Phone: (519) 867-2021
Greenhill Gardens near Wilkesport is one of the most beautiful places in St. Clair Township throughout the summer season. Although its magnificent lotus pond is now choked with stalks of flower pods, some of the huge flowers are still in bloom. Above: A couple enjoys a late summer stroll through the garden. See more Gardens, page 14
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.
Those who wish to receive The Beacon as a free monthly subscription can email email@example.com and in the ‘Subject’ box, type the word “Subscription” to be put on the subscription list.
From page 2
Concerns were raised over the number of stores that might locate in the township if they are allowed to do so. Mayor Arnold said he would not support a motion to ap- prove the stores unless council was permitted to limit the number of such stores in the township. Staff was asked to find out if the number of shops could be limited.
In a recorded vote, council voted unanimously to not allow cannabis shops in the township, at least until staff reports its findings.
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Joint parking plan explored for Lyndoch Street development
The former Rose’s Variety property on Lyndoch Street is set to undergo changes that are expected to create park- ing problems in the parking lot it shares with the OPP and St. Clair Fire Department Emergency Services building to the south.
An online delegation representing the property owner addressed council via Zoom on Aug. 17 to offer solutions aimed at alleviating parking problems in the lot.
The proponent tendered engineering diagrams of the lot showing two parking options using diagonal parking and one way access to enter and exit the lot. A 45-stall lot de- sign used 10-foot wide parking stalls to accommodate the large vehicles and trucks used by the emergency services personnel. A prior proposed lot design had 55 parking spac- es that were insufficient to the requirements of the large vehicles.
Both parking plans were deemed inadequate to accom- modate the maximum occupancy of both buildings.
The project proposed for the Rose’s Variety property includes a real estate office and a law office in the existing building, with a new small detached building behind it.
Council has asked the property owner to work with mu- nicipal planners to develop a plan that would offer ade- quate parking for both buildings. The matter has been ta- bled until further options and information are presented.
cil from the summer residents of Cathcart Park asked that the logo be used on t-shirts and hats they wanted to have made to show the pride they feel for their park. They asked permission to alter the logo to read “Cathcart Park” instead of “St.Clair Township”.
Although the basic idea to create souvenir items was well-received by council, it was made clear that the logo was not to be modified in any way.
With this restriction, council approved the use of the logo with the “Cathcart Park” notation printed underneath. Mayor Arnold commented that the logo is a source of pride for the township and uses such as the one requested by the Cathcart Park summer residents are a good way to promote the township. Anyone who wishes to use the logo
should receive the approval of council before proceeding.
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Openings delayed for museums and community halls
The opening of the Moore Museum, Sombra Museum, and all St. Clair Township community halls has been delayed in the interest of safety until council meets again on Sept. 8. At that time, the COVID-19 situation will be reviewed and reopening will be reconsidered.
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Moore Sports Complex
“Return to Play Plan” approved
The gradual reopening of the Moore Sports Complex as outlined in an extensive report to council by Kendall Lind- say, Director of Community Services, was approved by council at the Aug. 17 meeting.
The opening is to be carried out in accordance with guidelines from the province, with COVID-19 safety proto- cols to be observed in every part of the complex.
Examples of the measures being taken to ensure the safety of MSC staff and the public include: masks of cloth or surgical type will be mandatory for use while moving through the facility; floors and benches clearly marked to ensure one-way directional throughout most of the facility; social distancing and limited occupancy in rinks, public are-
as, change rooms, etc.; one person at a time in washrooms;
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Township logo cannot be modified for individual use
The St. Clair Township logo is the branding symbol that was developed at the turn of the millennium when Moore and Sombra Townships amalgamated, and it has since be- come synonymous with this community. A request to coun-
hockey/ice skating participants should arrive 15 minutes before scheduled ice time; pool capacity limited to 40 peo- ple maximum; social distancing to be maintained; rinks will have a maximum capacity of 30 people for hockey and 25 for rentals; no spectators will be allowed during initial phase of reopening; there are no immediate plans to reo- pen the Mooretown library branch.
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
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.
The Beacon of St. Clair Township September 2020 Page 6
County Emergency Control Group advises caution while community reopens
The Lambton County Emergency Control Group re- cently issued a statement regarding the recent local up- tick in positive COVID-19 cases. The increase, attributed to the increase in socialization allowed in the latest stage of the reopening process, indicates the public has been less careful about observing COVID-19 safety measures. Everyone is urged to remain cautious, using proper hand washing and sanitizing, observing social/ physical distancing, and wearing a mask when distancing is not possible or in areas where masks are required.
Those who feel ill in any way are asked to stay at home and isolate until the cause of the illness is known.
Symptoms that have been noted with the coronavirus include: fever; shortness of breath; cough; and loss of sense of smell and taste.
The Emergency Control Group also heard concerns about the state of mental health and wellbeing in the community, including the alarming rise in substance abuse. Those who require assistance with any of these issues can obtain information about local resources and supports they can access on line at the Lambton Public
Health website and the COVID-19 Supports and Resources
page of the Lambton County website.
Lambton Public Health releases COVID-19 impact survey results
A recent Lambton Public Health COVID-19 impact sur- vey of Lambton County residents yielded several signifi- cant findings about the emotional, social and financial impacts of the pandemic. Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade, says the telephone survey, car- ried out by the Ipsos market research company, provided greater insight into the key challenges being faced local- ly and revealed the strengths the community has demon- strated in response to the virus.
*Regarding overall community mental health, a prima- ry concern when the pandemic first presented itself, the survey revealed over one in four survey respondents said their mental health had become worse since COVID-19 arrived in Lambton County. *The survey showed that 90
per cent of respondents were observing COVID-19 safety measures, maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. *About a third of parents sought accom- modations for their children at work to allow for their care. *The majority of respondents felt they had ade- quate access to health care, although 40 per cent noted they had to cancel or postpone appointments because of the virus. *Several groups that were more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus included those who were unem- ployed, had a lower income, or had mental health issues.
To view the full Lambton Public Health COVID-19 Sur- vey, to online to:
Environmental assessment team sifting soil to reveal hidden clues
An environmental assessment team from Stantec Inc. use sifting screens to check soil samples at a site along Kimball Road near Wilkesport. Data acquired from this process will supply information about the environment in that area and also unearth any artifacts that might re- main from past habitation of the area. See inset show- ing the screening process. This screening process is also
used at archaeological dig sites and forensic investiga- tion sites to unearth artifacts or gather information.
The study is being done in advance of an Enbridge Pipelines project that will require the temporary place- ment of a modular building and two temporary modular storage units.
Bonnie Stevenson photos
Artifact displays for 2020 bring back simpler times – Moore Museum
Curator Laurie Mason
While we cannot welcome you to the Moore Museum in person until we re-open, we wanted to highlight some interesting artifacts from the museum’s collection. Summer students Cassidy Jaques and Gabriella McGregor have selected a few noteworthy items to feature in this column.
The earliest type of firefighting equipment in Moore Museum’s fire hall is the rounded- bottom fire bucket. This rounded bottom was important for many reasons. In having no flat bottom, the bucket was not able to be set on the ground, but had to be hung, allowing the user to keep easy track of the bucket’s location when needed.
The lack of flat bottom also meant that the bucket was unsuited for other tasks so thus was guaranteed to not be in use when needed for a fire. The rounded bottom (see inset right) also allowed for a straighter stream of water to be thrown at the fire because of the angle of the curve. These buckets date back to the days of the bucket brigade, which in- volved a line of people passing buckets forward in the line and the last man in line throw- ing the water from the bucket onto the fire.
People generally wrote their family name on the bucket to ensure that it was returned to them after being used by the fire brigade.
Before the steam iron was invented, the laundry sprinkler was a necessary tool. By sprinkling water onto the fabric, the heat of the iron created steam to smooth the fabric.
Frequently, these were made using a small metal or plastic piece stuck into an old soft drink or ketchup bottle filled with water. Other laundry sprinklers were made for that purpose and were more decorative.
The two sprinklers pictured here are on display in the laundry exhibit at Moore Museum.
A sprinkler was the best way to lightly spread water on the fabric so the heat of the iron could then steam the clothes and achieve a smoother look. These sprinklers were also handy for watering seedlings or other plants that needed a light drizzle.
‘blue lady’ sprinkler
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DID YOU ATTEND SCHOOL
IN THE FORMER MOORE TOWNSHIP PRIOR TO 1963?
‘soda bottle’ sprinkler
Moore Museum is developing another virtual exhibit for our website, this one featuring brief histories and photos of the schools in the former Moore Township prior to centralization in 1963. There were 19 school sections in Moore, four of which were union schools – two shared with Sombra Township and two with Sarnia Township. The accompanying map shows the location of the schools.
If you have information on the history of any of these schools, or photos (or scans of photos) that you would be willing to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. We would appreciate details about any school in the township, but especially School Sections #6, #13 and #19 Moore as our research files contain some information for most of the school sections in the township, but we have no information at all for those three. Information can be sent to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
CONNECT WITH MOORE MUSEUM
We invite you to follow the link on the home page of www.mooremuseum.ca to our online survey. We very much appreciate input from our community and, as a thanks for your assistance, survey respondents will be entered in a draw (to be held on November 13, 2020) to win a 2021 family membership and $25 gift shop gift certificate. In addition to our website and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/
mooremuseum, we are now also on Instagram @mooremuseum so you can watch for news from Moore Mu- seum.
The Beacon of St. Clair Township September 2020 Page 9
Moore Museum Curator Laurie Mason takes us back to the days before modern agricultural machines, when farming required elbow-grease and sweat powered by a plentiful supply of good country cooking.
“Driving through the country and seeing the golden wheat ready for harvest brings to mind the threshing bees of an earli- er time. My mother’s family farmed at Waubuno, and my mother (Helen Burr Fournie) and her sisters (Allena and Kathleen Burr) recalled that the threshing gang would travel from farm to farm throughout the district pulling the huge threshing ma- chine with them. The photo above, from Moore Museum’s collection, shows the type of machinery and crews involved in the process of threshing grain.
What is not shown in the photo, however, is the basis on which each farm got its turn to have its harvest threshed; it’s the quality and quantity of the meals provided by the women on that farm! A wonderful noontime dinner ,and supper later in the day, would move that farm up the threshing list. While there is no doubt that threshing was hot, hard work, so too was the making of a huge meal on hot summer days with a wood-burning cookstove. My aunt Allena recalled that, even as a child, she was appalled that the men would have a contest of who could eat the most pie, shoveling in a half or even a whole pie, made through someone’s hard work and baking skills, in a single sitting. My husband recalls that his maternal grandmother (Evelyn Waghorne) was helping prepare for a threshing bee at a farm at Invercairn in Plympton Township. She told the woman hosting the meal that they were ready, as they had a pie per man. The hostess replied that they would need double that – two pies per worker for a single day, as well as gargantuan servings of meat, potatoes and vegetables!”
The Port Lambton 200th Committee is seeking photographs and information that will help illu- minate the area’s heritage. To donate, please email the Port Lambton 200th Anniversary Histori- cal Committee at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Kailyn at the Sombra Museum,
Moore Museum seeks information about history of former Moore Twp. schools
Did you attend a school in the former Moore Township prior to 1963?
Moore Museum is developing another virtual exhibit for our website, this one featuring brief histories and photos of the schools in the former Moore Township prior to centralization in 1963. There were 19 school sections in Moore, four of which were union schools – two shared with Sombra Township and two with Sarnia Township. The map, shown above, indicates the location of these schools.
If you have information on the history of any of these schools, or photos (or scans of photos) that you would be willing to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. We would appreciate details about any school in the township, but especially School Sections #6, #13 and #19 Moore, as our research files contain some information for most of the school sections in the township, but we have no information at all for those three. Information can be sent to
email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Connect with Moore Museum
We want to hear from you. Please follow the link on the home page of www.mooremuseum.ca to our online sur- vey. We very much appreciate input from our community and, as a thanks for your assistance, survey respondents will be entered in a draw (to be held on November 13, 2020) to win a 2021 family membership and $25 gift shop gift certificate. In addition to our website and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mooremuseum, we are now also on Instagram @mooremuseum so you can watch for news from Moore Museum.
~Laurie Mason, curator, Moore Museum
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-
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
St. Clair River watercraft – from t he sublime t o t he r idiculous
Summer tends to bring out the whimsy in some people, while others yearn for more serious fun on the water. No matter what kind of floating you choose to do, there’s a watercraft for that. This wild mixture of fun floats, personal water craft and a 740-foot freighter was seen south of Port Lambton near Brander Park. Stevenson photo
Summer scenes in Brander Park
The parks are open and Brander Park has been a busy place with people making up for lost time in the outdoors.
Top right: *A shady tree and a warm river breeze provide the perfect place to picnic. Middle right: * Erin Hill of Wallaceburg is hap- py to enjoy the shade with her sleepy four month-old daughter, Addison, while keeping a careful eye on her other children while they splash and squeal with excitement at the splash pad, below left. Below: *Families en- joy the sunshine and the occasional sight of a freighter like the Algoma Mariner passing by.
Express Yourself here
While the coronavirus is still circulating 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, send a copy of your short story, poem, or happiest memory, talk about your recent achievement or tell the community about someone you know who has done something positive in the last few months, or whatever family-friendly subject is on your
mind. Send submissions to: email@example.com
Special early food bank collection in Ward 2
Late summer at Greenhill Gardens offers food for the soul
Greenhill Gardens west of Wilkesport is a natural treasure where there is food for the soul just waiting to be dis- covered. The brainchild of Joy and Bill Robson of Sombra, the garden began modestly in 2008, when the couple de- cided to convert a six-acre piece of swampy agricultural land at the corner of Wilkesport Line and Indian Creek Road. Over a period of years, the garden was expanded to include water features, bridges, cabins, benches, mag- nificent plantings, and places to pause and take in the scenery. It was Joy Robson’s idea to create the garden as a way of giving back to the community.
One of the stunning examples of Greenhill Gardens’ varied and unique selection of flowers, shrubs and water features is the lotus pond. A pond full of these exquisite gi- ant water lilies blooms each summer and, as the season winds down, the plants drop thousands of seeds to the bottom of the pond to germinate the following year. Some of
the late-blooming lotus flowers, as well as hundreds of seed pods, are currently on display at the garden.
The lotus flower is not only a beautiful thing to see, it has a history that extends back over 1,300 years. It is revered in many countries, including India and China.
Right: Lotus in full bloom. Above: Lotus flower blooming, with seed pods, lower right.
Greenhill Gardens boasts a number of breathtaking vistas that can be enjoyed all summer long.
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 Cen- tre, 233 Cameron Street, Corunna. There is no charge for participation and all classes are open to the public – no phy-
sician referral required. You must register 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 lifestyle 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 topics that will be discussed include:
• Carbohydrates, protein and fats (the good and the bad)
• Physical activity: What types and amounts are benefi- cial
• Emotional eating strategies
• Sensible portions and portion control strategies
• Group discussions will help you learn from others ex- periences.
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 prevent 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.
Provincial Smoke-Free Ontario Act Amendment to protect youth from vaping
The provincial Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) has been strengthened to include new restrictions on vaping, with the goal of reducing the appeal and access to these products by under-age youth.
The new restrictions include: restricting the sale of flavoured vaping products to specialty stores (SVS) and licensed cannabis retail stores. Other retail stores will only be allowed to sell mint and menthol flavoured vapour products, along with the conventional tobacco products; re- stricting the sale of vapour products with high nicotine concentrations (greater than 20 mg/ml) to SVS; SVS will not be permitted to have indoor displays and promotions that are visible from out- side the stores.
Vaping is not a ‘safe’ substitute for cigarettes. Research has shown that youth are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine, which causes nicotine dependence and alters brain develop- ment. High nicotine concentration products have doses of this component similar to cigarettes. Youth who use vaping products are more likely to advance to using tobacco later on.
The SFOA, 2017 is enforced by Lambton Public Health enforcement officers who conduct inspec- tions and provide education to ensure that retailers comply with the law. For more information or to report concerns, contact 519-383-3810 or go online to the website at: tobaccofree@county-
lambton.on.ca and for more about smoking and vaping laws, visit LambtonPublicHealth.ca
The Beacon of St. Clair Township September 2020 Page 16
This is a common sight along most of the rural roads in Ontario these days. In St. Clair Township, the heavy ma- chinery is out in full force as harvesting and land preparation for future crops keeps local farmers occupied. This cultivator was spotted while on a drive down Kimball Road.
Brigden Fair / Moore Agricultural Society fundraiser supports fair and offers jackpot
The gloomy prospect of having no communi- ty fall fairs this year has prompted the Cana- dian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions to launch an online 50/50 draw to raise funds that will benefit the organizations that oper- ate these events. The Moore Agricultural Soci- ety (Brigden Fair) is one of the organizations participating in the CAFÉ Online 50/50 draw.
Those wishing to support the fair can simp- ly 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 want to
play your number on any given week and your number is drawn, the money from that draw 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 an- nounce these plans,” she said.
For more information or to get tick- ets, go online to:
Friends of the St. Clair photo contest “Celebrating the St. Clair” underway
The Friends of the St. Clair (FOSCR) and the St.Clair River Binational Public Advisory Council (BPAC) are invit- ing all amateur digital photographers in Canada and the United States to focus on the majestic St. Clair River this summer. The goal is to capture images of how an appreci- ation of nature has provided some relief from the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrating the St. Clair During Stressful Times is the theme of this third digital photography contest organized by FOSCR since 2006. Organizers hope the contest will raise awareness and appreciation for this beautiful body of water just steps from our door. It can also provide some fun and motivation that will help cope with this stressful time in our community.
Contestants may submit a maximum of three photo- graphs in three categories:
• Our Wonderful Waterway: a focus on the St. Clair River’s natural features including: water, flora, fish, and wildlife.
• Floating Away: a tribute to the St. Clair River’s benefits to residents and tourists for recreation, transportation, and commerce.
• Digital Perspectives: an opportunity for digital edi- tors to add an artistic touch and present a new per- spective of the St. Clair River during the current
The contest will continue until September 26, 2020, when a panel of judges will select the winning photos. Cash prizes totalling $3,000 will be awarded.
For complete contest rules and details, please visit the FOSCR website at: www.friendsofstclair.ca .
Photos can be submitted to this website as well.
All entries must include the photographer’s name, ad- dress, and phone number.
File size cannot exceed five megabytes. Photographers will receive credit for photos used in FOSCR and BPAC materials to promote greater public awareness of environ- mental conditions on the St. Clair River.
Submitted pho- tos will be posted in a special “Celebrating the St. Clair” photo gallery on the FOSCR website shortly after they are received and for the duration of the contest.
Friends of the St. Clair
The Friends of the St. Clair is an all-volunteer Canadian charitable organization that assists the St. Clair River Binational Public Ad- visory (BCAP) in the development and implementation of the St. Clair River Remedial Action Plan by promoting conservation, beautification, and environmental activities associated with the St. Clair River.
Binational Public Advisory Council
The Binational Public Advisory Committee consists of citizens living in the U.S. and Canada who are concerned about the health of the St. Clair River. Collectively, BPAC members represent all society sectors. BPAC formed in 1988 after environmental degrada- tion caused the International Joint Commission, a binational Great Lakes advisory agency, to “list” the St. Clair River as an Area of Concern (AOC). BPAC’s role is to help implement a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) that is doing much to improve the quality of the St. Clair River. BPAC also elicits citizen involvement and advises governments about environmental issues within the St. Clair River watershed.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, first signed by Canada and the United States in 1972 and updated in 1978, 1987, and 2012, commits both countries to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes. The agreement set out 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) to assess the statis of the OACs. BUIs are common uses or features of the river that were significantly impacted by pollution or that degraded environmental quality. They included several items that adversely impact fish and wildlife populations; address undesirable algae growth; adversely affect drinking water, agri- culture, or industry; and degrade desirable flora and fauna and their habitats.
“Industries, all levels of government, First Nations, and local landowners must be commended for their efforts to improve the overall quality of the St. Clair River,” said FOSCR President Craig Griffiths, who added the efforts of these groups, plus organiza- tions like the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, FOSCR, and BPAC will soon allow the river to be reclassified as an Area in Recovery.
Note: These events, services, and activities will be dependent on the COVID-19 restrictions.
Sacred Heart food bank –
Autumn food drive planned
The community side effects of the coronavirus have resulted in constant need for supplies at our community food banks. In an effort to keep the shelves adequately stocked in the challenging autumn season, the Sacred Heart food bank will hold an bi-weekly food drive begin- ning in September and running through November.
The collection area will be divided into six zones, with collection starting on Sept. 17 and continuing every two weeks through the fall. All volunteers will be observ- ing the required precautions to keep them and our do- nors safe. See page 13 for further details.
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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.
The need for food and personal hygiene items continues for many St. Clair Township families throughout the year.
Please donate whenever you can.
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Well water safety remains a concern during high water levels
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 graduation. For more information, call Carla at 226-402-
See More Community Contact, page 19
From page 18
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.
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
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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 contribu- tions
in the new Good Neighbour feature,
See page 12 for information on how you can express yourself in the pages of The St. Clair Township Beacon.
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In spite of virus, life goes on
Momma robin’s hungry offspring left her no time to worry about the coronavirus; she and her mate worked non-stop to meet the demands of their twin hatchlings.
Bonnie Stevenson photo
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