St. Clair Township Crest
1155 Emily Street
Mooretown ON
N0N 1M0

Phone: (519) 867-2021

Office Hours
Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

May, 2021

May, 2021

Issue 5

Volume 14

May 2021

T H E T O W N S H I P O F S T . C L A I R

Squeals of laughter filled the air at the Wilkesport Community Centre playground on April 13 as several local moms took ad- vantage of the good weather to give their young children a chance to expend some pent-up energy. The change of scenery obvi- ously agreed with everyone.
In the background, several large cable spools can be seen in the community centre parking lot. They supply cable for the SWIFT fibre upgrade, which will bring high speed Internet to the village. Mayor Steve Arnold says the project is due to be com- pleted by late December of this year. Bonnie Stevenson photo

Rail spur activated to remove Lambton G.S. scrap metal
Demolition efforts at the former Lambton Gener- ating Station site south of Courtright have been slow and the site is currently filled with piles of scrap metal. The site should soon show some improvement as demolition contractor Delsan-AIM Environmental uses the old CSX railway spur to transport the piles away from the site.
A letter from Ontario Power Generation to council explained the spur will remain in service from April, 2021 to Dec. 2022 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5
p.m. It is estimated that about six rail cars filled with scrap metal will be removed two to three times each week from Monday to Friday. It will proceed through northern rural towns of St. Clair Township, with weekend activity “unlikely”.
Mayor Arnold noted residents near the site and the tracks will be notified that the track will be used temporarily. It was not established whether there would be additional motorist warning signage put up at road crossings, but council was reminded that the line’s level road crossings have never been officially closed.
NOVA’s Rokeby project reaches 65% completion
The second Advanced SCLAIRTECH™(AST) technol- ogy unit and the third phase of the Corunna Cracker Expansion project at the NOVA Chemicals Corunna site is now over 65 per cent complete. Both projects are expected to begin full start-up in late 2022 after the Corunna site turnaround that is slated for spring 2022. While construction is underway, about 1,800 workers from across Canada are employed.
The combined projects, estimated to cost about
$2.5 billion (CAD), is expected to bring cutting edge technology, high-paying jobs, and long-term viability to the region. It will require the addition of about 150 full-time workers (about half already hired) and will cre- ate an estimated 750 spinoff jobs.
Mayor Steve Arnold says township council and staff have worked hard to attract and accommodate the pro- ject requirements. “We’ve worked hard in St. Clair Township to ensure the fast-tracking of many projects, including this latest one of NOVA’s, by clearing the red tape to allow our entire community to maintain a long term, sustainable place to live, grow and prosper,” he said.
Township receives additional gas tax from
federal government
The Federal government has doubled 2021 Gas Tax allocations to counties. St. Clair Township Treasurer Charles Quenneville informed council that, in addition to the $446,740 it received earlier this year, another $429,464 was also going to be re- ceived. Council will be considering pending projects for which the funding might be used.
Park repairs scheduled
Wind and high water ravaged township parks along the river are slated for repair, but the repairs

Moore Community & Recreation Foundation deadline approaching
The application deadline for Moore Community & Rec- reation Foundation financial assistance will be May 31. Anyone requiring further information should contact Charles Quenneville, Treasurer. Details about the grant program can be found on the St. Clair Township website.

The St. Clair Township website currently has student summer jobs listed on the Township website. Applicant qualifications include: Canadian citizenship or permanent residency; must be between the ages of 15-30 (at start of employment period); and able to provide a valid social insurance number.
For more information on how to apply, go online to: , and look for the top right
coloured information bar, a red bar labelled

From page 2

May 2021 Page 3

facilities provide exercise and promote improved mental health for those adversely affected by the confinement of COVID-19 restrictions. He also point-

won’t be cheap. Cement pads for the Branton- Cundick and Willows Park boat launches will be re- paired for $39,000; the Willows Park dock will be re- surfaced and repaired with the installation of a Thru flow system for $24,886.95; at Cathcart Park, 330 feet of break wall will be repaired and 85 feet of seawall will be replaced for $85,000. Boat launches at Branton-Cundick and Willows Park will be fixed for
$90,000; the Parkway board walk/dock repairs will cost $50,000; and the Cathcart sea wall repair will cost $46,000.
Township receives provincial fire services funding
St. Clair Township has received $8,000 from the province to help the fire department respond to the local impacts of COVID-19. The funding will help en- hance virtual training and enable remote options to support fire safety and virtual training through the use of high-speed internet .
Moore Ag. Society receives grant
The Moore Agricultural Society (MAS) recently re- ceived a Trillium Grant that will fund the set up of free wi-fi on the fairgrounds, as well as an electronic message board. Councillor Bill Myers, a long-time member of MAS, said the new system will be a great asset, explaining “The new digital sign will help get out information about happenings at the fairgrounds as well as other community-minded information such as we have seen with the signs at the local fire halls.” He added the office will be able to use the wi
-fi network to update the sign in real time.
Mayor contacts MPP re:
golf course closure
Township Mayor Steve Arnold recently contacted Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey to encourage the reo- pening of golf courses, arguing that these outdoor

ed out most of the golfers involved are eligible for vaccination and are less likely to contract the virus if COVID safety protocols are observed.
New transmission line planned
The IESO (Independent Electricity System Opera- tor) and Hydro One have announced the develop- ment of a new transmission line to be built between the former Lambton Generating Station transformer station and the Chatham switching station. The pur- pose of the line is to “ensure power is available now and in the future in Ontario’s fastest growing region in terms of electricity demand.” The line is intend- ed to support rapid agricultural growth in the Chat- ham and Windsor-Essex areas.

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Summer Student Employment Opportunities Available
Department of Community Services – Moore Museum

at a rate of $14.75 per hour

The position will involve:
• working as part of a team to plan, create and install exhibits of local history
• assisting in cataloguing donated artifacts

This position is anticipated through funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program therefore all candidates must youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years.

at a rate of $14.75 per hour

The position will involve:
• working as part of a team to create digital content such as virtual tours and field trips
• developing and posting social media content

This position is anticipated through funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage in support of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, through the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations Program, therefore, all applicants must be full­ time students who are 16 to 30 years of age.

Ideal candidates will be post-secondary students in museum studies, history, art, education or a related field. Required skills include demonstrated research skills, creativity, organizational skills and excellent written English. Experience in a museum setting would be a valuable asset.

Start dates vary so applications should be directed as soon as possible to:
Laurie Mason – Moore Museum 519-867-2020

Personal information submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this competition. It is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act and will be used in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for employment purposes.
Please note this document is available in alternative formats upon request, to accommodate individuals with a disability beginning with the recruitment process. The Township of St. Clair is committed to providing accommodations for people with disabilities. If you require an accommodation, please contact the Museum and we will make all necessary arrangements to meet your needs.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be acknowledged. We thank all candidates for their interest.

Some St. Clair Township Services suspended
St. Clair Township complies with provincially-enacted COVID-19 protocols
Some of the Township of St. Clair’s services may be suspended.
Those services still being offered can be expected to have a delay.
Several employees are working from home but will have access to their email.
Please email or leave a voicemail and the employee will get back to you as promptly as possible.
The following services have resumed but significant delays can be expected:
a) Issuance of Marriage Licenses
b) Issuance of Lottery Licenses
c) Processing of all Planning Act Applications¹
The following Township buildings are closed until further notice:
a) Moore and Sombra Museums
b) St. Clair Township Civic Centre²
c) Emergency Services Building (Fire Department) ²
The Township thanks you for your continued patience throughout these
difficult times and it remains our priority to offer professional and courteous service when we’re able.
¹ All Planning Applications can be accepted at the Civic Centre by appointment.
² Employees will continue to occupy these buildings and can be reached their email or by phone at:
a) Moore Sports Complex 519-867-2651
b) Public Works 519-867-2993
c) Finance/Drains/Clerks/Building/Planning 519-867-2021
d) Fire Department 519-481-0111

Outdoor activities with or without social circle: walking in uncrowded areas, distanced sports activities, camping; grocery/retail shopping where distancing can be observed.
MEDIUM RISK with mask:
Hair salon/barbershop; outdoor restaurants/patios, hotels/b&bs, medical/dental appointments; taxis/ride shares; uncrowded malls/ museums/galleries; schools/camps/daycare; distanced weddings/funerals; movie theatres; working in office; children playing on play structures; visit- ing elderly or at-risk people.
HIGH RISK with mask:
Bars/night clubs; crowded restaurants/buffets; casinos; amusement parks; indoor parties; gyms/athletic clubs; cruise ships/resorts; hugging, kissing or shaking hands; sexual activity with
new people; large religious/cultural gatherings; sporting events in arenas and stadiums; crowded public transit; concerts/places where there is singing and shouting.
Until there is wide-spread vaccination in your community, please use common sense and mask-up when out in public, especially in places where social distancing is not possible.

A backwater valve, if properly installed and maintained, can prevent sewage from backing up into your home during a blockage or surcharge. The valve can prevent a situation that is both unpleasant and costly. For more information, contact a licensed plumber.

Spring yard waste collection began the week of April 19 and will continue until the week of June 24.

Monday (South Township)
• St. Clair Parkway (South of Emily St., Mooretown)
• Brigden, Courtright, Mooretown, Wilkesport
• Sombra, Port Lambton, Chenal Ecarte, Leeland Gardens
Thursday (North Township)
• St. Clair Parkway (North of Emily St., Mooretown)
• Corunna, Froomfield

Yard Waste includes the following: grass, leaves, garden plants, hay and straw (loose not baled). Sticks and Branches are not permitted in yard waste and could result in a rejected collection.
Yard waste must be placed in paper bags or open containers with handles clearly marked with an “X” on both sides (open container does not include recycling bins or cardboard boxes). Yard Waste placed in clear plastic bags will not be collected during yard waste collections dates.

Please refer to: the 2021 waste calendar (see April), St. Clair Township website, or Recycle Coach app for the full list of items not permitted, and for your area’s collection day and requirements.

Renovation and Home Ownership programs continue to accept applications
The County of Lambton continues to accept applications for the Lambton Renovates and Homeown-
ership Down-Payment Assistance programs. Lambton Renovates is a one-­time financial assistance program for home repairs, and the Homeownership Down-Payment program offers one-time financial assistance in
the form of a 20-year forgivable loan for a 10% down payment to be used towards the purchase of a new or resale home.
Applications can be downloaded at and
homeownership. Interested applicants can also call the Housing Services Department at 519 -344-2062 to request a paper application by mail.
The Lambton Renovates program offers financial assistance to eligible households in one of two
• One-time assistance in the form of a 10 -year forgivable loan, secured by registration on title, for home repairs to a maximum of $20,000 per household.
• One-time assistance in the form of a grant, which does not require repayment, for accessibility im- provements to a maximum of $5,000 per household.
Eligible repairs under the Lambton Renovates program may include major repairs and rehabilitation required to make your home safe while improving energy efficiency, or modifications to increase accessi- bility.
Applicants for these programs must meet a number of qualifications related to residency, income, asset level and home value, which can be found online at and lamb- Applicants are asked to review the Lambton Renovates Information Sheet and the Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Information Sheet prior to completing an application.

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 8

2021 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
The County of Lambton and its partner Clean Harbors Canada Inc. will be holding the next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program on Saturday, May 29. These popular events offer Lambton County residents an opportunity to dispose of household hazardous waste at no cost.
To provide additional opportunities for residents to safely dispose of their household hazardous waste, the County of Lambton and Clean Harbors Canada Inc. will also hold hazardous waste collection events on the following dates: ; Saturday, June 26; Saturday, September 25; and Saturday, October 30.
All events will be held at the Clean Harbors Lambton Facility (4090 Telfer Road, St. Clair Township) and will run from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Additionally, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, event attendees are asked to follow physical distancing and safety protocols, including the following:
> Package materials in disposable containers (i.e. cardboard boxes) as they will not be returned;
> Place materials in the trunk or back of their vehicle to maximize distancing for event staff when collecting items; and
> Remain in their vehicle at all times, as event staff will be removing materials from the vehicle.
“Corrosive, toxic, reactive and flammable materials will be collected at these events,” says Matt De- line, Public Works Manager, County of Lambton. “These items should never be placed in a regular land- fill because they have the potential to injure workers and damage the environment.”
Examples of these types of accepted materials include:

Items NOT accepted include: PCBs, commercial, industrial, radioactive wastes, electronics,
and explosives (flares and ammunition).
For more information visit the County of Lambton’s website at: or call 519-845-0801.

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 2-8: are you prepared?
Emergency Preparedness Week is May 2 – 8! Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. Severe weather, util- ity emergencies, and catastrophic events can strike any community. St. Clair Township is prepared to respond to an emergency but only you
can prepare yourself and your family.
St. Clair Township Fire Department encourages residents to be prepared for a minimum of 72 hours by creating a plan with your family, building a kit and staying in- formed.
For more
information visit
Make a plan, make a kit,
and be prepared!
-St. Clair Twp. F.D.

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 9

2021 Census is crucial to the services in your community:
Please complete and return your census form
The following information is taken from the Commu-

nity Supporter Toolkit recently issued to municipalities by Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada. These ex- cerpts are taken from this information guide, but com- plete information about the census is available online at
Why is the census important?
All 2021 Census information is vital for planning pro- grams and services at the national, provincial, territorial and local levels. Data are used by organizations, busi- nesses, municipalities, governments and Indigenous com- munities across Canada.
The census counts every person in Canada and collects basic information about age, sex at birth, gender, official languages and family relationships. The long-form ques- tionnaire gathers further details about income, educa- tion, religion, ethnic origins, Indigenous identity and lan- guages, and more. The census is one of the only national sources of data for people living in Indigenous communi- ties and provides key information about all Indigenous people living across Canada.
Census information helps community growth
Knowing how many people live in a geographic area and having basic information about them helps organiza- tions and communities plan, develop and expand pro- grams, services and infrastructure.
Census data helps determine if your community is: Growing: Plan new roads, transit, water infrastruc- ture and emergency services
Young: Predicts where new schools or daycare spaces are needed.
Aging: Estimates the need for health services and programs for seniors
Multicultural: Creates or expands language programs.
Census facts
As of 2016…
The Canadian population had grown by +5.0 per cent since 2011.
Toronto had the highest population among all Canadian cities.
The Indigenous population accounted for 4.9 per cent of Canada’s total population.
More than 70 Indigenous languages were reported in the census.
Canada was home to 5.7 million immigrants who had settled in Canada since 1980.
The top five countries of birth of immigrants admitted to Canada were: the Philippines, India, China, Iran and Pakistan.
Cantonese was the most reported immigrant language spoken at home in Vancouver and Toronto.
64.8 per cent of people aged 25 to 64 in Canada had a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree.
The share of seniors aged 65 and older was larger than the share of children younger than age 15.
In Canada, 74 per cent of commuters commuted by car.
Support the Census of Agriculture
The Census of Agriculture provides community-level data on a wide range of topics, such as land use, crops, livestock, agricultural labour, machinery and equipment, land management practices, and farm finances. It identi- fies trends and provides information on emerging issues, opportunities and challenges within the agricultural com- munity. This helps organizations develop policies, under- take communication, and outreach work, and conduct market research.

Be a

The quality of census data increases with every com- pleted questionnaire. Census data ensure that decision makers have the evidence they need to act in the inter- ests of farmers, farm communities and agricultural opera- tions.
How is confidentiality ensured when the census questionnaire is completed online?
Statistics Canada prints a secure access code (SAC) on letters and questionnaires that are mailed out to dwell- ings. Once respondents have obtained their SAC, they can use it to access the online questionnaire.
Statistics Canada takes the protection of confidential information provided online seriously. A secure login pro- cess and strong encryption are key elements in helping to prevent anyone from obtaining access to census infor- mation.
To protect the security of personal infor- mation on the Internet, Statistics Canada in- corporated the following safeguards:
Strong encryption technologies ensure security of data passing between respondents’ computers and the web servers. Transport Layer Security (also known as TLS) en- hances the privacy of the information passing between a respondent’s browser and Statistics Canada’s servers. This protocol provides a safe passage for transmitting and au- thenticating data by encrypting the information. Access to data cannot be compromised when TLS is in use.
Data submitted to the web servers are encrypted be- fore being stored and remain encrypted until they are transferred to the high security internal network.
Census data are processed and stored on a high- security internal network.
Powerful firewalls, intrusion detection and stringent access control procedures limit access to back-end sys- tems and databases. Census employees who have proper authorization and who have affirmed an oath of secrecy can access census data, but only from secure locations.
2. Does anyone see my information when my ques- tionnaire is being submitted?
No. Information is transmitted from your computer to Statistics Canada using a secure encryption protocol.
How does Statistics Canada stop hackers or other unauthorized people from accessing census infor- mation?
Statistics Canada takes every precaution to protect your information. Transport Layer Security (also known as TLS) enhances the privacy of the information passing be- tween your browser and our servers. By encrypting the information, this protocol provides a safe passage for da- ta transmission and authentication.
Sophisticated security techniques, software, hardware and procedures are used to protect your information. Census data are processed and stored on a highly restrict- ed internal network and cannot be accessed by anyone
See Census information, page 11

Census information required to adequately serve your community
safeguards are in place to ensure that there is no unau- thorized access to data.

who has not taken the oath of secrecy. Data submitted to our web servers are encrypted before being stored, and they remain encrypted until they are transferred to the high-security internal network.
Canada is bound by law to protect the identity of indi- viduals in all published data. The Statistics Act prohibits the use of census data for non-statistical purposes.
Statistics Canada is bound by law to protect the identi- ty of individuals in any data it publishes.
In the event of a system failure, respondents’ data are not accessible to outside people or systems. Internally,

A legitimate Government of Canada website can be identified in several ways. Look for these features:
The site URL in the browser address bar should end with “”. This suffix is a privately held second-level domain in the “.ca” top-level domain. It is used by the Government of Canada and operated by Government Tel- ecommunications and Informatics Services.
The security certificate is provided by Entrust and clearly identifies Statistics Canada as the owner of the site.

Lambton County Library lends passes for Ontario parks

After a winter that was especially confining due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the call of the great outdoors will be especially strong this year.
To help you answer that siren call, the Lambton Coun- ty Library is offering to loan seasonal day-use permits for provincial parks, including the Pinery Provincial Park. All the borrower needs is a valid library card. The permit will allow unlimited daily entry for one vehicle plus all of its passengers. The permit will come with a $5 day-use coupon for future regular day-use, as well as a park guide.
The permits will be valid until Dec. 31, 2021 and may be borrowed for a period of seven days. The vehicle permit must be returned after the lending period but the borrower may keep the coupon and parks guide.
To prepare for your park encounter, the Lambton County Library offers a variety of materials to enhance your visit, including: a collection of wildlife books, trail guides, and children’s nature books. The library collec- tions also include snowshoes, pedometers, and GPS units

tion during hours of operation.
The Lambton County Library re- ceived the passes from Ontario Parks as a part of its li- brary day-use vehi- cle lending pro- gram. The program encourages Ontario residents to enjoy the outdoors and to reap the mental and physical health benefits offered by outdoor activities.
If you haven’t got a library card, call 519-845-3324,

Above: The Ontario Parks pass, park guide and $5 coupon.

that can be borrowed.
Ontario parks passes and other library materials can be reserved for contactless curbside pickup using the online catalogue at or the Iguana Library mobile app, or by calling a participating curbside loca-

ext. 5266 or 1-866-324-6912, ext. 5266, or email: li- . For more infor- mation on locations, services, and hours of operation, go online to: .

Program information for the Rapids Family Health Team clinic located in the Shell Health Centre, 233 Cameron Street, Corunna, is currently not available. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available. To contact the clinic, go to or call 519-339-8949 and speak to reception.

Just a reminder that our lab is open weekdays for
all residents Monday to Friday –
7:30a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Editor’s note: In the April Beacon, we were intro- duced to life in the hamlet of Duthil by author G. Wayne Brown, who spent the first 22 years of his life there. Part one of the story ended as we learned that, due to a curious twist of fate, Duthil’s main street once featured a store located across from a church and a school situated across from a saloon, which led some witty individual to quip it had “… provision, religion, education, and damnation all in one place!”
Enjoy this second installment of Duthil Days: Mem- ories of My Hometown.
Downtown Duthil
(continued from the April issue)
Let’s start with “religion”. The Duthil United Church, which was built in 1880, was a simple, white framed edifice located on the northwest corner of the intersection. The front door faced the south and, up- on entering, were two very small Sunday school rooms, one on the left and one on the right. Beyond these rooms was the main sanctuary. The church closed in 1961 and stood empty for a few years until a memorial was erected in 1968.
Next we have “provision”. I’m sorry to say that the store our family frequented back in the 50’s and 60’s is a faded, forlorn looking edifice today. It stands on the southeast corner, diagonally across from where the church once stood. I strongly suspect that this same building was the location of the Duthill Post Of- fice (notice it was spelled with two L’s at that time) which came into existence in 1880. Then, jumping many years ahead to post-WWII, a man by the name of Harold Johnston became the proprietor. This was perhaps no surprise as his father, George, ran a store in Whitebread before the Johnston family moved up to the Duthil area to farm.
A favourite time to visit ” Harold’s ” was any even- ing on a hot, summer’s day in order to buy frostbites at 5 cents each. There wasn’t always a fast turnover of goods and items potentially sat on shelves for long periods of time. I clearly remember buying what used to be my favourite chocolate candy bar, Neilson’s Burnt Almond, (the one in the dark blue and gold wrapper) getting ready to take my second bite but then noticing little, white worms poking their heads out of their chocolate tunnels. Yuk!
Harold also took his store on the road by way of an older, red Ford pick-up. He built a wooden canopy

with fold-up sides that completely covered the truck bed and this was filled with a variety of Campbell soups, canned vegetables, and pop. Nothing was re- frigerated! The dry goods were usually covered by a layer of dust accumulated by the many miles driven on his grocery routes throughout the week.
Now we come to the final commodity offered at the Duthil intersection – “education”. The school’s des- ignation was S.S. No. 9 Sombra and was approximate- ly an eighth of a mile south of the main corner on the west side of Duthill Road. The school was probably erected in the late 1800’s but I attended in the 1950’s. The teacher for the entire eight years of my elementary education was Maxine Johnston and, if you haven’t guessed already, she was the store keep- er’s wife. Mrs. Johnston, originally from Morrisburg, taught in Ruscom, (near Leamington) before coming to S.S. No. 9 Sombra, where she taught for most of her career.
During my eight years at S.S. No. 9, starting in 1952, children from the following families attended the school: Bray, Brouwer, Brown, Buckingham, Dan- iels, Dykema, Grant, Hart, Hay, Heatherington, McGee, McKnight, McMaster, McRae, Shepley, Ster- ling, Strangway, and Tulloch. My apologies to families who also had relatives at the school during that time.
I recall many noteworthy events during these form- ative years of education, but two really stand out. Coincidentally, both took place while I was in the jun- ior grades 4, 5, and 6. I’ll start with the incident that was most academic in nature.
Each week on Friday, it was customary for each grade to have a spelling dictation test of 20 words. A Grade 5 girl I happened to have a crush on sat at the desk in front of me and we were quite competitive with each other. As a result of this rivalry, we both had a perfect score week after week. However, one of the boys in our class never prepared and usually had a large number of spelling errors after each dic- tation.
Mrs. Johnston, in order to inspire this lad, decided to raise the stakes a little by declaring that, for the next week’s dictation, any misspelled words would necessitate the use of strap. In other words, for each mistake, the strap would come down forcefully on the palm of one’s hand.
The results weren’t quite what we or our teacher expected. The boy who usually had many errors im- proved slightly but the girl and I made two mistakes each. It was really embarrassing to have to go up on stage in front of the rest of the school to receive our punishment.
The second event that will always stand out in my mind happened when I was in Grade 6 and it was what you would call educational, but in a different sort of way.
It was about mid-February on a bright but very cold winter school day. We were all hard at work and, at about 10 o’clock in the morning, we heard a faint but persistent call for help coming from the boys’ washroom. Mrs. Johnston asked me, along with another boy, to see what the problem was.

Duthil, Scotland in days gone by. Continued on page 13

Memory of an unhole-y mess
From page 12

Because the bathroom door had been locked from inside, we had to push hard enough to pop the hook. Once inside we could hardly believe our eyes.
But first, a bit more background would be useful for readers unfamiliar with rural school houses. Both the girls’ and boys’ washrooms were inside the school just as one entered from outside. A coat rack was on one wall while the other side housed an enclosed toi- let. This was no flush toilet; it was only a seat at- tached above an open septic tank and because there were no heat ducts into the tiny room, the tempera- ture in these washrooms was nearly as cold as it was outside.
Here’s what happened. A boy in Grade 5 was given permission to use the washroom and because it was so cold, he wore his coat and rubber boots into the stall area. He also had with him a new pair of mitts his mother had recently knit for him.
Unfortunately, while he was seated, one of the mitts fell into the septic tank. Fearing that his moth- er would be upset with him for losing his mitt, the boy took off his coat and tried to reach down with his fingers to retrieve it but with no success.
At this point he devised a new plan to reach the mitt. He lowered himself down into the tank and tried to pinch the mitt between his boots. The longer he tried the more tired he became until he finally let go and fell in.
My classmate and I managed to pull him out but with a great deal of difficulty as he was up to his waist in purification. His boots were also chuck full.

I don’t know what I had eaten for breakfast that morning but I lost it right there. We steered him out- side onto the cement steps for by this time the rest of the school had dismissed for the morning recess. I have to say that I’ve never seen such an awful sight! From the waist down he was different shades of black, grey, yellow, and brown and his boots squished every time he took a step in the snow. It took me a long time to stop gagging!
Two years later brought me to my graduation year and my exit from S.S. No. 9 Sombra. Those who fol- lowed in the grades behind me would soon start at- tending the new East Sombra Central School where my teacher, Maxine Johnston, would complete her teaching career. My old, one-room school house would eventually be torn down by the mid 1960’s.
In the fall of 2019 my wife and I, along with my brother Eldon, tried to find the site of the old school. It was a challenge since the area had been densely overgrown with brush and thorn trees. You would never have guessed that a school sitting in the middle of a large playground had existed in that spot. However, with a little persistence and numerous thorn pricks, we were rewarded by finding two ce- ment front steps and the school’s foundation. That was proof that I had indeed spent eight years of my life there!

Sombra Museum seeks information/photos of COVID era

The Sombra Museum is collecting pandemic stories, photos, videos, art work, etc. (family friendly) from St. Clair Township residents to help record and preserve
memories of the COVID experience for future generations.; day-to
-day memories of life 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 challenges or creative solutions that were needed.
* Financial challenges.
* Feelings caused by the outbreak and thoughts about social distancing.
* Keeping children/adults occupied during self-isolation.
* New or newly rediscovered hobbies or crafts you did
* Stories from workers on the front lines/staffing essential services.
* Struggles of family/friends infected with the virus.

* Stories of everyday heroes, i.e. people helping neighbours/ people accepting
inconveniences for the greater good.
* How daily life and routines have changed.
* For those who lived through the Depression, 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).
Submissions can be sent by email to: with the subject line “COVID- 19 History Snapshot”.
Please share this request for community life memories with as many people as possible. We encourage 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

Moore Museum seeks information about history of old Moore Township schools
Moore Museum is still accepting information for a virtual exhibit for the museum’s website. It will feature 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. To see the map that indicates where the schools’ locations, see the April 2021 Beacon. It can be ac- cessed, along with further information, by going online the St. Clair Township website home page. Click on The Beacon, top right of the page. ~Laurie Mason, curator, Moore Museum

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 14

The Sydenham River remained silent on April 28 when it would normally have been filled with the shouts and laughter of about
80 to 100 people who were ei- ther frantically paddling or cheering on a flotilla of kayaks and canoes.
Adhering to the provincial “stay at home” order during the month of April, the annual Syden- ham River Canoe and Kayak Race was cancelled. As a result, the St.

The annual SRCA race typically features 11 classes and three different races to appeal to both competitive and recreational paddlers. SCRCA photos

Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) was not able to raise funds that support its conservation education programs.
The annual race attracts a wide range of participants, including members of several Lambton County municipal councils, business people, and SCRCA supporters.
The cancellation is especially disheartening this year as the SCRCA is attempting to celebrate its 60th anniver- sary of caring for the environmental health of the Syden- ham River watershed and smaller watersheds that drain directly into southern Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, and northeastern Lake St. Clair. The work of the SCRCA includes: wildlife habitat creation, conservation educa- tion, forestry and enabling outdoor recreation.
It also sponsors annual scholarships for up to four local high school students who are continuing their post- secondary education in conservation-related fields such
as biology, ecology, geography, for- estry, fish and wildlife. Scholarships available include: the A.W.Campbell Memorial Award; the Tony Stranak Conservation Scholarship; and the Mary Jo Arnold Conservation Scholar- ship (all established in their memory). The work of the SCRCA benefits all residents within its coverage area as it protects and preserves the natural spaces in our communities for this and future generations to appreciate and
The SCRCA also works to protect and educate residents of all ages. Through- out their elementary and secondary
school life, students enjoy age-appropriate programs that cover many topics. Conservation educators visit classrooms at schools throughout the area bringing infor- mation and hands-on activities to ignite curiosity and make children aware of the hazards they might encoun- ter while exploring the natural world. For instance, spring is a time of renewal and rebirth in nature, but it is also a time when melting ice and elevated, fast-flowing water levels can sweep away a young child who ventures too close to a normally gentle water course.
Funding lost by the cancellation of the Sydenham Riv- er race is just the latest challenge the SCRCA has en- dured, but there are many ways the community can show its support.
Pandemic deals latest blow to SCRCA funding
Important sources of SCRCA funding have diminished greatly in the past two years and critical programs have been affected. Beginning in 2019 with the 50 per cent reduction in the annual provincial government transfer payment, the pandemic has produced a social situation that precludes any public events where crowds might

assemble. Funding needed to support the environmental work of the SCRCA, like the Million Tree program to en- courage reforestation, the Sydenham River Watershed Phosphorus Management Plan, and the St. Clair River Sediment Management Plan, is running low, yet these programs are crucial to the continued improvement of the St. Clair Region watershed.
For the many ways you can help support the SCRCA as it works to create a better, healthier environment for present and future generations to enjoy, please email: or visit: .

SCRCA scholarships now available
The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) is currently accepting applications for its 2021 scholarships. Up to two $1,000 and two $500 scholarships will be awarded to successful candidates. Scholarships are available to graduating high school students who are pursuing post-secondary studies in an environmental field (e.g., biology, ecol- ogy, geography, forestry, agriculture, fish and wild- life, etc.). Students living within the boundary of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority or who attend a secondary school in the following communities are eligible to apply: Sarnia, Forest, Petrolia, Wallace-
burg, Dresden, and Strathroy.
Scholarship applications can be obtained by con- tacting the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority at (519) 245-3710 or visiting the SCRCA website at The deadline for applications is May 31, 2021.

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 15
Spring brings welcome signs of life at Greenhill Gardens
Greenhill Gardens west of Wilkesport along Wilkesport Line is demonstrating how well it managed to cope with winter. Spring flowers and flowering shrubs are bursting with life. Pond creatures can often be seen basking in the sunlight on any piece of dry wood or rock they
can find.

For those who are still unfamiliar with this narrow but impeccably designed public garden, a commemorative marker stone (bottom right) explains the garden’s origin and what motivated a generous, community-minded wom- an named Joy Robson to leave this exquisite natural legacy for all to enjoy.
Below: Brigden resident Harley McDonald and her 2- year old golden retriever, Hudson, enjoy the signs of spring during a walk.
Right: Red winged black- birds are plentiful in the gardens.

A pair of painted turtles sun themselves on a half submerged log.


The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 17
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The finishing touches are being put on the refurbished clubhouse at St. Clair Park- way Golf Course. While COVID-19 has been interfering with life inside the clubhouse, the its exterior has under- gone a spectacular transition. The multi-level stone and concrete patio is in place and brand new furniture has been purchased to complete its modernization. New windows and siding have transformed the dated clubhouse as well. Although the facility itself is not yet open to the public, the course has been a busy place on the days it has been allowed to operate.

A carpenter works on trim for the patio. In the foreground, new tables and chairs wait to
be placed on the lowest level of the patio.

A new board describes the layout of the first hole allowing golfers to strategize before taking their first shot. Below the board, adver- tising space is available for lease.

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 18

Beacon Bits

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
~Corrie Boom, author and holocaust survivor

Moore Agricultural Society membership
Interested in becoming a member of the Moore Agri- cultural Society or need to renew your membership? Memberships can be paid either by dropping off payment and member information (name, telephone number, email address, home address) at the Brigden Fair office or through e-transfer at . Member- ships are $10 per person until further notice.
For more information on the membership role, contact .
Sacred Heart food bank –
the need continues
The community side effects of the coronavirus have resulted in constant need for supplies at local food banks. Many people have lost their jobs due to shut downs and closures during the pandemic, and the need is still great. Now more than ever, our neighbourhood food banks are called upon to come to the aid of the community. Nour- ishing food and warm clothing are more important than ever. In Ward 2, The Sacred Heart Food Bank continues to have shelves that need filling and restocking. Please
St. Andrew’s foodbank remains open
Although St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is closed for worship services due to the COVID-19 emer- gency closure, the food bank at St. Andrew’s Church on Colborne Street in Corunna will be open 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 approximately $75 per week to purchase. Anyone wish- ing 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. Gift cards to Foodland and No Frills are also welcome.
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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 levels. Harmful bacteria may enter the drinking water supply making it unsafe for consumption.
If your well is flooded, it should be disinfected and tested as soon as the water recedes and at one-week

intervals 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. Local drop-off centres are at Lambton Public Health, 160 Ex- mouth 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
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access restrictions are in place. Please call before visiting the office. Learn more about testing options at Lambtonpubli-
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.

Please note: The Down River Jr. Optimist group (Sombra) has been disbanded.
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 volun- teer 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 toward members’ volunteer hours at school. The club meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Courtright Community Centre (closed during COVID-19 shutdown). For more information, call Mary Lou at 519-862-3950.
Local TOPS weight control group meetings
Local TOPS weight control groups can be contacted for information as follows: Brigden—519-864-1865; Corunna- 519-381-5584. People of all ages are welcome to attend.
Good listeners wanted –
Family Counselling Centre
See More Community Contact, page 20

From page 19
Good listeners are needed by the Family Counselling Centre to staff the Distress Line, speaking with indi- viduals who need support and need to feel connected. Volunteers are also needed to staff the Tel-Check pro- gram line, placing daily calls to seniors and persons with disabilities who live alone and are feeling isolat- ed. To register or to find out more about this effort, call Donna at the Family Counselling Centre, 519- 336-0120, ext. 251.

Lambton museums and galleries expand online learning opportunities

Extended closures resulting from provincial orders and public health restrictions have kept Lambton County’s Museums, Gallery and Archives closed to the public in
2021. However, through the innovative use of new, virtual program offerings, staff are continuing to keep visitors engaged while also reaching new audiences across North America. A key aspect of the Lambton
County Museums’ mandate is to provide educational opportunities for local schools, organizations, and the general public. Re- cently, Lambton Heritage Museum and the Oil Museum of Canada began offering live virtual school programs. Teachers now have the opportunity to book an appoint- ment with a museum educator to bring the museum experience to their classrooms virtually.
“We’re seeing tremendous interest in these sessions and they’re reaching beyond
our municipal borders. Along with local bookings, we’ve had requests from across Ontario, and Alberta as well,” said Laurie Webb, Manager of Museums, Gallery and Ar- chives.
Along with the museums, the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery and Lambton County Archives have begun offer- ing asynchronous learning opportunities. These virtual learning experiences are designed to be accessed at the

convenience of educators and the general public, and they can be found on each website. Topics include: ex- ploring aspects of our local history; oil history; and art theory and practice. Prior to the pandemic, the Muse- ums, Gallery and Archives offered regular presentations and workshops on location. When faced with the inabil- ity to welcome visitors in 2020, presenta-
tions and workshops quickly shifted to virtual platforms.
Since then there has been a notable increase in attendance, and previous bar- riers to access have been minimized. “The virtual platforms have allowed us the ability to increase our reach. We have seen participation in virtual workshops and presentations reaching as far as Que- bec, British Columbia, the state of Wash- ington, North Carolina, and California, among others. Although our topics often focus on our collections, exhibitions and
local history, it’s clear they resonate with audiences far and wide,” said Webb.
For more information on virtual learning opportuni- ties, please visit the following websites: Lambton County Museums and Archives: online-learning.aspx ; Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery:

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:

The Beacon of St. Clair Township May 2021 Page 21

From page 22
the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. This event will be a fund- raiser for the Bluewater Anglers hatchery operation, which an- nually raises 130,000 Chinook salmon, rainbow and brown trout for release into the river and lower Lake Huron. COVID-19 safe- ty protocols will be observed. To register, go online to: . The prize board will depend on the number of fishermen who register for the event. Sponsored by Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, Bluewater Anglers, and Angler’s At- las.
Bluewater Anglers cancel Kids Training Day
Due to COVID-19 protocol requirements, the Annual Kids Training Day slated for Saturday, May 29 at the hatchery in Point Edward is cancelled.
SCRCA camps open for seasonal campers
Seasonal campers with a full-season contract can access the
A. W. Campbell, Lorne C. Henderson, and Warwick Conserva- tion Areas beginning May 1. However, seasonal campers are required to either visit for no more than 24 hours for an essen- tial purpose or for a minimum of 14 consecutive days. Transient camping is NOT permitted at this time.
For more information, visit the SCRCA website at:

Virtual Chair Exercise: Monday at 1:30 p.m. To register, call 519-344-3017 ext. 237, or email: to re- ceive the Zoom link.
Virtual Shibashi, Set 1: Friday, 11 a.m. Tai chi/qigong is a practice of aligning breath and movement for exercise and health. Shibashi consists of 18 simple steps. It is easy to learn and perfect for beginners. To register call 519-344-3017, ext. 237, or email: to receive the Zoom link.
Virtual Shibashi, Set 2: Wednesday, 11 a.m. Shibashi Set 2 also consists of 18 more advanced steps. It is perfect for those who are familiar with Shibashi Set 1.
Virtual Meditation: Mondays at 11 a.m. Increase self esteem, improve concentration, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, emotional balance. Helps you appreciate life more.
To register call 519-344-3017, ext. 237, or email: to receive the Zoom link.

Brigden Fair quilt draw tickets on sale
Tickets for the Brigden Fair Quilt Draw are on sale now and are available from any member of the Brigden Fair Home- craft Division or can be purchased through e-transfer. Email to tell us how many tickets you want to purchase, including names and contact information for the tickets. The cost is $2 per ticket or three for $5, and can also be purchased in larger quantities. This gorgeous, handmade quilt was lovingly created by members of the Homecraft Division.
Draw Date is Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.
Southwestern Ontario Blue Coast Walleye Chal- lenge slated for June 4-13
The Walleye Challenge will be held on June 4 to 13 within the boundaries of Sarnia and Lambton County, which includes
See More Around the Township, page 21

The vaccination process has been proceeding well, although vaccine supplies are still limited. It is hoped as manufacturing continues to ramp up, the vaccines will be generally available when the at-risk sectors of the population have been vaccinated.
New information regarding COVID-19 “variants of concern” (VOCs), including the V-117 U.K. variant, which is the most prevalent VOC in Lambton County, are responsible for a substantial number of the new cas- es being identified. Medical officials are urging everyone to continue to observe all COVID-19 safety protocols, including those who have received a vaccine and those who have had COVID-19 and recovered.
The phenomenon that has been dubbed “COVID fa- tigue” is becoming a problem for more and more people as the pandemic rages on. Health officials are con- cerned that this state of mind will lead to carelessness when observing safety protocols like the use of masks and social distancing. A recent report by Lambton Public Health indicates one-in-five Lambton County residents is affected by mental health issues. Anyone experiencing mental health issues should contact their family doctor, who can recommend helpful resources and information. Talking to a trusted friend or family member is also a good place to find support but NOT factual information about the virus or vaccines (unless they are licensed medical professionals).
DO NOT search for help or information on the Inter- net! Facebook and other social media sites cannot be trusted. Anyone can access them, spreading disinfor- mation, conspiracy theories, and ‘horror stories’ that are harmful to the well-being of those who read them. These sites also impede the progress of the global bat- tle to control and eliminate COVID-19.
If you must surf the Net, here are three sites that provide good, science-based information.
>Lambton Public Health information is online at:
>The Government of Canada has an extensive COVID
-19 site at: