Happy 99th


My mother celebrated her 99th birthday Friday, June 27.


I would call her and most people her age survivors.


Mom’s parents and their two girls sailed from Belfast, Ireland in 1911 for London, Ontario where other relatives lived. Once they arrived, there was another baby who only lived a short time, twins, my mother and a younger sister.


My grandmother was pregnant for the eighth time when she died and my mother, three or four years of age, and her siblings were farmed out to other families in the city.


The children all returned home a year or two later when my grandfather married a World War One widow with two children. My grandfather and his new bride had three more children, making a family of 11 children.


My grandfather and many of my aunts and uncles lived into their 90s. Only my mother and her youngest sister are still alive.


As I say, people of my mother’s generation are survivors. They were born during the First War, survived the depression and made it through the Second World War. Life was tough for a long time.


“Hard work never hurt anyone,” I heard maybe a little too often when I was growing up. Seeing the number of people living well into their 90s today, there is maybe some truth to the saying.


My mother has four children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with another three due in the next few months. She finds it hard to believe that my brother and I are senior citizens.


But life must go on. Mom still knits and makes quilts for each new arrival.


I imagine we’ll all be getting together a year from now to celebrate her 100th.




Summer has finally arrived and it’s time to take a look at all the firsts in Bruce County and beyond.


The Municipality of Kincardine is getting a legal medical marijuana grow-op, to be located at the Bruce Energy Centre. I believe that’s a first for Bruce County.


We could become the healthiest community in Bruce County. If not the most healthy, at least we could be the most laid back municipality in Bruce.


The grow-op will be located in the greenhouses conceived for growing tomatoes. Medical marijuana will likely prove more profitable than tomatoes.


Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss and Arran-Elderslie are working diligently to bring natural gas to the area. We could also be the first area in the province to pay to get natural gas.


Some have suggested that it would be cheaper to harness the natural gas that emits from each council meeting. Such naysayers.


Once the Armow Wind Project is up and running, Kincardine will likely be the #1 municipality in Ontario when it comes to the number of wind turbines. We certainly have Saugeen Shores beat – I believe it only has one.


Soon you will possibly be able to see a wind turbine in any direction you look, except over the lake.




Bees, those little insects that pollinate flowers and vegetables, are being killed off by a pesticide applied to corn and other seeds.


Health Canada is studying the issue.


By the time Health Canada is done with the study, the bees, the butterflies and many songbirds could be toast.


We’re certainly lucky that Health Canada won’t interfere with the profits of the multinationals which produce pesticides.




The CBC is dying a slow death as the federal government continues to cut funding to the corporation. That seems rather short-sighted. Canada has taken in hundreds of thousand of immigrants in the past 10 years; it would make sense to have a strong unifying voice across the country.


Sense is something politicians seem to lack.