August 27, 2014

Looking Back - The blessings of British liberty

As published in The Erin Advocate

From the Advocate – 100 years ago (1914)
The Canadian War Parliament was opened in Ottawa with a Speech from the Throne from the Duke of Connaught, who said, “The critical period into which we have just entered has aroused to the full the patriotism and loyalty which have always actuated the Canadian people. United action to repel the common danger will not fail to strengthen the ties that bind together those vast dominions in possession and enjoyment of the blessings of British liberty.”

Parliament plans to authorize $50 million in war spending, prohibit the redemption of Dominion notes and gold, and impose special war taxes on coffee, sugar, liquor and tobacco. Distillers and brewers who have emptied their warehouses to avoid war excise taxes will find that they are retroactive to August 7. The government plans to publish the names of all women who refused permission for their husbands to serve their country.

From the Advocate – 45 years ago (1969)
Doug Kirkwood, an employee of the Bell Telephone Company in Oakville and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kirkwood of Erin, received a Certificate of Achievement from the St. John Ambulance for saving the life of a teenage boy injured in a hockey game through his knowledge of first aid.

The Erin ball club made a strong showing in three recent games, ending up tied for first place at the end of the season. On Monday they were down 5-0 to the defending champs, but Wally Brennan pitched an uphill battle, leading Erin to a 9-8 victory. On Wednesday, Don Hall pitched the first no-hitter of the season for a 9-0 win. On Friday, Harry Smith and Brennan fought hard and held onto an 8-8 tie.

The As We Were column recalled August, 1944, when Dave Mundell bought the property on the west side of Main Street across from All Saints Church that housed Holtom’s Bakery and Longstreet’s Meat Market. He also bought the adjacent lot that had remained vacant since the Queen’s Hotel burned down in 1913, and was expected to build new stores there. Erin still had no fire department, and would not establish one until after the Globe Hotel burned down in 1945.

From the Advocate – 35 years ago (1979)Erin District High School is spending $6,800 to build brick walls in place of some classroom windows that needed to be replaced. Property Superintendent Mel Gilmour said significant energy savings would pay for the work in just 3.5 years. “There will still be more than adequate light in the classrooms,” he said.

Dave and Liz Balmer are moving quickly to open a new pizzeria, Imperial Pizza and Submarines, after Ralph Ciccia closed his due to vandalism problems. Liz said people have to stay in town and improve the situation. “If not, we’ll have tumbleweeds rolling down Main Street and this will become a ghost town,” she said.

Erin Reeve and Wellington County Warden Larry MacKenzie will stand as a candidate for the provincial Liberal Party nomination in Wellington-Dufferin-Peel. He’s up against Dave Wright of Erin and Elbert van Donkersgoed of Drayton.

From the Advocate – 25 years ago (1989)Erin residents used their cars to block a truck from dumping the remains of two demolished Toronto houses on a vacant lot north of Ballinafad. Pat Cranstone said residents had kept a vigil at the suspicious site, then trapped the truck when it returned. The OPP confiscated the truck and the MOE plans to lay charges.

Erin Township is spending $6,800 for a consultant’s report on how to revitalize the downtown area of Hillsburgh. Councillor Barb Tocher is promoting the plan, which includes interviews with business people and community groups, plus a public meeting to help set future priorities.