Description: Themural    Your Online Community Newspaper 

March 4, 2015



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Lions’ Speech Contest. (Back row, L-R): Devon Yeo, MacKenzie Palmer-Price, Ella Miller, Serena Dugdale and Caliegh Ward.  (Front row, L-R): Sophie Knapp, Kenzie Sled,  Brooklan Simpson, Charlotte Smid, Avery Merkley, and Kody Kirton. Some winners are missing from the picture.                                                                                                                  

Photo by Sally Smid. 


Lions club hosts public speaking contest for area youth


By Sally Smid


The topics included fear, dreams, hockey and broken bones as speech winners from Pineview and Athens District High School presented their speeches at an awards dinner hosted by the Athens Lions Club on February 24. 

Larry Winters, Lions Club Member, replied, “Excellent!”  when he was asked how he felt the night was. 

The students attended with parents, siblings and grandparents and cash awards were given to the winners who had been judged at their respective schools.  Many of the students expressed their fear in making their presentations, but some admitted that it became easier the more they stood in front of a crowd.  “It’s not as hard as you think.” remarked intermediate student Devon Yeo.  He explained how he had been inspired by a friend who had been very fearful, but successfully participated.  His speech topic was about fear and it was interesting that giving speeches was not one of the fears he included.

The primary winners were Avery Merkley, 1st place, Charlotte Smid, 2nd, Miranda Gowel-Wood, 3rd, and Sophie Knapp, honourable mention. 

In the junior category, Ella Miller got 1st place, Kenzie Sled, 2nd, Serena Dugdale, 3rd, and Cody Kirton and Brooklyn Simpson got honourable mentions. 

Intermediate winners were Caliegh Ward, 1st, Hannah Thomas, 2nd, Katie Ward, 3rd and MacKenzie Palmer-Price and Devon Yeo, honourable mentions.

Many in the audience agreed that the program is very useful in helping students gain confidence and poise.

 The evening proved to be yet another way that the Athens Lions Club makes a real difference in their community. 


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Snow Days! Since snowmobiles are permitted on the streets of Athens and there has been lots of snow this winter, this is often the scene at Athens District High School.  Staff ponders with humour, “Could it be a way of saving school board transportation costs?”                                                                                                                 Submitted photo. 




Next Issue : 

Wednesday April 1


The deadline is Wednesday March 25




Happy birthday to us!


By Sally Smid

This issue of The Mural Newspaper marks its 20th anniversary. That landmark is being recognized with this brief history of newspapers in Athens.

It all began with Bethuel Loverin, the founder of the Addison Reporter, a double 12 by 14 sheets which he printed in his Addison home, containing mostly temperance articles.  He and his family moved to Farmersville and in 1884 employed the Murphy brothers as printers.  The first copy of The Farmersville Reporter was printed that May and the weekly paper was enlarged to 15 by 22 and printed in an office at the corner of Main and Reid Streets.  He wrote about such concerns as the need for sidewalks and the problem of cattle wondering on the streets which seemed to prompt action.

In 1903 Loverin sold the paper to his foreman, G. F. Donnelly who operated it publisher for 11 years.  Publishers Shaw, Tribute, Morris, Bywater, and the Youngs followed. 

George A. Scott, who published several other papers as well, purchased the paper in 1948. Printed in Gananoque, its format changed and there was more local and district news included. A business office was later opened in the home of Edna Chant on Wiltse St. W.  She served as a reporter, news editor and advertising manager. The Athens Reporter was considered to be an ambassador of Athens and district and still is a great source of local history, available on microfilm in Athens Library. Edna Chant wrote 2 books which were gleaned from its pages with the aid of Lois Schroeder Stanford. The Leeds Echo was its successor for a time.

In 1987 the Athens Laker was established with publishers Libitz and Lysak. Various district writers contributed. There were social, ministerial, garden, heritage, local schools and other columns. 

The Mural followed and was founded by editor Christine Endicott, in March 1995.

A year later The Mural was sold to Paul Hawkins. He is  still the  publisher.

Cathie Whittaker began as a reporter and later editor, a position she still holds today.

Matt Flikweert has been a long time faithful reporter for the paper. He has covered many events over the years and is well known in the community.

John Stanford is also a long time contributor to the paper. He submits a popular editorial column, Curmudgeon’s Corner.

These days, The Mural is distributed in rural Leeds County, and is delivered monthly, free of charge,  by Canada Post, directly to 9,300 homes. Community-minded businesses advertise in The Mural to make this possible. The advertisers in The Mural support the production and distribution of the paper.

“The paper covers local news and events. Too many times the media is willing to overlook positive events and stories that occur locally. The Mural promotes a positive outlook by showcasing the local people and events that make our communities  unique. Community papers are important and without them local voices would not be heard,” explains Whittaker.

“The Mural also helps to support and strengthen area businesses, by providing an inexpensive yet quality source for them to advertise and reach the lucrative rural market.”

The Mural is thankful for the support of its readership and local businesses over these 20 years.

“The feedback from the community is quite impressive”, explains Whittaker. “Most of the time, comments are positive and the folks that we write about are happy to share their stories.”

Sally Smid, Christopher Lee and Brenda Visser are regular contributors.

Each month the pages of The Mural are posted on the website There is no charge to read online. You can like us on Facebook too!




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Katie Baker Concert:  (Front, L-R) Sara, Katie and Claire Baker (Back,  L-R)  Randy Orr and Mark Bergman, guitar, vocal back-up. Photo by Sally Smid.


Athens singer draws full house


By Sally Smid


So when a local singer like Katie Baker is on the bill at the Joshua Bates Centre on a cold snowy night, you might wonder how many will attend the concert; However it turned out to be quite a packed house and Katie’s versatile voice, back-up musicians and harmonious vocals as well as the  professional sound provided by Al Torrence along with JBC lighting, made the concert a wonderful success.

It has been 7 years since Katie’s “relaxed and personal style” has graced the JBC stage. She presented an evening of music from a variety of genres which included songs form Dolly Parson, the Eagles, and Pink, as well as songs that she and her daughter, Sara, wrote. Katie spoke about how proud she is of her, the current Prime Minister of the Athens High School Parliament. She will be going off to university this fall.  

Talented local musicians Mark Bergman, also a local guitar instructor, and Randy Orr of Healey and Orr accompanied Katie and contributed to vocals along with her daughter Claire. The group had been practising together since last summer. Together they created an incredible evening of music for all to enjoy. Funds from the 50/50 draw will once again go toward a worthy ADHS student this spring.




Publication Dates 2015


The Mural updated


Our new telephone number has changed to 613-493-0074.

There are no changes to our email addresses; and In fact, this is the best way to send community event listings, news ideas, ad copy and other contributions to The Mural.

Find us on Facebook. Our page has extra photos, last minute community event notices, previews of our upcoming issues, deadline reminders and more. Be sure to Like us at facebook/TheMuralAthens

As well, we still accept standard letter mail. If you want to send us something, feel free to mail it to The Mural, P.O. Box 398, Athens ON, K0E 1B0. Be sure to give us lots of time to retrieve it before the next deadline. We are unable to return photos, so please remember to make a copy.



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AuTo Feature 2015

Wedding Planner


Business Directory






 Description: Mapleleaf 

The Mural

P.O. Box 398, Athens, Ontario, Canada, K0E 1B0

Tel. 613-493-0074


All contents copyright 2015 The Mural. 

All articles, photographs and advertisement layouts created by The Mural cannot be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

The Mural cannot be held responsible for omissions or errors. 




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