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.

January 28, 2014
Remembering Tim OShea - Long time Reeve of Wolfe Island

Family members of the late Timothy O’Shea (1996) returned to the Township of Frontenac Islands January council meeting, to hear the outcome of a request that the long time (33 years) Reeve of Wolfe Island be honoured in some way by the township. Present was Mr. O’Shea’s daughter, Sharon Hogan, his grandson Dan Hogan, and Dan’s wife Danielle. It was Danielle who in November came forward to present the original request to council that the township “recognize Timothy O’Shea’s life long contributions and dedication to the Wolfe Island community by publically recognizing his many years of service and accomplishments.” She suggested a way to do that might be to dedicate a portion of Highway 95 , that part in front of the O’Shea home near Sacred Heart the Church they attended, the library erected during his time in office, or perhaps another location or facility like the Community Centre.
At the time, Danielle presented a strong case for council to recognize “Timothy O’Shea.” T he central theme of her comments certainly confirmed the idea that O’Shea (born July 5, 1919) was a family man, a loving husband of 51 years to his wife Marion (Greenwood), loving father to his children Sandra, Sharon and Terry, their spouses Leo, Owen and Barbara and his grandchildren, as well as an exceptional politician and Reeve of Wolfe Island for 33 uninterrupted years, and Frontenac Warden in 1967. She acknowledged that she had not met Reeve O’Shea personally but had come to know him through the pictures, stories and traditions she had seen and heard. “He was a man of impeccable character, great integrity and family values. A loyal, dependable man, Timmy O’Shea was the first one to step up to help someone in need- and if he couldn’t do it alone he would gather a group of fellow islanders and they would do it together. Mr. O’Shea was instrumental in numerous community projects,” she continued. “ Instrumental in convincing the province to take over the Wolfe Island Ferry and worked with the Ministry of Transportation to convince the Province of Ontario to build the Wolfe Islander III. He encouraged islanders to get off the ice and onto the ferry. The dump property was purchased and the first municipal dump was opened. The volunteer fire department was formed, the first fire truck was purchased and the first fire hall was built. The first township roads garage was built. The Simcoe Island Ferry was built and a ferry service to Simcoe Island was inaugurated. The Community Hall was purchased. The Library was built. He was responsible for establishing a medical clinic and the first volunteer ambulance service on Wolfe Island along with the help and support of Dr. George Merry. Mr. O’Shea was well respected at the Federal and Provincial Government levels,” she concluded.
Mayor Doyle commented that the late Reeve O’Shea was very important to the community.” Every election year when I was living away from Wolfe Island, my mother would call me to come home and Vote for TIM,” he said.
CAO Gordon Burns In his report to council regarding the naming of Streets and Buildings after distinguished residents noted such a policy had advantages as a means of recognition of persons, and disadvantages such as precedent setting, determining eligibility, getting agreement, limited number of facilities etc. but “the request to honour former Reeve Tim O’Shea should be considered” the report said, and naming the WI library after him was suggested.
Council agreed with the suggestion and working with the CAO, the family will assist with the late Reeve O’Shea’s history including pictures for a plaque to be placed at the island’s library soon to be identified and dedicated as “The Timothy O’Shea Memorial Library.” A formal event will take place at a later date. .
Around Town:* A meeting has been initiated to talk about gas & diesel on Wolfe Island since the closure of Danny’s gas pumps (not the garage)..* Para medicine services at the WI Community Medical Clinic have been a success and the possibility of increasing those services is being studied.. * Noted the bubble system is not operating… * Simcoe ferry out of service of course. * Apologies to Councillor Nossal, her first name is Natalie, (not Kim) as stated last week. * Watch out for frost bite during this very cold weather. * Check out Medical Clinic dates,,,at *Have you written your letter to Kraft Hockeyville 2014 Bring it Home.?.? Check out : *In spite of cold the WI rink is always busy after school, evenings , weekends and with many “coming over.”

Posted by M Knott at 10:24 AM
January 18, 2014
Frontenac Islands Noise By-Law Passes

After many months of deliberation, a noise bylaw for Frontenac Islands received third and final reading, passed and entered into the township’s by-law book. The by-law regulates noise within the township by Time, Place and Days of Operation ; prohibits the use of certain construction and compacting equipment, the operation of a pit or quarry or certain powered or non powered domestic tools. It also prohibits yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, singing or amplified sound , with noise levels not to exceed 65(dB) decibels from 20 meters and 75 dB’s from source over a 1 minute continuous period. The by-law also outlines certain exemptions such as emergency vehicles.
“ I think this has been a good process,” Mayor Doyle said. “We took our time on this one . We had quite a number of meetings and I think we now have something we can all live with.” When questioned, Doyle noted that “amplified music” was changed to amplified sound to counter the possibility of other noise, for instance, loud singing.
With the passage of the bylaw, Interim CAO Gordon Burns reminded council of the need to acquire and cost ($300.) of a decibel meter to measure sound and the training requirement for the bylaw enforcement officer on its operation and use. “The main reason being if the bylaw is ever challenged in municipal court , it would be the same as a breathalyser, the judge will determine if the person was properly qualified to utilize that instrument.”
Councillor Springgay noted that essentially, “ the bylaw came about as a direct result of the Wolfe Island Grill renovations, but the bylaw could also impact those living around the community centre and the rink if, for instance there are more events or functions when the rink is closed in. I think it is a good thing for the community and not so focussed on one family,” she said. The By-Law will be posted on the Township’s web site
In other business:*Mayor Doyle welcomed new Councillor from Howe Island Natalie Nossal to the table, introducing her to the public present at the meeting.
Following receipt of CAO Burns report on the naming of a building or road after a deserving individual, (advantages , disadvantages, precedent setting for future requests), Council resolved to honour a long time Reeve of Wolfe Island, and will name the WI Library the Tim O’Shea Memorial Library.
* In the absence of both Mayor Doyle and Deputy Mayor David Jones, Councillor Wayne Grant was appointed as Acting Mayor for the period Jan. 17-24,2014. Grant has also been appointed to represent Frontenac Islands on the Frontenac County Seniors Housing Task force, a long held issue of importance to him.
*Council received the staff report regarding the Simcoe Island Nine Mile Point Lighthouse. It recommends that the township NOT support the acquisition of the Light House from the Federal Government because of the financial obligation it would involve. The Federal Government requires that whoever owns the site, whether private or public, must maintain it and allow for public use.
*A township’s resolution(copied to MPP John Gerretsen, Frontenac County, & Premier Wynn) submitted through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, petitions the Province of Ontario to recognize the December ice storm as an emergency and to provide special funding to municipalities (like Frontenac Islands) affected by the storm to off set some of the resulting costs. “Thanks to Hydro and our Fire Chiefs, I think we were ahead of the storm, ”Mayor Doyle said. “We had our emergency management meeting and determined first steps but there are costs” The question was, if successful for funding , how would it be distributed ? “Let’s hope we are faced with that,” the mayor added. The resolution will be distributed to MPP John Gerretsen, City of Kingston, Frontenac County and Ontario Premier Wynn.
* Interim CAO Burns offered some insights about the damaged Wolfe Island snow plough (truck). Repair or Replace? The discussion veered toward repairing it, through insurance etc. “Taking a cash settlement leaves us without a vehicle, or for $5000. (deductible) we could have it back on the road.” Mayor Doyle suggested “ look for a cash settlement, bite the bullet and get another truck.”Staff will further study the issue, costs, truck availability etc. to determine the best way forward.
* The Township supports Wolfe Island’s bid to become Hockeyville 2014 and encourages all residents to “get behind this community initiative.” *From a member of the public came the suggestion that council petition Frontenac County for the “Gas Tax” monies presently held in reserves that is owed to the township for road maintenance. Council meets next on Howe Island: Feb. 10th at 6:30 pm
Around Town:* Fr. Raymond deSouza, Pastor at WI’s Sacred Heart Church invited to join the official delegation travelling with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his first diplomatic visit to Israel. Fr. deSouza’s name was suggested because of his ongoing cooperation and collaboration with Canadian Jewish community. He asks for prayers that the visit advance the cause of peace, justice, liberty and security. *Bring it Home- Support WI’s bid to be Kraft Hockeyville 2014, Submit a story about Wolfe Island’s Community Spirit and Passion for Hockey”(up to 4,000 characters including spaces) They must be received in full via the Website no later than Feb. 9, 2014 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET Letters judged 1/3 Originality, 1/3 Community Spirit, 1/3 Passion for Hockey.You may attach photos with your story. FYI: The rules are changed with more prize money, For a letter being selected your community wins $25,000 (8 letters are to be selected from Eastern Canada & 8 from the West).
Coming event: A Gas COOP on Wolfe Island?? Jan. 23rd, WI United Church, 6:30 pm (FCFDC sponsored)

Posted by M Knott at 10:01 AM
January 15, 2014
Its Really Tough Work in the Cold

Coming home on the Wolfe Island Ferry recently from a necessary visit to the city on what was one of winter’s coldest days thus far, I was struck by the fatigue I saw registered in the faces of MTO’s ferry staff members. You know them, the many men, who board us safely on and off the ferry, Lori, our lone female, the captains and mates in the ferry’s upper deck who steer the ship and those many who work below who are crucial to ferry’s safe operation, every hour in all kinds of weather, spring and summer, fall and winter and those on shore who see to its repair. We take their tasks for granted I suppose because …… Well I don’t really know why. Perhaps it is because they are always there. Its there job. Why wouldn’t they do it well. The fact that they do was written all over their faces as they chopped ice, sanded and salted the deck guided vehicles into place and struggled with the ramp. If we were cold you can imagine how cold they were. So to them, a vote of thanks for all they do to keep the ferry running and on schedule in spite of the weather. Thanks!
Of Interest to Wolfe Islanders: There was a community meeting called at the request of WI resident Kathy Horton to talk about community housing with specific reference to co-op type housing summed up as “people working together to decide what they want to create as housing.”
As a member of a ‘CO’ Housing committee , not yet incorporated, she met with Mayor Doyle and Councillor Grant in September , also with Frontenac County’s Joe Gallivan and Peter Young to talk about housing possibilities. She also met with WI property owner John Weatheral who she said was interested in the ‘CO’ Housing concept.
Invited to the present gathering were John McDougall, a South Frontenac and Frontenac County councillor. Councillor McDougall represents Frontenac County at the City of Kingston’s Housing and Homelessness Committee. ( Kingston provides this service to the County in the same way the County provides Ambulance Service for Kingston. ) Also present , Mayor Denis Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Frontenac Islands Interim CAO Gord Burns, island residents Betty Doyle, Clara Lovatt , Walter Knott and Frontenac County’s Joe Gallivan and Peter Young. Gallivan recently completed the Frontenac County Official Plan. Young is presently involved with a CIP (Community Improvement Plan) for Wolfe Island.
The discussion moved through a series of concepts, ownership, rental, condominium, side by side units with common area, possibly municipal involvement etc. Mayor Doyle spoke of prefab design and fabrication with some flexibility.
Councillor Doyle noted that Wolfe Island has been this route before. “Our community was looking for a seniors residence ,” he said. Councillor McDougall identified a similar need in South Frontenac. In either case nothing developed.
The meeting shifted to a consideration of senior rental housing in Marysville. Councillor McDougall reminded the group that Kingston is our service provider for social housing.
“We should not forget that,” he said. . “Twenty percent of the area population is from Frontenac County… we must keep the city involved in what we do.”
What was cocleded, after much discussion, was that Wolfe Island needs what it said it needed a few years ago. Affordable rental units for seniors in the village. A committee will move forward to look at the options, possible partners, funding, support from the city/county, all directed towards the development of a business plan. No guarantees at this point and no immediate expectations….

Around Town: Wolfe Island’s Hockeyville 2014 Committee Chair person Michelle Joy is waiting to hear that Kraft Hockeyville has Wolfe Island registered. Once that is confirmed, the letter writing phase begins. The email links to Kraft Hockeyville will be posted at that time. * And speaking about the wonderful rink on Wolfe Island, in spite of the cold it was in full use all day long last Sunday when the Bath Road Rangers Association of the Church Athletic League held their 2nd annual Hockey Classic . It went on all afternoon and into the evening. , game after game.* And Further info about the rink Check out Wolfe Island Community Centre on Facebook. Up comes quite a nice site with lots of information and some wonderful pictures. * Bad time at the WIPP when the furnace died during the very cold weather. * It is that time of year. Islanders are wondering when or if the ferry will be moving to the winter dock now that there is so much ice for the ferry to deal with and water levels are down. If it is going to happen it is just a matter of time. The question is are we ready? * Glad to hear that the docks at Amherst Island will be rebuilt to accommodate the Frontenac II’s ”roll on-roll off” features. It has been a back up ferry for Wolfe Island, so we know it well.

SOS—It’s official. Wolfe Island is registered for Kraft Hockeyville 2014. Submit a short story about Island’s “Community Spirit and Passion for Hockey” (up to 4,000 characters including spaces in full) via the Website no later than February 9, 2014 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (Judged 1/3 each Originality, Community Spirit, Passion for Hockey) You may attach photos.

Posted by M Knott at 09:47 AM
January 03, 2014
It is Winter on Wolfe Island

The good news is that the winter schedule for the Wolfe Island rink has been announced and the facility is also booked for quite a number of hockey events. The basic work for the roof planned to cover it is completed but the winter weather has slowed the process and it is unclear when it will happen. Registration for particular programs such as learn to skate, etc. began Jan. 3rd and sign up sheets for Hockey are available Fargo’s. During the Christmas holiday period the rink had a very active “free skating interspersed with hockey” schedule.
The island churches prepared well for Christmas with parishioners welcoming home family and friends to their services and events. Sacred Heart Church was filled throughout the joyous days.
The village of Marysville was quiet as islanders hunkered down, happy to be home together again, reminiscing about the good days, the bad days and the sad days they experienced through the year. So many no longer with us this Christmas were remembered.
The WIPP offered a place to go and Fargo’s was open throughout much of the holiday period as was the Landfill site with extra OPEN days. The ferry continues to operate from the village at this time.
The bad news of course was the ice storm with its severe and fluctuating power outages, crashing trees, and broken branches all over the island with some areas without power and isolated much longer than others. Winds were relentless with heavy snow followed by rain followed by more snow mixed with rain. Trees that survived the ’98 Ice Storm did not make it this time. Their newer fragile branches cracking under the strain and crashing to the ground.
Of course the community pulled together to help each other. Checking on one another. Visiting those alone. Ploughing and shovelling , generator swapping , sharing food and kitchens were all were part of the good neighbourliness islanders are accustomed to. And we survived. Thanks to Hydro who worked hard on our behalf.
The bad news right now of course is the bitterly cold weather. More like the Manitoba weather my husband and I left behind when we moved to Toronto and later to the island. In Manitoba it was not uncommon to have temperatures dip from 15 to 35 plus degrees below zero during the winter, where wearing layer upon layer of clothing is common (and required for that matter) and looking ridiculous doesn’t matter as long as you keep warm. Every car has a block heater or a Light bulb hanging over the engine providing for the most part the little extra smidge of heat required to make the engine turn over that magical once and keep going.
I’ve been told that reminiscing is a sign of age. But as I see it reminiscing offers an invitation to story tell. So let me tell you this winter reminds me of those wonderful years in Manitoba and surprisingly of our first Christmas on Wolfe Island . It was December 1989 and was also bitterly cold then as it is now.
McConnell Bay had frozen quickly without snow, rain instead a few days before the temperature dropped, leaving a clear sheet of glass-like-ice thick and deep for us to see out our front window. It was so incredibly beautiful glistening in the sunlight and I was eager to see it up close. Three of our four children, their spouses and Celina our 15 month old grandchild arrived all curious to discover this place Wolfe Island. So for our first island Christmas we numbered nine.
Part of our time together included running out of furnace oil and waking up to a very cold house. But we were lucky. An open fireplace provided some warmth along with candles burning until the Oil Man saved the day and all was well.
And its about the “all was well” that I remember. During that first island Christmas we ventured out, onto the sparkling crystal clear ice in the bay, with Celina in a sleigh. As I looked down and through the ice I saw all manor of small fish suspended in the water. It was a magical moment for me and for the family too I suspect, one of many hundreds of magical moments that have been ours since coming to Wolfe Island, a place we chose to become part of.
So to All, Best Wishes for a Wonderful 2014 filled with magical moments, good health and happiness.

Around Town: Take Note of Walking, Exercise Programs; Lifelabs Clinic’s 1st & 3rd Fridays;WI Rink Schedule; Paramedic & Foot Care Clinics, all listed at Euchre Thursday’s 7pm, St. Margaret’s Hall; Frontenac Island Council meeting Mon. Feb. 13th (Wolfe Island) 6:30 pm

Posted by M Knott at 09:35 AM