bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 757 Week 03 Vol 15

January 10, 2024


Issue 757 Week 03 Vol 15
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The congregation of St. Andrew’s United Church in Bayfield were excited and happy to welcome Rev’d Dr. Sheila Macgregor as their halftime minister on the first Sunday of the New Year. Following the Jan. 7 church service everyone was invited to join together for coffee and a time to chat and extend a welcome to Sheila and her husband Richard. Sheila (left) is shown here with two members of the search committee, Nancy and Kevin Kale. The search for a new minister took three years. In addition to the Kales the committee members were Carol Carter, John MacDonald, and Sue Grabowski. (Submitted photo)


The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will welcome all to their Annual Winter Walk on Sunday, Jan.14 along the Varna Nature Trails at the Stanley Complex in Varna. This image taken on the hike in 2018 shows a snowy landscape – what will the 2024 version look like? (Photo by Jack Pal)

The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will kick off its 2024 season with a Winter Hike on Sunday, Jan. 14 followed by a free lunch of vegetarian chili and cornbread.

The hike will begin at 11 a.m. at the Varna Complex with lunch to follow. Hikers of all ages are welcome to join a guided walk on the Taylor Trail and Mavis’ Trail. The Taylor Trail is an easy 1 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 could be snowy or icy, so warm clothes and snow/ice cleats are recommended.

This is also the event at which BRVTA encourages members to renew and welcomes new hikers to join the association. Annual membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for families of two or more. All funds go to support the volunteer work of the BRVTA.

The Varna Complex is 5 km east of Bayfield on the Mill Road. A map of the trails can be found at: Bayfield Trails.


The congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church, Bayfield extends their sincere thanks to the Solace Bedside Singers as well as to all those that attended the “Moments of Solace” on Thursday, Dec. 21.

“It was a profound moment as we gathered together in spiritual silence to just ‘be’ in the candlelight all while blanketed with quiet songs,” said Teresa Steel, representing Knox, Bayfield.

The evening was sponsored by Solace Bedside Singers; St George’s Anglican Church, Goderich, Knox, Bayfield; Huron Hospice, near Clinton; and Jessica’s House, Exeter.

Knox, Bayfield is pleased to announce the winners of the silent auction that was held as a church fundraiser during the month of December. The auction featured a beautiful 60″ x 80″ quilt pieced by Judith Roy and long arm quilted by Teresa Jantzi, as well as two bird houses: the Condo and the Cottage, both designed and created by Peter Nijp. The successful bidder of the Wind and Waves quilt was Carolyn Off.  The successful bidders of the birdhouses were Susanne Carter, who won the Condo birdhouse, and Pieter VanMeekeren, who won the Cottage birdhouse.

“The congregation of Knox congratulates our winners,” said Steel. “We’d also like to extend our sincerest thanks for their support and for the interest and support of all those that bid in our auction.  From our big hearts to yours we thank you!”

All are welcome to join in weekly services at Knox, Bayfield on Sundays at 11 a.m.

Prayer requests can be shared in several ways. Please contact the minister by emailing for more information.

Knox Presbyterian Church Bayfield is located at 2 Bayfield Main Street North. To learn more visit


Sewing Classes for beginners will be held in February in support of Huron Hospice. (Submitted photo)

Sewing Classes are the latest fundraising initiative for Huron Hospice being organized by volunteer Helen Varekamp.

Sewing Classes for beginners is a four-week session that will be held in February. A Parent and Child class will be offered, as well as an Adult class. The classes will be for absolute beginners and will cover both hand sewing and machine sewing. No experience will be required, just enthusiasm for learning basic sewing skills.

Classes will be held on the four Saturdays in February at the Community Room of Huron Hospice Bender House near Clinton.

The Parent and Child class will be held from 10 a.m. to noon  while the Adult class will run from 1-3 p.m.

The classes will be taught by Varekamp in return for a donation to Huron Hospice. A tax receipt will be offered.

“Sewing is my passion and I have been asked several times if I want to teach this creative and valuable skill,” said Varekamp. “Sewing is creative and fun, while also a very useful skill to have. Knowing how to alter and mend your clothing or making items from scratch can be so satisfying.”

The classes will be very small, so students get lots of personal guidance. Early registration is recommended, to ensure a space. Students can bring their own sewing machine or use a machine that will be provided.

Contact Helen Varekamp by email at for more information or to register.

Huron Hospice Bender House, 37857 Huron Road, Clinton.


Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines volunteers recognize that the cat crisis isn’t just relegated to the village and surrounds. Other communities have similar concerns and the local organization provides support when possible. One such situation is a colony of cats that have become known as The Park House Gang – a group of felines that were living near the business on West Street.

The Adopt a BFF kittens of the week are: Harley Quinn, female, under one year; Harbour, male; Lizzy, female; and Mercer, male. This trio are all about 4.5 months old and are very likely from the same litter.

Volunteers believe that there are about eight cats in this colony and at this time five have been trapped and four are now in the care of BFF.

“The lovely person who has been trapping the cats kept a fluffy Tabby as it was the first one she trapped and she took it home,” said Deb Penhale representing BFF. “We believe there are two or three more cats from this colony still out there and hope to get them soon.”

Penhale went on to explain that they were being cared for outdoors and aren’t really feral but still skittish about being handled.

“Harbour, Lizzy and Mercer were named after looking up the history of The Park House and the original owners. Staff and neighbors had been feeding them but the fear is how cold it was getting, coyotes in the neighborhood and the fact that these babies would be having babies in the next few months exacerbating the existing problem of overpopulation,” said Penhale.

She would like to thank those who have donated towards the vetting and care of these kittens and would welcome more donations from those who can.

“We still have a long list of cats waiting to come in and receive calls on a daily basis,” she said.

According to Penhale some people don’t fully understand that BFF relies on financial donations to function.

“I had someone recently show up with a cat and they said, ‘I trapped this cat and didn’t want to drop it off somewhere and make it someone else’s problem’ but they made it BFF’s problem as we don’t get the cats vetted for free – care, food, shelter it all comes at a cost to BFF,” she said.

Penhale added that anyone who has a stray or feral cat residing in their neighborhood has a community cat that they should be responsible for.

“The best thing you can do is feed them, shelter them, neuter or spay them,” said Penhale. “If you feel the need to trap a cat, have a plan in place before doing so. Shelters are full. Rescuers are exhausted. We don’t have places for these cats but we will try to work with people to make a plan or to assist people in caring for them.”

Anyone who might find a place in their home for any of the members of The Park House gang  is asked to contact BFF by email using the address below.

Financial donations may be sent via E-transfer to or mailed to P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. The adoption fee is $250. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered.

In addition to accepting monetary donations, BFF has an Amazon wish list. This list contains items they need for the day-to-day care of their cats and kittens as well as some truly “wish” items. Items are marked as to their priority, number needed, and many explain what their use will be. There is a wide variety of prices and BFF appreciates whatever you can supply. Items need not be purchased through Amazon, the list is merely a guideline.

To view the items on the list please visit:  BFF Wish List.

Pet Valu in Goderich is another location where donations can be made or items purchased for the benefit of BFF. The business is located at 35400 Huron Road.

BFF has a Facebook group dedicated to adoptions known as “Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines ADOPTION Group” so people can view more of the fur babies ready for homes. Adoption inquiries may also be made to the BFF’s email address above.


Bev Earley (Submitted photo)

The community will no doubt be saddened to learn that a former village resident has died.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a beloved man, Beverly Eugene Earley, of London, ON, on Dec. 29, 2023, at the age of 82. A devoted husband for 57 years, he leaves behind his loving wife, and princess, Janet (Oakes) Earley.

Bev was a cherished father to Chris Earley and Jennifer (Jiffy) Gibson, Kim and Stephen Grogan. His legacy extends through his role as a proud Papa to Nathan (Olivia), Skye (Hunter), Mitchell (Mackenzie) and Rylie. Brother to Robert Earley and Jill Hayman, brother-in-law to Lynda Earley, Shirley and Jim Blackwell, Russ Oakes and Joe Saddy, Darrell Becker, Alan and Bobbie Oakes. Survived by several nieces and nephews.

Predeceased by his parents Eugene and Margaret Earley, step-father Stuart Middleton, in-laws Sam and Lois Oakes, brother Billy, sister Marilyn, brother-in-law Hubert and niece Susan Freitag, brother George Earley, sister-in-law Susan Earley and brother-in-law Donald Oakes.

Bev’s educational journey took him to the University of Western Ontario, where he earned a psychology degree, and later to Althouse College. Bev had a special passion for mathematics, inspiring others to embrace the beauty of numbers. As a teacher and guidance counsellor, Bev touched the lives of countless students, providing guidance and inspiration. His commitment extended beyond the classroom, where he spent 28 years coaching basketball, instilling not only the love for the game but also invaluable life lessons.

Bev was an avid croquet player at the Bayfield International Croquet Club, loved a game of golf and was a dedicated London Knights hockey fan. His spirit was unwavering. As a municipal councillor in the Town of Strathroy, he tirelessly worked towards building a better community.

Born in Kerwood, where he grew up farming, Bev’s hands were always busy building, remodeling, and inventing. He could fix anything with a bit of duct tape and some twine. He was the creator of the perfect Caesar salad and barbecued ribs. Bev’s love for the color orange was only surpassed by his love for family and friends. From cottage days and fishing trips with the boys to car trips out west, he cherished every moment with those he held dear.

In his final days, Bev received compassionate care from Dr. Suzanne Taylor-Wall and the entire care team at St. Joseph’s Hospice. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Cremation has taken place at Mount Pleasant Cemetery & Crematorium. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Interment in Bayfield, ON and a Celebration of Bev’s Life is to be scheduled for a later date.

Donations in Bev’s memory can be made to the St. Joseph’s Hospice of London, ON.


The Bayfield Branch Library continues to be a busy place to be in January with lots to do as well as books to check out!

Once a month Story Time is held at the Bayfield branch with the next opportunity set for Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. This program is geared to children five years and under and features songs, stories and a craft. Participants are asked to register for this 30 minute program by emailing or calling 519 565-2886.

Anyone who received a new tablet, phone or laptop over the holidays and may need a little extra help getting it set up will be pleased to know that the Bayfield Branch is hosting extra Tech Time appointments in January so they can assist. This would also be a great time to learn about the Huron County Library’s popular online resources, like Hoopla CloudLibrary. Registration is required to participate in Tech Time please use the email or phone number listed above. The final extra Tech Time session will be held on Jan. 11 from 1-3:30 p.m.

People traveling to a Spanish-speaking country this year might find a free communicative course being offered at the library from Jan. 11 to Feb. 28 helpful. Travel Spanish will be offered starting at 5:30 p.m. for one-hour over eight weeks. Participants will listen, speak, read, and write in Spanish within a cultural context. This course is suitable for beginners or people who wish to refresh their knowledge of the language. Registration is required using the details provided above.

On Thursday, Jan. 25, the Bayfield Branch will host “Cinephile Connections” offering the movie “The Wife”, from 2017,  starring Glenn Close and Jonathon Pryce. In this film, a “wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm to see her husband receive the Nobel Prize for Literature”. The movie shall commence at 3:15 p.m.

Cinephile Connections is intended as an adult program because the films shown may include mature themes. Those who watch this classic film are invited to stay and chat about it after the viewing. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Bayfield Library.

Movie-goers are asked to register using the contact information provided above.

The Bayfield Branch Library is located at 18 Main Street North in the village.


The Board of Directors of the Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) invites applicants for the important role of Secretary. This is a volunteer position.

The Board is looking for an individual who is interested in helping to preserve 167 years of agricultural/rural history in the Bayfield area while working with a congenial and like-minded group of people. The BAS organizes and promotes the Bayfield Community Fair and other events throughout the year.

Previous experience is helpful but not necessary. Basic computer experience (Word and Outlook) would be an asset. Attention to detail is important.

Duties include: preparing meeting agendas with assistance from the BAS President; taking, preparing, and circulating minutes; correspondence; maintaining a membership list; and helping with event and Fair planning. Meeting attendance would be two evening hours per month. Additional meetings may be called as needed. The Board is looking for a two-to four-year commitment. Training and support will be provided for all duties. A complete job description is available.

For more information, please contact or Doug Yeo at 519 482-9296.


Gentle Flow Yoga is being offered at the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena on Tuesdays in January.

Drop-ins are welcome to attend “Gentle Flow Yoga with Shannon” on Tuesday mornings starting at 9 a.m. The drop-in fee is $10 per person or $40 for a monthly pass. Participants should note that classes will not be held in February but will resume on March. 5.

For more information please contact Shannon by calling 519 404-5199 or by email at


The congregation of Trinity St. James Anglican Church invites those in the community to worship with them on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Wednesday services are held starting at 10:30 a.m. while Sundays services begin at 11 a.m.

Jan. 21st is the date set for the annual Vestry meeting to be held following a potluck lunch after the church service. Morning Prayer with Lisa Currah will be held on Sunday, Jan. 28.

Trinity St. James Anglican church is located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.


The “Coffee & Chat” group at the Bayfield Branch Library has reconvened following a summer break. The Friends of Bayfield Library extend a warm welcome to all who would like to join in.

Participants can enjoy a hot cup of coffee while engaging in conversation with other community members.  The conversation is neutral and inclusive with an endless list of interesting topics for discussion!

The “Coffee & Chat” group will meet in the Bayfield Library Meeting Room every Tuesday from 2-3:30 p.m. The program will extend until the end of June 2024.

This is a great way for newcomers to meet new people, learn about the village, and share ideas. Seasoned villagers are also very welcome. There is no need to register for this program. Just show up and be prepared for some lively discussion!


Mah Jongg is now being played at the Bayfield Branch Library on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

Participants are asked to arrive at 12:45 p.m.

All are welcome to take part in this Rummy type game that is played with tiles instead of cards. Instructions are always available.

For more information please email Pat Lewington at


Come and get creative with a variety of fun craft supplies on Tuesday afternoons at the Bayfield Branch Library.

“Crafternoons” will be held for one hour starting at 4:30 p.m.

This is a drop-in program with no registration required – just show up and start crafting!


Children four and up, accompanied by their parents, are invited to the next meeting of the Bayfield Lego Club on Jan. 13. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

The next meeting of the Bayfield Lego Club will be Saturday, Jan. 13. Families with an interest in Lego design and creativity are invited to come and further “their love for the brick”!

The club’s 11th session will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall at Trinity St James Anglican Church and will be sponsored by the Optimist Club of Bayfield.

Bayfield Lego Club is open to all children ages four and up accompanied by an adult. Bricks will be provided for use at the meetings and participants will be encouraged to build a creation of their own accord. Following a time on display in the Parish Hall the projects will be broken down by volunteers to make the bricks available for use at the next meeting.

Trinity St James Anglican Church is located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.


Attention Bridge playing enthusiasts the cost to attend an afternoon at the Bayfield Bridge Club has been reduced by half – the cost to join the fun is now just $2.

That is quite a bargain that includes coffee, tea and a yummy snack plus a prize for both the winner and the loser.

Players do not need to attend with a partner to participate in these “drop-in” sessions. New people are invited to join in this great opportunity to make new friends as partners are switched after every four hands.

The games are played on Wednesday afternoons at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building located at 6 Municipal Road.  The cards are shuffled at 1 p.m.  All levels of players are welcome to take part in these games that are played year-round.


The Ontario government is now accepting applications for the Regional Development Program’s Southwestern Development Fund. This program supports business growth in Southwestern Ontario, including in Huron-Bruce, by providing support to eligible small and medium sized businesses investing in new equipment and training to expand operations and to community economic development projects.

Program applicants can receive financial support and advisory services to help navigate government programs, such as guidance on compliance approvals as well as assistance with skills and talent.

“Our government recognizes that small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our regional economies and that investments in local businesses create good paying jobs in communities like those in Huron-Bruce,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP. “Our communities need these jobs so I encourage all business owners who might be looking to expand to investigate this program and apply.”

As a quarterly program, applications open four times a year for the Southwestern Regional Development Fund. The most recent application period opened on Dec. 7 and will close on Jan. 14, 2024. The following intake will accept applications from March 28 to May 16, 2024.

To be eligible, businesses in Huron-Bruce must be able to produce three years of financial statements, employ at least five people, commit to creating at least five new jobs or a 30 per cent increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees, and invest at least $200,000 in the project. Community economic development projects are eligible to apply if they are led by municipalities, economic development organizations or sector organizations, invest in infrastructure or implement strategies to advance regional economic development priorities, lead to measurable outcomes including private sector investment, growth, and job creation, have private sector support and invest more than $100,000.

To date, the government has provided more than $110 million to support 100 projects across the province through the Regional Development Program. This has helped leverage $1.1 billion in new investments by businesses and created more than 2,300 jobs.

Businesses and organizations can expect to hear back on the status of their applications within 60 business days.

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund was first launched in November of 2019.

For more information visit: Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation and stewardship, each year, with conservation awards. In 2024 the conservation authority will present its Conservationist of the Year Award for the 41st time.

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 invites the public to nominate a person, business, farm, community group, or organization in 2024 for the Conservationist of the Year Award. People may make nominations until Feb. 9. To submit a nomination, visit the website. The nomination form on the Conservation Award web page can be found by visiting: Conservationist of the Year.

Marissa Vaughan is Chair of the ABCA Board of Directors. She says the award is one of the ways the conservation authority thanks local stewards for protecting and enhancing local watershed resources.

“We appreciate all the local landowners and residents who are taking positive actions to create healthy watershed communities for today, and for future generations to come,” she said. “It is an honor to recognize one of these worthy stewards with the Conservationist of the Year Award. Although we select one winner each year, we know there are many, many individuals and groups who are worthy of recognition and I thank you all.”

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, sustainable 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 for all living things.

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.


Looking for what is happening now in the village? Look no further than the Bayfield Activities Calendar . People are invited to refer to this website to learn what activities, from Pickleball to Mahjong, are happening and when.


Congratulations to the agricultural producers and other rural landowners in the watershed, to community groups, to community partners including funding partners, to Ausable Bayfield Conservation tree planting crews and stewardship and forestry and Healthy Watersheds staff, and to everyone else who has been part of the success of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation tree program in the watershed, with more than one million trees planted since 2006. Thanks also to all the watershed residents who donate to tree planting. Well done, all! (Submitted photo)

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), working with local landowners and other project partners, has planted more than one million trees since 2006.

Ian Jean is ABCA Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist. He said it is the work of local landowners, and the support of project partners including funding partners, that has made the tree program so successful. Local landowners plant tens of thousands of trees each year.

“When we looked back at the numbers recently, we noted that, since 2006, just more than one million trees had been planted across the watershed,” he said. “The other thing we noticed was an increasing trend in the number of people planting trees.”

While more people are planting trees, this does not necessarily translate to more trees being planted each year. The number of trees planted in the watershed remains steady, fluctuating between 35,000 and 70,000 annually. The presence or absence of one or more large planting projects can make the difference between tree planting numbers at the higher or lower end of that range, according to Jean.

Trees and forests help to create clean air and clean water, Jean said. Trees and forests also contribute to better mental and physical health.

More than 200 landowners in the watershed planted trees or had ABCA staff plant trees for them in 2023. This high level of interest, in taking action to improve the water, air and soil, is worth noting.

“People are engaged, and they are working to make positive improvements,” he said.

Spring is not far away and ABCA staff say a sure sign of spring coming is the Spring Tree Order Form. It is posted at the conservation authority website at on this web page: Order Trees.

Interested landowners may submit mail-in tree orders until Jan. 31. Tree orders accompanied by payment are taken until Feb. 29.

ABCA offers a wide range of trees through its spring tree planting program. The Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist encourages interested landowners to visit for the spring tree order form or to give him a call at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to discuss planting projects.

“We’re happy to help with project design and help to apply for funding for eligible projects,” he said.

Funding programs are available in many areas for naturalization dependent on the type of project, location and specific program details.

ABCA thanks grant program funding partners including member municipalities, Huron County Clean Water Project, Forests Ontario, the Government of Canada’s Canada Nature Fund, Sunset Community Foundation and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, along with other funding partners, community donors and other valued funding partners.

Anyone who has property on which they can plant trees, is asked to consider purchasing a tree through the tree order program. If someone doesn’t have room on their property for trees, they can still help to improve forest conditions by donating to tree planting through the Footprints to Forests program. To learn more visit:  Footprints to Forests.


In 2024, the South Huron Arts Centre (SHAC) continues to offer a wide range of programs in the arts. But SHAC has also made additions to its calendar in response to community interest. As always, whether people are interested in art, music, crafts, cooking, photography, fabrics, decorating, self-care, or dance, they can find what they are looking for.

Registrations are picking up, but all programs still have openings. While readers are asked to check the SHAC website for details, here is an overview.

As noted, arts and crafts remain very popular. People may wish to spend time with Denise Antaya as she explores ‘landscapes through the eyes of the artist.’ Or bring a preschooler where they will learn to love the arts.  New and intermediate artists will find programs in acrylic painting and of course, watercolor programs are big again. Pick from evening watercolor parties or actual classes or learn about watercolor with wool.

For the ‘hands-on’ artist, afternoon and evening programs are offered in pottery. People can get creative with clay, stained glass, printmaking or landscape design.

Crafts remain a strong program area. Perhaps a person’s interest lies in creating a spring floral display, a project in crochet or Ukrainian Easter eggs. SHAC also offers an upcycling custom flannel program.

Moving to music, SHAC still offers lessons in guitar whether for beginners or for those wishing to improve their skills. It’s expected ukulele lessons will be popular again.

For individuals who enjoy cooking SHAC offers four programs including, meal planning and preparation, the art of canning and gluten free cooking. BYOC (bring your own crock) is a program that helps people learn how to make bread.

Last but not least, SHAC believes people need to take good care of themselves. Opportunities in this regard include: the art of the pedicure, morning wake-up dance-exercise class and how to learn the Texas two-step, the waltz and  jive among others.

To register, or to find out more, visit: or email

The South Huron Arts Centre is located at 42 James Street, Exeter in the Exeter United Church.


Well owners may know that having well water tested is an important part of ensuring their family, friends and neighbors are safe but they may find it isn’t always as convenient as they would like. Getting a sample bottle locally and having someone deliver it to Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) for them, makes it much easier, according to organizers of water wise well testing events.

The Londesboro and District Lions Club is hosting a water sampling event on Thursday, Jan. 25  between 7-9 p.m. at Lions Hall, 282 Kings Road. Lions members are distributing sample bottles to homes in Londesborough prior to the event. Water testing sample bottles are also available for pickup, in advance of the event, at Nature’s Nest and Hensall District Co-op’s Londesborough locations. Sample bottles will be available at the event as well.

The Londesboro and District Lions Club is working with drinking water source protection to host the event. The Lions Club volunteers and source protection staff ensure samples are kept chilled and delivered to Huron Perth Public Health for testing the next morning. Experts on well protection and septic maintenance are to be available to provide information and answer questions at the event.

The Londesboro and District Lions Club encourages well owners to take advantage of this convenient way to check on the safety of their well water. When water sampling of private wells is made easier, more people will do it. That’s the idea behind the “Water Wise” events happening in some villages, hamlets and shoreline communities in the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region.

In case of extreme winter weather, the snow date is Jan. 29. Please visit the: Londesboro Lions Facebook page for updates.

Other community groups who might be interested in partnering or hosting a “Water Wise” water sampling event can contact Mary Lynn MacDonald, Source Water Protection Program co-supervisor, by email  at or by phone 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 247.  To learn more, visit the local drinking water source protection web page: Best Practices. The region is sharing information about the events on social media with #BestPractices and #WellWise and #WaterWise hashtags.


“Anatomy of a Fall” is the next instalment of the Livery Film Fest. The film  takes the viewer on an intimate journey and a courtroom dissection of a complicated marriage. Samuel and Sandra (brilliantly performed by Sandra Hüller, watch for an Oscar nomination!), their son Daniel and his guide dog Snoop are living in a partially renovated chalet in a remote mountain location in France. The marriage is further strained by Samuel’s resentment toward his wife and her current writing successes versus his creative block.

Daniel discovers his father dead below their attic window. At first Sandra assumes it must have been an accidental fall but a head injury suggests Samuel was pushed from the balcony. In the end, it is Daniel’s testimony that will sway the jury.

Justine Triet, the film’s co-writer and director won the illustrious Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival becoming the third female director to win the award. This highly recommended film will play for one night only, Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Park Theatre in Goderich. The Box Office will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $8 for Livery members.

For more information please email

The Park Theatre is located at 30 Courthouse Square.


Huron Hospice is offering three different sessions over the course of the Winter in support of people navigating loss.

Women who have lost a life partner are invited to come and check out WINGS (Women In New Growth Stages) where women support each other. The sessions will be offered on Tuesdays from now until Feb. 27. Men who have lost their life partner are invited to attend “Sharing the Load” sessions on Thursdays from Jan. 11 to Feb. 29.

Both WINGS and Sharing the Load will run from 10-11:30 a.m. and will be held at The Centre For Employment & Learning located at 41 West Street in Goderich.

For more information about WINGS please reach out to Deb Shelley via email at or by calling 519 525-8648. Any questions with regards to Sharing the Load can be sent to Don Procter via email at or by phone at 519 357-0684.

A Grief Recovery Support Group is also being held on Wednesdays from today (Jan. 10) through to Feb. 28 in the evenings from 7-9 p.m. This group will help people learn new tools on how to move forward after a death, divorce or many other losses. It is for people aged 18 plus years. It will help people dispel the myths of grief such as, “time heals all wounds”, “hide your feelings”, and “be strong for others”. There is a cost for materials of $35. It should be noted that scholarships are available.

The Grief Recovery Support Group is sponsored by the Clinton Family Health Team, Bluewater & Area Family Health Team, Clinton Legion, Clinton Branch Trillium Insurance Company.

For more information on all three of these groups, or to register for the Grief Recovery Support Group please contact Sally Brodie, coordinator of Loss, Grief and Bereavement at Huron Hospice, at 519 525-6331 or email


An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Stratford General Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Unit –Level 3 on Dec. 29, 2023.

“Upon declaring the outbreak, immediate precautions were implemented, including prevalence testing for patients,” said Erica Jensen, manager Quality, Patient Safety & Infection Control.

The Inpatient Unit – Level 3 has been reopened to admissions and transfers. Family and Caregiver Presence on the Unit has also been restored. Full guidelines can be found on our website at

“While this outbreak is over, we can’t stress enough the importance of layering up your protection to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses that are circulating in Huron Perth,” added Jensen. “Keep up-to-date with your flu and COVID-19 vaccines, wash your hands often, stay home if you are feeling sick and wear a mask when required/needed.”

Speaking of masks, they are required to be worn in all clinical areas of HPHA hospital sites. This includes inpatient units, emergency departments, outpatient clinics, imaging, labs and waiting rooms. Medical grade masks are provided at the entrances and at masking stations throughout hospital sites.

“To keep our patients and team members safe from hospital-acquired respiratory infections it is important to follow the masking requirements when attending medical appointments and visiting loved ones,” explained Jensen. “This includes wearing a mask in the patient’s room when visiting. If you feel sick or have symptoms of illness it is strongly advised that you postpone your visit with your loved one until you are feeling better.”


Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is preparing for the future of local conservation by creating a new watershed strategy. The local conservation organization is looking to the public to provide input into this plan to guide local watershed management.

A new Watershed-Based Resource Management Strategy (WBRMS) will fulfil requirements of the Conservation Authorities Act. It will also meet local needs to protect life and property from natural hazards and to manage and protect resources on a watershed basis.

During the first phase of development, earlier in 2023, the public was invited to provide feedback on the ABCA vision and mission, guiding principles and objectives.

“The feedback was largely positive,” said Kate Monk, ABCA Projects coordinator. “We are building on the first phase to identify the best way to address the issues, fulfil our responsibilities and serve the community.”

The draft strategy proposes six focus areas for the ABCA:

  • Protecting life and property from natural hazards of flooding and erosion
  •  Conservation authority lands and passive recreation
  •  Research and monitoring
  • Outreach and education
  • Stewardship, restoration and forestry
  • Drinking water source protection

These areas comply with the Conservation Authorities Act and enable the ABCA to deliver the programs identified in agreements with the municipalities.

“No single agency has the capacity to do everything,” she said. “We will continue to collaborate with municipalities, citizens and agencies to work towards the goal of a healthy environment for future generations.”

At their Dec. 14 meeting, the ABCA Board of Directors approved these program areas for public review. Interested people can review this phase of the Strategy and provide feedback through a survey which includes spaces for written comments. The feedback period for this phase of the document continues until Jan. 31st, 2024.

To learn more about the WBRMS, people can visit the: Public Consultation Page on the ABCA website.  If they have questions, they can contact staff by telephone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.


The Conservation Dinner community fundraiser and auction will take place on Thursday, Apr. 11, 2024. Tickets are available now.

Chris Keller, of the Exeter Lions Club, is Conservation Dinner Committee Chair. He said people are encouraged to buy tickets for themselves and guests. He also said tickets are a great gift during this holiday season.

People can buy their tickets from a Conservation Dinner Committee member or from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) office. People can pay for their tickets by cheque, cash or credit card. They can even pay by e-Transfer. Anyone who is buying their ticket by e-Transfer, is asked to use the email address and include their mailing address and/or email address in the e-Transfer message box and specify if the payment is for a Conservation Dinner ticket or if the payment is a donation to the Dinner.

The Conservation Dinner takes place at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East in Exeter. Tickets are $100 each and patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount.

To buy tickets to the Conservation Dinner, or to donate, phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email or visit the ABCA office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line (just south of Hwy 83).

The 2024 Conservation Dinner is the 34th event since 1990. This community fundraiser has raised more than $1.335 million for the community over 33 years. The Exeter Lions Club has been co-partner, with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) and the watershed community, on the Dinner, since 1991. Net profits are split 50-50 between community conservation projects of the ABCF and community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club.

The auction and dinner supports projects such as a family-friendly fishing derby, accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; opportunities for students to experience outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental grant for students in local communities; a summer job at ABCA for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring and events in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel, Grand Bend; nature day camps; Owl Prowl; and parks and conservation areas.

The annual event features live and silent auctions of art and distinctive items such as travel packages and sports and entertainment memorabilia. The Dinner has special raffles, general raffles, appetizers, wine tasting, a wonderful meal, and fun and fellowship.

Find out more at or visit the ABCF’s webpage: Conservation Dinner.

Remember This

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 6,700 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.

Radio design has evolved over the years. This week we take a closer look at one variation manufactured 86 years ago that is par of the Museum’s collection…


This is a 1938 RCA Victor Radio in a walnut finish. The metal manufacturing plate on the inside back reads: “A/N 2550 Made in Canada RCA Victor Company Ltd. Montreal, Canada”. The radio is rectangular in shape and the upper front slopes inwards. There is a plastic window held by a metal bracket that covers the dial with numbers and the name RCA Victor. Below the window there are three turning knobs. The radio speaker is covered with cloth along with four decorative protection bars.

This radio was used on the farm of Hugh Doig of Wroxeter, ON.




Apr. 26 - Issue 720 - Earth Day: BLUE BAYFIELD, GLEE SISTERS AND BAYFIELD UKULELE SOCIETY CELEBRATE THE PLANET: Eighty people attended the Earth Day Celebration held at St. Andrew's United Church on the afternoon of Apr. 22 with performances provided by the Glee Sisters and the Bayfield Ukulele Society among others. (Photo by Dennis Pal)


This week in our retrospective we look back on the village happenings from Apr. 26 to Aug. 16. It was a tremendously busy time in the community. The COVID-19 cloud had lifted, events returned and people emerged from the shadows ready to get involved and socialize again. This resulted in record breaking crowds at a lot of events from the Bayfield Lions Club’s Home and Leisure Show to Bayfield Vettefest.

Unfortunately, it was not all clear skies in the heart of 2023 as the village was rocked with a tragedy mid-June. As the New Year dawns we remember the family and friends of John Vanderhaar and Cody Bunn – their loss still resonates today and will continue to do so for many years to come. Gone but never forgotten.

The Bayfield Breeze believes strongly in community and we are grateful for everyone who subscribes and reads this publication weekly. With each month that passes we continue to grow. We have about 1,700 followers on Facebook now and we have surpassed 2,000 email subscribers who are all very engaged! As one of those engaged readers we invite you to spread the word about our online publication –  proud to be the “voice of the village” since 2009.



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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

A few years ago when I worked at the Goderich Signal-Star as both a reporter and their Special Editions Editor my desk was smack dab in the middle of the newsroom and directly across from the coffee machine where people would congregate to chit-chat. I learned to write amongst the chaos but sometimes deadlines required that I act like newsman Les Nessman – pretending I had actual office walls and could just ignore those around me when working on a story that needed extra concentration. I would of course tell my fellow co-workers that I was about to “pull a Les Nessman” so they would understand I was in “my office” working and not simply being rude!  For those of our readers too young to understand the Les Nessman reference feel free to Google the TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” or actor Richard Sanders.

What conjured up this memory? As the Editor of the Bayfield Breeze my office is in a quiet part of our house with an inspiring view of farmland out my window. I haven’t got any office co-workers or coffee drinkers to exchange pleasantries with. But there are still plenty of distractions – emails, social media, messenger, texts, phone calls…how we can connect with one another in an instant today makes those days at my newsroom desk seem rather tame in comparison.

And while it is sometimes challenging to stay focused and get the stories edited or written there is the added benefit that I can turn off most of these devices for a little while and make the deadline. I am grateful for the people I met and the training I got during my time with Signal Star Publishing. You likely wouldn’t be reading the 757th issue of the Bayfield Breeze if I hadn’t spent my early years as a journalist there.

– So for now, this is Melody Falconer-Pounder saying good day, and may the good news be yours. (With apologies to Richard Sanders…)

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