In 100 years from now, when historians are scanning for true watershed moments in Wellington County’s past, they’ll discover a dusty old June 25, 2020 issue of the local newspaper.
And they’ll exclaim, “Aha, that’s when the great awakening began, when racial prejudices started to dwindle, then finally die forever in this county.”
Thank you to all the readers who wrote letters of great dismay about the Advertiser’s June 18 editorial cartoon, and equal thanks to the editor and publisher for responding to the outcry with humility, sincere apologies and promises to do better as we move forward.
As a newspaper reporter from the ancient era of the 1970s, I can vouch for how hard a weekly news staff works at the best of times, and can only guess how overwhelming the pressure caused by COVID has been for the whole Welly team. I for one am grateful for all your hard slogging through these strangest of times.
My deepest wish is this: Along with defeating COVID-19 and moving beyond racism once and for all – those same historians will look back 100 years from now, and see something even more astonishing.
That 2020 was the watershed moment when the world finally came together to say “Enough” to the devastating reality of climate change – then dug in like never before to create a green future for their kids – and all life on Earth.
How fortunate I am to live in a small community with caring people.
Last week when I began my morning walk, I realized I was having difficulty breathing and walking. I turned to go home, but I didn’t make it.
I literally fell into a hedge. Luckily a neighbour was walking his dog and immediately came to help. He walked me home where two others were waiting to help as well. They called 911 and within minutes I was on my way to Groves.
So begins my experience with our front line workers. What amazing people they are, from the paramedics, to the emergency doctors, nurses and technicians. They knew exactly what care I needed and did their work in a calm and professional way.
I had a COVID-19 test which, thank God, was negative.
I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I was admitted and was given the same wonderful care every day. They are indeed heroes in every sense. To my neighbours, family and friends, I can’t thank you enough for your offers of help.
I’m truly blessed to live in Elora.
Thanks you for everything.
After moving to the Fergus area my young granddaughter and I took a drive around town to read the plaques about the homes and the settlers who occupied the premises.
It was a learning experience for her as I discovered she did not know what a grave-digger was.
I hope the settlers who came and built the area will not be forgotten.
Going to the Scottish Festival has been a great experience for my family.
The ineptitude and inability of the Toronto Blue Jay players to properly quarantine and distance has been proven by the number of cases infecting the team.
And now they are asking Ottawa to provide them with special dispensation for entry into Canada. Help me here!
There are wonderful people in our lives, some unknown to us.
I am 83 years old and was sitting on my walker on the street at the Service Ontario in Fergus, 18th in line.
A man touched my walker and said, “Come with me.” Assuming he was with Service Ontario I followed him across the parking lot, where he made sure I could handle the stairs. He sat my walker up and left. The first young fellow in line opened both doors for me. I thanked all in line as I left via the ramp.
My husband, who is on oxygen, filled me in when I got in the car. A man in a black pickup truck had delivered a parcel to a house up the hill. He got in his truck, got out and walked across the parking lot to the door and then came and got me.
Although I thanked him and everyone in line I wish to publicly show how much good deeds are appreciated.
On Canada Day we stopped for a dish of fries and ice cream at the Fry Shack in Fergus.
We submitted the order and prepared to use plastic currency which was rejected as “cash only” was the method of this business exchange. We stood under a rain cloud as we were without cash.
Randomly, like a rainbow and its pot of gold, a total stranger gave us $15 in exchange for a commitment to do likewise on our journey. It begins with one individual to raise the bar for everyone.
Our modest lunch became a banquet after this person’s act of kindness. This gesture characterized the Canadian spirit.
Whoever you are, we are no longer total strangers, but part of that wonderful Canadian fabric on Canada Day.
Jeanne and Jacobus deBock,
Within the past few weeks the public works department undertook some pavement reconstruction at the corner of Geddes and Colborne Streets in Elora. It was two corners on the east side, not the two corners near the post office and the cenotaph.
There is provincial legislation regarding tactile walking surface indicators to be placed at new and reconstructed intersections. When questioned why the indicators were not installed, I was advised because they did not reconstruct the two corners across the road.
I was advised, by public works management, that they would not install indicators until they did all four corners at some unknown time in the future. What a setback to the sight challenged and disabled citizens of Elora and our visitors. They could easily have installed the indicator plates while the concrete was wet, but chose not to.
Disabled persons are forever fighting for government support and legislation, then this happens. All this for the price of the tactile plates – is this really a budget constraint on the shoulders of the disabled. We ask why?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 St. Joseph’s Parish Fall Bazaar, normally held the first Saturday in November at our Parish in Fergus, is cancelled.
We thank everyone for their early donations, which will be redirected to the New to You Shop in support of Groves Memorial Community Hospital.
Please remember our local business owners who generously donated items in previous years – they need our support now and we encourage everyone to shop locally as a way of not only thanking them but ensuring they are around for many years to come.
President, Catholic Women’s League of Canada
Caring for trees
On the front page of the July 2 issue of the Advertiser, it was good to see a maple tree being planted.
And now the unsung work begins: regular watering for the next two years while the sapling gets established, and keeping the mulch doughnut intact to protect its tender trunk from mowers and string trimmers. Establishing young trees successfully takes significant time and effort, which needs to be acknowledged by all who advocate for tree planting as a tool to address climate change.
Another climate change tool, one that rarely makes the headlines, is taking care of the trees we already have. Saplings are our bridge to the future, but right now it’s the big trees that are doing the heavy lifting – sequestering and storing carbon, providing habitat and shade, slowing stormwater and making every neighbourhood more welcoming.
This is the reason Neighbourwoods started Tree Trust, which is an opportunity for us to contribute to professional care for our largest trees in need. To date, eight Centre Wellington trees have been given the Tree Trust treatment, including four that were slated for removal.
Stratford, Toronto Islands and Town of Blue Mountains have adopted our model for tree remediation. The idea of preserving our large trees is spreading.
We invite readers to check out treetrust.ca. You will find an option to make a charitable donation and/or share a heartfelt story and picture of tree that you cherish.
Centre Wellington Neighbourwoods coordinator
Don’t be a ‘COVIDIOT’
RE: “Just wear the mask” in reply to Mr. Swan’s letter “Out of hand.”
Kudos to Jim Taylor for writing such a great letter in rebuff to Mr. Swan’s rant. All Taylor’s points were exactly what I thought, but I would like to add a few more.
I live in Acton, Halton County. Why Halton/Peel or in fact Doug Ford has not enacted the same bylaw province-wide re: masks that Wellington County has, I have no idea. Therefore I will gladly drive to Guelph area to shop to avoid the “COVIDIOTS’ in our local businesses.
They are oblivious to any basics of mask wearing to protect others, or social distancing without them. They have no mask on but will walk right up and speak with zero consideration for other customers or the store staff.
I was berated by a lady in a local hardware store that squeezed by me (talking) at the checkout three times.
When I finally just said “that’s not six feet” I got a spiel about “I can’t take this anymore” and was yelled at in the parking lot as she drove off.
Hey lady, you’re welcome for me protecting you. At least don’t speak (spit), be silent and move on.
1) Do you realize what is going on in the world, and right outside your door?
2) How many COVID-19 cases and deaths could have been avoided if our officials hadn’t stated long ago that masks were ineffective?
3) Do you want or want your family and friends to get seriously ill, perhaps die?
4) Do you want this mess to go on indefinitely, or forever? (I don’t!)
“It is MUCH easier to breathe with a mask on than if it is if you bury your head in the sand”
There was a recent incident at Baden with red paint all over the statue of John A. MacDonald. He was a human being just like the rest of us. He had faults and, yes, those residential schools were not the right thing to do, but it was a different time in a different era and people’s perception and thinking was very different back then.
However, he also had the fortitude and foresight to bring this country together [and he almost got burned alive in his bed doing that]. He was the first prime minister of this country and that should mean that his statue and any other statue (ie. – Wilfrid Laurier and so on) that is a major player in our history should not end up in a corner in some museum – or worse, on a garbage heap.
And anybody spilling paint over them or any other kind of vandalism should have to face serious consequences.
For those who don’t know their history are doomed to make the same mistakes as those who have passed here before us.
I also think that any non-white person that gets pulled over for the likes of speeding should be the same as me and only have to worry about losing points and having their insurance rates go up.
However, defunding the police is not the answer. We need to do a better job of training them and screening them so we weed out the bad ones right away. There has to be a way that crisis counsellors and police work together.
I want the best for everybody but I’m not going to be shoved in a corner or stomped in to the ground to get that accomplished. Cooler heads must prevail.
Cancel culture in action
Re: ‘Not enough,’ July 2
In recent issues, the Wellington Advertiser has been fully supportive of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. However, as they and many other politicians, journalists and celebrities found out, one can never be anti-racist enough. If you say or don’t say something that doesn’t fit with the BLM agenda, you will suffer the wrath of today’s cancel culture outrage mob. Apologies are not enough.
Typical of the outraged responses to the cartoon that showed Justin Trudeau kneeling on taxpayers facing the costs of COVID-19, was that “the Advertiser published a cartoon … that uses the murder of George Floyd to push a political agenda” (from a June 25 letter). However, just a few weeks earlier, the Advertiser published a similar cartoon of Donald Trump kneeling on the neck of Lady Liberty. Not a peep from the left-wing crowd. Could it be because their politics are more important to them than being anti-racist?
Unlike most cowardly politicians and the mainstream media, one person who has had the courage to say that she is not totally enamored by the BLM movement is a black woman, Leslyn Lewis, who is running to be leader of the Conservative Party. She is well qualified for the position, holding various degrees including a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Law from Osgoode Hall. She has stated that “while I believe that we must fight inequality, I cannot support a group like Black Lives Matter in totality, because I strongly disagree that their proposed actions will create meaningful solutions”
I have no doubt that the mob will find some pretext to vilify Ms. Lewis and her supporters as racists. Being a successful black woman is also not enough.
The new litter
I was walking through the Zehrs parking lot and noticed the large number of disposable face masks littering the ground. It seems now everywhere you look masks are dotting the landscape. Before this pandemic it was coffee cups and now we have evolved into disposing of these mask wherever we want.
Please don’t litter. Place them in a trash can. Thanks.