bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 781 Week 27 Vol 15

June 26, 2024


Issue 781 Week 27 Vol 15
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Surrounded by fellow Lions Club members and guests, Tony Van Bakel was presented with the highest recognition a Lions Club member can receive on Sunday, June 23. Shown here presenting Van Bakel (middle) with the Melvin Jones Fellowship are Bayfield Lions Club President Ian Matthew, and Lion Penny Overboe (right). (Photo by Rolly Scott)

Founded in 1917 Lions International consists of 1.4 million members in 49,000 Clubs worldwide. The Melvin Jones Fellowship is awarded by the Lions International Foundation in honor of Lions founder Melvin Jones.

On Sunday, June 23, Bayfield Lion Tony Van Bakel was presented with the Melvin Jones Fellowship for his 14 years of dedicated service to the Bayfield Lions Club.  He has headed the Home Show Committee for a number of years, has served as both vice-president and president, and is always willing to help with the club’s many other events whether it be by providing knowledge, support, or even hard labor!

The Melvin Jones Fellowship is the highest form of recognition a Lion can receive and is consistent with the goals of Lionism and represents humanitarian qualities of compassion and generosity. Its recipients are role models because of their exemplary service to club and community.

The end of June is near and the club members are pleased to report that they have now completed three of their major annual events.

The Bayfield Lions Club Home and Leisure Show held on Apr. 20-21 proved to be an  overwhelming success.

The Bayfield Lions Community Breakfast on May 19,  with scrambled eggs and all was equally as successful. During the breakfast, a cheque was presented by Lion’s President Ian Matthew to Mayor of Bluewater Paul Klopp in the amount of $10,000. Their financial contribution to the sidewalk to the Bayfield Foodland Plaza that was completed in the Spring.

On May 19, a cheque was presented by Lion’s President Ian Matthew (fourth from left) to Mayor of Bluewater Paul Klopp (fifth from right) in the amount of $10,000. Their financial contribution to the sidewalk to the Bayfield Foodland Plaza that was completed in the Spring. Joining in the presentation were from l-r: Rick Schinkel, Tony Van Bakel, Andy DeVries, Kathy Gray,, E. J. Bauer, Lorena Toole, Bill Rowat and Kim Muszynski. (Photo by Jack Pal)

The Bayfield Lions Club’s Walk for Dog Guides was held on June 2, and brought in just over $13,600.

“Thank-you to all in our community – residents, businesses, visitors, and everyone who helped to make all of these events successful, and enjoyable for all,” said Lions Vice-president Karen Scott. “We are looking forward to the Golf Tournament on Sept. 6 and the Trout Derby on Oct. 18-20. And don’t forget our calendars, the sale date for these is coming out soon.”

Recently the Lions had their elections and their executive was reaffirmed with President Ian Matthew, Vice-President Karen Scott, Treasurer Dave Nearingburg, and Secretary Mark Richardson.

The club’s membership is now at 35. Anyone who is interested in becoming a member and joining the camaraderie of all involved in this community oriented organization is invited to e-mail or call 519 565-5170.


The United States (US) Tennis Association’s Chief Executive and US Tournament Director, Stacey Allaster was guest speaker at the Bluewater Babes 20th anniversary luncheon held on June 12 in Varna. (Photo by Lisa Stewart)

Thirty Bluewater Babes and guests gathered at the historic Wedding Cake Cottage in Varna on June 12 to mark their 20th anniversary.

Edie Allaster acknowledged that she has had the honor and privilege of guiding this exceptional group of women, spanning both past and present, for two decades.  The highlight of the celebration was guest speaker, Stacey Allaster, daughter of Edie and her husband, Harold.

Stacey, an internationally acclaimed sports and entertainment leader, has championed equality and innovation in tennis.  As the United States (US) Tennis Association’s Chief Executive and US Tournament Director, she made history in 2020 as the first female tournament director in the organization’s 140-year history.

Stacey’s accolades include the Order of Canada in the companion category, recognition as one of the top 50 Heroes of Tennis and the Billie Jean King Leadership Award.

In her inspiring presentation, Stacey passionately emphasized the importance of continuing Billie Jean King’s dream – a vision where all girls and women have equal access and opportunities in both sports and life.

“The ladies were truly captivated by Stacey and her engaging talk.  Here’s to two decades of remarkable memories!” concluded Edie.


Bayfield Rummage Sale - Paper Boy@0.5xThings that last take time to grow.  Nothing exemplifies this truth better than the Pioneer Park Rummage Sale’s Silent Auction.  The seed for the Silent Auction was planted back in the 1980s under co-conveners Rosemary Crosthwaite, Maggie McLean and Audrey Marriot.  It started off as a novelty table at the Rummage Sale, but by the 1990s it had grown in popularity evolving each year so that it now takes place at the hub of the Rummage Sale.  It has become an integral part of the fundraising effort to support Pioneer Park.

Team Silent Auction has had to grow too in order to keep up with its popularity.  Many repeat members and new volunteers join long time organizers such as Carl and Karen Humphries and Pattie MacDonald. Together they solicit the gifts, estimate their values, showcase the items and create bid sheets for each and every one.

This work begins in the early Spring when team members start soliciting local business and services, Pioneer Park Association members, and members of the public. So far this year, 110 items have been collected for the Silent Auction, including gift certificates ranging in value from $25 to $675, original paintings and drawings, framed photographs, art pieces and novel curiosities.  Many surprising and valuable pieces come from citizens who are downsizing or moving. Local retailers, service providers and villagers recognize it as a valuable means to support Pioneer Park in a meaningful way.

The Silent Auction creates a real buzz at the sale.  It is centrally located in the arena; easily accessible to all buyers so they can see the goods being showcased, and can place their bids. There is a hum of excitement, through the constant activity, with buyers interacting with each other, and upping their bids for their desired items before the deadline for that item closes.  Those who volunteer to work at the Silent Auction table suggest that it is fun and exciting because bidding closes at different times for different items creating a thrilling atmosphere of anticipation.

There is still time to donate items to the Silent Auction and to the Rummage Sale.  These items can be dropped off at the Quonset hut north of Bayfield, 9 a.m. to noon on two upcoming Saturdays: June 29 and July 6.  Anyone who has a Silent Auction item they’d like to donate can also contact Team Silent Auction at Organizers would be very happy to see more volunteers step forward as well so if anyone is feeling inspired, please email interest to the same address.


Always a crowd favorite, the Bayfield Fire Department trucks round the corner onto John Street as they lead the 2023 parade toward the fairgrounds. In the foreground are Bayfield Fair volunteers Cate Thompson and Brandon Lowrey-Romanuk carrying the Bayfield Agricultural Society banner. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

Following the huge success of last year’s Bayfield Community Fair Parade, planning is now underway for the 2024 parade. And it promises to be bigger and better than ever!

The dates for this year’s Fair are Aug. 16-18 with the parade taking place on Main Street on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 11 a.m.

Organizers have been busy working on the parade lineup and are very pleased to welcome some new entries for this year’s parade: Edward Jones Investments, Papple Aviation, Bayfield Recreational Sales, Bayfield Ukulele Club as well as the Bayfield International Croquet Club celebrating their 50th anniversary. Members of the community are encouraged to enter a float or group to represent their organization, business, community group, or neighborhood. This is a great opportunity to get exposure for a business or organization. Musicians, dance groups, kids on bikes, classic cars, vintage tractors, campgrounds – all are welcome! This year’s Fair theme is “Farms, Food & Family”. Organizers believe that it should be easy to have some fun with this year’s theme.

Several new sponsors have also come forward to help with this year’s parade expenses. The Bayfield Agricultural Society is grateful for their donations. The donations make it possible to bring in marching bands and groups that add to the parade experience each year.

Parade Chair Nancy Lowrey said, “I’m very excited about the enthusiasm from the Bayfield community surrounding this year’s parade.  You’ll see several new floats and entries, along with most of the favorites everyone loves.”

Additional information about this year’s parade can be found on the BAS’s website: Bayfield Community Fair -Parade.  Anyone interested in entering a float or being part of the parade is asked to email with a few details. Parade organizers are also looking for extra volunteers to help out on the day of the parade. Anyone who can spare a few hours on the morning of Aug. 17 is asked to send a message to the same address.

In the weeks and months leading up to the Fair, there will be regular announcements made through the Bayfield Breeze and on social media. Lots of fun events and activities are in the works, so check back often and stay tuned! To learn more, please visit: Bayfield Community Fair.

Join the fun – be part of the parade!


Sue and Jim Waddington spend considerable time finding the exact spots that members of the Group Of Seven painted from, then taking photos. (Photo by Ron Albertson)

Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) will present a rare opportunity for lovers of the Canadian landscape and art enthusiasts alike on the afternoon of Aug. 20 at the Bayfield Town Hall.

Jim and Sue Waddington have spent 47 years documenting more than 800 locations that the renowned Group of Seven artists, and Tom Thompson, have famously painted.

These artists rode trains, weedled boat rides, climbed rock faces, camped and hiked backcountry and paddled waters to reach views that inspired them across Canada.

Since these artists left no detailed records of the exact location they painted, Jim and Sue will discuss the puzzle of locating the painting sites and what they have learned about the painters.

Many of these paintings are now found at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, The National Gallery in Ottawa and the Tom Thompson Art Gallery in Owen Sound.

In this interesting and informative talk see photographs from Killarney, Algonquin, Neys, Lake Superior and Bon Echo Parks, the Georgian Bay Islands, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, the Yukon and Nunavut.

“Join us for a fascinating  presentation by Jim and Sue Waddington and this one of a kind opportunity to ‘see’ our own country through the eyes of our most famous painters!” said Leslee Squirrell, president of the BCA.

Signed copies of the Waddingtons’ stunning book “In The Footsteps of The Group of Seven” will be available for purchase after this illustrated talk.

The presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Those who wish to attend can reserve their tickets now at: In the Footsteps – Tickets.

To learn more about the Waddingtons visit: CBC Interview.

The Bayfield Town Hall is located at 11 The Square in the village.


Mama Mia and three of her brood. (Submitted photo)

Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) has been inundated with orphaned kittens, expectant felines and Mommas with their babies in the last few weeks and many are still waiting to come into the Rescue.

Mamma Mia and her family of six kittens are the Adopt a BFF felines of the week.

According to Deb Penhale, representing BFF, “Mamma Mia is a gorgeous young cat who is barely more than a baby herself but now the parent of six kittens. We were notified by someone who was approached by the smallest kitten who then surrendered itself to this person.”

Penhale went on to say that It took one of BFF’s dedicated volunteers a month to secure the rest of the kittens and the mom. This volunteer was spending eight hours a day trying to gain their trust.

“When several of his neighbors first noticed what he was doing they were concerned as to what was going on, but when he explained what we were trying to do, the majority of the neighbors joined forces and kept working with these kittens and their Mama,” said Penhale. “After keeping long hours, and with some hard work, Mama and the last two kittens were finally caught and everyone was reunited.”

More kittens continue to arrive daily so foster homes are in great demand. Anyone who feels they might like to give fostering a try is asked to please email Mary Pounder at

Can’t help but could contribute or adopt? Consider donating for medical care and food to via E-transfer or mail financial donations 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.


Coffee just tastes better from a clay mug! These two mugs, beautifully handcrafted by local potter Tony Eyamie, were generously donated for the auction by Patina Studios, Bayfield. (Submitted photo)

The Bayfield Agricultural Society’s live fundraising auction is coming up on Saturday, July 6.

The auction will be held at the Bayfield Agricultural Park starting at 11:30 a.m. Auction enthusiasts can start their day with the Firefighters Breakfast at the Bayfield Fire Hall, followed by the fundraising auction, and then take a trip back in time at Vettefest being held at Clan Gregor Square.

The proceeds from the fundraising auction will help with the expenses of the last section of fencing needed to ensure the security of animals at the Agricultural Park during the Bayfield Community Fair.

The auction will feature a great selection of items donated by local residents and businesses. Among the unique items in the auction lineup are an exquisite handmade quilt, a colorful and quirky birdhouse, a fabulous three-seater garden swing set and a whole lot more!

Donations of additional items for the auction are still being accepted and greatly appreciated. Anyone who has items or gift cards to donate for the auction is kindly asked to contact

Bayfield and area residents are invited to come out and show their community spirit by bidding on one or more of the many auction items just waiting to find a permanent home.

No pre-registration is required. Payment by cash, credit/debit or cheque. No delivery. Just show up and get ready for some lively bidding!


The Bayfield Garden Club will be exploring the magical world of mushrooms on Monday, July 8 when they visit Weth’s Mushrooms in Central Huron.

Carpooling is encouraged for those who wish to attend. The carpool will leave promptly from the Bayfield Lions Community Building at 6:45 p.m. Members and guests are welcome. The tour of Weth’s Mushrooms will begin at 7 p.m.

Weth’s Mushrooms is located at 35809 Union Road near Goderich.


Tuesday afternoons at the Bayfield Branch Library just got more exciting this summer with two fun events planned for July!  “Crafts for a Cause: Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF)” will be held on July 9 followed by “Creative Kids: Telescope Time” on July 16.

All ages are invited to join in an enriching experience at Crafts for a Cause: Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines on July 9! Delve into the inspiring world of cat rescue with a presentation by representatives from BFF, followed by a hands-on crafting session where participants can create meaningful crafts to be donated in support of the Shelter. Registration is required to take part. This 30-minute presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by an hour of crafting starting at 1 p.m.

Then on July 16, starting at 1 p.m. youth are invited to attend the one-hour session, Creative Kids: Telescope Time. Youngsters are welcome to join in an exciting space adventure at the library where they will have a blast decorating telescopes, then embark on a journey to explore the world around them! As space is limited for this activity registration is required.

Please register by emailing or by calling 519 565-2886.

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


The summer-long Red Table Book Sale is returning to the Bayfield Library from June 29 to Aug. 31st during regular library hours. (Submitted photo)

Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) is happy to announce the return of the summer-long “Red Table Book Sale” at the Bayfield Branch Library starting on June 29 and running until Aug. 31st during regular library hours.

The Red Table will be regularly stocked with books while supplies last. This means two full months of book browsing and time to stock up on Summer and Fall reading!

Payment is by financial donation. All proceeds from the Red Table Book Sale will be used by FOBL to sponsor activities and programs at the Bayfield Library throughout the year.

New this year – FOBL is organizing outdoor, pop-up book sales from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the library on the following Saturdays:

  • June 29
  • July 6
  • Aug. 3rd
  • Aug. 17
  • Aug. 31st

FOBL greatly appreciates the community’s support for this major fundraising project.


The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will be hosting two hikes during July that both celebrate heritage!

They have organized a Canada Day Community Walk to the Bayfield River Flats starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 1st. This community walk will begin in Clan Gregor Square at the gazebo. From there participants will make their way to the River Flats using the new connecting path under the Bayfield Bridge.  This 2.5 km round-trip walk will go down Main Street to Bayfield Terrace, down Short Hill Road, and along the new connecting pathway to the Flats. Hikers may then explore the Flats on their own, or return through town to the Square. Come celebrate Canada Day with a walk from the village to the river!  Dogs on leash are welcome.

On Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m., local historian David Yates will lead the Admiral Bayfield Walk along the Heritage Trail. Yates has written six books based on area history including, “Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, Master Chart Maker of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River” and his newest release, “Gothic Huron: Heroes, Rogues, Murders, Daring, Bawdy Houses and Other Tales”.  Participants are asked to meet at the Clan Gregor Square gazebo. The walk is entirely on village streets, is 2 km long and will last approximately 90 minutes.

For more information on either of these hikes, contact Ralph Blasting by calling 519 525-3205 or emailing


Bayfield Guiding is hosting a Standard First Aid Course with CPR by First Aid  4 U in July which is open to the public to register for.

The course will be held over three sessions: Wednesday, July 3rd – 6-9:30 p.m.; Wednesday, July 10 – 6-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 13 from noon to 8 p.m. (time will be given to accommodate an evening meal).

The location for the course will be the TSJ Hall, 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.

To learn more please contact Melody Falconer-Pounder by calling 519 525-3830 or emailing


“Bayfield Dances Barefoot”, an ecstatic dance club, will host their inaugural dance on the morning of July 6 upstairs in the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena.

All ages and abilities are welcome to take part from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat and a water bottle and wear loose fitting clothing.

Suggested donation is $20 with proceeds to Shake Your Toejam and Unbroken House.

For more information please contact Bud Taylor at 519 331-6327.


The Bayfield Town Hall has a great line-up of concerts again this year, featuring four tribute bands and a founding member of “Great Big Sea”. The funds from these shows will be used toward the ongoing operation and maintenance of the hall.

The first concert to be held outdoors on the grounds of the Bayfield Town Hall, will feature “Pretzel Logic” on Sunday, June 30th.

Pretzel Logic performs the music of “Steely Dan” blending their undeniable elements of rock, jazz, Latin music, R&B, blues and cryptic/ironic lyrics. The lineup includes hit songs ranging from “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number”, “My Old School” and “Hey Nineteen” to the masterful “Kid Charlemagne”, “Deacon Blues” and “Gaucho”, to name a few.

The gates to the town hall grounds will open at 6:30 p.m. The concert will run from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $40. There will be a cash bar and people are asked to bring their own lawn chair for this performance.

Tickets for Pretzel Logic are available from


On June 17, Rev. Lisa Dolson welcomed Genelle Reid (right) as a guest speaker at Knox Presbyterian Church’s “Speakers Series” on the topic of the Huron Women’s Shelter. (Submitted photos)

Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield is hosting a “Speaker Series” on topics of interest to seniors and their families.

On Monday, June 17, Knox welcomed Genelle Reid, of the Huron Women’s Shelter. Reid provided an informative and touching presentation on gender-based violence and its impact in rural communities.  Huron Women’s Shelter serves Huron County and is an invaluable source of help and assistance to many. They are more than just a shelter. Their list of offerings includes but is not limited to: safety planning, 24/7 support line (1-800-265-5506), counseling, referrals to other experts, court support, children’s support, resources and advocacy. Organizers would like to extend a thank you to Reid for her thought provoking session. A free will offering was collected for the Huron Women’s Shelter.

The next instalment of the Speaker Series will be held on Thursday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m.  At that time, Knox will welcome a representative from One Care Home and Community Support Services of Huron County who will speak about their programs. One Care has been providing services to families in the local community for over 40 years. They offer support for older adults, and adults with disabilities, helping people remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Knox is delighted to host them. Although there is no cost to attend, a free-will offering would be appreciated.  All are welcome.

Knox Presbyteian Church’s Book Study “Shalom Sistas – Living Wholeheartedly in a Broken World” by Osheta Moore ended on May 27. To complete the session the participants came together for a special meal. From l-r are: Marlene Starkey, Marilyn Elgie, Lynne Price, Heather Robinson, Lois Kacsandi, Rev Lisa Dolson and Judith Roy.

The Book Study on “Shalom Sistas – Living Wholeheartedly in a Broken World” by Osheta Moore, is now finished.  On May 27, the study group got together to share a recipe that Moore provided in the book – Red Beans and Rice.. A wonderful lunch was enjoyed. The group would like to thank Moore for her “words of wisdom” as she taught them how to be Peacemakers. The Book Study is now on to their next book “Sensible Shoes’ – A Story About the Spiritual Journey” by Sharon Garlough Brown. The group meets on the lower level of the church on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. The book provides a launching point for discussions. All are welcome.

On Sunday, June 23 Knox Church welcomed Soloist Linda Street as their musical guest.  Street, raised in a musical family in Clinton, studied French and music at the University of Waterloo. She is a member of the A Cappella Chorus and thatotherchoir. The congregation would like to thank her for sharing her gifts with them on Sunday.

Sunday services are held at 11 a.m. and are open to everyone.

Knox Presbyterian Church Bayfield is located at 2 Bayfield Main Street North. To learn more visit or follow them on YouTube – Knox, Bayfield.


The RCMP Musical Ride will take place at the Clinton Raceway on Labour Day weekend – Aug. 31st and Sept. 1st. (Photo courtesy of: Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

The Bayfield Agricultural Society and REACH Huron are proud to present the RCMP Musical Ride at the Clinton Raceway on Labour Day weekend – Aug. 31st  and Sept. 1st.

A symbol of tradition, honor and pride, the RCMP Musical Ride features riders and their horses performing a variety of intricate formations and cavalry drills set to music. The result is a spectacular display of precision and skill!

There will be two performances: one on Saturday, Aug. 31st at 5 p.m. (gates open at 4 p.m.) and the other on Sunday, Sept. 1st at 5 p.m. (gates open at 3 p.m.).

Both performances will take place at the Clinton Raceway, 129 Beech Street in Clinton.

Ticket prices are: Adults – $15; Kids aged six to 12 – $10; Kids aged five and under – free.

Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime experience can be purchased online at

For information, please call 519 482-3998.


Yoga with Shannon is now being offered two days a week at the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena.

The Tuesday morning yoga sessions held at 9 a.m.will be ongoing throughout the remainder of the year. In addition, there is a new opportunity to practise on Friday mornings at 11 a.m. These classes are being offered now until June 28.

Both are $10 drop-in sessions.

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

Medical Students from Western University visited Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health on May 29 to share their experiences with Gateway’s research assistants and learn about past and present projects conducted by Gateway. From l-r are: Sinead Osivwemu, medical student; Maitland Roy, research assistant: Deaglan Arnold, medical student; Nicole Gilroy, research assistant; Brigida DiMatteo, medical student; Joel Hordijk, Amy Sturgeon, and Neil Haas, all research assistants; and Benson Law, medical student. (Submitted photo)


Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) welcomed four students from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, on May 29. The day was part of a week-long visit that the medical students spent in rural areas to tour the local hospital and explore rural medicine.

At Gateway’s office, this year’s medical students were welcomed for lunch and the research assistants gave a presentation about Gateway and their past and present projects. The medical students presented their experiences and successes in previous research, as well as their journey getting into and completing their first year of medical school.

Gateway welcomed students: Deaglan Arnold, Brigida DiMatteo, Benson Law, and Sinead Osivwemu and hoped that their time was enjoyed here in Goderich and that they also enjoyed experiencing, viewing and practicing the benefits of rural medicine and healthcare.

Gateway would like to thank this group of students for embracing the rural lifestyle and wish them the best in their future endeavors!

Anyone who would like to learn more about Gateway, and their past or present projects, is asked to please visit:


Amy Sturgeon (left) and co-presenter Shahzi Yasmin Bokhari at the first National Community-Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) Sector Summit held in Ottawa, ON, June 2-4. (Submitted photos)

Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) recently attended and presented at the first National Community-Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) Sector Summit. This occurred during Seniors’ Week on June 2-4, in Ottawa, ON.

Gateway’s own Research Assistant and Project Lead, Amy Sturgeon, co-hosted a workshop at the summit on Addressing Social Isolation and Loneliness in Rural and Urban Canada. It was standing room only and live streamed for virtual attendees.

Gateway Centre for Excellence in Rural Health Research Assistant and Project Lead, Amy Sturgeon presenting on community programs at the National Community-Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) Sector Summit held in Ottawa in early June.

Sturgeon presented on the service and health barriers Canadians face by living in rural areas while sharing the work Gateway does to combat these gaps. More specifically, Sturgeon shared Gateway’s new programs: “Legion Learning” and “Legion Lounge”. Attendees received a step-by-step toolkit to implement senior-based programming within their own communities and a small bag of native pollinator plant seeds to get started.

On June 3rd, HelpAge Canada held a wonderful gala dinner with actress and comedian, Mary Walsh as the emcee with keynote speaker, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada. Both presenters brought energy and humor for this evening event!

A big thank you to HelpAge Canada for organizing and hosting this wonderful and educational event. Gateway can’t wait for the future development of this integral sector.

To learn more about Gateway’s programs, visit: Current Projects.

Anyone who would be interested in the workshop presentation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Amy Sturgeon at


People may be aware of or even participated earlier this year in the update of the Bayfield Heritage Conservation District Plan. The final draft Heritage Conservation District Plan is now ready to present to the community and municipal Council. Those involved would like to hear from the public who are invited to review the final draft plan and attend the open house and public meetings on Monday, July 8, at the Stanley Community Complex.

Those behind the creation of the Plan have heard that the character of the Bayfield Heritage Conservation District is valued by both residents of Bayfield and visitors alike. The conservation district plan is an important tool in protecting that character and managing change within this special space. Since the project began in November 2023, public consultation, open houses and discussions with business operators and landowners have informed the direction of the project and the proposed changes. This project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Rural Economic Development program) and the Municipality of Bluewater.

What changes are proposed?

  • Updated boundary
  • Updated design direction
  • Permit process improvement

Several properties along Main Street North and around Clan Gregor Square “opted out” in 1983 and they were not included in the original Plan. The updated district plan proposes to include more properties because they collectively define Bayfield’s distinct Main Street.

Secondly, the Plan proposes an updated design direction. The Plan details heritage attributes that contribute to the character of the district. The Plan outlines best practices when changes are proposed to elements such as store fronts, covered porches, windows, roof lines, materials, etc. The Plan also includes direction when a major change is proposed such as demolition of a building, additions to existing buildings, and new construction.

Lastly, throughout the update process, feedback was received that the heritage permit review process felt lengthy and overly detailed for relatively minor alterations. The updated Plan proposes streamlining approvals for business operators and property owners. The Plan recommends not requiring heritage permits for certain minor alterations such as replacing an asphalt roof with new shingles. It also recommends delegating authority to staff to issue certain types of permits such as minor heritage permits and new signs. Heritage permits would still be required in the case of proposed restoration, repair or alteration of character-defining elements of the property. Major heritage permit applications are referred to the heritage advisory committee and Council.

The proposed Heritage Conservation District Plan will be presented by project consultants, ERA Architects and GSP Group, at an open house and public meeting. The public meeting will be held during the regular Bluewater Council meeting on July 8, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. An open house will be held prior to the Council meeting from 4-6 p.m. and will be an opportunity for residents, business operators, and landowners to view the final draft and ask questions.

Affected landowners will receive a letter from the municipality. Landowners who do not receive a letter, and wonder if their property is impacted, may contact Nellie Evans, Administrative assistant, Development Services, Municipality of Bluewater at 519 236-4351 Ext. 236.

For further information about this project, visit: Bayfield Heritage Conservation District Plan.

The Stanley Community Complex is located at 38594 Mill Road.


Since its launch in December 2020, Huron Shores Area Transit’s ridership has doubled and doubled again. (Submitted photo)

On Monday, June 24, Huron Shores Area Transit (HSAT) launched a new online booking app that makes it possible for Summer Beach bus passengers to pre-book and pay for their trip to Grand Bend and their return trip back to London.

Since its launch in December 2020, HSATs ridership has doubled and doubled again. Ridership to the end of May 2024 is double that of the same period of 2023. As beachgoers discovered the convenient and budget-friendly public transit method of getting to Lambton Shores’ beaches, the Route 2 Grand Bend/London bus experienced full bus conditions on summer weekends. In anticipation of a bustling summer season, HSAT partnered with Betterez to introduce an online booking application. This tool enables passengers to pre-book and pay for rides, securing their seats in advance and ensuring they won’t miss out on a trip to the beach.

The Summer Bus offers four direct return trips from London Transit stop #706 to Sobeys Plaza, Grand Bend. The first bus departs from London at 9:30 a.m., and the last return journey from Grand Bend leaves at 8:30 p.m. The round-trip fare remains at $20 per passenger, with children aged 12 and under traveling free when accompanied by an adult.

From HSATs website, the user-friendly booking system guides passengers through selecting their trip to and from Grand Bend. Payment is made using a debit credit or credit card. As the Summer Bus can accommodate only 24 passengers, daytrippers planning a visit to the beach are strongly advised to include booking their round-trip ticket as part of their beach day plans.

Speaking about the launch, Transit Coordinator Susan Mills commented, “We anticipate high ridership demand again this summer. That’s why we felt it was important to take proactive steps to make sure passengers avoid disappointment by booking their bus tickets ahead of time so they can enjoy a worry-free day at the beach.”

With the online booking app, the small transit agency is optimizing its budget and resources. As part of this proactive approach, the practice of arranging taxi rides to transport stranded beachgoers back to London will be suspended on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August, as passengers can now guarantee their trip home by pre-booking.

For more information about the Summer Bus and to book trips online, visit: HSAT Summer Bus.


Equine Assisted Learning is a unique experiential learning experience where youth develop critical life skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork. Sessions are being offered at Poppy’s Haven this summer! (Submitted photo)

One way people can connect and learn about Newfoundland Ponies is through Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) which is being offered for children at Poppy’s Haven this summer.

Session 1 will be offered July 2-5 and is for ages eight to 10 years. Session 2 will run from Aug. 6-9 and is for ages 10-12 years. Both of these sessions will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $240 including HST.

EAL is a unique experiential learning experience where youth develop critical life skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork. Through a series of very fun team-based obstacles using the ponies as team members, participants build confidence and learn the value of trust, respect, boundaries, co-regulation, creativity and thinking outside the box.

Visit for more information and to register.

Poppy’s Haven is located at 39148 Mill Road near Varna.


This bus shelter at Kettle Point Plaza is one of two shelters to be transformed. (Submitted photo)

In what could be a first in Southwestern Ontario, Huron Shores Area Transit (HSAT) put out a call to local Indigenous artists to submit artwork for a project to transform two bus shelters into visual expressions of First Nation culture and enhance the HSAT passenger experience.

Supported by a grant from Lambton County’s Creative County Grant Program, the project seeks to transform two newly installed bus shelters at Kettle Point Plaza and Stony Point Community on Kettle & Stony Point First Nation’s territory into artist expressions of the First Nation’s culture. The resulting illuminated bus shelters will celebrate community pride, bring vibrancy to the shelter locations, highlight the talent resident within the community and enhance the passenger travel experience.

Local Indigenous artists who are Kettle & Stony Point First Nation members are invited to submit their designs online by July 15 (digital file or photograph of an original piece of artwork). The artwork can be created in any medium as long as it can be converted into a digital file to facilitate review, selection and production.

The selection committee, composed of members from Southwind Corporate Development’s board of directors, will select two designs – one for each bus shelter. The winning designs will then be enlarged and printed on translucent vinyl film, which will be applied to the largest glass wall of each shelter (82 inches wide by 77 inches tall). The vinyl film is expected to have a lifespan of five years. The contest winning artwork will be permanently available to the community on display at yet-to-be-determined locations at Kettle Point. The winning artists will each receive a $2,000 prize.

“The teepee structure at Points Plaza, where the bus stop was originally located, served as inspiration for this project,” said HSAT Transit Coordinator Susan Mills. “After a quick look online for ideas, I found a similar project in Barrie. It seemed like a great opportunity to transform ordinary transit infrastructure into something special and make them celebrative of the community.”

Full details of the project, the artwork selection process and criteria, and submission information are available online at or by contacting HSAT Transit Coordinator Susan Mills at

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.

June is traditionally the month for weddings so in recognition of this fact we highlight a wedding keepsake found in the Museum’s collection…


This is a wedding invitation from the early 1900s. It was issued for the wedding of Elizabeth Flaxbard and Michael Meidinger on Nov 28, 1906. The front is embossed with a Lily of the Valley motif.

Michael Meidinger was born on June 30, 1873 in Stephen Twp, Huron County. He was one of 14 children born to parents Jacob Meidinger and Tharasia Eisenhoffer. He later moved to Zurich, ON after his marriage to Elizabeth Flaxbard. In the last years of his life he moved into Exeter, ON. He passed away on March 4, 1968.

He was a stone mason and bricklayer by trade but created many intricate wood carvings and inlaid pieces of furniture. Many of his carvings contain hinges and moving parts that are carved from a single piece of wood. Many of his pieces are also part of the Huron County Museum collection.

Elizabeth Flaxbard

Michael Meidinger


Mr. and Mrs. August Flaxbard

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter



Mr. Michael Meidinger

on Wednesday, November 28th, 1906

at Four o’clock p.m.

at their residence, Zurich, Ontario




John Smallwood (left) and Stephen Baker were conferred with honorary Doctor of Laws degrees on the afternoon of June 10 during the convocation held for the Faculty of Education and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, ON. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

Nine individuals received honorary degrees from Western University during Spring convocation and among them were two educators with a village connection –  Stephen Baker and John Smallwood.  According to the Western News website, the pair were honored for “ensuring all students have access to quality education and are empowered to take control of their own learning.”

Baker is the founder, owner and Principal of Virtual High School (VHS)  while Smallwood is an Academic Team Member with VHS. The pair have been friends and colleagues for 30 plus years. VHS has been in business since 2001 and has operated from a completely renovated and refurbished heritage building on Bayfield’s Main Street since June 1st, 2012. 

Baker and Smallwood were conferred with honorary Doctor of Laws degrees on the afternoon of June 10 during the convocation held for the Faculty of Education and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, ON.  

Baker shared that their names were put forth for nomination to the selection committee by the Dean of Education at Western, Donna Kotsopoulos, who is also a Bayfield resident. Kotsopoulos became familiar with VHS during COVID when teaching practicums in physical classrooms were brought to a complete halt and alternative solutions had to be found in order for student teachers to graduate. 

“We established a relationship with Althouse College for teacher training during the pandemic,” said Baker. “There were 120 student teachers graduating that needed to get in sessions. Our teachers are independent contractors and so we encouraged and supported them to take on one student teacher to interact with them and provide feedback online. Working with Althouse was really well received and it provided these student teachers an opportunity to experience a new teaching format outside of the conventional classroom both teaching and marking online.” 

In the days leading up to the convocation ceremony both Baker and Smallwood were given the task to write a combined speech and were allowed five minutes each. A challenge for the two teachers who are used to talking for hours at a time. 

“We were given no guidance as to our topic and had complete license to speak as one wanted to,” said Smallwood. He added that they read over each other’s speeches and they proved to be a great fit as Baker offered up thank yous and Smallwood delved into theory sharing his thoughts on what makes a good online teacher. 

Smallwood also shared that when they were introduced the Associate Dean talked about them being “revolutionary”. And in looking back on the evolution of VHS it may very well be a most apt description. 

VHS would ultimately be born from Baker’s desire to replace the 1957 Biology textbooks he was teaching his students from back in 1995 when he moved from Newfoundland to Ontario to teach at Goderich District Collegiate Institute.”

“That Spring, I asked for new textbooks and was told ‘no’. So when I got turned down for new textbooks I decided to teach my senior Biology class HTML so that they could write their own genetics unit,” said Baker. “I had just taken an HTML coding workshop at G.D.C.I. where I learned you could put anything on the internet – I used Anstett Jewellers’ server in Clinton at the time. The workshop was taught by a librarian at F.E. Madill in Wingham who really opened my mind. Without that librarian Virtual High School wouldn’t be here.”

Ask any alumni and they are sure to agree that Smallwood’s Canadian Literature course was something of an institution at GDCI yet he was always looking for ways to make it more appealing for students. Over three decades ago he developed four units that transported the youth across the country studying literature from authors that resided in those areas. For Atlantic Canada it was Alistair McLeod and EJ Pratt. When he could he brought in guest speakers and having just come from away Baker fit the bill. 

“My accent was still quite strong and I told the students’ stories of what life was like in Grand Falls from hockey games to education,” Baker recalled. 

Working together in the early days cemented not only their friendship but their working relationship as well. Where Baker seems to thrive on the technical side and in content creation, Smallwood works with the teachers directly ensuring that they are feeling supported so that they can in turn provide their students with a supportive learning environment that is both detailed and interactive.  VHS has very little turnover in teaching staff, a fact that Smallwood is quite proud of. 

VHS wouldn’t have become the success it is today serving students worldwide in 130 countries, if it hadn’t been for the encouragement Baker received from the Director of Education with the local school board at that time – the late Paul Carroll. 

“When I had finished putting the Biology course online, Paul said that it was wonderful. He then encouraged me to help get John Smallwood’s Canadian Literature course online. And when we had finished that he said something that I wasn’t even thinking about. He said, ‘Great course, Steve. You now need to think about the whole school.’ Just that one line, spoken that one time, changed the concept of how I was thinking forever.” 

VHS started online in 2001 connecting with youth working from home. Today 25 per cent of their students are from outside Canada. They even have a student in Mongolia! 

They are a Ministry of Education inspected school offering Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits to thousands of students around the world every year. Enrolment is also increasing in the Virtual Elementary School which grew out of VHS. Just in the last four years staff have been working diligently on course content and they can now provide key core curriculum to youngsters in Grade 1 to Grade 8.  

Perhaps one of the more rewarding aspects of the growth of both schools is being able to provide accessibility to education to all who seek it. Elite athletes and artists, international students, youth who are blind or deaf, all can take courses at their own pace and on their own terms. 

And thus summarizes the many reasons that Baker and Smallwood were suitably selected to speak before an auditorium full of newly graduated teachers, doctors and dentists in Alumni Hall in London, ON on June 10. And not unlike those early days of creating courses with HTML coding it was no doubt both a challenge and a privilege to do so.




Relection…By Nancy Ruhl

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

On Saturday night, June 22, we went to see “The Farm Show: Then and Now” at the Blyth Festival. As there were tornado warnings out and about the show was moved from the Harvest Stage to Blyth Memorial Hall. As the original production was first staged in a barn, the venue, like the props and set design, are flexible enough to allow for a quick change.

The current production varies a little from the one crafted five decades ago. This season’s cast are actors, portraying the actors who created the original, portraying the farmers and rural residents of Goderich Township and the Clinton area in the early 1970s. For those who don’t know the history of this play that is credited for starting The Blyth Festival, the show was created when the original cast immersed themselves in the community for a period of time over one summer helping out on farms, meeting residents and attending council meetings and auction sales.  From these encounters and experiences an improv was created, scenes weren’t actually written down until after more than a year of performances, and it was first staged in a barn just fifteen minutes outside of Blyth.

“The Farm Show” crafted by Theatre Passe Muraille over 50 years ago holds a special place in my heart. If my memory serves me correctly I’ve seen it twice before. The first time was in 1985 when it was brought back to Goderich Twp for the celebration of the community’s sesquicentennial. It was in watching this production that I first saw my neighbors and classmates come to life on the stage. For you see in “The Farm Show” the names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

Many of the old guard portrayed in the production are now gone but they live on thanks to the actors who so capably portray them. On Saturday night, my heart skipped a beat when I heard “Everett” mentioned in the council meeting scene – a dearly loved next door neighbor of mine who was reeve of the township in the early 70s.  And I was swept back to my childhood when the elderly owner of what we referred to as the “Holmesville Zoo” was brought back to life on stage. His special sanctuary where we often went to feed the ducks and the deer on a sunny, summer afternoon portrayed on the stage by actors taking on the roles of ducks, deer, peacocks and yes, even the water wheel!

But what makes The Farm Show: Then and Now so wonderful isn’t just the fact that I have known so many of the people portrayed in it. You don’t need to have been raised in Goderich Twp. or Clinton to appreciate it. Farm life is farm life wherever your roots are and that is probably why my favorite scene had to be Landon Doak’s interpretation of Miles Potter’s interpretation of bringing in the hay. It’s an itchy, scratchy, hot and seemingly never ending experience and he captured it with both humor and humility. Someone should tell him that bringing in the straw is a lot more fun!

Happy 50th anniversary to the Blyth Festival and bravo to both casts of The Farm Show – then and now. – Melody

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