An exceptional teacher

Section: 
Editorial

Don Ribey, the first principal of Kincardine Township Tiverton Public School, died Saturday afternoon.

Don, who grew up in Bruce Township, was dedicated to his profession.

 

He knew every child in his years at KTTPS (1968-1985 I believe) and he knew where they lived. That was accomplished at a time when school enrolment was near the 1,000 mark.

 

Don hired the best and he expected his staff and students to perform to the best of their abilities.

 

Most important of all, he cared about his staff and students. He was upset when the school board transferred him, but he quickly accepted his new role and ran the Tara school with the same dedication he had shown at KTTPS.

 

After retirement, he kept in touch with his former KTTPS staff, continuing to meet regularly for lunch.

 

Once he retired, he got involved in the Bruce Township Historical Society and the Bruce Historical Society. Whatever he did, he did well and saw his ideas through to fruition.

 

Dana, who taught for Don, and I both became friends of Don and his wife Sharon.

 

He’ll be remembered, I’m sure, by many of his students and staff. He was an exceptional educator.

 

**

 

It’s a funny world.

 

If a man bites another man, chances are he’ll be arrested and charged. I suppose the same thing would happen if the same man decided to bite a dog.

 

However, a dog can bite a man and remain immune to punishment.

 

Huron-Kinloss mayor Mitch Twolan told council last week that the township does not have the authority to order a dog euthanized no matter how many times it attacks. Nasty dogs are dealt with under the province’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act.

 

You have to go to court to apply to rid society of a nasty dog or to force its owner to provide better control.

I would imagine that is time-consuming and expensive.

 

If you were bitten by your neighbour and by your neighbour’s dog, who would the state deal with first?

Good question.

 

Apparently there are 500,000 dog bites per year in Canada and 80 million dogs as companions in North America.

 

There is an old definition of news that rookie reporters often heard. When a dog bites a man, it isn’t news. When a man bites a dog, it’s news.

 

With 500,000 dog bites a year, you can see why dog bites are ho hum in the news department.

 

 **

 

Huron-Kinloss Township council was told last week of a Lucknow dog owner who is making no effort to comply with the township’s animal control bylaw and confine his dog. The dog has attacked three neighbouring dogs.

 

Well, people ignore bylaws from one end of the country to another. Since few municipalities spend much time enforcing their bylaws, maybe it’s not surprising that people ignore them.

 

Some people seem to believe rules don’t apply to them and so they have the right to drive through stop signs, park illegally and allow their dogs to roam freely. Laws are for other people.

 

**

 

Surprise (just kidding).

 

The number of visitors to the Kincardine tourist booth has declined considerably since the move from Highway 21 to downtown.

 

In May of last year there were 570 visitors; this May there were 243. The figures in June for last year were 1,010, this year 567. In July, numbers fell from 1,424 to 795 (not full month).

 

**

 

As I walk around, I can’t help but admire the work of the many volunteer “green thumbs” in the community.

 

The Friends of the Boardwalk have, as usual, made the boardwalk an oasis of beauty. The horticultural society has worked similar magic in the area around the flagpole at the foot of Harbour Street. There are many homeowners who also put their landscaping talents to work for all to enjoy.

 

**

 

This will be a long weekend, Monday being the Civic Day holiday.

 

Just to set our readers straight, the holiday was not named after the Honda Civic automobile.

 

However, some municipalities have given the holiday a local flavour. In Toronto, the holiday is known as Simcoe Day in honour of John Graves Simcoe, who founded York (now Toronto).  Colonel By Day is what Ottawa has named the holiday. John By led the construction of the Rideau Canal and founded Bytown, now called Ottawa.

 

Whatever, it will be a busy weekend, starting off with the car show downtown Friday evening.

 

Someone asked me Friday evening how to find the car show. I had to tell him he was a week early.

 

**

 

The Independent is now closed down for holidays. It re-opens next Thursday, Aug. 7. There will be no paper next week.

 

Enjoy the Civic Holiday.