The 2015 March for Pulmonary Hypertension

Living with pulmonary hypertension.

Living with pulmonary hypertension.

The 20 Mile March for Pulmonary Hypertension was initiated by the Royal Scots, whose efforts were inspired by 4 year old Everleigh Pierce, who lives with a rare disease called pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension affects the arteries of the lungs, and is a progressive disease for which there is currently no cure. Inspired by little Everleigh’s battle, the Royal Scots decided to take on a 20 Mile March.

The March was held on February 28, 2015 and went extremely well. The Royal Scots had 11 marchers, of which 7 completed the entire distance of 20 miles. They also had an additional 3 people driving two chase vehicles and assisting the marchers. It was a very cold day but sunny with no wind… ideal for a 20 Mile March!

They had wonderful support from the local community, who provided coffee and a hot meal to get the Scots through the entire distance. The March, the Memorial to the Fallen of the Battle of Longwoods, a church luncheon and a premiere of a Movie made by Crocodile Productions made for an excellent weekend.

The March raised well over $1000 for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada, which offers education, advocacy and support to people like Everleigh living with pulmonary hypertension.

Contributed by: Glenn Stott of the Royal Scots and Bronwyn McBride of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada


SWM contemplates nature trail concept

by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Transcript & Free Press
The benefits of creating a nature trail on the abandoned CN line in Southwest Middlesex were contemplated by members of Southwest Middlesex council during the January 19 meeting. Community in Blooms committee members Jane May and Gerald Reycraft attended the meeting for a  discussion about the concept.
In June of 2008, council was originally made aware of CN’s plans to sell sections of the spur line to St. Thomas. After unsuccessfully offering it to the provincial and federal governments, CN began offering it to municipalities with the salvage of steel anticipated to be greater than $4-million. The “Rails to Trails” program was discussed by Southwest Middlesex council at that time, as were potential issues such as fencing. The Township of Southwold declined a similar offer in 2008, finding that the substantial purchase price and major undertaking to recover the investment from salvage was undesirable. Southwest Middlesex took no action on the $1-million offer from CN at that time.
Since then, of course, CN has removed all of the lines and new discussions about use of the property continue. May made a presentation to council this past fall about the benefits of creating walking trails on the property.
Councillor John Kendall stated that owning such a trail would result in “a lot of liability for municipality. What has changed to make it suitable for a public walking trail now when considering the rights of owners in needing to erect fences?”
Mayor Doug Reycraft pointed out that, in his inaugural address, he had commented on the feasibility of creating trails. He had spoken to North Middlesex representatives about their experience after receiving the right of way for a trail as a gift from the railway. “North Middlesex has found it was used by a number of people. It has led me to think that establishing such a trail may be a feature that might attract people to the community or help keep people in the community.”
However, Reycraft noted that council should have more information before even considering this in principle. “To just endorse the suggestion is premature without more research and feedback from the community.”
Gerald Reycraft pointed out that a letter written to community groups asking for their endorsement has been put on hold until council’s approval is received. May added that they hoped that the letter would help council gain an idea of public support.
Doug Reycraft explained that council does not have enough information to endorse the nature trail but could set up an ad hoc committee. Councillors suggested including the snowmobile club and any interested adjacent landowners in the discussions.
Councillor Marigay Wilkins pointed out that there is a similar nature trail in West Elgin that is well used.
Doug Reycraft noted that the “fact that it’s worked in other municipalities may be an indication that it could be an asset but all avenues need to be considered.”
The report was referred back to staff to have a report come back before council about implementing an ad hoc committee to investigate the purchase and use of the land as a trail.
Marie Williams-Gagnon
Transcript & Free Press
Glencoe, Ontario

Crocodile Productions enters commercial competition for Cheetah Power Surge

A NEW look for Cheetah Power Surge

Please look at the 30 second spot and leave a comment, post to your facebook, and tell your friends.  Let’s help Crocodile win.

Crocodile Production owners Barb Urbach and Gary Van Osch have been burning  the midnight oil to edit 14 hours of videotaping to make the Cheetah Power Surge 30-second clip.

All you Moms and Dads out there should realize that Energy Drinks are not what they promote. They are full of caffeine and other herbal inserts that jack up the caffeine content. The Canadian Food and Drug regulates the amount of caffeine that can be in these drinks….but it is at the recommended dose for ADULTS. Not that little 50 pound 10-year-old  that companies target.

That’s the difference with Cheetah….no caffeine.

NO Bull

Antique road show at Beattie Haven

by Marie Williams-Gagnon

Some left Beattie Haven’s version of the “Antique Road Show” thrilled with the appraisals they had received while others departed disappointed.

Well over 50 gathered in a tented area on the Beattie Haven grounds, south of Wardsville, on Saturday afternoon to have their antiques appraised by Grant Gardner of the Gardner Galleries of London.

Some arrived with family treasures packed in boxes while others brought items they had purchased at estate sales or auctions.

Among the cherished goods appraised were a complete set of wooden golf clubs, musical instruments, paintings, dishes, plates, jewellery and a slew of clocks.

While some were impressed with the appraisals they received, others learned that their “treasures” were actually mass produced and only of sentimental value to the holders.

Some claimed to be interested in getting appraisals only for insurance purposes while some had plans for resale. Others were strictly curious. A few openly admitted that they hoped to get appraisals that would allow an early retirement but most took the news in stride.

Regardless of their reasons for attending the fundraiser, those who did learned a great deal about world of antiques.

Gardner told the crowd that every item is potentially valuable. While there was no incredible value in the framed works of art brought in on Saturday, earlier in the week he had appraised a painting at $100,000.

The Gardner Family has been conducting auctions in western Ontario since George R. Gardner began selling in 1922. His son Jason joined the profession in 1947, after serving in the war, and his grandson Grant joined in 1975. Now a fourth generation, Mark and James Gardner, have graduated from the oldest auction school in North America.


Marie Williams-Gagnon, Editor

Transcript & Free Press,  Glencoe, Ontario   519-287-2615

Wardsville Golf Club planning an adult lifestyle community.

Wardsville Golf Club was established in 1958 as a nine hole course. The course was purchased by Harry Van Dyk about 20 years ago who oversaw the expansion to 18 holes in 1992. A further expansion in 2005 introduced the latest 9 hole course, Theodore.

Harry and Ria Van Dyk’s children and spouses now share ownership of the golf club. They include Laura Van Dyk and her husband Carl Kennes, sisters and brother-in-laws Sandra and Ron Horvat, and Tracy Van Dyk and Greg Burns.

Wardsville Golf Club consists of approxiamately 400 members.

Of great interest to the community is their project, the Wardsville Golf Estate Villas, The family has begun planning an adult lifestyle community that will target the healthy, early-retiring baby boomers who desire an active lifestyle.

Having purchased 100 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the golf course (Theodore), zoning for the property is underway. Residents will share a private cart path to the golf course and clubhouse. Other amenities are being considered.

Development details can be provided by the project manager Carl Kennes – Director of Golf for Wardsville Golf Club at the email address .

Ph: 519-693-4921
Fax: 519-693-4922

Twin Valleys Community and School – appreciation

Mary,  my thanks to you and your cohort for the magical opportunity you gave to the former Twin Valley people to come together, especially in your beautiful town of Wardsville. I doubt that a TVS reunion would have happened again without some unusual catalyst, and it was probably George’s last opportunity to have such an experience, to be together with so many former staff and students.  I myself can say that I had the best weekend of my life.  I am so impressed with the overall organization of the event, the meal was exceptionally good and I was thrilled to see that Wardsville has grown into a beautiful village.  I always waited to see that sign change beyond 200!  I think the reunion has launched a BIG resurgence in communications amongst us, that is the special spin-off of the weekend and  on top of that, I will have beautiful memories of Wardsville forever.                             Patricia Kristie (formerly Bullied)

Dear Mary, Just wanted to send you a note of thanks to let you know how much I appreciate the fact that you sought out the old Twin Valleys people to join the Wardsville Bicentennial.  What a great thought you had and because you did and act on it, I was able to reconnect with 3 dear friends I had not seen or heard from in over 30 years.  It was life changing for me and I am forever in your debt.  Thank you so much.  Also, you and the people of Wardsville did such a nice job with the event and made us feel so welcomed.  I am humbled at your greatness! in peace,
Mary Lisa Zimmerman, Morton, Illinois, United States of America

Hal Jenner from Ottawa did an amazing job organizing the Twin Valley’s reunion!

Ottawa, May 28, 2010 – Twin Valleys School is returning to Wardsville on Saturday, June 19th, for a reunion on the occasion of the town’s 200th Anniversary Celebration.

Twin Valleys School was an alternative educational community founded in 1971 by George and Pat Bullied. It ran until 1983. Twin Valleys was an alternative to training schools and group homes for hard-to-serve teenagers. It provided them a home and community environment where they were accepted unconditionally. In addition to learning life skills and a host of job skills like basic carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing, farming, animal husbandry (the school was also a fully functional farm) and kitchen skills (try cooking three meals a day for 300 people), they learned about their own uniqueness and self-worth.

The students also received a high school education in a setting that they did not find threatening given the small classroom size. Learning was based on “the 7R’s of life”: Rules, Roles, Relationships, Responsibilities, Respect, Resources and Returning Cycles. In essence, the school prepared them for a different kind of life than the one they had known before.

One lesson that has stuck with almost everyone who heard it was one of George’s favourites. It was the story of the “empty roll of toilet paper,” that true spiritual expression was “replacing that roll of toilet paper and not leaving it empty for the next guy.”  It was all about doing what was right and what was needed in the moment. So many people who lived at Twin Valleys have told that story because it has continued to remind them to do what is right in the moment, not to wait for someone else to come along and do it.

“Those who lived there were profoundly impacted by the closeness, the challenges, the triumphs and the spirituality. Thus the community lives on!” – Ben Goerner, former student.

There will be a public multimedia presentation on the history of Twin Valleys at 2 o’clock on Saturday at the United Church, 207 Church Street, in Wardsville. Don Nisbett, Reeve of Wardsville and old friend of Twin Valleys, will introduce George Bullied, the former director of the school.

The public is invited to come learn about a special time and place in Wardsville history and perhaps to meet some of the returning residents of Twin Valleys, who love to share their experience.

– 30 –

Hal Jenner, Reunion Organizer


Villa Dining Lounge meets the slow food challenge

Bravo, Ryan and Villa catering. You went out on a limb and prepared an authentic meal from pure non-processed ingredients and the Bicentennial Committee is profoundly grateful for the extra effort your kitchen took to prepare a “home made” supper circa 1810.

Chicken bones were rendered to make the broth for the Three Sisters Soup (corn, squash, beans) in the kitchen of Chef Ryan. No MSG; only fresh ingredients.

The 400 pieces of Bannock were made by hand and the guests wanted more. No mixes. No pre-made product.

The chicken was carefully prepared and lightly seasoned. The potatoes were peeled and mashed to perfection. Succotash, a mix of green beans, corn, lima beans and chopped tomatoes far exceeded the standard frozen yellow, green beans and machine-tooled baby carrots.

The rhubarb  crisp wouldn’t win a prize for culinary presentation but the taste far exceeded what I make in my kitchen.

There was a little murmuring about the meal because it was different from our wonderful roast beef country suppers (invariably subsidized by our hardworking and aging women). Of course, the meal certainly didn’t contain the salt and fat levels we are so accustomed to.  We also know of friends and family who no longer eat catered or restaurant meals because their bodies cannot tolerate preservatives and prepared foods. We think Mrs. Ward’s husband George would have enjoyed it.

Many thanks to the Villa for all the extra work to prepare a special home-made vintage meal, and thanks for cutting back on the salt and No MSG.

I loved it.

Denise Corneil.