Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin






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THURSDAY, March 7/13






-Bayham 7, Malahide 7:30 Councils


-Sat. -Kids Company Present: SplashNBoots ; OTHall; 2pm (see ad)

-Sat. – Daylight Savings Time Starts


-Next Week – Schools’ March Break

-Thu. – Blood Donor Clinic at EEC Complex






-Giesbrecht, Helena; of Aylmer, passed away Tuesday, in her 84th year. Wife of the late Jacob Giesbrecht (2012). Survivors include: children Peter (Susana) Giesbrecht, Johan (Katharina) Giesbrecht, Sara (Abe) Braun, all of Aylmer, etc.. Also 62 grandchildren and 76 great grandchildren. She was born in Mexico. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home,  on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Saturday at 2:00 pm. from the Old Colony Mennonite Church, Aylmer.








Elgin Health Unit recently reported they were seeing an increase in the number of cases of ‘Whooping Cough’ – “Pertussis, commonly known as whopping cough, is a highly contagious, upper respiratory, bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. A deep “whooping” sound is often heard when the patient tries to take a breath. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the disease is easily spread from person to person.  The groups most vulnerable to serious consequences of being infected are infants (less than one year of age) and pregnant women.

In Ontario, an outbreak of 22 cases of pertussis illness was seen between July and mid November 2011.  Twelve (55%) of the cases involved Elgin County residents. In mid December 2011 an increase in cases of pertussis in Elgin County was again noticed in the same distinct population.  To date (March 2012), more than 69 confirmed cases of pertussis illness have been identified. The best way to protect yourself is immunization.






(Information from Doug Lester of the OVC) – “The Otter Valley Chamber of Commerce in Bayham and Elgin County Economic Development are sponsoring a Social Media Workshop on March 23 at the Aylmer Elgin Resource Business Centre on John St north from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Participants will learn the basics of: Purchasing a Domain, Setting up a Basic Website, Facebook for Small Business, Twitter for Business, Questions & Answers. It is free for OVCC members and $20 for other guests and includes lunch.

The purpose of the OVC is to help solepreneurs and small business owners in Elgin establish and enhance a web presence. This will be a hands on learning experience.  Bring your laptop or tablet if you have one. There will be other computers available for your use. Jenn Nelson from The Social Studio will be the trainer. To register send an e-mail by March 18 to jenn@thesocialstudio.ca or dlester@eagletree.ca”





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WEDNESDAY, Mar. 6/13






-Sat. -Kids,Company Present: SplashNBoots ; OTHall; 2pm (see ad)

-Sat. – Daylight Savings Time Starts


-Next Week – Schools’ March Break






Keith Malcolm of the Elgin Stewardship Council reports that his group began feeding corn at the Aylmer Wildlife Management area (by the Ontario Police College) this week in anticipation of the arrival soon of Tundra Swans. However, with the ponds still frozen he thinks there may be a lot of coming and going as the birds still search out nearby  sources for water. The ESC will continue their feeding over the next month.

They expect some 5000 swans to pass through here shortly on their way north – and to other major feeding grounds in North Dakota and Northern Alberta. Mr. Malcolm says the Aylmer location offers the closest viewing of the swan migration of any place in North America.






Victoria and daughter Bailey Player of Belmont will not be participating in Amazing Race Canada.  Said Victoria today:  “We did hear back two days ago, we didn’t get accepted. We made it to stage 2, they said we made it quite far in the audition process. We definetly tried and had lots of support.”






The next bi-monthly Canadian Blood Services Blood Donor Clinic in Aylmer will be held next Thursday, March 14 at the EEC Complex from 2:30 to 7:30 pm. CBS is especially looking for group donors – transportation can be provided. Contact: kristen.ungar@blood.ca








“A 22-year old Malahide woman was charged last week with armed robbery of the Hills Pharmacy Clinic on Talbot St. west  last March 24.  Aylmer Police received information recently, including a tip on Crimestoppers,  on the incident and arrested her at her residence. The same woman was charged with armed robbery of a London gas station in the fall. In last March’s robbery, a woman demanded Oxycontin from staff as she brandished a knife; she then rode off on a bicycle with the stolen goods.”




“On Saturday, Festivals and Events of Ontario announced the winners of the Top 100 in Ontario in the past year and the Straffordville Watermelon Fest made the list. The Watermelon Fest also won an award for Most Innovative Partnership (the event and the Township of Bayham)”





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TUESDAY, March 5/13





-Aylmer Museum Re-Opens; 9 am-5 pm

-EEC Complex – Skate Canada West Ont. High Schools Competition; 8am-4pm






ACCIDENT – In an accident that occurred on Saturday evening, February 23, a female pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle turning at the main intersection was removed by ambulance and received staples to a wound to her head  and the 20 year old male driver, of Aylmer, was charged with Failing to Yield to a pedestrian.


ACCIDENT = Also last week, an American truck driver, heading west, in making a right turn onto Elm from Talbot Street knocked over the traffic signal. There was minor damage to the truck trailer but the traffic signal pole and lights need to be replaced.  The driver was charged with making an Improper Turn.






(Contributed) – “The annual SPRINGWATER MAPLE  SYRUP FESTIVAL began this past weekend and will continue during March Break (and on weekends) from 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily.  Highlights include: Horse Drawn Wagon Rides – March 9, 10, 23 and 24; March Break Programs – March 11-15; Children’s Festival – March 23 (Face Painting, Games, Crafts, Contests, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Taffy in the Snow etc. $5.00 /person.)

Admission to the Maple Syrup Festival Events includes: Wagon Rides, Pancake House, Native, Pioneer & Modern Syrup Making, Demos, Smokey the Bear Maple Products, Samples etc.








VIENNA -About 350 persons were present at the Community Hall here last night to discuss the possibility of Bayham Township acting as a guarantor for the transportation and installation of the Ojibwa sub to Port Burwell next fall.  Said Bayham Deputy-Mayor Mark Taylor:  ”I’ve never seen quite a turnout for any issue in my nine years on Council.” According to D-M Taylor, the audience was overwhelmingly in favour of the township acting as a guarantor – “I asked for a show of hands of who was opposed to the idea and I counted only 18 of the approximate 350 there.”

The agenda allowed for the Military Museum’s Ian Raven to respond to about a dozen prepared questions and then other questions were open to the floor. D-M Taylor said the main concern was whether the township would be restricted in applying for other capital projects with this particular commitment so the next step is to work out those details.”






‘Sold’ signs appeared at the Central Hotel last week.  Some information on its sale is from Robin Kent of Aylmer:  ”It’s a business that has purchased the building for now to hold. People from different churches in the area are working together (on this). The building itself will be used for ministry purposes. What exactly will be done in there is not yet concluded.”






By Bill Murch


1. Library Committee Reccommendation – Council agreed that Archon Architects Inc. from Windsor will be retained to provide a conceptual plan for a new library facility and will report back in eight weeks.


2. Golden Community Builders Parking request -  A town bylaw notes that the town has allocated 15 parking space in the two downtown parking lots that people can rent on a ‘first come, first served’ basis (Two of these spaces are currently being rented). There are different rental terms available; one of which is as long as one year and for a 24/7 time period. It is up to the person to find an available spot. Therefore if any of the tenants of the Trillium Building want to rent a parking space in the town lots they can do so based on availability. There will be no assigned group spaces (for GCB).


3. Mainstreet Aylmer’s Letter Re-Downtown Parking concerns – Mainstreet Aylmer (BIA) expressed concerns over the availability of parking in the downtown. They acknowledge that part of the problem is caused by people including some of those who work in the downtown who overstay the two hour parking restriction. They would like to see changes in the enforcement of the town’s parking by-law to address this problem.  It was pointed out by Council that in addition to the cost, past experience has shown that customers who are ticketted complain. The matter was referred to staff for study.






(Contributed) – “The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards are a way for the government to recognize volunteers for their continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to a group. Youth Volunteers (under the age of 24) are recognized for two or more years of continuous service. Adults are recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 or more years of continuous service. The East Elgin Community Complex is a host site of the 2012 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards on Thursday, March 21, 2013.”






(Contributed) –  ”Elgin County Economic Development is pleased to present the next installment in the popular Elgin County Conference Series. On March 27 participate in a day long seminar and workshop focusing on customer service. Essentials of Service Excellence is an interactive workshop designed to help organizations reach the next level of customer service and create a customer-centric organization. Topics presented will include: service excellence essentials, communications excellence, the service process and first impressions. The workshop will be delivered by the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation and will be funded in partnership with the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, March 27 from 9 am – 2 pm at the New Sarum Diner. The cost to attend is $30 with a student rate of $20. A continental breakfast and a lunch will be provided. For more information visit www.progressivebynature.com. Seating is limited so please pre-register by calling 519-631-1460 ext. 168 or email jberinger@elgin-county.on.ca. ”





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MONDAY, Mar. 4/13






-Aylmer Council, 7pm

-Bayham By-Election Candidates Night; 7pm; Straffordville C. Centre


-Tue. -Aylmer Museum Opens; 9am-5pm






(From Ontario SPCA website) – “On January 29, Abraham Loewen, 43, of Aylmer, was found guilty on four counts of animal cruelty and breach of probation. He received his sentencing last Tuesday.


In April 2009, Mr. Loewen pled guilty to four counts of animal neglect after an investigation of three of his farm properties was conducted regarding lack of care for four Quarter Horses. One of the horses succumbed to illness at the onset of the investigation, two were later euthanized due to pain and infection and one recovered from lack of proper nutrition. Mr. Loewen received a three-year probation period but was allowed to continue to own horses although he was prohibited from having custody or control of horses for two years.


In March and April 2011, an Ontario SPCA Inspector discovered two emaciated horses and one dead horse on a property owned by Mr. Loewen. He faced further charges including one count of breach of probation, two counts of breach of prohibition and three counts of failing to provide suitable and adequate care. Tuesday, Loewen was sentenced to 90 days in jail, given five years prohibition from owning or having custody or care of any farm animal and was fined $2,000.00.






(Mainstreet Aylmer is making a presentation to Aylmer Council tonight concerning parking. The following outline was provided by Nicole Wiebenga of Mainstreet) – “Currently in the downtown core, people are abusing the parking designated as 2-hour limit, both on the streets and in the two municipal lots.  With the recent request from Golden Community Builders for 15 of the Municipal parking spots, the downtown merchants are very concerned about customer access to parking.


Despite the continued efforts of the BIA to make abusers understand the importance of having convenient parking left available for downtown customers, they feel that enforced parking regulations are what is necessary to keep consistent abusers away from the prime spots and to keep our downtown vibrant and viable.  MainStreet Aylmer is looking to council to recognize that there is a parking problem and the need for a resolution.”






– February 26, 2013, Station #3,  Hacienda Road, Medical Assist

– February 28, 2013, Station #2,  Rogers Road, Medical Assist






Next week during the Schools’ March Break, the EEC Complex is offering a March Break Camp for children 6 to 12 years old with crafts, games, activities and public skating from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m. for $20 per camper (Contact the Complex).


As well, Eastlink is sponsoring free skating next week on these dates: Monday, 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m., Tuesday, 11:30a.m. to 1:30p.m., Wednesday, 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m., Thursday, 11:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. and Friday, 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m.






(Contributed) – “The Aylmer Library is offering these programs next week during the Schools’ March Break week: Monday – Dotsy the Clown Magic show, balloon animals and face painting from 2-3 pm for ages 5-12; Tuesday – Green Hair and Eggs: Create your own egg person and watch their hair grow! From 2-3 pm for ages 5-12;


Thursday – LEGO building contest: Create a masterpiece. Judging will take place at 3 pm. The Prize is a LEGO set. From 2-3 pm for ages 5-12 and Friday -2 Hands Clay Handprints for 3 months – 5 years from 1-1:45 pm and Owl Kids “n” Clay for Grade 1 and up from 2-3:30 pm for $5 per child. All programs require pre-registration.”





(Last week it was announced that Mike Sereda of Aylmer, an Executive Superintendent with TVDSB will be retiring in August. He provided this review for TANews:)

1. Education/Work? I attended a two-room elementary school in Raliegh township, Chatham then attended high school at Chatham Kent SS.  I taught at Davenport for about 10 years and was  Principal at McGregor, Davenport, and Summers’ Corners schools. I became a Superintendent in 1999 and Executive Superintendent around 2005.

2. Why live in Aylmer? Teacher Ken Carson,  when I began teaching, kept putting ads for houses in my mailbox, so I finally gave in and moved when our kids were of school age. I  liked the small town as a place for my kids to grow up and go to school. I like being so close to the country and if the need strikes, the big city is a short bike ride away.

3. Retirement?  I will get back to running, biking and playing sax.”






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FRIDAY, Mar. 1/13






-Sat. -Starks,Durkee; Songs From The Heart; St Marks,St.Thomas,7:30pm


-Mon. -Aylmer Council, 7pm

-Mon. -Bayham By-election Canadidates Night; Straffordville Centre; 7pm






The Aylmer Fire Department responded to a van fire, probable electrical cause, on Bodkin Ave. Wednesday around 5 pm – they remained on the scene about an hour.






Among agenda items for Monday’s Council meeting:


-A Report from the Library Building Committee reccommending Archon Architects of Windsor be selected to present a design, at a cost of 19,500, for a new library  of 10,000 square feet at the northwest corner of John and Sydenham streets.


-A reccommendation from Town Staff that Golden Community Builders (downtown apartment complex) is eligible to apply for 15 downtown parking spaces  - the bylaw states only 15 can be allotted annually.






The interior of the old Carnegie Library – which opened its doors 100 years ago today – is quite modern for its occupants, State Farm Insurance. However there are traces of the original decor – large windows, sculpted ceilings, wood trim – from 1913. (kb) (CLICK)








(From Environment Canada – Feb. 29/12)) “Freezing rain is expected to develop this morning and afternoon. A Colorado low that is tracking across Southern Minnesota today will reach the Central Great Lakes this evening. Freezing rain and some snow will begin spreading into Ontario this morning. Freezing rain may be lasting up to 4 to 6 hours as the main precipitation band moves from southwest to northeast through the area.”

(AYLMER BUSES TODAY – Information from Dave Cryderman of Badder Buses) – “We made our decision to cancel buses at 5:45 am. We were advised that there was freezing rain occurring in West Elgin and freezing rain was just starting in Port Stanley. With that in mind and a freezing rain warning from Environment Canada, we decided to cancel.”






Two major openings occurred at the corner of John and Sydenham Streets today. The apartment complex was to receive its first occupants. And Sydenham Street west was re-opened for the first time in a year. (kb) (CLICK)






“Historic Buildings of Aylmer”  (On sale for $15 at:

Campbells, Pinecroft, Studer’s and Mary Jane’s.)





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THURSDAY, Feb. 28/13






-Sat. -Starks,Durkee; Songs From The Heart; St Marks,St.Thomas,7:30pm






-Barrie, Betty; of Lambeth, passed away on Tuesday, in her 91st year. Survivors include: son Robert Barrie of Aylmer etc.. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home, Aylmer Thursday 7-9 p.m. where the service will be held Friday, at 11:00 am.






Reader Mark Alward writes that the Youtube site posted Tuesday on the 1965 Aylmer Fire video was incorrect; it should be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xktw4xGJwqg”






Reader Joanne Orton informs that the Aylmer Area Community Choir received a mark of 86% at the Rotary Festival in St. Thomas Tuesday night. The Aylmer Area Community Band received an 85%.








(Amber (Scott) Mattox, formerly of Aylmer, and her husband Lee won last Wednesday’s  episode of the Four Weddings Canada television show on the  Slice network. Each week four brides compete to see how each would judge the others’ weddings in the categories of venue,  food, dress and overall experience. The winner gets a trip. Amber provided the following information:)

My wedding was October 15, 2011. My friend recommended we apply for the show as she was sent a link about a casting call. So I sent in an application on a whim and they responded right away because of the unique entertainment we had at the wedding. We had live vocalists, live violinists, and 3 choreographed performances. As well as the uniqueness of my venue being at the old converted train station (in St.Thomas).  I had to undergo multiple interviews so they could see if my personality was right for the show. The show was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. ”






American author Jerry Eicher, born in the Aylmer Amish community, has just published his twentieth book – most of them being non-fiction stories about the Amish. ‘Katie Opens Her Heart’, was published in February by  Harvest House Publishers. Eicher was born here but left at eight years of age when his grandfather Peter Stoll moved to Central America to begin an Amish community there. He still has relatives here ie. Uncle Joseph Stoll etc. and returns occasionally for special occasions – he lives in Farmville, Virginia.

He left the Amish after being married for a few years and joined a Mennonite church. Some of his books – including ‘My Amish Childhood’ about growing up in Aylmer – can be found in the Aylmer library. A book listing can be found at www.eicherjerry.com .






Tom Starks, Chairman of the Aylmer Performing Arts Council, announces the upcoming season of shows:


PATRICIA  O’CALLAGHAN  September 7th, 2013

(Reviewed in Billboard as  “the most promising cabaret performer of her generation”)

JOHN  MCDERMOTT  October 4th, 2013

(Scottish-Canadian tenor best known for his rendering of the song “Danny Boy”. )

CUFF THE DUKE  November 16th, 2013

(This Canadian band has played with Blue Rodeo and have a definite Canadian roots rock base.)

SARAH  SLEAN  December 7th, 2013

(Multiple Juno & Gemini-nominated singer and songwriter with 11 albums.)

CARLOS  DEL  JUNCO  January 18th, 2014

(From 1997-2011 he was the Harmonica Player of the year.)

JENNIFER  THORPE  March 1st, 2014

(Vocalist, composer and producer, she is a Canadian jazz talent to watch.)

JEREMY  FISHER  April 12th, 2014

(Two-time Juno Award nominee, Canadian singer -songwriter.)





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WED., Feb. 27/13



THEAYLMERNEWS will not publish today.




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TUESDAY, Feb. 26/13






-Family Health Team: Health Info Session; 7pm; 424 Talbot West

-Tue./Sat. -Eastlink Channel 5; Aylmer’s 125th; 10 am/6:30 pm each date






(From Environment Canada, 5 am) –  ”A low pressure system over Arkansas this morning is forecast to track to Northern Ohio by Wednesday morning. Current indications show that a mixture of wet snow and rain will move into Southwestern Ontario this afternoon, as temperatures will be near or slightly above the zero degree mark. Rain will be more predominant near Lake Erie and along the shoreline of Lake Ontario where temperatures will be slightly milder.

Should the precipitation fall as all snow, total snowfall amounts of up to 20 cm are possible by Wednesday evening. Over these areas, the heaviest snowfall is likely to occur late tonight into the morning rush hour. There is still some uncertainty as to whether or not the precipitation will be all snow, or some combination of wet snow and rain in many areas. Snowfall warnings may be issued later today if it appears that the warning criteria of 15 cm in 12 hours will be met.”






-Wilkins, Elaine Mildred; of Aylmer, passed away on Monday, in her 76th year. Survivors include: husband Bob Wilkins; children; sisters Marguerite Smith, Marilyn Pettit, Laura Kenn, Ruth Stewart, and Carol Holditch (Donald) of the Aylmer area etc.. With her husband she had operated Wilkins Shell at Candyville and Boblane Marina at Port Bruce. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home, Aylmer on Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Thursday at 11:00 am.


-Vereecken, Celestine; of Vienna; on Sunday. Wife of the late Maurice Vereecken (2006). Visitaton at Ostranders Funeral Home, Tillsonburg on Wednesday 2-4:p.m. and 7–9:p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Langton at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday.


-Dalton, Carl W., of St. Thomas, passed away on Sunday, in his 85th year. Carl was a retired machinist at Aylmer Toolcraft Ltd. Visitation at Sifton Funeral Home, St.Thomas on Friday from 2:00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. and for 1 hour prior to the funeral service. The funeral service will be held at the Community of Christ Church, St. Thomas on Saturday, at 11:00 a.m.






(Contributed) – Calton Community Hall will host a ‘Fishing Lake Erie’ session with Dean and Cindy Franklin of Haulin Bass Pro Bass Masters  this Saturday from 7 to 9 pm. They will be offering seminars and Bass Fishing Lessons for fishing Lake Erie and Long Point Bay. Proceeds to Calton Community Hall.






“ I volunteer for a dog rescue so I often see posts for missing dogs. However tonight within a few hours it was brought to my attention that dogs were going missing from  Aylmer and surrounding areas. There was a 12 week old male husky pup taken; security cameras show a white pickup truck picking up the dog and heading towards Aylmer. Than another contact advised me that other dogs have been stolen from yards and parks in this same area, again a white vehicle is suspected. Please keep an eye on your precious furry family members and report any suspicious looking vehicles lingering near yards with pets! “ (Sunday-Helen Arrand-Ross)








(The Council Finance Committee held a Budget meeting last night. Here are highlights:) The focus of the meeting was primarily on grant requests. Four groups appeared as delegations in support of their requests. The majority of the requests were accepted and will be referred to Council for approval in the 2013 budget.

Of note was the committee’s endorsement of the East Elgin Community Assistance Program’s (Corner Cupboard) first time request for $2,000 to pay their rent in order not to take this money away from the pressing need to buy food.

Two requests were changed. The Aylmer Heritage Committee’s request was reduced by $352 to $3623 -the same level as last year. The Finance Committee recommended giving A.C.T. $500 in the form of a sponsorship rather than a $4,375 grant. The main part of the grant would have been to pay for the cost of the technicians which is a matter still under review by Council.

The $100,000 set aside in the 2012 budget for the Aylmer Splashpad project will be brought forward to Council. This is so it would be available when the project gets the go ahead this year.Council will also be asked to consider taking out a loan to pay for the replacement of all street and sport field lights with new LED lights. The Committee is returning the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority 2013 budget proposal and asking them to reduce their increase to less than 2.9%.

Mayor Couckuyt challenged the members of the Financial Committee to identify at least $200,000 in savings when they next look at the Capital portion of the 2013 budget. This would bring the Town’s budget in with less than a 2% increase this year.The next Finance Committee meeting is March 4th at 2:30.






-A 55-year old Aylmer male was charged with a violation of his bail after a citizen’s complaint. The accused was instructed to stay away from the victim of his alleged domestic assault in December. However, Police discovered he had allowed the 41-year old female into his residence last Thursday.


-Aylmer Police conducted a RIDE program last Monday evening on Talbot Street west and stopped 250 vehicles and issued 3 warnings.


-Police remind snowmobilers that their machines are not to be on sidewalks.


-In Elgin court recently, a 17 year old Aylmer female who was charged in May with causing a disturbance entered into a peace bond arrangement.


-Also in court recently , a 54-year old Aylmer male who was caught in the liquor store in February  contrary to his bail conditions was given one day in jail and 3 days from time already served for the original crime.





Reader Tracy Carrothers points out that a short clip of the Propane Truck Fire in Aylmer which happened 48 years ago today – 2pm on Feb. 26/1965 – can be viewed at  ”http://youtube/Xktw4xGJwqg”





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