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Prince Edward County Decade in Review – highlights from 2010 and 2011

As the 2010s draw to a close and we move into 2020, celebrates its 10th anniversary taking a look at highlights of the past 10 years.  First up, 2010-2011.


County Youth Park organizers were thrilled to see about 500 people attend Day One activities at the Picton Fairgrounds. County Youth Park “father” Andrew MacKay worked closely over the past few years with committee members and County youth to raise $300,000 through dances, fund raisers and a grant and the County matched the investment. The federal and provincial governments also partnered in the enterprise. As well as raising funds the youth were also involved in choosing the location and designing of the park. Click here for story. – Bill Samuel photo

-Steven Draper, Polepics photo

Following a decision by County council at the end of July 2010 not to force historical designation on the owners of the former Methodist Episcopal Church on Main Street, Steven Draper, of Polepics called for the modest congregation of ‘The Brick Church’ to gather for a photograph Aug. 7.

-Steven Draper, Polepics photo

Only a handful of people knew its demolition would begin the next day and an entire wall was down before it was stopped as all proper permits and safety plans were not in place.

Shocked by the gaping hole, attempts by the community to save all, and parts of the church were quickly dashed. And what followed was three months of demolition nightmares, including a gas leak, woes with the contractor, and an employee who quit his job moments after he was almost buried alive in the rubble. Click here for a timeline of the They tore down the church on Sunday story. Note, as of 2019, the lot remains vacant.

The Prince Edward County Built Heritage Fund came about in August 2010, following the precipitous demolition of the 135-year-old church, as it brought concerned citizens together to discuss how important historic structures in the County could be saved. Since, the annual Christmas House Tour grows every year with proceeds mounting in a fund designated for the preservation and protection of built structures determined to be important to the community and the history of Prince Edward County.

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– Phil Norton photo

Love and admiration for fiddler extraordinaire Zeke Mazurek filled Picton’s Regent Theatre to overflowing at August’s sell-out benefit concert and silent auction.  Above, Zeke (back, centre) joined in the finale performance with Sylvia Tyson, Sneezy Waters, Prairie Oyster, Cindy Church and The Stage Hand Band. A Zeke-Aid 2 concert at Mt. Tabor also honoured and supported the County’s favourite fiddler, who was stricken with cancer and was no longer able to pursue his lifelong career as a professional musician. Zeke passed on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at the age of 59. On the one year anniversary of his passing, local musicians came together to pay tribute to hospital caregivers and raised more than $7,000 for the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

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Picton based photographer Steven Draper has been covering the construction of Picton’s Waste Water Treatment Plant for Maple Reinders throughout 2010. A photo album containing his photographs was shown at a special ceremony marking the completion of the “bricks and mortar” part of the $29 million dollar project at Church Street, Picton. Much of the equipment is now in place and being connected and tested. Draper captured this image of a machine called the “Muffin Monster”. It is part of the system that deals with things that should not have been flushed down the toilet. – Steven Draper photo

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Construction moves forward on the 237-cottage development at East Lake as County council removed the final “hold” symbol on the Cottage Advisors property. The seasonal tourist commercial establishment also included amenity and servicing buildings, a restaurant and retail store.

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Federal, provincial and municipal partners gathered Sunday, Dec. 12 in Wellington to celebrate the opening of the new, fully-accessible Wellington and District Community Centre. Work on the $12 million project included the installation of an NHL regulation size ice rink with expanded seating, an indoor walking track, a multi-purpose exercise room, and an accessible community hall. Guests took tours of the new centre, enjoyed a light buffet in the new Highline Hall and received recognition plaques from fundraising chairman Jim Dunlop.

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Prince Edward Lodge Masons celebrated the organization’s 200th anniversary in 2011. Above, Past Grand Chaplain Rev. Douglas Mitchell, Past Grand Master, Custodian of the Work  Donald H. Mumby, Historian Alan R. Capon, Dave Hickman, Past District Deputy Grand Master Ken Campbell, Worshipful Master Dale Porter, District Deputy Grand Master Grant Brummell and Immediate Past Master Stewart Westhead. – Sue Capon photo

The oldest organization still in existence in Prince Edward County celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2011 with a ceremony of remembrance, re-dedication and recommitment. The Prince Edward Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons is No. 18 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in the Province of Ontario. It was established in February 1811, with charter members Ebenezer Washburn, Robert Claflin, William Blakely, John Ellis, Joshua Hayward, Cornelius Benson, Richard D. Clute, Russell Green and Stephan Conger.

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WPD Canada Corporation has given notice of a draft site plan and proposal for a 30-turbine White Pines Wind Project south of Milford and throughout much of South Marysburgh. WPD Canada is planning to engage the renewable energy project pending required Renewable Energy Approval.

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Picton’s John Lyons saw almost two years of letter writing, emails, phone calls and presentations end as Canada Post released a first look at the new Miss Supertest commemorative stamp collection. Lyons spearheaded the campaign for the stamp that honours Canada’s most famous raceboat, ‘Miss Supertest III’. His success is significant as the stamp selection committee at Canada Post receives about 600 applications a year and fewer than two dozen are approved. The stamp marks the 50th anniversary of Miss Supertest’s racing victories. The ‘Long Reach’ section of the Bay of Quinte, now ‘Hayward/Long Reach’ was the site of three of the legendary Unlimited Hydroplane’s greastest victories in 1957, 1960 and 1961.The Miss Supertest III stamp booklet.

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County residents calling the Gilead Power’s nine-turbine Ostrander Point Wind Project ‘The worst possible place to put wind turbines” assembled outside the company’s public meeting at South Marysburgh Public School in Milford. They carried signs that said: Stop The Wind Turbines;  Protect the Eagles; Protect Ontario’s Countryside; Save Our IBA (Important Bird Area) and Turbines Create Dead Zones. They were members of the South Shore Conservancy (SSC); the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) and the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE). Prior to the gathering, the SSC members held a first information meeting to discuss the unique biodiversity of Prince Edward County’s south shore and why it is worth protecting; specific threats to the south shore; effects of wind turbines on the natural environment of Wolfe Island and other areas. – Sue Capon photo Click here for a search of the many turbine issue stories over the past decade

Prince Edward Collegiate Institute staff and students gathered for a group photograph to celebrate the donation of more than $50,000 for charities in Prince Edward County and around the world. Teacher Rob Garden reports $50,068.41 was raised over the school year – not including the sponsorship of 41 Christmas Angels and the donation of more than 2,000 food items for the Picton and Wellington food banks. – Sue Capon photo
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Prince Edward County celebrated one of its oldest heritage sites at the grand re-opening of the Macaulay Church Museum in Picton. Town Crier Don Watson commanded the attention of more than 80 people gathered at the the historic Church Street building for a ribbon cutting at the entrance followed by a ceremony inside. The building was established in 1825 as the St. Mary Magdalene Church and has served as The Prince Edward County Museum since 1973.  Upgrades to the site began in September 2010. The last major work done to the church was during its conversion to a museum, with Wintario funding, in 1970. The grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage Cultural Spaces program was matched by the County through Invest in Ontario and capital budget allocations for a total project budget of $1,725,000. – Sue Capon photo

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Doctors Norah Connell, Cliff Rice, Lisa Forster and Greg Higgins, Sandbank Homes’ Conrad Guziewicz and MP Daryl Kramp watch Julie Forster and MPP Leona Dombrowsky cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Prince Edward Family Health Team site at 35 Bridge St., Picton. – Sue Capon photo

Prince Edward County’s new Family Health Team site officially opened at the newly renovated Bridge Street site. Clinical and administrative staff of the Prince Edward Family Health Team joined PEFHT family physicians Drs. Elizabeth Christie, Josh Colby, Norah Connell, John French, Dr. Blair Scrivens, Greg Higgins and Cliff Rice as well as Nurse Practitioners Mary Woodman, Krista Smith and Marie-Elaine Delvin at the former Tip of the Bay Hotel as of April 18.

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A crowd of over two hundred people came out to see a part of Canada’s aviation history. The palne is a Stearman (Boeing) Model 75. – Bill Samuel photo

The skies over Prince Edward County were reminiscent of 1941 as three Second World War training aircraft flew into the Picton Flying Club. In tribute to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) 70th anniversary Vintage Wings of Canada mounted the “Yellow Wings” cross-Canada tour with training aircraft used by the BCATP. Vintage Wings of Canada calls the BCATP a stunning achievement in planning, construction, community involvement and aircrew training that involved every province of Canada, hundreds of small and medium-sized communities – including Picton – and hundreds of thousands of airmen from Canada, the British Commonwealth and the United States. The BCATP had a significant impact on the Quinte region, with training facilities in Trenton, Mountain View, Belleville and Picton. From its start in 1939 more than 167,000 students were trained, over half of them from Canada.

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Five of Prince Edward County’s six remaining lighthouses have been nominated under the terms of the federal Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. The sixth, The Salmon Point Lighthouse property, is privately owned. “Regardless of which organization becomes the final custodian of these structures, the plan is for me to continue efforts to coordinate the negotiations with DFO, Parks Canada, and Environment Canada for the protection of the lighthouses and related buildings,” said Marc Seguin. “These lighthouses represent a unique part of the County’s history.” Click here for a search of various lighthouse stories over the past decade

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Steven Draper used his Pole Pics truck to photograph Hospice Prince Edward volunteers and Picton Rotary Club members on the day they embark on their dream to create a residential hospice. – Steven Draper photo

With the help of many friends, Hospice Prince Edward announced it will see its dream of establishing a residential care facility come true.
“Today we have reason to celebrate,” said Nancy Parks, Hospice Prince Edward Executive Director at a gathering of volunteers, friends and media. “Thanks to the very generous efforts of the Rotary Club of Picton and significant donations from many people in this community, Hospice Prince Edward will be establishing a residential hospice in Prince Edward County.”
In a heart-warming surprise, well-known former County resident Bob Norton quietly arrived at the gathering and made a pledge to Hospice Prince Edward of $100,000 in memory of his popular wife, Debbie, who passed away in April, surrounded by her family at Lissard House, a hospice in Cambridge. Parks noted noted Mr. Norton’s generosity was influence by how impressed he was with the care given at Lissard House.

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Jim and Kelsey Bryson, from Ormstown, Quebec, weighed a world record whopper at the 2011 Wellington Pumpkinfest weigh-off. Bryson won the weigh-off last year with the “mother” of this year’s winner at more than 1,404.40 pounds. This year, as the scale stopped at 1,818.5 fellow growers and friends cheered the victory. A possible secret to his success? His giants are fed maple syrup!


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