Cover of Winston Fraser’s new book.

Here’s a happy thought to start out the new year. Canada took first place in the Quality of Life (QOL) category of the 2019 Best Countries rankings, out of 80 countries.

QOL includes broad access to food, housing, education, health care, adequate employment, political security, individual freedom and environment.

Certain attributes helped Canada earn the top spot in QOL: Strongest were a stable political system, a well developed educational system, and a good job market. Our public health system was ranked 5th in the world – we need to work on that, and on income equality.

Our closest competitors for best QOL were Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Finland.

In the overall Best Country rankings, Canada was in the Number 3 position, preceded only by Switzerland and Japan. In other categories, we were 2nd in citizenship, 6th in entrepreneurship, and 7th for being open for business. We were rated not so well in terms of heritage (42nd), being a “mover” or up-and-coming (39th), adventure (19th), cultural influence (12th), and power (12th).

You might wonder about our neighbour to the south. The United States ranked No. 17 for Quality of Life. It ranked first for its job market and for power. Its lowest rankings were in affordability (56th) and being open for business (48th). Overall, it was in the Number 8 position for Best Country.
The rankings were based on a survey of 20,000 global citizens, carried out by the U.S. News partner BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Happy New Year!


Winston C. Fraser launched his 6th book a few weeks ago. Title: Cookshire’s Pine Hill Farm – The land, the people. It’s the story of his family’s farm, located at 200 Fraser Road in Cookshire.

The farm’s recorded history dates back to the 1790s, and it’s a history that reflects the history of our region as a whole.
How does the story start? With the presence of the Abenaki First Nations people, and details of an archeological dig on the Pine Hill Farm in October 2019.

The land passed into the hands of Fraser’s great-great grandfather, Orsamus Bailey, as part of a land grant in 1800. Bailey was granted 1200 acres as an associate of Josiah Sawyer, said Fraser. “But it’s not clear if he actually worked all that land.”

“You know Josiah Sawyer,” Fraser said. “Apparently all his associates had to turn over some of their land to Josiah.” Today, the farm has only 140 acres.
The book traces the story of Pine Hill farm, which has continuously stayed in the Fraser family until today. Bailey’s daughter Abigail married James Fraser. His son Charles took it over; then Donald, Winston’s father. And finally, Winston’s brother, Malcolm (Mac) operated it until 2010.

“Seven generations worked on the farm, including my children who worked in the garden, and my oldest daughter’s oldest son, Jacob Lazda.”
For the book launch, Fraser wrote a six-act play that highlighted anecdotes from each of the generations that operated Pine Hill Farm. “There were high points, and low points,” he said. “Barn getting struck by lightening. Losing a load of hay in the river. A bit of everything!”

Some 55 people attended the launch, including the Mayor of Cookshire-Eaton, Sylvie Lapointe. Fraser remarked on the audience appreciation of the play, and the music by Jim Robinson and Susan Fowler. Robinson had written songs especially for the occasion, reminiscent of sugering, wood cutting and various farm activities.

Cookshire’s Pine Hill Farm books are available at the Black Cat Bookstore or Townshippers’ Association, both in Lennoxville, or, directly from Winston Fraser at wcfraser@sympatico or 438-969-2510, or by mail at 1225 Bellevue, St-Lazare, QC J7T 2L9. Cost: $20 each or 3 for $50.


On December 7, Sylvie Lapointe, Mayor of Cookshire-Eaton, awarded the prestigious Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Malcolm (Mac) Fraser, for his lifetime of sustained and significant volunteer contributions.

Now a resident at the Grace Village, Mac was unable to attend the ceremony, but six of his siblings accepted it on his behalf during his brother Winston’s book launch at the Salle Guy-Veilleux in Cookshire. “It is quite an exclusive medal, as I understand,” said Winston. “He was so active!”
The citation mentioned Mac’s contributions to the Quebec Farmer’s Association, the Compton County Agricultural Society, St. Paul’s Rest Home, and St. Peter’s Anglican Church.


The Cookshire-Eaton branch of the Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS) extends an open invitation to a Meet-Up on Tuesday, January 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at their room in the Cookshire-Eaton Town Hall. Come meet people, chat, have a coffee, play games, knit or whatever. This monthly activity is free of charge. Enter the Town Hall building via La Source Street. Info: Diane Mathieu, 819-875-3057 or


Myrna MacDonald Lowry’s winter yoga session will begin on Tuesday, January 28, at 10 a.m. at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. Info: 819-875-5393, or


Baptist. In Sawyerville, the Sunday worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

Anglican. Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury, and at 11:15 a.m. in Cookshire, in the Trinity United Church hall (side door). Info: 819-887-6802.

United. Sunday services are at 9:30 in Cookshire (side door) and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

Messy Church. On Monday, January 27, at 5:15 p.m., stories, crafts, singing and supper are on the agenda at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 550 Main St., Bury. A joint United and Anglican intergenerational event. All are welcome. Info: Rev. Tami Spires, 819-452-3685.

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by January 13 for publication
January 22 and by January 27 for February 5.

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