July 30, 2014

Looking Back - On the brink of war

As published in The Erin Advocate

From the Advocate – 100 years ago (1914)
An ultimatum from Austria, which demanded that Servia admit responsibility for the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, has been rejected, and diplomatic relations have been severed. Austria said Servia “tolerated unrestrained language in the newspapers”, and allowed its officials to share in “subversive agitation” that incited the population and led to acts of terrorism. “It is felt that an Austrian attack on Servia would entail the gravest risk of a clash between Austria and Russia, with consequences to the peace of the Continent which it is impossible to foresee.”

From the Advocate – 45 years ago (1969)
Erin’s new water tower has been put into service and is working well, said Town Foreman George Sweeney. Painted a light green, with “Erin” in dark green, the tower is brightly flood-lit at night, providing a “welcome beacon”.

A funeral service was held in Guelph for William Burchill, former manager of the Union Bank in Erin (now the Royal Bank), from 1921 until 1942 when he retired. He had his 50-year jewel with the Masonic Order, being a life member of the Wellington Lodge in Erin. He served on the library board, was chairman of the school board and president of the curling club.

A barn at the farm of Andy Pott just west of Orangeville was destroyed by fire. Some 15 head of cattle were evacuated from the bard, but milking equipment and 15,000 bales of new hay were lost. At the height of the blaze, two Holstein cows gave birth to calves.

From the Advocate – 35 years ago (1979)
The Community Telephone company has received permission to raise its rates, but not in Erin and Hillsburgh. Local phone rates have been frozen by the Ontario Telephone Service Commission “given the voluminous negative response to the service being provided by the company”. Jeanette Cox, chair of the Committee for Better Service, said, “The squeaky wheel gets oiled. And we’ve been really squeaking.”

The Board of Education is privately interviewing candidates for the vacant Erin trustee position, but Township Councillor Jo Schneider says the names of the candidates should be revealed so the public can have input. Outgoing Trustee Mrs. Kennedy came in by acclamation, so the normal practice of appointing the runner-up for a mid-term vacancy cannot be done said Chairman Doug Howarth.

James Burnett, President of the Fergus-Elora News Express, has appointed Bryan Hayter as Editor of the Erin Advocate, a sister paper of the News-Express. Hayter, a native of Guelph and former professional librarian, has been a reporter in Fergus since 1976.

From the Advocate – 25 years ago (1989)
A group of 40 cross-bred steers made a bid for freedom, breaking down a corral fence at Manuel Tavares’ Dominion Meat Packers property on Ninth Line, north of Erin village. One has been hit by a car and 16 are still at large, with one “headed for Caledon”.

Local School Board Trustee Anne Marie Wallace supports the concept of year-round schooling, but wants to get input from the public. She said the province is looking at longer breaks during the school year, instead of the two-month summer holiday originally intended to allow kids to work on farms.

Opponents of a proposal by David Butcher to build a new furniture store south of Hillsburgh carried on at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing, even though their planning consultant could not attend. Township consultant John Cox made a presentation at the hearing, expected to last a week. Residents fear the store would open the area to strip development.