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Senior Of The Week


Our seniors of the week are Gail and Kevin McCauley, who were married 50 years ago today, October 31st 1964, here in St. Marys. They were both born in Stratford, two days apart, at Stratford General and they have 3 children, 4 grandchildren and great-grandchild. Congratulations Gail and Kevin!



Al Strathdee wins big! – All council incumbents back

In a landslide victory, Al Strathdee is the mayor-elect for the next four years. Strathdee received 2031 votes, or 73%, from 2288 votes cast for a majority of 1274 votes. Steve Grose received 757 votes, as compared to 1767 in the 2010 election. Al Strathdee received the most votes of anyone running, including the Council candidates. The voter turn-out for the election was 52.6%

As far as Council is concerned, with Stephen McCotter seeking the Federal Liberal nomination and not running for Council, all five incumbents were re-elected. Taking McCotter’s place on Council is Jim Craigmile, who was running for the first time. Bill Osborne was the top Council vote getter, followed by Jim Craigmile, Don Van Galen, Carey Pope, Lynn Hainer and Tony Winter. It is expected that the new Mayor and Council will be sworn in on December 9th.


Al Strathdee sets priorities

We asked Mayor-elect Al Strathdee what he sees as immediate issues for him and this is his answer:

My first order of business as Mayor is to meet with all of the councillors and develop a list of priorities and projects to work on. I am hopeful that we can collaborate our lists and work as a team to move the Town forward. My personal immediate list is as follows:

1. Green Bridge: A recent report to Council suggests that the bridge CAN be reopened to traffic with minor repairs. I want to explore the possibility of having these repairs done as soon as possible, and also meet with the OPP to discuss the traffic control issues.

2. Infrastructure: I want to work with Council and meet with staff to ensure that we have projects that are “shelf ready” so if grants become available we can proceed quickly. I would also like to focus on existing infrastructure problems and try to get many of the “little things” that I have identified in my campaign looked after.

3. Meet with Neighbouring Municipalities: I want to work to develop a better relationship with our neighbouring municipalities in order to help us move forward on issues such as economic development and financial challenges faced due to Provincial downloading.

4. Meet with all staff to look for efficiencies and help create a culture which promotes St Marys being open for business.

5. Look for a solution to the high dive as there has been conflicting reports about whether it can be opened again. If we cannot find a solution, then we need to find another way to attract visitors to the Quarry.

Bob Wilhelm re-elected Mayor in Perth South

Bob Wilhelm was re-elected Mayor of Perth South receiving 70% of the ballots cast. Wilhelm received 979 votes while Roger Fuhr received 425 votes. In Blanshard Ward,  Sam Corriveau topped the polls with 477 votes, while Cathy Barker finished second with Melinda Zurbrigg also being elected. Incumbent Liz Armstrong did not win a seat.

In Downie Ward, Jim Aitcheson was top vote getter with Stuart Arkett and William Jeffrey being elected. Incumbent Bill Adams was not re-elected.

The official number of votes cast for Perth South was 1435 which was 45.2%.  The split by ward was 711 for Downie which is 42.7% and 724 for Blanshard which is 47.9%.

CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries draws crowds downtown Tuesday – By Dan Rankin

Photo: Four members of the St. Marys Community Players were cast as extras during the day of filming in St. Marys. From left are Eric Russell, Jim Hill, Brian Moore, and Don Van Galen. They’re all in the cast of You Can’t Take It With You, which continues its run at the Town Hall Theatre tonight, Saturday and Sunday. Go to StMarysCommunityPlayers.ca or visit The Flower Shop and More at 147 Queen Street East to get tickets. (Rankin photos)

Stretches of two downtown streets were shut down to traffic throughout the day on Tuesday as the CBC crime drama Murdoch Mysteries came to town to film some scenes. Using a few of St. Marys’ heritage buildings as a backdrop, the crew shot scenes for two episodes of the show’s eighth season, attracting crowds of hundreds of fans and interested on-lookers.

Filming got underway around 8 AM Tuesday, shutting down Church Street between Station and Queen, as well as Queen Street between Church and Wellington. Scenes featuring three of the show’s lead actors including Thomas Craig, as Inspector Brackenreid, Jonny Harris, as Constable Crabtree, and Georgina Reilly, as Dr. Emily Grace were filmed. The show’s star Yannick Bisson, who plays title character detective William Murdoch, did not appear in the scenes and wasn’t in the Stonetown this week.

According to assistant location manager Robin Greavette, 105 crew members made the trip from the show’s Toronto studios, most of them leaving Monday evening and staying overnight in London hotels. Greavette said it’s typical of the show’s schedule to film two episodes together over the course of four or five days. The episodes filmed partially in St. Marys, entitled “Crabtree Mania” and “Toronto’s Girl Problem,” are episodes 15 and 16 of the show’s eighth season, and will air in the new year.

When the episodes do air, be sure to keep an eye out for the four members of the St. Marys Community Players cast as extras in the scenes. Don Van Galen, Jim Hill, Brian Moore and Eric Russell, all of whom appear in the Players’ current production of “You Can’t Take It With You” at the Town Hall Theatre, were done up in Victorian era garb including canes, top hats and moustaches, and could be seen walking up and down the sidewalks as the cameras rolled throughout the day

Fans watching on Church Street Tuesday morning watched the filming of a scene in which Inspector Brackenreid chases Dr. Grace into an alleyway. “I have a lot of running and chasing today. Not too much dialogue,” said Craig, the man behind Brackenreid. Craig, a British actor who lives in London, England, said being part of the Murdoch Mysteries cast is like leading a “dual life.”

“I get to spend between four and six months a year here and the rest of the time in London,” he said. “We film all around Ontario, so I’ve seen quite a lot of small towns, Brantford, Guelph, Cambridge – this is my first time to St. Marys, although I have been to Stratford to see shows before.”

However, Craig hasn’t gotten the chance to travel to some other Canadian destinations visited by cast member Bisson including British Columbia and Dawson City.

“I’m always in the office!” he said, “My character is usually back in the office so I don’t get to go.”

Unlike Craig, Harris, who is a comedian when he’s not on Murdoch Mysteries, has gotten the chance to travel out of province with the show. He played a major role in the episode entitled “Republic of Murdoch,” which was filmed in Harris’ home province of Newfoundland.

Harris said travelling to film the show is a lot different than travelling as a comedian. “Touring as a comedian it’s all nighttime shows, as opposed to this,” he said. “We came out last night and shoot all day. Everything is laid out for you in TV. You’re not responsible for your own content. You just have to know your own lines, and it’s more of a team effort, for sure.” How much of a team effort? Prior to filming on Tuesday, Harris sat for about 40 minutes of makeup, including the application of fake sideburns.

“I don’t even know all of the jobs,” Reilly said, taking a break from filming to speak to some Grade Nine Stratford Central students. The students were assigned to identify as many different jobs taking place on set as they could, beyond the familiar roles such as actor and director.

“I’ve started trying to learn what everyone does too,” said Reilly, who is only in her fourth year as a regular member of the cast.

Even though the show takes place over 100 years in the past, Reilly said she has no trouble identifying with her character. “She’s not that different from me,” she said. “When I auditioned, I kind of was just myself… but in 1902. She talks back and is more quirky. She’s not really that dissimilar from me.”

The hardest part for her has been getting comfortable with the show’s medical terminology. “And it’s period medical dialogue, so it’s like double hard,” she said. “So, I’ve looked up everything and now I actually understand everything I’m saying, I don’t just learn the lines.”

In the afternoon, shooting moved to Queen Street, primarily in front of the Andrews Jewelers building, where a jewelry heist was staged.

“It’s exciting for the town,” said Leanne Keeler, who was working across the street at Village Craft and Candle during the filming. “It’s great to see all of the period costumes.”

But not all downtown businesses were pleased. “It was an inconvenience, as some people did need to come in to have prescriptions filled,” said Dwayne Hubbard, owner of Hubbard’s Pharmacy. “But everyone in the production was very nice. It also certainly brought quite a few local people downtown to watch.”

Lois Bragg was one St. Marys resident who spent the day watching the action. “We didn’t get the two lead characters, but we got three of the others and they’re wonderful,” said Bragg. “Especially Johnny Harris, he went out of his way to greet everyone and pose with everyone. It’s a great show. It teaches kids something about our history – not American history, but Canadian history. The town sure needed something like this.”