May 28, 2014

Erin Radio to continue without studio

As published in The Erin Advocate

A shortfall in advertising revenue is forcing Erin Community Radio to close its local studio, but the station will continue to broadcast on FM 88.1 from The Grand FM in Fergus.

“The business community in the Town of Erin continues to have a few struggles – it simply can’t provide consistent advertising support for the station,” said Larry Peters, Chair of the Board of Directors.
CHES-FM 88.1, branded as the Headwaters New Mix, applied to the Canadian Radio-Television Communications Commission (CRTC) last December to operate a new FM transmitter in Orangeville, which would repeat its programming at 89.1 MHz, with 50 watts of power.

“Since we serve portions of the Headwaters area now, a transmitter with a better signal in Orangeville would allow the station to build the revenue base necessary for survival,” said Peters.

Morning show host Erin Montgomery has been offered a position at The Grand, co-hosting and doing news on the morning team with Kelly Warehouse and Mark Paine.

“I will be bringing ‘a little piece of heaven’ to Fergus,” said Montgomery. “I will miss our studio – I loved when people stopped by to chat and bring me stories and news. I will also miss riding my bike to work.”

The station signal will continue both at FM 88.1 and on-line at To reduce costs, they will send the signal to the transmitter on the Erin water tower over the internet from Fergus instead of using Bell lines.

During the painting of the water tower planned for June, their transmission power will have to be reduced. Downtown Erin will still get a strong signal, but other listeners will probably receive interference from INDIE 88.1 in Toronto, said Peters. On-line streaming will not be affected.

In 2012, Erin Radio turned over control of the station to the operators of Centre Wellington Community Radio in Fergus. They provided new management and investment in a new studio on Thompson Crescent, but that facility will now close in the next few days.

“Internet technology allows us to continue providing service in Erin, with a remote studio setup at the home of Erin Community Radio Founder Jay Mowat,” said Peters. “Local residents will be able to produce their programs for inclusion in the weekly schedule from a small studio starting in July. Administration, local news, and the radio automation system will happen on a temporary basis from a studio setup within the facilities of the Grand @ 92.9 in Fergus.

“This will stop the bleeding and give the Board of Directors time to evaluate the future of Erin Radio, and await the decision of the CRTC. This will allow us to continue to be in compliance with our license requirements; however we will have very few expenses to keep the lights on.”

Permission for the Orangeville transmitter is being opposed at the CRTC by Dufferin Communications (CIDC-FM) and by Bayshore Broadcasting (CFDC Shelburne). They argue that the Orangeville market is already adequately served, and that the new transmitter is an attempt to expand the Erin territory beyond its mandate.

Erin Radio has defended its application, saying it will provide a needed non-commercial community service in the Orangeville market. It is supported by the National Campus and Community Radio Association.

The Erin plan is also opposed by My Broadcasting Corporation, which has been working for over two years to establish a new radio station in Orangeville.

Looking Back

As published in The Erin Advocate

From the Advocate – 100 years ago (1914)

British War Secretary Col. Seeley said the engineering improvements to create a stable “safety aeroplane” would be kept secret. The King was impressed with a demonstration flight and asked, “Why haven’t you a hundred of these in the army?”

From the Advocate – 45 years ago (1969)

Construction is starting on 43 new homes, two blocks east of Main Street in Hillsburgh. Up to 167 are planned. Real Estate broker P.J. Carney said the houses by the firm Two Oaks, starting at $20,500, are of a “revolutionary new type of construction”.

Wilfred Major, son of Olive Major in Hillsburgh, survived the crash of a small plane in a lake near Baie Comeau, Quebec. The four occupants had minor injuries and were able to swim to shore.

The Erin Chamber of Commerce held a dinner meeting, presided over by President Corey Herrington. Les Gray, General Manager of the village’s newest industry, Erin Steel and Wire, made a presentation about their production methods. The Chamber donated $50 to the Erin Seniors Club, and scheduled a meeting of their Recreation Committee at the home of Walt Keeler, planning to invite women and youth.

Fr. F.C. Elliott of St. John Brebeuf Church hosted an appreciation dinner at the Legion for the ladies of the Catholic Women’s League. The President, Mrs. Art Boucher, presented the past president pin to Mrs. Doug Petherick, who presented a cheque to Fr. Elliott for the building fund.

From the Advocate – 35 years ago (1979)

Perrin Beatty won his third term as a Progressive Conservative MP for the riding of Wellington-Dufferin-Simcoe with 62% of the vote. Liberal Harry Green got 27% while New Democrat Jeff Koechlin got 11%. Joe Clark will be Prime Minister of a minority government.

George Davis of Church Blvd. was out for a ride on his tricycle to celebrate his 96th birthday. He farmed at his birthplace on the Erin-Caledon Townline until age 75, and has been a member of the Erin Agricultural Society since 1922.

Brisbane Grade 7 students competed in a Track and Field meet at Erin District High School. In the girls’ 200-metre sprint, Mandy Green was first, Tracy Packer second and Cathy Portelli third. Laura Miller was third in the 400, Carmen Wilson was first in the 800 and 1500, and Darlene McEnery was second in the 1500. In the boys’ races, Brian Godsell was first in the 400 and 800, while Kevin Burnett was fist in the 100 and second in the 200.

From the Advocate – 25 years ago (1989)

Advocate Publisher Ted Lydan, along with Cindi Ross, Trish Petersen, Michele Keeler and Debbie Taylor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank in Erin drew the lucky ballot for a gas barbeque. Users of the new Green Machine were eligible for the draw, and the winner was J. Pinkney.

The baseball season started in Erin for more than 200 boys and girls. In the three-pitch division for 7-9 year olds, Stedman’s defeated TD Bank 20-11. Offensive game star for Stedman’s was Adam Schaper, including a home run. Defensively, Sarah Simmonds was a stand-out. For TD, the defensive game star was Ryan Laudner, and the most valuable player was Andrew Greggain.

Kids spread the word on energy conservation

As published in The Erin Advocate

Erin councillors are staying well hydrated and well informed on water issues thanks to a presentation from the Water Rockers.

Abbey Collings and Jessie Cuthbert from the Grade 6 class at Erin Public School appeared as a delegation at the May 20 council meeting, presenting each of the politicians with a steel water bottle. The class has sold 200 of the special Erin bottles and hopes to sell more.

“We’ve done a lot of research this year about world water issues,” they said. “Our class came up with 2 main goals: to get our school and local community to use reusable water bottles every day, and to get everyone to appreciate how lucky we are to have our local water supply.”

Water Rockers Jessie Cuthbert (left) and Abbey Collings give
water bottles to politicians at a Town Council meeting.
The Water Rockers have submitted articles to the Advocate, appeared on Erin Radio and convinced all of the downtown businesses to support the Blue W conservation program. If people see a Blue W sticker in a business window they can fill a reusable water bottle there for free and get a discount on coffee or tea if it is sold there.

With the slogan, Erin: Our Local Water Rocks, the students are part of a movement to promote the use of tap water instead of bottled water, which is more expensive and uses up more energy. Businesses can register and people can get more information at

Local students have engaged in many environmental efforts in recent years, including work to qualify as Eco Schools. Public School Trustee Kathryn Cooper has led an effort to embed environmental principles into school board policies, both for curriculum and operation of buildings.

She said the Water Rockers are a good example of students being motivated to take action, in line with a mandate to create links with local communities.

Early this year, the Upper Grand School Board Business Operations Committee approved an “environmental sustainability action plan”, agreed to hire a Sustainability Coordinator and directed that environmental factors be considered in all board policies and decisions.
“We want to create environmentally conscious citizens,” said Cooper. “The work has just started. We need to push to integrate the policy into the schools.”

When principals and teachers are working on School Improvement Plans, they will now have stronger backing to try ideas for advancing student learning by incorporating environmental concepts into various subject areas, and they will be held accountable in this regard, said Cooper.

She likes the idea of coordinating school gardens and composting with kitchen operations, and using fruit trees as part of plans to “green up” school grounds.

The board is always looking for ways to save money in its operations. As an example, Cooper would like to reduce the use of photocopying and paper, which costs the board about $1 million per year.

Solar panels have been installed at 41 schools, including Brisbane and Erin Public, feeding power into the Hydro grid. Schools can track their renewable energy production live on-line and compare cloudy and sunny days.

Brisbane has generated 17.5 MWh of electricity since last May, while Erin Public has generated 18.2 MWh. Each school has offset more than 16 metric tons of carbon that would have flowed into the atmosphere if dirty energy sources had been used for equivalent generation. That’s about the same benefit as 30% of an acre of pine forest, or of not operating an average passenger car for 3.57 years.

The solar panels are producing income of about $375,000 a year for the board, some of which is funding the new Sustainability Coordinator position.

“We want to re-invest that money in learning and more energy efficiency,” said Cooper.

The board’s procedure for environmental issues is now guided by the following goals:
“Environmental education enables students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to be environmentally active and responsible citizens and to apply their knowledge and skills cooperatively to effect long term change.

“Students must be active participants in shaping their future. Student engagement involves the active participation of all students in sustainable environmental practices, a strong student voice in decision making, and involvement in the school and community in meaningful ways.

“By exercising environmental responsibility in the management of its own operations, the Board can serve as a model of corporate citizenship for students and the broader community and ensure coherence with the environmental messages conveyed by the curriculum.”

Groups unite to fight countryside disruption

As published in The Erin Advocate

Two groups concerned about the impact of equestrian events and imported fill have united to form Neighbourhood Connections, and have urged Town Council to hold public workshops on land use in agricultural areas.

Anna Spiteri appeared as a delegation on May 20, opposed to the temporary bylaw that council later passed, enabling Angelstone Farms to proceed with their equestrian season. 
She also demanded tougher restrictions on potentially disruptive rural events, which council did at least partially through a new Major Events bylaw.

“We expect council to protect the rights and quality of life of all Town of Erin residents,” said Spiteri. “We feel overlooked, not listened to. So we have joined forces to make our voices stronger.”

About 20 families and other supporters had been in two groups, concerned about noise and other issues at Angelstone events on County Road 50 near the Town Line, and about fill and possible noise from Meadowlarke North, an equestrian facility being developed by Anthea Larke just over 3 km to the north, on the Third Line.

The group is concerned that small businesses could grow into large ones without adequate Town control.

“Should operations such as Angelstone and Meadowlarke North continue to be unregulated and allowed to go unchecked, soon other ‘wannabe’ operations will be sprouting up everywhere,” said Spiteri.

Planner Sally Stull said the Town was already preparing an update of its Official Plan, which will provide opportunities for public consultation about agricultural land use.

The group supports the new Major Events bylaw, but is requesting a range of Town actions:

• Restrictions on the number of permits per calendar year to control overall community impact.

• A maximum number of hours per day for activities.

• Measurable auditory restrictions.

• Higher permit application fees.

• An enforceable Noise Bylaw for agricultural areas, which does not exist now.

• Lighting restrictions.

Angelstone zoning and events bylaw passed

As published in The Erin Advocate

Town Council has given Angelstone Tournaments approval to launch its show jumping season and a chance to prove that it can drastically reduce noise levels. It has also passed a Major Events Bylaw to regulate any gathering of more than 500 people in Erin.

The first step at the May 20 meeting was a temporary zoning bylaw, which was approved. It provides the basis for Angelstone, located on County Road 50, to engage in “agri-tourism” for this season only, including entertainment and the sale of food, alcohol and merchandise, to enhance five major equestrian event weekends and one smaller event.

“Everyone has a right to enjoy the rural calmness,” Mayor Lou Maieron told Angelstone officials. “This isn’t the wild west. If you get a second chance, don’t mess it up.”

The second step was approval of a bylaw for major events “that may cause a public nuisance”, as recommended by the Town solicitor. Anyone planning such an event will have to follow a series of procedures, get council approval for a permit that can include extra conditions, and pay a fee of $200 for a single event ($500 for multiple events).

Only Councillor John Brennan voted against the zoning and events bylaws, wanting a shorter deadline for Angelstone to resolve problems. Councillor Deb Callaghan declared a conflict and did not vote on the events bylaw, since as a member of the Optimists she may be involved in applying for a permit for the Rhythm and Ribs Festival.

The third step was deciding on conditions to be imposed on Angelstone as part of a permit under the events bylaw. Council decided that all activity must end by 11 pm, instead of midnight as planned for the Saturday shows. The permit is good only for the first three shows up to July 13. If problems are resolved, council will consider a permit for the remaining three shows in August and October.

The firm has provided most of what the Town has required for zoning, except a Sound Study to be done with live events. They have submitted Traffic Study that will result in improvements to their entranceway, an Emergency Evacuation Plan and a Planning Justification to show how the operation will conform to planning policies and the County Official Plan.

“Long-term agricultural use of the land is not compromised,” said their consultant John Cox. A more detailed Site Plan will be provided. Angelstone has committed to erect fencing to prevent spectator trespass onto neighbouring properties and to deal with drainage issues. They have said that special show lighting will not have off-site impact.

Lawyer Nancy Smith, representing neighbours Fred and Nancy Gilbert, said in a letter that certain structures on the site should have building permits. She said provincial policy on agriculture-related uses requires that activity be small scale, and directly related to the farm operation.

“There is no farm operation on this site,” she said, and pointed out that with 35 days of activity, 200-400 competitors at events, 350-700 horses, 1,000 to 3,000 spectators and up to 1,200 vehicles, it is not small-scale.

Planner Sally Stull recommended that council approve the temporary zoning, noting that agri-tourism is promoted by the province, and that the Town’s own Equine Task Force has identified equestrian events as helpful for economic development. She said considering the high value of the elite horses involved, it is “reasonable” to allow competitors or their grooms to camp overnight during events, in an area more than 200m from existing residences.

Randy White, the new Chairman at Angelstone (and father of President Keean White, a top competitor) pointed out that they had been given a Headwaters award as Tourism Innovator of the Year in 2013.

He admitted that the music has been “outrageously loud” and that they had done “a poor job of neighbour relations”. The number of major event weekend this year has been cut from 10 to 5. They are now applying for required building permits.

He has met with some area residents to listen to concerns and try to reach agreement on acceptable activity at the farm. Some are willing to give Angelstone a chance, while others remain opposed, especially to the evening entertainment.

Sound levels will be reduced overall. Music levels will be turned down drastically for Thursday nights (piano and jazz music), and significantly for Saturday nights said White. A sound engineering firm has been hired to take readings throughout the nearby lands during the early shows (May 31-June 8). Adjustments to the system will be made for following shows.

The new Major Events Bylaw requires a permit for any event where illumination or sound affects neighbouring properties and which is expected to be attended by more that 500 people in one day (including participants, competitors, spectators, vendors and staff).

In considering whether to issue a permit, council may seek input from the public and various agencies, and may hold a public meeting. They can consider the applicant’s track record of compliance, and whether the event could be a “public nuisance” or pose an “unreasonable risk to public health or safety”.

Up to six events per permit will be allowed. Council can limit the dates and the number of attendees, and impose restrictions for sound, parking, security, traffic controls, lighting, vibration, odour and dust.

The bylaw can be enforced by the municipal bylaw enforcement officer or the police, and convicted persons can be fined under the Provincial Offences Act.

Community Services expands 55 Plus activities

As published in The Erin Advocate

A partnership with the Erin Legion has enabled a successful expansion of activities in the 55 Plus Club, provided through East Wellington Community Services (EWCS).

Darts, billiards, cards, board games and shuffleboard have attracted participants to a new, free drop-in recreation program. It is at the Legion, 12 Dundas Street, from 10 am to 1 pm every Wednesday, with lunch available at a moderate cost.

“It really helps seniors in our community to connect with others that share a common interest or hobby, make new friendships or even have the opportunity to help mentor and teach others,” says Sherri Plourde, Manager, Senior Services with EWCS.

The agency is highlighting its service to mark the 30th annual Seniors Month in Ontario, with the theme, Aging Without Boundaries: 30 Years of Celebrating Seniors. The 55 Plus Club is for active community members looking for social activities.

“It’s all about community partners – volunteer driven and volunteer led,” said Erika Westcott, Manager, Community and Volunteer Services. “It tends to give them a purpose, to use their skills and stay connected. They have a great energy and commitment to their community and the agency – we couldn’t do what we do without them.”

She thanked the Legion for making their facility available, as well as ARC Industries with whom they have a reciprocal arrangement. ARC participants with intellectual disabilities visit with seniors at the Centre 2000 Day Program, and the 55 Plus Club uses space at the new ARC facility for Line Dancing classes.

The Club still uses the Centre 2000 Seniors Room for In Stitches (Knitting) Tuesday mornings, Scottish Dancing Tuesday afternoons, Yoga and Zumba Wednesday mornings and Bridge Friday afternoons. Some of the programs have fees. Check the website for times and other details, or call Sherri at 519-833-0087.

There are also regular 55 Plus Club bus trips to popular destinations in Ontario, but for Seniors Month a special free show has been arranged for Thursday, June 12, 2-4 pm at the Rockmosa Community Centre at 74 Christie Street in Rockwood.

Smile Theatre is presenting the professional song and dance show Art Meets Havoc, with Mark Allan as Art Linkletter and Lesley Ballantyne as June Havoc. Free-will donations to EWCS will be accepted, but the event is at no charge thanks to the sponsorship of Foodland, All in a Basket, Living Assistance Services, the Village of Arbour Trails, Rockwood Financial, Solutions 2 Organize U, Right at Home and Denny’s Bus Lines, which is providing free transportation from Centre 2000 and Meadow View Place in Hillsburgh. Call Barb or Rick at 519-856-2113 for reservations.

EWCS continues to offer its Adult Day Program Mondays and Thursdays in Erin (and on Tuesdays in Rockwood), and there are currently three openings.

The Gentle Exercise Program for Seniors runs Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons in Erin. It is designed to “promote well-being and healthy aging, while focusing on seniors being able to remain active, independent and decrease their risk of falls.”

The agency has transportation services with a nominal fee for those over 60 and disabled adults. They now have a bus and two vans, including the new wheelchair accessible van. Call 519-856-2113 to enquire about low-cost transportation for medical appointments or shopping needs.

EWCS is a charitable organization that also runs Food Banks, INFO Centres and Children’s Programs. Check the website for ways to contribute, including their stores Bookends and New To You, and sponsorship or participation at their July 15 Golf Tournament at Guelph Lakes Golf and Country Club.

May 22, 2014

Life Profile – Patrick Feeney Suessmuth

Written by his good friend of many years: Robyn Peterson

Pat was born in Toronto in September of 1938. He spent his childhood in West Toronto. The family later moved to Etobicoke and Pat attended Etobicoke Collegiate. He went on to the University of Guelph, majoring in biology. After university, he took a position with the Department of Lands and Forests at Queen’s Park.

Pat served as the training officer for the Department. In this role he instituted instructional techniques and supervisory training programmes across the province. These were centred in the Forestry School in Dorset. Pat initiated programmes to which he invited trainers from other provincial departments. His series focusing on management training films became quite famous throughout the government.

In the early 1970s, Pat left his government position and launched his own training company, Cantra Training Limited. He bought a house on Bathurst Street a few blocks north of Bloor Street, which became the headquarters for his new company. His business thrived and Cantra became known for providing quality training programmes. Pat also became known for working with innovative techniques. Clients included Humber College, American Standard, the Department of Lands and Forests (later Natural Resources), the TTC, and others.

The magazine, Canadian Training Methods, was launched at about the same time as Cantra. Pat became one of the principal writers for this magazine, edited by Richard Guerrier. Marit Stengels was an associate editor. She and Pat met and later married. The marriage didn’t last and a divorce ensued. Pat then married Marigold McGregor, who worked for an advertising agency in Toronto. The pair of them hit it off well, and they made lots of plans for the future.

Pat and Marigold decided they would like a place in the country. Marigold loved horses and horseback riding. She dreamed of a beautiful place in the country where people could come to ride. They found a place on Erin’s Fourth Line and fell in love with it. They had all sorts of plans to fix the place up and make it a place where people would love to gather and, not incidentally, do some horseback riding.

In November of 1977, after a pre-Christmas visit to her sister’s place in Stayner, Marigold was killed in a head-on vehicle collision on Airport Road. Her loss devastated Pat. He didn’t know how he would carry on without her. The house on the Fourth Line, a place where so many dreams had been made, became a place of deepest sorrow and neglect.

Slowly, Pat recovered, at least a little. His business continued and he hosted meetings at his house of prominent trainers from different parts of the province and sometimes from other provinces. He became known as an excellent chef, and people made many good comments about the quality of the food he provided, as well as the stimulating discussions that occurred.

Pat became a well-known and respected figure in the Ontario Society for Training and Development (OSTD). He would take part prominently in OSTD meetings at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. He also played a leading role in developing training standards for corporate and public trainers in Ontario. In 1985, along with Bill Cumberland, he served as editor of the seminal publication, Weighted Bibliography Learning Resources for TD/HRD Practitioners. This publication proved significant in laying the groundwork for training and educational practices related to the fields of business, industry, and public service.

In 1986 Pat founded, along with Art Horrox of Winnipeg, the publishing company “Paracan”.  This publishing company was formed to publish books and journals related to education and training across Canada. In 1987 Paracan published Competency Analysis for Trainers: A Professional Assessment and Development Guide. The editors of this publication were Pat and Stewart M. West. It was published with the support of the OSTD.

In 1986 Pat’s book, Training Ideas Found Useful, had come out. It was a compendium of his articles over the years in Canadian Training Methods. It met good acceptance in the training and education communities.

Unfortunately, Pat’s partnership with Art Horrox did not last. They fell out over disagreements related to publishing policies, and the partnership dissolved.

Although he dated different women, Pat never married again. He never forgot Marigold and didn’t find her like again.

In the late 1980s business began to dry up. The community colleges were becoming more active in the field of corporate training, and small operators gradually were pushed aside. This process was accelerated by the 1988 Free Trade Agreement with the United States, which led to large American training corporations entering the Canadian picture. Cantra faded and the magazine, Canadian Training Methods, was wound down.

Pat turned more and more to basketball as a focus for his activities. He had always loved the game, and he poured himself into it. He had a prominent role in the forming of Erin Hoops to promote basketball locally. He also worked for a time at Steen’s Dairy. He became well known and respected in the community, although he was sometimes seen as controversial because of his strong views about how to get things done.

A young man, Malcolm Vipond, joined Pat at the farm as a boarder in the 1990s. Malcolm worked as a supervisor at Lever Mushrooms in Campbellville, and he was able to help Pat with various tasks around the farm. At one point Malcolm hoped to establish a business at the farm for growing oyster mushrooms. Pat provided advice on this. Unfortunately, because of repeated viral outbreaks in the growing mushrooms, Malcolm was unable to establish his planned business.

Pat liked to organize different basketball events at local schools. This included Erin Public School and Erin District High School. From time to time he went to other schools such as the ones in Brisbane and Ospringe. When the latter school was closed as a public school, it re-opened as a special education centre for troubled teens. Pat participated in some of the founding activities and provided support to that centre whenever he could.

He would also drive into Guelph quite often to play basketball at his alma mater, the University of Guelph.

A major activity involved the organizing of summer camps in Erin. Over the years these expanded in an impressive way and took in many sports and recreational activities beyond basketball. 

Pat ran into problems from time to time in his dealings with the Upper Grand District School Board. These generally focused on the fees charged and the scheduling arrangements. He was frustrated on different occasions when he put in a lot of work to organize something, thinking his schedule was all set, only to have his booking cancelled at the last moment by the school concerned. He began to think in terms of having his own centre where he could be sure about having space when needed for different activities.

When the new Erin District High School was built at the end of the 1990s, Pat saw an opportunity as discussion swirled around the establishment of Centre 2000. The Centre was to combine the high school with the Erin library, the old Shamrock Room, a theatre, and professional offices, as well as the hockey arena. Pat thought Erin Hoops and its activities could fit into this new arrangement.

Unfortunately, Pat ran into continuing problems with scheduling and costs at the new high school gymnasium. He would frequently drive into Guelph to go over matters with the officials at the Upper Grand District School Board. He found his dealings with different officials to be deeply frustrating and wondered why more couldn’t be done properly to accommodate the young people of the community.

When Erin Public School moved into the former Erin District High School structure, the old Erin Public School stood disused. Pat saw an opportunity. He arranged to rent the gymnasium part of the disused school. He named it Main Place and it became the base for Erin Hoops. He also made some connections with the Toronto Raptors and would enjoy occasional trips to the Air Canada Centre to take in games.

Pat turned to his friend, Dave Ingham, for advice and help on setting up Main Place properly. Dave had frequently helped Pat on the farm and was very capable with various kinds of tools and heavy equipment. Dave and Pat got on very well and together they were able to make Main Place suitable for the many activities being planned.

Over time, Main Place became the base for many other activities as well. Today, Main Place is an institution in its own right in Erin.

Early in the new century, Pat heard about an organization being formed in Toronto called SPACE. The acronym stood for: “Save Public Access to Community Space Everywhere”. Pat was intrigued. SPACE would bring together such organizations as the Childrens’ Aid Society of Toronto, Applegrove Community Centre, Guides Canada, Scouts Canada, the Ontario Sport Alliance, and many others. The purpose of the organization would be to provide a continuing forum for like-minded community groups interested in promoting more community participation for the people of Ontario. It was especially concerned with achieving better relationships and more accommodation with local school boards. Pat contacted Ann Fitzpatrick at Childrens’ Aid and started to attend the meetings Ann organized at the Childrens’ Aid offices in Toronto.

Pat hoped to see much more openness to the idea of building participation and opportunity for the youth of the province. He was particularly incensed about the way youth violence was dealt with. He felt that repressive methods were counter-productive. Not only that, but such methods ended up being much more expensive than providing proper accommodation for young people to begin with. He was deeply and passionately committed to this ideal.

Pat was very much a believer in the wise use of positive reinforcement. He felt that people weren’t rewarded often enough for their efforts. This applied to young people, but it also applied to adults. In fact, Pat very much liked the idea of trying to launch a programme in Erin to encourage people to be positive in all ways possible in their dealings with each other. He was sure that such a programme could result in a happier and healthier community.

The Optimist Club of Erin gave Pat public recognition and some support. Pat was very proud of this. He very much wanted to establish Main Place and its many activities as a viable, exciting, and continuing part of the community.

For the Summer Camps of 2014 Main Place has plans for camps involving baseball; badminton; basketball; the Erin Olympics; the Mighty, Mighty Dance Camp; arts, crafts and games; drama-skits; photography (digital); video/film production; floor hockey (with ball); skateboarding; biking; rollerblading; laser tag; archery; fine arts; scooters; plasma cars; unicycling; AM fort building, PM Movies; AM Variety Fun & PM Movies; variety sports; soccer. Things have gone well beyond basketball! Pat would certainly want all these camps (and more?) to continue.

Pat put his heart and soul into establishing and maintaining the activities of Main Place. He would work to exhaustion, often well into the night, to make things happen. He taught his coaches that the coach’s prime goal was to keep in mind, “kids first”. He believed in this deeply. For him the real needs of the young were of pre-eminent importance, first, last, and always. He lived this ideal with all the strength and conviction of his being.

Well done, Pat! Well done!