oxford mills – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 17 May 2018 16:19:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 What happened to Maplewood? http://www.ngtimes.ca/what-happened-to-maplewood/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/what-happened-to-maplewood/#comments Thu, 10 May 2018 01:12:47 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=12394 Residents of Oxford Mills are a little confused these days. It seems they have a new park in the village, which is exactly the same size and shape as Maplewood Park. It even has the same kind of gazebo that the Municipality were so kind as to allow the community to build and pay for. […]

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Residents of Oxford Mills are a little confused these days. It seems they have a new park in the village, which is exactly the same size and shape as Maplewood Park. It even has the same kind of gazebo that the Municipality were so kind as to allow the community to build and pay for.

But the sign says “Oxford Mills Park”, a place no-one around has ever heard of before. Where did that come from? Away back, when Oxford Mills was the main centre of Oxford-on-Rideau Township, the park beside the Town Hall was called “Township Park”. For the past decades, it has been known as Maplewood Park, as it is situated on Maplewood Avenue, and gives its name to Maplewood Hall, the old school house.

Has someone on the municipal staff decided, arbitrarily and without consulting the residents of Oxford Mills, to change the name of this valued venue? Someone, no doubt, who doesn’t live in the hamlet, or maybe not even in the municipality? Would it not have been better to see what residents thought of the idea before putting up the sign?

Should the municipal authorities claim that Oxford Mills Park has always been its name, may I point out that even their own notices for Canada Day festivities refer to the place as Maplewood Park: check it out. Their own list of Municipal Parks & Sports Fields contains a listing for Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills. Can we please have our park back?

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Why Cook Dinner on Pancake Tuesday? http://www.ngtimes.ca/cook-dinner-pancake-tuesday/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/cook-dinner-pancake-tuesday/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:16:11 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10868 Why cook dinner on February 13th, when you can come to the United Church in Oxford Mills for a traditional pancake dinner, complete with sausage (courtesy of Dial-a-Chef) and real LOCAL MAPLE SYRUP for only $5 ? At the same time you’ll be helping to raise funds for the Oxford Mills Community Association and the […]

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Why cook dinner on February 13th, when you can come to the United Church in Oxford Mills for a traditional pancake dinner, complete with sausage (courtesy of Dial-a-Chef) and real LOCAL MAPLE SYRUP for only $5 ? At the same time you’ll be helping to raise funds for the Oxford Mills Community Association and the United Church. 42 Water Street, Oxford Mills – 5:30pm to 7pm. Gluten free pancakes available on demand. The cost is only $5.00 for plate, Family price $20.

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Oxford Mills Community Association AGM http://www.ngtimes.ca/oxford-mills-community-association-agm/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/oxford-mills-community-association-agm/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:09:20 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10865 The Oxford Mills Community Association held this year’s Annual General Meeting at Maplewood Hall in the heart of Oxford Mills, a place that has been the site of the OMCA AGM for many years. However, there was something different about this year’s meeting. The atmosphere was different, the air in the hall seemed a little […]

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The Oxford Mills Community Association held this year’s Annual General Meeting at Maplewood Hall in the heart of Oxford Mills, a place that has been the site of the OMCA AGM for many years. However, there was something different about this year’s meeting. The atmosphere was different, the air in the hall seemed a little bit lighter, and the members of the board seemed to be in a more playful mood than usual. For those who are familiar with the OMCA, you probably have a good idea why.

It was quite a year for the OMCA. Events Coordinator, Sara McAvoy, outlined the long list of successful events that the community enjoyed which had helped to raise a larger amount of money than normal. According to Treasurer, David Habberjam, that money was sorely needed, because a major multi-year project taken on by the board had finally been completed this year. Maplewood Park finally had a gazebo again. In total, it cost the Association approximately $11,000 to have the gazebo built and installed. It was made possible by a number of efforts, including the success of several fundraising events, raising $4,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, and significant in-kind contributions from Lockwood Brothers and Cruickshank Construction.

As had been reported on more than one occasion in the NG Times, “GazeboGate” was a long, drawn-out affair that tested the resolve and patience of the OMCA. Despite the obstacles placed in front of them by North Grenville Municipal Council, they persevered and now have a centrepiece for all of their outdoor events, like Canada Day, the Easter Egg Hunt, and weddings, which used to be common in Maplewood Park during the years of the previous gazebo. Rather than dwell on the negative of the situation, Board President, Marc Nadeau, wanted to focus on the hope that other community associations would learn from this experience and decide to take on projects of their own, and, perhaps, be able to work out a successful partnership with the Municipality.

Marc added that he would like the OMCA to continue to do more community projects. One in particular that he mentioned was the possibility of adding a seasonal dock at the end of Beach Road that would allow people to put canoes and kayaks in the water there, so that they could paddle up and down the South Branch above the dam. He also encouraged other Oxford Mills residents to come forward with their ideas. He felt that the Association could act as a kind of incubator for these community-based ideas.

At the end of the meeting, the election for the Board of Directors was held. Three spots were available for interested community members with the resignation of Sara McAvoy, as well as two other available board positions. For the first time in several years, an election was necessary, as four people were nominated for the three board positions. After the votes were counted, Dan Spring and Ashley Sloan were successful, along with Marc Nadeau, who was re-elected, as his previous term on the board had ended.

The new board appears to be a healthy mix of both new blood and board veterans. With their recent accomplishments in their back pockets, and perhaps some added confidence, it’s looking like 2018 could be a very interesting year for the OMCA. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a new dock appear at the end of Beach Road. After all, there’s a municipal election this year.

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All are welcome at Oxford Mills Community Association Annual General Meeting http://www.ngtimes.ca/welcome-oxford-mills-community-association-annual-general-meeting/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/welcome-oxford-mills-community-association-annual-general-meeting/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 19:32:04 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10701 Submitted by Mark Nadeau The Oxford Mills Community Association (OMCA) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, February 1 at 7 pm in Maplewood Hall. This meeting is open to the public and the OMCA welcomes people from the surrounding community who have ideas for future projects or just want to get involved […]

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Submitted by Mark Nadeau

The Oxford Mills Community Association (OMCA) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, February 1 at 7 pm in Maplewood Hall. This meeting is open to the public and the OMCA welcomes people from the surrounding community who have ideas for future projects or just want to get involved in their neighbourhood.

The OMCA completed one of its biggest projects in 2017, with the building of a new gazebo in Maplewood Park. This project took 2 years to complete and the gazebo now stands under the maples trees for all to enjoy. Events in the past year included the Spirit of Christmas celebrations in December, a Halloween Haunted House, a Canada-150 celebration, a Bike Rodeo, a Plant and Bake Sale and a Wine and Paint Evening. As well, the association undertook to beautify the village by decorating the bridges.

The OMCA has also undertaken several cooperative efforts with other organizations, including the North Grenville Scouts, the Oxford Mills United Church, the Oxford-on-Rideau School Council, Community Living and the Lions Club. Establishing these networks has made each group more effective in their endeavours.

Over time these events and projects have grown and changed, reflecting the interests and energies of the members and the support of the community. Another initiative that the association is supporting this year is a paddlers’ dock above the dam. This would give easy access to a provincially significant wetland and attract more visitors to our area.

If you have an idea or a vision for Oxford Mills that will enhance the public space and improve the social environment, please attend. The AGM is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself and connect with others. Refreshments will be served.

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Clothier Hotel, 9 Water Street, Oxford Mills http://www.ngtimes.ca/clothier-hotel-9-water-street-oxford-mills/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/clothier-hotel-9-water-street-oxford-mills/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:24:23 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10541 Here is a building that no-one but older residents from Oxford Mills will recognise. It was constructed c 1835 of timber frame and served as a hotel until 1914.  It had a 2nd storey balcony and 1st storey veranda both of which ran the length of the front facade. It was built by Asa Clothier […]

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Here is a building that no-one but older residents from Oxford Mills will recognise. It was constructed c 1835 of timber frame and served as a hotel until 1914.  It had a 2nd storey balcony and 1st storey veranda both of which ran the length of the front facade. It was built by Asa Clothier and was owned by numerous individuals, many of whom also used the property for other businesses, such as shoemaking, over the years. The last hotel keeper was Thomas Warren, who left here and moved to Kemptville, where he ran the White House on the corner of Clothier and Prescott Streets for many years. It was sold to the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 72 in 1915.  The Lodge and Regalia rooms were on the 2nd floor and there was a large hall on the ground floor that saw many community dances, masquerades and dinners. The Hall had its own Band, which played here regularly. From its days as a hotel, there were horse sheds and stables between the Hall and the river. But the old building, with its wood frame construction, was not necessarily the most comfortable place. It took five wood stoves to keep the interior warm.

The Lodge had as many as seventy members at one time. The Lodge ‘went into darkness’ in the 1970s and the library operated from the first floor. The building was owned by Harold and Bernie Patterson for many years, from which they operated their electrical and plumbing business, before it was bought by Gerry and Debbie VanGurp. They transformed the building into Olde Porch Primitives, and it is completely unrecognisable from the old hotel. It is now preserved for another century through their work.

In the original plan for the Village of Oxford Mills, a road allowance ran to the north of this property, from Water Street to the river bank. By Street, as it was to be called, remains an unopened road allowance today, and is marked by the Canada Post post boxes standing on that side of the road.

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Thanks to all who brought the Spirit of Christmas to Oxford Mills http://www.ngtimes.ca/thanks-brought-spirit-christmas-oxford-mills/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/thanks-brought-spirit-christmas-oxford-mills/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:25:11 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10182 The Oxford Mills Community Association (OMCA) extends heartfelt thanks to all those who helped to bring the “Spirit of Christmas” to the hamlet of Oxford Mills on December 1 and 2. The Oxford Mills Sisterhood of Guiding kicked off the celebrations on Friday evening by leading everyone in Christmas carols. Gerry and Debbie Van Gurp, […]

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The Oxford Mills Community Association (OMCA) extends heartfelt thanks to all those who helped to bring the “Spirit of Christmas” to the hamlet of Oxford Mills on December 1 and 2.

The Oxford Mills Sisterhood of Guiding kicked off the celebrations on Friday evening by leading everyone in Christmas carols. Gerry and Debbie Van Gurp, who have been faithful supporters of the community, had the honour of lighting the tree. The doors of Maplewood Hall were thrown open and hot drinks and pastries were served while Santa took requests from the youngsters

A party of judges then hit the road to view the bright and colourful Christmas decorations in the surrounding area. Many houses deserved consideration, but in the end the first prize of a $50 gift certificate was awarded to Kelly Maric; a $30 prize went to the Boyer-Shanahan household; and two $20 certificates were given to the Davidson Family and the Presseau-Culbert household.

Santa Claus was the guest of honour at a free pancake breakfast at the Oxford Mills United Church on Saturday morning. Volunteers from the North Grenville Scouts and the OMCA served pancakes, sausages and drinks to more than 160 people. Special thanks to Erick LePors, of Dial-a-Chef, for donating sausages, kitchen supplies, and his time.

A Craft Fair of local vendors took place at Maplewood Hall on Saturday. The Hall was packed with shoppers looking for those special handmade Christmas gifts, and they were not disappointed. Patrons enjoyed barrel fires supervised by the North Grenville Fire Department, hot soup from the Brigadoon Restaurant in Oxford Mills, and fresh baked buns from Grahame’s Bakery in Kemptville.

A big Thank You go to the following community supporters: Brigadoon Restaurant; Erick LePors, Dial a Chef; Gerry and Debbie Van Gurp; Grahame’s Bakery; North Grenville Scouts; Oxford Mills United Church; Oxford Mills Sisterhood of Guiding; the deVette family; the Seguin family; the Clarke family; the Davidson family; Steve and Sylvie Jonsson; The North Grenville Times; Cogeco Cable; the North Grenville Fire Department; Juice FM and The Kemptville Advance.

Special thanks go out to all the local businesses that donated items to our online auction; their support made this wonderful weekend possible. And, of course, to the supporters that come out year after year to celebrate with us in the beautiful village of Oxford Mills.

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Walter Turnbull: Man at the top http://www.ngtimes.ca/walter-turnbull-man-top/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/walter-turnbull-man-top/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 19:13:16 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9918 Walter James Turnbull probably had one of the more interesting lives of anyone who grew up in Oxford Mills. His mother, Sophronia Williams, came from a long-established family in the village. She met Alexander Turnbull while living in Kingston, where they married in July, 1895. Their first children were born in Kingston, but when Walter […]

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Walter James Turnbull probably had one of the more interesting lives of anyone who grew up in Oxford Mills. His mother, Sophronia Williams, came from a long-established family in the village. She met Alexander Turnbull while living in Kingston, where they married in July, 1895. Their first children were born in Kingston, but when Walter arrived on September 16, 1896, the family had moved to Toronto. Something happened between Sophronia and Alexander, because, by 1901, she and the children were back living in Oxford Mills again, still married, but listed as the Head of the family on the census that year. Alexander remained in Toronto for the rest of his life, working as a time keeper at Massey-Harris.

Walter grew up in Oxford Mills, attending school at Maplewood, and then moving on to the High School in Kemptville. After graduation, he joined the Post Office in Ottawa, first as a clerk in the secretariat branch, and then, when World War broke out in 1914, he moved to the Censorship Office. It was an important move for a young man of 18, but he obviously impressed his superiors. Aside from a term in the Air Force in 1918-1919, Walter rejoined the rapidly expanding Post Office, rising to the position of Director of Public Relations. In 1919, he married Helen Buell Graham of Ottawa, the city where they settled down and raised their two children.

Mackenzie King with members of the party who accompanied him on a visit to Great Britain in August 1941

By the 1930’s, he had caught the eye of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, who brought him into the Prime Minister’s Office in 1936. By 1939, he was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, allowing him to witness some of the most important moments in Canada’s struggles during the Second World War. Working for King involved Walter in some tasks which were rather unusual for a public servant.

When King put his support behind the new documentary film-making arm of the government, the National Film Board, Walter found himself acting as liaison between the PMO and the film makers. He talked about visiting New York in 1939, where a film was being put together on behalf of the Canadian war effort. Although not a man with natural musical abilities, he had to correct the musicians who were recording the soundtrack for the film. “As a person with a tin ear, I found it necessary to direct the orchestra in the playing of “O Canada”, because their tempo was wrong. So here was Turnbull up waving his arms trying to get them what I thought was the correct beat”.

Earlier in that same year, Walter was put in charge of press relations for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their tour of Canada. This involved him in travelling across the country with the King and Queen in the months before the outbreak of war. As Private Secretary of the Prime Minister, Walter also took a role in the Conferences of Commonwealth leaders which took place in 1941 and 1944, events which cemented the ties between the various countries as they found their places in the overall war effort as sovereign nations.

When King met in Quebec City in 1943 and 1944 with British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill and American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Walter was there as part of the host delegation, in support of the Canadian Prime Minister, as the three leaders planned for the invasion of Europe, which took place in June the following year.

After the war, Walter continued to serve at international conferences, including the one in 1946 in San Francisco at which the United Nations was formally established. Walter had travelled a very long way from Oxford Mills, and was moving in the highest political and diplomatic circles of his time. He returned to the Post Office after the war, and, in 1946, he was a member of the Canadian delegation to the fourth Congress of the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Closer to home, he represented the Post Office Department at the Universal Postal Union (UPU) conference in New York, organised by the U.N. And, in 1950, he headed the Canadian delegation to the Congress of the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain in Madrid in his capacity as the Deputy Postmaster General of Canada. He headed Canada Post, as we know it, from 1945 until 1957, and was responsible for introducing many technical innovations in the area of air mail service and the mechanical sorting of mail. Even after he retired in 1957, his expertise was called on by Spain and some South American countries, where he reorganised their national postal services.

Walter James Turnbull died in 1987, at the age of 91. Helen had died before him, in 1974. His links to Oxford Mills continue, as his mother, aunt, and two brothers are buried in the Union Cemetery outside the village.

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The Spirit of Christmas in Oxford Mills http://www.ngtimes.ca/spirit-christmas-oxford-mills/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/spirit-christmas-oxford-mills/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:14:27 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9607 by Marc Nadeau Get into the Christmas spirit on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2, at some festive events hosted by the Oxford Mills Community Association. The weekend starts with carolling at 6:30 on Friday evening in front of the historic town hall, led by the Oxford Mills Sisterhood of Guiding. Bring your best […]

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by Marc Nadeau

Get into the Christmas spirit on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2, at some festive events hosted by the Oxford Mills Community Association. The weekend starts with carolling at 6:30 on Friday evening in front of the historic town hall, led by the Oxford Mills Sisterhood of Guiding. Bring your best voice, your youngsters, and a flashlight to sing in the season.

The Christmas tree will be lit at 7 p.m., after which everyone is welcome to make their way to Maplewood Hall to meet with Santa and enjoy a hot chocolate and home-baked treats. This is a time to meet with friends and neighbours, to socialize, and appreciate the community we live in. At around 8 p.m., judges will tour the hamlet and surrounding area to chose the most beautifully decorated homes.

Come back on Saturday morning at 9:00 for a free pancake breakfast with Santa at the United Church on Water Street. This event is sponsored by Gerry Van Gurp and will be served by the North Grenville Scouts. Sausages generously donated by Erick Le Pors of Dial-a-Chef. Santa Claus will meet with children and adults alike, and review the notes he has been making all year! Get your picture taken with him and earn extra ‘Santa Points’.

Local craftspeople will display their wares both inside and outside Maplewood Hall at the Christmas Craft Sale from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors can keep warm around the fire barrels that will be ablaze outside, and by purchasing a delicious bowl of soup from the Brigadoon Restaurant. Keep up to date by visiting our Facebook Event page.

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Dock Talk http://www.ngtimes.ca/dock-talk/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/dock-talk/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:40:15 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=8920 by Marc Nadeau A new dock was all the talk at Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills. Community members gathered to discuss all aspects of establishing a paddlers’ dock above the dam on the South Branch River. Through this brainstorming session, everything from start to a finished dock was considered. Topics included raising sufficient community support, […]

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by Marc Nadeau

A new dock was all the talk at Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills. Community members gathered to discuss all aspects of establishing a paddlers’ dock above the dam on the South Branch River. Through this brainstorming session, everything from start to a finished dock was considered. Topics included raising sufficient community support, design, regulations, and the possible participation of the Municipality.

Naturally, the topic of money was raised, and the need to determine a budget. It was finally agreed that a paddlers’ dock is a worthy community endeavour that requires people and groups to come together to make it happen. Future meetings will be posted in this paper and on the Oxford Mills Community Association Facebook page.

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Attention paddlers and nature lovers http://www.ngtimes.ca/attention-paddlers-nature-lovers/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/attention-paddlers-nature-lovers/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:57:59 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=8678 by Marc Nadeau, President, Oxford Mills Community Association An idea is afloat to install a dock on the South Branch of the Rideau River, otherwise known as Kemptville Creek, south of the dam in Oxford Mills. This is the vision of a few of us who now need the ideas and shared enthusiasm of others […]

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by Marc Nadeau, President, Oxford Mills Community Association

An idea is afloat to install a dock on the South Branch of the Rideau River, otherwise known as Kemptville Creek, south of the dam in Oxford Mills. This is the vision of a few of us who now need the ideas and shared enthusiasm of others to make it happen. Please join us for a brainstorming meeting on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 1:00 at either Maplewood Hall or the gazebo in Oxford Mills.

Paddlers can already access the creek in Kemptville near the Prescott Street Bridge and at the Ferguson Forest Centre. Between Oxford Mills and Kemptville, the creek is often only passable during the high waters of March and April. It is a very short window of opportunity to enjoy that stretch of the creek.

But there is untapped potential for paddlers further upstream to get out and explore the beauty of North Grenville. On the other side of the dam in Oxford Mills, the waters are more tranquil and easier to navigate. There are a few points of entry for the venturesome, but no public dock. The challenge lies in carrying a canoe several hundred metres or pushing through reeds and muck.

When these obstacles are overcome, paddlers are transported to a peace and quiet that is filled with the splendour of nature. This is the habitat of a wide variety of birds, otters, beavers, deer and turtles, all cheered on by a chorus of frogs.

As you prepare to put your canoe or kayak away for the winter, please consider dedicating time to help put North Grenville on the Paddling Map.
marc29nadeau@gmail.com.

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