From hospital to reunion


You only bring about change in this country if you put pressure on politicians.

It does my heart good to see people from this area finally getting upset about an issue.

Area residents have been phoning the Kincardine representatives on the South Bruce Grey Hospital Board about plans to replace the physiotherapy department at the Kincardine hospital with a private company. Outpatients would not be covered by OHIP once the private company takes over.

If the politicians won't stand up for the area, people are going to have to give them a push.

This reunion is all about change.

One of the major changes has been spelling. Ten years ago Calithumpian was spelled with one "l". This reunion it has two.

You'll notice that The Independent has a new look since the last reunion. Since this building was given a facelift, Ron and Marla Chapleau have moved Pharmasave across the road after modernizing that building. The Showalters have given a new look to the former Sunset Restaurant, the former drug store and the Harbour Motor Inn. And there are many more changes around town.

The Independent usually does something special for each reunion. In 1980, we published Glimpses of the Past, an early history of Kincardine, and in 1998 we produced the Phantom Piper poster (we still have a few left).

This year, to honour the 100th anniversary of the Kincardine Scottish, we published another book: Marching Into History - 100 Years of the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band.

It makes a great memento. Get members of the band to sign it and pass it on to your kids and grandchildren.

I was going to print the real story of the Blinky disappearance in this column but I believe it is a little early. Maybe the next reunion.

As the front page story indicates, this year's committee has a sense of humour. Blinky gets the secret service treatment.

Reunions certainly attract crowds.

During the summer of the 1970 reunion, I was slinging beer at the Bruce Inn. About all I can remember is the hundreds of people lined up at the back entrance of the bar waiting to get in for a drink.

Right after the 1980 reunion, my youngest was born. I looked up the paper after the reunion and noticed that he was one of 11 births in the community that week. About half of them were born at the Kincardine hospital -  now you can't even have a baby there.                 .

I couldn't remember much about 1990, so I looked up this column following that reunion.

We were sitting in the backyard following the shirt tail parade when someone came weaving out of the darkness. He almost fell over in shock when asked where he was headed. Completely disoriented by booze, he eventually found his radar, located the gate opening and continued on his way.

With so many costumed drunks wandering along in the shirt tail parade, says the column, it was fortunate that they were a pleasant group. A few fools could have caused trouble. But that's the story every reunion.

Hopefully the drunks will continue to be a pleasant bunch.

There is a standing joke around this office. Everyone who walks in the front door either worked here, is a relative or is a former student of yours truly or Dana.

Whether you fall into that category or not, feel free to drop in and say hello. While yoou're here, buy a book, poster or a subscription to the best newspaper in Western Ontario.

And enjoy the reunion.