News Local

Year in Review - June 2017

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

The Right Honourable Paul Martin implored Algonquin College graduates June 16 to do their part to tackle today's great social challenges with the same spirit and sense of purpose as his late father. He addressed the Class of 2017 in a stirring speech delivered after receiving an honorary degree on behalf of his late father during the college's convocation ceremony at the Pembroke Memorial Centre.

The Right Honourable Paul Martin implored Algonquin College graduates June 16 to do their part to tackle today's great social challenges with the same spirit and sense of purpose as his late father. He addressed the Class of 2017 in a stirring speech delivered after receiving an honorary degree on behalf of his late father during the college's convocation ceremony at the Pembroke Memorial Centre.

NEW CLUBHOUSE - The Pembroke Soccer Club finally has a place to call its own. Members of the club executive joined VIPs and supporters to officially open the new clubhouse, located close to the centre of Riverside Park's soccer pitches.

PLANTING OAKS FOR VIMY - The County of Renfrew planted up to 18 oak trees in commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

County council decided to purchase the trees from the Vimy Oaks Legacy Program to be distributed among those interested municipalities. The tree will also be planted at various county-owned facilities across the region.

DISASTER EXERCISE HELD - Pembroke conducted an emergency exercise on June 1, part of a mandated process under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This one was a full scale exercise, involving many agencies and even 17 Fellowes High School drama students, who played local residents displaced by the “disaster.”

SAWMILL EXPANSION - A Bonnechere Valley sawmill will be expanding operations creating more jobs for a Renfrew County lumber industry caught up in the current softwood lumber trade war with the U.S.

County council heard that Lavern Heideman and Sons will be investing $16.9 million to add a new hydro line into their Eganville-area facility in order to boost production output. The expanded and enhanced planning and distribution facility is expected to be in operation by 2018.

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE - The Clarion Hotel was the place for the first ever City of Pembroke Civic and Youth Awards Celebration, which mixed both the 17th Youth Awards with new ones honouring other local citizens.

VOLUNTEERS HONOURED – Volunteers from across Renfrew County were honoured for years of selfless dedication to their communities during a special ceremony at the Petawawa Civic Centre. The Ontario Volunteer Service Award was presented to 164 recipients.

NAW MAYOR APOLOGIZES - North Algona/Wilberforce Mayor Deborah Farr used the May session of Renfrew County council to once more apologize for a public dust-up between her and the warden, Jennifer Murphy. During new business at the end of the regular meeting of council, Farr briefly touched on the controversy that had forced her to retract a statement she had made against Murphy at one of her township’s council meetings early last month.

VALLEY ARTISANS MARK 30 YEARS - The Valley Artisans have been providing art for three decades now, and are eager to continue to do so. Deep River's arts community, its patrons and fans gathered at the group's highway art gallery and gift shop to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the co-operative of artists and artisans.

GIVE ‘EM HEC - Hector Clouthier, the colourful personality from the Upper Ottawa Valley, at turns a farmer, lumberman, horse racer and avid marathon runner who also served as the Liberal MP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke for one term and ran three other times as an independent, put his story on paper.

It is contained within a book entitled Give 'em Hec!, taken from his popular campaign slogan. He was busy June 4 and 5 on a mini book tour, appearing first at the Clarion Hotel in Pembroke, then at Danny's Restaurant in Petawawa.

PEMBROKE CIVITANS CELEBRATE 60TH - It was a diamond evening for the Pembroke Civitan Club as area Civitans marked the 60th anniversary of the Pembroke chapter.

To celebrate the six decades since its founding, the club hosted a special dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

FIRST BACHELOR DEGREE FOR OUR LADY SEAT OF WISDOM - Our Lady Seat of Wisdom (OLSW) College, formerly known as OLSW Academy, in Barry’s Bay was approved to offer its first bachelor degree program.

Founded in 2000, OLSW has received official consent from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer a Bachelor’s degree.

MP SOLE VOTE AGAINST PARIS ACCORD - Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant got national headlines for her lone stance against the Paris Accord.

On June 6, Gallant was the sole vote against an otherwise unanimous motion in the House of Commons, reaffirming Canada's commitment to the climate agreement signed in 2015 by 195 countries. The vote was 277 to one.

ED CHOW NAMED SENIOR OF YEAR – The province has honoured one of the town's most dedicated citizens with the prestigious Ontario Senior of the Year Award.

Former mayor Ed Chow received the accolade from council Petawawa during its regular meeting June 6. Although Chow retired from politics nearly seven years, his departure from the public spotlight has not diminished his involvement in the town as a volunteer.

CONROY’S GROCERY 45 YEARS IN BUSINESS – As long as anyone knows, there's always been a grocery store in Chapeau at the corner of Rue Saint-Jacques and Chemin Pembroke.

On June 1, Conroy's Grocery marked a milestone for being in business for 45 years under its current ownership, that being Francis Conroy. Joining him behind the counter for most of those years is his daughter Shelley Conroy and her co-worker Sharon Fleming, who has put in 34 years.

RELAY FOR LIFE RAISES $61,238 – The 2017 Petawawa Relay For Life was a night to remember as $61,238 was raised in the fight against cancer.

On June 9, hundreds of participants, including more than 60 cancer survivors, engaged in the relay from 6 p.m. to midnight at Garrison Petawawa, showing their support and raising money for cancer research and programs in Renfrew County.

JEANNE-LAJOIE DAY CARE TO EXPAND - The future looks big and bright for Jeanne-Lajoie School’s Les Petits Mains day care.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Pembroke families will have access to 18 additional spaces at Les petites mains day care, following an investment of $1,058,757 by the Ministry of Education of Ontario.

NEW SPECIAL OLYMPICS FESTIVAL TAKES WING - The inaugural COPE 103 Special Olympics Festival had students smiling and high-fiving one another on June 7.

The Special Olympics sports festival took place on the field at Bishop Smith Catholic High School (BSCHS) and was organized by COPE 103 (the support staff union for Renfrew County Catholic District School Board) in partnership with Special Olympics Ontario and with support from RCCDSB staff.

JASON BLAINE COMES HOME - Jason Blaine came home June 13 and brought some talented friends to perform in front of his hometown in the name of charity.

The Canadian country music star held court at the Pembroke Memorial Centre, which hosted his fourth annual Night with the Stars Fundraiser Gala. The event and the golf tourney connected to it raised $90,000 for local charity.

SHOWING THEIR PRIDE - Pembroke proudly raised the rainbow flag for the first time in the city’s history, on June 10.

Dozens came out to the fourth annual Pembroke Pride Parade as they proudly showed their colours in a sea of pride, unity, joy and respect.

KRISTA JOHNSON MEMORIAL RUN FOR CHANGE - Krista Johnson’s sunny spirit was shining through the 500-plus participants who carried on her legacy June 11 at Riverside Park.

The event raised more than $20,000, which went to The Krista Johnson Memorial Foundation to carry on the charitable work that Krista started.

PAUL MARTIN HONOURED - The Right Honourable Paul Martin implored Algonquin College graduates June 16 to do their part to tackle today's great social challenges with the same spirit and sense of purpose as his late father.

He addressed the Class of 2017 in a stirring speech delivered after receiving an honorary degree on behalf of his late father during the college's convocation ceremony at the Pembroke Memorial Centre.

The Right Honourable Paul Martin also took a poignant, sometimes emotional, journey into his family’s past, retracing his father’s Pembroke upbringing during a visit to the Champlain Trail Museum.

HOCKEY NIGHT IN COBDEN – Excitement was building as the Whitewater Kings prepared to bring Junior B hockey to Cobden this

fall. The Whitewater Kings, previously the Prescott Flyers, were purchased by Dale McTavish, owner and head coach of the Pembroke Lumber Kings, in the spring.

WHITEWATER RELAY FOR LIFE – Mother Nature didn't dampen the spirits of those folks who gathered June 16 to re-engage in the war against cancer. The fourth annual Relay for Life event raised $34,413, including $26,413 from participants and $8,000 in sponsor contributions.

MUSKRAT LAKE SWIM - Sarah Hall conquered Muskrat Lake.

The Algonquin College professor successfully completed a remarkable feat June 17 swimming the entire length of the Muskrat, a turbulent journey of 16.5 kilometres that saw her power through strong currents and unpredictable weather conditions.

The swim was launched to increase awareness of the challenges facing the lake and to raise funds for the Muskrat Watershed Council (MWC).

FORMER WARDEN DIES - Gordon White, a former Renfrew County warden and municipal politician who devoted 39 years of his life to public service, died June 19. He was 78.

The amiable dairy farmer become the municipality's inaugural reeve when the newly created Whitewater Region was incorporated in 2001. As a result of the amalgamation, White was also the last reeve in the 163-year history of Westmeath Township.

CHANGE OF COMMAND - GARRISON PETAWAWA – The tomahawk was passed to a new commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

On June 21, the brigade marched onto Worthington Parade Squad to honour the departure of Brig-Gen. Conrad Mialkowski, their commander for the past two years. They also welcomed the arrival of his replacement, Col. Michael Wright.

KI CELEBRATES 25 YEARS - A made in Pembroke success story marked its 25th anniversary June 23.

A quarter century ago, KI Canada rose from the ashes of Storwal International's city operation, which had closed its doors in 1992. That June, Kruger International, the KI in the company's name, stepped up to lease a portion of the plant, and, with the city's backing, grew to become the company everyone knows today.

The company hosted a community celebration at its Paul Martin Drive plant, opening its doors for tours of its operation, and hosting a massive street party.

WHITEWATER MERGES ARENA OPERATIONS - Whitewater Region council decided take over the operation of the Beachburg, Westmeath and Cobden arenas, and run them under the oversight of a new supervisor for arenas and parks, who would report to the community services manager.

ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN PETAWAWA MARKS 150 YEARS - It all started with a group of settlers, one travelling pastor, and some farmland. On June 25, St. John’s formally celebrated its 150th Anniversary.

EMERGE YOGA GOES BANKRUPT - The Emerge Yoga Festival went bankrupt mere days before it was set to open its doors. A notice appeared on its website announcing it was canceled and has declared itself insolvent as of June 26, 2017.

DRAGOON REMEMBERED – Family, friends and fellow Dragoons remembered Sgt. Robert Dynerowicz as a loving brother and son with a heart of gold and an extraordinary leader devoted to the regiment and men he served.

In a wholehearted display of affection and support for the Dynerowicz family, the men and women of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) gathered inside Victoria Barracks June 26 to reflect on the remarkable life of the dedicated armoured patrol commander

tragically killed in a training accident in Wainwright, Alberta.

TIME CAPSULE BURIED - The County of Renfrew officially kicked off Canada's 150th June 28 with the burial of a time capsule outside its administration building in Pembroke.

ANONYMOUS DONATION TO HELP WATERFRONT - Pembroke’s downtown waterfront park will be newly beautified thanks to an anonymous donation of more than $200,000.

SUhler@postmedia.com 



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