Published Articles

THURSDAY, July 6/17



*THEAYLMERNEWS will publish again TUES.




-Bayham 7 pm, Malahide 7:30 pm Councils

-TriCounty Fastball: Pt. Burwell hosts: Burgessville, 8 pm


-Fri -TriCounty Fastball: Straffordville hosts Woodstock, 8:30 pm

-Sat -Healing Hearts, Minds Festival; Optimist Park; 9 am (see report)

-Sun -TriCounty Fastball: Straffordville hosts: Hickson, 8 pm






-Gheysen, Rudy of Aylmer passed away Wednesday in his 62nd year. Survivors: wife Charlene (Maloney) Gheysen; children Lynnsey Gheysen-Murray (David) and Alissa Barons (Andrew), both of Aylmer etc.. Rudy was Chief of Police of Aylmer from 1987 to 1995, having served 10 years previously as an Aylmer Police Officer, and was Director of the Ontario Police College in Aylmer from 2001 to 2011. Last spring Aylmer Council chose him to act as a facilitator to assist in the review of a police service delivery proposal from the OPP which is still in progress. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home, Aylmer on Thursday 7-9 p.m. and Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The funeral mass will be held on Saturday at 10 am from Our Lady of Sorrows R.C. Church.





(Contributed) – Elgin County Council has hired Julie Gonyou as Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk, effective September 5. She is a native of Central Elgin and was previously Director, Administration and Special Projects with the London Library. She replaces Mark McDonald who is retiring.





The annual Aylmer Optimist Junior Golf tourney will be held today beginning at 10 am at Pleasant Valley Golf Club. It is for ages 10-18. There are two age categories for girls and four categories for boys – the cost is $15. Said Joan Cresswell of Pleasant Valley: “It is a qualifier for participants to move on to the Southwestern Ontario Junior Championships.”





(Danielle Webber of Aylmer provides information on a Healing Hearts and Minds Festival she is organizing for this Saturday at Optimist Park beginning at 9 am. There will be arts and crafts vendors, music, a petting zoo, bbq etc..) – “We are raising money to help people living with mental illness. I myself have struggled with mental illness my whole life and I have first hand knowledge of the many cracks within the health system. I have been heavily involved in Aylmer grief support with my parents and decided to branch off from that to help people living with mental illness. I have been running many programs with in my home for many years ie. Quilts for Comfort where I make quilts out of people’s clothing who have passed on. I also run a Kids Craft Night. I am working on a grief journal for kids and have written 6 children’s stories dealing with the many struggles. I hope to start running workshops for adults and grief groups for kids. I want people to open up about their struggles with their own mental health as I believe we all have it but we all learn to deal with it in different ways. I have lived in the darkness for too long and I want to come out into the light.”





– June 26, 2017, Station #2, Talbot Line, Medical Assist

– June 26, 2017, Station #3 assisted by Station #2, Imperial Road, MVC

– June 27, 2017, Station #3, station #2, Inverness Street, Medical Assist

– June 29, 2017, Station #2, Station #1, #3 and #4, Talbot Line, Fire

– June 30, 2017, Station #1, Vienna Line, Medical Assist

– June 30, 2017, Station #2 assisted by Station #1, Carter Road, Fire

– June 30, 2017, Station #1, Colin Street, Medical Assist

– July 2, 2017, Station #1, Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– July 2, 2017, Station #4, Wilson Line, Medical Assist





(Information from Peter Dutchak, Elgin County Engineering Services) –  “Asphalt milling is simply the grinding and removal of the existing asphalt (in this case 50mm) to accommodate a new layer of asphalt. Milling operations were expected to be nearly complete by the end of last week. Then in about another week, asphalt resurfacing will begin and require about 3 weeks to complete. We expect the new surface on John Street to last about 12 years. (During the milling on John St. north) the railway authority took the opportunity to remove unused tracks that cross John Street before a new asphalt surface is installed.”






In May, Herb Kebbel celebrated 50 years of owning a funeral home at the present site on Talbot St. east in Aylmer. Of Lithuanian heritage, Herb was raised near Rodney on a tobacco farm and got a part time job, but mostly volunteering, at the funeral home there while attending WESS. Despite the ‘ribbing’ from friends Herb enjoyed his job – “I was compassionate and I liked to help people.” He then went to Embalming school for two years in Toronto and worked at a few funeral homes in Toronto after college. He enjoyed it to the point that “when my friends went out some nights I even stayed in and watched autopsies.”  Of note, he assisted in the funerals of two members of the Boyd Gang, notorious bank robbers in the Toronto area in the 1950s as they were hung for the shooting of a police officer and also the funeral of a man called ‘King of the Gypsies’  whose mourners set up a carnival atmosphere complete with tons of flowers, motorcycles and alcohol in the funeral home.

He heard in 1961 that Jim Barnum of Aylmer, who had one of two funerals homes here, was looking for an assistant. He was located at the corner of King and Pine St., the other was at the present site owned by Gord Highson. He purchased Barnum’s in 1963. He had been to Aylmer only briefly before as a woman here worked on their tobacco farm and they used to pass through as they visited her at her Pt Bruce cottage. In 1967 Hughson moved to Williams Funeral Home in St.Thomas and Herb bought on Talbot.

He has had two major additions, a chapel in the front and the large addition to the north which was built eight years ago. He says Aylmer is unique as the conservative Mennonite groups here like to build their own coffins and do their own dressing and he prepares embalming for Amish funerals but they also do their own dressing and they do funerals in their homes. He is most concerned about the trend away from visitations/funerals believing that “funerals are for the living.” He is in partnership with his son Bob and at age 80 believes he is the oldest active funeral director in southwestern Ontario. He still comes in most days and plans to continue “as long as people want to see me.” He only plans to  retire when “they put me in a box.”





Some concerns were expressed by some readers relating to the lateness of the Tractor Pull this past weekend at the fairgrounds sponsored by the Aylmer and Malahide Fair Board. Fair Board President Scott Lewis confirmed that they had an extension to the town’s noise bylaw, to 1 am,  granted to them by the Aylmer Police.  Said Scott: “The fair board did get a noise by-law extension for both nights. Due to the rain on Saturday, it delayed our show two hours, which in turn took it to 12:45am unfortunately. Friday night, we were done around 11 pm. Overall the show went well. It was also too bad that the Band we hired wasn’t able to play, due to the extended pulling.”




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