by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

June 30, 2005
Wolfe Island’s Early Years Program Faces New Challenge

An Early years centre for children from birth to 6-years and their parents and caregivers was established on Wolfe Island in 2002 when the Wolfe Island Early Years committee received a 3-year, $56,000 total grant ($18,000 plus a year) from the Ontario Early Years Challenge Fund.

The Challenge Fund matches community contributions for projects that help Ontario children reach their full potential. The committee was expected to meet the challenge and raise a further $7000 a year for each of the 3 years which they did, but, the Challenge grant was completed March 31, 2005.

The problem that confronts the Early Years committee NOW is how to raise operating funds, $25,000 per year, to continue this very valuable community program which the Ontario government says is an integral part of Ontario’s Early Years Plan. The Wolfe Island Centre is located at Sacred Heart School with Nancy McIntosh as its dedicated coordinator. The centre could open in September but close very shortly there after without funds.

The Committee is looking into further grant opportunities and fund raising challenges of course, but they are also looking to the community organizations and individuals for financial support in the way of donations or pledges to Early Years or by sponsoring events.

The Wolfe Island Early Years is recognized as a not for profit, charitable organization able to issue tax receipts. Please consider supporting Early Years. Its urgent. Contact: Emily Day at 385- 8505.

The Annual Early Years Art Auction takes place at Wolfe Manor, Aug. 7th with tickets available through local merchants.

MP Peter Milliken attends Strawberry Social:
The Honourable Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands arrived on Wolfe Island Friday June 24th to present cheques to the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association and the Township of Frontenac Islands.

Mr. Milliken strolled from the ferry through Marysville to the Dreamcatcher’s Inn (formerly Woodman House) for the presentation of a $5000 cheque to the Township of Frontenac Islands for a Marysville study related to sewage and water and a second $45,000. cheque to the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association for an extensive marketing project including some funding for a bicycle rental component.

The initiative received funding support from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation and Industry Canada through the EODF (Eastern Ontario Development Fund) initiative.

The event marked the launch of the Wolfe Island Marketing Initiative which includes two new island brochures , one for Wolfe Island and the other for the island’s Big Sandy Bay produced for wide distribution by Small World Media Group as well as the unveiling of a logo for the island.

In presenting the cheques to Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and Ms. Cindy Day, president of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association, Mr. Milliken said that it gives him much pleasure to come to the island to meet his constituents and to enjoy their hospitality. In this instance a Strawberry Social complete with local Pyke strawberries was prepared by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute and served on the lawn of the inn.

Mr. Milliken was introduced and given a T-shirt with the WI logo from WIBTA director David Colburn. Guests included Anne Pritchard, Executive Director the Frontenac CFDC, Diana Bratina, Manager Economic Development County of Frontenac, Brian Ritchie, Economic Development, MMAH and members of the community.
The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate community and economic development throughout the Frontenacs.

Howe Island Social, Cultural and Recreational Activities Committee: After a successful Clean-Up Campaign in April the Howe committee moves to its next project to refurbish the Howe Island Ball Diamond. The infield will be restored. The bleachers, players benches, play ground equipment, picnic tables, fences and toilets are being repaired and painted by volunteers.

Dorothy Higgs at 548-8378 is the contact for a planned bi-monthly island newsletter. A Howe Island history project and possible archiving in the works. For information contact Bonnie Ottenhof, 542-4814 and/or Shelagh McDonald at 542-6374.
Fall euchre and bridge dates will be announced. Contact Gary Hall 545-0806

Wolfe Island’s 2nd Annual Art in the Garden Tour:
Very hot weather did not deter the 300 plus persons who attended the island’s 2nd annual “Art in the garden Tour” sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association and organized by enthusiastic volunteers.

School buses transported the guests from Marysville to the gardens located at the eastern end of the island to the foot beginning with Brown’s Bay Inn. Knowledgeable guides entertained them with stories about the island and its people, its history and places of interest.

At each of the 11 gardens included in the tour, one or two of the islands many artists had their work on display. Most of the properties are located in incredible settings with beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River and the homes as well as the gardens were beautiful to see.

Seasoned gardners were looking for the unusual in plants while others just basked in the beauty around them and the explosion of colour from the flowers and the art on display. T

This year’s tour included only one ferry ride from Kingston or Cape Vincent. A group of 10 visitors came from Malone, N.Y.

Sacred Heart School Grade 8 Graduation Exercises began with Mass celebrated by Fr. Rene Labelle and concluded at the school with presentation of the graduates; a video of their life and times; a yearbook and special awards. Dinner was prepared for the graduates , parents and families by the W.I. Women’s Institute. The graduates are Pamela Chesney, Alyssa Eves, Joseph Eves, Brandon Greenwood, Luke Gurnsey, Lauren McAllister and Katelyn Verton..
Special Awards: Athletic Excellence Pam Chesney and Joe Eves; Citizenship: Lauren McAllister; French as a 2nd Language: Katelyn Verton; Pricipals Award: Luke Gurnsey; Superintendent’s Award: Pam Chesney. The Valedictorian was Lauren McAllister. Congratulations to ALL.

Around Town:*Very busy these days. All ferries, Wolfe Island & Howe full more often than not. Cottagers returning daily. * Big time construction trucks, gravel, stone, etc. coming and going, hard on roads. Sadness that two young men died on Wolfe Island. Wonderful that OPSEU has reached an agreement. Important details: wage increases totalling 9.75 per cent over four years; extension of Factor 80 early retirement provisions. * Welcome home Rene & Brad. *Frontenac Islands budget nears completion.*Trinity Anglican’s July craft & bake sale has been cancelled.*Stone Heron Gallery opens.

Coming Events:
1. July 29-30 W.I. Family Baseball Tournament

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:02 AM
June 24, 2005
Wolfe Island Classic Road Race Celebrates 25 years… “Tough Course, Great People”

Sunday, July 3, 2005 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Wolfe Island Classic 5K-10K Run on the Wolfe Island. The run which starts at 9:30 a.m. in the village of Marysville follows out and back the north shore road and will, as it has for many years, end near the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent by the water. ( It is not uncommon for the runners to jump in at the end of the race.)

In its first year 1981, the 11.5K race, sponsored by the Kingston Road Runners Association originated at Horne’s ferry and ended in the village. In 1982 it was an 8K run before finally settling on the present 5K- 10K number with categories, prizes and medals for men , women and youth from under 12 years to over 70 years.

Local resident Hank (Hendry) Connell, was recognized in 2001 for his long and successful history as the original Race Director. He brought together businesses and islanders who to this day continue to volunteer at this run presented by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association.

More recently the active participation of Kingston’s Running Room and Race Director Sandy Hunter from the island, has seen an increase in the number of runners to 467 in 2004 with the limit set at 500 this year. Runners come from the USA and many parts of Canada for the event.

A new feature this year will be a race for little ones, 2-6 years sponsored by the island’s Early Years with sign-up at 8:15 am and run at 9 a.m.

Register for the Wolfe Island Classic on line at; in person at the Running Room 277 Princess St, Kingston; Race Day registration, Sunday, July 3rd, 7:30-8:45 am at the W.I. Township Hall. All information regarding costs (singles, families),waivers, road directions, ferry schedules and registration form (pdf) are listed on the Wolfe Island website: or contact Race Director

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:46 AM
June 03, 2005
We Wait & Wonder What Essential Could Mean This Time

Ontario Public servants including ferry workers have voted (65%) to go on strike unless they can achieve a new collective agreement. No strike or lockout date has been set and fortunately bargaining continues at this time with what all hope will be a happy outcome.

Most of us remember the 5-week strike in 1996 when islanders left in droves, staying with relatives and friends, accepting the hospitality of the Holiday Inn fearful all, of loosing jobs, losing school time and missing shifts. During that strike the essential service agreement allowed for 14 daily ferry trips with 8 on weekends.

The next strike in 2002 an arbitrated essential services agreement left Wolfe Island with 7 daily weekday ferry trips and 3 trips on weekends instead of the regular 19 round trips a day. A resolution circulated at the time requested that the Wolfe Islander III be treated like any other highway under the jurisdiction of MTO and that the regular level of service not be changed. Nothing came of it. Interesting to note that the Crown’s position at the time was that as an essential service the ferry service should not be reduced.

The Township worked overtime to make sure OPSEU and the Province understood that 7 trips and 3 on weekend didn’t come close to meeting the needs of the community. A further 2 daily trips and 2 more on Sunday’s were ordered.

At the time Mayor Vanden Hoek said,” we need to do some groundwork so that if these two sides have to again negotiate an essential services agreement for us they have a better understanding of our community.” That strike lasted some 8 weeks.

In a recent conversation with Mayor Vanden Hoek with regard to the remote possibility of an OPSEU strike and the essential services agreement process he said, ” the township is not part of the essential service negotiating process.”

(The Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act says that an employer of crown employees and a trade union representing employees who have or are negotiating a collective agreement must also negotiate an essential services agreement.)

“But we worked hard to build up a file about how difficult the strike had been for the community even collecting hardship data. In the last year council reviewed that data with both OPSEU and the Management Board reminding them that the 2002 level of service was inadequate. I do believe we had an impact,” he said.

“In the event that there is a strike, which is not a forgone conclusion since many things are resolved at the eleventh hour, and we are optimistic, there is an essential services agreement now in place which I’ve been told is better than that of 2002,” the mayor concluded.

Frontenac District Women’s Institute: Did you wonder where all the women wearing blue hats festooned with gold flowers and ribbons were going as they got off Wolfe Island Ferry in Marysville?
They were on their way to the annual meeting of the Frontenac District Women’s Institute being held at Trinity Anglican Church and hosted by the island’s St. Lawrence Women’s Institute. The Frontenac District includes branches from Joyceville, Murvale, Westside, St. Sydenham, Harrowsmith, Glenburnie, Pittsburgh and Wolfe Island so there were a wide variety of hats (more than 60) spray painted a glorious blue and fashioned by the women ready for the Parade of Hats later in the day.

Rev. Canon Chris Carr welcomed the women. He spoke of the origins of the Women’s Institute and their long history of doing good for family, homemaking and community. “No social group is as strong as family. Other social groups weak in comparison to family,” he said. “You are angels who pass among us. Welcome to angels all.”
Councillor Wayne Grant brought greetings from the Township acknowledging the continuing hard work of the institutes for community and country. Cecilia Maines , Eastern Board Director and Grace LeClair Kingston Area President were also present.

Donna Grant welcomed their guests on behalf of the St. Lawrence Institute. The meeting was chaired by District President Brenda Draper assisted by the secretary/treasurer Erma Bracken.

Life memberships were presented by Brenda Draper to Joan O’Shea, Connie Fawcett, Marette Fawcett (in absentia), Gwen Leonard and Helen Greenlees. Departed members were remembered at a short memorial tribute conducted by Connie Harris.

Throughout the day the island’s Tweedsmuir Books which are a 75 year + history of Wolfe Island were on display. The books are presently under the care of Connie Woodman.

Lunch prepared by the Guild was served at St. Margaret’s Hall. Pearl Niles President of the Guild and Past District Director and member of St. Lawrence Institute, organized the days events. Winners of the Parade of Hats were Connie Harris, Eleanor Taggart and Helen Greenlees. Entertainment was provided by Marion Lakins, Robert Graham and Ken Keyes.

Women’s Institute members from rural and urban communities have worked for the betterment of families, homes and communities for over 100 years Their original focus, domestic science education expanded to include personal growth, government lobbying, health and community initiatives..

The Rose (rural Ontario sharing education) program of the Federated Women’s Institutes provides communities with vital health and social service information. Why not Be active! Be involved! Be a member!

Around Town: The W.I. Tourist Information Centre is open.* It is time to plant Pumpkin seeds for the Wolfe Island and Howe Island Great Pumpkin weigh-in events.*The rabies clinics announced for June have been cancelled. Many islanders attended the special liturgy for Msgr. Don Clement, St. Mary’s Cathedral who served Sacred Heart Parish as administrator when it was without a pastor. Good wishes to Fr. Don in his retirement. Lunch was provided by the CWL for family and friends following the confirmation of 10 young people and 3 First Communicants at Sacred Heart.*Josh Sutherland has arrived safely home.

Coming events:
1. June 18th Island Grill Summer Solstice 18 hole, 4 person Scramble Golf Tournament at Riverfront and Alston Moor courses. Tee off times 9:30 (1st 9). 11 am (2nd 9) Pre-registration required. Call Ken or Eric 385-2157 or 385-855
2. June 25th. Wolfe Island Volunteer Fire Department Annual Bass Fishing Derby. Contact: James White 385 2449.
3. June 26th. 2nd Annual Art in the Garden Tour For information 385 1875.
4. June 30th Stone Heron Gallery Opens at the Community Hall. 6:30 reception/ opening of 4 day show “Wildlife on Water.”

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:32 AM
June 02, 2005
Frontenac Islands Council Takes the Heat from Howe Islanders

In spite of hot muggy weather more than 55 Howe Islanders attended the regular meeting of Frontenac Island Council to express their opposition to a resolution which would see the consolidation of the CAO and Treasury functions to Wolfe Island.

The resolution reads: ‘ that Council gives direction to staff to follow the HarVan Consulting report to consolidate the CAO & Treasury positions on Wolfe Island. The Howe Island office will be fully staffed in the interim as the work load will be assessed to determine the future staffing levels.’

Howe residents were alerted to two resolutions before council regarding both the HarVan report, completed by consultant Bob Foulds (formerly Frontenac County CAO), and the Administrative report in a letter from Deputy Mayor Geoff Hobbs who expressed opposition to the resolutions and the possible loss of Treasurer Carol Dwyer from Howe to Wolfe Island.

Mayor Vanden Hoek told the anxious residents much has changed since the amalgamation of Howe and Wolfe Islands and called on council members to express their opinions regarding resolution #1. Councillor Norris indicated no support for the consolidation of the CAO and treasury function to Wolfe Island. Councillor Grant supports the Foulds report with a 2-day, 3-day schedule on Wolfe Island for the treasurer. Councillor Hobbs noted confusion in the resolution with no reference to the 2-day, 3-day schedule. Councillor Calvin said this was not a ward against ward issue but one of restructuring. “We asked Bob Foulds how to do it without extra salaries and higher taxes, when our primary staff is consumed with day to day events with no time for long term planning. The recommendation was to consolidate the CAO and Treasury function,” he said.

Mayor Vanden Hoek said that the treasury function is not a full time activity. “I did not anticipate that this would draw the current employee out of the Howe office to Wolfe Island every day of the week. I expect Carol will continue to serve the residents of Howe Island whether it is 1, 2, or 3 days depending on work load. The resolution is written independent of the employee and the role that is going to be performed. It is for the benefit of Frontenac Islands.

Council heard from residents Heather Lippert : “considering time and travel consolidation is more efficient for whom?” Dave McNamara: “Reject the motion in fairness to Howe Islanders.” Rozanne Moizer: ” You have gone out of the township to ask someone else what to do and you guys know what to do.” Kent Guthrie: ”Much can be done through technology.” Austin Page:” Howe Island has been admirably served by 1 staff person. We don’t want it to change.” Chief Mike Quinn: ”consolidation raises concerns from a fire and safety point of view.” Marg McReynolds: “I oppose consolidation. Fail to see how significant issues can be realized. Howe has better facility. Rotate with same amount of time in each office.” Bill Chamberlain “have Wolfe Islanders been given opportunity to talk about it?”

Deputy Mayor Hobbs proposed an amendment adding, “two days on Wolfe Island the first week and 3 days the second ( 5 in the two week pay period) plus a part time clerical assistant on Howe Island the other days. It was defeated.

Resolutions #1 & #2 (which includes and recommends: no change to the size of council; availability of the mayor one hour before regular meeting to hear residents’ concerns; annual performance reviews; defer establishing Boards and committees at this time; expansion W.I. Road Superintendent’s role to include Howe Island and Simcoe & Howe Island ferries; Fire Safety Officer hired for Wolfe Island one day per week; Chief Building Official hired till Decmber31st; continued use of existing tax and accounting software programs plus addition of two computer systems/software for each office; the Treasurer to assume administrative duties for the operation of Big Sandy Bay; regular meetings of the Management Team will be convened) were passed.

Howe Islanders left very unhappy with the outcome.

In other business: 1. A letter from Richard Lindgren, Canadian Environmental Law Association indicating that the Law Association (CELA) and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper have applied for a review of the City of Kingston’s sewage approvals issued under the Ontario Water Resources Act and requesting a resolution of concern from Council has been deferred to July meeting when Mr. Lindgren can be present to address the matter.

This in reference to the Kingston sewage treatment bypasses which considering the proximity of the Township put the township at risk of sewage contamination. 2. Council authorized Clark Consulting to release comments from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing concerning Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments for wind power to both wind power applicants.
3. Since Mike Prior Home Improvements is unable to construct the Howe Island 10’x12’ferry building, council has accepted an $18,000 bid plus GST from Mike Fiene. 4. A parking lot will be constructed near the Frontenac County ferry dock on North Range with $10,000 from Howe Ferry Reserve Fund. 5.Council approved a donation of $75. to the W.I. Plowmen’s Association. 4. Staff will obtain quotes for high speed internet service for both municipal offices to be installed by one service provider without using township property for towers. 5. Council received a copy of a letter & petition sent to the Minister of Natural Resources by the Wolfe Island Residents Group calling for the development of Big Sandy Bay to stop immediately. Council will respond and at the same time the BSB committee will attempt to educate residents about the site. 6. MOE regulations regarding water treatment systems for Marysville came up and further discussion will take place at upcoming budget meetings. 7. Much satisfaction that a possible strike by Provincial OPSEU workers may be avoided. 8. Mayor VandenHoek announced this is his last term in office. He will not seek re-election. Council meets on Wolfe Island July 11th at 7:30 p.m.

Around Town:* Wolfe Island’s Mrs. Joan O’Shea will receive the Township of Frontenac Islands 2005 Senior of the Year Award. Joan was nominated by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute.

Coming Events:
1. June 25th. Wolfe Island Volunteer Fire Department Annual Bass Fishing Derby. Weigh In 1 p.m.
1. June 26th. 2nd Annual Art in the Garden Tour For information 385 1875.
2. June 30th Stone Heron Gallery Opens at the Community Hall. 6:30 p.m.
3. July 3rd 25th Anniversary Wolfe Island Classic Road Race Contact: Cindy 385-9994

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:41 AM