The night the lights went out


Hanging out with a just about four-year-old takes you to places you wouldn’t normally visit.


Daughter Sarah, coach of the University of Regina Cougars, was in Toronto last week for the university women’s hockey championship.


Since we seldom see our granddaughter, Annie, we told Sarah to bring her along and we could spend some time with her.


That’s how we ended up at the Royal Ontario Museum and its dinosaur display, which ends this week, I believe.


The ROM is always worth a visit – Annie and the many other children were having a great time. So were the adults.


Another place we visited was the Hockey Hall of Fame. Kids love it – they can shoot pucks, play goal. Fortunately, there were no line-ups Thursday.


Since this is winter break for Ontario students, most places will be crowded. Still, I imagine quite a few grandparents will be doing similar things this week.





As we arrived at the Hockey Hall of Fame, a television reporter stuck a camera in my face and asked if Stompin’ Tom Connors, who died last week, should be in the hall of fame since The Hockey Song is played in many NHL arenas.


“He certainly does,” I said.


And why not? Hockey used to be the working man’s game and Stompin’ Tom would have to be the working man’s poet with songs like Sudbury Saturday Night, Bud the Spud, The Hockey Song and many more.


Stompin’ Tom made an appearance in Kincardine in the mid-1970s.


Back then, the Rotary Club held a Lobster Boil fund raiser each summer in Victoria Park. One year, the club also featured a performance by Stompin’ Tom in the old Lambton Street Arena.


And that’s the night the lights went out with the show underway. I can’t remember the details, but the show continued after a lengthy and orderly delay.




Another well-known Canadian in his day also died last week. Eugene Whelan, former federal minister of agriculture, was a colourful and effective politician.


And he sure could talk.


I remember covering a Liberal nomination meeting in Walkerton in the 1970s which had two well-known Liberals on hand to speak while organizers were counting the ballots. One was Whelan and the other was the late Farquhar Oliver who had been a cabinet minister in the Mitch Hepburn government in Ontario in the 1940s.


Between them, they must have rambled on for nearly two hours.




The Independent is up for three awards at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association’s Better Newspaper Awards.


We’re one of three finalists in: General Excellence in our circulation class; Best Sports Section in papers with a circulation up to 9,999; Best Feature Photo in newspapers with circulation up to 9,999.


The winners will be announced later this month.




And that’s it for this week.