Phone: (519) 867-2021
Young artists receive awards in the
Optimist Club of Moore Optimism and Hope drawing contest
The Optimist Club of Moore’s Optimism and Hope drawing contest saw some neighbourhood driveways and side- walks decorated with colourful chalk drawings thanks to the efforts of many young local artists. The originators of the top three designs were recently rewarded with gift cards to the Corunna Dollarama store. Above: Shown at the award presentation are, rear left: Moore Optimist First Vice-President Stan Marsh; Second Vice-President Ethel Kang; and President Michelle Garrie. Winners from left: second prize, $50, sisters Avery, 8, and Hallie, 6; first prize, $100, Paige, 10; third prize, $25, siblings Molly, 9, and Benjamin, 7. For photos of the winning entries, see page 13. For more about the Moore Optimist’s upcoming Bicycle Giveaway, see page 12.
Bonnie Stevenson photo
The St. Clair Township Beacon is currently published monthly online ONLY at the township website,
www. stclairtownship.ca – on the home page, top right black information bar, click on The Beacon.
Stage 3 reopening
now in effect.
See page 2-4
Municipal Notes Pages 2-4
Works Dept. Notices Pages 5, 6
Heritage Corner Pages 8, 9 Express Yourself Pages 12-15
What’s new with you?
Community Contact Pages 19, 20
Around The Township Page 21
Township moves into Stage 3 COVID-19 reopening
St. Clair Township met on July 24 to determine how the provincially mandated Stage 3 COVID-19 reopening guidelines would be observed regarding township recreational proper- ties.
Director of Community Services Kendall Lindsay attended the virtual meeting to present his recommendations for reo- pening recreational properties in compliance with the new guidelines.
Under the Stage 3 guidelines, non-contact sports such as baseball, volleyball, pickleball and tennis will be allowed at township fields on or before Aug. 7. This will depend on the ability of staff to bring ball diamonds, etc. into compliance with Stage 3 provincial guidelines. Baseball and volleyball courts must be used per provincial and Lambton Public Health physical distancing guidelines. Only 50 people per baseball league (10 people per team) and one game per night per ball park will be allowed, and no tournaments can be played this season. Pickle ball and tennis will be played per Ontario Pickle Ball and Tennis guidelines. However, small private user groups may use the fields and courts for casual play provided players maintain physical distancing and avoid contact.
Portable toilets will be put out on the golf course with the condition that they are thoroughly cleaned twice each day by staff.
Campground washrooms will be open, but showers will not be in operation. The opening of the buildings will also allow campers to take shelter in the event of severe storms.
The highly anticipated opening of playgrounds and parks will take place in compliance with Lambton County guide- lines as of July 31. However, they will be restricted with a maximum occupancy, to be determined by the individual facility’s square footage. Those who use these facilities are asked to abide by this restriction and observe physical dis- tancing as required by COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Rink 1 at the Moore Sports Complex has been approved to be installed.
~ ~ ~
At the conclusion of this meeting, Mayor Arnold acknowl- edged that the reopening of the township’s many recreation facilities is a considerable task for the community services department and all associated township staff. “I appreciate
See More, page 3
From page 2
all the work staff is doing,” he said. “It hasn’t been an easy six or seven months for them.”
ATV’s not for use on public roads
Owners of ATVs are reminded that ATVs are not allowed on public roads in St. Clair Township. Several complaints have been received by council from ATV operators who have been stopped by police while riding on roads within township limits, but Mayor Arnold noted these stops are well-founded. This measure was enacted to ensure the safety of ATV operators, some of whom are under age and often inexperienced in the vehicle’s use, as well as motorists.
Emergency services report
St. Clair Township Fire Chief Walt Anderson reported the de- partment has been kept busy over the past months with respons- es, some of which he referred to as “unique and challenging calls”. Detailed reports of these incidents were not available due to a computer issue but he will elaborate on his statement at the next meeting of council.
Preparation for a second wave of the COVID-19 virus has been in progress and Chief Anderson says the department should be ready if a second wave of the virus hits the area. One of the new additions to the department’s emergency supply and manage- ment arsenal involves the augmentation of the emergency man- agement trailer that was purchased with funds raised through past golf tournaments. The trailer has been outfitted with two portable wire mesh trolleys that will be stocked with cots, blan- kets, pillows and other necessities that can be set up at township emergency shelters to accommodate those who are not able to stay in their homes during prolonged emergencies. The trailer will also carry a stock of smaller supplies including pandemic related materials.
The long spell of heat and air quality alerts this spring and summer have led the department to cancel all open burn permits until further notice, with the exception of small campfires.
McKeough Dam Closure cost sharing report
Council received a staff report outlining the potential for cost sharing between St. Clair Township and the St. Clair Region Con- servation Authority in reference to roads and other municipal property that sustains damage as the result of the closing of the McKeough Dam.
Costs associated with the closure associated with the flooding it causes on lowlands upstream of the dam. The report noted three separate actions that add to the overall cost each time the dam is activated. The first, estimated at about $1,300 in labour, overhead and equipment, requires a township employee to close the gates and set up Road Closed signs, as well as opening the gates and removing the signs, each time the dam is activated. The second cost arises during about half of the closures and is estimated at about $2,000 each time. It occurs when there are road washouts that require the replacement of gravel, plus the equipment, labour and overhead associated with the repair. Such an event occurred along Waubano Road north of Bickford during the January, 2019 dam closure. The third cost associated with flooding that causes bank slides such as the one that occurred along the Wilkesport Line bank near Kimball Road.
No agreement currently exists between the township and the SCRCA. At the time land for the McKeough dam development was negotiated, compensation to affected landowners was arranged as part of the land expropriation process and the township was not involved.
At this time, road closures due to the closing of the McKeough Dam are communicated through the Municipal 511 program that can be accessed through the St. Clair Township website.
The motion to approve the report was passed by council.
Bridge project completion dates received
An engineering report received by council noted two township bridge projects will be completed this autumn. The bridge over Black Creek along Pretty Road is scheduled for completion in Sep- tember, while the bridge over the Sydenham River along Holt Line is slated for completion by October. Also underway is St. Clair Parkway rehabilitation work from Bickford to White Lines, where the existing asphalt base is being recycled, and shoulders paved and replaced with a new asphalt surface. The St. Clair River Trail in that area will be improved within the construction limits.
Hubbard Drain project- DFO objections
Council was faced with an environmental quandary at the July 13 meeting when a report stemming from flooding along the Hub- bard Drain came to the floor. The Hubbard drain is an open ditch that flows from north of the Brander Park pond and wooded area, underneath Pointe Line and the St. Clair Parkway and east into
a watercourse at Indian Road. As a habitat for fish, it now pre- sents an environmental challenge.
Landowners along the drain have been plagued by flooding, especially now that recent high-water levels have made the prob- lem worse. Lucas Depooter, the township’s drainage supervisor, told council a petition had been circulated to gain support for a solution and he has been asked if anything could be done to pro- vide a remedy for the flooding. “Many landowners have requested that this work be done…I was talking to a few of them recently about this…they’d really like to get it moving,” he said.
A proposed solution to the flooding would require the design of a pump and dam system to improve the drainage and reduce the flooding. But the environmental importance of the drain to fish that live there has caused the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to request that a fisheries biologist be hired to assist with a Fisheries Act Authorization.
According to Superintendent DePooter, DFO reception to the pump and dam solution has not been favourable. “It (the drain) wouldn’t be pumped dry but the DFO doesn’t care about that. When the dam’s there, they don’t consider it a habitat any more, so that’s why they’re saying it needs to be recreated… I can see their point, but the DFO is adamant it does eliminate habitat.”
In defence of the proposed project, Mayor Arnold pointed out the drain would still be two or three feet deep, and the fish will be able to live there. He admitted to being frustrated with the process, adding the costly nature of a remedial project such as the one the DFO was suggesting would be unacceptable to the landowners, who would be required to share the cost.
“We’re not going to dam it up and close it off, it’s just some- thing that can drop the water level. We’re going to drop the wa- ter flow down so it’s not going over the bank all the time, but the drain will still be full. When I read the report from the DFO, they thought we were going to kill all these fish; we were going to dam it up,” said Mayor Arnold.
Superintendent DePooter told council the DFO was firm on the need to have the biologist’s report; that expense, added to the cost of designing a new habitat for the fish and the cost of the project itself, might be well beyond what the landowners would be able to pay.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans representatives have vis- ited the site only once, according to Secretary DePooter. The Hubbard drain is located on some of the lowest lying land in the township that isn’t pumped, but Mayor Arnold noted, “In a low water cycle, it’s dry land.”
Yard sales – COVID-19 precautions advised
Those who hold yard sales should make sure they are proceed- ing safely, observing COVID-19 precautions as required by the provincial. They include wearing gloves to handle money, retain- ing social distancing during transactions, and wearing a mask or-
See More Municipal Notes, page 4
Stage 3 reopening calls for caution; coronavirus still a threat
As of July 24, the County of Lambton moved into Stage 3 of the provincially-regulated COVID-19 reopening protocol. Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade cau- tions this phase will see an increase in public activity that will require increased vigilance on the part of all Lambton County/ Sarnia residents. “Lambton Public Health (LPH) would like to remind residents Stage 3 will increase activity in the community which, more than ever, requires everyone to be dili- gent…Following the public health safety measures must be con- sidered at every opportunity.”
Stage 3 will allow nearly all businesses and public spac- es to reopen with proper public health safety measures in place. Caution will need to be exercised as long as Lamb- ton’s rate of positivity remains. (At publication time, the
tine screenings for long-term care visits; 7 unknown exposures.
The COVID-19 virus is far more contagious than any regular flu or virus modern medicine has encountered – it is easily trans- mitted from one person to another over surprisingly long dis- tances even though the infected person may not be showing symptoms; it is crucial that physical distancing and hand saniti- zation be observed when in public places, indoors and outside.
Masks or face coverings are also recommended, but not mandated, by Lambton Public Health and are supported by Lambton County Council to prevent “community spread” of the virus. A mask prevents people from unintentionally spreading the virus, and when worn correctly, masks
offer protection to the wearer if he or she comes in con- tact with an infected person.
Don’t touch the front of the mask while wearing it to
rate was 1.8%.)
LPH notes some places and activities that present increased risk will remain closed until further notice.
still here –
avoid transferring virus onto your hands. If you do touch the mask, sanitize your hands as soon as possi- ble. If it is washable, wash it in soapy water, then rinse
Subject to physical distancing requirements, social gather-
ing limits will increase to allow for a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Social circle limits remain at
10. Details about the province’s Stage 3 re-opening can be found online at: Ontario.ca/reopen
The Stage 3 reopening does NOT imply the emergency is over. Efforts to observe physical distancing and hand hygiene/ sanitization must still be employed for everyone who goes out in public for any reason.
In a July 23 LPH media release, Dr. Ranade noted, “As individuals expand their social networks and gather in indoor spaces, there is increased likelihood of coming into contact with COVID-19 that needs to be considered…It is anticipated that local case numbers will increase during Stage 3 and public health safety measures must remain in place to support this transition.”
Dr. Ranade’s cautionary works have since been substantiat- ed after an increase in COVID-19 cases was registered two weeks after the transition to Stage 2 was approved. “The recent increase in cases over the past two weeks was anticipated to co- incide with reopening stages,” he wrote in a media release dated July 28. “We expected to see new cases following the transition to Stage 2, however those new cases only started appearing last week.”
The two-week list of cases registered from mid– to late July documented 21 new cases divided into the following classifica- tions: 6 cases from rural communities; 7 from urban communi- ties; 1 case with possible link to travel; 4 close contact with in- fected people; 1 routine screening of long-term care staff; 2 rou-
From page 3
face covering when distancing is not possible. These measures are for the safety of everyone in- volved in the sale and those who attend one.
and dry it thoroughly. According to Lambton Public Health, mask use is most effective when: 80 per cent of people use them correctly; the masks are used early enough in an outbreak situa- tion; and they are used as an addition to other public health measures
The mask must cover both mouth AND nose, and fit well to offer the proper protection and comfort. Masks and hand san- itizers are now readily available at many pharmacies and shops in the community.
LPH recognizes some people may not be able to afford, ac- cess, or wear masks. For those of us who are able to wear masks, and especially those who are over age 60 and/or who already have compromised health issues, the wearing of masks in situations where physical distancing is difficult, especially indoors, is something we can do to help fight this pandemic.
Youth immunity myth busted
Recent case studies done across Canada and in the U.S. re- veal that people as young as 10 years old are capable of transmit- ting COVID-19, and cases of the virus are increasing in the age 20-49 age demographic.
Disease transmission has often been linked to parties and social gatherings where people are socializing without observing precautions. Dr. Ranade notes the 20-49 age demographic will be an important target group for increased virus transmission as the community advances into Stage 3 re-opening.
“COVID-19 is in your community, so please be mindful
of risk at all times.” ~ Dr. Ranade.
-with files from Lambton Public Health, Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention, Oxford health studies, The Lancet.
County Council report supports use of
Council reviewed the Lambton County Council highlights for July 8 in which the use of masks and face coverings was encouraged. The use of masks is especially advised in indoor public settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Yard Waste update
In order to reduce the amount of com- postable material directed to landfill, St. Clair Township provides yard waste collec- tion (directed to the compost site) in the spring and fall (see calendar for dates). Dur- ing this collection period, paper bags or con- tainers clearly marked with a large X must be used.
During the summer months, yard waste will be collected with the regular waste col- lection, subject to the 6-item limit. During this period of time, compost will be directed to landfill, not the compost site.
Residents will no longer be able to take
yard waste directly to Sarnia Compost.
Sewer main flushing
Public Works will be flushing sewer mains con- nected to the St. Clair Township sewer system, during the hours of:
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
May 2020 – Fall 2020
For current areas affected, refer to:
During this maintenance procedure, you may notice some gurgling noises in your drains.
If conditions persist after 24-48 hours of normal use, please notify Public Works at 519-867-2993.
Waste collection – reminders to avoid missed
To help ensure collection crews remain healthy, all waste should be bagged and securely tied. Loose garbage bags or gar- bage bags in cans at the curb will not be collected if they are not tied. Maximum weight per bag is 50 lbs.
As a reminder, ashes (i.e. cigarette butts, cigars and fire pit ash) need to be separately sealed in a bag and placed in waste. Please ensure these items are
completely extinguished before placing in the garbage.
As well, napkins, paper towels and tis- sues are NOT recyclable.
The Beacon of St. Clair Township August 2020 Page 6
Sandbags and sand available
St. Clair Township Council has approved emergency relief, free of charge, to residents of the township that are affected by the cur- rent flooding / high lake levels.
Sandbags and sand will be provided as follows:
A pile of bulk sand is located in the gravel parking lot
at the south end of Brander Park, 4555 St. Clair Parkway.
Please access the site from the driveway off Brander Park Road.
Empty sandbags will be available at this same site (next to sand pile) and will be stored inside a small storage bin. Residents may take up to a maximum of 500 per residential property and 1500 per commercial/industrial property.
Residents must fill and transport their own bags. Please bring a shovel. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this site will not be staffed.
Township staff will not provide further service. We do not fill, transport or remove sandbags.
Mosquito larviciding in progress throughout Lambton County
Lambton Public Health reports mosquito control larviciding has begun in the coun- ty. This effort is designed to impede mos- quito breeding and control adult mosquito populations with the goal of reducing the incidence of West Nile Virus in the Lamb- ton County.
In addition to the larviciding effort,
property owners are asked to take the following steps: Remove standing/stagnant water around their property; keep eaves clear of debris; and drain water from containers and toys.
When outdoors, the use of insect repellent con-
taining DEET is also advised during the peak times or in locations where mosquitoes are active.
Safe disposal of dead birds
If a dead bird is found, please dispose of it wearing gloves or a plastic bag, and discard it in a garbage container to put out with regular trash collection. The dead birds will
not be collected by LPH.
For more information about West Nile Virus or dead bird disposal, call the West Nile Virus infor- mation line at 519-383-3824, toll free at 1-800- 1839, ext. 3824, or visit LambtonPublicHealth.ca
SCTFD urges businesses preparing to open do complete safety check
A St. Clair Township Fire Department bulletin
Stay Connected service now available to Bluewater Health patients
Friends and family members who wish to communicate with loved ones being treated for the corona- virus at Bluewater Health can call Patient Experience at 519 -464-4436
firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 15 minute online virtual visit.
Hospitalized loved ones can also request a virtual visit through the hospital ’s website:
Other resources available during COVID-19 emergency
There will be no charge for visitor parking or for the bedside TV service. Personal Netflix or other streaming service accounts can be accessed through the hospital ’s guest wi-fi network.
-Information courtesy Bluewater Health
Sad day for Sombra as The Daldean pulls away from dock for the last time
Early on Monday, July 6, 2020, The Daldean pulled away from the Som- bra ferry dock and headed downriver for the last time. As it disappeared into the distance, it ended an era that spanned over
70 years and five genera- tions of the Dalgety fami- ly.
Kailyn Shepley, curator of the Sombra Museum, was on the shore to wit- ness the dawn departure. “It was quite a sad day, yet it was exciting to hear the thrum of the Daldean’s engine again and see her move out into the channel one last time,” she said.
She says there were spectators and vehicles lining the river all the way to Brander Park. “I over- heard people sharing
memories of the ferry and some actually shouted out
In the early morning light, The Daldean pulls away from the dock for the last time.
“goodbye” to it…Just after 5:30 a.m., they (the Dalgetys aboard the ferry) blasted out a salute on the horn and many vehicles honked and people whistled in response…I was touched to see how many people came out at dawn to see it off.” She observed that almost all of the people along the shore maintained physical distancing. The Daldean also sounded its horn as it passed Port Lambton
on its way to its new home at Boblo Island.
After downloading some of her photos and a video of the ferry leaving the dock to Facebook, Kailyn says the photos were viewed by 2,600 people and the video at- tracted about 2,400 viewers. “People are sharing memo- ries and commenting quite a bit about our ferry,” she said.
The St. Clair River Trail Facebook page and website has added a new promotional video to its photo archive. The natural beauty of the trail comes alive on the screen. And while you’re look- ing at the video and submitted photographs, why not send us some of the shots you’ve taken while enjoying the trail? Like the St. Clair River Trail on Facebook and message us your pictures.
Check out Trail Facebook page, video, & website
A bicycle brigade speeds along the St. Clair Parkway near Cathcart Park. Bonnie Stevenson photo
Plant sale a blooming success – seeds available
The Port Lambton 200th Anniversary celebration plant sale has been a blooming success! Over 400 min- iature sunflower plants and 550 sunflower seed packets have been sold and the remaining packets are at Shaykin Bait Variety Store. Anyone wishing to obtain a free packet can drop in and get one. The committee would appreciate having photos of the plants that have bloomed sent in to be shared on the Port Lambton Facebook page.
A St. Clair Township Heritage Moment
Threshing time at John Peter Taylor’s farm – 2nd Line of Moore (now Oil Springs Line)
Photo courtesy of Moore Museum
Wanted: Motivated youth looking for rewarding challenges
The Royal Canadian “1st Hussars” Army Cadet Corps Petrolia invites boys and girls ages 12-18 to learn new skills, marks- manship, orienteering, hiking, leadership, pipes and drum band, and teamwork, participate in many new challenges, make new friends and attend great summer camps, all at no cost. Cadets are not required to join the military. Join us today! For more in- formation, call 519-332-6555 or visit: www.petroliacadets.com
Sombra Volunteer Garden Club enjoys their recent beautification efforts
Above: Members of the Sombra Volunteer Garden Club include: seated from left, Shari Robinson, Marg Dalgety; standing from left, Club President Val Foster, Lyn Klompstra, Mary Grimes -Henry, Eth- el Armstrong, Jan Anderson, and Anne Stratton. Bonnie Stevenson photo
These happy members of the Sombra Volunteer Garden Club take time to enjoy the improvements their efforts have made to the Sombra village landscape. Three of their achievements can be seen in this photograph. The beautiful new river trail bench, located in front of the Bury House on Smith Street, left of photo, was purchased with a $1,500 grant the group received in response to an application to the Moore Community and Recreational Foundation earlier this year. They hope it will become a welcome place to rest and chat with friends in the village. The beautiful planter, right, purchased with the help of St. Clair Township, is one of several decorative pots the group plants and cares for each year. And an example of the 50 banner flags the group purchased to celebrate Sombra ’s bicentennial year can be seen on the utility pole across the street from the planter. The club set a fundraising goal of $11,500 to buy the flags and was able to reach that goal thanks to the generosity of the community. (Due to the COVID – 19 virus, the bicentennial celebration has been postponed until 2021. The flags will be taken down and stored for the winter months, then reinstalled in time for the celebration next year.
The Sombra Volunteer Garden Club would like to thank all of the generous donors
who contributed funds to make their project a success in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks are also extended to the Moore Community and Recreational Foundation and St. Clair Township for their much-appreciated assistance with the club’s efforts.
Province approves addition to Sacred Heart Catholic School
Students attending Sacred Heart Catholic School in Port Lambton will soon see their school building expand thanks to a new provincial gov- ernment program.
The program will see the investment of $500 million distributed across the province to build 30 new schools and make upgrades to 15 existing schools, including the construction of a new ad- dition to Sacred Heart. The addition will include
the creation of new child care rooms and provide more space to support students with better learning facilities. A total of 900 new licensed child care spaces is being created province- wide.
Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey says the Sa- cred Heart expansion will create 46 new elemen- tary student spaces, 49 new licensed child care spaces, and three new child care rooms.
Voluntary COVID-19 testing is being offered to all Lambton County farms that hire temporary seasonal foreign workers. A mobile COVID-19 outreach testing team has completed well over 86 tests on area farms in past weeks. Lambton Public Health has joined forc- es with Bluewater Health, Lambton EMS, and the Cen- tral Lambton Family Health Team to accomplish this task.
LPH inspectors routinely inspect local farms to make sure accommodations for temporary seasonal foreign workers meet public health requirements, and the Central Lambton Family Health Team is able to assist with the language needs of the workers.
The Ontario government has issued specific guide- lines for farm operators to further protect the work- ers from COVID-19.
LPH developed the team approach last spring, con- ducting outreach to determine the number of workers who would be on each farm, discuss isolation plans and screening protocols, and offer support for testing. In June, LPH issued a letter to local farm opera- tors to ensure they were not knowingly employing a worker who came from an operation where an out- break of the COVID-19 virus was occurring and that the full 14-day quarantine period would be observed
by every worker.
Based on reports from farm operators, LPH says between 200 and 300 temporary foreign workers trav- el to Lambton County for seasonal work. This infor- mation is used to help develop LPH’s ongoing risk analysis.
Brigden Fair / Moore Agricultural Society fundraiser supports fair and offers jackpot
The gloomy prospect of having no community fall fairs this year has prompted the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions to launch an online 50/50 draw to raise funds that will benefit the organizations that operate these events. The Moore Agricultural Society (Brigden Fair) is one of the organizations participating in the CAFÉ Online 50/50 draw.
Those wishing to support the fair can simply buy a numbered ticket good for a whole year. At the time of purchase, you will be able to tell the purchase agent that you would like to support the Moore Agricultural Society (Brigden Fair). With the ticket, you can play your number every week and if you win, the “pot” for that week will be split between you and the Brigden Fair. If you do not to play your number and your number is
drawn, the money will be added to the next week’s ‘pot’.
This is the first of the ideas the MAS board of directors is working on. MAS Home Craft President Michelle Evanitski says other ideas are being considered. “The board of directors has some ideas in the works for activities and events both online and in-person, and we hope we can count on community support when we announce these plans,” she said.
For more information or to get tickets, go online to:
Sombra Museum seeks information to document COVID-19 era
Working in a museum, we tend to be concerned about documenting and preserving the past, but
right now we are living through an event that is
unlike any we have experienced in the last centu- ry, if ever before, so the focus is very much on the present. So often, when looking through the ar-
chives we get very excited to find the shortest photo caption, post card, note, or on rare occa- sions, a diary recording daily life.
Looking for local accounts of the 1919 Spanish
Flu pandemic and finding very little from the local perspective, we realized that we need our St.
Clair Township residents to help us record and pre- serve memories of the present time for future gen- erations. What is going on day-to-day in Sombra,
Wilkesport, Port Lambton, Mooretown, Lambton County, Canada, and elsewhere in the world?
Information we hope you will share includes:
*Shopping conditions and how they changed over time
*Adapting to working at home, and any chal- lenges or creative solutions that were needed
*Feelings caused by the outbreak and thoughts about social distancing
*Keeping children occupied during self-isolation
*Keeping adults occupied during self-isolation
*What new or newly rediscovered hobbies or crafts were taken up
*Stories from workers on the front lines and
staffing essential services
*Struggles of family members or friends infect- ed with the virus
*Stories of everyday heroes, i.e. people helping neighbours during self-isolation or people accept- ing inconveniences for the greater good
*How daily life and routines have changed
*For those who lived through the Great Depres- sion, World War II, etc., are there similarities to those experiences?
*How social media and technology is impacting life in social isolation (using technology for the
first time, using it differently)
Photos, videos, drawings, anecdotes, a few jot- ted thoughts – we want all the family-friendly
material you feel comfortable sharing (no explicit material)
Submissions can be sent by email to sombra-
email@example.com with the subject line “COVID
-19 History Snapshot”.
Please share this request for community life
memories with as many people as possible. We en- courage everyone to document this time, if not to share publicly, then for yourself and your family to look back and reflect on in years to come.
Take care and be well.
~Kailyn Shepley, curator, Sombra Museum
Bicycle giveaway replaces 2020 Moore Optimist bicycle rodeo
The Optimist Club of Moore annual bicycle rodeo will have a different look this year due to the COVID-19 precautions. Although the rodeo will not be held on the street, a bicycle giveaway will still be held. Rodeo-age children can enter the 2020 Optimist Club of Moore Bicycle Giveaway instead.
The club is looking for children under the age of 12 to enter this giveaway. All they have to do is write a story explaining “Why I deserve a new bike”.
Kids have to describe how the changes brought about by the COVID -19 virus have affected them and their family, and what they have done, or are doing, to bring joy, optimism, courage and thoughtfulness to their family and/or community during this time.
Parents are allowed to help, and submissions should include photos and hand -drawn pictures to illustrate the stories.
The contest will run through August to Sept. 1. Stories and photos/drawings can be sent to:
firstname.lastname@example.org . Winners will be contacted and their names will be posted on the club ’s Facebook
page and in The Beacon.
The Optimist Club of Moore is being
optimistic in hoping 2021 will see
the bicycle rodeo back in operation, but until then,
they hope everyone will stay safe
and keep their optimism.
Girls and boys under 12 are invited to enter their story to win one of these two new bicycles.
Moore Optimists Club – art contest winning entries
From page 1 The Optimist Club of Moore, aid- ed by Corunna Foodland and No Frills, handed out 200 boxes of sidewalk chalk to aspiring young artists during its recent Opti- mism and Hope drawing con-
The club received 15 expres- sive entries, making it diffi- cult for judges to chose the top three entries.
Here are those entries,
clockwise from right:
2nd, sisters Avery and Hallie;
3rd, siblings Molly and Benjamin.
Photos submitted by Optimist Club of Moore
Express Yourself here
While the coronavirus is still causing concern and considerable disruption in St. Clair Township, many children and adults have been filling their time with creative projects they are proud of. Those who wish to show off their creativity to the community can do so here in the pages of The Beacon’s Express Yourself column.
Simply take a picture of your artwork or building project, send a copy of your short story, po- em, or happiest memory, talk about your recent achievement or tell the community about some- one you know who has done something positive in the last few months, or whatever family- friendly subject is on your mind. Send submissions to:
Corunna woman’s whole-hearted effort yields half-marathon
Story by Bonnie Stevenson
This year has been less than kind to many of us. Everywhere we go we see reminders that an invisible enemy stalks our community, and the resulting can- cellations and postponements of the events and activities we look forward to has dashed the summer plans of many.
For Tara Antle, the dream of completing the St. Clair River Run has been a goal she’s been training and work- ing towards for years. “After my first-born child, I start- ed running and did a five kilometre run…after my sec- ond child, I did a 10 kilometre run,” she said. “When the St. Clair River Run was cancelled, I decided to do it any- way.”
The grueling training schedule leading up to her July
25 half-marathon run was aided by her nine-year-old son, Ethan, who often rode his bicycle beside her carry- ing water and offering encouragement as Tara built up the strength and stamina she would need to reach the finish line.
Part of the training came from Tara’s participation in an online group doing a 1,000 metre challenge, to be completed by the end of 2020. Notching up an average
of 100 metres each month, plus the 150 kilometre chal- lenge she completed in June, she already has over 725 kilometres to her credit, with five more months to go.
The dramatic final three kilometres with escorts
Tara ready for Sombra start
Tara’s husband, Shaun, says the effort was, at the time, disheartening for her. “She’d say ‘I’m going to do this alone and nobody’s going to be there.” She knew the excitement of the event itself, with the sound of onlookers cheering on the runners, and the music and ceremony afterwards, would be missing.
And as she pushed through her disappointment, COVID-19 isolation kicked in to put more stress on the aspiring long-distance runner. “It’s been a hard year for her with COVID and with the kids being home..and with her still being able to do this…she’s one hell of a mom and an inspiration, and we are so proud of her,” said Shaun, emotion evident in his voice. He also praised his son’s commitment to his mother’s success. “Ethan’s been training with her and now he’s finishing the race with her.” Citing the powerful example Tara is demon- strating to their son through her commitment to her training, he added, “Ethan’s dream is to be a Blue Jay. He’s a die hard fan.”
With her busy schedule, Tara had no idea there was a quiet flurry of activity going on behind the scenes as Shaun and Tara’s support- ers made their best effort to realize her dream.
The sunny, 30C+ degree morning of July 25 found Tara, Shaun, Ethan and his six-year-old sister Callie in Sombra at the starting point near the Sombra Museum on the St. Clair Parkway.
The heat intensified in the hours that followed and Tara ran on, staying in touch with her support team as she traversed the St. Clair River Trail north toward Corunna. Around 11 a.m., with three kilo- metres left to run, Tara called the support team asking for more to drink. The support team was with her in a matter of minutes with a cold drink. She was able to continue her journey accompanied, for safety, by her good friend and cheerleader, Carley Warner, and her son Ethan, riding his bicycle and carefully monitoring his mom’s pro- gress. Just before noon, flanked by her children, Tara and Carley came running into sig. Tara crossed the finish line that had been chalked at the far end of the Corunna Athletic Park’s Dallas Court walkway, arms raised in triumph and grinning with happiness and surprise.
Tara broke the toilet paper finish ribbon (a nod to the COVID-19- inspired toilet paper shortage) to the cheers of her adoring family, friends, and supporters, the sound of her favourite music blasting through the air, and the presentation of a special engraved runner’s medal Shaun had acquired for the occasion. Even the family dog, Nash, was on hand to bear witness to Tara’s incredible achieve- ment. The 21.1 kilometre challenge was successfully complet-
ed in 2 hours and 46 minutes for an average speed of 7.7 km/ hr.
Ethan Antle keeps an eye on his mom as she completes the final few meters of her run.
Praise for the conquering hero was offered by many in the crowd that greeted Tara’s victory. “I’m so proud of her,” said her mom, Christine Neufeld. “As a little girl she was determined…she always had talent but she didn’t
push herself to the limit (like this). She’s an inspiration.”
See Woman, page 15
Woman fulfills half-marathon dream
From page 14
Mother-in-law, Janet Antle, said, “She’s the best. She’s beautiful inside and out.”
Brother-in-law, Corey Brown noted, “She said lately she doesn’t feel there’s support from the people around her, but at this time of pandemic, people are gathering around her to share her pas- sion.”
The exhaust- ed, but elated Tara Antle
spoke about her moment of truth after catching her breath and receiving a
Tara breaks the toilet paper finishing ribbon (a COVID-19 touch), held by mom-in-law Janet Antle, left, and mom Christine Neufeld, with support rider Ethan in background. John Barker photo
round of heart
-felt congratu- lations from the group.
“At three kilo-
metres, I started feeling lightheaded and the water tasted like metal,” she said. “I called for Gatorade after I’d used up all I had.” She admitted to being genuinely surprised by the reception she received at the finish line and was even more surprised when her husband placed the special engraved runner’s medal around neck.
And as satisfying as her half-marathon turned out to be, Tara says she’s already looking forward to testing herself next year in the 2021 St. Clair Riv- er Run.
A congratulatory hug from Shaun
Kiss from mom-in-law
Hug from mom
The warrior takes a well-deserved rest
Family and friends gather in support of Tara Antle, front and centre, seen here with husband, Shaun, right, daughter Callie, and son Ethan. Bonnie Stevenson photos (unless marked otherwise)
St. Clair Region Conservation Authority 2020 scholarships awarded
The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority 2020 scholarships were recently handed out to three de- serving students.
Gracie Goodhill, a North Lambton Secondary School graduate, received the Mary Jo Arnold Con- servation Award. Trevor McBrayne, a Lambton Kent Composite School graduate, received the Tony Stra- nak Conservation Scholarship. Both students will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall, with Gracie enrolled in the Food and Agriculture pro- gram and Trevor pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture.
Brady Grubb, a graduate of Lambton Kent Com-
posite School, received the 2020 A.W. Campbell Memorial Scholarship. He will be studying Environ- mental Engineering at the University of Guelph this fall.
The conservation scholarship program rewards graduating high school students who pursue post- secondary studies in a conservation-related field and who have demonstrated high academic standing and involvement in environmental activities. A to- tal of $2,000 was awarded.
The scholarships are made possible through trust funds established by the St. Clair Region Conserva- tion Foundation and its donors.
Scholarship recipients above with SCRCA Chair Joe Faas, from left: Gracie Goodhill, Trevor McBrayne, and Brady Grubb.
National Farmers Union thanks front line workers and businesses
The National Farmers Union recognizes the im-
portance of the industry’s front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic isolation period. Let’s add our own thanks to everyone in the the hard-working agricultural industry, from the people who cultivate the fields to
those who raise the livestock, and those who support
their efforts with supplies and services, THANK YOU from the people who depend on you to help us put food on our tables.
The National Farmers Union would like to take a mo- ment to gratefully acknowledge all of the people and businesses who make farming possible during the COVID-
19 pandemic. You have not wavered in providing the needed web of resources that keep farmers supplied and engaged in farming. The NFU and our members across the country are grateful to each of you that have contributed to our ability to keep working. Our shared work providing food is not only an essential service and a source of prosperity for Canada, it is also a way that we connect with one another, nour- ishing our communities and providing security in these very uncertain times.
Sincerely, Stewart Wells, NFU Vice President of Operations
Oak wilt newest threat to our forests – what to look for
A new pest threatens to cause damage to one of our toughest, common trees; for the second year, the oak is be- ing monitored by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority in partnership with the Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to monitor the nitidulid beetle (a.k.a. picnic or sap beetle). This pesky insect is responsible for the transmis-
sion of the pathogenic fungus that causes oak wilt.
Oak wilt is a disease being seen in areas throughout the United States and concerns are growing that it may eventually enter into Canada. It is hoped monitoring and tree maintenance will help de- fend the Ontario oak population against this damaging disease.
The fungus can be transferred from an infected tree to a healthy tree by the nitidulid beetle or if an infected oak’s root system grafts with a healthy oak’s roots. The fungus causes water and nutrients to become restricted in the tree, eventually leading to the death of the tree.
Left: Two baited traps are set up in St. Clair Township to at- tract the nitidulid beetle. The traps are checked every two weeks and insects that are found are sent for oak wilt testing.
Right: Intentional “wounding” of 10 oak trees as part of the 2020 monitoring program and insects attracted to their tree sap are being collected for MNRF testing.
The Beacon of St. Clair Township August 2020 Page 17
Cathcart Park summer residents get festive to shake the COVID-19 blues
This group of volunteers at Cathcart Park didn’t let the coronavirus spoil their summer fun. With COVID-19 precau- tions firmly in place, they recently held Christmas in the Park, with many of the seasonal residents decorating their campsites. At the pavilion, a silent auction featuring about 50 items, including some donated by residents as well as some gift cards donated by local businesses, plus activities for the kids, and even a visit from Santa Claus, kept the event lively.
Event spokesperson and organizer Colleen Flowers (nicknamed Mrs. Christmas by her volunteer ‘elves’) says the group had to modify its plans due to the virus, cancelling a big dinner that had been planned for that evening. She has been camping at the park for the past nine years and she recalls there have been camp-wide events there each year. “We try to do something every two weeks,” she said, adding a paint day will soon take place and a Halloween- themed event is planned for the end of August.
Long-time campers at the park include residents from Blenheim, Chatham, Windsor, Wallaceburg, Dutton, London, Dover Centre, Staples, Iona Station, and Shetland. Bonnie Stevenson photo
EarlyON Child and Family Centres
The Early ON Child and Family Centres Sarnia- Lambton is a free family drop-in program operated by Sombra Township Child Care Inc. for families with children ages 0 to 6.
Best Start Hub – Riverview Central School
3926 St. Clair Parkway, Port Lambton, 519-892-3151
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday, & Thursday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Best Start Hub – St. Joseph’s School, Corunna
535 Birchbank Drive, Corunna , 519-862-5071, ext. 224
Hours of Operation: Monday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
& 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Friday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Brigden United Church, 2420 Jane Street, Brigden 519-892-3151
Hours of Operation: Friday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For a complete listing of hours and parent/caregiver workshops, go online to: www.ontarioearlyyears.ca .
The following sessions are being offered at the Rapids Family Health Team clinic located in the Shell Health Centre, 233 Cameron Street, Corunna. There is no
charge for participation and all classes are open to the public – no physician referral required. You must regis- ter to participate. Please note space is limited.
For more information go to www.rapidsfhteam.ca or to register call 519-339-8949 and speak to reception.
Healthy Eating and YOU
A series of four sessions, each lasting two hours. The aim of the program is to help you make permanent life- style changes; this is not a “diet” program. You will set your own healthy eating and physical activity goals, and learn how to make plans for achieving them. Some top- ics that will be discussed include:
• Carbohydrates, protein and fats (the good and the bad)
• Physical activity: What types and amounts are ben- eficial
• Emotional eating strategies
• Sensible portions and portion control strategies
• Group discussions will help you learn from others experiences.
This four-week series is planned for Wednesdays, Sept. 16, 23, 30 & Oct. 7 from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
FREE Cooking Classes: Love Your Heart – Eat Smart!
These classes focus on nutrition advice to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
This three-week series will be held held on Thursdays, Sept. 17, 24 & Oct. 1 from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
FREE Cooking Classes: Dining with Diabetes
These classes are geared for anyone looking to pre- vent or manage their diabetes or support a loved one diagnosed with diabetes. We’ll explore some delicious recipes to help manage your blood sugar.
This four-week series will be repeated twice through the year.
The next series is slated for Wednesdays Nov. 18, 25, Dec 2 & 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.
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Just a reminder that our lab is open weekdays
for all residents Monday to Friday – 7:30a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
A not quite “normal”, but encouraging summer sight
Corunna Athletic Park looked
Bonnie Stevenson photo
most normal on July 25, the day after Lambton County was approved to proceed to Stage 3 reopening protocols. After months of a deserted landscape, the park was once more alive with activity.
It’s a wonderful start, but we all have to do our part to ensure the reopening doesn’t lead to a resurgence of the coronavirus. Continue to distance, keep hands sanitized, and consider wearing a mask in situations that bring you into close contact with others.
Note: These events, services, and activities will be dependent on the COVID-19 restrictions.
The need is especially great during the current coronavirus emergency, so please support your local food bank whenever you can.
St. Andrew’s foodbank remains open
Although St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is closed for worship services due to the COVID-19 emergency closure, the food bank at St. Andrew’s Church on Col- borne Street in Corunna is still in operation every Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and every Thursday morning from 9 a.m. to noon. It operates in association with the Inn of the Good Shepherd in Sarnia.
The food bank offers a variety of food products to help people eat healthily, including milk, eggs, bread, and meat. The fresh food supplied at the food bank costs ap- proximately $75 per week to purchase. Anyone wishing to make a financial donation to the food bank can do so through Food Bank, C/O St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 437 Colborne Drive, Corunna, Ontario, N0N 1G0.
Donations of non-perishable items are always wel- come. These include not only food, but household sup- plies like laundry soap, household cleaners, and toilet tissue, and personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, soap and shampoo, deodorant, and shaving items.
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Well water safety still a concern
Lambton Public Health (LPH) is encouraging residents with private water wells to test their water supply about three to four times per year, and also in the event of the well being flooded by excessive rainfall or high water lev- els. Harmful bacteria may enter the drinking water supply making it unsafe for consumption.
LPH Public Health Inspector Vicky MacTavish cautions, “Until you can test your well water (after flooding), use bottled water for daily use including drinking, making infant formula or juices, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, and brushing teeth.”
If your well is flooded, it should be disinfected and tested as soon as the water recedes and at one-week in- tervals for three weeks afterwards to ensure the water is safe for drinking. The test for bacteria (total coliform and
E. coli) and water sample kits are free. Water samples must be dropped off within 24 hours of being taken. Lo- cal drop-off centres are at Lambton Public Health, 160 Exmouth Street, Point Edward, and at Bluewater Health
CEE lab, 450 Blanche Street in Petrolia. (Please note there may have been changes to the way samples are received. For a full schedule of access times for these locations, as well as resources on how to take a water sample, visit LambtonPublicHealth.ca
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access restrictions are in place. Please call before visiting the office. Learn more about testing options at Lambtonpubli-
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Volunteers needed for telephone support
Now more than ever, volunteers are being sought to provide check-in calls to seniors through the Tel-Check program. Volunteers are also needed to staff the Distress Line to ensure that when people reach out to this tele- phone help line, their call will be answered. For more information or to volunteer, call Donna at the Family Counselling Centre, 519-336-0120. This service is funded by the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton.
St. Joseph-St. Charles Catholic Church Community to participate in food program The St. Joseph-St. Charles’ Catholic Community in Co-
runna, along with the Catholic churches in Petrolia, For- est, and Watford, has worked collaboratively with the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton to extend Project Backpack, a food assistance program, into Lambton Coun- ty. The program provides a bag of nutritious food that can be easily assembled to people ages 14-24 who are in need of a healthy meal. Each bag also contains hygiene items and helpful information from community partners. People who qualify for this program can find these bags at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish office at 346 Beresford Street in Corunna during regular office hours (Monday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Tuesday-Thursday from 9
a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Program organizers say the program will continue into the fall and they hope to continue it as long as there is a need for it.
New members welcome –
Lambton County Junior Optimist Club
The Lambton County Junior Optimist Club is always on the lookout for youth who want to make a difference in their community. Club members ages 10 through 18 vol- unteer in the community and fundraise to put on their own programs and to donate to other youth programs. Hours spent volunteering with the club can be used to- ward members’ volunteer hours at school. The club meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Courtright Community Centre. For more information, call Mary Lou at 519-862-3950.
Down River Junior Optimist Club new members ages 10-18
New members are being sought for the Down River Jr. Optimist Club. Youth between the ages of 10 and 18 are invited to get involved with the community and make a difference for kids. The club meets at the Port Lambton Community Hall on the third Monday of each month. High school students can acquire volunteers hours needed for
See More Community Contact, page 20
From page 19
graduation. For more information, call Carla at 226-402- 3870.
Good listeners wanted –
Family Counselling Centre
Good listeners are needed by the Family Counselling Centre to staff the Distress Line, speaking with individuals who need support and need to feel connected. Volunteers are also needed to staff the Tel-Check program line, plac- ing daily calls to seniors and persons with disabilities who live alone and are feeling isolated. To register or to find out more about this effort, call Donna at the Family Counselling Centre, 519-336-0120, ext. 251.
Local TOPS weight control group meetings
TOPS weight loss groups help members sensibly take off and keep off pounds. Three TOPS groups hold meet- ings in the St. Clair Township area and everyone (all ag- es) is welcome to attend. Brigden TOPS hold meetings every Tuesday night at the Brigden Optimist Hall. Weigh
-ins are from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Meetings are from 6:45 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call 519-864-1865. TOPS Corunna meets every Tuesday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 437 Colborne Street in Corunna. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m. with a meeting at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Wendy at 519- 381-5584.
MAS event to be rescheduled as restrictions ease
As coronavirus mitigation measures continue to reduce the viral threat to Lambton County and Sarnia residents, we are witnessing the cautious science-based reopening of our community. The recent move to Stage 3 has raised hopes that some popular community events and activities may soon be able to restart.
The Moore Agricultural Society’s popular beef dinner, which was cancelled in March, is one of the events that may be rescheduled to later this year if the appropriate “gathering restrictions” are approved. Everyone who purchased tickets for the March beef dinner is asked to hold their tickets for a future date, even if it is in 2021. When the date is set, MAS is looking at refunding the ticket price for those who cannot attend.
For more information as the situation changes, watch the Brigden Fair website at:
www.brigdenfair.ca or the Brigden Fair Facebook page.
The Beacon is now online only until the COVID-19 emergency ends, but our read- ers are important to us.
We want to hear from you.
While the emergency continues,
The Beacon will be bringing you news and information from your community as well as stories and community contributions
in the new Good Neighbour feature,
See page 13 for information on how you can express yourself in the pages of
The St. Clair Township Beacon.
Please observe COVID-19 ?
safety this summer so
we all can enjoy a ?
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submissions i s the third Monday of each month by noon .
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following i ssue d ue to lack of space. 2020 Masters curling event postponed
Attention curling fans. The 2020 Masters curling event slated for the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club on Oct. 20-25 of this year has been postponed until Oct. 19-24, 2021. Ticket refunds and roll-over information is availa- ble online at: ticketscene ; Grand Slam of Curling web-
site ; or Sarnia Golf and Curling Club.
Beach quality monitoring
St. Clair River beaches excluded
Lambton Public Health reports all beaches are open but water quality reports will indicate if the water is safe to enter.
Note: No sampling will be done along the St. Clair River. A caution sign advising of high bacteria levels fol- lowing heavy rainfall are permanently placed at:
• Branton-Cundick Park
• Brander Park
• Seager Park
Beaches to be monitored daily include:
• Grand Bend – north beach and south beach
• Ipperwash main beach
• Bright’s Grove – including Mike Weir Park
• Canatara Park
Beaches monitored weekly include:
• Pinery Provincial Park
• C.J. McEwen Beach
Lambton’s beach water quality monitoring program can be found online at:
St. Clair Parkway Golf
Planning & Zoning
St. Clair Community Services
Preauthorized Utility Billing Form
Preauthorized Tax Change Form
Preauthorized Tax Form
Dog Tag Form
St. Clair River Trail
Heritage St. Clair
Open Burn Permit
Development Charges By-Law
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