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June 7, 2017


 

EVENTS

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At the re-opening, (Front row, L-R): Freda White, Liane Salmon, Wilhelmina Lacelle, Connie Burns, Gord Brown, Gerry Last. (Back row, L-R): Glennda Olivier, Gerry Dorey, Peter Christie, David Sheridan. Photo: Catherine Orth.

 

Lansdowne train mural re-opening ceremony

 

By Catherine Orth

 The steady rain on Friday morning May 5, neither dampened enthusiasm, nor appreciation at the ceremony honouring the restored Lansdowne train mural.

Master of Ceremonies, Lansdowne Association For Revitalization (LAFR) president, Peter Christie opened the ceremony blowing an antique family conductor’s train whistle  “We’re obviously all Canadians here, who else would be out in weather like this!” he said.

Indeed, it could be said that the rain added to the occasion, as colourful umbrellas twirled  and the crowd brimmed with pride. Lansdowne has every reason to feel proud of its Canada 150 project. The original mural project, spearheaded by Ann Graham in 2006, commissioned renowned  Brockville artist, David Sheridan, to recreate a moment in the life of the once busy station. Located at the corner of Prince and Grand Truck on the south side of the Lucky Dollar building, the mural became  part of the accepted landscape; it’s delightful turn of the century train station scene, greeting visitors as they approach the village from Reynolds Rd.  But, as the years rolled on, LAFR, became concerned that if the mural wasn’t restored, it could well disappear into the landscape. The Train Mural Joint Committee was formed, combing the forces of LAFR and Leeds and the Thousand Islands Historical Society. Mr Sheridan agreed to restore the mural and fundraising began.

With the assistance of The Lansdowne Rural Telephone Company, Mr Sheridan, took the mural down in sections and over the winter, freshened the colours and embellished the scene, adding two more children greeting Train 150.

Glennda Olivier, Leeds and Thousand Islands Historical Society president said that though, there wasn’t a Train 150, that she nor local historian Brian Phillips, knew, Mr. Sheridan took artistic license and added this special tribute to Canada’s hundred and fiftieth birthday.

Retired teacher Jan Orr, led Thousand Islands Elementary School (TIES) students, singing the bilingual version of Oh Canada. They also sang Bobby Gimby’s famous 1967 song, Canada. The young students unfazed by the rain, continued with This Land Is Your Land; and a special version of I’ve Been Working On The Railroad, with the final verse ringing a tribute to the mural, “It shows the history of a village, to one and all!”  .

MP Gord Brown congratulated all for “swimming over” and said that the mural was a great opportunity to show the history of Lansdowne, which, he added, is located where it is today specifically because of the train, as originally, Lansdowne was further south near present day County Rd. 2 and Reynolds Rd. “We can never do enough to celebrate history, as it’s what connects us to our past and people really do celebrate the past in our area.” he said.

Glennda Olivia also added that former area MP, now a Senator, Bob Runciman sent his congratulations.

Gerry Last, Deputy Mayor for Leeds and The Thousand Islands cut the ribbon, concluding the ceremony.

Lucky Dollar owners Izat and Alnoor Somani surprised the Train Committee and all in attendance by inviting everyone into their store to warm up and have a piece of celebratory cake. A very fitting conclusion to this community event.

Donations are still being accepted for the train mural project. For further information please contact Glennda Olivier at 613-328-0958.

                                                                                                                

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Athens Blooms

members retiring

                                                            

After many years of contributing so much time and effort in providing the village with flower hangers, beds and planters, retiring Athens Blooms members recently worked at Valley View on what is probably their last project together. A search continues for new members to help Athens Blooms to continue. (L-R): Linda Heffernan, Kathryn Hudson, Ursula Quantz, Catherine Killens, Pat Blanchard and Jean Brassington.   Photo: Sally Smid            

 

 

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The Mural

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

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