Bookmark and Share   Dec. 25, 2019   Vol. 11 Week 52 Issue 546

coastal action plan released for southeastern shores  

7-1The new Coastal Action Plan for the Southeastern Shoreline of Lake Huron is a unified vision for Lake Huron's coastal conservation and stewardship efforts for the shoreline between Sarnia and Tobermory. (Submitted photo)  


The Lake Huron Centre (LHC) for Coastal Conservation is pleased to announce the premiere of the Coastal Action Plan (CAP) for the Southeastern Shores of Lake Huron. The Coastal Action Plan, a non-regulatory plan, has been a focus of the LHC since 2016, with this multi-faceted release coming just in time for 2020.

Creating a coast of eco-aware citizens was the goal of the founders of the LHC, Geoff Peach and Patrick Donnelly. Project Managers presented to over 1,250 coastal citizens, engaged over 400,000 people in social media posts about coastal ecosystems and threats, and forged many strong partnerships between coastal citizens, grass-roots groups, local, and regional governance.

The new CAP for the Southeastern Shoreline of Lake Huron is a unified vision for Lake Huron's coastal conservation and stewardship efforts for the shoreline between Sarnia and Tobermory. This plan encourages a collaborative approach to address common issues and goals of communities along the Lake Huron shoreline. The CAP compiles information from partner agencies, reviewed scientific recommendations regarding ecological management, and derived measurable and achievable targets for coastal communities to attain to increase sustainability and resiliency. The CAP has assigned 36-action items, 51-targets, and identified 114-short, medium and long term needs to make these recommendations happen.

Over the three-year duration of the project, over 1,250 coastal citizens and land managers attended events put on through this program, including coastal speaker series presentations, and the annual Lake Huron Municipal Forum. Short educational videos were requested by the public, and an eight-episode video series featuring Lake Huron’s coastal ecosystems was created, featuring amazing footage from across the southeastern shores, available on YouTube and the LHCs website and watched by over 24,000 people. Ten fact sheets featuring Lake Huron’s coastal ecosystems were also created and are available through the LHCs website.

Coastal Stewardship Coordinator, Hannah Cann said, “We would like to sincerely thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for their generous contribution to coastal outreach, awareness and research on Lake Huron’s Southeastern Shores. Through the generous funding provided by OTF, and a number of other partners, we worked hard over the past three-years to create a plan that will support a healthy coastline with vibrant communities on Lake Huron, ready to become resilient and sustainable against threats and stressors affecting coastal ecosystems.”

The CAP for the Southeastern Shores of Lake Huron is now available on the LHCs website:

two new medical office assistants join  health team 

Vanessa PhotoVanessa Lane (Submitted photos)  

Courtney PictureCourtney Lauziere

First impressions are important and most patients would probably agree that entering the Bluewater Area Family Health Team (BAFHT) clinic in Zurich, it is the warm smiles of the Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) that make them feel welcome.

A visit to the medical clinic doesn’t top anyone’s list of enjoyable experiences, but as one regular patient said, “A smile goes a long way to help one feel better.” The MOAs are the face of the BAFHT.

The BAFHT has four MOAS who take regular shifts at the reception desks, including, Vanessa Lane and Courtney Lauziere.

Lane joined the team in August of this year. She grew up in Blenheim, ON and attended St Clair College in Windsor. She moved west and completed her training in British Columbia and holds MOA and Pharmacy Assistant Diplomas. She worked as a MOA for two orthopaedic surgeons in Whistler, BC before returning to Southwestern Ontario. She, and her husband, Steve, have a 15-month old daughter, Diane. The family live in Lucan, ON.

Lauziere has been with the BAFHT since June of this year. She is a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) who earned her Nursing Diploma at St Clair College in her home town of Windsor, ON. Today, she and her two sons live in Forest, like Lane, Laurziere enjoys the strong, close community surrounding the Zurich clinic.

Membership drive runs through month of january 


The Bayfield River Valley Trails Association (BRVTA) allows all residents to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, including safe, historic and environmentally sensitive recreational trails, suitable for every fitness level.

Annual memberships allow them to keep the trails accessible, covering expenses such as liability insurance, maintenance, programming and training. This year their big project was replacing signage on all the trails. The BRVTA has expanded its network of hiking trails by adding the Tranquility Trail, located behind the Huron Hospice and surrounded by the Memorial Forest. A special thanks goes out to all volunteers who have put in so much time and energy this past season. Keeping the trails accessible on a regular basis is an ongoing effort.

A new hiking schedule for the coming season is being developed and will soon be made public. The hikes touch on a wide variety of interests for all age groups and anyone who has not been on one of these hikes in the past are encourage to try one. They have a large group of certified hike leaders and draw on knowledge from numerous experts to make the hikes interesting.

To make membership even more attractive, the BRVTA is pleased to announce that they have teamed up with the employee discount store of Columbia Sportswear, located at 1425 Max Brose Drive in London. By showing a current BRVTA membership card, people are allowed to shop at 40-50 per cent off regular retail pricing several times a year during a special invitation period. Members will be notified by email if they subscribe to the BRVTA monthly newsletter.

Membership is affordable! Annual membership fees are $20 or $30 for a family rate. The BRVTA will hold several membership drives, enabling people to get their membership card. Membership can also be activated through the website, As a member people will also receive special privileges to select Bayfield Trail events.

The BRVTA thank all members who already signed up or renewed their membership for 2020. Also remember membership cards make great Christmas gifts. This support will keep the trails open!

Anyone who has paid online or by mail, membership cards will be available for pick-up at the following membership drives:  Wednesday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Bayfield Public Library from 3-4 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. or at the Annual Varna Winter Hike and Lunch at the Stanley Complex on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 11 a.m. There will also be a membership drive at the Bayfield Lions’ Club’s Home and Garden Show held at the Bayfield Arena on Apr. 24-26.

For further information or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the BRVTA by e-mail at:


On Dec. 7, the Bayfield Lions embarked upon their annual Santa Visits. This is a long-standing service tradition that has club members visiting octogenarians (and older) to bring some holiday cheer in the form of poinsettias or chocolates. The Lions visited with people residing in Zurich, Clinton, Goderich and all through Bayfield, and enjoyed the smiles and thanks from all the people they saw. With the help of Huron Ridge Greenhouses and Bayfield Foodland, the Lions found new homes for 32 gorgeous poinsettias and 28 boxes of yummy chocolates. It was a great day for everyone involved! Preparing to head out for the day were from l-r: Lions Ron Harris, Andrew Widdis, Jack Pal, Rolly Scott, Dave Nearingburg, Karen Scott, Elf Ashley Sidles and Santa Eric Sidles along with Canine Bailey Pal and Baby Elf Dean Sidles. (Submitted photo)  


cEntre for the arts 

The Municipality of Bluewater Council endorsed the Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) at their regular meeting on Dec. 2.

The BCA is intended to be a year-round, inclusive community space, promoting the visual arts such as, painting, photography, woodworking, digital media, etc.

As the individuals behind the concept continue their forward momentum, they ask that people consider filling out a short questionnaire (10 questions) so that they can better understand the artistic experiences and programs most desired by residents and visitors:

A Community Outreach Session will be scheduled for Spring 2020, please join the BCA mailing list at for updates on progress. 

the village bookshop 

A note from Martha Beechie:

“The Village Bookshop will be under new ownership in the New Year.”

Beechie, who has been at the helm since 2014, wants to clarify that she has never seen herself as the owner, rather the caretaker of this Bayfield establishment.

“It is time to hand the bookshop over now and I want to assure loyal readers and visitors that it will be in good hands going forward. The contributions to the community by Mary Wolfe, whose vision and determination inspired a generation of readers and who laid the solid foundation allowing The Village Bookshop to thrive to this day, and by Mary Brown, who continued the literary tradition and relocated the shop to its beautiful Main Street heritage storefront, cannot be overlooked.

“The shop will no doubt flourish in Bayfield for many years to come, inspiring new readers, enriching many and continuing the strong literary tradition that is The Village Bookshop.”

Bluewater News 

The office of the Municipality of Bluewater Council has submitted the following to the Bayfield Breeze as highlights of council’s budget meeting on Dec. 11.

• The following 2020 Budget meetings were scheduled for: Jan. 13, Feb. 7 and Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. and Jan. 28 and Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. All Budget meetings take place in the Council Chambers, Stanley Complex, 38594 Mill Road Varna. Please note meeting dates and times are subject to change, and the schedule should be referenced at

• Formally initiated the Bayfield Secondary Plan Project, appointing Councillor Bill Whetstone and Councillor George Irvin to the Bayfield Secondary Plan Citizen Advisory Committee. Council approved the proposed budget for the Bayfield Secondary Plan Project in the amount of $20,000 to be part of the 2020 budget.

• Directed that at the Jan. 27 Council meeting BM Ross attend the meeting to inform Council of the Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF) size options and related costs as well as to identify potential cost recovery methods, and that Council decide on their preferred (WWTF) option and the method of cost recovery for the completion of the EA and as a result of the decision, direct BM Ross to proceed with the finalization of the EA process.

Chocolatey mint campaign 


Have you got your Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies yet? The local 2019 supply is almost gone! And at $5 a box they make terrific hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

They can also be purchased now from members or by calling Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 525-3830.

Profits from sales help with program activities, field trips and camps.

Secretary needed

The Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) is presently seeking someone to serve as Secretary.

Computer skills required, and board experience an asset. The job would entail preparing the agenda and taking minutes for the monthly meeting, approximately five to six hours month. Volunteer Police Check required.

If you are interested, please contact Boa-Youmatoff by email:


79833979_482011645649761_2597734771970801664_nThe Period Poverty Campaign continues with Kara at The Bayfield Beauty Shop presenting items collected by a client who had a dinner party and requested donations for this project. Organizers are also pleased to report that another full box was collected by Shop Bike Coffee Roasters and a maker at the Holiday Night Market donated handmade bags to hold feminine hygiene products for teens so that their needs can be met discreetly. (Submitted photo)  

Women’s March Canada’s Huron Chapter is working to end Period Poverty during their Panty Drive which is now ongoing.

The group is asking area residents to donate underwear and women’s hygiene products. They are also asking people to think of green options when shopping. These purchases might include 100 per cent cotton Tampons and pads; diva cups or reusable maxis.

Donations may be dropped off in Goderich at Wuerth’s Shoes (also in Exeter) or Cait’s Café, both located on The Courthouse Square; or in Bayfield at Shopbike Coffee Roasters or the Bayfield Beauty Shop.

Bayfield Travel Club

The fourth meeting of the Bayfield Travel Club will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11.

It’s a place where local residents can meet other people that have the same passion for travel, share their own travel experiences, learn about new exciting destinations and to just have some fun.

The point of discussion will be culinary travel with a special guest from Collette Tours.

The club will meet from 1-2 p.m. at The Lake House of Bayfield in their conference room, at 21 Bayfield Main St. North. 



smilezone foundation brightens hospital visits 

IMG_5703Retired NHL great, Paul Henderson was on hand for the grand opening of the areas sponsored by the Smilezone Foundation at the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in Goderich and even autographed a mural featuring his series‐winning goal.

The Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) has officially opened six new Smilezones within the Hospital. Generously donated by Smilezone Foundation, and local hockey hero Paul Henderson, these bright, fun zones include murals, sensory toys, an Ipad station and TVs meant to help improve the experience for children and families when they visit the Hospital.

“We are so excited and grateful to Smilezone Foundation for the great work it does and for having included our hospital as one of the recipients of its generosity, and to Paul Henderson for giving back to his community,” said President and CEO at AMGH, Bruce Quigley.

The Emergency Department waiting area has been transformed into a space that celebrates hockey and specifically the 1972 Summit Series. Goderich is certainly a hockey town so it is a perfect fit. Retired NHL great, Henderson was on hand for the grand opening and even autographed a mural featuring his series‐winning goal.

IMG_1862Zones were created in the Emergency Department, Lab, Obstetrics, Ambulatory Care, and Speech and Language Pathology. The themes in each area are reflections of Goderich and Huron County, including agriculture, hockey and other sports, the lake and Courthouse Square  

“I was asked to be the first ambassador for Smilezone at the inception and am so thankful for the opportunity to be involved with them. I have witnessed the incredible impact and growth that has taken place,” said Henderson. “The Goderich Smilezone project was especially meaningful for Eleanor and myself as we have deep roots in the community. Goderich is the community where I played a year of JR B hockey, Eleanor attended high school, we bought our first home and where we spent the summer time with family and friends. The young artists that produced the murals in the hospital did a fantastic job of capturing the scenes and the Goderich community. Eleanor and I appreciated those that were able to attend the opening ceremonies.”

Zones were also created in the Lab, Obstetrics, Ambulatory Care, and Speech and Language Pathology. The themes in each area are reflections of Goderich and Huron County, including agriculture, hockey and other sports, the lake and Courthouse Square. Feedback from patients and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive and reflects exactly the intended purpose of the zones, to create environments that are engaging and help reduce the potential stress associated with a hospital visit.

Finola MacGinty is a speech language pathologist at AMGH and approximately 80 per cent of her patients are children, largely preschool age. MacGinty enthusiastically shared her appreciation of Smilezone Foundation and Henderson.

“The murals have been so much fun for my patients, with some of them singing ‘EI‐E‐I‐O’ or counting the mice hidden among the mural in my office. But what I am hearing the most is ‘WOW. It is just fantastic!’”

IMG_1835A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the work of the Smilezone Foundation at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital was held on Dec. 12 at the YMCA in Goderich. From l-r were: AMGH Executive Director, Shannon Lahay; retired NHL player, Paul Henderson; Vice-Chair AMGH Board Glen McNeil; President & CEO AMGH, Bruce Quigley; and Co-Founder of Smilezone Foundation, Scott Bachly. (Photos by Jim LaHay)   

“We are honored to be part of AMGH, Smilezone is a Foundation that believes community is very important, and giving back to the children of Goderich is another community-based endeavor. We thank Paul Henderson for supporting both Smilezone and AMGH,” said Co‐Founder of Smilezone Foundation, Scott Bachly.

Smilezone Foundation is a registered charity based in Oakville, ON, committed to putting smiles on kids’ faces. Founded by Bachly and Adam Graves in 2012, the Foundation’s mission is to make tough days a little brighter for kids receiving treatment in hospitals and health care facilities. Please visit for more information.

New year sees establishment of huron perth Public Health 


The Perth District Health Unit and the Huron County Health Unit will be merging into a single entity effective Jan. 1, called Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH). The goal of the merger is to improve the delivery of public health programs and services across Huron and Perth counties.

“Our staff will continue working with our communities, partners and stakeholders with the goal of protecting and promoting health and preventing disease in Huron and Perth,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, who will become the Medical Officer of Health for HPPH.

The new HPPH Board of Health will meet for the first time on Jan. 2. Representation on the board is based on population and is comprised of nine municipal representatives (four from the County of Huron, two from Perth County, two from Stratford, one from St. Marys) and four provincial appointees.

“Over the past year, we have been examining our organizational structure and our programs and services to see how we can best merge and enhance them to improve what we provide to our communities,” said Dr. Klassen. “Our combined staff of more than 150 public health professionals will continue delivering the same great local services and programs and working closely with our partners and stakeholders to keep our residents healthy.”

A new organizational structure has been created and public health staff are in the process of program planning with their new teams for 2020. However, most public health programs and services will continue as they are for the time being, so residents can access their local public health programs as before.

One change residents of Huron will see is that their local municipality is now responsible for plumbing and sewage inspections. This program was previously delivered for the County of Huron by the Huron County Health Unit.

Here are the contact details for the new HPPH, which take effect Jan. 1 2020:

· The main office locations will remain the same (Stratford and Clinton) with satellite offices in Wingham, Listowel and downtown Stratford as before. Clinics and services will continue to operate from these locations.

· HPPH will have one intake number: 1-888-221-2133.

· The new HPPH website will be and will be accessible to all and contain important public health information, details about programs, services and clinics, and sections for partners and stakeholders. The health units will be merging their social media accounts over the next few months.

A public communications and marketing plan will take place over the next few months to ensure residents know how to contact HPPH and access the programs and services.

Public health units across Ontario are currently in consultations with the Ministry of Health regarding the government’s announcement in spring 2019 to reduce the number of health units in the province.

Dr. Klassen explained, “Regardless of the future structure of public health in Ontario, the Huron and Perth merger is an exciting opportunity for us to enhance how we serve and provide for our communities.”  



 the kingdom choir   

Huron Waves Music Festival presents direct from London, England, “The Kingdom Choir” who recently earned international acclaim for their performance of “Stand by Me” at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle.

Unknown-1The Kingdom Choir will be performing in Goderich and Exeter in May of 2020. Tickets are available now. (Submitted photo)

The Kingdom Choir will give two Canadian performances to inaugurate Huron County’s newest music festival on May 7-8, 2020.

They will perform in Goderich at the Trinity Christian Reformed Church on May 7 followed by a concert at Trivitt Memorial Church in Exeter on May 8. Both performances will be at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now from the Blyth Festival Box Office by calling 1-877-862-5984 or online at General seating is $65 per person while limited reserved seating, along with a pre-show reception, tickets are $95.

 Minds in Motion

“Minds in Motion” is a physical activity and brain stimulation program for people with dementia and their care partners. The Alzheimers Society of Huron County (ASHC) will be offering this innovative eight-week program that combines brain health and social recreation this winter in five location across the county.

In addition to sessions in Wingham and Exeter people can register for sessions in Goderich at the McKay Centre for Seniors, (10 a.m. to noon) or the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton (1:30-3:30 p.m.) on Tuesdays from Jan. 7 to Feb. 25; or at the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre (2:30-4:30 p.m.) from Feb. 6 to March 26.

This is a great opportunity to connect with others living with similar experiences. Weekly sessions include one hour of social and brain health components with the ASHC and a one hour fitness session with a certified fitness instructor.

To register or volunteer with Minds in Motion please contact the ASHC at 519 482-1482 or call 1-800-561-5012 or email

infrastructure renewal Fund 

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced more than $3 million in provincial grants for area hospitals under the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) program.

“These investments we are making are vital to ensuring our local hospitals will be able to make upgrades and improvements to their facilities,” Thompson said, noting the funds are usually used for improvements to such things as air flow, heating/cooling, fire alarm systems and back-up generators.

Hospitals in Huron-Bruce receiving the funding include:
• South Bruce Grey Health Centre Kincardine Site - $300,726 (subject to change as per hospital corporation needs)
• Walkerton site - $241,389 (subject to change as per hospital corporation needs
• Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (Goderich) - $102,181
• Clinton Public Hospital - $303,131
• Seaforth Community Hospital - $923,388
• South Huron Hospital - $878,877
• Wingham and District Hospital - $234,254
• Grey Bruce Health Services which includes the Southampton Hospital - $2,831,982

The funding announcement is part of the government’s investment of $175 million this year to support hospitals across Ontario.

“As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world class health care system into the 21st century, this funding will help hospitals to address urgent issues,” Thompson said.


The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) Clinton Public Hospital (CPH) site has declared an influenza outbreak as of Dec. 21.

“The outbreak has been called as two of our patients on the unit have tested positive for influenza,” said Infection Control Practitioner, Larry Morrell. “In response to the outbreak we are working closely with the Huron County Health Unit. We have closed the unit to admissions and transfers, restricted visitors to two per patient and have put some limitations on staffing for the unit.”

All patients on the unit are currently being offered Tamiflu prophylaxis.

Visitors to the unit are asked to follow proper hand hygiene procedures and are reminded to cough or sneeze into their arm versus their hands. Any visitors not feeling well or experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and/or sneezing) should refrain from visiting until they are feeling better. Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds or for direct family members of palliative patients.

“With flu now starting to arrive in the Huron and Perth communities, we’d like to remind the public there are several things that can be done to protect yourself and others from contracting influenza,” added Morrell. “Get a flu shot, which is still available from your family doctor and local pharmacies; wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer; if you are not feeling well please stay home and rest; keep commonly touched surfaces clean and cough or sneeze into your sleeve.”

HPHA will continue to update the public, as our information changes or more becomes available.


Wondering where the Pole Walkers are meeting or when The Glee Sisters have their next practice? A newly launched website,, is the place to visit to view current calendars of events for all of the village activities.

Bayfield resident, Guy Spence, is the volunteer creator behind the website. Each group has assigned a responsible person to keep their own group calendars up-to-date on a regular basis.





Volume 11

There are countless photographs of people in the Bayfield Historical Society’s Archives collection, but sadly their names were never recorded. In this section we will showcase an image with the hopes that one of our subscribers might be able to identify the individual(s) in the photo. Please email your information to the Editor’s attention at the address listed near the bottom of the page in “Submissions” or you can email the archivist directly at or click on the image and make a comment on Flickr.

Editor's Note: We are now adding the archive's code to the information supplied with the photographs so that if anyone would like to learn more from the Bayfield Archives about certain pictures they can use the code to make the process easier.

This week, an image from the Editor's personal collection featuring a letter sent out to the children who visited Eaton's Toyland in Toronto in December 1924. Happy Christmas all! 


Make your on any image and it will take you to Flickr.



PB12 3a Ed Elliott taught in Bayfield School 1908-10 donated by Alma Bassett July 3 76 

In Issue 544,we feature an image of Ed Elliott who taught at the Bayfield School 1908-10. It was donated to the Bayfield Archives collection by Alma Bassett on July 3, 1976. Does anyone remember them? (Archives Code: PB12 3a)  

In Issue 545

PB10020 PC Gentleman c1920 

In Issue 545, we feature a rather distinguished gentleman whose image is recorded to have been taken around 1920. It is from the Lucy Woods-Diehl collection. Does anyone remember him? (Archives Code: PB10020 PC)



Bookmark and Share  PHOTO STORY

lystra eggert gretter    

Pioneer Nurse and Public Health Educator



When she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004, she was compared to Clara Barton, one of the founders of the American Red Cross. Her ‘tireless’ efforts in promoting nursing as a respectable profession have been widely recognized across her adopted country. However, few know that she was a Huron County native by birth.

Lystra Elizabeth Eggert was born in Bayfield sometime in September 1858. Specific details regarding her family’s early years in Canada are sketchy. What is known is that her Swiss-born father was one of the village physicians. Her mother was born in Canada of Dutch descent. A maternal grandfather was a Mennonite Bishop who migrated to the United States and then to Canada in the early nineteenth century.

She inherited from her father a passion for medicine and her mother a benevolent Christian spirituality that characterized her adult life.

Upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, Dr. Eggert enlisted as a surgeon in the Union Army. The family remained in Bayfield where Lystra began her primary education. In 1866, the rest of the family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. Lystra continued her education in southern private schools.

At age 19, Lystra married John Birney Gretter in 1877. A veteran of General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army, her 45-year old husband was a Virginian who listed his occupation as Deputy U.S. Marshall in the 1880 census. The same census rather quaintly noted Lystra as ‘keeping house’. It seemed Lystra Gretter could look forward to a secure life of middle-class southern gentility.

Unfortunately, in 1884, tragedy struck as her husband died suddenly when she was 26 leaving her with a three-year old daughter. Her father seems to have also passed away by this time as together with her mother and sister, Gretter moved to Buffalo, New York and enroled in the Buffalo General Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1886.

As a single mother returning to school, she was well ahead of her time. She graduated with honors in 1888 and was immediately appointed Principal of the Farrand Training School for Nurses at Harper Hospital, Detroit in 1889. Gretter held the position of Nursing School Superintendent until 1907.

Despite her administrative inexperience, Gretter initiated sweeping changes that would revolutionize nursing training. Rather than overwork exhausted women in 12-15 hour shifts that comprised more than 73 hours or more per week, the Farrand School was the first school to institute the eight-hour shift.
The reduction in floor hours was made up for by extending the nursing training system from one to two, and, in 1896, to three years. Gretter argued that "a part of the extra time thus afforded Nurses will be spent in study and outdoor recreation."

The Farrand School under Gretter’s supervision became a model for nursing education. A Gretter biographer, Helen Manson, R.N. noted that nursing became less an apprenticeship and more of a professional education under her direction.

Gretter established the Visiting Nurses Association that encouraged nurses to visit major hospitals to study the latest in health care innovation. A Canadian whiskey distiller, Hiram Walker, recognized Gretter’s reforms in nursing education by leaving a sizable bequest of $20,000 to the Farrand School.

Incredibly, there were few training manuals for nurses. Gretter is believed to have written the first standardized textbook for nursing training. She also formed a professional library and encouraged to students to remain current in the latest nursing procedures. The novelty of her nurses’ library attracted donations from across the continent.

During the Spanish American War, Gretter recruited qualified nurses to staff the Daughters of the American Revolution Hospital Corps. Dr. Anita McGee, the hospital’s chief medical officer, thanked Gretter for her "valuable assistance in the careful selection of graduate nurses" and further paid tribute to Gretter’s nursing education system by expressing her belief that the training the nurses received was ‘so excellent’ that it "has distinctly advanced the credit of the schools.”

Indeed, in 1909, Michigan became only the second state, after New York, that required the certification of practicing nurses.

In 1908, Gretter was appointed the Director of the Detroit Visiting Nurses Association where she turned her attention to broader social as well as health care issues. Under her leadership, she established tuberculosis hospitals, lobbied for in-home nursing care and became a vocal public health advocate for Detroit’s burgeoning poor and immigrant population. She also successfully introduced the first state wide health inspections of school children and a free maternity/infant care clinic in Detroit.

One of the barriers to improving the status of nursing as a profession was that it was considered ‘women’s work’ and, therefore, of little value. Gretter’s Nursing Association formed a strong alliance with the suffragettes in fighting for women’s right to vote. Without political power, Gretter argued, nursing would never become a ‘respectable’ profession.

One of Gretter’s most enduring legacies was "The Florence Nightingale Pledge". Although Gretter modestly credited the work of a committee over which she presided over for its creation, Gretter biographers claim that she was "the moving spirit behind the idea" for the pledge.

Like the physician’s Hippocratic Oath, The Nightingale Pledge was a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession. In a 1935 revision to the pledge, Gretter widened the role of the nurse by including an oath to become a ‘missioner of health’ dedicated to the advancement of ‘human welfare.’

Until the 1970s, this pledge to "abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous” and to "zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need" was solemnly recited at graduation or ‘Pinning’ ceremonies across North America.

In recent decades, the pledge has either been dropped or substantially altered to adhere to political correctness.

In addition to helping create the American Red Cross Nursing Service in two world wars, Gretter remained the Matron of the Detroit Visiting Nurses Association until her death in Grosse Pointe in 1951.

Lystra Eggert Gretter literally defined modern nursing as a profession of noble principles and high standards of education. Gretter herself said that she believed "improved education, sublimated by spiritual gifts and graces, will develop nursing into a wider, more helpful ministration patterned after the example of Him who went about doing good." It is interesting to speculate that she learned her father’s passion for medicine and her mother’s spirituality as a young girl in Bayfield.



yatesphotoDavid Yates (Submitted photos)


“Out of the Blue” is a compilation of over 50 stories on Huron County history covering the period from 1884 to the 1939 Royal Visit. It was written by local author, David Yates.

Yates said the book is called Out of the Blue because so many of the stories are surprise discoveries of the off-beat and bizarre occurrences that happened in the county's past that have been all but forgotten today. It is also the sequel to last year's book “Out of the Woods” which sold well in excess of 1,000 copies.

Stories about the impact of the 1918 Spanish Influenza in Huron; strange cures for venereal diseases and the night Ku Klux Klan rode into Exeter will fascinate anyone with an interest in the county that they call home. Other stories of the battle field heroics of Huron County soldiers during the Great War make gripping reading about a bygone era.

Included in “Out of the Blue” is the article featured here about Bayfield born Lystra Eggert Gretter who has been credited with writing the Nightingale Oath and transforming nursing into a profession.

Out of the Blue sells for $25 and is available for purchase at Fincher’s in Goderich.

Nightingale Pledge, 1935*

Lystra_GretterLystra Elizabeth Eggert


I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practise my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping, and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavour to aid the physician in his work, and as a 'missioner of health' I will dedicate myself to devoted service to human welfare.

*This pledge was created in 1893 by a committee led by Lystra Gretter. She updated the final sentence of the pledge to reflect a more public health model in 1935.

Reference: Marsha D. M. Fowler, 1984, Ethics and nursing, 1893-1984: the ideal of service, the reality of history, Ph.D. thesis, Uni-versity of Southern California, Los Angeles.




PIXILATED — image of the week

December Surf 19

December Surf...By Naomi 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








The grandchildren and their parents arrived at our house on the afternoon of Dec. 21 and the festive season officially began. I knew I was in for a busy time when my granddaughter came down the stairs with a large brush for creating art (she had packed her own backpack) and announced, “I’m ready, Gramel!”

She and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to crafting and creating and sometimes her big brother will join in as well. He loves to sketch. In the days leading up to Christmas we made Santa Belly and Bubble Gum Machine ornaments. And Miss Noelle painted everything she could get her hands on. I like to call it her “purple period” – wooden gingerbread houses, canvas, masks, old toys and her actual hands - all were not only painted purple but a specially crafted purple she mixed herself using other colors.

After watching lots of holiday baking shows we have learned the secret to great Royal Icing and I think our gingerbread cookies for Santa look pretty darn good. Miss Noelle designed “tye-dye” cookies mixing icing colors in a similar fashion as she does paint. They looked fabulous and were the first to be eaten by family and friends!

I can hardly wait for her to open a gift this morning just from me – an art set with paint and everything she needs to do many more creative projects in the New Year!

Making a merry mess this holiday and sincerely loving every minute of it. – Gramel.










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

Please email me at or call 519-525-3830.


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


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