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.

November 26, 2015
Busy Days on Wolfe Island as Christmas Draws Near

At this time of year Wolfe Island takes on a whole new image… The ‘Christmas Elves’ suddenly appear and the island takes on a festive appearance with Christmas wreaths and decorations throughout Marysville. Notices go up announcing the Santa parade, the Christmas Pageant, the Lessons & Carols Service, CHILIFEST and the registration day notice for programs planned for ”The Rink” held at The WIPP, and closer to Christmas another notice with a Holiday Skating schedule
But before all of that, WI’s unique Remembrance Day Event was attended by more and more people. Unique perhaps because in a tradition of ecumenism established many years ago, the clergy from the island’s churches are all involved, Rev. Canon Chris Carr, and Rev. Gerry Moore from the Anglican Parish, Fr. Raymond deSouza, Sacred Heart RC Parish and Rev. Mike Bohler, WI United Church. Father Ray in his presentation focused on three elements of John McCrae’s Poem in Flanders Field, the poppies, the quarrel with the foe and , “if you break faith with us who die we shall not sleep. “McCrae’s poem reminds us that their peace depends on us keeping the faith. By the grace of God, may it be so for them and for us,” he concluded.
The schools and Early Years children were also involved, presenting wreaths, reading poems and listening attentively to all that was said before the modest Memorial Plaque in front of the Town Hall, as were many members of the community. That included, on behalf of the township Mayor Doyle, Merchant Navy Veteran Vern Yott, and Allied Services John Posthumus. Ken Keyes was the Master of Ceremonies.
Over the years military personnel from the island, active and retired, not only attend the service but volunteered to be involved. Brig. General David Patterson again brought news about one of WI’s own, John Alexander Rogers, born in 1891, enlisting in 1914 in the 2nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, and who was killed (no known grave) April 22nd at Ypres. The names of Islanders who lost their lives, served during war, in peacekeeping and peace making missions were read by Capt. (retd) Katherine Rothermel, LCol (retd) Billy Allen. Thirty five RMC Cadets were on the island on this occasion. Many serving as an honour guard, others to accompany wreath laying to give a salute. Officer Cadet Spaulding played the ‘Last Post & Reveille.’ There was a fly past over the island. Howe Island’s Robin Craig organized the presence of four antique military vehicles: ( Ferret, Iltis, Land Rover & ?). A reception organized by Pat Sanford and Linda Thomas followed with music provided by Rob Douglas.
2. Frontenac Islands November Council - Business: *Councillor Grant said the 4:45 am ferry should be continued allowing people to get to early work shifts. He asked that a letter of thanks be sent, on behalf of islanders, to MTO staff in the Kingston office, the crews manning the Frontenac II, and those who managed dock traffic flow, commending them for their efforts through a very difficult time. Thanks also to Hulton’s for exemplary bus services.
*Councillor Springgay reviewed a Community Centre Board Meeting stating that as of now the board’s focus should be fundraising , program/ event coordination of the facility and grounds, “to achieve its maximum potential.” “The responsibility for operation and maintenance should rest with the municipality with a percentage of the overhead for this cost charged back to the Board.” she said.
*Councillor Higgs noted work had begun on the Howe Island County ferry dock and expects fewer night time shutdowns. *Deputy Mayor Nossal will update council in December about Howe Islands Bell telephone service level. *C.A.O./Clerk Plumley stated that the Grand Opening of the Card Lock Facility on Wolfe Island was well attended. *Mayor Doyle stressed importance of maintaining political pressure with regard to the back-up (contingency) ferry promised by Minister Del Duca. “Ministry officials should be lobbied for a work plan and specific project completion dates.”
From the public: Tom St. Laurent glad to see the ferry back in the village but “For how long?” Doug Franks sees value of 4:45 a.m. ferry for those seeking employment with earlier start times. W Knott suggested that the MTO EA input include a larger culvert under the canal, along the route to the Crawford Point dock. There was a request for clearer roadside definition along the shoulder width of the curve at Metal Craft Marine to ease difficulty when two vehicles meet. Council meets next: Dec. 14th Howe Island 6:30 pm.

Around Town: 1. Morrison Hershfield Limited, retained by MTO for a Preliminary Design and Class EA Study for Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking Improvements is looking for comments / concerns from the public until Dec. 23rd about the Study Design Report available for review at:, also at Town Hall, library. Improvements to terminals, may include changes to the marshalling areas, larger dock/mooring facilities, improved pedestrian/ cycling facilities, including terminal facilities. MTO Regional Director Kathy Moore encourages you to read the document and submit your comments. MTO Tina White is Senior Project Manager( 613) 545-4871 2. Rev. Chris Carr has retired as Pastor. We thank God that he was here to do so. YEA! 3 Do ask Marjorie Bousfield about an exciting trip coming up for her.

Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch Nov. 25h WI United Church 11:30 am. *** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm something for everyone in 4 different locations, ***Wolfe Island's Christmas Parade Sat. Nov 28th begins at WI Fire Hall at 1PM…. For Info/Entries call: Chief Tim Hawkins 385-2829 or Greg Johnson 548-6319 ***WI Community Centre Winter Programming Registration Friday, December 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm @ The WIPP

Posted by M Knott at 07:44 PM
November 19, 2015
Update to Wolfe Island Paramedic Services

As a follow up to news about changes to Wolfe Island’s Volunteer Paramedic Service projected to begin in 2016, Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender, accompanied by Acting Chief of Paramedic Services Gale Chevalier, brought members of Frontenac Islands council up to date at their November meeting. Also present was County Planner Joe Gallivan. Surprisingly, few members of the public attended.

In his remarks CAO Pender reminded council that the WI Volunteer Service (the last of its kind in Ontario) is 40 years old . “ In 2004 the County of Frontenac was designated by the Province as the service delivery provider for Frontenac County and the City of Kingston - including Frontenac Island’s (WI)Volunteer paramedic service. Current W.I. Volunteers work a 12 hour ‘on call’ shift with a 10 minute response time (24/7/365, and make minimum wage, plus an amount per call,” he said. (Historic call volume on Wolfe Island is 100+/-.) Pender noted that the balance of Frontenac County Paramedic Service are union members, covered by a collective agreement with OPSEU, and Frontenac County Council has agreed to work with the union to implement an 8/16 hour shift coverage (24/7/365), that is 8 hours on-site coverage and 16 hours on call. “ Subject to the outcome of negotiations with the union beginning in December, implementation will follow in 2016. The new model will provide for a larger pool of staffing and the opportunity for more integrated training,” he said.
CAO Pender added that the move from a Volunteer service to the 8/16 model will have a tax impact for the Township, City of Kingston and the rest of the County.“We will provide Frontenac Islands Council with an update prior to any change over. And the volunteer service will be commemorated prior to that.”

Councillor Springgay requested steps be taken to ensure that the seniority of volunteers be grandfathered in, and years of service recognized. Councillor Grant was concerned about Nov./Dec. schedule. CAO Pender stated that at this time it would be strictly volunteer staffing with a goal to have two on per shift. The protocol for days when there is only one per shift, the dispatch on the island would be immediate, but to transport it is necessary to wait for the second Paramedic. anywhere between a half hour or more wait depending on the ferry. When there is a first response call, the Coast Guard is notified. Mayor Doyle acknowledged the outstanding work of the volunteer service through the years and offered high praise.

Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority: Planner Joe Galivan presented an overview of Frontenac Islands agreement with the CRCA to provide plan review services, as required, focussing on the natural hazards, natural heritage, and water quality and quantity components of Provincial policy. Planning Act applications would be reviewed on both a site-specific and broader landscape basis .

Marysville Senior Housing Project Update: Council received for information Gallivan’s verbal report that he met with Marysville property owner John Weatherall, long time supporter of senior accommodation, who is prepared to donate land to the municipality (15-20 acres) to allow for the possibility of three five unit developments, near the EMS services, Clinic, Fire Hall area. A crossroad allowance from Road 95 to the Seventh Line is also proposed. The environmental investigations have begun and a due diligence report is expected by the end of November. A Division Street extension will be a 2016 budget consideration. Severance and Official Plan amendments will be required to allow for high density development. The Municipality will be required to create a Board of Directors who will act as stewards for the project, with a mandate similar to that of the WI Community Medical Clinic. More next week.

FYI: Frontenac Islands will hold two Public Facilities and Road Network Tours The first beginning at Howe Island Municipal Building Nov. 19th, 8:30 am ending around noon. The second at the Wolfe Island Town Hall Nov 24th, 8:30 am and ending around noon. Each tours begins with a short meeting, and ends with discussion and a wrap up. The public is welcome to attend and join in to see what needs doing around the Islands.

Around Town: * a personal flash back- twenty six years ago our first island contact was with RF (Richard) and Marette Fawcett who welcomed us on a cold November day. And who over the years gave friendship, offered kindness and sage advice, not only to us but our children and grandchildren. Now both are gone. First RF and now dear Marette. A sad time for their close family and the community. We are grateful to have known them and will remember them.

Around Town: * The 2015 Wolfe Island Flu Clinic was a great success, according to Clinic Board president Linda Thomas.”There were over 150 people out – a great social gathering. The house calls for those unable to come worked out well, to be repeated next year, so keep it in mind. Thanks to nurses Jackie Bird, Danielle Hogan, Judy Greenwood Speers and Bev Sherman.”

Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch Nov. 18th WI United Church 11:30 am. ***Turkey Dinner St. Margaret’s Hall Sat. Nov. 21st 4:30-7 pm. Take Out: 613 385 2202 Craft & Bake Sale. **** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm Check website at

Posted by M Knott at 11:34 AM
November 18, 2015
Wolfe Islander III Returns to Kingston-Wolfe Island

Thanks For Bringing Her Home!
Captain Brian Johnson let it be known Saturday Nov. 7th that he would be Wolfe Islander III would be leaving Hamilton for the 16-18 hour trip home to Kingston (weather permitting) and would arrive, horn blasting sometime on Sunday and, that she would be flying her 40 year old original flags. “ She is so beautiful , passed the Transport Canada inspection and runs like a dream. It will be a wonderful trip,” Johnson said. And the Wolfe Islander did arrive on Sunday after a long, painful, 7 month absence (April-November) to be welcomed back by MPP Sophie Kiwala and MTO Eastern Regional Director Kathy Moore. News about the ferry’s return “before the end of the weekend” was also announced by MTO and by MPP Kiwala on social media.
After a short ‘Thank Goodness she’s back’ Welcome, the Wolfe Islander resumed service to Wolfe Island where a huge, collective sigh of relief could be felt across the water as the ferry returned to its shores. The Wolfe Islander is now operating from the Village of Marysville, rather than the Dawson Point Terminal. As the Wolfe Islander approached Kingston, the Frontenac II was seen sailing home to Amherst Island.

Posted by M Knott at 11:31 AM
November 13, 2015
Better late than Never

Better late than Never In the early days of living on Wolfe Island I was introduced to the wonders of the Wolfe Island Plowing Match. I learned a new vocabulary about furrows, crowns and lands, about the quality of the grounds being plowed, about the machinery used (conventional and reversible plows) and about those plowing, and got to know many of my neighbours. I loved the horses decked out in their finery and the effort involved for those manoeuvring the walking plows. I was surprised at the numbers including young women and men among the plowmen.

In 2003 I wrote: “Very dry conditions greeted participants to Wolfe Island’s 47th Plowing Match held at Broederdale Farm. The youngest plowman at the event was 4 year old Hunter Chown riding a tractor in the Novelty Class. The tractor was built by his grandfather Dennis Mosier, well known ploughing match judge.” In 2012 : “ In spite of the weather people wandered the fields to watch first hand and up close the exactness and skill of what it is to turn a furrow. The 4 Chown boys, Hunter , Cole , Reid and Orrie (all under age 16) were ploughing this year.”

And at the Aug. 2015 International Plowing Match in Finch, Hunter Chown ( now 16) ploughed his way to win the Overall Ontario Junior Championship in the 16-19 yrs Class 2 Group 2, Tractors, 2 Furrows. “He had to do it all alone, not even his grandpa was there, and it is all about timing. It was strictly up to Hunter,” his mother Nicole said. His success garnered him the Barb McAllister overall (1 year) scholarship as well as other awards, and makes him eligible to plow in the 2016 Canadian Plowing Match to be held in Ottawa.. Hunter , Grade 11, and Cole (15) Grade 10, are students at Regiopolis Notre Dame. His Brothers,, Reid and Orrie are at Sacred Heart School. Belated Congratulations Hunter.

2. Island Refugee Interest Group: Recently islanders, concerned about the plight of refugees fleeing their countries, were invited to a meeting organized by Judith Kinghorn and Clara Lovitt. They and a small group (9) are interested in engaging a larger number of islanders (church groups, women’s institutes, not for profits etc.) in helping sponsor a refugee family through another organization, that is off the island. “The government has made it so that it has to be a group that has already been stamped approved.. “We want to partner with ‘Save a family from Syria’. That’s the group partnership between Islamic Society of Kingston and First Road United Church, and Dawn Clarke. The Sponsorship Agreement holder is the United Church of Canada. They already have families in Canada,” Clara Lovitt said. ‘We have not determined how we can assist, fundraising or settlement perhaps. There will be another meeting on the island in a week or so. Watch for the date. We are looking for participation from all areas of the community.” Call Clara 613 540 5077 or

3. The Wolfe Islands Feral Feline Project continues: Many colonies of feral cats were identified on the island over the last year. Many of them have already completed the spay neuter program as it became available. On a regular basis volunteers attempt to live - trap feral cats (last week another 7 ) for transport to the mainland for spaying, neutering as well as rabies vaccination. Five cats were from the ‘foot’ and 2 from the interior of the island. Since October 19, 20 feral cats have been spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, all due with thanks to the kind donations of many who have helped WIFF volunteers make this possible.
“We need to identify the Feral Cat Colonies:” If you know anyone who has a colony of cats in their area and sees the value of the program, or would be interested in volunteering to help , please contact Cheryl Gurnsey at 385- 2532. The aim is to deliver 8 cats per week, or a number the vet is comfortable with. If interested in being part of the newly organized WI committee, call Jana Mills, (613-385-2792) line “feral cats” or Linda Thomas (613)385-1947. The WI committee will be applying for grants and funding.

FYI- Last week I wrote about the Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service and efforts to work in harmony with MTO to help ensure that the ridership receives safe, reliable and fair ferry services. I did not add a reminder that there have been previous community ferry service committees working with MTO. CAO Plumley is also a point of contact as well.
Around Town:* Haven’t seen the WIslander III coming our way as yet. Expect by the time you read this the ferry will be here. **“Plans for the Christmas Market are moving forward. Check out . Lots of good information.**WI Ferry Study Design Report (SDR) is available for a 45 day review and comments in hard copy at WI Library, Town Hall and web site:<

Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch continues Nov. 18th WI United Church 11:30 am. ** Remembrance Day Nov 11th 10:45 am WI Town Square. Reception to follow. ***Turkey Dinner St. Margaret’s Hall Sat. Nov. 21st 4:30-7 pm. Take Out:613 385 2202 Craft & Bake Sale. **** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm Check for Website at

Posted by M Knott at 11:17 AM
November 06, 2015
Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service

Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service In advance of the anticipated ‘end of July’ return of the Wolfe Islander III ferry from its 5-year refit in Hamilton, notices were posted on the Frontenac II ferry, locally throughout Marysville and on Wolfe Island face book networks inviting Islanders to a meeting to form a citizens group interested in the ferry service and its operation. Some 20 persons attended the July 8th inaugural meeting chaired by resident Tom Wroe, and held at the island’s Metal Craft facility. Indeed, part of that first meeting was dedicated to planning a “welcome back” for the returning ferry. By the 3rd meeting (Sept. 15th) however, it was clear there was a problem regarding the ferry’s return. ( It is still not back on this day Oct.29th)

Since that first meeting the interested citizens continue to attend regular meetings , adding others to their number. They have confirmed a name for the group as the ‘Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service’ (FotWIFS), and reference themselves as “The Friends.” The idea of a friends group was suggested by one participant who was familiar with Friends of Ferry groups in British Columbia. “So why not one on Wolfe Island where the largest challenge is its transportation link to the mainland and being able to communicating with MTO?”

The Friends have also defined a mandate which reads: The Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service advocate for efficient transportation services and will work in conjunction with all levels of government agencies to help ensure that the ridership receives safe, reliable and fair Wolfe Island ferry services. The group is governed by their mandate, meetings are open, the agenda is published and consensus (verbal and internet debate) is sought for any decision or action. There is a keen interest in receiving information, offering ideas and proposals and working in harmony and cooperation with MTO, the Township of Frontenac Islands and for the citizens of Wolfe Island. Meetings were held on July 21st, Sept. 15th, Oct. 7th and Oct. 28th

The Friends experienced some frustration, wondering what to do next about communicating with MTO following their September meeting (still no Wolfe Islander). A presentation about MTO’s long, chronological, four stage EA Process(Planning/Needs/Purpose; Preliminary Design; Detailed Design; Execution) leading to a new, 75 car ferry, perhaps by 2020, provided time line information and identified a number of opportunities for citizen participation spurring the group to continue their information gathering. (The new ferry is expected by 2020.) To ensure no confusion between long term strategic planning for ‘FotWIFS’ and MTO, the various documents relevant to the four stages, currently at stage one, were made easily recognizable and available to ‘FotWIFS’,as required for any discussion opportunities with MTO as they arise and input into the EA process.

“The Friends” has also established an ongoing dialogue with Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, providing information and insights into difficulties, hardship, loss of time and money, experienced by island citizens and business owners in the long absence of the Wolfe Islander III . She is aware of the devastating impact WI’s use of the Frontenac II has had on Amherst Island and its citizens (even more so as the weather changes) and the trickle down effect at Glenora. She was alerted to the lack of a back-up ferry in the event of a breakdown and is aware of the time involved in an EA process for a new 75 car ferry. “ The Friends” have sought her support as an important “ go to person” with regard to communicating with MTO. She attended the meeting the three mayors, Mayor Denis Doyle, Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff, Loyalist Township Mayor Bill Lowry, along with Amherst Island Councillor Duncan Ashley, had with the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, to discuss serious ferry issues at Wolfe, Amherst, and Glenora.

Much has transpired. MTO held a meeting in September attended by MPP Kiwala, MTO’s Project team, staff and invitees to outline the EA process for the new Wolfe Island ferry. ‘ FotWIFS’ Tom Wroe was in attendance as was Frontenac Islands CAO Darlene Plumley. More recently Minister Del Duca along with MTO Senior staff came to Wolfe Island for a public meeting at the request of MPP Kiwala and chaired by her. Through it all, the members of the Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service continued to meet, study, discuss and search out ways and means to be supportive, objective and creative and as stated in their mandate, as they wait for the return of the Wolfe Islander III anticipated the week of Nov.1st (barring something unusual?). For Information contact Tom Wroe To find MTO Tweets re ferry :

Coming Events: **Lunch Bunch Wed. 11:30 am WI United. ** Flu Shot Clinic Saturday, November 7th. 9am - 12pm. @ Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. Bring your OHIP card. Difficult to come to the Clinic? Contact them at: **Frontenac Islands Council Nov. 9th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island Town Hall. **Remembrance Day Nov.11th 10:45 am WI Town Square. ** Christmas Market Nov. 29th. To book table

Posted by M Knott at 11:12 AM