bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 661 Week 11 Vol 13

March 9, 2022


Issue 661 Week 11 Vol 13
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Bayfield and area residents are invited to walk in solidarity for the people and the nation of Ukraine on Saturday, March 12.

This compassionate, supportive walk will begin at 6 p.m. Participants will walk from the Cenotaph in Clan Gregor Square, along Main Street to Pioneeer Park and back to Clan Gregor. Those who take part are invited to bring a flashlight or light a candle.

Anyone who is unable to walk but still wishes to show support is invited to come and park their car at Clan Gregor and leave on their running lights.

Organizers of the walk would like to strongly encourage people to donate to an organization of their choice in support of Ukraine. The CBC has vetted a number of organizations which they deem effective and safe. They can be found at

It should be noted that the easiest way to donate is through the Canada Helps website, They will process a donation and provide a charitable tax receipt instantly. Many of the suggested organizations in their link are also recommended on the CBC link.

It should be highlighted that the Canadian government will match all donations made to the Red Cross.


The March 26th, Candlelight Memorial Walk on the Taylor Trail in Varna will be a celebration of the memories of loved ones and honoring everything Huron Hospice stands for. It’s an oasis of caring, respect and kindness. It’s a place where families can shrug off the responsibilities of being a caregiver and just concentrate on the quality time they are sharing with a loved-one.

This fundraiser will contribute to a future Children’s Room at Huron Hospice which will be a sanctuary so that they don’t have to stay with the adults throughout an entire visit. It’s particularly timely because the Ontario Government will match all monies raised from sponsorships and donations.

For everyone who participates, whether it’s actually on the trail at dusk, or later at home viewing the video Dedication Ceremony on the Huron Hospice website, the flickering, candlelit lanterns amongst the shadows on the path will evoke some poignant memories.

Photo of Sandi Piper

Sandi Piper

Each of the community volunteers who are working to make this event special are proud to be associated with Huron Hospice because of what it is and what it represents. They are motivated by the memories of family and friends.

Sandie Piper said, “I’ll be thinking of my sister who suffered for many years from a terminal illness. My brother who was in palliative care in a hospital and I wish that he had the opportunity to be in a hospice.”

Photo of Sondra Buchner (Submitted photos)

Sondra Buchner (Submitted photos)

Sondra Buchner said, “I will be thinking of my sister who succumbed to cancer, as well as all those courageous folks who live with this disease every day. Their bravery is a testament to the resilience of our human spirit.”

In these uncertain and troubling times, places like Huron Hospice inspire the values of love and kindness.

Participants are asked to make tax-deductible donations of $30 to $100 to light a memorial candle. To donate, go to or alternatively, Helen Varekamp will be at the Huron Hospice, just outside of Clinton, each Thursday until the event between 2-3 p.m. to accept donations. For more information about sponsoring the Candlelight Memorial Event, call Dave Gillians at 519 565-5884.


Bayfield Reads 2022 Banner

The countdown continues as the date for Bayfield Reads grows closer. This tradition corresponds with CBC’s Canada Reads. Just as they will do on the National level, Bayfield will choose their winner for this annual event determining the results with the help of a slate of local defenders.

The Village Bookshop invites everyone to join them for Bayfield Reads on Sunday, March 27 starting at 3 p.m. on ZOOM.

This year’s books and defenders are: “Five Little Indians’ by Michelle Good, defended by Abby Armstrong; “Scarborough” by Catherine Hernandez, defended by Sally Leitch; “What Strange Paradise” by Omar El Akkad, defended by Rachel Rishworth; “Life in the City of Dirty Water” by Clayton Thomas-Müller, defended by Duncan McGregor; and “Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan, defended by Ralph Blasting.

On Feb. 23, Abby Armstrong was introduced as the defender for the book, Five Little Indians, review Issue 559 to learn more. On March 2, Sally Leitch was presented as the defender of the book, Scarborough, see Issue 600.

The third book on this year’s slate is What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad. What Strange Paradise is a novel that tells the story of a global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. Nine-year-old Amir is the only survivor from a ship full of Syrian refugees coming to a small island. Through Amir’s relationship with a local teenage girl named Vanna, What Strange Paradise explores themes of empathy, hope, despair, and what differentiates where you live from where you call home.

Defending What Strange Paradise is Rachel Rishworth, a third-generation Bayfield cottager who has been living in town full time since the start of the pandemic. When not busy developing learning opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds through her job at RBC, Rishworth finds time to read. While she could never pick a favorite, the most frequent book she recommends is “North of Normal” by Cea Sunrise Person, “a stunning memoir that reflects on the author’s childhood growing up in the Canadian wilderness with her dysfunctional counter-culture family.”


Photo of Katrina McQuail

Katrina McQuail (Submitted photo)

The Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) and Huron County Library are pleased to co-sponsor the final speaker event in the Winter 2022 Saturdays at the Library series on March 26.

All are welcome to join the ZOOM meeting at 10:30 a.m.

The March speaker will be Katrina McQuail, whose topic will be “Get a Jump on Your Spring Planting.” This will be a lively presentation about starting seedlings indoors to get a head start on the garden. McQuail will cover such topics as being ready for the date desired to plant outside, various tricks for maximizing indoor growing space, and tips for growing vegetables and flowers.

McQuail grew up in northern Huron County at Meeting Place Organic Farm, which she now owns and operates. She was part of the farm as a youth and returned to farming in her twenties. McQuail learned everything she knows from her mother, Fran McQuail, who is an expert gardener with over 20 years of market gardening experience and over 30 years of experience in growing commercial seedlings. The farm offers a seedling sale in May of each year.

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


Photo of a cat named Rainbow (Submitted photo)

Rainbow (Submitted photo)

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

Rainbow is the Adopt-a-BFF kitten of the week.

Rainbow was seen by her rescuer for several weeks before she was able to trap her. She first saw tracks in the snow and then a young cat eating out of her garbage. She started to put food out and it wasn’t long before she was able to trap this little one. She took her in and kept her in a bathroom overnight. Rainbow, who was named by the children of the household, was very scared and was not interested in letting humans get close.

As the rescuer had adopted a cat from BFF previously she called the Shelter.  Upon arrival, volunteers noted that Rainbow was timid and did not want to do anything but eat and sleep for the first week. This kitten is coming around and surprisingly has let Volunteers give her some head scratches. She does appear to have a bit of an upper respiratory infection but will be checked out by the vet soon. Once she is spayed, had her shots and given a clean bill of health Rainbow will be available for adoption.

If your heart is melting for Rainbow 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.



A lively group of 27 learned about Canadian women authors on the International Women’s Day walk through the Village of Bayfield, along the Heritage Trail, on Sunday, March 6. (Photos by Jack Pal)

Did you know that the First Lady of Iceland is Canadian?  A lively group of 27 learned about her and several other Canadian women on the International Women’s Day walk through the Village of Bayfield, along the Heritage Trail, on Sunday, March 6.

Originally planned for the Woodland Trail, the location was changed due to very icy conditions on the trail. This was the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association’s (BRVTA) third annual walk celebrating International Women’s Day. The theme this year was Canadian women writers.  Along with Eliza Reid, a writer from Ottawa whose husband was unexpectedly elected President of Iceland, the group learned about Michele Good, Esi Edugyan, Danielle Daniel and Susanna Moodie.  The hike leaders were Annerieke VanBeets and Ralph Blasting.


The third annual walk celebrating International Women’s Day led participants through Pioneer Park.

The BRVTA now looks to April for more organized events. The upcoming hikes are: Apr. 9 – “Agriculture and Nature in Harmony” with Farmer Wayne Cantelon and ABCA Lands Manager Nathan Schoelier, 2 p.m., Linfield Wildlife Area; and Apr. 16 – “The Woods are Waking Up” with environmentalist Michele Martin, 11 a.m., Woodland Trail. In addition, the Eighth Annual Earth Day Litter Walk is set for Apr. 22 starting at 2 p.m. from Clan Gregor Square in Bayfield.


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The Huron County Library system has organized a collection drive and the Bayfield Public Library is currently collecting donations to be sent to the London Ukrainian Centre in London, ON.

Due to an outpouring of support the London Ukrainian Centre has had to adjust what items they will accept. As of tomorrow (March 10), in keeping with the Centres guidelines, the Bayfield Library, will for the time being, only be accepting: first aid kits, gauze, adhesive tape, bandages, PPE gloves, goggles and masks; life straws and water purifying tablets; adult and children’s vitamins; over-the-counter medications such as, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Aspirin, Pepto and Gravol; baby food and diapers.

In addition to the library branches, a group is also collecting donations from the list above in Goderich. Donations can be dropped off at the Memorial Arena,180 McDonald Street, when it is open and volunteers are present, or when they are not items can be delivered to the Goderich-Huron YMCA, 190 Suncoast Drive.


Women who love to sing are invited to attend the 2022 opening rehearsal of the Glee Sisters, on Friday, March 11.

This first rehearsal will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church in Bayfield. Rehearsals are held at this time and location weekly until a yet to be determined summer break date.

In keeping with COVID-19 protocols, double vaccinations are required and masks mandatory. Participants are asked to please enter the church through the front west door facing Hwy. 21.

This non-auditioned choir has been performing throughout the community and in surrounding areas since 2006.
The choir is directed by Lisa Stewart and accompanied by Mary McGoldrick.

Anyone who is planning to attend is asked to please RSVP as organizers need to prepare music for participants. To RSVP email: or phone 519 565-5443.


The Bayfield Bridge Club is inviting new people to come out for a few friendly games of Bridge on Wednesday afternoons at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.

The cards are shuffled at 1 p.m. Players do not need a partner to participate in these “drop-in” sessions. The cost to join in the fun is $4.

All levels of players are welcome to take part in the games that are played year-round at the building located at 6 Municipal Road in the village.


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 Splash 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.


Bayfield Area Food Bank (BAFB) will be hosting their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, March 29 and members of BAFB are very much encouraged to attend, to participate in the meeting, and have voting privileges.

The AGM will start at 1 p.m. virtually over ZOOM.

Community and area residents are also most welcome to attend as guests to observe the meeting. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to please email or call/text 519 955-7444 to register for the ZOOM link.

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 online through the website. All donations of $20 or more will be given a receipt 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.


Knox Presbyterian Church, Bayfield has returned to in-person Sunday Services, with social distancing and masks, as before. They will also continue to offer the 11 a.m. service on ZOOM and YouTube, for those who are unable to attend in-person.

For a ZOOM link to this special service, as well as regular services, please visit the church website: or follow them on Facebook at


Bayfield Community Centre

There are daily opportunities for children to skate for free at the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena over the March Break. 

In addition to the regular community-sponsored free skating programs listed below, youngsters will be able to get out on the ice from 1-2 p.m. from March 14 to March 17 thanks to sponsors: Optimist Club of Bayfield, Bayfield Maple and the Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association. Then on Friday, March 18, from 1-2 p.m., youth can take part in some Shinny Hockey also sponsored by the BACPA. Don’t forget to bring a helmet as this is required to play! 

The regular schedule for community-sponsored free skating programs is: 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.

Check the events schedule for available ice times and free skating opportunities by visiting 


Trinity St. James Anglican Church in Bayfield has returned to in-person services on both Sunday and Wednesday mornings. 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 churchwarden, Godfrey Heathcote by calling 519 565-5824 or via e-mail at



Davin Heinbuck, Water Resources coordinator with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), is shown inputting and reviewing data in the flood forecasting model of ABCA’s Flood Forecasting and Warning program. (Submitted photos)

More than 30 people, including municipal Community Emergency Management Coordinators, local public health, police and municipal personnel, took part in the annual Flood Emergency Planning Meeting on Feb. 22. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) hosted the meeting, virtually.

Davin Heinbuck, ABCA Water Resources coordinator, outlined ABCA’s Flood Emergency Plan and the roles and responsibilities of the conservation authority, municipalities, and the Province of Ontario (through the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry). He also outlined the different levels of flood messages including, Watershed Conditions Statements – Flood Outlook and Water Safety; Shoreline Conditions Statements (for flooding and erosion); Flood Watches; and Flood Warnings. To learn more, visit the flood messages page:

The three most common types of flood events in ABCA watersheds are heavy rains, rain and snowmelt, and ice jams, Heinbuck said. There has also been coastal flooding along Lake Huron’s shoreline especially during the recent period of relatively high lake levels near record highs or at record monthly high levels. He also provided an overview of recent watershed conditions.


Tommy Kokas, ABCA Water Resources engineer, is shown measuring and weighing snowpack to acquire snow density data that is included (along with water levels, precipitation, temperature, etc.) in the flood forecasting model for Flood Forecasting and Warning flood messages to municipalities and agencies.

Ross Wilson, ABCA Water and Soils Resource Coordinator provided an overview of the history, design and operations of the Parkhill Dam. He said the dam and diversion channel are integral parts of flood management on Parkhill Creek. About one-third of the acreage in the Parkhill Creek Watershed has been protected by the dam since its creation in 1969, he said. ABCA staff are active in operation, maintenance, repair and monitoring of the dam structures which help to protect downstream infrastructure, and Parkhill properties, during flood events.

Tommy Kokas, ABCA Water Resources engineer, reviewed flood events and responses in 2021. He focused on the watershed’s major flooding event of last year which was a heavy rainfall event in September. He said that event was a large and slow-moving low-pressure system that drew in warm moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. It brought heavy rains to the ABCA watershed in a short period of time. Precipitation totals averaged between 90 and 130 millimetres (mm) in a 24-hour period and the Parkhill area received record streamflow. The heavy and intense rains, combined with saturated soil conditions, caused flash flooding of fields and washouts on some local roads. Riverine flooding resulted in some road closures and staff operated Parkhill Dam for six days.

ABCA has created a new video about the monitoring of snowpack density and the importance of this snow survey data to the Flood Forecasting and Warning program. The video features ABCA staff conducting the monitoring of the snowpack including measurement of the water equivalent in the snowpack. The video also explains how this snow course data is needed (along with water level, weather, and precipitation data) for flood forecasting and warning for municipalities and agencies. The snow monitoring answers questions such as: How deep is the snow? How much water is in it? How much water can it hold?

The video (Youtube) is posted to social media channels including Facebook and Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s YouTube channel, Recordings of the meeting presentations can also be found here.


Image of team. The Huron Bruce NDP team had eight members who participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk held on Feb. 16. The participants included: Joe Laurie, Jim Vance, Willi Laurie, Laurie Hazzard, Nick McGregor (kneeling) and Tony McQuail. (Photos courtesy Willi Laurie)

The Huron Bruce NDP team had eight members who participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk held on Feb. 16. The participants included: Joe Laurie, Jim Vance, Willi Laurie, Laurie Hazzard, Nick McGregor (kneeling) and Tony McQuail. (Photos courtesy Willi Laurie)

Goderich’s “Coldest Night of the Year” walk in support of the Huron Homelessness Initiative featured 300 plus walkers making up 53 teams that braved the chilly weather on Saturday, Feb. 26 to walk around The Square. In addition to a team composed of members of the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (see Issue 660), other teams with local members included. the Huron Bruce NDP and Sweet Love Feets. The Huron Bruce NDP raised just over $3,500 for the cause. Sweet Love Feets was represented by the MacKechnie’s, the family behind Sweet Love Eats. The café and catering business donated a portion of the proceeds from a Soup Card Sale toward the cause.

Laurie Hazzard, of Bayfield, the NDP candidate for Huron Bruce stopped along the route to admire the Coldest Night of the Year window display as she walked around The Square with the Huron Bruce NDP team.

Laurie Hazzard, of Bayfield, the NDP candidate for Huron Bruce stopped along the route to admire the Coldest Night of the Year window display as she walked around The Square with the Huron Bruce NDP team.

All smiles after the walk was completed were members of the Huron Bruce NDP team from l-r: Tony McQuail, Kristin Beaton, Sue Lynch, Laurie Hazzard, Jim Vance, Joe Laurie and Willi Laurie.

All smiles after the walk was completed were members of the Huron Bruce NDP team from l-r: Tony McQuail, Kristin Beaton, Sue Lynch, Laurie Hazzard, Jim Vance, Joe Laurie and Willi Laurie.

Sweet Love Feets was represented by the MacKechnie’s, the family behind Sweet Love Eats. The café and catering business, based out of Goderich, donated a portion of the proceeds from a Soup Card Sale toward the cause. The family l-r: Nicole, Holden, Dave and Brody walked remotely as one of their family members had the sniffles on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy Nicole MacKechnie)

Sweet Love Feets was represented by the MacKechnie’s, the family behind Sweet Love Eats. The café and catering business, based out of Goderich, donated a portion of the proceeds from a Soup Card Sale toward the cause. The family l-r: Nicole, Holden, Dave and Brody walked remotely as one of their family members had the sniffles on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy Nicole MacKechnie)


Jay McFarlan

Jay McFarlan (Submitted photo)

Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) is pleased to be able to continue providing its Rural Health Lecture Series on the first Tuesday of every month.

On March 1st, Gateway Vice-president and Research Chair of Rural Nutrition and Exercise, Jay McFarlan presented a talk titled, “What Makes You Move: Motivations for Staying Active in Rural Ontario”. With McFarlan as panelists were Chris Lee and Anne Marie Thompson.

Lee is a former Gateway board member, retired business entrepreneur from Walton and currently is trail advisory chair for the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail. Lee stays active with outdoor activities and is an avid cyclist and promoter of the G2G trail.

Thompson is the General Manager of Goderich-Huron YMCA. She is an active boater on Lake Huron and enjoys hiking the trails of Huron County.

In McFarlan’s talk he highlighted the fact that at this time of year many people’s New Year’s resolutions to get healthier and make better choices for health, tend to get derailed and fitness declines. He discussed the physiology of the human body, focussing on why we crave food and why we are biologically programmed to eat and overeat. He discussed research into this field as western society struggles with an overweight population and all the co-morbidities that accompany excess weight including diabetes and high blood pressure. McFarlan pointed out some of the research programs conducted by Gateway in local communities that showed measurable health improvements in the participants; these included the Grand Sparks Camp for grandparents and grandchildren and the Walking Program for mental health out-patients.

During the pandemic, there have been various barriers to living a healthier lifestyle. Work lifestyles and everyday routines have changed, resulting in reduced movement and less attention to personal health care. McFarlan highlighted that movement is more important than ever during this time as gyms have been closed, fitness classes have been canceled, and social encounters that these activities created have disappeared. Additional barriers that come into play for healthy living are time, physical health, mental health, work, and more.

Now that Ontario is beginning to open, the opportunity for social and physical engagement is becoming available again. He listed the many activities that one can do to increase movement and promote positive lifestyles involving others. Setting goals or having a partner can be a useful tool to help one achieve a more positive and healthier lifestyle.

He added that people need to be aware that in a tech focussed world, sedentary lifestyles are becoming the norm and require strong self motivation to get and stay active.

Providing this background to why people do what they do; why exercise and activity are so important to physical and mental health; and why they will benefit from healthy eating and healthy lifestyles will help people understand their bodies better and motivate them to get up, get out and get going.

Thompson spoke to the benefits that the local YMCA provides to society, discussing the great demand in the community for group activities especially among the senior cohort. The wide range of programs available at the YMCA have broad appeal to large segments of the community.

Lee talked about the development and growth of the G2G trail and how it benefits local communities. He highlighted the excellent trail bed that has been cleared and smoothed so that it allows even wheelchair bound individuals to get out for activity and enjoying nature. He highlighted that the trail was a safe environment for family outings.

Gateway takes pride in delivering knowledge, studies, and informational segments within the rural community to help promote healthy living and lifestyles.

The Gateway Rural Health Lecture Series is sponsored by CIBC Private Wealth Management, DeJager Town Square IDA Pharmacy, The Town of Goderich, Zehrs Goderich and MacEwan and Feagan Insurance Brokers.


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 percentage of people vaccinated please visit:


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Malvin Wright (Submitted photo)

Debra Gill, chair of the Sunset Community Foundation (SCF), is delighted to announce the appointment of Malvin Wright as Executive Director, effective Apr. 1.

Wright replaces Pat Morden, who is retiring after four years with the SCF on March 31. Morden, a longtime Grand Bend resident, oversaw a period of growth and expansion at the SCF. During her tenure, the SCF increased awareness, grew its endowment funds, responded to the pandemic with increased granting, and rebranded to offer services to a wider area.

Wright, who holds a BA from Trent University and an MBA from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, brings a breadth of experience in areas such as international development, community development, healthcare management, and consulting. Among his many roles, he has served with CUSO, Oxfam, UNICEF, the Government of Nunavut, the South West Local Health Integration Network, and Canada’s Department of National Defence. In a volunteer capacity, Wright has provided expertise to the Pillar Nonprofit Network and Verge Capital.

“We are very excited that Malvin will be working with us at a critical time in our growth,” said Gill. “He brings so much energy, experience, and enthusiasm to our mission of building a vibrant, just and sustainable community where everyone belongs. The future looks very bright!”

Founded in 2001, the SCF holds donated endowments and other funds, makes grants to local charities and community groups, and provides leadership in community development activities. The SCF has supported dozens of organizations in fields from health and education to recreation and the environment, making grants totalling some $2 million.


The Conservation Dinner charitable auction is online in 2022 so patrons won’t be together in one hall this year but they can still enjoy a dining experience and support their community at the same time. The Conservation Dinner Committee is bringing back the “Dining for Your Community” program, for the second straight year, in partnership with local participating restaurants. The Dinner Committee invites people to “dine for your community” in order to “support local projects one meal at a time.”

The 2022 Virtual Conservation Dinner online auction begins on Thursday, March 31 and ends on Thursday, Apr. 7, at 9 p.m. Some participating local restaurants will donate some proceeds from special feature entreés during specific dates of the online auction week. As restaurants offering these special fundraising meals are announced, information will be shared on the event’s restaurants page. To learn more visit:

Dave Frayne is Chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee. He says the Conservation Dinner auction event is online but people can still enjoy fine dining while supporting their community at the same time.

“You can support local community conservation projects and your local businesses by buying these special, restaurant feature dinners,” he said. “I want to thank all the restaurants which took part last year and I encourage them and other restaurants to be involved this year.”

The Dinner Committee and local dining establishments partnered on this program for the first time in 2021. Nine local restaurants took part. The participating restaurant determines which special entreé they plan to offer; the amount of proceeds to be donated to community projects of the Virtual Conservation Dinner for each one sold; and the date and times this special feature will be offered. The Dinner Committee publicizes the restaurant’s participation through local and social media; websites; social media; and livestream TV and Internet broadcasts.

Even when large in-person events are not possible the need to raise funds remains, according to the Dinner Committee. The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation 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.

The Committee invites the public to order these special meals and take them home to enjoy their home-version ‘Conservation Dinner’ while bidding on great items at the online auction. People may call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or visit and to find out more about the online auction, the Virtual Conservation Dinner entreés, and other ways to support the community.


A new Huron-Perth project is seeking volunteers to assist new residents to Canada. Volunteers will mentor new Canadians and temporary foreign workers as they settle in rural communities in the region.

“Social isolation has been particularly difficult for people who are new to Canada and live in our rural communities during the COVID-19 social restrictions,” said Sheila Schuehlein, Research chair of Rural Health Coaching at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health. “This project seeks to equip volunteers with the skills to support rural newcomers in our communities.”

Volunteers will take part in a webinar training series where they will learn to build connections, offer appropriate support, and develop tools to become agents of change in their communities.

Following the training, volunteers will be invited to join a peer support pilot program to assist new residents in Canada.

People who have lived experience of immigrating to Canada, and have settled in Huron, Perth, Lambton or Middlesex Counties, are urged to volunteer. Training sessions will be facilitated using digital technology.

“Rural loneliness and social isolation are significant challenges faced by many in Huron and Perth Counties. Newcomers and temporary workers in Huron and Perth face the added difficulties of language barriers, precarious work conditions, and ineligibility for government support, further compounding the challenges of isolation,” explained Kristin Crane of the Huron County Immigration Partnership.

“Volunteerism is at the heart of our community,” said Huron County Warden Glen McNeil. “Efforts like these inspire intentional acts of kindness, build the social fabric of our communities and improve the well-being of both the new residents to Canada and the volunteers too.”

To sign up to take the volunteer training, please visit


Now that the community is slowly moving toward group activities the creators of have completed a recent update and refresh on the website. People are once again invited to refer to this website to learn what activities, from Pickleball to Majong, are happening and when.


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.

With Ukraine and Russia engaged in war, people across the region are looking for ways to help, one such way is through supporting the Red Cross, something local communities have been doing for decades as evidenced by the quilts we discovered in the Museum’s collection….


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This is a Red Cross designed quilt bearing signatures. It has an off-white background with a large red cross in the centre and names surround the cross embroidered with red thread. It also has a rod pocket.

This quilt, circa 1939, was a fundraising effort for the Red Cross by the ladies of St. James’ Anglican Church, Middleton, located on the NE corner of Concession 9, Lot 41 of Goderich Twp (Central Huron, today). The women who quilted it were: Muriel Middleton, Grace Middleton, Florence Miller and Muriel Grigg.

People paid to have their names put on the quilt and then tickets were also sold to win it. For selling the most tickets, Mrs. Eva Deeves got to draw the winning ticket and drew her own name.

The Hamlet of Middleton Corner was located at the crossroads of Concession 9-10 and County Road 13 between Clinton and Bayfield. The church is a historic Gothic style church on Huron County Road 13 and Tipperary Line. It was built in 1872 by the families of the congregation on land donated by the Middleton family. It was the last church in Goderich Twp. It was deconsecrated in January of 2019.


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This is a World War 1 Canadian Red Cross quilt from 1915 made by women of St. James Parish in Seaforth. The quilt was made of cotton fabric, it is comprised of 20 red and white squares, each 12 inches by 12 inches separated by white strips five inches wide. Each white square is highlighted by red triangles around the edge with a red cross in the middle. Signatures are embroidered with red thread on the white areas. It is a hand-quilted pieced quilt. The back is made of white cotton fabric. No filler was used.

The names on the quilt include nurses, servicemen and residents of Seaforth including, Nursing Sister Minnie Best, Private James Scott, Sgt. Will Hays and Private J. Clarence Scott.

People paid money to have their names embroidered on the quilt, then chances were sold on the quilt and it was raffled off. The money raised was donated to the Red Cross. The winner of the quilt was Teresa O’Connor (Mrs. Peter Eckert).

Women who embroidered the quilt: Catherine Louise Eckert (Mrs. Gordon Hays); Lucy Therese Eckert (Mrs. Charles Sills); Mary Kathleen Fergus McMann (Mrs. Leslie Scott); and Helen Elizabeth McMann (Mrs. Richard Tate). The quilt was made by eight women, two of which were identified as Annie (Eckert) McMann (mother to Mary Kathleen Fergus McMann) and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Eckert.


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This is a Red Cross Signature quilt from 1917. The quilt’s details show a cream border with red crosses and signatures embroidered with white thread. The quilt was made by the women of the church. Each person paid 10 cents to have their name on the quilt.

This quilt was presented to the Minister at the Port Albert United Church (Presbyterian) at the time, Rev. Gilbert Gomm and his wife. The quilt was made by the women of the church. Each person paying ten cents to have their name embroidered onto the quilt.




In early January of 2020, Bayfield residents Justyne Chojnacka, traveling 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*

On Feb. 1st, 2022, 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. (Visit Issue 657 for more details.) At that point they had been on the ship for about six weeks and were Omicron free as both crew and passengers were taking daily COVID tests. Their original itinerary was updated in order to allow the passengers to be allowed off of the ship taking them along South America to Cape Horn instead of French Polynesia; Australia and New Zealand.

In the month that has transpired since we last featured the couple, Justyne has sent sporadic emails and photographs as internet connections allowed. She shared that they had cruised by the Amalia Glacier in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

“It was amazing to see the glacier with the background of the Andes Mountains. This was after we left Punta Arenas, Chile. Here was a chance to take an excursion to see Magellanic Penguins,” said Justyne. “After another few sea days we cruised around Cape Horn.
We were lucky to have a calm ocean going around.”

Their next port of call was Montevideo, Uruguay where Justyne explained that they docked on the Rio De Plata.

“We were allowed to walk independently along the river, after taking an excursion to see this very beautiful city,” she said.

According to Justyne, Montevideo offers a unique blend of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, African and Indigenous traditions. It was while visiting this city that the couple were introduced to the Candombe, a drum based rhythmic style of music and dance with orgins traced back to freed African slaves.

“Today, Candombe is performed regularly throughout the year but the most extravagant is displayed during Montevideo’s 40-night carnival; the longest in the world,” she said. “Candombe is also recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

The couple then settled in to enjoy nine days at sea.

“We are being spoiled with the superb service provided with smiles by every crew member,” she said.

The sea days are filled with different activities: lectures, games, a variety of cooking classes and daily performances.

“On Feb. 24, we touched land, it was great to get off the ship in Mindelo, Cape Verde where we were allowed, for the second time, to explore on our own because we are free of COVID. Being tested daily paid off,” she shared.

According to Justyne, Cape Verde is an archipelago, part of a group of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. The couple also learned that the capital of Mindelo, Sao Vicente, is the birthplace of well-known singer, the late Cesaria Evora.

Justyne signed off her last email dated March 8th offering prayers for Ukraine and noting how proud she was of her native Poland for welcoming those fleeing the war.

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 March 8th they are sailing toward Valleta, Malta at 18 knots with a strong breeze and temps around 10C. They should arrive in Malta on March 9th. May they have nothing but smooth sailing as their adventures continue – we will share more missives should they send us future electronic postcards 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.


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.


The Viking Star (Photo courtesy Cruise Mapper)

The Viking Star shown sailing toward Valleta, Malta on March 8th. (Image courtesy Cruise Mapper)

The Viking Star shown sailing toward Valleta, Malta on March 8th. (Image courtesy Cruise Mapper)

Justyne Chojnacka and Wally Racicot have been on board the Viking Star for 75 days as part of a Wonders of the World Cruise.

Justyne Chojnacka and Wally Racicot have been on board the Viking Star for 75 days as part of a Wonders of the World Cruise.

Sailing around Cape Horn.

Sailing around Cape Horn.

Wally Racicot and Justyne Chojnacka enjoy a photo opportunity while cruising past the Amalia Glacier.

Wally Racicot and Justyne Chojnacka enjoy a photo opportunity while cruising past the Amalia Glacier.

Another view of the Amalia Glacier.

Another view of the Amalia Glacier.


The World Cruise started in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Dec. 24 and continues today with the couple arriving in Valleta, Malta on March 9.



March 4th Skies...By Sally Leitch

March 4th Skies…By Sally Leitch

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

I greatly admire the work of the volunteers at Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) and I welcome happily ever after tales of adoption success to share in my space here at the bottom. This week we learn about TJ (now Gideon) and how this three and half-year-old male cat who had a “hard knock life” before arriving at the shelter has transformed from feral to pretty darn fabulous in the words of the man who adopted him just over a month ago. – Melody

“He is so, so loved. I encourage people to stop by to see him so he is more and more socialized and he is so good about it and letting people pet him and love on him. Little by little…he is such an amazing boy.

“Well, as we approach our week five anniversary, my little square-eyed, pirate puss has taken an amazing turn. He has been playing with springs, tossing his ‘Bun-Bun’ bunny around and has taken a liking to playing Peek-a-Boo for treats. Truly…to see him playing and having fun almost brought tears to my eyes. I do so want him to be happy and to see him playing told me all I need to know. What a treasure he is.”



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