David Shanahan – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 The Pre-Festival Festival http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-pre-festival-festival/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-pre-festival-festival/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 13:21:59 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13577 Something special is coming to Riverside Park on July 18. As a warm-up for the Kemptville Live Festival beginning the following day, Music in the Park is a big “thank you” to the people of North Grenville from the Kemptville Live organisers. This free event features local musicians, Artisans, the National Capital Balloon Club’s Hot […]

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Something special is coming to Riverside Park on July 18. As a warm-up for the Kemptville Live Festival beginning the following day, Music in the Park is a big “thank you” to the people of North Grenville from the Kemptville Live organisers. This free event features local musicians, Artisans, the National Capital Balloon Club’s Hot Air Balloons (weather permitting), a Children’s Science Show, Farmer’s Market Vendors, lots of food and a Beer Tent.

Beginning at 3 pm with the Science Show for kids by Dr. 4-Face himself, Patrick Atwell, and going on until later that night, when Amanda Jordan closes off the day on the main stage at around 10 pm, it will be a day of free fun for the whole family.

Festival organiser, Herb Cloutier, says that the Kemptville Live team wanted to give something back to the local community in return for the support they have given the main Festival since it began. This is a return to its community roots by an event that may have appeared to have grown beyond North Grenville by now. But Herb says that it is still rooted in the locality, and Music in the Park is a sign of that community commitment.

The musicians are all young, mostly local, and this is an opportunity for them to showcase their talents to a wider audience. By including local groups, artists, craftspeople and the Kemptville Farmers Market vendors, the day will be a happy reminder of the old Dandelion Festival, when it first started many moons ago.

The local business community is also getting behind the day, with the main stage being sponsored by the Kemptville Business Improvement Area [BIA]. If the weather permits, the National Capital Balloon Club will provide balloon rides, for which there is a charge. For more information on music acts and schedule, see last week’s Times, or our website for the BIA’s article “Downtown gets ready for Kemptville Live with Music in the Park”.

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Just as I am http://www.ngtimes.ca/just-as-i-am/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/just-as-i-am/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:46:22 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13621 There seems to be a misconception about being a Christian. People seem to think that Christians are either especially “spiritual” people, or else they’re holier-than-thou idiots who blindly believe some unintelligent fairy tales about God, etc. There are other attitudes that are somewhere between those two opinions, but the general belief is that Christians are […]

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There seems to be a misconception about being a Christian. People seem to think that Christians are either especially “spiritual” people, or else they’re holier-than-thou idiots who blindly believe some unintelligent fairy tales about God, etc. There are other attitudes that are somewhere between those two opinions, but the general belief is that Christians are guilty of turning off their brains and “going on faith”. But the faith involved in being a Christian is not blind, not mindless, not willing to accept whatever one is told.

Jesus said that the greatest command of all involves loving the Lord your God with all your mind. That means thinking through things, examining, asking questions and not being satisfied with ignorance. It also means coming to know who you are in relation to God, and that is far from being a cosy and comfortable process. Christians are not, in that sense, holier than thou. They are people who know that they have been given a gift: forgiveness, love, salvation, that they do not deserve and have not earned.

Their only claim to any of this, is that Jesus died and rose for their sake, individually and personally. They have come to the Lord, not because they have any right to do so, but because he called them to come and made it possible by his death on their behalf. It really is amazing grace, as John Newton put it.

Perhaps in this age when so many Christians sing choruses, instead of solid and meaty hymns, we are missing out on the truth of this. So, let me invite you to read something that puts the entire gospel into a song of joy. Charlotte Elliott wrote it in 1835 to express her certainty about her position before God. It was not dependant on her feelings, her worthiness, or her activities. It was all because of Jesus, and her only claim to be confident in her salvation was because Jesus had assured her and called her, and given her his righteousness and salvation.

Every Christian can say or sing these words “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”, as Peter put it. If these seem foreign to you, think about what they are saying and realise that “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” [Acts 2.39]

Faith is not blind: it is simply trusting Jesus that what he says is true, what he did, he did for you, personally. Every time I start to feel like the undeserving moron I know I can be in my deepest self, I think of these words, and remember that God loves me as I am, knowing exactly who and what I am. He is not asking us to change and better people before we can be acceptable to him, because he knows we can never be that good. But if we have the humility to agree with his verdict on us, then we know that we stand by grace alone.

Too good to be true? I must say, for myself, that after forty-three years as a Christian, it is more true now than ever before. Just as it was the day I first trusted him, so it is today:

“Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

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Merrickville 225:Those were the days http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-225those-were-the-days/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-225those-were-the-days/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:05:44 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13567 With talk of municipal amalgamations being heard in various quarters today, it is always interesting to look back to a time when the Township of Wolford was at the centre of a large amalgamated area. The Minutes of Council from 1802 until 1846 were set down in a “Town Book…for the Use of the Township […]

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With talk of municipal amalgamations being heard in various quarters today, it is always interesting to look back to a time when the Township of Wolford was at the centre of a large amalgamated area. The Minutes of Council from 1802 until 1846 were set down in a “Town Book…for the Use of the Township of Woolford [as the Clerk spelt it constantly] and the Townships Incorporated therewith, Viz., Montague, Marlborough & Oxford”. It seems the Minutes were kept on separate sheets of paper, until the book itself was “Purchased by Mr. Joseph Haskins” in 1809 for the princely sum of 20 shillings, or £1; quite a lot of money in those days.

The very first Town Meeting was held on March 1, 1802 at the home of James Lakes, and Henry Arnold was elected Clerk for that year. Names that are still familiar today appear in the minutes of that first meeting, as what now sound like very exotic positions were filled. Daniel Burritt was appointed as one of the pound keepers that year. He was also appointed to a few other positions, such as Assessor and Overseer of Highways. Joseph Easton was named as Town Warden, along with William Brown.

They may not have had sign bylaws, and no-one was told what colour they could paint their front door, but some of the laws passed in 1802 were equally specific. For example, all fences had to be four feet, six inches high, and there had to be a space of five inches between the four bottom rails. This had to do with keeping animals from wandering, but an exception was made for hogs. “That all Hogs are to run at large in free but that those which do the people of the Neighbourhood damage, Shall be yoked with a sufficient yoke, or shut up, provided that the fences are Lawful.”

Some of the entries in the early years are a little obscure. In 1803, for example, it states that: “Ordered That Horses, Horned Cattle, Sheep and Swine Stand voted according to the Acts of the Province”.

One of the more interesting aspects of Council Minutes is the recording of births in the Townships. The population was small enough to make each birth a matter of interest, and it was clear that some couples were doing their part in adding to the community. William and Chloe Brown, of Wolford, had a son, Erastus, born in 1791, one of the earliest births in the region. Then, in 1792, they had another son; and yet more sons in 1794, 1796 and 1799. Daniel Burritt and his wife Electa, had a son in 1798, a daughter, Urania, in 1802, and Daniel jnr was born in 1804.

Finding unusual names for your children was something parents liked to do back then, just as they do today. But some of those names… We’ve come across Urania and Electa Burritt, but there was also Shankful Olmstead, Arethusa Powers, Orra Pamele, and Axy Waller. Jabez was a popular name, along with the more usual Hiram, Ira, Truman, Caleb and Erastus. It was a close knit community, where neighbours depended on each other for so many things. Wolford’s population in 1802 was 165, and Oxford’s was just 14, the Harris family who lived just outside what would become Burritt’s Rapids.

By 1815, just before significant immigration arrived after the War of 1812, Wolford’s population had grown to 322, but Oxford’s had only reached 25. That wave of immigration was soon to radically alter the character and make-up of the Townships. Two years later, in 1817, Oxford had 71 residents, while Wolford’s population remained almost unchanged. But the laws remained consistent. “Ordered that Sheep shall be free Commoners Except Rams for which the Law has made Provision”. It’s a brief insight into life in our locality a century ago, at a time when roads were primitive, at best; when a rural lifestyle of subsistence and labour was about to be transformed by the building of the Rideau Canal, and a whole new era would dawn.

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The race is on to fill Gord Brown’s seat http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-race-is-on-to-fill-gord-browns-seat/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-race-is-on-to-fill-gord-browns-seat/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:01:39 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13589 Since the unexpected death of Gord Brown last May, there has been an increasing interest in who will run in the required by-election in this riding. In Gord’s own party, five individuals have now declared their intention to seek the nomination for the Conservative Party, although no declaration has yet been made as to when […]

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Since the unexpected death of Gord Brown last May, there has been an increasing interest in who will run in the required by-election in this riding. In Gord’s own party, five individuals have now declared their intention to seek the nomination for the Conservative Party, although no declaration has yet been made as to when the election will take place.

The Tories will vote for the nominee some time in August, and candidates have until July 19 to line up support. Only Party members can vote for the nominee, and the five declared candidates are busy selling memberships far and wide throughout the riding.

The five candidates come from across the region. Colin Brown, Gord Brown’s nephew, was the first to announce his candidacy. At just 26, he is the youngest of the five vying for the nomination. Stephanie Mitton, who is from Lombardy, has worked around Parliament Hill for more than a decade, and has made seniors’ issues a central plank in her platform.

Anne Johnston has been seen in North Grenville and Merrickville-Wolford, working the Party network that she is very familiar with from campaiging for other candidates in the past. She has the support of Party insiders, including the provincial riding president, Barry Raison, and Gord Brown’s last campaign manager, Rob Horton.

Henry Oosterhof is a farmer working a dairy operation in Elizabethtown-Kitley, and is well-known in farming circles in the riding. The fifth candidate is Michael Barrett, who is a councillor in Edwardsburgh/Cardinal and was, until recently, the federal riding president.

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On the road to find out http://www.ngtimes.ca/on-the-road-to-find-out/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/on-the-road-to-find-out/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 19:00:47 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13444 In this year of political activity, the swearing-in of Doug Ford’s new Ontario Government has added another element to an already fascinating year. With the appointment of local MPP Steve Clark to the Cabinet, the new Premier has caused waves of speculation throughout the region. Will this guarantee the completion of the County Road 43 […]

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In this year of political activity, the swearing-in of Doug Ford’s new Ontario Government has added another element to an already fascinating year. With the appointment of local MPP Steve Clark to the Cabinet, the new Premier has caused waves of speculation throughout the region. Will this guarantee the completion of the County Road 43 expansion project through Kemptville? Will North Grenville now be in a position to get grants which were believed to have been blocked by the previous Liberal government? Steve’s new position as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is quite a powerful Cabinet seat and gives him responsibility for dealing with Ontario’s municipalities.

There is no doubt that Steve Clark was a strong proponent of the CR43 project and it is an added advantage that the new Minister for Transport, John Yakabuski, is also an Eastern Ontario MPP, representing Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke. Perhaps a regional member will be better able to appreciate the infrastructure needs of rural Ontario.

North Grenville may also benefit from the appointment of another local area MPP, Merrilee Fullerton, as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. This first-time MPP may be someone willing to work with the municipality in the future educational development of the Kemptville Campus, and any financial support for the new undertaking would be good news for taxpayers, as well as administrators of the Campus.

Although NG Mayor David Gordon seems quite sure the CR43 project will now get the go-ahead funding needed from the Province, his Progressive Conservative Party ties may not be enough on their own to assure a good result. Steve Clark was quite open in his upset, at the very least, that he had been excluded by the mayor and CAO, Brian Carré, during their negotiations over the Kemptville College file. He had been deeply involved in the immediate aftermath of the announcement that Guelph were leaving, and he was unhappy that he was not allowed to be involved later.

There is also the fact that, although he has been a very effective MPP since he was first elected, Steve will now have to pay attention to the other 443 municipalities in Ontario, and not just North Grenville. The Ford Government have a long list of promises made that will require a great deal of money to implement, and there may not be the flow of funds some in this area expect. Steve Clark will, I am sure, do what he can for his constituents.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the new Minister will be dealing with the current mayor and council after October 22. The next stage in our political year will be the Municipal Election, which has really begun already. By July 28, we will know who is running for mayor and council, and that is when it will get really interesting.

The current council have been facing a lot of opposition and anger among various groups in the community recently, and there is the question of litigation still remaining unrevealed too. The municipality has been involved in litigation over the Kemptville Meadows condominium development, taken to the Ontario Municipal Board over a property on Asa Street, rebuked by the provincial BIA organisation for their treatment of the Kemptville BIA, acted precipitously and without any sense against local businesses, informed the taxpayers of the municipality that it is unacceptable for them to criticise or ridicule council members or municipal staff, and, of course, accused the Times of threatening the democratic rights of the people of North Grenville. And that is far from being the full list.

We still don’t know why so many staff members have left, and under what circumstances and financial arrangements, but this is almost certainly something we will never be told about. The administration and governance of North Grenville has been shrouded in mystery, gag orders and arrogance for some time now. After the last municipal election, I wrote about the “Bubble” that elected officials disappear into, usually becoming servants of the bureaucrats. They start to see themselves as “us”, and the people who elected them as “them”. A sense of superiority and entitlement creeps over them and they assume that only they truly understand what’s needed, and they come to see the rest of us as..well, they said it, threats.

Power corrupts, they say, and even friendships and previous commitments get thrown overboard, sometimes without any good reason, and even unknowingly. Individuals who signed the letter containing the “threat to democratic rights” statement assure me they don’t believe that, they just signed an official letter saying it. Reality has faded into the background there, I fear.

So, let’s see what happens next in this wonderful year of politics and entertainment. Is there a difference?

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Space oddity http://www.ngtimes.ca/space-oddity/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/space-oddity/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:20:24 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13477 Dublin, in fact all of Ireland, is suffering from the second heatwave in a month. So, as I strolled happily down the street one day during the week, I thought the heat was causing me to have visions and mirages. There, on a poster ad on a bus shelter, was a photograph of Canadian astronaut, […]

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Dublin, in fact all of Ireland, is suffering from the second heatwave in a month. So, as I strolled happily down the street one day during the week, I thought the heat was causing me to have visions and mirages. There, on a poster ad on a bus shelter, was a photograph of Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield in his full space suit garb. Nothing terribly unusual there, perhaps, but the words on the poster read: “Tá Gaeilge Agam”, which, translated, means: “ I speak Irish”.

That got me confused. Was some company misusing the Canadian’s image to advertise their goods illegally? Why would he be appearing on Dublin bus advertising claiming to speak the Irish language? Honestly, the things you see on Dublin streets!

In fact, the advertisement was part of a new campaign to encourage people to use whatever level of Irish they had, as the Irish language has been in decline for some time.

Canadians will remember the wonderful broadcasts Chris had made from space during his time on the International Space Station in 2013, culminating in his singing David Bowie’s song, “Space Oddity” to a worldwide audience.

Earlier in his sojourn, he had also posted photographs of various cities around the world, taken at night from the Space Station. Among these was a picture of Dublin, to which he added the tweet: “Tá Éire fiorálainn! Land of green hills and dark beer. With capital Dublin glowing in the Irish night”.

This got people asking: where did he learn the Irish phrases? There was so much positive response from Irish supporters that he tweeted: “Wow, I can feel the warmth of the Irish all the way up here – go raibh maith agaibh! I’ll do my best to photo more cities as clouds clear.” It was, as they say, the start of a beautiful friendship. Chris later explained the Irish language connection: “I’ve always had an interest in Ireland and Irish culture; hence my tweet As Gaeilge from space. My daughter Kristin studied for her PhD at Trinity College and my niece Kelly is currently studying at the UL medical school so I have something of a love affair with this place”.

Soon after returning from his time on the International Space Station, Chris visited his family in Ireland and was warmly received wherever he went. So much so, in fact, that he was named as an ambassador for Irish tourism in 2014, and has since made a number of promotional videos, called An Astronaut’s Guide To The Island Of Ireland.

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, pointed out that the Canadian was especially qualified to promote the country: “Chris Hadfield is one of the few people on earth who has seen Ireland from space, and on the ground. ” So, the “Tá Gaeilge Agam” poster was not a case of fraudulent advertising, nor was it a mirage in the heat of a Dublin street.

Commander Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut, Irish tourism ambassador, and international singing sensation, does really speak the Irish language to some extent. What a very strange connection between the two nations.

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Standing on guard http://www.ngtimes.ca/standing-on-guard-2/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/standing-on-guard-2/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13294 In late June that year, word got round that there was a young foreign family newly-arrived in town. They were staying in a hotel while they looked for an apartment, and were finding things very confusing indeed. There were three young children involved, one only a few weeks old, and being confined to a hotel […]

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In late June that year, word got round that there was a young foreign family newly-arrived in town. They were staying in a hotel while they looked for an apartment, and were finding things very confusing indeed. There were three young children involved, one only a few weeks old, and being confined to a hotel room in a strange town was difficult. Someone in the office decided to invite them to a Canada Day BBQ as a way of introducing them to some new Canadian friends, and a car was dispatched to pick them up on the day.

What a new experience it was for them! To start with, the very idea of a bbq was new: imagine cooking outside in your garden. Hot dogs were something the children had never eaten, and the burgers were like nothing any of them had tasted before. These Canadians were so determined that the newcomers would feel welcome and included, although the constant comments: “You must be so glad to get away from the bombs and violence”, were hard to answer.

Then, with food and beer, sunshine and smiles, the gathering broke into “O Canada”, and the newcomers were deeply moved by it all. At home, there was a lot of politics involved in the national anthem: here it seemed joyful. The words struck home forcefully: this was an anthem you could sing proudly. There was no triumphalism, no arrogance or threats. Going home from the celebration, a foreign family felt they had come to a better place than they had imagined.

That may all seem too sentimental, too much nostalgic memories through rose-coloured glasses. But that was my first experience of Canada Day, and the effects have never really left me. It was years before I could become a citizen, but from that day, because of those people welcoming me and my family into their national birthday party, I felt this was a country I could become part of.

The words stayed with me too. “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee”. I have never felt that this was a militaristic statement, a call to arms. It has always seemed to me to be a promise, a commitment to protect and preserve what it is that makes Canada the country it is. And that is tied up, for me anyway, with the welcoming friendliness I experienced that day in Thunder Bay back in 1982. It is a promise to maintain the character of the country that invented peace-keeping for the United Nations. It tells “foreigners” that they can make a home here, not forsaking their ethnic and cultural roots, but adding them to the mix.

There are some, I know, who find that idea objectionable; who think that everyone should become “Canadian”. But what else is that? Canada has always been a country made up of immigrants, refugees, “foreigners”. The French arrived here, paid for by their Government, given land and supported by the merchants of France. The United Empire Loyalists were refugees, fleeing war and persecution, and dependant on government hand-outs of food, clothes and free land. That began a tradition, a pattern of immigration, from Europe and Asia and the United States, of people looking for something better, freedom and possibilities, a new chance for their children. There is no-one in Canada whose people did not come from somewhere else.

Maybe we sometimes fear that continuing that tradition of welcoming newcomers will somehow water down whatever Canada is, whatever Canadians are. But the fact is that “what Canada is” has been built on those traditions, on those foreigners who arrived here and had to fit into the climate, the harsh environment, the new way of doing things. Perhaps what native-born Canadians forget sometimes, is how grateful newcomers are to be here; how determined they can be to live up to the gift they have received by becoming part of this nation. They, we, after all, are the ones who chose this to be our new homeland.

It may be easy to dismiss all of this as a naive and simplistic view of Canada. Anyone who has lived anywhere else in the world, knows that it is not so. Canada is not perfect; it has faults, it has systemic racism, it has poverty, and it has political corruption. All of this is true. But immigrants and exiles are not looking for perfection: they are looking for better; and, in Canada, they find that better place, that place of possibilities and potential.

Somewhere across the land, a newly-arrived foreign family will be invited to join their new neighbours at a picnic, or party, or bbq, and will be introduced to something quite extraordinary and wonderful. If we can keep our focus on that, we can afford to welcome many newcomers, invite them to add their contribution to our communities, and put down roots for themselves and their children, then we can really sing out: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!”.

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Canada Day History http://www.ngtimes.ca/canada-day-history/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/canada-day-history/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:57:43 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13328 Canada Day has become such a central part of the Canadian year that it is easy to forget that it is a very recent arrival on the scene. On October 27, 1982, the Parliament of Canada initiated Canada Day following the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution that year. Before 1982, July 1 was known as […]

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Canada Day has become such a central part of the Canadian year that it is easy to forget that it is a very recent arrival on the scene. On October 27, 1982, the Parliament of Canada initiated Canada Day following the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution that year. Before 1982, July 1 was known as Dominion Day, and had been acknowledged as Canada’s birthday from the date when the British North America Act came into force in 1867. The following year, 1868, the Governor General at the time suggested that Canadians celebrate Dominion Day as their National Holiday.

Surprisingly, Dominion Day was not itself a major event for decades after 1867. It took another ten years before there was any legislation passed for the recognition of the holiday. In fact, the first official government celebration of Dominion Day only happened in 1917, on the 50th anniversary of Confederation. The Canadian Government started organising official celebrations in 1958, and it was after that that the name “Canada Day” started to be used. There was, however, great argument among Canadians about using that term, as it seemed a break with tradition. However, the plain truth is that there was very little tradition of Dominion Day celebrations before the 1950’s.

In North Grenville one hundred years ago, Dominion Day was a hit and miss affair. Some years there were celebrations in Kemptville, other years the day passed without comment or activities of any kind. It seems that the day’s events depended on various groups and organisations within the community, just as is true today. In 1911, the events were sponsored by the local Catholic Church congregation. A large dinner was held in the Agricultural Hall, put on by the ladies of the congregation, and was attended by the Secretary of State, Charles Murphy, as well as the local M.P.P., G. Howard Ferguson. Murphy pointed out that the occasion was “not racial, not sectarian; but national”, and praised the rise of Imperial sentiment in Canada in the years since Confederation. Ferguson, who would one day be Premier of Ontario, stated that the province was the best place in the country, and would “remain the Banner Province of the Dominion”.

After the speeches came the athletics. Races were held over various distances, from the hundred yards dash, to the two mile marathon. Needless to say, only males were allowed to race. No-one from Kemptville won a race, though in the Boys’ Race, W. McGovern of Oxford came first, and Harold McGahey came second. The big event of the afternoon was the baseball match between Kemptville and Merrickville, which the home team won 3 -2. Music throughout was supplied by the Harmony Band of Smith’s Falls, this being one of those periods when Kemptville was without a band of its own. The people then adjourned back to the Hall for a supper, also served by the ladies of the Catholic Church. By the time a big storm blew in that evening, the crowds had already wound their way home.

In 1912, it was the Baseball Club that ran the day’s events. The day started with a parade, or a “Trade Procession” as it was called then. It began at Riverside Park, wound around the streets, and ended up back at the Park again. The parade was led by the Texan Ranger Band from Ottawa. Who they were is unclear, but the Texan theme ran through the day’s festivities. The Band, accompanied by two pipers, played for an hour outside the Advance building on Prescott Street, filling in the time before the main event of the day: the sports activities in Riverside Park, where there were races, both human and horse, and a wonderful event called “Catch the Greasy Pig”. The big baseball game was between Kemptville and Spencerville, and all went well aside from some Spencerville teenagers who took to insulting anyone not from their town.

In the evening, there was a special concert at the Oddfellows Hall, which included an escape artist, whose ability to free himself from handcuffs and the “torture cabinet” amazed the audience. There were also “Scotch” dancers, and comedy from Sam and Guss, “the colored comedians”. And, to round off the day, the Texan Concert Orchestra provided the music for a dance at the Hall.

The following year, 1913, it seems there were no celebrations, possibly owing to the lack of an organising group. But, looking at the reports of Dominion Day one hundred years ago, what is surprising is how little it has changed. They had Dominion Day, and we have Canada Day. We still have our activities through the afternoon in both Kemptville and Oxford Mills, and an evening of music to end the day at Riverside Park. They had concerts and we have fireworks. But the event is still focussed on the celebration of Canada and its people. For years before the Government saw fit to celebrate the day officially, the people of North Grenville were marking the occasion with music, fun and sports. Long may that continue.

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Newspapers and Confederation http://www.ngtimes.ca/newspapers-and-confederation/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/newspapers-and-confederation/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:25:54 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13322 In the 1860’s, there was no consistent reporting of the debates in the Legislatures of British North America, so, when Confederation was being debated and argued over, it was only by reading newspapers that the people of the colonies could find out what was happening. Many of the politicians involved in those debates were themselves […]

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In the 1860’s, there was no consistent reporting of the debates in the Legislatures of British North America, so, when Confederation was being debated and argued over, it was only by reading newspapers that the people of the colonies could find out what was happening. Many of the politicians involved in those debates were themselves either journalists or newspaper owners at various times. Today, historians rely on those newspaper reports in order to know what was said, what ideas were put forward, and which pressures were brought to bear against the men who were building a new country.

In fact, one Canadian historian, P. B. Waite, wrote an account of the entire Confederation story based entirely on newspaper records. The Fourth Estate, as the media are called, remain a vital part of the democratic system in Canada.

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Kingdom of Canada http://www.ngtimes.ca/kingdom-of-canada/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/kingdom-of-canada/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:17:23 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13319 Right up until the very last days before Confederation was enshrined in legislation in the British Parliament, there was still disagreement about what the new country would be called. The most popular title among all the representatives of the Colonies, as well as the Imperial Government, was The Kingdom of Canada. Everyone believed that it […]

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Right up until the very last days before Confederation was enshrined in legislation in the British Parliament, there was still disagreement about what the new country would be called. The most popular title among all the representatives of the Colonies, as well as the Imperial Government, was The Kingdom of Canada. Everyone believed that it was important to emphasise the continuing links with the British Empire, and the new country’s identity as a part of that loyalist tradition.

However, it was finally decided that such a name would be objectionable to the Americans. The strains of the Civil War remained a major element in the relations between the United States and the new Canada. There had been threats of invasion made by the victorious Northern Forces in retaliation for the Canadians’ support of the Confederate States.

Therefore, the name of the new nation would not be The Kingdom, but the Dominion of Canada.

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