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 27, 2009
Canadian Author Peter Robinson recipient of the 2009 Grant Allen Award

Yorkshire born Canadian author Peter Robinson (PhD English York University) was presented with the Grant Allen Award for contribution to Canadian crime writing at Wolfe Island’s 9th annual Scene of the Crime Festival. His crime novels featuring Chief Inspector Alan Banks are set in a fictional town in Yorkshire and now number 19 with the next always eagerly hoped for. The first, Gallows View was published in 1987. Many of his highly regarded short stories are set in Canada and interestingly music plays a part in all of his writings. (Grant Allen born on Wolfe Island in 1848, is recognized as Canada’s first crime writer.) Peter Robinson is a man of many talents, and a pioneer of Canadian crime writing.
The Grant Allen award, individually created in the form of a kaleidoscope by local artist Linda Sutherland is designed to have particular significance to the winner. This year’s award embellished with Inspector Banks badge, was inside a box that once contained a bottle of Peter’s favourite Scotch and was presented by festival board member Rev. Canon Chris Carr.
During an interview conducted by Therese Green wood, co-founder of the Scene of the Crime Festival, Robinson talked about the evolution of his Inspector Banks character’s through the many stages of life, the difficulties of writing short stories, and his commitment to writing every day. With regard to Banks, “I haven’t finished with him yet,” he said. Regarding short stories, “it’s a matter of doing more with less.”
Featured guest lecturer Robb Tripp, an investigative crime and justice reporter with the Kingston Whig Standard took the audience through a number of grizzly tales of crime that have been part of his 20 year career.
Once again the Island’s librarian Sharon Hogan accept a $500. cheque presented by Festival president Violette Malan for the purchase of more books for the Grant Allen collection.
The library will also receive a donation of books from this year’s visiting authors, Rick Blechta, (Cemetery of the Nameless); Barbara Fradkin (Inspector Michael Green series); David Rotenberg (Zhong Fong series); Sue Pike ( short story writer). Vicki Delany author of suspense novels (Burden of Memory) moderated a panel discussion with the authors. She also presented this year’s workshop on writing character.
Winners in the Scene of the Crime Short Story Contest were announced and included: 1st prize Marianne Miller (Toronto-Kingston); 2nd Lucinda Dopson (Delta, Ont); 3rd Jane Watson (Ottawa). Honourable mention : Keith McBeath, (Perth, ON) & Bill Newman (Ottawa).
Kingston’s ‘As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop’ was on hand with book displays throughout the event. For more information on Grant Allen & Scene of the Crime Festival and this year’s authors etc. visit

Posted by M Knott at 11:27 AM
August 18, 2009
It was a Howe Island night but Wolfe Island transportation trumped it

Howe Island resident Mike Hart was the recipient of the Frontenac Islands Volunteer of the Year award presented by Deputy Mayor Mat Fiene at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council. Hart is a long time dedicated volunteer (baseball) coach for kids from ages 5 or 6 and well into their teens. “It gives me great pleasure to present this award to my friend Mike. There are people who stand up and do things,” Fiene said. “You stand up for our kids in this community, giving them a place to go, play baseball and have fun. You have been doing so for many years. Thank you and keep up the good work.” Hart, in accepting the award reminded council that the annual baseball closing event at the Howe Island ball park will this year include live entertainment.” I hope to see you there Aug. 26th at 6:30 pm .”
WI Transportation took centre stage. Councillor Grant brought forward a request by Wolfe Island farmers that council support their request to MTO for a special pass for grain trucks to board the ferry. WI farmer Jason Pyke, on hand to speak to the issue, said that the future of (island) agriculture depends on transportation but the problem of getting commodities off the island continues to grow, added to that, will be the ferry being out of service at a most critical time. “It was suggested that a council resolution supporting our request for special boarding passes would be better received by MTO,” Pyke said. “We are open to suggestions on how to do it without disrupting workers on the early morning and evening trips.” (Even with walkers, cyclists and residents parked in the city, most morning /evening trips are overfull.
“There are a number of issues here,” the Mayor said. “We will do what we can to help the farmers but MTO has been really slow with the transportation EA. A really pointed letter needs to go to the Minister of Transportation stating that this service is in desperate need of enhancements. We have been waiting, what, 2 years for the EA? And further this announcement in our agenda package about a provincial grant program promoting cycling, walking, less car use, is somewhat scurrilous. We are going down to a smaller vessel in October. What are they doing? Giving us a smaller boat and saying have a good few months folks? It is going to be utter chaos around here,’ he said. “There has to be a certain level of capacity..” A council resolution supporting the island farmers’ request for permit boarding on the ferry for trucks carrying off farm product will be submitted to MTO. A letter will also be sent to the Minister of Transportation outlining Frontenac Islands concerns about the lack of progress regarding WI’s ferry transportation concerns, (EA, enhancements, under capacity, etc.) copied to MPP John Gerretsen.
In other business: 1.Council dealt with and approved an application for consent including a road closure. “A township road closure is a sensitive issue. Approval doesn’t mean completion, “Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “We are tough (price) negotiators.”
2. Council passed a by law to impose fees and services e.g. tax certificates $30.00, zoning compliance $50.00, record searches $20 per hour, etc. 3. Council needs clarification about who is responsible for what road work, CPL (Canadian Projects Ltd, McIntosh Perry, or the township relating to a payment for road reclamation gravel., 4.Council acknowledged WIBTA’s letter of thanks for a $5000. grant supporting community works,( garden contest, portable toilets, signage, etc.) 5. Council members will respond individually to a Central Frontenac invitation to all county councilors to attend a joint meeting.
Council concerns: Councillor Doyle said that council has received kudos about the purchase of the Tyner- LaRush house (now a museum) and “even more about our support along with WIBTA’s for the portable toilets at the community dock.” But he noted that without ‘no parking’ signs, constant parking makes it impossible to service them. (A bylaw amendment change is required for no parking to apply on both sides of that street.)
Regarding a possible bike path on Reeds Bay Road at least on one side, a concept supported by council, WIBTA’s Linda Thomas is encouraged to continue discussion with the Kingston Cycling group to determine requirements.
Doyle noted inquiries about an ice cream cart along the (island) ferry line. (A local vendor’s son has a cart.) As there is no bylaw or licensing fee council will seek legal advice, consult with local merchants, and constituents before passing a bylaw and bring the topic back for discussion at their September meeting. (City requests have been denied). Concerning the poor condition of Wolfe Island’s road #96, (used extensively during turbine construction) Doyle spoke of public concerns, costs of repairs (cold patching, etc.) to the township, and McIntosh Perry’s responsibilities. According to CAO O’Shea, there is ongoing discussion between CPL and McIntosh Perry with each keeping track of their costs. The mayor added that the community will eventually see the stimulus package money ($476,000) and the Canadian Hydro (CREC) deposit distributed. (Many residents believe a total road rebuild of #96 is required). At the same time Deputy Mayor Fiene noted much preparatory road work on Howe Island but “No Action and people want to see action,” he said. Council will meet with Engineer Steve Archibald and the contractor. Fiene is concerned about development charge updates. “That’s a Tunnock issue.” the mayor said. “How long has he had for this, a year plus? Are we obligated to continue with the 5-year contract or can we re-tender this thing?” he mused
Councillor Grant sees a need for tree removal/trimming and land survey around the Old House Museum. He announced that the municipal works gate will be closed on weekends.
Mayor Vanden Hoek spoke of missed grant opportunities and the need for current figures through an RFP process regarding roof and refrigeration for WI’s rink, 2 (with roof & without) “When opportunities arise we need to be ready to apply.”
In other things Howe Island following a (short) in-camera session council passed a resolution to accept the offer of $225,000 for the sale of a waterfront lot on the island’s North Range. The funds received will be reserved for recreation purposes.
And finally following the council meeting members convened to the Howe Island Fire Hall where keys for a new to Howe vehicle were symbolically handed over to Mayor Vanden Hoek by Chief Mike Quinn . Council meets next: Sept. 14th Wolfe Island
Coming Events:*Euchre Thursday’s 7pm WI United Church.*Howe Island Ratepayers Association annual meeting St. Philomena’s Hall, Aug. 27, 7 pm *Book Launch, Barbara Larocque’s, “Wolfe Island Legacy in Stone” St. Margaret’s Hall, Aug. 23rd 11am-3 pm.*WI Ploughing Match, Sept. 12th 2009, 9am, Hultonvale Farm (9th concession)

New Fire & Rescue Vehicle in Service on Howe Island
At the close of the recent Frontenac Islands council meeting on Howe Island , council members and friends convened to the Fire Hall for a presentation by Chief Mike Quinn.
” On behalf of the Howe Island Fire and Rescue Association I am very pleased to formally present the symbolic handing over of the Keys to Rescue #8 ,”Chief Quinn said. “After much hard work and fundraising over a few years we were able to purchase Resue #8. It will serve the community as a first response vehicle, an incident command Unit and offer a safe protected area for firefighters to get out of the elements when working at large scale emergencies. “
Quinn stated that through the 2009 budget process the township purchased the Cascade/Compressor Air fill station which allowed the Association to purchase the Rescue unit, both priority pieces of equipment. “I wish to extend appreciation to all those who have made this possible,” he said.
Receiving the keys was Mayor Vanden Hoek who commended the Association for their dedication and hard work.
The Rescue # 8 vehicle has been placed in service and requires just a few minor additions. A barbecue followed hosted by the association.

Posted by M Knott at 11:42 AM
August 06, 2009
Nearly Too Much to Keep Track Of !

What a busy month July was on Wolfe Island. And it would appear that August will be much the same. Recently the “Old House” Museum in Marysville on Wolfe Island was officially opened and the keys for the building turned over to the WI Historical Society. The building purchased by the township for its heritage value was offered to society for use as a museum. On hand to present the keys was Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle accompanied by Councillor Wayne Grant.
On this occasion (WI ferry) Captain Brian Johnson, Historical Society president welcomed friends and members.”While last spring was the first time I set foot in this house,” Johnson( a story teller) said, “I’ve seen it from the wheel house (of the ferry) with Captain Buck Mullin making the bow swing to the dock just about two points ahead of Tyner’s chimney. A guide we still use today if the radar freezes. It is part of my history.” Johnson gave full credit to Vice President Victoria Stewart for the establishment of the historical society as well as the museum. ”She saw a need for a museum and here we are.” He also acknowledged the hard work of the members and the executive, John O’Shea, Brian MacDonald, Theresa Broeders, Pat Casey and Margaret Pyke
Before formally turning over the keys Councillor Doyle acknowledged the work already accomplished at the museum. “I want you to know that without your encouragement the township would not have had the incentive to close the deal when the property became available. Once we did it was a unanimous decision that you folks should be involved.” Doyle said that it takes the support of the community and its volunteer spirit to get things going citing as examples the Community Centre board, the Medical clinic board, WIBTA, Friends and the many other island organizations. “Without that kind of community enthusiasm nothing would happen.” And as always on WI there was food and an opportunity to mingle, reminisce and to look at the many items in place at “Old House “ museum.

Gone Forever! You Can’t Go Home Anymore!
Jane Craig President of the Lost Villages Historical Society was a recent guest in the WI Historical Society’s speakers series. During the years 1954-59 her home town Moulinette as well as Mille Roche, Dickinson’s Landing, Wales, Farran’s Point and Aultsville and the hamlets of Maple Grove and Santa Cruz disappeared, inundated forever under the waters of the St. Lawrence River. Over 6500 people were displaced. While many buildings were moved to the newly created communities of Ingleside and Long Sault, many more buildings and the were destroyed.
Deepening the waters of the existing St. Lawrence so that bigger ships could travel from Montreal to the Great Lakes and as a source of hydro electric power was a dual project between New York State, the US Federal Government, Canadian Federal Government and the province of Ontario a project that took 48 months and came in on budget.
“ In 1954 my little village had 420 people living there,”Craig said.” The first year 212 workers and families arrived from all over Canada and the USA. The sudden growth was unbelievable for us. An awesome time. My mother never talked about it and died a bitter woman over it. My mother and father owned the hotel in Moulinette and it was the last building to be destroyed. She wouldn’t be too proud of what I’m doing as president of the Lost Villages Historical Society.”
Craig spoke of the experiences of many people, including her own and that of her family, the sadness, pain, loneliness, of what was and lost and about author Maggie Wheeler who has written much about the seaway in her Farran Mackenzie Seaway mystery series. “She lived at Long Sault and never once heard about it from any one of her neighbours,” she said
“In 1977 six former residents of the ‘6 lost villages’ formed the Lost Villages Historical Society to preserve and display only what has come from the Lost Villages. Between 1981 and now we have 11 buildings, some original, arranged in a village setting in Ault Park (near Long Sault) including a general store, log cabin, barber shop, church (where weddings are held) etc. filled with artifacts all intended to educate the public about the Lost Villages history. My main objective at this time is to get our story into the Ontario curriculum,” Craig said.
The Society helps run a variety of activities and events (bus tours, walking tours, ghost nights) and in the schools, maintain the museum and members very seriously fund raise.

24th Annual Wolfe Island Family Ball Tournament
Once again family members from far and wide came by plane, train, bus, car, in vans, trailers, by boat and perhaps even hitch hiking to participate in the annual Family Ball tournament. And once again the weather did not fail. Sunshine and light winds greeted to 30 teams that played Friday evening and all day Saturday, completing their last games before 9 pm. In the A Division, the Kyle family team was victorious.The Eves Family Team won in the “B” Division. The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team: Hulton Senior team. The Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Memorial Trophy: Bolton Team
Thanks to the Ambulance Service on hand during the event

Around Town: The Corn Maze is now open with many new features. *The hole, the first stage for the WI Community Medical Clinic is complete.*Results of the judging of WI gardens contest will be announced soon. Container judging at a later date.* To see hourly generator Output by facility visit: .*Barbara Wall Laroques’s book, WI Legacy in Stone is now in print. * Big plans anticipated for WI.Emergency Services Building(ambulance-fire) Contestants wanted for WI Queen of the Furrow If interested, contact Dave Woodman 613 385 2682 or Wilma Sjonger 613 385 2672.

Coming Events: * WI Music Festival, Aug. 7th & 8th Program: Friday Aug. 7th;.Town Hall Concert - 8:30pm: Tickets: $20; General Wolfe Hotel 11pm: $15.00,The Island Grill - 6-8pm, 11-1am: Saturday, Aug. 8th: Wolfe Island Community Centre Grounds: Tickets $35.00 , *WI Scene of the Crime Festival Sat. Aug 15th Call 613-385-2648 or email for more info * Wolfe Island -Legacy in Stone Book Launch, St. Margaret’s Hall Aug. 23rd 11am-3pm *WI Ploughing Match, Sept. 12th 2009, 9am, Hultonvale Farm (9th concession)

Posted by M Knott at 12:41 PM