Lawrence Mitchell Merin

Lawrence Merin conceived the Legacy Photo Shoot to honour his clan, the Lutchin family of Wardsville

MERIN, Lawrence Mitchell A devoted family man and gifted photographer, whose work improved the lives of others, died Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at home in Nashville. He was 61. Larry was the founder and director of the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center at Vanderbilt University, and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. A loving father, husband and brother, Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Anne and Earl Merin. He is survived by his wife, Becky; daughter, Sydney and son, David; sister, Elaine Merin Perri of Chicago; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Esther and John Cervantes; sisters-in-law, Julie (Doug) King, Anna (Mike) Lemos and Debra Vazquez, all of CA, and many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins. The funeral service was held Sunday, November 11th at Congregation Micah.


Our ace in the hole: Skunk’s Misery

“Skunk’s Misery” consists of forest, grassland, wetland and watercourses.  It straddles three counties and links to the Thames River. The woodlands play a significant role in protecting the air, soil and water. Skunk’s Misery is one of the few places in Canada where you can find a mix of Carolinian trees, such as Chestnut, Sassafras, Tulip Tree and Flowering Dogwood, typical of more southern climates.  In the woodland and along the roadsides, is one of the country’s most diverse butterfly populations.   The site has Canada’s largest colony of endangered Acadian Flycatcher along with many other rare species such as Black Rat Snakes and Cerulean Warblers. [1]  The stories about Orville Shaw, the hermit of Skunk’s Misery, need to be written down.

Excerpt from Nov 28th Inventory


[1] News release from Middlesex County and Carolinian Canada, Re: Unveiling of Skunk’s Misery Plaque.  July 5, 2005.

Battle of Longwoods: Dave Chidley

Check out Dave Chidley’s photographs.  He attended last year’s Battle of the Longwoods Memorial and his CP pictures went out over the wire and were published in several Canadian newspapers.

And here’s a description about the battle by L.N. Bronson. 1964.

This engagement of the war of 1812-14 lasted four times as long as Moraviantown and over the years has yielded more legend and folklore than any other engagement (except the mystery as to where Tecumseh’s body was buried after Moraviantown.)

Longwoods and a skirmish at Byron were probably the only two clashes in Middlesex County – Longwoods customarily being accepted as the eastern most point gained by organized American inivaders in the county. The legends which have spring up about Longwoods are:

  • That the United States invaders poured water on the side of the hill on a bitter cold night, then threw snow over the quickly formed ice to handicap the British. Undoubtedly this is true, although not mentioned in any official report, but accepted as fact by the History of the Province of Ontario.
  • That ghosts of the dead British soldiers often were seen on the battlefield. Merely an old wives’ tale – the Longwoods, that huge 190,000 acres 40-mile long forest which stretches from roughly Delaware to Bothwell was a favourite source of ghost tales.That a treasure in British gold was buried there. Equally an old wives’ tale.

Newspaper source unknown.

Murray McLauchlan concert at Mary Webb Centre

My first time at the Mary Webb Centre for the Murray Mclauchlan concert.  What a delightful building.  A true treasure. Great accousstics.  Great concert.

McLauchlan played  many new songs as well as the numerous hits he has had through the years. Murray’s first album in six years, Human Writes,was released October 18, 2011.

Congratulations, Highgate, for saving a most wonderful building for the next generations.  I can’t wait to see J.P. Cormier in March.


Mary Simpson

Eugene Lamont: a true collector

By IAN GILLESPIE, THE LONDON FREE PRESS. Click here for article in lfp.  January 17, 2012 11:41pm

Gerald Fagan recalls the sight that greeted him the first time he visited the Wortley Rd. home of Eugene (Gene) Lamont.

“You just have to believe me when I say this, but every wall was filled with paintings,” recalls Fagan, who first met Lamont in the late 1970s. “And when I say filled, I mean each wall might have 20 paintings on it. And on the floors, the paintings were stacked in rows, end on end. That’s how many he had.”

A farm boy born in Tait’s Corner and schooled in Glencoe, southwest of London, Lamont served in the RCAF during the Second World War. After the war he established the Lamont and Perkins drugstore in Wortley Village that he operated for decades until converting it into an antique shop in the early 1980s. Before he died last year at age 95, Lamont amassed an incredible collection of paintings, most by London and area artists.

And more than 400 of those items — including a range of books, antiques and furniture – will be up for bid Sunday when part of Lamont’s estate is auctioned off by Gardner Galleries.

“You’ll never see another (collection) like it,” says Craig Snively, manager at Gardner Galleries. “It’s very much focused on the London and Ontario art community . . . There’s a whole range of local artists who will be attractive to the local community.”

Though a few of the pieces are expensive — particularly a watercolour by Western Canadian artist W.J. Phillips that organizers estimate may fetch between $9,000 and $14,000 — many are expected to sell in the $200 to $500 range.

“He really was a connoisseur of good art,” says Fagan, artistic director of the Gerald Fagan Singers and Fanshawe London Chorus. “But he wasn’t going to go out and buy a Group of Seven when he could buy 10 minor artists of the same period and enjoy them.”

Lamont’s collection includes a startling range of items, including a double-sided painting by Sir Frederick Banting; four works by Eva Bradshaw, described by Nancy Poole in her book The Art of London as “probably the first woman in London to attempt to support herself exclusively from her art;” and 10 pieces by Hortense Gordon, a Hamilton-based member of the influential Painters Eleven, Canada’s first English-speaking group of abstract artists.

Museum London executive director Brian Meehan says gallery officials will likely bid on a few pieces that fill gaps in the local collection.

“Some people collect (art) to fill their wall space, and other people collect because they can’t help it,” says Meehan. “And you really get the sense that Gene collected because he loved it. He was a true collector; he couldn’t help himself.”

Posted by Mary Simpson

Battle of the Longwoods: Mr. Poole, an earlier historian

By L.N. Bronson. 1964

The late J.I. Poole, BA, of Comber was a recognised authority on Battle Hill (he had been raised in the area). Even he, as the years went by, made revisions in his account between May 1903, when he spoke in London on the battle, and 1913, when his address was published by the London and Middlesex Historical Society.

While he found traditional evidence on the ice-story flatly contradicted by official and other documents, he based his assertion on the stories of Canadian militiamen who had fought there. History of Ontario goes further – it says the failure of the British attack was due to ice on the hill side. Road construction has changed the geography somewhat but it is still possible to visualize, even on a summer afternoon, the scene that bitter cold March. Atop the hill were the rading (sic) American forces, protected on three sides by brush and log breastworks. Behind them in a “hollow-square” were their horses and baggage. On the rises across a creek British regulars took up their position. To the rear of the Americans was a divisionary force of Indian and Kent militiamen – cheifly Scots from the Baldoon settlement.A bush trail ran along the hills, a crude bridge spanned the creek.

Royal Scots Highlighted on CBC Television

August 22, 2011 –

The Royal Scots were highlighted on CBC Television last night although the producers were obviously confused about the location. During the almost one minute of footage of our “Royal Ambush” the filmmakers flashed the name of our very own “Wardsville” on the screen! Of course we all know that the reenactment takes place in Delaware but what the hell, let’s take the credit anyhoot, besides it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been lied to by a Producer. You can watch the entire film on the 1 Day website.

Favourite quotes from the film “We’re defending the pants” and “I think we’re dead”

Gary and Barb