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November 30, 2016

 

EVENTS

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Appearing with an additional war medal this year, Sir Henry Stevens prepares to lay a wreath in memory of his comrades. Photo: Sally Smid

 

Remembrance Day tribute in Athens

 

By Sally Smid

As Athens once again paid tribute to all of those who fought in battle, there was somewhat of a major battle with the wind in keeping the wreathes upright as well as enduring the frigid temperatures this year.  Of course this was minor in comparison to what those that fought for our freedom had to endure.

Sir Henry Stevens was the only World War veteran in attendance. The 97 year old survivor of D-Day, placed a wreath honouring his comrades, many of whom lost their lives over 70 years ago.  “God saw fit to let some of us return home,” he remarked in a trembling voice.  Rev. David Steele, new to the Athens Ministerial, organizers of the annual event, provided an opening prayer noting that the assembly was not intended “to glorify war but to pay tribute to all of those who sacrificed so much, from Flanders Fields to Afghanistan”. There were representatives of a variety of war and peacetime servicemen in attendance including Rev. Trish Miller of the Anglican Church, who has served in the military and provided the prayer of petition.  Addison United Church pastor, Rev. David Spivey and Father Benedict Ubanii provided the scripture readings. The recently donated sound system, courtesy of the Joshua Bates Centre, made a significant improvement in the audibility of this year’s program.  Brockville Rifle members always made a striking addition as they stood guarding the four corners of the cenotaph.

It was especially touching to witness the many students from Pineview, Heritage Christian School, and Athens District High School who were present for the ceremony and read the 45 names on the Honour Roll of veterans.  The ADHS band provided accompaniment while battling the wind as well. Music teacher Jim Palmer once again played the last post on Athens Museum’s archival bugle, thought to have been part of the village band. 

At the moment of silence, the vintage clock chimed 11 times adding to the community spirit and nostalgia. It is powerful to consider that the 156th Battalion marched up Main St. in front of where the cenotaph now stands. They boarded the B & W just blocks away and headed into the Great War. Some would not return.

Rev. Spivey also noted that it is also a time to consider those who currently serve in the military as well diplomats, first responders, law enforcers and more, as well as those who deal with losses and “sad memories” as a result of war.  There was a reception that followed at the Joshua Bates Centre which included refreshments supplied by Athens Township and displays provided by the Athens and Area Heritage Society. 

 

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Denise Kelly presents Dawson Fleming with Highest Interest Plowing Award from the  Leeds 4-H Plowing Club.  Photo: Catherine Orth

 

4-H Awards illustrate the value of community spirit

 

By Catherine Orth

 

Leeds County 4-H is impressive. The kids are impressive. The leaders are impressive. The volunteers are impressive. The sponsorship is impressive. Dedication is apparent. The well attended annual awards night, held on Friday November 18 at the Lansdowne Community Building affirmed the strength of the club. The hall was full, and the audience attentive, as club after club was presented with well earned awards. The awards night was supported by the presence of MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clark and Leeds and the Thousand Islands Mayor, Joe Baptista.

MPP Steve Clark said, “the one thing that struck me here tonight is the amount of young people that are involved in 4-H here in the county.” He commented on how very fortunate the county is to have so many dedicated leaders and sponsors. MPP Clark praised parents for their support, commenting that 4-H is a real family affair, providing great value for young people.

Participation in 4-H can take a completely inexperience young person and give them the knowledge of animal husbandry that can lead the all the way to The Royal Winter Fair.  A valuable aspect of 4-H is that club members do not have to live on a farm. Master of Ceremonies and long time 4-H club member Lyndsay Dickson is a great example. She did not grow up on a farm but “fell in love with the whole 4-H experience.” She became very involved with 4-H and had the opportunity this year of going to the University of Guelph to the Dairy Sense Conference.

To be a 4-H member, is a great opportunity to learn and grow. It is completely hands on. The clubs are aplenty. There is a bake club; a book club; a bread club; a cake decorating club; a community awareness club; a curling club; a maple syrup club; a garden club; a maple syrup club; a milk makes it better club; a plowing club; a potato club; a quilting club; a beef club; a fitting club; a dairy club; a goat club; a horse club; a rabbit club; and a sheep club. This impressive list gives one some idea of the scope and work being done by 4-H members and 4-H volunteers. Each club has its awards as recognition is an important part of the 4-H philosophy.

Sponsorship is vital for the 4-H club to go above and beyond for the young members. Hubert Ferguson presented a cheque from Grenville Mutual, a major sponsor of the 11 associations of  Region 2 4-H.  A cheque was also presented from sponsor Leeds Federation of Agriculture. Gay Lea Foods sponsors the 24 project awards. Twenty year plus volunteer and leader Brenda Dunster, clearly expressed her appreciation saying, “there are many sponsors supporting Leeds 4-H and we are  very thankful”

The evening was opened by the reciting of the 4-H pledge by the youngest members, The Clover Buds. The Clover Buds are children between 6 and 8 years of age. This year there were 15 members with 5 eight year old Clover Buds graduating to the regular 4-H.

Tessa Dwyre asked dairy producer Steve DeKroon on behalf of the Leeds County Milk Producers to present the Leeds Champion Dairy Showperson Award to Cody Jackson.

Leeds Champion Dairy Calf was awarded to Lyndsay Dickson.

The County Tie-up Competition was won by the Leeds 4-H Beef Club.

Matthew Welch won the Overall Grand Showperson. This award is very prestigious as it is presented to the person who is able to show, with just 15 minutes per animal, such as a sheep goat cow and rabbit, none of which can be their own, their ability to lead or handle each animal. Matthew won the most points with 235 points out of 250, in a field of five contenders, at The Leeds County 4-H Showcase at the Lansdowne Fair Grounds in September.

Leeds Outstanding Participation award went to Daniel Haggett

Leeds 4-H Team Builder Award went to Cassidy Lewis

Lifeskills Awards went to Regan Carkner

4-H Inspirational Award went to Alexandra Carkner.

Volunteers are also awarded and Richard Hanna was recognized for his, to present, 5 years of volunteering.

Neil Carkner Leeds 4-H Association President closed the evening, thanking everyone for attending, praising all the participants and warmly thanking all the volunteers and sponsors for their participation and support.

Regular 4-H is open to everyone from the ages of 8 on and Clover Buds was created to bring in children from ages 6 to 8 years. Once a member reaches 21 they can become a team leader. For info call Brenda Dunster at 613-342-0014 or Like the Leeds County 4-H Club on Face Book.

 

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