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“Taylor Emily Lacombe, Apr. 21, 1991 - Nov. 01, 2010” says this photo, taped to the windshield of a motorcycle that took part in the Ride To Remember Brent Foster on Tuesday. Dozens of motorbikes rode from Uxbridge to Norland and back, honouring lost loved ones and raising money for Bereaved Families of Ontario-Durham Region. The Ride was organized by Lorne Johannessen and Donna Sherrard. Photo by John Cavers




Thomas the Tank Engine soon chugging into town

In just a few short weeks, families and train enthusiasts of all ages will be able to make dreams come true as they take part in “A Day with Thomas”.
Being brought to Uxbridge by the York-Durham Heritage Railway, Thomas the Tank Engine will visit the historic train station on August 14-16, and will return to town August 21-23. Participants will be able to embark on a 25-minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as take part in a variety of Thomas & Friends-themed entertainment. Guests will be able to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor (the Island where Thomas’ roundhouse is located)! There will also be musicians, magicians, storytelling, videos, temporary tattoos of Island of Sodor friends, and facepainting. The Imagination Station will house arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a ball pond to play in, motorbike scooters and more.
The Thomas the Tank Engine stories are based on The Three Railway Engines, which were first published in 1975. Written by Rev. Wilbert Awdry for his son, Christopher, it was initially a series of stories he would tell Christopher while he was sick in bed with the measles. He based his tales upon a small model engine that he had made for his son. Accurate depiction was important to Awdry, as he had grown up fascinated by the trains rolling through the English countryside, and he based his stories on specific models of trains he recalled from his childhood.
Eventually, Awdry started writing his stories down, as Christopher would correct him when he forgot details. The books became extremely popular in England first, and then grew beyond that to North America. The stories of Thomas the Tank Engine; initially known as Edward the Blue Engine, evolved from their original picture-book form to a stop-animation TV series in the 1980’s, to CGI animated DVDs and a television series that debuted in 2010 on PBS. Now Thomas even has an iPhone app! It would appear that the Thomas the Tank Engine stories have continued to evolve with technology and with their initial audience, cementing their place as classics that capture the imaginations of train enthusiasts of all ages. Thomas & Friends can be seen on television in 30 different languages and least 185 territories.

In recent years, Thomas has stretched his wheels a bit and embarked on a more active interaction with his fans: the extremely popular “Day Out With Thomas’ event is described as a “family event that offers aspiring engineers and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the classic storybook engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, at Regional Heritage Railroads across the country,” according to the York-Durham Heritage Railway website. The stop in Uxbridge will be the last of only four visits Thomas and his friends will make in Canada - they’ve already been to Squamish, BC; Calgary, AB; and were in St. Thomas, ON, earlier this month. All of Uxbridge will be getting on board as Thomas and his friends chug their way into town. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketweb.ca




Shrek The Musical JR. grumbling this way

Donkey (played by Ben van Dinther) is ready to prance circles around Ryan Whitty’s Shrek, and Princess Fiona, played by Katrina Hachey, looks forward to meeting her “prince” in the upcoming VIP production of “Shrek The Musical JR.”

Everyone’s favourite ogre is hitting the stage soon! “Shrek The Musical JR.” is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, and has been adapted for young performers.
Produced by Vocally Inspired Performers, the cast of 34 children and youth (ages 8-15) sing and dance their way through a Far Away Kingdom. The entire cast, as well as the crew, all hail from Uxbridge, Port Perry, and surrounding areas.
Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, “Shrek JR.” is an irreverently fun show for the whole family.
Many of the young performers will appear prior to show time for meet and greet opportunities. Join them at the theatre 45 minutes prior to show time, enjoy some “swamp snacks” and meet various characters from the show. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to introduce young children to the world of theatre.
The director of the show is 20-year old Marisa Hachey, who founded the Vocally Inspired Performers in 2011 to engage young people in the Uxbridge area in the community musical theatre experience.
“Shrek The Musical JR.” will be on stage at the Port Perry Town Hall 1873 for four performances only:
Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, August 15, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. All tickets are $20 and are available through the theatre website at townhall1873.ca
For more information about Vocally Inspired Performers, contact Marisa-Hachey at 416-805-7469.




“Celebration” turns 30 in style

by Dorothea Helms

September is just around the corner, and in Uxbridge and its surrounding area, artists are preparing for the ever-popular Celebration of the Arts, which will take place in September and October. This year’s event will once again offer a buffet for the senses, with something for all arts and culture-inspired enthusiasts.
According to Celebration of the Arts Chair Mike Bridgeman, “This year is promising to be a very exciting one. In addition to having great entertainment scheduled, it's our 30th anniversary. We will feature entertainment for all ages, starting with The Next Generation Leahys on Saturday, September 12, at the Music Hall. A perennial favourite with audiences, the Leahys are building on three generations of musicians in the family, with Doug Leahy, his wife Jennifer and their children. They promise to keep traditional music alive.”
On Saturday, September 19, the Youth Music Contest will feature some of the best talent the area has to offer. Sunday, September 20, will feature the Amadeus Choir, one of the finest choral groups in North America, at the Music Hall.
The 19th Annual Juried Art Show/ Children’s Art Show will take place from Tuesday, September 22 to Sunday, September 27, with an exhibition highlighting top artists and the richness of the artistic talent found within 200 km of the Township of Uxbridge. This year’s jurors are Sean McQuay, a painter and coordinator of the Fine Arts Program at Durham College, and Olex Wlasenko, a fine artist and curator of Station Gallery in Whitby. The Celebration of the Arts has issued a Call for Entries, and the deadline has been moved to August 15. Interested artists can download the Juried Art Show Application form at CelebrationoftheArts.ca.
On Saturday, September 26, at the Music Hall, Cabaret Night will feature some of the best performers from over the last 30 years. For all of these events, you can find additional information and purchase tickets at StarTicketing.com.
Of course, other favourite events returning this year include Books and Authors, the Children's Art Show, The Roxy series of film events, and the Uxbridge Studio Tour. New this year are Theatre 3 x 60 events and Art on the Fringe.

The Uxbridge Legion Pipes and Drums performed “in the round” on Sunday afternoon at the Highlands of Durham Games. The Games were a two-day event
that saw pipes and drums bands from across the GTA both compete against and play with one another, as well as featured Highland dancers and authentic Celtic
sporting competitions like the caber toss and stone throw. Photo by Lisha Van Nieuwenhove

More images from the Highland Games by John Cavers

The Highland Games brought out some famous people on Sunday. Glen Healy(former Toronto Maple Leaf goalie) now the Pipe Major of the renowned Highland Creek Pipe and Drum Band. Beside him the Angela Cameron (wife of the late John Allan Cameron)...John Allan was the Chieftan of our Games at one time...he will also be inducted into the Halifax Music Hall of Fame on October 25th along with Anne Murray and Rita MacNeil.





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Elgin Park
to get major

by Roger Varley

Some major changes are coming to Elgin Park in the near future, with about $500,000 earmarked to improve accessibility to all
areas. At the Highlands of Durham Games on the weekend, Pickering- Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu, standing in for local MP Erin O'Toole, announced that Uxbridge will receive a $175,000 grant from the federal government's Canada 150 Fund. The fund was set up to provide money for projects celebrating Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. In addition, the township has received another $40,000 from the federal government's enabling accessibility fund. The rest of the money necessary for improvements - around $275,000 - will come from township coffers. Chief Administrative Officer Ingrid Svelnis said the money will be used mainly to pave the pathways through the park and install additional lighting. The announcement by Mr. Chisu came as somewhat of a surprise. There were no media releases advising local newspapers about it, and Councillor Pat Molloy said council only found out about it on Friday. Another announcement - which Ms. Svelnis says will be of "grea significance" to Uxbridge - was scheduled to made in Bowmanville
by Mr. O'Toole yesterday

Meanwhile, Back at the Manse

with Barbara Pratt

Off to PEI, then home to Leaskdale

We waved Jennifer Carroll off as she headed to Indian River, Prince Edward Island, taking Maud of Leaskdale to the Indian River Festival earlier this month. The festival, held in and around a historic French Gothic church on the North Shore, is mainly music, but Jen’s performances was a special event on the 2015 Festival program.
This was the second time the Ontario-born Maud has been shown to PEI audiences, the first being during the L.M. Montgomery Conference in Charlottetown in 2014. Following that performance to a full theatre, Jennifer received a standing ovation for her impersonation of Lucy Maud Montgomery as a young wife and mother in Leaskdale.
Maud of Leaskdale will be back home in the Historic Leaskdale Church during the last two weeks of August. If you haven’t already, this is your chance to see it, and bring your out of town visitors! A Dinner Theatre evening on August 20 will include a delicious seafood dinner from the Tin Mill Restaurant, along with home made pies from the ladies of the LMMSO, and a full performance of the play. Tickets for matinee and evening performances from August 19 to 26 are available at Blue Heron Books, the Leaskdale General Store, or online at Star Ticketing. Tickets for the Island Dinner are only $50 per person; an inexpensive night out for dinner and a show. Check the web site lucymaudmontgomery.ca for more details.
Visitors have been flocking to L.M. Montgomery’s home this summer, no doubt enticed by the beautiful new sculpture in the new garden at the Historic Leaskdale Church. “Maud in the Garden” is easily seen from Durham Road 1. If folks have driven by without stopping in the past, the sight of the elegant bronze replica of Montgomery, gazing out toward her favourite fields and trees, must almost stop them in their tracks. Certainly we have conducted more tours, and served more scones and tea, than ever before.
Speaking of our teas, only two of our Wednesday teas are not completely sold out. “Gardening with Grasses” featuring Karen Young (Willow Farm Grasses, Grey County) on August 12; and “Wine Tasting 101”, conducted by the intrepid and entertaining Gwen Layton on August 5, each have a few spaces available — as of this writing at least! The response has been overwhelming this summer, and we are very, very busy. But don’t worry, we have the best team imaginable, with some new members, and we are still as enthusiastic and committed as ever!


More Monarchs and milkweed

by Roger Varley

If the David Suzuki Foundation has its way, larger and more extensive patches of milkweed will be encouraged to grown in Uxbridge Township.
In a recent deputation to council, Rachel Plotkin and Jode Roberts, who work with the foundation, discussed allowing milkweed and wild flowers to flourish in order to help restore the population of Monarch butterflies. Ms. Plotkin said milkweed is essential for Monarchs to thrive. They also suggested the township refrain from mowing certain areas of township-owned natural lands to foster wild flower growth.
Ms. Plotkin said it has been a poor summer for Monarchs, with habitat destruction and pesticides resulting in a 90 per cent decline in the species in North America in the last two years.
The two are working with Dr. Tyler Flockheart, who is doing post-doctoral research on Monarchs. Ms. Plotkin said Dr. Flockheart has walked the rail line and found two good milkweed patches near Goodwood.
She said the aim is to create a "butterfly garden" by also looking at Uxbridge's trail system to see if there are other areas where the Monarch habitat could be restored by introducing milkweed and wild flowers.
Ms. Plotkin said council was "very receptive" to the deputation, adding that any funding arrangements for such a project would have to be worked out.

Rotary News
with Dale Hickey
July 1 marked the end of another Rotary year, and a new president (Lisa Brooks) and executive step in for the 2015-2016 term with exciting new ideas for fund-raising, community projects, international projects, youth and vocational projects, membership drives and fellowship among our club.
Special awards were given to some outstanding Rotarians. The Paul Harris Fellow, awarded for having contributed $1,000 and/or having high professional and personal standards, was given out to Rotary members Cyndie Jacobs, Richard McGowan, Ivan Martin and Susan Self. The Harry Hudson Award was presented to Chris Weekes for outstanding initiative and commitment in support of Rotary. Finally, The Micky Jovkovic Award was given to Iris Schickler for echoing the five traits of an aviator - trustworthiness, generosity, hopefulness, responsibility, and perseverance.
July 24 marked one year since Nigeria has had a case of polio, and August 11 will mark one year since the last case of polio in Africa. Africa’s countries have overcome significant challenges, and Rotarians have dedicated their time and their personal resources to keep children safe from this disease by immunizing them, donating money, raising funds, and urging governments to support the cause. Rotary has donated $688.5 million to fight polio throughout Africa, including more than $200 million designated for Nigeria. While this is notable progress, we haven’t finished the job yet. Before Africa can be certified polio-free, all countries in the region, including Nigeria, must pass two more years without a case of polio. Now more than ever, we need the support of Rotarians, partners, and governments. By continuing to support polio eradication
we can ensure the best possible chance that August 11, 2014 saw the very last case of polio in Africa.
Our major fundraiser this year will be the Christmas Home Tour, to be held on November 14. Watch for passports to be on sale soon!
Trip of the Month tickets will also be for sale. Only 400 tickets to be sold, with a chance to win a trip a month or cash prizes. If you happen to be a lucky winner, you still remain eligible, as winning tickets are returned to the drum!
Just a reminder there will be a Blood Donor Clinic on August 21, starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Seniors Centre, and the Seniors Dinner will be held October 8, at the Seniors Centre.
Want to become a member? Are you ready to make a difference in our community or in the communities around the world? Contact our club for further information at 905-852-5600 or visit us at www.uxbridgerotary.com If you are interested in attending a complimentary breakfast meeting, please contact one of our members or a member of the executive listed on the website and we will make arrangements for you. We meet at Jersey’s, 104 Brock Street West, Uxbridge at 7 a.m. on Thursdays each week.

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