Santa Claus may not be coming to town
After 27 years of seeing colourful floats and bands bring holiday cheer, Thorold’s annual Santa Claus Parade may not be happening this Christmas season.
“It would be a shame after 27 years to lose it,” Coun. Tim Whalen reported at last week’s BIA meeting.
Lauren Krause, who picked up the reins three years ago, and prevented the parade from ending then, has been advised by her doctor that because of her advanced pregnancy—and due date coinciding with the week of the parade—she should forego spearheading it this year.
She’s hoping to pass the torch to anyone who’s willing to pick it up, for this year only.
“We started at this time last year, so it’s doable,” she stated. “A lot of businesses and the city do back us. I have a following that believes in it and takes part in it and sponsors that want to support the cause. There are people willing to offer their time and money.”
Ginger Derochie, administrative assistant and recreation coordinator for the city, told the Thorold News that the funding is still in place for the parade in the city’s budget, along with in-kind donations for set-up, barricades, street closures, and the like.
They hope that someone steps forward immediately, and volunteers to pitch in with pre-parade organization, primarily consisting of making phone calls and sending emails, explained Krause.
Where’s your assion? - Humour
We’ve got trouble, right here in Thorold city. With a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Parade.
(Forgive me but ever since my sister, niece and I saw The Music Man at Stratford Festival a few weeks ago, I’m in full musical mode).
Seriously though, the Thorold Santa Claus Parade, which has swept a colourful swath of community Christmas spirit through the downtown and along Sullivan Avenue each November for the past 27 years, is in peril.
If no one steps up to the plate, there’s no parade this year, period.
And while I’d intended to have this column ready for publication early this morning, I was experiencing technical difficulty: my p stuck.
Frequently writing at the crack of dawn, sometimes I type like the wind, with one eye practically closed, only to read my article in the daylight and wonder what it’s supposed to say.
This week, with 14 new stories, plus three new columns and a new reader poll, we had our work cut out for us.
It was only after I read this week’s History Column—in the daylight—that I realized the p was missing.
The p on my keyboard wasn’t working, so the history column read, “…The general gave me a free ass home” (instead of ‘pass’).
And wouldn’t you know, the week that the history column is full of words like Philadelphia, Plattsburg, and plotting prisoners; and my other articles have Puppy Parade and Santa Claus Parade in their titles, they became hiladelhia, lattsburg, lotting risoners, uy arade and Santa Claus arade.
How ironic, I thought, that my gnat-sized bladder keeps me up several times a night, but when I really need it, my dang p doesn’t work.
Anyway, if you read the article, you’ll see that what’s needed is someone to save the Parade, mainly by making phone calls and writing emails in the next couple weeks. Not rocket science.
If we weren’t up to our armpits in running the Thorold News and preparing to bring 30 bands to Thorold for the Canal Bank Shuffle from Oct. 11 to 14 (www.canalbankshuffle.com--insert shameless plug here), Bob and I might consider it. But we are not super human. It needs to be someone who has time to spare.
There will be a huge ripple effect when you consider all the schools, bands, businesses, community groups, and spectators who will miss the parade. For 17 years, Bob and I, along with our CUPE coworkers, collected food from spectators along the parade route for the Community Care Food Drive, a tradition which continues—now led by the TCAG—to this day. The truckloads of food from the parade help feed a number of families down on their luck at Christmas time, and part-way through winter.
This in itself is enough reason to save the Parade.
(By the way, there’s one thing we did learn during our many years along the route: never, ever put the horses at the front of the parade).
But of course, there’s the pageantry, the exciting thump in your heart when the bands bang their drums as they march by, and lump you get in your throat when you hear bagpipes (or maybe that’s just me).
And more importantly, there’s the sense of small-town community and desperately-needed Christmas spirit; the innocent smiles of every child who sits on the curb and waits to see the Big Kahuna, Santa himself.
Please, let’s not lose that.
Come on, Thorold, where’s your ‘assion?
A Yellow Flower Basket still blooming after 30 years
Times have changed drastically since 1988, when Teresa Aiello and her two daughters—Joanne and Diana—opened up their new flower shop on Front Street.
“When we opened 30 years ago, they wanted our husbands to co-sign because we were three women,” Diana D’Intino told the Thorold News. “In this day and age, that’s ridiculous but that was the norm then. We said, ‘Absolutely not. The men are not involved,’ and we started with a $500 investment each, doing home parties.”
The family trio set up shop at 50 Front Street North, where countless customers have sat around their store’s cozy kitchen table in three decades, having heart-to-heart talks while planning happy and sad life events.
“It’s an intimate business,” said D’Intino. Floral arrangements “have to reflect the lives and feelings of their event. We have to make sure it’s very personalized. Mom always told us that funeral flowers are the last gift you give someone, so it’s important that we get it right.”
“There is one very special gift we make every Nov. 11. There was a war veteran whose family wanted to thank him for the sacrifice he made for Canada by serving in World War 2. Every Nov. 11 they picked up a bouquet of red and white roses to bring to him with a simple thank you card attached. They did this every year until he passed away. Now on Nov. 11, the bouquet goes out to him at his resting place.”
Having formed many friendships over the years, “The children and grandchildren of long-time customers are coming to us now. Certain seasons are marked by customers each year. When they come in, we know it’s the start of that season. On special occasions like Mother’s Day, we have former Thoroldites calling from out of town and we catch up with them on what’s going on. Another important job is to taste test everything for the custom gourmet fruit and food baskets.”
According to D’Intino, “There’s a lot of ‘MacGyvering’ in florals. People will say, “We need a truck in the middle of it.’ JoAnne figures it out. She’s MacGyver.”
“We love our job,” said JoAnne. “When we started, it was a challenge and it’s still a challenge but we like a challenge. Since we’ve started, we haven’t wanted to do anything else. Over the years, the business has changed because before, you didn’t have the Internet, or brides showing us pictures on their laptop.”
After 10 years, they doubled the store’s floor space, building on their successful philosophy: “We are the designers who create the arrangements but our creations are an interpretation of the sender's thoughts and emotions.”
According to D’Intino, “When we first opened, Mom was the expert. She had 10 years design experience and a keen eye. JoAnne and I were novices (having taken floral design at Niagara College). So every arrangement that had to be inspected by Mom. It did not leave the store until she thought it was perfect. We continue that tradition today, except now JoAnne and I look over each other's shoulders.”
The sisters insist on doing some things differently than business experts might advise.
“But these are important to us,” said D’Intino. “We never put up a Christmas window display before Remembrance Day. We close on Sundays; that's our family day. We started recycling before those programs came around. Basically 95 per cent of what we put out is recycling. When the Canadian floral industry was cutting back on long-stemmed roses because everyone was going to imports since they were cheaper, we stuck with buying them from Canada. We buy local. In the heart of Niagara, we can get daily delivery of locally grown flowers. Ontario is the flower growing capital of Canada and 75 per cent of those flowers are grown in the Hamilton/Niagara area. Picked today; in our store tomorrow morning.”
Starting at noon today, Wednesday, Sept. 26, A Yellow Flower Basket owners JoAnne and Diana D’Intino are celebrating 30 years of success by offering 30 per cent off almost everything in the store for 30 hours. Stop in for some anniversary cake, where one prize winner will be drawn almost every hour, along with a special grand prize.
MPs to take Niagara trade corridor road trip
The work of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey and local leaders in business and industry has generated positive results once again.
Representatives from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in Ottawa will be in Niagara next week to see firsthand the opportunities to bolster transporation links from the international border, the Welland Canal, through the Niagara region to Hamilton Harbour.
The goal is to leverage Niagara’s unique location to contribute to a National Trade Corridor strategy, aligned with a $2-billion Trade Corridor Fund. Badawey will lead a convoy of committee members from the Peace Bridge, the southern terminus of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, up the canal corridor to the Port Authority in Hamilton with stops along the way to see rail links, bridges, economically strategic lands and the Welland Canal.
The Niagara region road trip follows a day of bi-partisan hearings where more than 24 delegates will present witness accounts to help build the foundation for the national plan, which will include road, rail, air and the waterways of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“No other area in Canada has these multi-modal advantages that strengthens a southwestern Ontario economic cluster, contributing to our nation’s international trade performance,” Badawey said. “We have the natural advantage and the infrastructure. We are perfectly positioned for the focus of a trade corridior to serve future generations, as we are within a one day’s drive of over 44 per cent of North America’s annual income. It is now time to bring our transportation network into 2018 and beyond as part of an overall national strategy.”
Ice Dogs take on Colts
Adam Egerter dropped the puck as the Niagara Ice Dogs played the Barrie Colts at the Frank Doherty Arena Friday night.
While undergoing continuing chemotherapy treatments for Stage 4 brain cancer, eight-year-old Adam is getting ready to return to Richmond Street School and play hockey.
Asked how he felt about being asked to drop the puck, he told the Thorold News, “Lucky.”
Mental Health FIrst Aid Arrives
It seems like something that's long overdue but a much-needed weapon has been added to the arsenal against mental health issues and the stigma they bring.
A program called Mental Health First Aid has come to Niagara and it is aimed at providing a first-responder component to a number of mental health disorders.
After many years of working in the mental health field, Frances Cortese has begun training non-professionals in Mental Health First Aid.
“Training in mental health first aid begin in 2007 in Canada, and I'm arriving late having started last November,” Cortese told the Thorold News.
“Mental illness is rising so quickly Mental Health commission want training for anyone who is interested,” she stated.
Her background provided her with the qualifications necessary to train lay-people in the program. She underwent a screening process and intense training program through the Mental Health Commission of Canada to equip her with the skills needed to become a trainer in mental health first aid.
Now she trains lay-people. The goal is to provide graduates of her program with the tools to recognize symptoms of developing mental health issues including substance abuse, depression, schizophrenia and others. Successful participants receive a certificate.
Cortese says it's like mental CPR. “The two-day program provides information and education on symptoms of mental health problems or disorders. We teach class participants how to recognize those symptoms and direct people who may be suffering to the appropriate professionals.”
The explained further. “There are three components to the program.
- To recognize signs and symptoms of health problems
- How to provide initial help
- How to guide a person toward the appropriate professional
DeCou and war prisoners plot escape: American occupation of the Township, Part 2
A thrilling firsthand account written by John DeCou, a Canadian who was taken prisoner
Thorold Township and Town, 1786-1932
Published by John H. Thompson
Among the Canadians who were taken prisoners was John DeCou. During Capt. John DeCou’s absence, part of his house had been turned into a soldiers’ barrack, and it was from this place that Fitzgibbon’s men went out on their daring expeditions. In the same way, Dittrick’s barn, near St. Catharines, was used as headquarters at times by Capt. Merritt’s dragoons. DeCou has left us this interesting account of his experience:
“I was appointed captain of a company of militia, and being thoroughly British, I turned out with my men, although conscious that we had to fight against great odds, yet determined to make up by courage what we lacked in numbers. After engaging in several skirmishes, I was among the few that were made prisoners at the taking of Niagara. We were at once hurried across the river to Batavia, where we were joined by some of our regulars.
We now numbered in all about 50 prisoners, but only a small guard was placed over us. We discovered in the place an arsenal containing arms and ammunition, and resolved to capture it, and thus arm ourselves and make our way home. We laid our plans carefully, and appointed the time to put them into execution. Our movements were to be made at night, when we should have least to fear from our inhabitants; but just before the hour arrived, one of our regulars divulged our wild scheme to the enemy. Our indignation against the traitor was so great that our guard had to rescue him, but his red coat could not be found, and enquiry after it elicited the remark from one of his old comrades that “He deserted his colours and his coat deserted him.” An opportunity was shortly afterwards presented, when said coat was placed on a post and whipped to shreds.
Shortly after this, we were moved about from place to place, and we proved to be great objects of curiosity; one old lady expressing disappointment at finding that we were “just like our folks.”
At length, we arrived at Pittsfield, and 12 officers, myself among the number, were selected as hostages to be sent to Washington and executed, in retaliation for the supposed execution of some Americans; these men, however, proved to be deserters of our army, who were captured when found bearing arms against us.
After travelling night and day towards Washington, we received notice that the orders for our execution had been countermanded. The reason for this was Sir George Prevost’s action in placing 24 Americans in close confinement, and threatening to put to death two of the enemy for every one of our men that the Americans executed.
While the matter was being arranged, we were ordered to be kept at Philadelphia, and were placed in what was called the Invincible Prison, a large tree-storied building, the third flat of which contained a spacious hall to which we all had access during the day. We were humanely treated, and for a time had liberty to traverse a portion of the city on parole. During our parole we were frequently invited to the tables of the wealthier inhabitants; and naturally, the chief topics of conversation on these occasions were the war and its injustice.
On returning to our restricted positions, our longing for home, coupled with uncertainty as to our ultimate position, caused us again to plan our escape. At the end of the hall nearest the street there was a fireplace, the chimney of which was sufficiently large to admit of our escape through it. It was grated with iron bars, and at least two of these would have to be removed for our egress.
We knew the hours when we were usually left alone, so we commenced operations on the grates with little saws made from the mainsprings of our watches, which we had placed in frames for that purpose; but the work was not completed before our tools were worn out.
Help came in the end from a young lady who had become engaged to one of our men. She furnished a phial of aquafortis, hidden in a handkerchief, and this soon completed the work. The chimney was inspected every day, and to prevent suspicion, we had to replace the grate when we were not working at it; wrapping it in sooty paper, we managed to fasten it securely in place, and thus prevent detection.
We next made a rope by tying strips of bedding together; we chose the hour between eight and nine in the evening for our escape, as we were usually alone, and the street was not much frequented at that time. I was the last to make the descent, and unfortunately for me, the rope had broken with the man that preceded me. Finding myself at the end of the rope, I could do nothing but drop to the ground, where I found myself supported by my comrades, the blood running from my mouth.
With difficulty, I prevailed upon my comrades to leave me and make their own escape, as it was impossible for me to travel. After remaining alone for some time, I found that a heavy rain had begun to fall, and feeling sufficiently recovered to be able to walk, I started out; but had not gone far when in the darkness I fell into an unoccupied cellar.
I lost my hat in the fall, and as nearly a foot of water stood in the cellar, I had to wade about for some length of time to recover my headgear and find my way out; and in the meantime, I heard the patrol of dragoons pass by on the street. Notwithstanding my accumulated bruises, I was able to continue my journey until I saw a light from a window, towards which I proceeded, directed as I believe by a kind Providence.
On reaching the house and gaining admittance, I found a lady and gentleman occupied with books, and I addressed myself to them, saying: ‘You see before you an unfortunate prisoner of war, who has just escaped from the Invincible, in which he has been confined as a hostage with the possibility of execution. I have a wife and four children on the frontiers of Canada, exposed to all the ills of a bloody war. I am maimed and bruised in affecting my escape. I am wholly dependent upon what your mercy may induce you to do.’
The young man seemed lost in astonishment, and the lady sat in silence, but I saw tears in her eye and a glow of generosity beaming on her countenance as she exclaimed, “I would risk everything rather than have given him up.”
They then proposed to hide me upstairs, but I advised them to allow me to go to some outhouse, so that if discovered, I could say that I had secreted myself there without their knowledge. This, they consented to, and I crawled into a hayloft over a stable. My present anxiety being somewhat relieved, I was given time to feel the full force of the pain caused by my bruises. I was not neglected, however, for the young lady brought me refreshments in the morning, and wept over my sad condition.
One day, I came nearly being discovered by some children, but I covered myself up effectually with the hay as I heard them approaching; however, they discovered some pretty buttons that I had bought in the city (for I never forget my boys), and ran to the house with them. This aroused the watchfulness of the owner of the premises, and he himself afterwards kept guard over the building when the children were about.
He was a Quaker, and was engaged in publishing a Bible. On the day following my concealment, he presented me with a printed bill offering one hundred dollars for the capture of each of the escaped prisoners, and also announcing that if anyone was known to harbour them or in any way assist in their escape, his property would be confiscated and he himself would be tried for high treason. In view of the immense risk that he ran, I begged the Quaker to give me up and receive the reward, but to this he would by no means consent; preferring, as he said, a good conscience to his estates, although they were considerable.
On the first forenoon after this bill was published, the escaped prisoners were all recaptured except myself and two others, who had friends in the city. I remained in my concealment for several days, during which time I received every possible kind attention. When leaving my hiding place, I was furnished with a change of clothing to prevent detection, and was also provided with a sum of money for the expenses of my journey.
I set out as a drover returning from market, and fell in with two others of that calling, from whom I obtained a great deal of information respecting the business, as well as considerable knowledge about the roads and the country through which I had to pass. I had great pain in one of my feet, which had been injured in my fall, but this I accounted for by saying that I was afflicted with rheumatism.
Knowing that I should not be able to cross the Niagara River, I betook my way to Lower Canada, passing through Vermont, my native state. Near Bennington, I found some of my relatives, to whom I made myself known; from them I received assistance that enabled me to continue my journey, by way of Rutland, to Burlington, and thence by boat to Plattsburg.
At Burlington, a young man eyed me closely, and afterwards, when lighting me to bed, said, ‘Here, you will be safe.’ In the morning he wakened me and conducted me to the boat, where he enquired if there were any officers on board. He probably took me for a deserting soldier.
From Plattsburg, I made my way to the Canadian border, on nearing which I cut a short cudgel, and resolved not to be captured by fewer than five men. I found myself sadly perplexed to know how to avoid the Americans and how to fall in with the Canadian outposts, for I dared not make any enquiries.
However, I entered a cottage and found an old lady making Johnny-cake, of which I got a share. I praised it highly, and the old lady became very talkative, and told me all I wanted to know. So, in a few hours afterwards, I found myself in a British camp, surrounded by red-coats and under my beloved Union Jack.
I was then sent for by the general, who supposed I might have broken my parole, but on hearing my story, he gave me credit for tact and endurance, paid me my arrears, and gave me a free pass home, where I arrived just two weeks after my fellow captives, an exchange of prisoners having been made in the meantime.”
Buzila best in Canada
Bianca Buzila has been proudly sporting her sparkly new crown and sash, which says, “Miss Canada Globe Production Achiever 2018-19.”
Competing against 13 girls from Nunavut to Newfoundland in the teen category, Bianca came in first place at the recent contest, held at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto.
The formerly “very shy” 13-year-old explained, “It’s a beauty pageant that accepts girls of any race or colour, and you can believe and be hopeful that you can be a princess. It taught me more confidence, and how to walk in four-inch heels, and it taught me you can be any person you want to be. And,” she added, “You are yourself.”
The daughter of Nick Buzila, owner of the Smart Serve Appliances store on Front Street since 2003, she attends Niagara Christian College in Niagara Falls. Art and music are her favourite subjects.
“I had to write an essay about why I wanted to win. I got a scholarship of $2,000. I used to be shy. Today, we had elections for student council and I stood up.”
Prior to the life-changing Toronto pageant, Bianca won the first place title of Miss Teen Niagara, and a second runner-up prize for disco dancing in the Miss Disco portion of the pageant.
“I used to take dance lessons, but not disco,” she said, “so I just winged it.”
While in Toronto, she and 42 girls from all across Canada bonded while touring the CN Tower, ethnic restaurants, the Eaton’s Centre and other spots.
Meeting her fellow Canadians was her favourite part of the 11-day experience, she said.
“I was so sad when I had to leave.”
Since the pageant, she’s kept in touch with her new friends through Instagram and Facebook.
Next August, she’ll crown the new pageant winner. Until then, she’ll continue playing the piano and hanging out with the chickens on her family’s hobby farm.
“I want to be an actress and a model. I like to draw and at school, I’m learning to play the violin.”
Niagara Boys Capture Ontario Cup
The Niagara Regional Boys Under-13 soccer club captured the Ontario cup on the weekend in a game called “A Penalty Thriller,” by the Ontario Cup Soccer organization.In the championship game Niagara faced the Bolton Wanderers SC, a team they had faced twice before this season.In the first encounter Bolton scored a 3-1 win over Niagara. Then in the Golden Horseshoe league semi-finals, Niagara battled Bolton to a 1-1 draw in regulation time before losing in the shootout.The Niagara team includes six Thorold players including: Owen Timmins, Alexander Santos Gonzalez, Reece Continelli, Matteo DiGiovanni, Luca Marcone, and Marco DiFelice.
In the semi-finals, Bolton edged Glen Shields, defeating them 4-2 in penalty kicks while Niagara downed Ottawa St. Anthony 5-3 in their semi to advance.In the final game, the Ontario Cup Soccer reported, “Darius Des Vignes, Niagara's keeper, led his team to victory with two saves in the penalty shootout.”Niagara, prevailed winning the U-13 Boys Ontario Cup finals, 4-2 on penalties.
Garage Sale host helps Sick Kids Hospital
Furniture, tools and household items of every description filled the driveway and yard at 63 Thompson Ave. last Saturday.
“The morning rush started at 6:45,” said James Rosso, who hosted his second annual charity yard sale for Sick Kids’ Hospital.
“My daughter spent most of her six years at Sick Kids’ Hospital,” he told the Thorold News, “So we do it all in memory of her.”
Last year he raised $638.75 and hoped to make $750 or more this year. None of the countless items were priced but were sold strictly by donation, with “no reasonable offer refused.”
Rosso was happy to report that he surpassed last year’s total, and will be sending a donation of $853.60 to the hospital this year.
Any items that didn’t sell are in the process of being donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Salvation Army, he added.
A ripple effect occurred, he said, when “One gentleman came and cleaned out a huge row of power tools. He said he gives them to another charity for people overseas who can’t afford tools.”
Likewise, the folks at 7 Kaye Ave. in Beaverdams and 19 Albert St. West donated proceeds to local charity, while Pet Valu in the Pine Plaza’s proceeds for the day were earmarked for the Animal Assistance Society.
In total, 89 home-owners registered on the City’s website for Thorold’s 15th annual community-wide garage sale.
Some took advantage of the summer-like weather and got a head start on Friday, displaying their wares, which included everything from brand new, never-worn wedding dresses to vintage vinyl albums, Marilyn Monroe collectibles, Hardy Boys books and blue mountain pottery.
“The weather made a big difference,” said event organizer Craig Finlay, who saw a stream of steady shoppers in his Clairmont Street yard, starting at 7 a.m.
His intention when he started the community-wide garage sale 15 years ago, he said, was to attract people to Thorold from out of town, and showcase the downtown as well as the entire city, including its rural villages.
In that respect, the event had the desired effect, noted Finlay.
“We saw a lot of people from Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, and four people asked, ‘Are there any houses nearby for sale’?”
Cops raise cash for kids with cancer
Police sirens blared, a barbecue blazed, and bail was raised by spectators at Front Row Sports Saturday, as owner Dave Marrone, the store’s employees, and others were handcuffed and thrown in a police cruiser, all for a good cause.
Cancer is now the second leading cause of death among children, Leah Serafini told the Thorold News, “and we are of the mindset that one child is too many.”
A community fundraising specialist for the Cancer Society, Serafini is also the tour coordinator of Niagara’s first Cops for Cancer event.
“The idea came from B.C.,” she said. “It’s been very successful for the past 20 years, and we focus on pediatric research.”
September is Children’s Cancer month, she said, and following Saturday’s kickoff event in Thorold, 27 members of the Niagara Regional Police, RCMP, EMS, and auxiliary forces will take to the streets on bicycles to ride “all over Niagara,” from Sept. 18 to 21.
“This is the buildup, so it’s a big focus on fundraising, and then we visit schools, businesses” and other targeted spots in Niagara to spread the word about anti-bullying and healthy living, said Serafini.
Describing Saturday’s response to the kickoff as “fantastic,” she continued, “This is what it’s all about; engaging the community and building excitement around the tour.”
PenFinancial and Front Row Sports are two of the event’s major sponsors.
“Front Row provided the bikes at cost and all the services of the bikes while we’re on tour and a support vehicle with a bike mechanic. We are so grateful for the support of Front Row Sports, the NRPS, and PenFinancial; to have their community support in Niagara that can help us reach our goal.”
An anti-cancer convoy—comprised of the 27 police cyclists and the Front Row Sports van—will hit the road in peloton (cluster) formation for safety.
“I’m excited about this whole idea," said Front Row bike mechanic Matt Parnell. It’s going to be a fun event. If they have mechanical problems, I’ll help.” Parnell, who took a turn being cuffed in the police cruiser, will also drive the Front Row Sports van during the four-day tour.
Sock hop a success
Decked out in her vintage 1950s waitress uniform, Nicki Haluka raced around the Port Robinson Community Centre parking lot in roller skates Saturday, while board member Marty Wilson displayed her hula-hoop skills, sporting a pink poodle skirt.
Outside, onlookers gathered to get a gander at classic cars and enjoy treats from the barbecue, while 50s and 60s tunes carried the crowd back in time.
Later, dancers made their way inside the hall, twisting and jiving to songs by the Big Bopper and others from that golden era.
The car show and nostalgic dance was held as a fundraiser, as part of the board’s ongoing efforts to renovate the community centre.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped make this happen,” said main organizer, Marty Wilson. “We have a great board here at the Port Robinson Community Centre: Nicki Haluka, Alli Brown, Britney Chalmers and Clint Sears. We also have a host of awesome volunteers: Nancy, Judy and Debbie from Port Robinson Proud. Thank you for all you do all the time. To Collette, who cooked up some great burgers and dogs, and to Mike Vescio for providing the music, thank you.”
Wilson said she also appreciated “Andrew and Shawna from Niagara Lindy Hop, who came out and entertained us. A huge thank you to all the wonderful people who brought their beautiful cars. And congratulations to John and Sandy, who won ‘the people's choice’ award for their 1957 Chev. Last but certainly not least, thank you to all who came out to support us. It was awesome to see poodle skirts and rolled up jeans. We sure did ‘rock the hop’!"
Next up, the Port Robinson volunteers plan to host Christmas-themed events.
Passero offering $10,000 Women’s Business Grant
One of Thorold’s biggest success stories is the Post Office, headed by retail entrepreneur Shannon Passero.
And because she wants to see other women succeed, too, she’ll once again spread the wealth and award a grant of $10,000 to the lucky winner of her 2018 Women’s Business Grant Program.
The grant is not meant for consulting services, medical practices, or personal services, but favours product-based enterprises. To qualify, the business must have a woman in a significant leadership role, innovative product(s) that foster environmental and economic health in the global community, and must be based in Ontario, though preference will be given to businesses operating in Niagara, or supplying product to Niagara.
Some of the award’s previous winners include Alyssa Kerbel, who founded Mini Mioche in 2008 after giving birth to her first child and realizing how difficult it was to find organic baby basics and layering pieces for infants; Joanne Van Liefland, creator and founder of Wrap it up Raw, whose vegan organic, raw, wheat/dairy/gluten-free wraps are now carried at more than 60 health and fine-food stores in Ontario; and Jess Bretzlaff, who was inspired by good food and strong community to start The Bagel Oven bakery.
Ninety per cent of the money awarded since the program began in 2013 has remained in Niagara, Passero told the Thorold News.
Previous award recipients “are all succeeding financially,” she said, adding that a first-year winner has “just opened a boutique in Los Angeles. Another bought a bakery in Beamsville, so it’s pretty neat to see how they have all succeeded by leaps and bounds. We also have some testimonials from the winners. They really feel that winning the award spurred their jump to the next level.”
“It’s humbling, because I thought it was the dollar value that would most inspire their business,” she continued, “but I talk to them a couple times a month to do mentoring and it’s reciprocated. It becomes a business network. I think women in business need other women to understand what they’re going through. I want to encourage creative business women with a focus on introducing and developing new innovative products. It is so important to have someone believe in your work and in this economic climate, I hope to empower new opportunities through this financial support.”
Applicants who have been in business at least three years will be considered, based on the strength of their business plan. Passero would like to know how the grant money will enhance the growth of their business and how their financial documents reflect the current health and future potential of the business. For-profit businesses or non-profit hybrids (social enterprises) are eligible for this grant.
The deadline for submission is Oct. 14, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Semi-finalists will be contacted directly for additional information after Oct. 28, 2018. Winning applicants will be contacted by Oct. 30, and winners will be announced Dec. 1, 2018.
Calling all canines: register now for Puppy Parade
After a super successful first year, Diana D’Intino is preparing to release the hounds again this Oct. 27.
Despite drizzly weather, last year’s inaugural Puppy Parade saw 50 dogs and their owners promenade through Thorold’s downtown, dressed in everything from superhero to serial killer costumes to celebrate Halloween.
D’Intino, the co-owner of A Yellow Flower Basket on Front Street, designed the event to draw visitors, especially new ones, downtown.
And it worked.
“It was a huge hit,” she said, “and a ton of fun. We were energized by the enthusiasm of the participants and the creativity of their costumes. People rediscovered downtown. They were impressed by the revitalization of the old and the breath of fresh air from the new. The other awesome thing was how so many community groups rallied together to make it happen.”
That collaborative spirit seems to be even stronger this year, as the event is being co-sponsored by the Thorold BIA, Thorold Pet Valu, and the Thorold Veterinary Clinic, and Lynn’s Pet Grooming on Front Street will once again provide free pet-sitting that day, so participants can shop or dine downtown before or after the event.
In addition to co-sponsoring the event, Thorold Pet Valu will provide loot bags for all participants and prizes, along with a free bag of high-end dog food for the Top Dog trophy winner.
The parade route will be shortened slightly this year, with the awards announced at a bigger venue than the Thorold Public Library, since it was bursting at the seams with dogs and owners last year.
The new route will be announced soon, said D’Intino.
In efforts to include as many community groups as possible, three judging stations will be set up, like last year. One will be at Trinity Church on Pine Street, where two Thorold Community Theatre members will act as judges. A second stop will be at Cobblestone Gardens Retirement Residence, where seniors will have an opportunity to choose “The Cobblestone Cutie,” and a third station will be set up somewhere on Front Street, she said, with judges Bev Crews from the Thorold Library and Dave McMahon, who is a groomer and has a TV show, called Dog Talk.
Members of DocuPet will also participate in the event, selling City of Thorold dog tags and distributing information about their licensing program.
Pet owners wishing to vie for the Top Dog title and other awards can pre-register now, either in person at A Yellow Flower Basket, 50 Front Street North, or Thorold Pet Valu at the Pine Plaza.
Rock Squeeze to rock Legion Friday
Fresh from her crowd-pleasing performance at Port Colborne’s Canal Days, Thorold rock singer Barby Collins will be fronting her classic rock band, Rock Squeeze, at the Thorold Legion Friday, Sept. 7.
The multi-talented owner of the Rock and Roll Hair Salon on Front Street, Collins is also an acoustic guitar player and songwriter.
Heavily influenced by strong female voices like Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar, she set out to form her own rock band at age 16.
Rock Squeeze delivers a high-energy show, featuring classic rock favourites designed to keep audiences dancing, covering a wide range of artists like Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Journey, The Gogos, Ted Nugent, Badfinger, Queen, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, and many others.
Dave Bergman, who plays lead guitar, picked up his first axe at age 10, and has been playing with style passion, and a strong stage presence ever since.
From jazz fusion to hard rock to Motown to pop and disco, Sabu has played bass for several Niagara bands over the years, and his finesse on the frets infuses Rock Squeeze with a funky musical groove.
At seven years old, Billy McMillan began banging on a drum set and he’s been keeping the beat for various bands for decades. He’s also been a drum teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music in Niagara Falls since 1993.
Jeannie Soper of the Thorold Legion executive committee has been hiring bands on Friday nights in an attempt to generate revenue for the historical local institution. Located at 3 Ormond Street South, the aging Legion building is in dire need of a new roof and other repairs and the committee has made an appeal to the Thorold public to support them by attending their popular weekly concerts.
Formerly, the Friday shows began at 9 p.m. but the Legion has changed the start time to 8 p.m.
Philip runs again
If you happen to run into Ray Philip around this time of year, chances are he will ask you for money.
In honour of his parents, the late Jeannette and William Philip, he’s devoted the last five years to raising as much money as possible during Thorold’s annual Terry Fox Run.
“Both my parents died of cancer,” he told the Thorold News. His mom was a teacher at St. Charles School and his dad was a millwright at Abitibi Paper Mill. Their deaths at ages 50 and 56, he feels, were premature.
Philip is an avid runner, and decided that since he runs every day, “Why not make some money to help someone?” who may be facing similar circumstances as his parents, and their families.
Last year, Philip collected pledges in the amount of $2,340.
His son, Cameron, has had substantial success as a Korean pop recording star, and will be raising funds on his website as well.
This year’s Terry Fox Run will wind through Thorold’s streets on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at Thorold Secondary School at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. As always, participants will be treated to a free barbecue at the event’s end.
Coun. Mike Charron, who has spearheaded the event for years, made an impassioned plea at Tuesday’s Council meeting for Thoroldites to follow in Terry Fox’s footsteps.
“What he does through is memory and what he does because of his memory has helped people in our country and around the world.”
Alluding to the absent chair of Coun. Shawn Wilson, who has been battling a lengthy illness due to cancer, “It doesn’t take long to look around this room and see” how prevalent the disease is, Charron stated.
“Cancer is a terrible thing. Whether it takes someone away from us or makes their life extremely difficult. Terry Fox had his leg amputated. About a year and a half later, he was gone. But in between that time, he ran 143 marathons in a row,” with one leg, Charron continued, describing Fox’s heroic run which ended tragically at Thunder Bay.
Charron, the former Thorold Secondary School principal, expressed his pride in the fact that “Every one of our kids gets together and raises funds with their friends as well. Every single (Thorold) school does it. Some of them are really enthusiastic. Some kids care more than others because cancer has made a difference in their lives. We want to see the Terry Fox Run this year that hits $300,000. I would like to think we will break that goal this year.”
For those who can’t walk, run, or ride their bikes, he encouraged them to donate to those who do.
Charron summed up by saying his crusade began when Greg Scott, the 10-year-old son of his good friend, was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer as Terry Fox.
“He got in an airplane and spent the day with Terry Fox,” he recalled, before both died of cancer.
“That’s what this is all about. I hope I see every one of you at the run.”
Strong turnout for Terry
A throng of Thoroldites flooded Carleton Street Sunday morning, emerging from Thorold Secondary School under sunny skies to follow in the footsteps of Canadian hero, Terry Fox.
Led by the Thorold Pipe Band, a sea of orange was seen among the crowd, as babies, children, adults, and even dogs sported trademark orange T-shirts, joining the anti-cancer crusade in memory of William McCleary, whose short life spanned 1971 to 2002.
“It’s a wonderful cause,” said Bill McCleary, who walked to honour his late son, flocked by family and friends—known as team ‘McCleary’s Spirit’ for several years.
Seniors on scooters, kids on skateboards and all ages of cyclists joined the many who walked, and few who ran, to raise money to help cancer patients.
The Thorold Blackhawks team participated in the fundraiser, as they do every year, and Ray Philip, whose mother and father both succumbed to cancer at young ages, raised $3,340 this year, setting a new record for the cause he supports in his hometown each September.
“I don’t know how to thank you,” said Mike Charron, addressing the gathered crowd at the outset.
“Everyone who comes to the Terry Fox Run understands the purpose,” added Charron, former Thorold Secondary School principal and organizer and champion of the annual event since it started in 1990.
“The reality is, you see groups in T-shirts because they are representing their family and friends, and we want to make sure they have a shot at beating it,” he commented, which generated cheers and a round of applause.
“I’m so proud of this community. I’m so proud of what we have done.”
Symons saves Santa Claus Parade
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 24. The 28th Thorold Santa Claus Parade will proceed, as scheduled.
Lauren Krause, who has spearheaded the event for the past two years, has been advised by her doctor that due to her advanced pregnancy, she couldn’t continue organizing the parade this year.
At the 11th hour, when it seemed Santa would not be parading through the streets of Thorold as a result of lack of manpower, Beaverdams activist James Symons has decided to champion the cause.
“I heard about the possible end of the parade,” Symons told the Thorold News.
“I wanted to make sure there was still an opportunity to give to charities like Community Care and Tool Box with the cancellation of the parade. This will be for the kids; they do not deserve to have this taken away.”
Last year, Symons developed a program that enlists the support of the community to fill shoeboxes—or “Tool Boxes”—with warm gloves, new socks, snacks and hygiene products for homeless men at Christmas time, which far exceeded his expectations.
“On Wednesday, I read the parade was on life support,” said Symons. “I emailed Ginger (Derochie, the city’s recreation coordinator) immediately offering my services.”
Symons, who works at Costco and is also running for city councillor in the upcoming elections, added, “I am the president of Toolbox Niagara, and this year’s campaign goal of 500 is much larger than last year’s campaign goal of 25. I convinced Ginger that I would be able to get a team, even if it meant making the Tool Box committee much busier.”
According to Symons, he “has received emails from Danielle Ervin and several other people asking where they can help. Current municipal candidates have also offered to help. Wednesday at 7:30 at Tim Horton’s will be our first meeting. We are still looking for volunteers and sponsors. I know we can do this as a community. If I can get the support like I did with last year’s Tool Boxes, we will have an awesome parade.”
Anyone wishing to help is welcome to attend the meeting at the Thorold Tim Horton’s this Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. They can also contact Symons through Facebook, or email jamessymons79@gmailcom
Tamara Tannis takes the helm
Tamara Tannis is the City’s new Director of Development and Planning.
A resident of Burlington, Tannis acquired a BA degree in Urban Studies from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in City Planning from the University of Manitoba.
Her career thus far has taken her to the public and private sectors, and to lower-tier, upper-tier and provincial levels of government, in Ontario, Manitoba, GNWT and Alberta.
Her previous work experience has involved downtown revitalization, strategic planning, large-scale renewable energy projects, neighbourhood redevelopment plans, development approvals and policy planning.
Tannis told the Thorold News that she accepted the position because the City of Thorold offered the “opportunity to work with great staff, who are keen to improve customer service.”
She added that her main goal will be “To deliver on Council’s next four-year strategic plan and ensure that staff continue to support the high quality of life that the residents expect.”
Asked if she foresees any challenges on the horizon, Tannis replied that they “May involve the continued growth in development activities and the pressure placed on staff to deliver services with finite resources. Solutions would be to look at ways to streamline processes using staff’s skill sets and potential technological solutions.”
Tannis is married with five grown children and two grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, alpine skiing, and cycling.
Easier than ever to vote this year
Voters will notice many positive changes during this year’s municipal elections.
City clerk Donna Delvecchio has worked diligently to make the entire process easier and more efficient, for both voters and workers at the upcoming event.
“There have been a lot of changes to the Municipal Act, and we have made a lot, too,” she said at a public information meeting held at city hall on Monday.
City staff members have been attending recent pasta nights and fish fry nights at local community halls to answer questions about this year’s voting changes.
“We also put brochures in the water bills,” she said.
Perhaps the most popular change is that anyone can vote at any poll this year, instead of being restricted to polling stations in their immediate neighbourhood.
On voting day, Thorold residents will have the flexibility to choose whichever of the following venues is most convenient, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
The Thorold Community Activities Group at 131 Richmond Street, Club Capri at 36 Cleveland Street, Grace Community Church at 241 St. David’s Road, Rolling Meadows Bible Church at 54 Sunset Way in Thorold South, and Club Castropignano at 1311 Egerter Road in Port Robinson.
Holy Rosary Church Hall was eliminated as a poll because its washrooms are not accessible to people with physical limitations, said Delvecchio. Monsignor Clancy School and the Thorold South Fire Station were also eliminated this year due to space and accessibility issues.
“This will be our first time having Brock University as a poll, because we do have a large student population. It’s open to anyone,” she added, not just Brock students.
Residents of Cobblestone Gardens only will be eligible to vote at the poll stationed inside the retirement residence, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon) at 10 Ormond Street North.
Six advance polls will be open to all Thoroldites who can’t cast their ballot on Election Day, Oct. 22. Anyone can vote at Brock University’s Guernsy Market, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 3; at Thorold City Hall, 3540 Schmon Parkway, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6; at the Ontario Paper Thorold Seniors Centre, 8 Carleton Street South, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13; at Thorold City Hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17; at the Thorold Fire Station #4, 2189 Hwy. 20, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18; and at the Thorold Arena, 70 Front Street North, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Gone are the days of searching for voters’ names on lists and striking them out, one by one, with a ruler, said Delvecchio.
“We’re doing all electronic polls. Voter notification cards went out last week to get ahead of the (possible) Canada Post strike.”
The cards contain a bar code, she said, “and we’ll be able to scan people’s cards with the bar code.”
The city rented 65 voting machines from Elections Ontario, at a discount, the clerk added.
“It takes about six seconds to process your ballot. In the past, we have hired from 70 to 80 elections workers, but now we only need 50 because technology speeds the process.”
Elections workers were interviewed and tested for computer abilities, and will be trained shortly.
Delvecchio has made it easier for people who appoint a proxy to vote for them if they’re unable to vote themselves.
“They don’t have to go to city hall this year,” she said. “I will be at every advance poll from noon to 5 p.m.” to assist with proxy voting and other issues. Additional city hall staff will be on hand to help.
Also new this year, “We have accessibility for deaf and blind” voters, she stated, as well as for people who can’t use their arms. Called “sip and puff,” the system enables voters to cast their ballot by blowing into a straw.
All results will be uploaded and streamed live on the city’s website as the polls close.
Alternatively, she said, “People can come to city hall” if they wish to see the results announced live.
Call the clerk’s office for more information at 905-227-6613.
True story of Laura Secord
Thorold Township and Town, 1786-1932
Published by John H. Thompson
On the 24th of June, 1813, an effectual check was put upon the enemy’s progress by what is often vaguely called the “affair” at Beaverdams. Lieut. Fitzgibbon with his band of scouts had taken up his headquarters at DeCew’s stone house, a building about three miles west of the present town of Thorold.
From this position, he guarded the way to Burlington Heights, and the enemy finding their progress greatly impeded, determined to dislodge these troublesome “Green Tigers.” Major Chapin, always boastful, urged the attack, declaring that he was familiar with the country even farther inland than the Beaverdams. Although it is true that he had gone on his raids as far west as Fonthill, yet he afterwards proved himself unable to guide the Americans on their march.
Through the unguarded language of himself and his followers, the enemy’s plans became known even before the orders were signed at Fort George. Two soldiers, asking for food at James Secord’s at Queenston, openly spoke of their intentions, and their careless words were not lost upon their willing entertainers. James Secord had been wounded at Queenston Heights, and was at home on parole, too crippled for active service, but it was decided that Fitzgibbon must be warned, and after some consultation, it was arranged that his wife should make the attempt.
Early next morning, under pretext of milking a refractory cow, which, however, by means of judicious prodding, she managed to drive past the enemy’s picket, Laura Secord began her long and perilous walk. When at a safe distance from the sentries, she hid her milking stool, and let her cow wander at will. The day became exceedingly hot, and near St. Davids she stopped to rest at the house of a friend, who tried to dissuade her from continuing her journey. However, she was not to be discouraged, and soon set out again on her loyal errand.
Now began the most dismal part of her walk; to avoid the wildcats, rattlesnakes and Indians, to circumvent the enemy’s picket, and to find a path through the black swamp, was enough to tax every energy. With all these dangers before her, it was impossible for her to take the direct route to Decew’s. In her wanderings, Mrs. Secord crossed the Twelve Mile Creek at St. Catharines, and then, discovering that she had already gone too far, she recrossed the stream by means of a fallen tree at a point near the Turney farm, where the creek is still bridged in a somewhat primitive manner. Becoming dizzy near the middle of the brook, she got down on her hands and knees and crawled along the log until she reached the other bank.
At this moment, the moon shone out, and she lifted her hands in thanksgiving for its friendly beams. According to Mrs. Secord’s own estimate, she had already walked nineteen miles* although the direct route from Queenston to the DeCew house is only twelve miles.
Here, Mrs. Secord’s own account, often told while her faculties were yet unimpaired to persons who were still living, differs materially from that of other narrators. Most writers of her story tell of her coming upon an Indian encampment, but the heroine herself in her earlier days made no mention of such an adventure. She said that while walking along a rather well-frequented path, she heard the sound of a horse’s hoofs, and at once hid behind some bushes, but recognizing the horseman as a preacher who had often conducted services at Queenston, she came out and told him her errand. He tried to persuade her to ride the rest of the way, but she begged him to go on alone with all haste to warn Fitzgibbon, while she waited there.
In due time, her good friend returned, and mounted her upon his horse. When she reached DeCew’s house, she was received right royally by Lieut. Fitzgibbon and his men, who presented arms when she rode up. Mrs. DeCew urged her to remain for the night, but she did not care to stay at a house that might soon be battered down by American guns, so she begged to be taken to her friends, the Turneys. Two Indians carried her thither in a hammock improvised from an army blanket, while a soldier walked on each side as guard. In this way, she was safely borne over the same stream that she had crossed in such dread a short time before.
Fitzgibbon at once sank such stores as he had with him in a pond behind the DeCew house, in order that in case of defeat, the enemy might not profit by them.
The Americans were now making preparations for the attack.
*Letter from Laura Secord to Lossing, published in the Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812.
Thorold Community Credit Union celebrates 70th anniversary
The Thorold Community Credit Union has the distinction of being “the oldest community credit union in Ontario,” manager Tim Whalen told guests at a special celebration held last week.
“Today is our 70th anniversary. We are bucking a trend. When I started 12 years ago, there were 300 (credit unions in Ontario) and today, we’re down to 93. In the early 1940s, back in the war era, our founding forefathers got together and formed a credit union. We’re there for you. We remember the little guy. We’re financially stable.”
The financial institution opened in Thorold in 1948 and has been at its current location—at the corner of Clairmont and Front Streets—since 1968.
“It’s been great to be part of the credit union,” said Fred Neale, chair of its board of directors. “I have been on the board for several years. My uncle was one of the founding members.”
Fantoms host OBA championships
The Thorold Senior Fantoms Baseball team hosted the Ontario Baseball Associaton "C" Championships at MacMillan Park last weekend, with a total of 12 cities competing for the championship.
The first pitch was thrown by former Fantoms player and coach, Andre Huyzer. Introduced as “A driving force for high school baseball,” Huyzer was also a baseball coach at Thorold Secondary School, and during his 15 years as a Fantom, he pitched a no-hitter in his final season.
The first game saw the Thorold Fantoms pitted against the Simcoe Giants.
Pic #4110 – first battle at the mound #17 Jacob Maxwell struck out Josh Johnson (or vice versa)?
In the second inning, Chris Ciolfi, #3, singled, Russ McKewen singled, sending Ciolfi to second base, but a pop fly ended the inning with still no score.
In third inning, #17 Jacob Maxwell got an RBI.
The Thorold Protection volunteer firefighters operated a beer garden and concessions at the park throughout the weekend, with all proceeds going to local charities.
Thorold’s earliest businesses
Thorold Township and Town, 1786-1932,
Published by John H. Thompson
Even in the very early days of the settlement, time was taken to instruct the young. The older boys and girls, who worked in the fields all day, spent the evening in study. Those who lived near enough used to attend a night school conducted by Dr. Prendergast at his house, and here, many of the youths gained a solid foundation in the more necessary branches of learning.
At first, the nearest mills were at Niagara and Queenston; but as early as 1801, we find in the municipal records of Thorold township mention of DeCou’s grist mill, while John Darling’s mill is spoken of as being in existence in 1803.
Some time before the War of 1812, Jacob Ball had a saw mill on a little stream running through what was later called Wilson’s bush, east of the town of Thorold, its foundation seen a little east of the culvert under the Welland division of the Grand Trunk Railway.
At a very early date, John DeCou built an oil mill, there being none at that time between the two lakes. He was aided in his enterprise by Colonel Hamilton of Queenston, who imported the necessary ironwork from Scotland.
One of the first shops in the township was kept by an old man named Lard. It was situated just within the Thorold boundary, opposite the George Hoover place. Here, the farmers could trade their butter and eggs for other groceries, while Lard sold this farm produce at Niagara.
At the smaller shops, everything was paid for in kind, but as the goods were brought from Montreal, the necessaries and many of the luxuries were procurable in this way. There was in the possession of the Hoover family a side saddle and a china dinner service for which butter was traded at Niagara in 1812.
At Fort George, the commissary paid at the rate of twenty-five cents a pound for butter, and twenty-five cents a dozen for eggs; and many a housewife managed to accumulate considerable silver by selling her share of the farm produce at the barracks.
Before the close of the war, George Keefer opened a shop directly in front of Maplehurst, on what is now St. David’s Street, in Thorold.
At Niagara, the people learned all the news of the day, and not a little interest was taken in the great war then going on in Europe. Gradually, there began to reach them rumours of an approaching contest between England and the United States, and of the intention of the new republic to attack Canada.
Needless to say, the men, and even the women, who had left the older American colonies because of their loyalty, were willing now to risk everything rather than to give up their new homes under the British flag.