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Should the Government re-think their position on bombing terrorists?

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Last Week's Question:

Do you support the effort to bring refugees to St. Marys?

Yes 47% | No 53%






Fire Chief Brownlee retiring – Stays until December 31

Fire Chief Dennis Brownlee has informed the Town of St. Marys that he will be retiring on December 31. He has been with the fire department for 42 years, having started as a volunteer in 1973 and became full time chief in 1992.
Council had approved a deputy fire chief in this year’s budget but that hiring was never fulfilled. Now it seems that the Town will have to hire a new chief as well as a proposed fire prevention officer which seems to be the latest plan, which might be coordinated with another municipality.

Little Falls Public School receives $700 from Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program

Pictured with a certificate from Toyota Evergreen are, from left, Daniel Grieg, Myles Linton, James Switzer and Molly Linklater.
To enrich students’ learning experience through nature, Little Falls Public School recently received $700 in funding from Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds, a national program that helps create inviting, dynamic school grounds with diverse natural features. The funding will support LFPS’s greening project to create a sensory garden.Continue Reading

Perth South Council reacts to CAO resignation

By Dan Rankin
At their Nov. 17 evening meeting in St. Pauls, Perth South’s mayor and staff spoke publicly for the first time about former CAO Tim Ivanyshyn’s resignation earlier this month.
Perth South Mayor Robert Wilhelm described how he received an email from Ivanyshyn on the morning of Nov. 5 while Wilhelm and Deputy Mayor Bill Aitcheson were at a County Council meeting.Continue Reading

Around Town This Week (Gallery)

These Teddy Bears were presented to the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Emergency Room staff Wednesday evening. From left are receptionist Brittany Weber, E.R. nurse Marcy Taylor, Teddy Bear Reunion organizer Marlene Forman, and E.R. nurse Cheryl Long. The donation was made possible by the Teddy Bear Reunion in August. Long said the bears given to children when they come into emergency. “They come in really handy,” she said.

The letters on the new facade at Downtown GMC Buick went up earlier this weekContinue Reading

Stonetown Karate Centre member wins bronze at World Champsionships in Florida

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Pictured holding her 2015 Canadian and World WKC bronze medals is Jelena Lorentz.
By Dan Rankin
Completing a season that began at provincial tryouts in London back in April, Jelena Lorentz of St. Marys placed third in her division at the World Karate Commission’s World Championships in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.Continue Reading

93rd Royal Winter Fair makes star out of Turbo the Goat


By Dan Rankin
The 93rd annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto wrapped up on Sunday, after thousands of people came to tour the agricultural expo and check out the numerous farming, riding and food competitions.
To promote the event which ran from Nov. 6-Nov. 15, on the day before it began, the Fair’s honorary ambassador, Turbo the Goat, took a Go Train from the Exhibition grounds to downtown Toronto. CBC reported he was the first-ever goat to ride the Go Train to Union Station. From there, he headed to City Hall, where he met city councillor Norm Kelly, before making the trip back to the fair.Continue Reading

St. Marys Rock Minor Hockey Report

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The ‘Lukes Report

By Scott Maxwell
A quick roundup of all the action from your St. Marys DCVI Salukis.
The junior girls basketball team played Stratford Northwestern in the Huron Perth finals, looking to advance to WOSSA. The team had some concerns, as Northwestern dominated them 51-35 the last time they played. Northwestern played with that same fire at first, as they had a 25-19 lead going into the half, but DCVI’s junior girls showed a resiliency they hadn’t often needed to show all season, as a 19-10 second half completed the comeback, giving the Salukis the 38-35 win. They advanced to WOSSA for the second year in a row. Abbey Thorup proved she can perform when truly needed, scoring 17 points in the game, including eight in the second half.
Aside from that, practices have started for the winter season sports. The Salukis will be participating in boys basketball, curling, nordic skiing, swimming, and girls volleyball.

Biliztik Sports revolutionizes the fan experience with new R.I.S app – Company pushes to the finish line with Kickstarter campaign

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Biliztik Sports is set to revolutionize the fan experience with their upcoming app, giving every sports fan the best parts of gaming, social and digital media.Continue Reading

Community support sought to “kickstart” new sports app – Biliztik Sports campaign launched last week at kickstarter.com

The Biliztik Boys
By Stewart Grant
Back in 2000, Don Corby and friend Chris Mills came up with an idea for a unique line of sports-themed board games. Fifteen years later, this concept has evolved with the times into a multi-dimensional sports app that is now in the final stages of development. For the next 23 days, until Dec. 14, Biliztik Sports has an active campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com where they seek to raise money to push completion of their sports app across the finish line.Continue Reading

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,
On page 4 of the November 13th edition of the St. Marys Independent there appeared a photograph of a group of fellow citizens at the cenotaph for Remembrance Day observances. The caption to the photo read “Over 200 people made a point of stopping by the St. Marys cenotaph on Wednesday morning to see the town’s Service of Remembrance and pay their respects to the veterans who have offered up their lives in the name of peace.” It was a wonderful occasion and I have attended it many times. As the son of two Royal Canadian Air Force veterans of the Second World War, I fully appreciate the necessity of honouring the fallen of our nation who were killed in the War of 1812, The Boer War, the two World Wars, Korea and the conflicts in the Middle East and to honour the veterans, the survivors of military conflicts ; however, I feel compelled to advise your readers that Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors fighting for their respective nations in war do not “offer up their lives in the name of peace”; they fight to achieve victory. This is more than a mere distinction of semantics. Peace is a by-product of victory, not the objective of war.
When on May 10th 1940, German armoured columns, infantry divisions and a punishing Luftwaffe (air force) crashed through the weak and defeatist defenses of Belgium, Holland and France, King George VI asked Winston Churchill to form a government, after having lost faith in the administration of Churchill’s predecessor, Neville Chamberlain. Later, Churchill stood in the House of Commons and in a famous speech said, “You ask, What is our policy? I will state it is to wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might, with all the strength that God can give us. To wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the long and lamentable catalogue of human crime. You ask, What is our aim? I can answer in one word: VICTORY! Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, there is no survival”.
Former Toronto Sun Founder and Editor-in-Chief Peter Worthington often commented in his editorials in the 1980s on the subject of the tense international situation then obtaining between the West and the Soviet Union. He once commented that in war or diplomacy any nation desiring peace but feeling threatened by a belligerent has an easy and simple way of avoiding war: surrender. Worthington was no `peacenik’ and as he explained in his many articles on the subject, he was an advocate of a strong and capable military acting as a deterrent to those nations (and terrorists as well) seeking the destruction of the West by either duplicity or by aggressive expansionist military operations. Worthington stated that the nation which surrendered may have thought it was achieving a form of peace but it was the “peace of the graveyard” a naive invitation to the belligerent to oppress, enslave or massacre those who had surrendered in order to avoid a fight.
The objective in war is to secure the enemy’s surrender, to achieve victory over the forces of one’s enemy. Peace is not the objective in war but remains one of the hoped for consequences or by-products of victory. Surrendering to an aggressive and hostile enemy is a formula for destruction. Never at a loss for words, Churchill once famously commented on the necessity of remaining steadfast in war when he quipped, “It is pointless for the sheep to make declarations proclaiming the advantages of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.”
Douglas Craig

Dear Editor,
Every year we read the “Boos” regarding mixing Remembrance Day and Christmas decorating of the stores. I have not talked to any merchants or done a survey, but I’m positive all St. Marys merchants are very respectful of November 11. That being said, they are also aware of the Santa Claus parade which comes very soon after, and the town wants to be ready. I am very thankful we have Lyric Flowers and The Flower Shop & More that take on the task of decorating store fronts, which takes much time and effort, mornings, afternoons and evenings, over a period of days, in all kinds of weather. Maybe next year these people that like to criticize annually will instead offer their time and volunteer to assist in the decorating. I’m sure they could help carry garlands and bows, or hand same up to the person on the ladder, or even help steady the ladder on windy days. That way, we could wait a little longer to start the decorating process, and there would be no need for criticism of our merchants.
Eden, Little Falls Crafters Market

Dear Editor,
We are on a high! Now after the amazing box office smash hit, CABARET, has come to an end, we in St. Marys Community Players can look back on the last 10 months with amazement and delight.
It was not an easy task, this production. It brought with it an edgy story, ambitious musical score and high-end budget. All rather risky and a step away from recent productions. But, my goodness, sometimes it pays to take a chance!
The risk paid off in so many remarkable ways. The uber-cool band received rave reviews, the actors experienced standing ovations for their extraordinary performances. There were wonderful kudos to the creative team and sincere appreciation for all the behind-the-scenes staff. And indeed, behind every successful production, the behind-the-scenes team deserve their own standing ovation.
It is only fitting that we take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge our immense gratitude to everyone involved.
Thanks must go to the dedicated volunteers who literally gave thousands of hours of their time; to the over 1400 community members that supported us by attending the show (some even 3 times!); to our community business partners that supported us by advertising in our program, sponsoring our organization and displaying our posters in their windows. We are also so grateful for the hundreds of positive reviews in the media and on social media that kept our houses packed.
We look forward now to continuing our theatrical service to our community with the comedy improv shows in March 2016 and the spring production of Oscar Wilde’s finest comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, coming in April 2016.
St. Marys Community Players and the Producers of CABARET (Liane Gregory-Sterritt, Don Van Galen, Maggie Whitcroft)

Dear Editor,
On November 9th, Brian, Astrid and I had the pleasure of welcoming to out home 33 people from our neighbourhood. This was prompted by senseless acts of vandalism we and others had experienced during the summer.
I looked into neighbourhood watch initiatives, thinking that putting up Neighbourhood Watch signs would be the solution. It has since become clear to me that a safe neighbourhood has more to do with communication, sociability and civic duty. Although street signs would be helpful, nothing can replace watching out for our neighbours and their property. With this in mind, we distributed a letter to 52 houses in our neighbourhood, inviting people to a convivial meet and greet with a theme of Safety and Property Protection, with Constable Kees Wijnands of OPP Community Services and Media Relations.
Our immediate neighbours, dear friends, were expected, but we were hopeful for those living further away. We were pleased by their positive responses. We didn’t have high hopes with people we’d never met, but were thrilled to see them walk through our doorway. Putting faces and names to their respective homes was the starting point in creating a community-minded neighbourhood. Out of all the homes that were called upon, 21 responded with interest and/or enthusiasm. As for the unresponsive balance, we trust that they will be proactive in reporting in their own private ways.
Protecting one’s home and pride of ownership should go beyond one’s property line and spread to one’s neighbourhood – ward – town. We hope that our initiative to connect with our neighbours inspires others to do the same in their own neighbourhoods.
Please be vigilant and report anything suspicious or abnormal to the OPP, and report anything that has fallen into disrepair to the Town of St Marys.
A heartfelt thank you to all who came to our meeting, to Police Constable Kees Wijnands and to Mayor Al Strathdee for their support. A special thank you to the St Marys Museum and to Bill and Marilyn for lending us their folding chairs.
Anyes K. Busby

Office of the Mayor

We were saddened last week to learn of the decision by Kraft-Heinz to close their St. Marys Facility. I wanted to take a moment to ensure Council and the public that we are working very hard to do everything we can to support the workers affected and their families. This plant has had a long history in St. Marys, and its success has been representative of the positive business climate in this area, and the potential for success going forward.Continue Reading

Holy Name School new home for daycare? – Could start in 2016

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, council gave town staff the go-ahead to investigate the daycare being re-located at Holy Name School. If the plan was approved by Council, the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board and the Town would have a partnership in which the Town would still run the daycare with the Town being a tenant at the school. If approved, the school would renovate the second floor of the school on the south side, to be used as the daycare. The decision for Council was made a little easier when it was reported that the present location would need over $300,000 to bring it up to standard. The entire cost for the re-location is estimated at $920,000 with Ministry of Education funding $483,000, Stratford Social Services funding $53,204 and Blanshard Nursery funding $109,635, which would leave a balance of $275,000 as the Town’s portion. The report presented to Council notes that the Town’s portion could be covered by the sale of the property at the present location of the daycare centre. If Council approves a final decision to re-locate, the centre could open in 2016.

You better watch out..Santa is on his way – Parade starts at 7 pm

It is that time of again when the Jolly old man himself makes his annual visit to St. Marys for the Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade. The parade starts this evening at 7 pm “sharp” from James Street South (PRC) heading west on Queen Street through the downtown core. It is advisable that people dress warmly because the forecast calls for cooler weather with a chance of rain. Following the parade the Festive Light Display will be lit at the Flats continuing until early January.

Transport Action Canada’s “VIA 1-4-10 Plan” unveiled in St. Marys Nov. 6

By Dan Rankin
One year from now, if the Trudeau government accepts Transport Action Canada’s new “VIA 1-4-10 Plan,” the voting public will be able to see that some positive changes have begun to take place; four years from now, the government could have some clear accomplishments under their belts as they face the electorate once again, and, 10 years from now, the myriad changes, upgrades and service improvements needed to make VIA the viable national public transportation option it needs to be would be complete. These are the three phases of the recently-completed “VIA 1-4-10 Plan” produced by Save VIA campaign coordinator Greg Gormick, and presented outside the St. Marys train station last Friday. Included in the comprehensive national plan would be an increase from two trains a day in each direction through St. Marys to six.Continue Reading

Rotary Club Dinner

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Many Veterans showed up to the Rotary Club’s annual dinner hosting the armed services vets. Photos submitted by Nelda OliverContinue Reading

2015 Remembrance Day ceremony

Over 200 people made a point to stop by the St. Marys cenotaph on Wednesday morning to see the town’s Service of Remembrance and pay their respects for the veterans who have offered up their lives for Canada in the name of peace. In a statement, Mayor Al Strathdee said, “We must remember their sacrifice for their country and their belief in the principles they risked their lives for. Their legacy must go on. We need to stand up for those who can’t defend themselves. We must be vigilant in safeguarding the legal and democratic principles they fought for and hold our leaders accountable to that same standard. For those who served their country we honour you, but can never repay you for your sacrifice. But I promise you, as Canadians, we will never forget.”Continue Reading

Local Music Showcase Sunday at the Emporium

By Dan Rankin
Local and hand-crafted – those words describe the selection of goods on display at The Emporium, the recently-opened shop owned by Cindy McClory at 153 Queen Street East in St. Marys. It may be less concrete than some of the other items there, and harder to put on shelves, but the music coming to the Emporium on Sunday afternoon as part of a local music showcase is just as homegrown and hand-crafted. The show begins at 2:00 pm and is scheduled to last until 4:30 pm. Admission is by donation.
The event’s organizer, musician Kirk Sweetzir, who was born and raised in the area, said local musician Dave Ledgley first approached him about performing in an earlier showcase. Ledgley was interested in making a place to expose “local talent that really have nowhere in town to showcase themselves.”Continue Reading

Stonetown Artisan Cheese holds ribbon-cutting, grand opening

By Dan Rankin
Stonetown Artisan Cheese president Hans Weber had no problem last Friday telling the crowd of friends, well-wishers, government dignitaries and media gathered at his new on-farm cheese shop and processing facility about the history behind setting up their operation. He easily thanked Ramon Eberle, the expert Swiss cheesemaker he hired to help make his dream of bringing authentic Swiss cheese to the Canadian kitchen a reality, as well Perth County officials Allan Rothwell and Kristin Sainsbury for their hard work on his behalf. But when it came to thanking his wife Jolanda, Hans got a little choked up, and his emotions and excitement about the ribbon-cutting for the new business that was years in the making became clear.Continue Reading

Genealogy corner: Forebears.io features a unique surname database

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By Dan Rankin
My last name, Rankin, is the 8,939th most common surname in the world. Approximately 60,300 people in the world share this surname with me. The meaning of the last name is disputed, but it could have stemmed from some of my ancestors being cousins of someone named Randolph or Reynolds (kin of Ran or Reyn). There are almost 4,700 Rankins in Canada, however it is a more prominent surname in Australia, England and the United States (where 33,820 Rankins live). Continue Reading