bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 657 Week 07 Vol 13

February 8, 2022


Issue 657 Week 07 Vol 13
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Bonnie Sitter

Bonnie Sitter (Submitted photo)

The Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) and Huron County Library are pleased to co-sponsor the Winter 2022 “Virtual Saturdays at the Library” speaker series.

All are welcome to join the ZOOM meeting on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m. The February speaker, Bonnie Sitter, will introduce participants to a little-known piece of Ontario history. Her latest book, “On the Wright Track: Memories from C.P.R. School Car #2”, tells the story of Ontario’s school railcar program through the recollections of four members of the Wright family. Their father, Bill Wright, taught in the railcar that travelled between Chapleau and White River. The book details the challenges and rewards of living and teaching under such unique circumstances.

Sitter lives in Exeter and is a retired travel agent who went on to study photography and then began publishing her own books. These include “Onions and Peach Fuzz: Memories of Ontario Farmerettes”, which is now being developed into a play for the Blyth Festival. Sitter is currently working on a book about Clinton local Fred Sloman, of the School on Wheels, and is hoping to publish the book in 2022.

Anyone wishing to participate in the ZOOM meeting is asked to pre-register by clicking on the link provided on the FOBL website:



The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association celebrated International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 7, 2021 by hosting a stress-free, beautiful hike on Bayfield’s Woodland Trail. The 2022 version of this hike will be held on Sunday, March 6. (Photo by Jack Pal)

The BRVTA will offer six hikes from now through March 26th. All hikes are open to the public and pets on leash with no pre-registration required unless otherwise noted. On the trails, masks are optional when distanced and the vaccination status of hikers is not checked. For more information on any event, contact hike coordinator Ralph Blasting at or 519-525-3205.

A Winter Hike will be held on the Varna Nature trails on Feb. 12 starting at 11 a.m. Hikers of all ages are welcome to join on this Saturday morning guided walk on the Taylor Trail and Mavis’ Trail. The Taylor Trail is an easy one km loop through the woods, while Mavis’ Trail is a more challenging 2.5 km circuit to the Bayfield River. Hikers may choose to do one or both, with the full distance taking about 90 minutes. Trail conditions will be snowy or icy, so warm clothes, a walking pole, and snow/ice cleats are recommended. The Varna Complex is 5 km east of Bayfield on the Mill Road. A map can be found at 

Windmill Lake Farm will be the location of a hike on Saturday, Feb. 19 where participants can learn about “Tracks in the Snow” What ran through this field: rabbit? deer? Sasquatch? Starting at 11 a.m., Windmill Lake Farm owner George Ebers and co-leader Peter Jeffers will take participants on a tour to identify tracks of the animals that are active in winter. Meet and park at the Windmill Lake parking lot, 35957 Bayfield River Road. The hike will cover about 3-4 km and last about 90 min. This is a natural trail with gentle inclines; watch the weather and dress accordingly.

Celebrate BRVTA’s third annual International Women’s Day (IWD) Hike and the 111th IWD by joining in a hike along Bayfield’s Woodland Trail on Sunday, March 6th. IWD celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The hike will begin at 2 p.m. with hike leaders Annerieke VanBeets and Ralph Blasting. They will stop along the way to share stories of how Canadian women have contributed. Friends, partners, families, and individuals of all sizes, shapes, and gender identities welcome. The hike is 3.5 km and will last about 90 minutes. The Woodland Trail has some steep inclines and challenging passages, and may still be icy in March. Participants are asked to meet/park at the David Street trail head. A map can be found by visiting:

On Saturday, March 19, community members are invited to join Denise Iszczuk, of the Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority, to explore the functions of the Morrison Reservoir one of the area’s most attractive hiking routes, during the “All About the Morrison Reservoir” hike. The hike will be about 2.5 km and last about 90 minutes. Families and youth especially welcome. Participants are asked to meet/park at 71042 Morrison Line, at the pavilion. A map can be found at

A special “Candlelight Memorial Walk” has been scheduled for Saturday, March 26 starting at dusk along the Taylor Trail in Varna. The BRVTA members in collaboration with Huron Hospice will create an enchanted walk through the beautiful 1 km Taylor Trail, starting at 7 p.m. The trail will be lit by 180 candles. Each flicker of candlelight will evoke memories of loved ones. All are welcome, to walk in memory of someone or just to enjoy the contemplative path. This will be a self-guided walk and can be done any time between 7- 9 p.m., although members of the BRVTA, and a team of Bayfield volunteers, will be on hand to make sure everyone is safe. Please, no pets at this event. A memorial reading of names will take place at the trail head at 8 p.m. This ceremony will be video taped for those donors who are unable to attend. Anyone who wishes to have a name included in the ceremony, may do so by donating to the Huron Hospice at or by calling Dave Gillians at 519 565-5884. All proceeds benefit the building of a new Children’s Room at the Hospice. This ‘COVID safe’ event is especially important because donations in memory of loved ones and sponsorship funds will be matched by the Ontario Government. The Taylor Trail head can be found at the Varna (Stanley) Complex, 5 km east of Bayfield on the Mill Road.

BRVTA maintains seven recreational trails and sponsors, as is shown above, over 20 guided hikes each year,  giving residents of all ages and fitness levels the opportunity to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

The Bayfield Trails are managed entirely by volunteers and are paid for by community donations and annual memberships.

“We are extremely grateful to those of you who are supporting the trails by taking out an annual membership,” said Helen Varekamp, membership coordinator. “If you have been enjoying the trails but have not made this contribution yet, we hope that this will be the year you will decide to do so.”

Membership contributions allow BRVTA volunteers to keep the trails open, covering expenses such as, materials and tools, programming, training, signage and insurance.

“As a member, you will receive invitations to participate in all organized hikes, as well as an opportunity to join the hiking buddy program. You will also receive invitations to the Columbia Sportswear discount store and the monthly electronic newsletter. Best of all, you’ll be helping us keep the trails open for everyone, every day of the year,” said Varekamp.

Annual memberships are an affordable $20 for individuals or $30 per family. Becoming a member is easy; select whichever option works best.

Online memberships can be made at
Alternatively, payment can be sent by e-transfer to or a cheque can be mailed to Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, P.O. Box 531, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.

Whichever payment is chosen members are asked to provide their contact information, so BRVTA can keep everyone informed of new events!


Assisting people in the community facing food insecurity is a year-round commitment for the Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) but the volunteers don’t do it alone.

“We would like to thank those that are continuing to donate at the library, and at our outdoor bin located on the north parish hall porch at 10 Keith Cres. In the village,” said Terry Henderson, president of the BAFB. “We greatly appreciate the continued support from area residents.”

The BAFB is currently looking for the following items that are most appreciated during the cold weather season: tea bags (regular orange pekoe tea); small sweetener packets suitable for diabetic use, an example might be, Sugar Twin; and hot chocolate mix.

In addition, the food bank would also be most grateful for pet foods, such as, dry dog or cat food, and kitty litter.

“Although an expense, pets offer comfort both physically and emotionally, and for many, are considered valued members of the family and our client families are no different,” said Henderson. “The pets suffer along with the clients, in homes where food insecurity is an issue.”

For anyone who would like to support BAFB with a monetary gift, there are a few options available. Cheques can be mailed to: Bayfield Area Food Bank, 10 Keith Cres., Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. An e-transfer can be made through BAFB’s gmail account: or a donation can be received on-line through the website. All donations of $20 or more will be receipted for tax purposes. BAFB is a registered charity with CRA. Anyone who would like a receipt, is asked to ensure that their name and address are clearly provided along with the donation.

Anyone in need of assistance at this time, is asked to please reach out through either an email to or phone/text 519 955-7444. All enquiries are handled with complete confidentiality.

Collection bins for non-perishable items can currently be found on the north porch by the Parish Hall at Trinity St. James Anglican Church and in the foyer of the Bayfield Public Library on Main Street (during opening hours). The library is the best place to donate if items are in danger of freezing, as the donations are kept indoors until a BAFB volunteer can collect them.



Freya (Submitted photo)

Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) has helped hundreds of feral and abandoned cats find their forever homes but many are still waiting.

Freya is the Adopt-a-BFF cat of the week.

This little cutey, that the volunteers call Freya, was found half frozen in a roadside, snowbank on a Saturday night. A kind person noticed the kitten while driving and pulled over to check on her. Realizing there were no barns around this woman went door-to-door but no one claimed the kitten or had any knowledge of kittens in the area. This rescuer then took the kitten home and cleaned her up.

Freya had runny nose and eyes was shivering and very lethargic. She gave Freya a nice warm bath, cleaned up her eyes and nose, wrapped her in a towel and brought her to the Rescue. For the first 24 hours Freya didn’t really eat just mostly slept on her little heating pad. Volunteers syringe fed for her a little bit.

She now seems to be a little brighter and more alert and she is being fed small quantities at regular intervals to help not overload her system. Freya is vocal when wanting attention and volunteers feel that this tiny cherub is now on the road to recovery. If your heart is melting for Freya please email for more information

The adoption fee is now $200. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered. Donations are also always appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the Rescue’s email or email to arrange for a drop off or pick up of donations. Cheques can be mailed to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.


People often ask if they can add an engraved brick to the path around the Splash Pad in Clan Gregor Square and members of the Optimist Club of Bayfield are pleased to announce that there is further opportunity to have a name added to the circle in 2022.

The engraved pavers in Clan Gregor Square are a reminder of how great area residents and visitors are when it comes to supporting such projects as the Playground and the Splash Pad.

“In Memoriam” stones for loved ones as well as “just because” stones can be ordered with the work being done on site later in 2022 using the same two brick sizes that are already installed around the Splash Pad. The cost of these engraved bricks will be medium, $90; and large, $110. The plan is to have the bricks engraved in late May just prior to opening the Slash Pad.

Anyone with an interest in adding a brick can contact Mike Dixon via email at or by calling 519 955-5254 for further information.


Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.33.03 PM

The Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) is excited to announce that following the success of their “Off the Wall” style fundraiser in 2021 they are bringing it back for Summer 2022 with the theme of “Year of the Land or Lake”.

The BCA is calling on artists for submissions of a donated 12” x 12” painting for this annual exhibition. Artists are asked to email for more details and a Submission Form.

“In 2021, we held our first very successful event. We received donations of over 50 paintings and welcomed close to 350 visitors during this two-day event. We listened to our artist and guest suggestions and have made some exciting changes for 2022,” said Leslee Squirrell, president of the BCA.

“Year of the Land or Lake” is a fundraising event for the BCA with proceeds from ticket sales supporting the organization’s programs and activities. This is accomplished through the sale of four ticket categories, each with a specific time slot for selection of a painting “Off the Wall” beginning with the Golden Ticket.

The event takes place over two or more days. Day one offers the general public an opportunity to view this collection of donated works at no charge. An exclusive reception will be held for Golden and Silver Ticket holders. The paintings will be available for online viewing in a printable exhibition guide which features information about the event, images of all artwork and an artist introduction.

When asked, why should artists donate their works to this cause, Squirrell said, “We rely on charitable donations, grants, workshops and events to make our success possible. Bayfield is a resort town on Lake Huron. We attract a large number of local residents and vacationing visitors from all over Canada and the USA. This exhibition is an opportunity to have wonderful exposure for your work while helping the BCA in its endeavor to become a leading visual art centre in rural southwestern Ontario.”

The BCA is a registered charity committed to furthering the appreciation of the visual arts, one experience at a time.



The Bayfield Community Centre and Arena is open once again! Thank you to everyone for their patience.

“We are pleased to announce your Bayfield Community Centre and Arena is back to full operations now that the COVID lock down is over,” said Director of Marketing, Jeff Kish.

Kish went on to say that he is also pleased to share that Wade Berard Plumbing has sponsored a Family Day (Feb. 21) Free Skate from 1-3 p.m. and that the arena is also back supporting their regular community sponsored free skating programs.

These community sponsored free skating programs are: Moms and Tots and Seniors on Mondays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Kids Shinny also on Mondays, 7-8 p.m.; and Public and Family Skate on Sundays, 1-3 p.m.

The Bayfield Community Centre’s management team continues to work hard to ensure COVID safety procedures and protocols are maintained. Safety for the community is priority one. Masks are required while in the Community Centre and can be taken off once on the ice.

“While we are filling up the Arena with teams and tournaments there is still plenty of available ice times – check out our online events schedule for available ice times and book some fun time for your family and friends,” said Kish.

Check the events schedule for available Ice times and community sponsored free skating by visiting


Trinity St. James Anglican Church in Bayfield will be returning to in-person services this Sunday, Feb. 5, in addition to their regular Wednesday morning services. In keeping with COVID-19 protocols worshippers must pre-register to attend the services that begin at 11 a.m and 10:30 a.m. respectively.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, those wishing to attend will be required to observe public health measures such as, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe physical distance from other worshippers.

To pre-register please contact the church warden, Godfrey Heathcote by calling 519 565-5824 or via e-mail at


Knox Presbyterian Church, Bayfield is extending their “Online Only” Sunday Services to Feb. 28.

People are invited to join the congregation on ZOOM each Sunday at 11 a.m., or watch the service later, on YouTube. Knox’s Sunday ZOOM services can also be accessed on the “Bayfield Activities” site.

To learn more visit for a ZOOM link, a link to the Knox YouTube page or follow them on Facebook at

Rev. Lisa Dolson will be leading a new Book Study on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. starting Feb. 15th. The book discussion will be on the book, “The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and their Lessons for Today”, by author Shannon Bream. Please contact the minister at 519 955-2158 or, for the ZOOM link.


Image of Elsie Coombs

Elsie Coombs (Submitted photo)

The community will no doubt be saddened to hear of the recent death of a Bayfield retiree.

Elsie May Coombs (Arnburg), 87, of Bayfield, died peacefully at Huronview Home for the Aged in Clinton on Feb. 1.

Coombs was predeceased by her dedicated husband, Harold, of 64 years (2020). She is survived by her children, Richard Coombs and Pamela (Chris) Bowers; grandchildren, Sarah (Devon), Adam, Nicole (Garmamie), Robyn (Jesse); and five delightful great grandchildren.

She moved to Ontario from New Brunswick at the age of twenty starting out in Toronto and eventually settling in Alliston. She spent most of her working days happily employed in hospitals supporting nurses and doctors as a receptionist. Upon retiring, the couple moved to Bayfield on Lake Huron. She loved spending time and making creations for her grandchildren, playing cards with friends, being a member of the ACW at Trinity St James Anglican Church and the Lioness Club. If there was an activity to better children she would be there.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to Alzheimers Society of Huron County, Huronview Home for the Aged in Clinton or St Peter’s Anglican Church, Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland.


The Huron County Library is honored to receive the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Archival and Preservation Achievement Award for the Huron County Digitized Newspaper Project.

Virtually presented to library staff at the OLA Super Conference on Feb. 2, the award recognizes significant achievements in the field of preservation and/or conservation for library and/or archival materials.

Beginning in 2014, the digitization project has been a collaboration between the Huron County Library, Huron County Museum, the County of Huron, and the local community. The project has resulted in the digitization of more than 350,000 local newspaper and magazine pages from microfilm and hard copies. This collection preserves more than a century’s worth of local history from communities across the County.

“The Huron County Library has always been one of the most modern and innovative library systems in the province,” said Huron County Warden, Glen McNeil. “The Digitization Project is just one example of its leaderful and progressive work. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project. The recognition received is well deserved.”

The online collection brings together newspapers and magazines, spanning from 1848 to 2019, in one convenient location that anyone can access, for free, from anywhere there is an internet connection. Over the past two years, as libraries and museums were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers, students, researchers, historians, and genealogists could still easily access Huron County history from around the world. In 2021 alone, the digitized newspaper collection received close to 20,000 visits, making it one of the most popular online resources that the County of Huron offers.

“The digitization project serves as an important contribution to improving access to community history for researchers, historians and genealogists, who continue to expand our understanding of our rural past,” said Director of Cultural Services and County Librarian, Beth Rumble. “New content is being digitized and added to the collection on an on-going basis, further preserving our archival resources for generations to come.”

The full collection can be accessed from both the Huron County Library and the Huron County Museum websites or by directly visiting

People can watch the award presentation on YouTube:




The Conservation Dinner Committee is bringing back the online auction for the second year in a row. The charitable fundraiser went virtual for the first time in 2021 and it was a success in raising $40,000 for conservation projects in local communities. The Committee has decided to return to the online format for 2022.

The 2022 #VirtualConservationDinner online auction is to begin on Thursday, March 31 and will end on Thursday, Apr. 7 at 9 p.m. People may find out more by visiting and or by calling 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Dave Frayne is Chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee. He said the committee had hoped to hold the dinner and auction in person this year but there is uncertainty during the current pandemic about whether a large in-person event could take place in April. He said the committee decided unanimously that it is prudent to return to the online auction format for 2022.

“We were so pleased by the community’s support of our first online auction last year and we hope donors and bidders will be just as generous in 2022,” he said. “We did look forward to meeting in person but since we don’t know what things will look like in April it’s safer to join together virtually this year in support of projects in our local communities.”

The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) and Exeter Lions Club. This dinner and auction charitable fundraising event started in 1990. Net profits are split evenly between community conservation projects of the Foundation and community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club. The event has raised more than $1.255 million for the community over more than 30 years.

Even when large in-person events are not possible the need to raise funds remains, according to the Dinner Committee Chair. The Conservation Dinner fundraiser supports needed projects, by Exeter Lions Club and ABCF, in local communities.

The Exeter Lions Club has been a partner for more than three decades in the Conservation Dinner. The Exeter Lions Club, chartered in 1937, is part of the world’s largest and most active service organization. It is a group of service-minded men and women banded together to do things which cannot be done by individuals working alone. The club has actively fundraised for projects including development and maintenance of South Huron Trail, MacNaughton Park, and other nature and conservation projects. These are just some of the examples of their service in action.

Projects supported by the Dinner include community work by the Lions Club and community work by the ABCF. These projects, supported by auction sponsors and donors and bidders and volunteers, are many. They include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental bursary for students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel at Grand Bend; and others.

The Exeter Lions Club plans to bring back the popular 50-50 draw in 2022 for the fourth year. When tickets are available for this fundraising activity, the website link to purchase tickets online will be posted here: The draw had a record prize of $6,300 in 2021.

Last year, the Dinner Committee partnered with participating local restaurants, for the first time, in a “Dining for Your Community” effort. Families could purchase their own ‘conservation dinners’ from participating restaurants during the week of the auction. This allowed them to support community projects, and their local businesses, in the process. Organizers hope to bring back this dining venture for 2022. The committee invites local restaurants to take part. To learn about Dining for Your Community and to watch for 2022 restaurant partners visit this web page:

Last year, for the first time, the Dinner Committee hosted two live TV broadcasts to kick off and cap off the auction week. The Committee plans to bring back these popular livestream broadcasts in 2022. People may watch for details on this web page: The broadcasts will be scheduled for March 31 and Apr. 7, both at 7 p.m.

To learn more about the online auction visit this web page: A link to the online auction will be posted on this page when the online auction begins on March 31.


Since the sprinkler system pipe burst January 15 at the Huron Hospice residence, every effort continues to be made to return to full functioning as soon as possible. Huron Hospice made the commitment that they would communicate regular updates to the public.

Although the insurance company has indicated that damages caused by the flooding will be covered, as of Feb. 3, Huron Hospice has not yet received the report from the insurer detailing the extent of damage or scope of work to be done. They have also not estimated the cost to complete repairs. As soon at that report is received, Huron Hospice will solicit quotes from contractors who may be interested in this project.

In anticipation of potential supply issues, Huron Hospice has received support from the insurer to order flooring and paint now. The organization will be using skilled volunteers to lay the floor and do the painting; they have begun recruiting these volunteers. The plan is to install new floor that will be a durable vinyl floor. Huron Hospice has decided to paint throughout the residence using this rare opportunity when the home is unoccupied.

Willy Van Klooster, the Executive Director, said, “I want to express my gratitude to so many in the community who have expressed their support to the hospice during this time and thank, in particular, the Board of Directors, who have chosen to meet weekly to support the organization through this period of time.”


The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.

“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.

For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties and also the per centage of people vaccinated please visit:


Join Lonely No More’s Movement Group as they laugh their way to the finish line!

To conclude their six-week movement program, “Lonely No More” is inviting the community to join in on a sponsored online laughter yoga class on Feb. 14th at 11:30 a.m.

For the past six weeks, a group of older adults, from rural Southwestern Ontario, has been participating in Lonely No More’s Movement Program. This pilot program builds on Lonely No More’s Storytelling Club, combining the art of storytelling with the movements outlined by the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto’s Stretch, Lift or Tap (SLoT) program.

As an implementation and evaluation site, Lonely No More has added a Southwestern rural and remote flair to the SLoT program enabling rural older adults to develop, share and lead stories to encourage and inspire their peers to movement.

To celebrate the success and effort of both the volunteer facilitators and engaged participants, the Lonely No More Leadership Team has invited a local Listowel Laughter Yoga Instructor to guide the group in a 25-minute laughter yoga session. The Lonely No More Leadership Team invites people to join them in cheering on their fellow neighbors and help them laugh their way to the finish line.

To register for this sponsored event please call Lonely No More’s Program Coordinator Sarah Versteeg at 519 292-6862 or register online at: To learn more about Lonely No More check out their website at:


On Feb. 3, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Inpatient Unit at its Clinton Public Hospital (CPH) site after two patients and two team members tested positive.

Outbreak status refers to two or more confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among patients or team members that could have possibly been acquired in the hospital.

The unit is now closed to admissions until further notice.

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has been notified and patients, family/caregivers and team members affected by the outbreak are in the process of being notified (as of Feb. 3). Necessary contact tracing and testing for individuals on the unit is also taking place.

Family and Caregiver Presence on the Unit has been restricted. The only exception is for palliative patients. Care teams will regularly update families/caregivers and make them aware of opportunities for virtual connections.

“Our top priority is to the safety of our patients and team members,” said President and CEO, Andrew Williams. “We thank those adhering to our screening process, masking requirements and family and caregiver presence guidelines to help us prevent further spread of the virus within our hospital.”

Please note it is safe to receive care at CPH and the hospital remains open for all other scheduled clinics, procedures and emergency visits.

Daily updates regarding this outbreak can be found on the HPHA website at


Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, each year since 1984, with conservation awards. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups and municipalities.

The local conservation authority is inviting the public to nominate a person, business, farm, community group, or organization in 2022 for the Conservationist of the Year Award. People may nominate someone for the award until Feb. 24.’

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form at this web page link:

“There are many local stewards helping to protect and enhance our local watershed resources and this award is one way we can say ‘Thank you’ for those positive stewardship actions,” said General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner. “We have been pleased to recognize many deserving recipients over the years. We know there are many others deserving of recognition as well.”

Individuals, organizations or companies who either reside in, or have completed conservation work in, the ABCA area are eligible to win the Conservationist of the Year award. Current ABCA staff members and directors are excluded.

The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years showing long-term benefits for nature and society. Examples of conservation work include: improving local water quality; conservation farming; reforestation; conservation education; providing wildlife and fish habitat; and promoting awareness and action for soil, water, and habitat.

ABCA presents the winner with a hand-crafted gift and makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.

Bluewater News

The following was submitted to the Bayfield Breeze as highlights of the regular meeting of the Municipality of Bluewater Council on Feb. 7:

  • Awarded the Recreation Master Plan to Thinc Design in the amount of $69,905 excluding HST.
  • Authorized funding agreements for the development of the Recreation Master Plan and the Recreation and Facility Management Software Implementation. Funding for both projects were received through the Municipal Modernization Program – Intake 3.
  • Authorized the Fire Service Agreement with the Municipality of Central Huron.
  • Authorized the Bluewater Fire Department to participate in the Mutual Aid Program.
  • Delegated authority to the Chief Administrative Officer for certain acts during a potential ‘lame duck’ period of the election year.


The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich. But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 3,000 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

In recognition of the start of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II on Feb. 6, we examine some of the Royal Souvenirs in the the Museum’s collection…


Screen Shot 2022-02-07 at 5.55.46 PM

This is a colored, commemorative tray made of tin. Written on the ribbon design on the tray is “Souvenir at the Coronation of H.H. King George V & H.H. Queen Mary – June 1911”. The background image of the tray depicts Windsor Castle with pictures of King George V and Queen Mary with their Coat of Arms in the foreground.

The tray belonged to Thomas and May Taylor, of West Wawanosh Twp (near St. Helen’s).


Screen Shot 2022-02-07 at 5.58.36 PM
This is a printed, color framed portrait. It is a reproduction of a color painting of the young English King George VI. He is shown wearing an army officer’s uniform; a khaki jacket with brass buttons and two rows of ribbons. His peaked hat carries the badge of the Welsh Guards, with a red hatband. He stands against a plain dark background. The portrait is oval shaped and in a heavy cast-plaster, gold painted frame with convex glass. The frame is decorated at the top with a beaver, English flags, and maple leaves.


Screen Shot 2022-02-07 at 6.03.17 PM
This is a round, commemorative plate of glazed cream-colored porcelain. The design in color in the centre shows King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon) in a frame of British flags with a flag of the U.S.A. beneath, and a scroll with the words “LONG MAY THEY REIGN”. On the left, there is a sketch of the U.S. Capitol and the word “WASHINGTON”. On the right, there is pictured the Peace Tower and the word “OTTAWA”. Red, white, and gold stripes decorate the margin. The reverse side shows the manufacturer’s trade mark printed in green, with a unicorn, and the name “THOMAS HUGHES & SON LTD., ENGLAND”.

The 1939 Royal Tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth occurred from May 17 to June 15, 1939. The tour visited every Canadian province, the Dominion of Newfoundland, and some of the United States. It was one of the first visits of a reigning monarch to Canada and the first time in the United States.




In early January of 2020, Bayfield residents Justyne Chojnacka, travelling with her partner, Wally Racicot, embarked on a 119-night World Wonders Cruise, departing Los Angeles aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. This once-in-a-lifetime cruise was meant to visit over 50 ports in New Zealand, Australia, SE Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe.

However, the rise of a global pandemic ensured that this magnificent holiday did not go according to plan but evolved into a rather interesting adventure that Justyne herself shared with readers back in April of 2020. This story was first published in Issue 561** of the Bayfield Breeze with a follow-up on how the Canadians did finally make their way back home in Issue 562* 

The story continues…on Feb. 1st the Bayfield Breeze received an email from Justyne. She wanted to share with readers that the couple is now once again sailing the world on their return trip that was interrupted by COVID in 2020.

“We were lucky to catch the very last flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where we boarded the Viking Star on Dec. 24,” said Justyne. “Almost six weeks are gone and we are Omicron free because all of the crew and the 525 passengers (pre-COVID this ship would hold 930 passengers) are having COVID tests done daily.”

Justyne noted that after the first two weeks the people onboard for the Christmas/New Year Cruise disembarked in Los Angeles, California and the rest of the World Cruise passengers stayed on. She explained that new passengers are not allowed to join and also that their itinerary got updated in order to allow the passengers to be allowed off of the ship.

“Instead of French Polynesia; Australia and New Zealand, we are sailing along South America to Cape Horn,” she said.

In the first six weeks of the cruise she noted there have been several highlights: they have stopped at Cozumel, Mexico; cruised the Caribbean Sea; crossed through the Panama Canal; visited Colon, Panama; cruised in the Pacific Ocean; visited Cabo San Lucus, Mexico and Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

“In Cabo San Lucas, we saw Gray Whales in the Sea of Cortez. They swim 5,000 miles here from the Arctic to breed in the winter in ‘the aquarium of the world’,” she said. “Three days ago (Jan. 29), we celebrated passing the Equator and today (Feb. 1), we welcomed the Chinese New Year after sailing for six days in the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow (Feb. 2), we will be on land in Santiago, Chile.”

Justyne concluded her note by sending hugs from she and Wally saying, “We miss all of you and my dear dogs (Violet) and the rest of them.”

So, where in the world are Justyne and Wally now, some of our readers may be wondering? Well, a quick search of the internet shows that on Feb. 8 they are indeed sailing around Cape Horn at 16 knots under cloudy skies with a light breeze and a high of 10C. May they have nothing but smooth sailing as their adventures continue – hopefully they will send us another electronic post card in the coming days…

** To access these Issues click on the Archives button at the top of this page and type “561” or “562” into the Search and press enter. The Issues should appear for your access.

Justyne Chojnacka and Wally Racicot disembarked the Viking Sun at Gilbraltar on Apr. 10, 2020 to begin their journey home. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)

Justyne Chojnacka and Wally Racicot disembarked the Viking Sun at Gilbraltar on Apr. 10, 2020 to begin their journey home. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)

This image was first shared with readers during the couples World Cruise in 2020, on Day 90 the Viking Sun made its way through the Suez Canal. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)

This image was first shared with readers during the couples World Cruise in 2020, on Day 90 the Viking Sun made its way through the Suez Canal. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)

The intrepid travellers shared a photo of a map outlining the route that the Viking Star is taking on this reboot of the cruise they embarked on in January 2020. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)

The intrepid travellers shared a photo of a map outlining the route that the Viking Star is taking on this reboot of the cruise they embarked on in January 2020. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)


Justyne Chojnacka and Wally Racicot, of Bayfield, left the village in early January of 2020 for a world cruise. However, the rise of a global pandemic ensured that this magnificent holiday did not go according to plan but evolved into a rather interesting adventure. Now in 2022 the couple have returned to the seas in an attempt to finish what they started two years earlier. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)


The Viking Star making its way through the Panama Canal in 2020 with Bayfield residents aboard. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)


Whale watching in Cabo San Lucus, Mexico in 2022. (Photo courtesy Justyne Chojnacka)


The Viking Star (Photo courtesy Cruise Mapper)

The Viking Star shown sailing around Cape Horn. (Image courtesy Cruise Mapper)

The Viking Star shown sailing around Cape Horn. (Image courtesy Cruise Mapper)




Sunset Glow…By Tony Pemberton

Submit Your photo

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or…Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued.


Image of Melody Falconer-Pounder

Melody Falconer-Pounder

image of webpage showing location of accessibility menu icon

We are excited to welcome you to our new website,! This new site affords us a few new features that we hope will further enhance the enjoyment of our readership as they peruse our weekly issues. One I would like to share with you this week is the Accessibility Menu – yes, that’s right, this online newspaper is now ADA Compliant in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Click on the blue circle, with what resembles a fancy stick figure in the centre of it, that maintains its location on the bottom left corner of each page, there you will find among other potentially useful tools, the option for bigger text and/or a larger cursor. It is even Dyslexia friendly! Simply press the ‘Reset All’ button to reverse back to the standard way of viewing. Access to these applications will hopefully make the Bayfield Breeze more easily accessible to all who wish to read it and that in my opinion is definitely something to get excited about. – Melody

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.