Year in Review - November 2017
Petawawa played host to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ (OFSAA) cross-country running championships for the first time in the town’s history. Taking place on Nov. 4 at the Petawawa Golf Club, the event welcomed 2,000 runners and more than 3,000 of their friends and family members who came to cheer them on. This year’s championship served as the final stop to conclude Ron Hungerford’s impressive 39-year history as an announcer for the annual OFSAA cross-country meet. Several Renfrew County runners achieved strong finishes throughout the various races including Jeanne-Lajoie’s Rudy Saal who was awarded with silver in the midget boys race.
RCD LELIEFONTEIN PARADE
Canada’s most senior cavalry regiment, the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD), honoured the 117th anniversary of the Battle of Leliefontein with a grand parade. The annual parade serves as a homecoming where past members reunite with their former unit, as well as remember the events during the Battle of Leliefontein in the Second Boer War, back in 1900 – and honour the Dragoons' finest hour. On Nov. 4, the ceremony took place at RCD’s Worthington Parade Square and welcomed dozens of family, friends and local dignitaries who were in attendance to show their support. “It's become a regimental tradition that every year, as close as possible to Nov. 7, we conduct this parade which is essentially a regimental homecoming and a celebration of the valour and courage that were shown that day in 1900,” said Royal Canadian Dragoons Commanding Officer Lt.-Col. Fraser Auld.
LUMBER KINGS REMEMBRANCE DAY GAME
Second World War veteran Tony Bourne was honoured during a remembrance ceremony prior to the Lumber Kings’ Nov. 5 home game. Each year, the Pembroke Jr. A Lumber Kings team up with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 72 to host a special pre-game Remembrance Day ceremony during the home game leading up to Nov. 11. At this year’s game, it was announced that Bourne was being honoured by the Lumber Kings with the presentation of a special commemorative gift. The Royal Canadian Air Force veteran has been religiously attending Lumber Kings games for the past 50 years, as a season ticket holder. To honour the veteran and loyal Lumber Kings fan, the team presented him with a customized Lumber Kings jersey that featured the number 50 – for his years as a season ticket holder – and the name “Bourne” across the back.
A crowd of almost 2,000 people gathered around the cenotaph at the Petawawa Legion on Nov. 11, marking Canadian heroism and sacrifice during one of the most pivotal battles of the First World War. The ceremony paid tribute to the Canadian Corps, who lost 16,000 men during the Battle of Passchendaele which concluded on Nov. 10, 1917. It also observed the Battle of Vimy Ridge, an engagement that began on April 9, 1917 with the largest artillery barrage in history and culminated with the seizing of the strategic French stronghold four days later at the cost of 3,598 Canadian lives. “On this the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, we remember those that have fought for our freedom, have given their all over the years in all conflicts this great nation of Canada has been involved with,” said branch past-president Helene Hahn.
LOCAL TEAMS WIN BIG AT SILVER STICK OPENING WEEKEND
Hockey Town Canada became the centre of minor hockey action, with the start of the 33rd Terry O’Neill Pembroke Silver Stick Tournament delivering two local wins at the W.C. "Wib" McLaughlin Novice and Atom Weekend from Nov. 10 to 12. The opening weekend of the 2017 Silver Stick ended with two exciting championship finals that saw the Valley Storm and the Muskrat Voyageurs hoisting silverware. The Voyageurs resurrected a victory in the Novice ‘C’ championship after the Valley Storm rallied to tie the game in the third period Sunday at the Pembroke and Area Community Centre. The Storm got revenge in the Atom ‘C’ division final shutting out the Voyageurs 3-0. The Brockville Junior Braves defeated the Gananoque Islanders 4-2 to capture the Atom ‘B’ championship.
COLBY AUDETTE HONOURED BY FIREFIGHTERS
Town of Petawawa firefighters thanked one of their most important supporters on Nov. 20. The department and town council invited Colby Audette and his family to the town hall where he received an autographed jersey from his favourite NHL hockey player – Anaheim Ducks alternate captain Corey Perry. It was a gesture that further cemented the bond that has developed between the first responders and the 15-year-old Pembroke teen who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Canadian firefighters have played an integral role in the Muscular Dystrophy Canada campaign for more than 50 years. Across Canada, 800 fire departments raise more than $3 million annually – including more than $120,000 that the Petawawa department has raised over the past eight years. Ever since Colby was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2011, His family has raised the profile of muscular dystrophy through Colby's Crusade and they’ve received tremendous support from the local firefighters.
The nightmare that was Basil Borutski can no longer harm the people of the Ottawa Valley. It was a full 48 hours before an 11-member jury returned from deliberations on Nov. 24, finding Borutski guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the Sept. 22, 2015 Renfrew County killing spree. The serial murderer left in his wake three dead women -- Carol Culleton, 66, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48. "Thank goodness he's gone," said John Dixon, who lived for years across the street from Borutski on Round Lake Road. "It's a blessing that it's over." Janice Visneskie-Moore, mayor of the Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards, grew up with Borutski near Round Lake. "I'm truly, truly glad that justice has been served," she said.
COLLEGE STRIKE CONCLUDES
The Ontario government introduced a back-to-work legislation to end the five-week-old work stoppage that affected 23 colleges across the province – including Algonquin College. The strike began on Oct. 16 and concluded mid-November, becoming the longest college strike in Ontario’s history that affected more than 500,000 students province-wide. Once the strike officially ended, classes resumed on Nov. 21 as more than 1000 students eagerly returned to the Algonquin College Waterfront Campus in Pembroke. In a pair of online letters sent to students and staff, Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen encouraged everyone to work towards getting everything back on track. “We have come through a challenging time, but I believe we have tried to work through our situation in the best way possible — caring for each other, learning from each other, upholding our integrity and respecting each other through it all, I would like us to continue on in the same way, with a good mind.”
VALLEY ACES CROWNED SILVER STICK CHAMPIONS
One Ottawa Valley hockey team took home a gold banner from the Frank Nighbor Memorial Bantam Weekend at the 33rd Silver Stick Tournament. Taking place from Nov. 24 to 26 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre (PMC) and the Pembroke and Area Community Centre (PACC), the tournament saw 30 Bantam AA, B and C teams from across Eastern Ontario, West Quebec and beyond battle on ice for the championship title for their respective division. Among the local talent, the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces earned their spot in the playoffs and ended up acing the final championship game (4-0) against the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings, to be crowned with the 2017 Silver Stick Bantam AA Championship title.