On a roadside hill between Sawyerville and Eaton Corner lies one single grave, apparently, in its own little yard, surrounded by a wire fence. It’s the Sawyer Cemetery, mostly forgotten and mainly invisible, even when not covered by snow. It may contain more than one grave, but it has only one headstone. That headstone identifies the grave’s occupant as Captain Josiah Sawyer, born January 27, 1757, in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and died March 10, 1837, in Sawyerville, Quebec. His special place in history is as the founder of Sawyerville.
Captain Sawyer would be keenly interested, I think, in the upcoming theatrical play that is a fundraiser for the Eaton Corner Museum.
It’s called The Settler Story, and it’s about the early settlers of the Sawyerville area. Act I begins with the original inhabitants of the area, the Abenaki. Then, in the words of the play’s writer, «We watch the adventures of Captain Josiah Sawyer and his 31 associates, along with their wives and children, as they overcome different hardships, while also having a few mishaps during their creation of a new settlement. The characteristics of the first pioneers shine, as they suffer through the devastating times and the happy moments that accompanied their living as the first settlers to a new area.»
The action covers the period of 1792, when the land was proclaimed open to settlers, to 1825. It chronicles some tumultuous times, including 1816, known as the year without a summer.
Once again, the Museum’s production is an amazing feat of local talent, with some well loved actors back on the stage. For example, there’s Don Atkinson, Austin Bailey, Marlene Lowry, and Denis Palmer. Palmer is also responsible for the set and props.
But The Settler Story may be a bit more amazing than usual: It’s written, produced and directed by just one person: Sawyerville resident and Bishop’s University student Kendra Parnell. She is 19 years old, in her first year of university, studying education. Her diploma at Champlain College was in liberal arts, majoring in history.
«I’m having a lot of fun doing it,» she modestly said about the play.
The Settler Story is to be on stage at the Sawyerville Community Centre on Saturday, February 17. As in previous years, an afternoon and an evening show are planned, and if ticket sales warrant, another show will be on Sunday evening. Tickets are not yet on sale. Indeed, the exact price hasn’t been decided on yet, said the Museum’s president, Sharon Moore. «But the price will be reasonable, similar to previous years.»
Then she gave kudos for Kendra for her remarkable undertaking.
So keep your eyes peeled for tickets, and save that date.
Here’s a chance to see what Tai Chi is all about, that ancient and beautiful form of Chinese exercise that has so many benefits and can be practised by anyone, even someone in a wheelchair. It’s been called «a moving meditation for the body, mind and spirit.»
Taoist Tai Chi teacher Pierre Robitaille invites interested persons to an open house during his weekly bilingual sessions in Sawyerville and Scotstown. In Sawyerville, that’s on Wednesday, January 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. In Scotstown, the open house is on Monday, January 15, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 101 Victoria West (upstairs). Beginners are welcome, and are invited to attend a first class anytime without obligation or fee. Info: Pierre Robitaille at 819-875-1384.
The first session of the Colour Café in 2018 is Wednesday, January 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. This fun, informal group for English-speaking adults offers a spot of socializing, relaxing, and colouring each month. No special talent is required. Free and open to all. At the Maison de la Culture John Henry Pope, 25 Principale West. in Cookshire. Info: Michelle Lepitre at 819-566-5717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fresh from taking a holiday break, the intrepid volunteers leading the bilingual Viactive exercise groups are back. All four of the weekly groups for people aged 50-plus resume on Wednesday, January 17, and are free of charge. Newcomers are welcome to begin anytime.
In Bury, Doris Eryou leads the group at 10 a.m. at the Armoury Community Centre, 563 Main St., Bury. Info: 819-238-8541.
In Cookshire, Serena Wintle and Lyne Maisonneuve welcome you from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Manoir de l’Eau vive, 210 Principale East. Info: 819-875-5210.
In Newport, Ruth Shipman and Christiane Côté invite you to the Viactive group at the Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212, Island Brook, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Info: 819-889-1340 or 819-560-8565.
And in Sawyerville, Denise Nault and Gérard Nault facilitate the group at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street, at 10 to 11 a.m. Info: 819-889-2630.
Saturday, February 17, is going to be a jam-packed day. Besides The Settler Story theatrical play, it’s also the date of the annual seed festival organized by the Sawyerville Community Garden. There will be presentations, kiosks, workshops, a seed exchange, and lunch featuring local products. The whole event will be at the Ramana Hotel, 18 Principale North, Sawyerville. Look for more details soon. Info: email@example.com.
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. In Bury, Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m., and in Cookshire, at 11 a.m. On January 7, the Cookshire service is in the theatre in the Manoir d’eau vive, 210 Principale East, and on January 14 and 21, in the lower level of the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale West. Info: 819-887-6802.
United. Sunday worship services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15 for publication January 24 and by January 29 for February 7.