On Nov. 14, the members of the Bayfield and Area Fire Department once again hosted their annual Food Drive at Bayfield Foodland starting things off by collecting donations along the route of the Santa Claus Parade. The fire fighters collected $1,300 in cash donations as well as filling four carts heaping full of groceries. The total donation to the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep) is estimated to be well over $3,000. Some of the Bayfield firefighters that participated in the drive were from l-r: Josh McClinchey, Tim Hoover, Dave Andrews, John Vanderhaar, Jack Bender and Wade Berard. They are pictured with the owners of Bayfield Foodland, Brad and Melissa Maidment. Both the fire fighters and the local food bank are most appreciative to the community for all of their support and generous donations! (Submitted photo)
A few wreaths available for purchase at siertsema home
The Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) has a few wreaths left after steady sales over Christmas in Bayfield weekend. More bunches of greens had to be assembled and more swags had to be made.
The remaining wreaths are on display at John and Kathleen Siertsema’s house on Mill Road. Those who still need a wreath could stop by the Siertsema home on the chance someone is there or phone ahead to 519 565-2479 to arrange a convenient time. Some wreaths are also going to be for sale at Riverline Nature Company on Kingston Street in Goderich.
The BAS thanks all those who allowed groups onto their properties to trim their trees. It also thanks all those who helped put the wreaths together especially the small group had to meet Saturday morning to make items that had been completely sold out. All of the profits go toward maintaining the Bayfield Community Fair.
A new venture for the BAS is a “Holiday Feast Raffle”. The prizes consist of a variety of local foods, including a free-range organic chicken, organic vegetable package, potatoes, gift baskets, gift certificates, fruitcake, coffee, preserves and apples. The products featured come from Camille, Firmly Rooted, Red Cat Farm, Local Organics, Cait’s Kitchen, Hayter’s Farm, Rader’s Homestyle Market, Bayfield Foodland, Culbert’s Bakery, Shop Bike Coffee Roasters, Charles Street Market, Bayfield Berry Farm and Apple Park. The tickets are $2 each or three for $5. They are available from Nip & Tuck or any BAS Director. Over 100 were sold on the Saturday of the Christmas in Bayfield weekend and there were only 800 tickets printed. The draw will take place on Dec. 18 at 12:05 p.m. at Stonefield Garden Centre. All profits from the sale of tickets will also go toward maintaining the fair.
The Annual Meeting for the BAS is this Friday, Nov. 20. The potluck supper will be at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting at 8 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend and meet the Directors and volunteers who continue the planning in putting together a community fair each year and preserve Agricultural Park for the Bayfield community.
OVER FIFTIES COME OUT TO PLAY
On Nov. 14, the Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association (BACPA), the Bayfield Figure Skating Club and the Bayfield Relics hosted an “Over Fifty Hockey Tournament” at the Bayfield Arena. Teams from St. Mary’s, London and Bayfield took part. During a game between London (white jerseys) and a Bayfield team (blue jersey), Referee Bob Mommersteeg looked on as Jeff Webster handled the puck. While Ian MacLean (white jersey foreground), Ed Westman (white jersey background), Goalie Adam Glenn and Dave Thomas (blue jersey) anticipated the play. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
Level one low water advisory remains in effect
Despite a return to normal monthly rainfall totals in October, the year 2015 has been a dry year across the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed.
Precipitation totals have been below normal all year with the exception of only two months, according to the ABCA’s Water Response Team (WRT). As of Nov. 1, rainfall deficits are greater than 150 mm compared to normal values in some areas. This shortfall has resulted in extremely dry conditions and stressed stream flows in local watercourses, said Land and Water Technologist, Davin Heinbuck, with the ABCA.
The decision to remain in a Level 1 Low Water Advisory at this time of reduced water demand is a proactive one based on the current conditions. If dry conditions continue through the rest of the year, it may be necessary for the WRT to consider keeping a Low Water Advisory in effect through the winter. In this scenario, the WRT would be in a better position to deal with any water shortages, should that be a concern in 2016.
WRT Chair Mike Tam said that while water usage has declined significantly through the fall, the WRT recognizes the potential impacts of a drier than normal fall and winter.
“We still encourage water users to voluntarily reduce any water use by 10 per cent because we are in a Level 1 Low Water Advisory condition,” he said.
The WRT was formed in 2001 in response to the low-water conditions that year and the team has been active ever since. The WRT includes representatives of major water users (such as aggregate industries, agriculture and vegetable growers, and golf and recreation) and includes local municipal representatives and staff of provincial departments (such as Natural Resources and Forestry;
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change).
ABCA staff will continue to monitor rainfall and stream flow data and keep the public informed of any changes in watershed conditions. Visit www.ontario.ca/lowwater for further resources on the Ontario low water response program or ABCA website at abca.on.ca and view the dynamic low-water advisory tool which alerts people to low-water advisories in effect in the watershed.
Humes Horse & Carriage Rides, of Watford, ON, were once again offering complimentary carriage rides in the village over the Christmas in Bayfield weekend. On Saturday afternoon as the weather continued to improve people lined up for the opportunity. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
choosing between heat and food a reality for some
Homelessness and poverty in rural areas are often referred to as hidden issues because they are not always visible. However, these problems are real and affect many people in our communities.
“Approximately 6,800 people in Huron County are living in poverty,” said Tracy Birtch, director of Social Research and Planning Council & Community Impact at the United Way Perth-Huron. “That means roughly 12 per cent of our children and 27 per cent of single parents are living without enough food, heat or both.”
According to information collected by the United Way of Perth-Huron, the number one reason local people called 211 in 2013 was to ask about utility and housing support programs. Approximately half of these callers faced the possibility of having their utilities disconnected and the average arrears for those applying to the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), a program sponsored by the Ontario Energy Board, was $800.
Other health issues, both physical and mental, frequently compound financial issues. Substandard, inadequate and unaffordable housing is a fundamental contributing factor to chronic illness, infection, poor nutrition and mental illness.
What is often not taken into account is the social costs that result from low-wage work and poverty, such as poor physical and mental health outcomes, low levels of educational attainment, increases in homelessness, and high consumer debt-to-income ratios – costs borne not only by low-wage earning families but also by corporations, government and society as a whole.
“Poverty and homelessness are complex social issues,” said Warden Paul Gowing. “No one organization or agency can solve these problems alone. It will take an entire community working collaboratively to make change happen.”
Recently the Huron County Health Unit and United Way Perth-Huron investigated the local cost of living to calculate what a ‘living wage’ is in Huron County. Ryan Erb, executive director of United Way Perth-Huron, noted that, “calculating a living wage is only the first step.”
He was encouraged that “so many people – business owners, economic development staff and others – have joined the conversation to help work together to tackle the issue of poverty in our communities. We all agree on one thing: people need to make ends meet in order to pay for their basic necessities; adequate housing being one of the most important.”
November 22nd is recognized by many organizations as National Housing Day, a day to draw attention to poverty and homelessness issues in communities across Canada. Join the conversation about healthy, inclusive communities at #NationalHousingDay.
crowds delightful despite frightful weather at lighting
Well, the weather outside was frightful but the crowds remained delightful when it came time for the lighting of the lights in Clan Gregor Square on Nov. 13. Many folks crowded under the gazebo while others huddled together as the wind gusted and rain came pelting down.
Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce representative, Martha Beechie and the Mayor of Bluewater, Tyler Hessel, kept their comments to a minimum so the main event could begin post haste. Retired Bayfield Librarian Anny Johnston was given the honor of counting down so that the lights might be switched on and then Santa Claus arrived on the Bayfield fire truck and spent some time visiting with youngsters and posing for pictures.
The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society members did a brisk business serving up hot dogs and hot chocolate to those who attended the annual lighting of the lights on Friday night. The volunteers were l-r: Nick Thomson, Pat and Roger Lewington, Mark Edmunds, Cal and Sandy Scotchmer.
Despite the rain and cold lots of people tried to capture that first image of the season with Santa Claus.
Town Hall volunteer Bud Robinson lit up a dark and stormy night, rain drops on the camera lens creating an interesting cast.
Ella Roat was one of the first youngsters in line to visit with Santa Claus at the Bayfield Tree Lighting Ceremony. (Photos by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
MORE THAN A SHOT IN THE ARM
Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy was a busy place on the afternoon of Nov. 11 when members of the Huron County media descended on the business to watch Pharmacist Michael Ibrahim administer a flu shot to MPP Lisa Thompson. Jessica Behnke communications officer with the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada was also in attendance to assist in the promotion of their "Healthcare Closer to Home" program. Ontario pharmacists have been allowed to give flu shots since 2012 and it is a program that more members of the public are taking advantage of. The Bayfield pharmacy administered 600 shots during the 2014 flu season. To date for 2015 they have delivered 400 shots this year. Flu shots are just one of the services that local pharmacies offer from lifestyle and diabetes management to smoking cessation programs. It is the eventual goal that emergency room visits will be reduced as pharmacists become more able to enhance front line care. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
There is now a change in format at the monthly Councilor’s Corner sessions held at the Bayfield Community Centre. The next evening hosted by Bayfield Ward Councilor Bill Whetstone will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19.
“I will quickly go over anything new from the previous month,” said Whetstone. “I will then spend time on significant items related to the Municipality or Bayfield itself.”
He will send out in advance what the topic of the month is and will provide background at the session to facilitate discussions to anyone who wishes this information.
This month’s focus will be: "When does a village become a town and what is the optimal size for sustainability". The discussions begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Bayfield Ukulele Society (BUS) started new sessions at the Bayfield Library on Nov. 7.
They will hold meetings on alternating Saturdays starting at 10 a.m. The meetings will conclude at 11:30 a.m. And then every Monday afternoon there is an open practice from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
The BUS is free for anyone to join who wants to learn in a fun "hands on" group way. No registration required just drop in. Folks do have to supply their own ukulele however.
On Nov. 23, the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) will welcome speakers Chris and Pam Bowers.
This couple celebrated their retirement by taking an 800 KM pilgrimage across northern Spain on the El Camino de Santiago also known as The Way of St. James Trail. Their adventure will be presented in a unique fashion as picture essays – one from Chris’ perspective and the other from Pam’s.
This BHS meeting will be held at the Bayfield Lion’s Community Building and all are welcome to attend. The start time is 7:30 p.m.
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson would like to remind everyone that the deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 Huron-Bruce Outstanding Citizen Award is less than a month away on Nov. 20th.
Nominations can be sent to email@example.com, or mail them to, or drop them off at the Blyth or Kincardine constituency offices. Nominations must include the name of the nominee, a photo, and a 250- word submission that highlights why the individual is deserving of recognition.
"It is hard to find anyone in Huron-Bruce that has not felt the impact of a selfless community leader or volunteer," said Thompson, "I look forward to reading the stories of more outstanding citizens in the coming weeks".
The award is presented annually to people who have made significant contributions to their communities and past recipients have included a wide range of people from chairs of local committees, to church choir members.
LETTERS TO SANTA
Bayfield residents will be pleased to know that Santa Claus will once again be receiving mail in his special mailbox but at Bayfield Foodland.
Santa’s elves delight in hearing from area youngsters and learning what is on their wish lists every year. Be sure to include a return address so that the children can be sure of a note in return from the jolly old elf himself.
Salvation Army Band
On Nov. 27, join us at the Bayfield Town Hall for a Magical Evening of Christmas Music featuring the London Citadel Salvation Army Band. For more than 20 years all who attend have enjoyed wonderful holiday music shared by this very talented band.
Tickets are $10 and are available from Pat McDougall at 519 565-2572, Sandy Scotchmer at 519 565-2830, Ernie King Music in Goderich, or may be ordered at www.bayfieldtownhall.ca or www.ticketscene.ca.
Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be rescheduled for December 4.
Optimist Toy Chest
The Bayfield Optimist Club is once again selling tickets on a fabulous hand made toy chest filled to overflowing with toys for children of al ages.
Raffle tickets are available now from Optimist members. Toy chest tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
The draw will be made at 1 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the club’s 10th annual Breakfast with Santa this year being held at The Ashwood Inn starting at 11 a.m.
One of the most anticipated events of the festive season is the Bayfield Lions’ Club’s Turkey Bingo.
It will be held at the Bayfield Community Centre on Dec. 7. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the games begin at 7 p.m.
There are 15 turkeys to win, a turkey door prize, plus several “share the wealth” games. All in the community are invited to attend and try to win a bird for their holiday table!
Empties for Alzheimers
Dianne Brandon, Carrie and Ava Sabourin would like to remind everyone preparing for holiday gatherings that their tradition of collecting empties for Alzheimer's Disease is continuing this year.
The trio will be participating in the Huron County 2015 Walk for Memories in May of 2016 and are now collecting donations for the cause.
It is, of course, hoped that everyone will celebrate responsibly this festive season and when doing so plan to donate the empty beer bottles and cans; wine and liquor bottles to their team, “For the Love of Elane and Doris”. After living with Alzheimer’s, Elane Brandon, Sabourin’s grandmother died in April 2015 while Doris Schilbe, Dianne’s mother died in August of 2014.
Empties of all sorts may be dropped off at Brandon's Hardware in Bayfield, or picked up anytime, just call Brandon’s Hardware at 519 525-8884. Empties may also be dropped off at Bayfield Convenience in their names.
The ice is back in the Bayfield Arena for another season of good fun and great exercise.
Skating is offered free to the public on the afternoon of Nov. 22 from 1-3 p.m. due to the generosity of sponsors Tuckersmith Telecommunications Cooperative (TCC).
In December 2014, the Huron County Christmas Bureau assisted 476 families and 1,022 children and teens, up to the age of 18.
For 2015 there will be five bureau collection sites set up around the county. They are: St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Clinton, Exeter United Church, Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Goderich, Seaforth Agriplex hosted by Egmondville United Church and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Wingham.
Collection Week has been scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 followed by Distribution Week, Dec. 7-11.
Custodial parents who live in Huron County and need help to make Christmas merry this year are asked to call “Christmas Central” at 519 524-7356 Ext. 3271 or 1-800-265-5198 Ext. 3271 from Nov.16 to Dec. 4. Those who call should have ready the ages and clothing sizes of their children. They will be given an appointment during the week of Dec. 7 when they can privately choose suitable gifts for their family at the gift bureau closest to their home.
The five local Bureaus are in need of volunteers, as is the Christmas Bureau Central Committee.
The committee would be pleased to share information about their work to community organizations. Anyone who would like a speaker should contact Trish at Huron Perth Children's Aid at 519 524-7356 Ext. 2287.
The Huron County Christmas Bureau is entirely funded by donation. Those who donate are asked to give new articles, such as, toys, sports items, clothing, preferably tops, baby, toddler and children’s outfits and gift cards for teens.
The Christmas Bureau Central Committee extends their thanks to all the Huron County businesses, community groups, churches, schools and the many individuals who generously support this program.
EXPRESS HOT CHOCOLATE
“The Polar Express” was the selected children’s book that was given magical treatment by the Glee Sisters Choir for their annual musical reading extravaganza that was held at the Bayfield Town Hall on Nov. 14. Leslie Bella showed her hot chocolate pouring skills during the performance – full coverage of the event will appear in the next issue of the Bayfield Breeze. In case anyone missed the Bayfield performances there is an additional show being held this year at The Goderich Livery Theatre on Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. where once again the Bayfield Optimists will be sponsoring the transformation of 30 youngsters into elves. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)