The play to be staged is called, “The Black Pearl Murder Mystery”, and will be a fundraising event for The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society. The play will be performed on Oct. 29.
For more information please contact Keightley at 519 565-4515.
The Bayfield Film Society’s autumn season will kick off on Sept. 13 with a viewing of The First Grader.
Three other films will be viewed at The Bayfield Town Hall as part of the season including: Made In Dagenham, Tamara Drewe and Brighton Rock.
Season tickets are now available for $35 and can be obtained by contacting Jane Rowat at 519 565-5838; or Lynne Gillians, 519 565-5884.
Clinton Communicators Toastmasters Club is coming to Bayfield!
The group will be holding an Open House at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. For any local residents interested but unable to attend the Bayfield event a second Open House will be held on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the OMAFRA building, 100 Don Street, Clinton, ON. Guests are invited to attend one or both meetings.
Toastmasters is a non-profit organization that encourages its members to improve their public speaking, communication and leadership skills, in a mutually supportive environment.
For more information, contact Dorothy Griffith at 519 565-2879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) are asking members of the community to save the date for the of the village’s 3rd Annual Terry Fox Run set for Sept. 18.
It will be an all-inclusive, non-competitive, family oriented event. The Bayfield run is a BRVTA initiative and is scheduled to start and end at Clan Gregor Square. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. with the event to begin at 9:30 a.m.
To be a part of the Terry Fox Run people can choose to walk, run, bike or wheel. In town there are two routes; the two kilometer route is suited to wheelchairs, strollers or roller blades and the five kilometer route is perfect for running and walking. Participants up for more of a challenge can choose to walk or run distances of either seven or 10 kilometers. These longer distances include the Sawmill Trail Loop, which travels along the Bayfield River. There is also an in-town 10 kilometer route for cyclists.
There is no minimum pledge and donations can be collected through pledges, personal donations or on-line pledging. Pledge sheets will be available soon.
The very future of the Bayfield and Area Horticultural Society (BAHS) may depend on the outcome of the organization’s next general meeting to be held on Sept. 19.
According to Sue van Baardwyk, secretary for the BAHS, “The focus of the meeting will be to discuss and vote on the future of BAHS. We need you to come out, to bring all members and friends of BAHS and to be ready to talk and cast votes for our future.”
She noted that this is an extremely important general meeting for all members, and those who would like to become members. The meeting will be held in the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building starting at 7:30 p.m.
Prior to this discussion and vote, a guest speaker will share his knowledge on a popular subject with the BAHS membership – Trees. The speaker will be Ian Jean from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
books and brunch
The always popular “Books and Brunch” returns to the village with an opportunity to dine with a talent behind some contemporary titles.
On Sept. 18, Brian Francis is scheduled to be the guest author at the luncheon.
The Little Inn of Bayfield will play host to Books and Brunch starting at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for both luncheons are $30 each. They can be purchased at The Village Bookshop, 20 Catherine St. or by calling 519 565-5600 or emailing email@example.com.
The “Bids 4 Kids” Auction, organized by the Optimist Club of Bayfield, is set for Oct. 1.
The membership took a break from this fundraising staple, holding their last one in the fall of 2008, but the members are now ready to host their biggest and best auction yet. The idea for this fundraiser for the Bayfield Optimists began in the early 90s. Back then; the items auctioned off were primarily handcrafted by area wood working talents. In more recent years anything and everything has been added to the mix, with a few key pieces of handcrafted wood being auctioned to pay homage to the early days.
The event will be held at the Varna Complex with cocktails and viewing beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner to follow at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by The Cheap Shirts.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Make A Wish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario, a cause dear to the hearts of the membership. The remainder of the funds will benefit local youth activities.
Donations of all sorts are now being accepted for both the live and silent auctions until Sept. 12. If you would like to make a donation please contact Optimist Tara Hessel at 519 565-2136.
If you would like tickets for this social event of the season they are available now for $30 each at the Bayfield Village Inn, Brandons Hardware or by calling Hessel at the number listed above. Anyone who wishes to reserve a table of eight or ten can also do so by contacting Hessel.
Summer is here and now that all those good fitness habits have been established it is time to get out and enjoy not only the weather but a variety of opportunities to keep fit as well.
Local folks may be interested in a new wellness program that is starting in September known as "YEAH". This acronym stands for “You Effectively Achieving Healthy Habits”. YEAH will promote exercise and nutritious eating. Two levels will be offered - Boot Camp and Soft Shoe. This program is offered free of charge. Come to the Bayfield Community Centre at 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 26 or Sept. 2 to learn more about this program.
One Care is sponsoring several programs for both men and women to stay fit over the summer months. The following activities are scheduled to run from now until the end of August.
Dancefit and Toning classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. The cost is $40 for four months or $3 per class. The Sit and Get Fit classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. The cost is $1 per class.
Both of these fitness opportunities are held at the Bayfield Community Centre.
For the more adventurous among us, there is Pole Walking. Walks for women will start at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All walks begin from 6 Main Street and poles are provided free for those who require them.
A Yoga Class will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. The cost for is $3 per class and participants are asked to bring a yoga mat.
Call 519 565-2202 for more information on the above exercise options.
An opportunity to try Kundalini Yoga is being offered through The Spa in Bayfield.
Kundalini Yoga is a most powerful and effective form of yoga. It stimulates optimal health with simple yogic techniques that can be practiced by anyone.
Instructor Anne Near will be holding two introductory classes on the practice at the spa on Aug. 23 from 2-4 p.m. and Aug. 31 from 7-9 p.m.
Please contact The Spa in Bayfield at 519 565-2123 for more information. Please note space is limited