News Local

Year in Review - August 2017

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Former Laurentian Valley councillor Jim Sheedy, right, helps cut the ribbon with Mayor Steve Bennett at the official opening of Jim Sheedy Way, Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the entrance to Stafford Park for the unveiling of the new street sign. This recognized Sheedy’s faithful service in municipal government as a councillor, deputy reeve and reeve of three townships over a period of 42 years.

Former Laurentian Valley councillor Jim Sheedy, right, helps cut the ribbon with Mayor Steve Bennett at the official opening of Jim Sheedy Way, Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the entrance to Stafford Park for the unveiling of the new street sign. This recognized Sheedy’s faithful service in municipal government as a councillor, deputy reeve and reeve of three townships over a period of 42 years.

BEACHBURG FAIR MARKS 160 YEARS – It was a wild west weekend as the Beachburg Fair capped off its historic 160th edition.

Crowds packed the Beachburg fairgrounds to take in the first Renfrew County rural fair of the year.

ANNUAL CORMAC PILGRIMAGE - Christians gathered at the historic St. Ann's Catholic Church to honour the woman whose tradition tells us was the grandmother of Jesus Christ.

As hundreds looked on, a procession made its way to the stone shrine which had been erected after the first pilgrimage in 1938 denoting the location of Cormac as the centre of the region's diocese.

LAURENTIAN VALLEY COUNCIL MEMBER HONOURED – The township honoured one of its most devoted community leaders with the official naming of “Jim Sheedy Way.”

Family, friends and colleagues of Jim Sheedy gathered at the entrance to Stafford Park for the unveiling of the new street sign. This special and unique distinction recognizes Sheedy’s faithful service in municipal government as a councillor, deputy reeve and reeve of three townships over a period of 42 years.

RAM RODEO BACK - WHITEWATER REGION – The RAM Rodeo Tour returned to the Beachburg Fair for the third time ever with crowds thrilled by some of the best in cowboy roping, cattle wrestling, calf tying, bareback and bronc riding, pole and barrel racing and bull riding.

LADIES AUXILIARY MARKS 70 YEARS - The Ladies Auxiliary of Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion marked 70 years of service.

Past and present members of the auxiliary, VIPs and members of the Pembroke Legion Branch 72 gathered in the main hall to celebrate and recognize them and their accomplishments.

LOCAL HOSPITALS GET $11 MILLION - Eastern Ontario hospitals received an $11-million boost from the provincial government that will fund repairs and upgrades to provide patients with high-quality care.

The $11-million boost is aimed at strengthening and supporting rural health care in Eastern Ontario.

LOCAL STUDENT COMPETES IN NAIG - It was an experience of a lifetime for Belle Bailey.

The 16-year-old Fellowes High School student represented the Pikwakanagans of Golden Lake at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, playing badminton as part of Team Ontario. She and her partner Rachel Cameron reached the quarter-finals in doubles, facing university-level competition on the courts.

Bailey also took part in singles and mixed doubles, the latter with a gentleman named Tiger Trapper.

WILNO HOCKEY TEAM HONOURED - The Kashubian Griffins Hockey Team, who played in the Kashub Fatherland of Kaszëbë in 2014, were honoured by the Kashubian Pomeranian Association.

The Griffins were made honorary members by the association at this year’s World Kashubian Congress Festival held in Rumia, Kaszëbë in front of approximately 5,000 association members who celebrated at this year’s annual festival.

PROTEST ON THE OTTAWA RIVER – On Aug. 6, a flotilla of more than 30 watercraft – from kayaks to flat bottomed tour boats – carried 150 people and assembled offshore of the Chalk River lab site in Laurentian Hills to deliver a message to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories – a resounding no to the proposed near surface disposal facility.

The facility is meant to dispose of up to one million cubic metres of low-level radioactive material at a site located about a kilometre from the Ottawa River.

EGANVILLE HOLDS HOMECOMING - Aug. 4-5 marked Eganville's second annual Homecoming Weekend, which featured fun activities.

Bonnechere Valley Coun. Jackie Agnew, chairwoman of the Eganville homecoming committee, said this was building upon the highly successful homecoming event held last year to mark the village's 125th anniversary. She said it was decided to do this as an annual event.

DEEP RIVER SUMMERFEST - Another Summerfest ends with a bang.

On Aug. 6, the four-day festival of music, fun and excitement wrapped up with an explosion of fireworks as Deep River put to bed another edition of the volunteer-driven event.

More than 30 performers including local and regional bands kept things rocking all weekend long, despite a stormy and wet Saturday, and there remained plenty of things to do, from the traditional

baseball tournament to the Giant Tiger Kids Zone activities, the show 'n shine car show, Bollywood dancing workshop, fancy dress parade, a magic show and so much more.

BIG PLANS FOR DOWNTOWN THEATRE - After nearly 30 years, the old Centre Theatre will be revived into a glamourous new dinner theatre in 2018.

Since closing in 1990, the old theatre has deteriorated to the point that it’s almost unrecognizable and has become a large eyesore among the newer and well-maintained buildings in the city's core.

Soon after taking over ownership of the Grey Gables Inn this past May, Lisa and Rigo Borquez were touring Pembroke and upon spotting the old theatre they were quickly struck with a vision of turning it into a beautiful live theatre.

CANOE PILGRIMAGE VISITS CITY - The Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage (CCP) came ashore at Riverside Park beach Aug. 6 for a rest stop at the Sisters of St. Joseph, where they held mass and took in a meal, before continuing on the journey the next day.

The pilgrimage involved more than 30 Indigenous, Jesuit, English and French Canadian paddlers who were on an 850-kilometre canoe

journey, held in the spirit of reconciliation. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 67 years old.

BLOC AGAINST NSDF - The people opposed to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' (CNL) near surface disposal facility project gained a political ally.

Martine Ouellet, leader of the Bloc Québécois was the guest speaker at the Nuclear Guardianship Picnic, held Aug. 7 at Pembroke's Riverside Park, hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area. She came out strongly against the idea of the NSDF project, which if approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will be used to dispose of mainly low-level radioactive materials, most of which is generated or already stored, on site for the next 50 years.

ROUGH TIME AT WORLDS FOR BISHOP - Two years after Canada’s historic eight-medal bonanza in Beijing, the team headed home from the world athletic championships in London empty-handed for the first time in 16 years. Melissa Bishop was the last Canadian up, racing to fifth in the 800 metres. The 29-year-old from Eganville ran one minute, 57.68 seconds.

PADDLE FOR CHEO RAISES $10,000 – The town's first annual Paddle for CHEO event raised more than $10,000 for the children’s hospital.

Formerly part of a series of three events called Stand Up for CHEO – that took place in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa over the past seven years – this was the first year that the Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival took the event under its wing.

NAIG AN EXPERIENCE - It was a mixed bag of emotions for two local men coaching teams which took part in the North American Indigenous Games.

For Brady Lacroix, coaching Ontario's U-17 baseball team to a silver medal was an experience he won't forget.

For Gerry Benoit, coach of the boy's U-14 basketball team, the games were a lot more bittersweet. His team placed fifth overall in a tournament which was marred by a controversial decision involving one of the American teams taking part.

LOSS OF BRYAN MURRAY FELT - The hockey world and the

Upper Ottawa Valley was rocked by the passing of former Ottawa Senators coach and general manager Bryan Murray.

Battling Stage 4 cancer for the past three years, the Shawville native died Aug. 12 at the age of 74. The news of his loss hit particularly hard around Pembroke, the place where he got his first coaching job behind the bench of the Lumber Kings.

PHYSICIAN DUO DONATES $60,000 - Dr. W.M. Pan and Dr. A.Y. Eng celebrated 60 years of marriage with a $60,000 donation to the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation’s Cutting Edge Campaign.

30th ANNUAL POWWOW HELD - The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan hosted their 30th annual powwow, a late summer gathering that has united people and tribes and strengthened Aboriginal culture and language.

Over Aug. 19-20, Algonquins from across the region, Quebec, and the U.S., travelled to the First Nation for this gathering. Event organizers were thrilled with the large number of visitors and participants to this year's powwow which numbered more than 400.

WINGS OF REMEMBRANCE - It was a day of poignancy as Carefor Health and Community Services hosted its second annual Wings of Remembrance Butterfly Release Aug 20.

During a ceremony at the Mackay Centre in Pembroke, 250 butterflies were released in honour of loved ones by family and friends. The event was part of Carefor’s Community Volunteer Visiting Program which began operations at the former Marguerite Centre last year.

MURRAY REMEMBERED – The mood of Shawville can always be found at Hursty’s Bar and Grill on Main Street.

On Aug. 22, an hour before Bryan Murray’s funeral — it was private, for family, friends and the NHL fraternity a few doors down the road at the Shawville United Church — that mood was bittersweet.

At 74, the death from colon cancer of the former Ottawa Senators coach and general manager came far too soon for the town where the Murray name is akin to royalty.

Yet for all the sadness, endless memories were also being shared about how Murray had time for everyone.


residence has opened its doors, months after fire threatened to delay the project.

The brand new purpose-built student apartment complex at 320 Lake Street officially welcomed its first Algonquin College student early in August.

Construction had been well ahead of schedule when, on Nov. 10, 2016, a fire gutted the top two floors and left a significant question as to the ability of the team to rebuild in time for the fall 2017 semester.

SUMMER JAM - On Aug. 26, Pembroke held its first ever Summer Jam on its waterfront. The weather was bright and sunny, but not too hot, which brought out the crowds. The Skyza Aquapark, in its Ontario debut, was the highlight of the event, being anchored right off of the old boat ramp on the Ottawa River beside the waterfront park.

SKYDIVING TRAGEDY - Betiana “Bety” Mubili was on her way to becoming a commissioned officer with the Canadian Forces when she was killed Aug. 27 in a skydiving mishap, says her heartbroken father.

Viktor Mubili said he’s been fielding phone calls and messages of condolences “left, right and centre” since police confirmed his 29-year-old daughter Bety was killed after her parachute malfunctioned during a solo recreational jump near Petawawa Sunday.

PROVINCE SUPPORTS PALLIATIVE CARE - The Ontario government has committed to support three hospice beds at Marianhill.

The $261,600 annual commitment will ensure the beds will remain operational, ensuring approximately 26 patients and their families each year will have access to high quality, end-of-life care.

This investment will provide compassionate end-of-life support that relieves suffering and improves the quality of living and dying. It is part of Ontario’s commitment to increase access to palliative care across the province. 

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