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.

August 25, 2005
Busy Days on the IslandsÖ.. Very Busy Ferry

Busy days, busy ferry for Wolfe Island with its places to go, things to see and wonderful events, plus the realities of island living, many trips to and from Kingston as part of a day’s work. Housing starts are up. Cottages are becoming permanent homes. Hundreds of trucks carrying goods and service vehicles make their way to the island daily. Increased number of Islanders working in Kingston. Long, difficult Ferry line ups. With no Public Transit, two cars have become a necessity unless one lives in Marysville. The Kingston parking lot is overfull as islanders leave cars on both sides and walk on the ferry. The route is no shorter. The boat is no longer. Volunteer Community Policing is becoming a necessity. Islanders are concerned about an early move to the winter dock. Perplexing dilemma when tourism and economic development are wanted and encouraged. Yet Island transportation remains an unresolved issue.

There are options: a shorter route; lengthening the ferry; a bridge. All include a cost. Are we ready yet? If we are, it is up to us to say so.

Speaking of Wonderful Events: Wolfe Island’s Summer Music Festival saw over 1000 people plus many children gather at the Community Centre grounds to hear 10 bands and soloists. They included among others, Sarah Harmer; Cuff the Duke; Apostle of Hustle; Chris Brown’s Citizens Band and the Rockin’Wolfe Island. The Friday night session featured the musical talents of Tony Sherr; Jill Barber and Luther Wright.

“ I am thrilled with the success of the whole event,” Festival Coordinator Sarah McDermott said “Everything ran smoothly. The music was amazing running on time without a glitch and all had a good time.”

She gave high praise to the volunteers from the Community Centre Board. “They run a tight ship taking care of the details as well as operating the food and beverage kiosks,” she said. A licensed charity event, Music Fest is a major fundraiser for the Community Centre.

According to McDermott the festival was also a financial success, due in large part to its many sponsors. (Money has been set aside for next year’s festival). “ But we need sponsors to come on board every year. They are crucial and each year it becomes more difficult.”
The WI Business and Tourism donated $4000. toward Festival T-Shirts and provided tents. A similar amount came from Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.

Community Board member Steve Fargo lauded the efforts of Ms. McDermott and Artistic Director Virginia Clarke in making the festival happen on behalf of the whole Wolfe Island community.

The festival was described by Dave Bidini- (The Reostatics) as “one of the truest community-based festivals, an undiscovered treasure on the Canadian Festival circuit.”

Crime Writer’s Festival: The 2005 Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Writers Festival inspired by Grant Allen, the first Canadian crime writer, once again brought a large and impressive list of Canada’s top mystery writers to Wolfe Island.
They included: J.D Carpenter, Rick Gadziola, Wayne Grady, Theresa Greenwood, Bill Hunt, H. Mel Malton, Violette Malan, Sue Pike, Rick Mofina, Peter Sellers, David Skene-Melvin, and W.I. Captain Brian Johnson.

The Wildlife Association's BBQ to welcome them was a huge hit. Many of the authors presented 5-minute mystery readings set on the island during the event at the W.I. United Church

Historian Bill Hunt author of Booze, Boats and Billions gave a presentation on rum running in the Thousand Islands during prohibition. An all new writing workshop was conducted by Violette Mallan. “What makes those Bad Guys so good,” a panel discussion moderated by retired broadcaster Roy Bonisteel was another highlight. Rick Gadziola, poker champion turned author offered poker tips at the Island Grill.

The 2nd annual Grant Allen Award was presented to lawyer/ author Wm. Deverell at Trinity Anglican Church. Bookseller Brian Fenlon, from As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop displayed a wide variety of mystery publications during the day.

The island’s Ken Keyes was the emcee for the day including the closing dinner at St. Margaret’s Hall where he swore in author Peter Sellers as an honorary citizen of Wolfe Island. Captain Leon Fawcett’s pecan pies were auctioned to raise money to restore the Baroness de Longueuil’s tombstone.

2005 Scene of the Crime Short Story Contest winners include: 1st: Sandy Conrad, Paisley, On. for her story “The Eulogy” which will be published in Kingston Life Magazine. 2nd: Douglas Turnbull, Kingston for “Mourning Suicide”. 3rd: Kingston’s, Chris Laing “Underground Detective.”

14th Annual Acacia Gold Puppy Reunion and Picnic: Ninety well groomed Golden Retrievers of different ages and sizes caused quite a stir coming of the ferry with their masters. The occasion, the 14th annual Puppy Reunion and Picnic held at the Wolfe Island home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent, owners and operators of Acacia Gold Kennels.

Acacia Gold, registered with the Canadian Kennel Club has been breeding Goldens since 1991 and was the first home of the visiting dogs, born and brought up there for seven weeks.

While the dogs romped on the lawns or swam in the lake, the 125 proud owners shared stories about their pets, and the barbecue, prepared by Erica Posthumus.

Tragically Hip member Rob Baker and his wife Leslie, were there with their now, 12 year old dog. “They wouldn’t miss it unless Rob was on tour ,” according to Pat Downing. “This year, as always, we had good weather. There was great swimming, great food, great visiting and never a dog fight,” she said.

Around Town:* Entries for the 2005 Photo Contest must be submitted to the W.I. Tourist Office by 5 pm. Sept. 6th.*Weekly Euchre has begun, W.I. United Church Thursday’s at 7 p.m.* Howe Island’s County Ferry broke down again recently. * Don’t forget the Cancer Society’s Ride & Stride, Sept. 24th. *WI welcomes Fr. Vickers to Sacred Heart Parish. *Good Luck to all our island students beginning or retuning to university or high school.

Coming Events:
1. Wolfe Island Plowing Match Sat. Sept 10th, 10 am, Pyke’s farmland on Hwy.#95
2. Sept.17th Charity “Family Scramble” Golf Tournament (Medical Clinic Fundraiser), Alston Moor Golf Links. Tee Off 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Cost Adults $40. Youth under 14, $30. includes 9 holes, dinner and prizes. Register (by Sept. 10th) call: 385-2461.
3. Register, Pledge, Sponsor at for the Cancer Society’s Great ‘Ride & Stride’ 7:30 am-12 noon Wolfe Island Sat. Sept. 24th

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:48 AM
August 23, 2005
B.C. Crime Writer William Deverell Receives Grant Allen Award at Scene of the Crime

Former Vancouver Criminal lawyer, and long time crime writer William Deverell was awarded the 2nd annual Grant Allen Award in honour of Canada’s crime writing pioneers, at the 4th annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Wolfe Island.

(Grant Allen born on Wolfe Island in 1848, was Canada’s first crime writer.)

Deverell, honorary director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association is the author of such novels as Needles, High Crimes, Mecca, Kill All the Lawyers, Street Legal: The Betrayal, The Laughing Falcon as well as radio plays, magazine articles and short stories. He is the creator of the CBC’s series Street Legal. His new novel April Fool will be published this fall.

Presenting the award at Trinity Anglican Church was Festival Board member Rev. Canon Chris Carr, pastor.

In acknowledging the award Deverell said that he had harboured the dream of writing for a very long time before he got the courage to begin. “Once started, I never looked back,” he said.

The Grant Allen Award was created by well known Wolfe Island artist, Linda Sutherland.. It takes the form of uniquely designed (for each author) kaleidoscope, as a source of inspiration for writers.

Deverell’s book “Needles” was Sutherland’s source of inspiration for his kaleidoscope which is shaped in the form of a syringe. With the help of Deverell’s family his award was contained inside a small wooden replica of a log cabin (also created by Sutherland), on Pender Island where Mr. Deverell takes himself to do his writing.

An intimate interview with William Deverell by Roy Bonisteel followed the award presentation.

Wayne Grady, Scene of the Crime Board member presented a basket, filled with Canadian books of crime plus special first editions to Craig Pitts, who accepted them on behalf of the Wolfe Island Library. These book donations will become an annual event at the Scene of the Crime Writers Festival.

For more information about Grant Allen & Scene of the Crime Festival:

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:46 PM
August 15, 2005
Paddling Against Aids in South Africa

Paddling enthusiasts recently paddled the 47 miles around Wolfe Island to raise awareness and money to counter Aid’s ravages in South Africa.

This year’s 8 paddlers raised $2,300 through the generosity of some two hundred island citizens and others. The money will be contributed to the Anglican Church of Canada’s ‘Fight Against Aids in South Africa’ through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.

Rev. Canon Chis Carr, Pastor at Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church, also one of the paddlers, announced the amount at a recent ‘get together’ potluck supper.

This years paddlers included Yelda and Pam Meidema (Simcoe Island) , Maggie Crothers and Chris Carr, Bernard and Claire Muller (Wolfe Island), Diane Mensch with Nika Farahani ( Kingston), also James Wing (Kingston) who kayaked part way. They ranged in age from the thirties to eighty nine.

Their message: “Look for us again next year, folks. We will be back. “

This year’s $2,300 raised in what will now become an annual island event, is nearly five times what was raised when four paddlers, in a first time “Paddle Round Wolfe Island “ trial event raised $422. for the Fight against Aids.

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the fight against AIDS can do so by contacting the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) at1-888-308-7973. Email:

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:36 PM
August 12, 2005
Wolfe Islandís Family Baseball Tournament a Great Event

On Friday afternoon of the Aug. 1st weekend a two hour wait for the Wolfe Island ferry was not uncommon as family members from across Canada and the United States began heading HOME for the 21st Annual Family Ball Tournament. Wolfe Island is one of the few remaining communities where a tournament is held.

Twenty-eight family teams began play Friday evening in the A & B Divisions ending late Saturday afternoon, all the while cheered on by family, friends and the hundreds of visitors to the island. The weather, though hot, was perfect and water and food was plentiful provided by the Community Centre Board, sponsors of the annual event.

Jim Hulton Jr., coach of the OHL Frontenacs was the M.C. at the Awards presentation ceremony where he sincerely acknowledged the founders of the Family Baseball Tournament: Jim Kyle, Bernie Fargo, Elwin McKenna.

This year’s “A” Division winner is the White Family team. The “B” Division Champs, the Kyle Family. The Bill Kyle Sportsmanship trophy was presented to the Staley Family by Karen Kyle.

Some points of interest: there are 9 members on each team, plus back-up players; four women have to be in the field at one time and a larger ball, known as a Melon ball is used for play.

An ambulance was available all day. And of course a Fire truck was on hand during the closing fire works of this wonderful community building event.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:21 PM
August 11, 2005
Wind Power on Wolfe Island Remains a Priority Issue

While severances, land use planning and bylaw development once again took up much of Frontenac Islands’ August Council meeting, ‘Wind Power’ on Wolfe Island remains a high priority. A ‘Hosting or Amenities’ agreement is the next step in the process. Because of the importance of the issue, over the next while council and staff will seek help “in getting it right” CAO O’Shea has been given council authority to put some options together.

The township remains in contact with Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. and OWEP, Ontario Wind Energy Partners (GAIA Power, Skypower Corp., Citizens Energy Corporation) who together are the proponents in the proposed wind farm bid for the island, which could mean 65 to a 135 wind turbines.. Their Wind Farm bid will be submitted to meet the 3 p.m. August 15th deadline and is not dependant upon arriving at an agreement with the township.

CAO O’Shea has communicated to them that the Township of Frontenac Islands views any agreement as a long term issue rather than a ‘lump sum,’ up front kind of arrangement and is looking at the interests of the whole community and long term , year by year predictable funding. The township and the developer are dealing in good faith to come up with what they call a ‘Side Agreement’ to deal with the problems caused by provincial policy, capping turbine assessment at $40,000.which has been an ongoing complaint by Frontenac Islands. (A new provincial policy which states that wind turbines are a compatible use on all agricultural lands in Ontario takes the decision for an official plan amendment away from the township.)

Mayor Vanden Hoek noted that everyone including the municipality will be able to comment on the project during the official process as outlined in a letter sent to all residents by the developer (environmental reports, appeal periods, etc.), but one part that has been clearly a problem is the fact that the township is being asked to carry the development without any benefit to the residents at large and “the developer seems to understand the serious issues facing the municipality.”

In other business council acting as a Committee of Adjustment once again heard from Mr. Al Cromarty representing 2 applications by Dakoda Leather Goods and Mrs. T. Maisch deferred last month because of concerns about an existing barn on the retained lot, and a requirement to comply with the minimum distance separation requirements.

A lengthy discussion took place not only about the barn but also about widening the road. Council invited comments from the public. The applications were approved with a ‘restrictive covenant’ that the barn cannot be used for livestock or agricultural purposes. While the applicant felt the township road issue should not be included at this time, council also approved the application conditional upon the township receiving enough land to widen the road to meet the township road allowance minimum of 66 feet without affecting the easterly part of the lot. Fees to the municipality include $200 for one lot and $50. in lieu of parkland.

Applications by the Braetten’s and the Read’s on Wolfe Island were for the purpose of correcting a historical mistake, a question of trading one acre for one acre to correct a siting error with an existing lot. It was approved as a lot addition only.

Mayor Vanden Hoek advised William Buchanan from Howe Island, who came requesting comments from council regarding an idea he has for a 30 acre piece of property, that the township has an official plan. He suggested that Buchanan work through township staff. He on the other hand, pointed out that Frontenac County would look to the township before approving any plan of subdivision he might present.

The township will notify the City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston that it wants to be advised of any sewage treatment bypasses at the same time as MOE, as requested by Richard Lindgren, Canadian Environmental Law Association. This in reference to Kingston sewage bypasses which put the Township at risk of sewage contamination.

Another unusual discussion took place about large animals roaming at large or trespassing which led to the passage of a bylaw prohibiting both and fines for any violations. Deputy Mayor Hobbs said the bylaw is not an attack on the farming community but problems arise with repeat offenders and where there is no fencing.

A request for a sign at the Howe Island Ferry: “Limit Idling Whenever Possible” came from resident Lisa Webb. A letter from Betty Anne Field suggested coordination of library and land fill site hours (rejected) on Wolfe Island to save on fuel emissions and with a further request for a “NO-Idling bylaw with appropriate signage in the village.

The Township will support the Eastern Ontario Abattoir Project (CFDC) feasibility study with $200.

Deputy Mayor Hobbs wants the County to resolve the issue of oil trucks on the County ferry a situation which has become a real irritant to residents. He is also concerned about drainage on Howe Island Drive as well as the whole issue of unopened road allowances.
Council next meets on Wolfe Island Monday, Sept 12th.

Around Town: The township issued a newsletter announcing among other things that the oil spill at the Wolfe Island Town Hall was paid for through a “catch up” in provincial transfer payments; the Wolfe Island community enhancement levy has been reduced to $20. per assessment. Howe Island is budgeted $130,000 for road work; and has transferred an additional $40,000 to the H.I. Fire Hall building reserve fund. Gary Curtis and Lloyd Orser from the Soil and Crop Association were on Wolfe Island to look at test plots of wheat, corn, barley soybean and oats planted at the farms of Jack and Theresa Broeder's, Jason and Christine Pyke, Henry and Janine Posthumus. Seed for the test plots is provided free from seed companies wanting new seed varieties tested. Jason Pike was instrumental in establishing the seed testing program.
Coming Events:
1 Aug. 20th. W.I. Volunteer Fire Dept Golf Tournament & Dance WI Riverfront Golf Course Contact Joe Taggart 385 2233.
2. Aug. 20th. Wolfe Island United Church Pork BBQ & Silent Auction. United Church Hall. Doors open 4:30 p.m.
3. Sept.17th Charity “Family Scramble” Golf Tournament for the W.I. Medical Clinic, Alston Moor Golf Links. Tee Off times 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Cost Adults $40. Youth under 14, $30. includes 9 holes, dinner and prizes. Register (by Sept. 10th) call: 385-2464.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:34 AM
August 08, 2005
Howe Islandís Year of the Veteran Project

The Canadian Government declared 2005 the Year of the Veteran . To honour veterans in this 60th anniversary of the end of the 2nd World War, an attempt is being made to compile a complete list of all veterans from Howe Island. Those who served or may have died in the defence of Canada during past wars or as Peace Keepers in any one of the many areas of the world where Canada has served through the years.

“This seems an appropriate project for us to be undertaking,” according to Joan Fawcett who, along with Earl Prior, a life time resident of Howe Island, who is coordinating the project.

“ We already have 20 names on our list but I am sure there are many more. We started the list last year but want to complete it before this special year for Veterans ends,” Joan said. “ But we need some help from the public.”

The names to date include:
Ignatius Driscoll Charles Driscol
Francis Lachance John Dowling
Germain Guindon Joyce Dowling
Frances Garrah Junior Marshall
Fabian Garrah Leonard Foley
Michael Driscoll Harry Rothwell
William (Billy) Prior Charles Leavis
Harold(Bud) Goodfriend Daniel Kane
Dr. Edmund Melville Bert Prior
Fred Welsh Francis Dwyre

Anyone who has knowledge of other Howe Island veterans who should be included in this list is asked to please call Joan Fawcett at 613-5462307 or Earl Prior at 613-5424895.

The act of remembrance may be expressed in many ways. On Howe Island the Veterans list will be prominently displayed at the Howe Island Township Building.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:41 PM