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.

May 21, 2008
Growing up on Wolfe Island, a book by Islanders is Launched

So often in tightly knit communities one hears the lament that the wonderful stories of the past are being lost with the deaths of their senior citizens. Such a lament sparked an idea of doing something about it which led to “Growing up on Wolfe Island,” a compilation of oral history interviews with Islanders, some born and raised on the island and with others who have lived there most of their lives.

So it was no surprise when, at the invitation of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) and the W.I. Women’s Institute, sons, daughters, relatives and friends gathered at the Community Hall to celebrate ‘the launch’ with the authors of “Growing up on Wolfe Island,” their book filled with their memories, their stories of the way island life used to be. The launch provided the perfect occasion to bring many of the story tellers together, John O’Shea, Don MacDonald, Mark and Mable McRae, Arthur Keyes, Chris Kane, Flora Devlin, Everett Hogan, Elaine(Allum) Berry, Elaine (Horne) Hogan, Margaret Fawcett.

And how excited they were to finally see the book, to leaf through the pages, to look at pictures (provided by the WI Historical Society) to recall what they said, and to meet with their editors, Captain Brian Johnson, WI Historical Society president and an author in his own right, and Sarah Sorensen, the primary conductor of the interviews and who compiled the stories (a Queen’s student at the time).
It was like a high school reunion. So much so they were even signing each other's copy of the book. And the books flew off the table quickly purchased by family members and friends. Captain Johnson in his welcome indicated his enthusiasm for the book project. Linda Thomas, Chair of the island’s Heritage Committee and President of WIBTA was presented with a framed copy of the original cover (cover & book designed by Kiley Rider) as a gift by the Women’s Institute for moving the project forward. The WI Women’s Institute prepared the luncheon and served a beautiful cake honouring the occasion.

Not present were story tellers R.F. Fawcett, Vern Yott, Bob Pyke, Anita Janzer, and Anne Deming. Now deceased are Carmel Greenwood and Sydney Eves, Simcoe Island. “Growing Up on Wolfe Island” is available on the island at the local stores,the Tourist Information Centre and Novel Ideas in Kingston.

The project received funding from Human Resources Development Canada, Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, & the Davies Charitable Foundation.
For More Info: L. Thomas 613-385-1947.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:22 PM
May 20, 2008
It Must Be Summer! Frontenac Islands Council Meeting Ends Early

Frontenac Islands Council got together in May with what could be described as a slim agenda. While there was much to talk about, it all moved to a very quick conclusion.
1. The first item of business related to signage on Wolfe Island. Linda Thomas President of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) was present to discuss a municipal sign policy. Mayor Vanden Hoek was very apologetic about perhaps becoming a little over involved ( “meddling”), he said) in Marysville signage which has been on the townships agenda since last year when money was budgeted in 2007 for that purpose but was not all used. Directional signage to Big Sandy Bay was also under consideration. The mayor said he had gathered together a small group to talk about signage and to review a number of designs prepared by island resident Mike Bromley, later asking Councillor Grant to take over the committee. WIBTA was not at the table at that time. Around the same time WIBTA had been discussing signage as well. Their focus was to develop a standard of signage that would better define Wolfe Island and Marysville, to consider enclosed bulletin boards on the ferry as well as an information sign at the ferry dock in Kingston. Thomas noted that she had applied on behalf of the Township and WIBTA to secure a grant from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) . The request was approved ($8000.) with financial participation from the township($4000.) to install directional signs for Big Sandy Bay, Village of Marysville signs and two covered bulletin boards to be placed on the Wolfe Islander III. WIBTA is hoping to install an information sign somewhere on the ferry dock in Kingston. During the discussion, Councillor Grant reminded council that Marysville is 150 years old this year. Mayor Vanden Hoek extended thanks to WIBTA and to all concerned for their efforts. Thomas will be looking for 3 quotes for the work.

2. Peggy Smith representing the Communities In Action Program was there to discuss the use of the grant ($28,000 ) she applied for and received in 2007 for community recreational activities as well as for the construction of a public (municipal) dock and the purchase of a floating dock. Smith noted that the grant time line had been extended into 2008 because the dock was not fully completed in 2007. Programs during the year included canoeing, yoga, pilates and some broomball activities including the purchase of equipment. Smith paid tribute to Christine Lott (township treasurer) as great to work with and Sacred Heart School as great to partner with. Smith said that they cannot get on with advertising the boating programs until the dock (part of the contract ) is finished “My date is when the dock is finished,” she said. There was a lengthy discussion (with no resolution) regarding the dock and who, or if, anyone can tie up.

3. A letter from S. McAuley to rent Wolfe Island’s community hall (fall/winter yoga classes) led Council to focus on the building’s high heating costs. Contact will be made with the Community Centre board to see if they might partner with the school board for the school rental.

4. The by law Enforcement Officer Ken Gilpin looked at a number of properties on Wolfe Island including the old school house on 9th Line Road. A number will be torn down (under safe buildings by law) but not the school. The owner will be advised to improve/ repair/sell the building or it too will be demolished.

5. Councillor Doyle will be in touch with the County Development Officer Dianna Bratina regarding the Partners in Climate Protection program, a network of municipal governments committed to reducing green house gases and acting on climate change.

6. Councillor Fiene, Cataraqui Source Protection Committee representative, noted items of interest and urgency to any plans for Marysville sewer and water, in the terms of reference for “a clean water act.,” included in their agenda package. For more information :

7 Concluding Business: Councillor Grant and members of council extend Thanks to the St. Lawrence Women’s Institute for their successful organization of Pitch-In Day on Wolfe Island
Mayor Vanden Hoek and CAO O’Shea will attend the International Joint Commission meeting at Kingston City Hall, June 24, 2008
May 25-31st declared “Frontenac Islands Conservation Week”.
Budget meeting May 23rd 10 am. (Concerning budget deliberations , a line item has been added to authorize an environmental assessment for municipal water services in Marysville The study will also include a component for long range planning for municipal sewers).
Council also approved the use of the WI Fire Hall by the WI Medical Clinic (1/2 day per week) as a result of the fire which destroyed the clinic.
Council meets next June 9th at 6:30 pm Howe Island

Around Town: * Have you sent your letter of support for the Wolfe Island Wind Farm to Minister of Environment John Gerretsen?
* Geneva Keyes and Linda Hulton extend thanks to the many volunteers who “Pitched In” for the Wolfe Island roadside clean up. It was incredible. And Mrs. Keyes also thanks everyone for their response to the Partners in Mission “Food” Bank Drive.
*The W.I. Tourist Information Centre NOW OPEN weekends (Fri.,Sat.,Sun.) through May & June. Then full time to Labour Day.
* Plans are underway for Sacred Heart School Council’s “Spring Fling. ( I have been informed there will be no Spring Fling this year)
*Sadly, twice in a month, Trinity Anglican, the adjacent cemetery and Sacred Heart school fell victim to a graffiti artist.
* Big Sandy Bay is staffed weekends to June 15th, then full time. Rates posted:
* The Friends of Big Sandy Bay invite you to a talk about “Sand Dunes” withYvette Bree, Park Naturalist and Dune Educator, Thurs. June 5th , St. Margaret’s Hall.
* Kane- Mosier Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday, June 7th, 2008 at the Wolfe Island Riverfront Golf Course. For info. call Robin @ 385-2444 or Ward McCready @385-9925 to book your foursome..
* The 1st W.I. Farmer’s Market Day will be held Sunday July 6th. * Wolfe Island events:
* Howe Island’s St. Philomena's Celebrates 150th Anniversary - Saturday, July 26th at the Church Hall, beginning at 1:00pm –with a non stop series of events including an outdoor Mass with Archbishop O’Brien, dinner, dance etc. Also events on Sunday July 27th. For more information:

Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:49 AM
May 07, 2008
Every Community has an Identity. Every Citizen has a Place in it.

Two meetings, a week apart, one on Howe Island and the other on Wolfe Island were the first steps in the Frontenac Islands “Official Plan Review.” Their purpose, not only to introduce the process and to identify the community’s involvement in it but to also introduce the township planner Glenn Tunnock and David Sappleton of the firm Tunnock Consulting Ltd who will complete the review on behalf of the township. The review team also includes CAO Terry O’Shea, Carol Dwyre, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer and CGIS (mapping) and provincial ministries, MTO, MOE, MNR & OMAFRA.

At the outset Tunnock engaged the public in a trivia quiz about the the Frontenac Island community. And, on both occasions he spoke of the Official Plan (OP) as a blueprint for growth and development of the community for the next 20 years, “a partnership agreement between the council, the residents and the province of how land (agricultural, wet lands etc.) should be used and how development should be serviced.” The OP process includes a research phase to develop a comprehensive community profile to be used as a marketing tool, develop policies, seek public and agency input, hold open house meetings, a statutory public meeting with a presentation, adoption of the OP amendment submitted to the province, notice of a decision and a 20 day appeal period available for participants. Communication will be through surveys, use of the township’s web site, newsletters, flyers, etc.

Responding to a question about his position Tunnock said he is now the Township Planner taking over from Clark Consulting noting that Clark Consulting continues considerable involvement with Wolfe Island’s Canadian Hydro Development Wind Plant as well as certain quarry files. A resident wanted answers about the MTO’s Transportation EA and dates of public meetings and when there can be resident participation. Tunnock suggested the EA was probably in its first phase with no information at this time and that it is a provincial issue. He did however reiterate that MTO is one of the partners in the OP process and will be consulted from time to time.

Small group discussion and reporting on both islands was based on the same 10 questions related to sustainability, rate of growth, quality of life, viable/marketable uses of agricultural lands as well as shoreline development/ access/ protection; Marysville, limits to growth; Howe Island attributes and disadvantages; suitable/compatible home based businesses; private road development benefits/downfalls; cultural heritage and historical sites and a final question regarding the promotion of alternative energy systems and possible controls.

Howe Island wants its feel, flavour and independence sustained. It wants a community hub, larger (3 acre) lots, a dependable faster (free) ferry; island growth restricted by maintaining resource protection. Attributes two ferries, a low crime rate, non intrusive home based businesses. They believe their identity is diluted by attachment to Wolfe Island, are concerned about the poor farming environment, have health and safety concerns about wind power but wonder what the amenities agreement means for them. They have differing opinions about island roads, they want high speed internet, believe in grow your own food, market days and cultural heritage and citizen participation.
For Wolfe Island sustainability, well managed growth ( people-tax base) and quality of life means considering all ages and needs (health, seniors services, safety, clean water, self sufficiency, environmental protection (Big Sandy Bay) , waste disposal, multiuse community centre, etc.), as well as dependable ferry transportation, public transportation on the island, new businesses through encouraging different land uses (Retirement Community) while islanders see growth for Marysville dependent on municipal services (water-sewer). Tunnock Consulting was asked to consider addition of Grey Highlands Reg. 10 (scales of energy, noise etc)and a compelling request that from this time forward citizens are kept informed on all development issues and that someone is available to hear concerns.

Both communities, Howe and Wolfe, question the appropriateness of the extensive agricultural land use designation and their inability to sever. They see the need for more rural designation and smaller farming land plot sizes (developing food movement, hobby farms etc.) as well as shore line management with public access to the water as important issues.
Residents were encouraged to take home, fill out and return comment sheets . Further meeting dates will be announced. A report of the meetings will be available on the Frontenac Islands website :

Raising Funds for Early Years: Recently The Kingston Community Strings, a group of string players who play for enjoyment came to Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church. They offer their services for fund raising to organizations . They came to play a benefit concert on behalf of the island’s Early Year Centre. Trinity’s pastor, Rev. Canon Chris Carr is a member of the Kingston Strings. Angie Vaughn, Chair of the Early Years Committee welcomed the group to the island. And what a concert it was with both conductors James Cole and Robert Clark offering exciting and amusing insights into what we were to hear from the playing of the Suite in F Major, Battalia and a wonderful Wizard of Oz Medley. These musical delights were followed by five fiddle tunes for orchestra featuring fiddle soloist Amy MacDonald and step dancer Jenny Ashbury. The Cello ensemble led by Jennifer Tindale played music by Tchaikowsky and Bach. In closing, well known Bassoon soloist Katie Legere accompanied by the full string ensemble thrilled the audience with her playing of a Concerto for Bassoon & Strings by Vivaldi . And as always on Wolfe Island, the food prepared for intermission was incredible. The event raised through donations $1,400.

Around Town: *You are invited to an “Ecumenical PENTECOST Service of Light” at Trinity Anglican Church, Sat. May 10th 8:30 pm. Everyone welcome.
*The Partners in Mission Food Bank, WI Food Drive is Wed. May 14th. Have bags ready for pickup between 6-9 pm., Or drop off bags at the UC Hall from 6-9 pm. Volunteers needed to sort, pack or canvas. Contact Geneva Keyes : 613-385-2377.
* Friends of Big Sandy Bay “Mother’s Day Walk along the trail to Big Sandy, Sunday, May 11 at 1-3 p.m. Contact Linda Van Hal 613-385-1521.
* Bake Sale, St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. May 17th 11am. * ‘FISH FRY” & Plant Sale WI United Church Hall Sat. May 17th Doors Open @ 4:30 pm.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:50 AM