My heartfelt thanks

Anyone who was driving down Haist Street on March 11 and past A.K. Wigg would have thought the worst, seeing the whole school on the front lawn along with fire trucks with lights flashing.

But no, it was unbelievably for me, the crossing guard Violet, who was retiring after 22 years.

May I take the time and space to thank the staff and parents and Fire Department—and especially all the children of the school for an “epic” send off. As a friend mentioned after seeing my picture on the front page of the Voice, this could only happen in a small town like Fonthill.

This was the ultimate compliment for this town, as on that day it truly felt like the old village of Fonthill that I remember when we first moved here 30-odd years ago. Thanks to Don Rickers for a well-written article. It was an absolute pleasure to serve this town. You have no idea how full my heart is after being sent off like this, and I will remember my children that I crossed forever.

Violet Steingart
Fonthill

 

Never judge a donkey as it may be a miracle bearer

Thank you for publishing the enlightening letter to the editor titled, “Flag Tainted by backwoods-bearded man-children” [March 9, p.5]. Brilliant in expressiveness, thought and keen insights, this letter definitely needs to be acknowledged as it very well represents the views of a fraction of the population that is supportive of the Covid mandates and whose sentiments have been recently diverted from domestic to international issues.

We cannot forget, however, that no matter what happens in the world, our daily lives are first and foremost devoted to our beautiful Canada and our families and fellow citizens. Why does the letter writer think there is a need for the long-retired Honourable Brian Peckford, one of the fathers of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to re-enter the public scene and stand as the lead plaintiff in a federal court case challenging the validity of the federal government’s ban on travel for unvaccinated people? Why was there a need for fellow citizens to stand together for hours in bitter cold in peaceful protests around the country? Did the letter writer see some of the many pictures posted all over the social media of young families and folks from all walks of life participating? Did he actually see who attended the rally in his local park? The people who stand out may not well represent the multitude of diverse individuals participating in weekly protests and rallies across the country.

Yes, donkeys do bray but there was also one that carried Mary on her sacred journey yielding a miracle, so we have to be very careful about a blanket judgment. Inspired by our own Prime Minister, we have done a lot of judging and labelling recently. It is time to start understanding each other, to listen and act with compassion for those who might have different points of view but who are still contributing in our beautiful mosaic of everyday life. It is utterly extreme to segregate individuals for simply making different health choices. I would recommend that the letter writer find such a person and spend some time with them listening with compassion and open heart and mind. There might be deep reasons for these choices and careful considerate evaluation is needed in each and every case. After all, did our own Prime Minister not say in the December 2021 Mandate Letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship that “we must work toward a better future where everyone has a real and fair chance at success and no one is left behind”? Should this not apply to our own Canadian peoples?

Peace begins by opening our loving heart to our neighbour and only then expands into true empathy towards people in crisis in faraway lands. Otherwise, we remain shallow and ineffective on both fronts, no matter what we think or say.

Eva Cabaca
Beamsville

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

Getting accustomed to going maskless; April events

We as a province are one week into our non-mandatory mask protocol and I personally am enjoying it. Even after almost two years of having to wear a mask I can’t count the number of times I had my hand on the store’s door ready to enter, only to remember that I forgot to mask-up. Back to the car I trot to grab the forgotten face covering off of the rearview mirror, where they were kept for easy access and to remind me not to forget. Many businesses in town have told their staff to do whatever makes them feel comfortable whether to mask or not to mask. There are still a few that are requiring their staff to mask up.

There are a rising number of cases of Covid in many parts of the world, mostly caused by yet another new variant referred to as BA.2. Across the pond in the UK, England and Wales were experiencing increasing numbers whereas Northern Ireland’s numbers were already in decline. England’s chief medical officer stated that the high rates of infection were fortunately not translating into intensive care cases.

All provinces in Canada are also experiencing an uptick in cases, again caused by the BA.2 variant—so far hospitalization numbers remain low.

On March 29, Mayor Jim Bradley is set to give a State of the Region address to a sold out audience but if you wish this address can be accessed online. I am optimistic that Mr. Bradley will address our business community and their need to move forward with increased hiring opportunities in the months ahead.

In Pelham the Town has lined up many fun and interesting events for the month of April. One of these being a tree artist display at the MCC this Saturday from 1-3 PM. We are looking forward to the attendance of our own world-renowned explorer Adam Shoalts. Also attending will be members of Pelham Advocates for Trees and Habitat (PATH) to promote environmental initiatives as well as Earth Week events in Pelham. There may be a few grizzly bears in attendance also but those will be restricted to Adam Shoalts’ exploration recounting.

Councillor Wayne Olson’s favorite event, the Town’s Easter Egg Hunt (sorry, Councillor Olson, children only) will take place Saturday, April 16, at Centennial Park in Fenwick. Three hunts for three different age groups kick off at 11:00 AM sharp. Other fun activities will also be happening on site, with the Fabulous Fenwick Lions providing food and drink from their concession building. The egg hunts are free to all children.

Happening that same day from noon to 1 PM at the MCC is a new stage adaptation of the classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, presented by The Carousal Players. Tickets for this event are $10. There will be a surprise visitor after the show.

Pitch-in week in Pelham takes place April 17 to 23. As the name implies, this is a week-long event. Residents can stop in at the MCC on April 23 to pick up all the tools they need to pitch-in, including gloves, masks, and specially marked garbage bags, and then go do their bit to give the town its spring spruce-up.

I will be kidnapping CAO David Cribbs for a few hours one day and the two of us will pick a street (probably not Effingham, as suggested by Councillor Wink) to clean up any roadside waste. (Don’t you just hate it when residents from other municipalities come to Pelham to empty their cars?)

Also taking place April 23rd at the MCC is an Earth Week event. The town will be hosting a small vendor fair featuring local environmental groups. This will take place on the east side of the MCC. One of the groups planning to attend is Trout Unlimited. This group has been busy raising the awareness of the last coldwater stream in the region, the Twelve Mile Creek. They work on numerous restorative projects, one of these being bank protection. This is also the day when all residents that preordered a rain barrel can pick them up right off the truck. Composters will also be on sale on site for $21.

The last event in April is slated for April 29th at 9:00 AM at Centennial Park in Fenwick. It will be a tree -planting workshop, family friendly of course. Those attending should bring a shovel, gardening gloves, and lots of energy, the Town will supply the trees, forestry specialists, and mulch. Although a sunny day has been ordered, this event takes place rain or shine. For more information on this event please go to the town’s website – Pelham.ca/en/recreation-and-leisure/community-tree-plant.

Hope to see you at these great events!

Go Pelham!