Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin

MONDAY, March 30/15





-Tue – Aylmer Library: Public Meeting 7 pm; OT Hall Theatre (see Fri story)

-Thu -Bayham, Malahide Councils, 7pm





AYLMER – Some traditions are changing somewhat as Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Principal Keith Cameron informs that for the first time, the  school is seeing more of a ‘cosmopolitan mix.” He explains:  ”Our demographics have changed, now we are about half and half with the core Dutch group and representatives of the broader community attending. We have always stressed the importance of a high quality Christian education and that has been an attraction. And to improve our numbers we have intentionally sought to make us known in the community. We have approached various churches and pastors and let them know what we are doing here. Especially word of mouth has been effective. The result is we are now getting quite a mixture of backgrounds, especially those with Mennonite roots.” The school has 108 students with five fulltime and three parttime staff.


A refreshment table was set up in the foyer of Immanuel Christian School Saturday during an open house for its 60th anniversary. Hostesses were, left to right, Angie Bergen, Gracie Bergen, Selena Kroondyk and Janneke Kroondyk - the two parents are members of the school's auxillary committee. (kb) (CLICK)

A refreshment table was set up in the foyer of Immanuel Christian School Saturday during an open house for its 60th anniversary. Hostesses were, left to right, Angie Bergen, Gracie Bergen, Selena Kroondyk and Janneke Kroondyk – the two parents are members of the school’s auxillary committee. (kb) (CLICK)





(Contributed) – Suzanne Wiebe who runs the Sport Dog Training Centre in the west building at the Aylmer Fairgrounds will be a speaker on the main stage at The Canadian Pet Expo in Mississauga this coming weekend – the largest Canadian Pet Trade Show. Suzanne will be giving a 30 minute seminar each afternoon for three days on ‘The Effectiveness of Force Free Training” outlining the success and results of the S.T.A.R.T Training Program which she authored and runs her training centre. Several of the Aylmer dogs will also be featured  in the main demonstration ring – they will be demonstrating the effectiveness of ‘scent detection’ training  for dogs.




-Drabick, Barbara Marion passed away at Chartwell Home, Aylmer on Friday in her 85th year. Wife of the late Stanley Drabick (2001). Survivors: three children including Ken Drabick (Sandra) of R.R.#1, Belmont etc.. She lived most of her life south of Belmont. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 am.




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FRIDAY, March 27/15





-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am

-Sat -Immanuel School 60th Avsy. (see Mar. 11 story)

-Sat. -Earth Hour, 8:30 pm


*Next Aylmer Council – Tue. April 7





The citizens group, Aylmer Library Expansion Supporters, is sponsoring a public information meeting this Tuesday at 7 pm in the Old Town Hall theatre – admission is free. Among speakers are: Lindsay Brock, Acting CEO of the Middlesex Library, speaking on the recent Strathroy Library expansion, Heather Bird, Norfolk Library CEO, speaking on the recent Pt. Dover Library expansion and Brian Masschaele, Director Elgin County Community, Cultural Services, speaking on expansion needs of the Aylmer library.





Malahide has decided not to alter the speed limit to deal with the alleged problem of speeding on Glencolin Line within the Amish community but instead will install ‘gateway’ signs and better educate Amish pedestrian traffic. Malahide Council last Thursday heard an update from the committee studying the issue and then directed Municipal Staff to do the following:

-install gateway signs at six  locations leading into the Amish neighbourhood. The signs would serve to draw motorist attention to the area as a unique rural settlement area with activities not commonly seen in other areas of the Township. The cost to purchase the signs is estimated at $1560 ($260 per sign). The signs read: “Rural Settlement Area, Please Slow Down, Watch For Children”

-offer to purchase reflective wrist bands which are to be distributed to aid in the promotion of public safety for Amish school children

As well it was noted that the OPP are developing a presentation/tutorial geared specifically toward pedestrian and horse and carriage safety for use in the Amish schools before the end of the current school year. Also Staff plans to place traffic counters which can capture speed, vehicle type, and traffic volume in the community.





(Contributed) – The Malahide Firefighters Association will host a collection day on April 11 to receive and recycle unwanted electronic waste such as MP3players, cameras, telephones, TVs, VCR & DVD players and recorders, radios etc. The event is being held in cooperation with RecycleYourElectronics.ca -Ontario’s electronic waste diversion program - operated by Ontario Electronic Stewardship(OES). Our event is open to all area residents and is free of charge. Just bring your old electronic devices to the EEC Complex between 9 am and 4 pm in the rear parking lot. For those who cannot attend, a limited number of curbside pick-up opportunities are available. Contact Ryan DeSutter, 519-282-6836.





(Contributed) – An Aylmer musician, Connor Wilson, is sponsoring a concert tonight, Country Rave 2015 , at the EEC Complex; doors open at 7:30 pm; cost is $20. Other sponsors are BX93 and the Aylmer Optimist Club. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Aylmer Arrow Tire. Said Connor: “The Connor Wilson Band is a 5 piece Country band from Southwestern Ontario. We play Top 40 country hits with a mix of the old country/rock roots songs as well. We have some original songs that we will occasionally mix into the set.” Connor is a former employee at his father Mark’s Arrow Tire and now is pursuing a music career full time.





The savings involved in the removal of ice from the second ice pad at the EECC for June and July – a decision made by a Joint Aylmer and Malahide Council session this week – is just $3200. In response to a council query, Aylmer CEO Jennifer Reynaert at this week’s meeting noted that 2014 revenue for the pad from those two months was $30,900. The costs for use of the pad were $34,100 based on: energy use $13,000, parttime labour $10,900 and fulltime labour $10,200. The savings also do not reflect the cost of taking out/putting in the ice. Said CEO Reyneart: “There of course will be a cost to take out and put back another ice pad but I haven’t done the research on this.” (The main ice pad already has its ice removed for June and July).




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THURSDAY, March 26/15





-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am

-Sat -Immanuel School 60th Avsy. (see Mar. 11 story)

-Sat. -Earth Hour, 8:30 pm





BELMONT – Elgin OPP report today they have safely located a missing Belmont man, Matthew Larkin. He was found overnight in the Port Stanley area. The OPP began looking for the 24 year old Larkin yesterday as he was last seen by family members leaving his residence around 11 am.





“Concerning the EECC: wages are 75% higher than the same complex in Caledonia, you would think that they could save a couple of hundred thousand right there, pretty simple eh? No more studies or consultants (the fact that a consultant has to be hired after 50 years of running the old arena is rather embarassing, Imagine doing something for over half a century, then you can’t do it anymore (run an arena). Cut wages by 75%, Caledonia can do it, but this community can’t ? (Rob Viscontas)





-Mott, Judy Angela of Union passed away on Monday in her 50th year. Survivors: husband John Mott; two daughters etc.. She worked as an E.A. for the TVDSB (EESS, Southwold Public School). A private family service will be held at Williams Funeral Home St.Thomas on Saturday.





(Malahide Mayor Dave Mennill comments on decisions made Monday (see Tuesday story) by the joint Aylmer and Malahide councils re-the EECC:)

1-Would you be content if the proposed facilitator suggests going back to the ‘rec. council’ model that managed the EECC before?

” I am hoping that a facilitator might form a new model, that gives the manager more power and spending limits, but with an expectation of goals and  assessment of success. I would like council removed from being involved in day to day operations.

2-You suggested shelving the RFP solution; what concerns you most about private management?

-A private management is set up to make a profit for themselves

-It would be too costly for us to convert

-I am concerned that a lot of programs offered such as shuffleboard, may be dropped because they have no chance of making a profit

3-Some feel that better marketing of the hall rather than an anchor tenant is the hall solution. Thoughts?

Unfortunately, we are “hall rich”  in Aylmer. We are looking at all of our options for future uses of the hall.”





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WEDNESDAY, March 25/15





-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am

-Sat -Immanuel School 60th Avsy. (see Mar. 11 story)

-Sat. -Earth Hour, 8:30 pm





(From Environment Canada; For East Elgin; 10 am) – “Precipitation is spreading into Southern Ontario this morning. It is forecast to begin as freezing rain for about an hour or two in most locales, then change to rain as temperatures rise above zero. This is not expected to be a significant event, but may be enough to glaze untreated roads with a thin coating of ice.”





-Smith, Ronald of Aylmer passed away Tuesday in his 78th year. Survivors: wife Bonnie (Nesbitt) Smith; three children including Rob Smith(Lisa) of the Aylmer area etc.. Ron was born in Malahide, was a member of the Springfield Lions Club and worked at Ford Talbottville for 33 years. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Friday at 11 am.


-Lamers, Henry Theadorus Jr. of Brantford passed away Thursday; (1963-2015). Predeceased by his parents Henry and Betty Lamers. Survivors: sister Cheryle (Paul) McQuiggan of Straffordville etc.. An open house will be held at the Brantwood Community Services in Brantford on Saturday at 1 pm. Arrangements entrusted to Hill and Robinson Funeral Home and Cremation Centre.





(Contributed) – “Applications for this year’s Betty Want scholarship are now available online, through Elgin-St. Thomas United Way’s website www.stthomasunitedway.ca or by calling the office at 519-631-3171. There is one $1,000 scholarship available for an Elgin County high school student graduating this year. Application deadline is April 20. Interested students will need to complete the application form and an essay up to 500 words in length detailing their community leadership involvement and the impact it’s had on the local community. They will also need a letter of support or confirmation from a community group or organization that strives for exceptional community involvement.”






The Aylmer Malahide Liason Committee will meet Thursday to review the study of EECC operations by LeisurePlan Inc.. In September Aylmer and Malahide Councils retained the services of LeisurePlan International Inc. to prepare an operational review of the EECC. Its purpose was to evaluate the administration and operations of the EECC in order to establish or develop a more efficient and effective organization. Among suggestions in the study: allow Malahide a more meaningful role in the governance of the EECC; close both ice pads for June, July and August; eliminate the current advertised position of Physical Services Manager; terminate the use of the banquet area (including kitchen) so it can be leased out and be more revenue producing ie as a fitness or seniors centre, library etc..





(Contributed) – The Elgin Federation of Agriculture’s Awards Open House is this Saturday from 2-5 pm at the CASO Station, St. Thomas. Ken Monteith will be inducted into the Elgin Agricultural Hall of Fame and Briwood Farm Market will receive the 2014 Ag-Business Award. Call 519-633-0114 for tickets.





Aylmer Council at their meeting a week ago Monday was asked by staff to review the position of fence viewers for the town. Council recently advertised for the two vacancies for Fence Viewers but no submissions were received even after a second round of advertising. There are supposed to be three on the committee – Larry Jeffery is the only one presently, being appointed in 2007.  Their task is to administer the Line Fences Act. The position is not too demanding as during the past 26 years, according to staff,  there have no calls for arbrtrating a decision. In the absence of appointees, apparently a bylaw can be created which includes a procedure to follow if there is disagreement with the type of fence. Council decided to direct staff to prepare a Fence By-law for consideration.




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TUESDAY, March 34/15





-Sr Day Out at EEC Complex; 9:30-1 pm;


-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am

-Sat -Immanuel School 60th Avsy. (see Mar. 11 story)







After deciding just two months ago to begin work on a Request For Proposal in order to pursue private management of the EEC Complex, a joint council session yesterday decided to abandon the process – for now. (Both councils rejected pursuing a business plan in favour of the private firm proposal at that January 15 meeting)

This was a highlight of the Malahide and Aylmer Councils session yesterday at the EECC as they met for the second time this year to explore cost saving measures. However after a brief opening session just involving Aylmer Council, the public was excluded as the councils had to discuss what was believed to be a legal matter in private. After a hour’s delay the joint session then began.

Aylmer Mayor Greg Currie first proposed that the councils discuss hiring a facilitator to examine a new governance model. Mayor Currie said: “We need to stop the micromanaging of this diamond. We need a new governance model. This is a cornerstone and if we don’t do this we are destined to repeat our mistakes. A facilitator will help us create a new governance model. (He later added he believed the facilitator would probably cost around $5000, could perhaps involve someone from the Ivey School of Business in London, and a report could be done in less than three months.) Our governance of this needs to be more open ended. We need to stop operating on a blank cheque.” Malahide Mayor Dave Mennill cautioned that the whole model “doesn’t need to be tossed out as there are some things that work.” Consensus then was that this proposal was to be taken back to each council for a decision.

Next Councils’ legal advisor David Woodward of Lerners urged caution in Council’s interest in designing an RFP for a private management firm to manage the Complex citing concerns over staffing issues in the changeover and possible effects of losing control of programs and services with a private manager. Mayor Mennill then suggested shelving the plan for the RFP proposal – even though both Councils had declared their strong support for such a direction just months earlier. After some discussion each council voted separately to take no further action on the RFPs – for now.

Concerning extending hall rentals, Mennill reminded the councils that the study done by Leisure Plan last year stressed that hall rentals were not a moneymaker and an anchor tenant might be a better solution. The current proposal was to extend rentals until after next fall’s EESS Commencement in October. Aylmer Co. Ted McDonald declared that the hall should still be bringing in revenue and asking what savings a ban would get. Each council then voted to end hall rentals after October 12 with an eye to planning for an anchor tenant down the road.

Concerning summer ice, Aylmer Council passed a motion agreeing with a previous Malahide motion that there be no summer ice rentals in June and July this year.

Each Council then supported a motion by Co. McDonald that staff investigate the feasibility of installing solar panels on the Complex roof and installing ground mount panels on the flats behind the EECC and report back.





-Fehr, George D. of Aylmer passed away on Saturday in his 97th year. Husband of the late Anna Fehr(2007). Survivors: nine children etc.. George was born in Manitoba. The funeral service will be held at the EMMC church at Summers Corners today at 1 pm. 


-Meseure- Procopio, Oda Paulette passed away March 19 in Ohio in her 64th year. Predeceased by her husband Jean-Marie Gerrard Meseure. Survivors: husband James David Procopio Sr.; three children including Roger Meseure (Becky Saxton) of Aylmer etc..She was born in Belgium and was a longtime employee of McConnells Nursery. Visitation is Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at  the Kebbel Funeral Home where the funeral will be held Wednesday at 1 pm.





(Information from Barb Warnock of the Aylmer Community Theatre) – The play, Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out, performed by the Aylmer Community Theatre was entered in the Western Ontario Drama League Festival in Owen Sound last week. Other productions included Of Mice And Men by Theatre Kent, Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Paris Performers’ Theatre, The Clean House by Sarnia Community  Theatre, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by London Community Players. Five A.C.T. actors received nominations for awards –   Jennifer Leack for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Evan Thompson for Best Actor  in a Supporting Role, Barbara Warnock as Best Actress in a Major Role, and Mark Smith for Best Actor in a Major Role.

The only success however was Paul Blower who received the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as Carl Lewicki.  John Bardwell also received the award for Technical Achievement for ĺight and sound. Work has already begun on  ACT’s next production, Norm Foster’s The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby which previews on April 30.





A continued list from yesterday’s report on East Elgin volunteers who were honoured Friday at the Ontario Volunteer Awards ceremony at the EEC Complex:

Carol McNiece Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Band, Joanne Orton Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Choir, Joanne Orton Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Band, Jodie Parker Aylmer Chartwell Aylmer, Christine Pendreigh Aylmer Aylmer and East Elgin Agricultural Society, Ryan Pepper Belmont Rotary Club – St. Thomas, Carol Player Aylmer Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives, Darcy Pressey Aylmer Scouts Canada, Jake Quiring Aylmer Aylmer and East Elgin Agricultural Society, Marjorie Rimnyak Aylmer Aylmer East Elgin Community Complex -Town of Aylmer, Bonnie Rochus Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Band, Maddie Say Port Burwell Pt. Burwell Provincial Park, Herm Schaap Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Foundation, Kolton Smith Pt. Burwell Port Burwell Provincial Park,  Kyle Smith Pt. Burwell Port Burwell Provincial Park, Tilly Stafford Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Foundation, Teri Widner Aylmer Aylmer Area CommunityFoundation, Judi Wright Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Foundation.




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MONDAY, Mar. 23/15





-Aylmer, Malahide Co. EEC Complex Meeting, 4:30 pm; Blue Line Room

-Bayham Facilities Plan Meeting; 7pm, Vienna Community Centre


-Tue -Sr Day Out at EEC Complex; 9:30-1 pm;

-Sat. -Cub 7 Paper Drive

-Sat -Immanuel School 60th Avsy. (see Mar. 11 story)





-Pfingstgraef, Martin of St. Thomas passed away on Wednesday  in his 86th year.  Survivors: wife Maria Pfingstgraef (nee Krautner); brother Michael  (Patricia) Pfingstgraef of Aylmer, etc.. He was a member of the  German Canadian Club of Aylmer. The funeral will take place at the Jackson Funeral Home St.Thomas today at 1pm. 


-Wagner, Lynn (May) of RR#2 Aylmer passed away Wednesday in her 52nd year. Survivors: partner Alan Pitter; two children etc.. She was a member of the APHA and OPHC and showed horses all over Ontario. Visitation at Ostrander’s Funeral Home on Tuesday from 1 pm until the time of the Service there at 2 pm. 


-Ward, Kenneth Howey of Ingersoll and formerly of Aylmer passed away Friday in his 78th year. Survivors: wife Arlene (Vanderlei) Ward; ten children etc.. He was born in Bayham. The funeral service will be held at the Kebbel Funeral Home Tuesday at 1 pm. with visition two hours prior. 





A number of residents of Malahide and South Dorchester were without power for almost five hours Saturday morning beginning at 5:30 am – the cause was unknown.





(Contributed) – The next Senior’s Day Out is Tuesday, March 24 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and it includes lunch. Participants will be treated to a morning of recreational activities (their choice of adult skate, shuffleboard, or a fitness class led by Fitness to the Max instructor Stefanie Thompson), coffee and tea, a guest speaker, and lunch provided by Aylmer Submarine. This month’s guest speaker is Tricia Van Gorp. Tricia will be speaking about home décor and sharing tips on how to spice up your home this spring. Registration in advance is required. 





(Information from Chief Andre Reymer) – A 26 year old Aylmer man was charged with making an unsafe lane change after allegedly striking another car July 12 at 4pm after his vehicle, while southbound at the main intersection, tried to change from the left turn lane to the through lane and struck the vehicle; there was minor damage to both vehicles.





(Information from Straffordville Public School Principal Richard Auckland) – “We try to provide a monthly message to Low German speaking people in our area through Radio DeBrig 105.9 FM (in Aylmer).  The message includes upcoming events and items of concern in all schools in our area (registration, open houses, etc.), but we focus on Straffordville School events. These messages have been done since September. We turn the office into a sound studio once a month and meet as a group – staff and students to write, translate and record our message.  It is finalized and then we send it off to Radio Debrig. The school applied for and received a grant in 2014 to help us with our communication with our local families





The following East Elgin residents received Ontario Volunteer Awards during the annual ceremony held Friday at the EEC Complex:

Nicole Baker Aylmer Scouts Canada, Patricia Baker Aylmer Scouts Canada, Linda Baldwin Aylmer Aylmer Community Foundation, Alessandra Bassacco Port Burwell Port Burwell Provincial Park. Brenda Boughner Aylmer Aylmer and East Elgin Agricultural Society, Carol Copeland Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Choir, Jennifer Corless Aylmer Scouts Canada, Evangeline Cattrysse Aylmer Make-A-Wish SouthwesternOntario,  Jessie Charlton Aylmer Aylmer Malahide Museum and Archives, Andy Dieleman Aylmer Fresh Start Maternity Supports, Thea Dygos Aylmer  Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives, Dave Dykeman Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Foundation, Randy Fehr Aylmer The Salvation Army Community Alternatives for Youth, Susan Friesen Aylmer  Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives, Carole Grass Aylmer Chartwell Aylmer , Cindy Graves Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Band, Larry Jeffery Aylmer Aylmer Area Community Foundation, Jim Jenkins Belmont East Elgin Community Complex -Town of Aylmer, Donna Lunn Belmont St. Thomas – Elgin Second Stage Housing, Evelyn Luscher Tillsonburg Aylmer Area Community Choir, Ted McDonald Aylmer Fresh Start Maternity Supports, Carol  McLay Aylmer Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives. (to be continued)




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THURSDAY, Mar. 19/15



*THEAYLMERNEWS will not publish Friday




-Eastlink Free Public Skating, EEC Complex: 11:30 to 1:30 pm

-Aylmer Library: Craig Science Guy 3pm; (Fri, Sat. – Cyber Camps)

-EEC Complex: Day Camp (see Mar. 10 story)

-Bayham, Malahide Councils 7pm


-Fri -Ont. Volunteer Awards at EEC Complex, 7:30 pm

-Sat. -APAC Presents: The Once with Sarah Macdougall: SOLD OUT


-Mon -Aylmer, Malahide Joint Council Session on EEC Complex 4:30 pm; Blue Line Room at EECC








ORWELL – (From Elgin OPP) – The Elgin OPP responded to a collision involving a cyclist and a transport truck on Monday around 11:30 am in Orwell. A transport truck operated by a 53 year old Bayham man and a cyclist, a 67 year old Central Elgin male, were both travelling west on Talbot Line. The cyclist was travelling between the fog line and shoulder of the roadway when the cyclist’s handle bars were struck by the truck. The cyclist was thrown from the bicycle onto the shoulder of the road and suffered minor injuries. He was transported by land ambulance to hospital and later released. The driver of the truck was not injured in the collision. The investigation is continuing.





-Crocker, William Edward “Bill” of Dorchester passed away on Tuesday in his 79th year. Survivors: wife Patricia Pauline (McGuire) Crocker; four children including Wayne Crocker of St. Thomas, Kim Bradley (Dave) of Lyons etc.. Visitation at Williams Funeral Home, St. Thomas on Friday from 7-9 p.m. The  service will be held there Saturday at 1 p.m.


-Boxer, Edith (Edie) (Greswell) of Ailsa Craig and formerly of Aylmer passed away on March 12 in her 90th year. Wife of the late Robert (Pete) Boxer (2009). Survivors: three children etc.. A memorial service will be held at the Haskett Funeral Home Lucan on April 22 at 11:30 am.


-Goethals, Arthur passed away on March 12 at the age of 74 years. Survivors: wife Rose (Godby); three children including Rosilee (Daniel) Peto and Adele (Jerry) Donck, both  of Straffordville etc.. Arthur was a teacher, Vice Principal and Principal with the Elgin County Board of Education for 34 years and he served on the Village of Vienna Council for 25 years. The service was held Monday; arrangements through Ostranders Funeral Home Tillsonburg.





(From Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals press release:) – On February 26 an Elgin County man and woman pled guilty to two counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA act. The charges included: causing distress to an animal and failure to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention. On October 3, 2014, Ontario SPCA Officers were notified that the couple currently had two Pug-type dogs in their care that were in need of veterinary attention.


Officers learned that the dogs were taken to a farming area where they were released and left to fend for themselves. The owners stated they were unable to afford medical attention for the dogs. After a search was conducted, one Pug was found deceased on the side of the road. On October 6, the second dog was picked up by the Ontario SPCA from a local veterinary clinic following its capture by a concerned citizen. The couple received two years probation and ten years prohibition from living with, caring for or owning any animal. They also received a $1,000 fine each and were ordered to pay $507.60 jointly in restitution to the Ontario SPCA.




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TUESDAY, March 17/15








-Eastlink Free Public Skating, EEC Complex:11:30 to 1:30 pm; (Wed. 9 to 11 am, Thu. 11:30 to 1:30 pm)

-Aylmer Library: Drop In St.Patricks Day Craft Programs (Thu – Craig Science Guy; Fri, Sat. – Cyber Camps)

-EEC Complex: Day Camp (see Mar. 10 story)

-Bayham Budget Meeting, 6:30 pm


-Thu – Bayham, Malahide Councils 7pm

-Fri -Ont. Volunteer Awards at EEC Complex, 7pm






(From Elgin OPP) – The Elgin OPP were dispatched to a farming related accident around 3:30 pm on Monday at a farm on Imperial Road in Malahide, north of Lyons. Patrick Unger, 56, owner/operator of the farm, was pronounced dead at the scene after falling into a grain silo attempting to loosen corn from the auger while extracting it from the silo.





-Unger,  Patrick J. of R.R. # 1 Belmont passed away on Monday in his 57th year. Survivors: wife Rica (Walcarius) Unger; children Erica (Kris Grieve), Erin, Patrick and Emily etc.. Pat was a farmer and Sales Representative for Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited and was Chairman of Oxford Mutual Insurance Company. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Wednesday 7-9 and Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows R.C. Church on Friday at 11 am.





VIENNA – Over 250 persons attended the Bayham Ojibwa Information Session last night at the Vienna Community Centre. The meeting lasted less than forty five minutes – an introduction by Bayham Mayor Paul Enns and then an outline of the Ojibwa financial crisis by Bayham CEO Paul Shipway. No questions were entertained – attendees were directed to submit inquiries to a special email address (see Friday story) or to the municipal office.



-In December, Bayham attempted to have an audit done on the Elgin Military Museum books but the EMM did not provide documentation so the audit effort was cancelled

-In October Bayham was notified it was being sued by two companies involved in the move of the sub to Pt. Burwell as they are owed over $1 million. Bayham belives it should not be party to the legal action as it has no ownership of Ojibwa; a judgement is expected by June

-Bayham is still negotiating for assistance from the federal and provincial governments, there is a precedent for federal ownership with the HMCS Haida in Hamilton



1. Where did all the money go? – “Its all been spent, probably half on just the moving and placing of the sub”

2.Comment on the separate lawsuit? – “It’s in the courts but there is no direct contractual relationship between the sub ownership and ourselves”

3.What could Bayham recover?- “Again its up to the courts, but I doubt it will be dollar for dollar, they will probably have to get rid of their artifacts to pay off creditors”

I-VIEW: MP JOE PRESTON (who was in attendance last night)

“We’ve had lots of meetings all along with all parties and yet we’ve still come to this. But we have to move forward and solve this. I think its still a workable project and any bank should want to keep it going. We’re going to work towards a real solution.”


“I was an opponent of the guarantor arrangement in 2012, I didn’t believe in the business plan and I envisioned this might happen. I didn’t believe it would attract visitors, I thought there’s no way we could do this, other submarine attractions also had their admissions go way down after the first year. I’m disappointed for the ratepayers because it’s going to impact greatly what we can and can’t do with our upcoming budgets.”







“There are a number of reasons for the situation to have developed as it has – the original cost estimates received by the Museum for the Project were vastly exceeded when the final invoices arrived; other work was found to be required that none of our experts had anticipated, generating more cost…..Delays, again beyond the Museum’s control, in the movement and preparation of the vessel pushed back the commencement of operations, which reduced the revenue generated in our opening seasons. Other circumstances, such as the record cold and snow of the last two winters, further limited our ability to operate the site and generate year round revenue, and some revenue, such as promised federal funding, did not materialize.”





“Seems to me Joe Preston was quoted as saying “I’ll do everything I can to make it a success. Right.”  (Gary Rabbets)





(Contributed) – The Catfish Creek C.A. has issued a “Flood Watch” for the Catfish Creek watershed area and Port Bruce. Environment Canada’s weather forecast coupled with deteriorating ice conditions on the Catfish Creek and its tributaries indicate that potentially hazardous circumstances exist; primary concerns are increasing water levels, intensifying water flows and possible obstructions to river ice transport. This watch will remain in effect until further notice.”





– March 9, 2015, Station #2, Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– March 10, 2015, Station #1, Calton Line, Medical Assist

- March 14, 2015, Station #1,  Jamestown Line, Medical Assist

– March 14, 2015, Station #1,  John Wise Line, Medical Assist

– March 15, 2015, Station #1,  Sparta Line, Medical Assist




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(*THEAYLMERNEWS will not publish Monday)







(Information from Bayham Media Release)- On Tuesday the Royal Bank informed Bayham that it is calling upon the Municipality to pay six million dollars which is the amount of the loan guarantee which the Municipality provided to the Bank in connection with Project Ojibwa.

The RBC advises that it has advanced the full amount of the loan to the Elgin Military Museum and it is in default of its repayment obligations. RBC has elected to call the loan as a consequence of the default and the Municipality is responsible for payment pursuant to the terms of the Guarantorship Agreement. The Museum actually has until next Friday to pay the funds. However should it not make the payment Bayham’s letter of credit will be called on by the RBC.

Bayham Council will conduct a Public Information Session on Monday at 7 pm at the Vienna Community Centre to provide a recap of events and explain the process moving forward. The Public Information Session will not feature a question and answer period. For additional information please refer to the Municipal Website.

Bayham councillors have already approved a plan where the municipality will finance the $6-million from the Toronto-Dominion Bank with a 10-year term loan at an interest rate of 2.71-percent.That will require loan payments of $27,550.95 per month.

According to the plan, the $275,559.50 in payments required for the rest of 2015 will be paid for from reserves and will not affect the tax levy. In 2016, if Bayham has not recovered any money from the Elgin Military Museum or obtained funding from senior levels of government, $330,671.40 will be required to come from local taxpayers representing a 10.3-percent levy increase.


Commented Bayham Mayor Paul Enns: “It is unfortunate that the Elgin Military Museum has been unable to meet their financial obligation and has put our Municipality in a difficult situation.” He responded to the following questions:

1.HOW LONG HAS BAYHAM KNOWN ABOUT A POTENTIAL FINANCIAL PROBLEM? – “About a year ago we had some concerns when the Elgin Military Museum was not paying us back money they owed us. Bayham was paying certain monies as a guarantor and the EMM was repaying us but then they stopped doing that. They now owe us about $100,000 from the past year. We tried to contact them about this but they were not responding or they kept telling us that admissions were down and they would make payments when they could. I was disappointed in their response, it was a bad situation, I thought they could have been more forthcoming, they could have handled it better.”

2.THE INFORMATION NIGHT STATES THERE WILL BE NO QUESTIONS. COMMENT? – “We are doing this as an information night, especially as a service to those who may not have access to our web site. We will have some prepared questions we will answer. We want to take the time to provide information to the majority. We don’t wish to get sidetracked with too many other questions. People can email us with other questions.” (An Email address of : ojibwa@bayham.on.ca has been created for the public to  put forward comments or questions.)

3.THE MUSEUM ACTUALLY HAS UNTIL MARCH 20 TO REPAY; WHY ACT NOW? – “We wanted to be proactive, we want to be prepared if the bank asks us to pay next Friday. If we have to pay we will also commence litigation against the Museum. Our plan is to pay with reserves this year and beginning next year we will increase the tax levy by the 10.3%; on an assessment of $250,000 that will be about $105 a year for the next ten years and then council will reassess.”

4.WAS YESTERDAY YOUR WORST DAY ON COUNCIL?  “Yes, the project has not gone as we had projected. Admissions have been down. I have always been a supporter because I thought it was what most people in Bayham wanted. We tried to mitigate risks as best we could as we went along. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Now we will do the best we can.”


Commented Bayham Deputy Mayor Tom Southwick, a strong supporter of the Ojibwa project: “In March 2012 Council considered all available information regarding Project Ojibwa from every existing source and made the decision to move forward. The prudent thing to do now, (and Bayham Council will), is ensure that every possible avenue to remedy this situation is explored. This was not an unknown risk and Council is prepared to meet this challenge on behalf of Bayham residents.”





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