Rachel

STENCILLING

Received: An email from Charlotte in Calgary, asking if I know someone “who used to teach the art of stencilling” in the Eastern Townships.
“My Aunt Dorothy Newton was a long-term resident of Sherbrooke, and between 1980 and 2000 she participated in stencilling classes, at a location that is likely within 20 kms of Sherbrooke. I am fortunate to have some of her stencilled art on recycled tin trays and am very interested in taking stencilling classes if they are still offered in your area.”
Help! I’ve seen stencilled art. But who teaches, or has taught it? Do you have any idea? Please, for Charlotte in Calgary, let me know at 819-640-1340 or rawrites@gmail.com.
HERITAGE TALKS, 24th
The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is hosting a series of free, online public lectures, starting Thursday, November 24. Participants will get to explore Canada’s past in the company of scholars, historians and fellow lifelong learners. The series features historic events and figures in a range of subjects and periods, from origins of Indigenous mission settlements to the rise of modern art.
On November 24, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., the pioneering life of Harriet Brooks is featured in a presentation by Marelene and Geoff Rayner-Canham. Brooks’ colleague, Ernest Rutherford, won a Nobel Prize in 1908 for their breakthrough discoveries about radioactivity. She, however, did not receive this recognition.
To register or to learn more about the series, visit QAHN.org, or email Dwane@qahn.org.
CHRISTMAS MARKET, 27th
Back by popular demand: The Christmas Market with 24 artisans and their local products, on Saturday, November 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Victoria Hall, 125 Principale W., Cookshire. Organized by the John-Henry-Pope Cultural Centre.
AROUND THE WORLD, 27th
Au tour de la terre is the title of an exhibit at the Galérie Métissage in Lac-Mégantic featuring Nihonga, an ancient painting technique from Japan. The artist, Yolande Bernier, offers 20 large works and some 200 in mini-format. The gallery is at 6361 Salaberry Street, Lac-Mégantic, and is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It closes Sunday, November 27, when the artist will be present.
DEPRESSION & BURNOUT, 30th
At the End of My Rope, Understanding Depression and Burnout. That’s the topic of a free Zoom workshop in English with Dr. Camillo Zacchia, psychologist, on Wednesday, November 30, at 7 to 9 p.m. Organized by Mental Health Estrie. Info: 819-565-2388, outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com.
THE GIFT OF ART, 3rd
An exhibit of small and diverse artworks – just right for gift-giving – is at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery from December 3 to 24. In the Gallery’s upper level will be paintings, prints, collages, and sculptures by 24 different artists. Among them are John Ward, Yong Sook Kim Lambert, Denis Palmer, and Jo Cooper. In the lower level will be Treasures of the Countryside, an exhibit of photos.
The Gallery at 125 Prinicipale West, Cookshire, is open Saturdays and Sundays, as well as December 23 and 24, from noon to 4 p.m.
DARK SIDE OF HOLIDAYS, 6th
Fraud and scams. Beware: Fraudsters thrive in the shadows of holiday activity.
Just in time, Seniors Action Quebec offers an online webinar in English, Protecting Yourself from Frauds and Scams. Tactics are constantly changing. The two-hour session will inform us about the many types of fraud today, what we can do to protect ourselves, who can help us, and how to report fraud and scams. Information is power.
Ken De Melo, senior branch manager at BMO, will talk about the different types of fraud and scams seen at the bank, credit and debit card protection, and spotting financial abuse. Stephanie Senecal, a senior support unit coordinator, will talk about fraud that targets seniors, the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, and what they can do for us.
Finally, Brad Russell, a senior competition law officer in the deceptive marketing practices directorate of the competition bureau, will explain what the Competition Bureau is, how it protects people from deceptive marketing, and what resources are available to protect us from deceptive marketing.
The webinar is Tuesday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to noon. For details and to register, visit SeniorsActionQuebec.ca, or email ruthkathleenpelletier@gmail.com.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT, 10th
Pierre Heault, tenor; Catherine St-Arnaud, soprano; Julien LeBlanc, piano; Marilène Provencher-Leduc, flute: These are the four musicians offering a Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the St-Camille Catholic Church, 170 Principale E., Cookshire. Admission is by voluntary contribution at the door.
“HUGS” FOR THE HOMELESS
Launched: This year’s HUGS for the Homeless campaign spearheaded by Mental Health Estrie. From November to March, this non-profit group accepts donations of “NEW Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Socks, Scarves, and other warm articles of clothing,” which they donate to local shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
Items can be dropped off at the Mental Health Estrie office, 3355 College Street in Lennoxville. Deposit them in the beige bins next to Door #2. To make a cash donation for the HUGS campaign, please email info@mentalhealthestrie.ca, or call 819-565-3777. Receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.
Donations received before mid-December are prepared into gift bags for the holiday season. But cold weather does not stop at Christmas; the HUGS campaign runs until the end of March.
CHURCHES
United. Because of construction work at Trinity United Church in Cookshire, weekly Sunday services will be at 10:30 a.m., at Sawyerville United Church until further notice. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. No local service is planned, but on December 4 at 11 a.m. will be a service at St. George’s Anglican Church, 84 Queen St., Lennoxville. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by November 28 for publication December 7 and by December 12 for January 4.

Rachel Garber

LISTICLE

Take the word “list” and the word “article.” Smoosh them together and you have created a new word, “listicle.”
Listicles are bosom buddies of writers whose muse is napping as their deadline looms.
So I offer you a few gems, in the form of a listicle, of some neologisms – that is, new words – created by combining, blending or shortening existing words. Granted, neologisms may be entirely new words freshly invented from thin air, but somehow they aren’t as much fun as words that smoosh together two tired conceptions to reflect a new aspect of modern life.

  1. Take a familiar neologism: bingewatch. Nothing quite captures, like it does, the hours spent with your nose glued to the little blue screen in times of stress or obsession. Like, I know someone who bingewatches Dr. Strange and the Multiverses, again and again. Within my earshot. Ok, the music IS good.
  2. We all know the newish word, smartphone. But have you sometimes wondered about their intelligence? Have you encountered the even newer word, dumbphone?
  3. Are there days when you just want to stay home and chillax? That’s fairly easy to figure out; a combination of chill and relax.
  4. You know, of course, that a blog is short for a written “weblog,” but what about a vlog? Aha! A video log.
  5. A yarn-bomb is a form of street art; needle-art creations that cover selected objects, a telephone pole, maybe. Move over, Christo!
    That’s it. A really giant example of a listicle is a dictionary. Credit for these few neo words goes to mentalfloss.com, where you can find a longer listicle giving 53 modern words recently added to the dictionary. Enjoy!
    FOOD, MOOD, MEDS
    What’s the relationship between food and mood? Nutrition and mental health? See how these three fit together in a free online workshop in English, entitled Nutrition, Mental Health, and Medication, led by Megan Jenkins, registered dietitian. When? Wednesday, November 9, at 7 to 8:15 p.m. To register, contact Emily at Outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com or 819-565-2388.
    REMEMBRANCE DAY
    On Friday, November 11, will take place the following Remembrance Day ceremonies: at 11 a.m., in Sawyerville at the cenotaph on Principale Street North. At 11:45 a.m., at the Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton cenotaph in front of the East Clifton United Church on Route 253. At 2 p.m., in Cookshire, at the cenotaph in front of the Cookshire Elementary School. And finally, at 2:45 p.m. in Newport, at the cenotaph in front of the Municipal Hall in Island Brook. The ceremonies in Scotstown and Bury took place on November 5.
    DEPTHS & BREADTHS
    At the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery is Profondeurs, a stunning immersive experience created by the collective Osh’n and L’inconnu dans le noir. Osh’n is a sound-performance collective that creates immersive installations inspired by music. L’inconnu dans le noir is a film and video production company. They are the folks who created Murmures du Canton, that after-dark light and video show that was projected onto the exterior walls of the Victoria Hall all summer.
    This show is indoors, offering both image and sound. The images are projected on the inside walls of the gallery, a floor-to-ceiling digital surround that brings four seasons of a natural landscape to life. “Through sound spatialization as well as nuanced compositions, where the sounds of nature intersect with those of the composers, two parallel universes overlap,” says the artists’ description in French.
    Aha! Our very own multiverses! My eyes and ears are pricked; I plan to go see and hear.
    The exhibition graces the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery in Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire, on weekends from noon to 4 p.m. It ends on Sunday, November 20. At 2 p.m. that afternoon, the art/sound collective will offer a closing performance that promises to “allow you to dive into their creative process.”
    Save me a seat, Gilles.
    AROUND THE WORLD
    Au tour de la terre is the title of an exhibit at the Galérie Métissage in Lac-Mégantic, and it shows us an intriguing art form that literally comes from the other side of the world, Japan.
    Galérie Métissage is a personable little gallery whose space offers both hands-on workshops and exhibitions that marry traditional arts with contemporary approaches. On its Facebook page, Jo Cooper describes it as “A space of creativity allowing us to appreciate and honour the products of the Earth. In short, simplicity in all its beauty.”
    This exhibit showcases the work of Yolande Bernier, who has practised the traditional Japanese Nihonga technique for some 40 years, including stays in Japan. This ancient painting technique uses pigments from minerals, earth, and metals. Bernier’s artworks are fluid, subtle, and luminous. In the exhibit are 20 relatively large works and close to 200 works in mini-format.
    The gallery is at 6361 Salaberry Street, Lac-Mégantic, and is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It closes Sunday, November 27, when the artist will be present.
    Oh yes, I will be there too, if our car doesn’t lose its flowers before then.
    DEPRESSION & BURNOUT
    At the End of My Rope, Understanding Depression and Burnout. That’s the topic of a free Zoom workshop in English with Dr. Camillo Zacchia, psychologist, on Wednesday, November 30, at 7 to 9 p.m. Organized by Mental Health Estrie. Info: 819-565-2388, outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com.
    CHURCHES
    Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
    Anglican. In-person service is November 20 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
    United. Because of construction work at Trinity United Church in Cookshire, weekly Sunday services will be at 10:30 a.m., at Sawyerville United Church until further notice. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
    Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by November 14 for publication November 23 and by November 28 for December 7.
Rachel Garber

LOST

You and your Significant Other are on your way to town. Going down the 108, you look out the car window and suddenly you notice something very strange the horses in the field are on fire! As flames leap from their backs, they keep on calmly grazing.
“Stop! Look at that!”
Your Other slows down and looks at the field, then at you.
“Don’t you see? The horses are on fire!”
“I don’t see any fire.”
It dawns on both of you that you are actors in two different films.
In your Other’s world, happenings are predictable, governed by causes and effects that―right or not―most people agree on. Yours is populated by the inexplicable and dangerous, where the laws of physics no longer apply. No one else will even listen to your perceptions of how things work. Your connection with others is profoundly broken.
It is like being hurled onto an alien planet, alone.
For your Other, it’s like that a bit, too. It feels like they’ve lost a very important person in their life.
Maybe you’ve guessed I’m talking about mental illness. The scary kind, where you feel you don’t recognize someone, or you can’t talk with them the way you used to. It’s scary for your Other, but it’s even scarier if it’s happening to you.
We go through life depending on our social ties. Certain kinds of illness threaten to break those ties, because we can’t guess what the other person is thinking or feeling. We can’t understand the little gestures or expressions we usually depend on. We don’t seem to share the same reality.
This is psychosis, and various illnesses can bring it on. Your illness could be certain medical conditions or substance abuse, or here’s the biggie schizophrenia.
What does losing touch with reality mean? You may have hallucinations. For example, seeing flaming horses calmly grazing, or hearing a voice speaking to you.
Or you have delusions thoughts that grip your mind and just won’t let go, although to those around you, they are patently untrue. Like the idea that Putin is out to poison you. (Mind you, for certain persons on the planet, this has turned out not to be delusional.)
Schizophrenia is such a biggie because there’s no cure, and there’s not even a really great way to treat the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. Anti-psychotic medications are not always effective for all the symptoms, and can come with other problems that impede your life in other ways. For example, you might sleep 14 hours a day, have bizarre muscle spasms, or be unable to speak without saliva pouring out of your mouth.
That makes you look even crazier. So there you have it. In one fell swoop, you’ve lost all your friends and your family. You have nobody who can understand what’s going on with you, and you can’t figure it out either.
But the losses don’t end there. You notice, when you go out, that people look at you funny. Or their eyes just slide past you as if you are invisible. So mostly you stay at home in your room, or stay on the outskirts of any group. You are intensely lonely. Those voices that no one else can hear become even more important to you.
But that’s not all. You find you can’t focus on your work anymore. Your attention is on dealing with all the stuff going in that alien planet that has become your life. You’ve achieved so much―maybe you’re in a PhD program, headed for a brilliant career. But now that future is lost to you too.
That adds to the pain of being around others. “What do you do?” they keep on asking.
It’s years later. You and your Significant Other are driving down the 108. You don’t see any horses on fire, but you are lost in your thoughts, thoughts that no one else can understand. You are intensely lonely, and your only hope is a delusion that if you drive past a church every Sunday, and do certain exercises everyday, you will suddenly stop hearing voices on Halloween.
You have lost so much, but you have not lost the capacity to love. I salute your courage.
FEELING LOST?
Feeling Lost: Understanding and Coping with the Stress and Stigma of a Psychotic Illness is the topic of a free virtual workshop in English, presented by Mental Health Estrie on Wednesday, October 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The presentation by psychologist Camillo Zacchia, PhD, will focus on understanding the nature of mental illness, especially psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. Zacchia will examine treatment principles and roles family members can play and discuss the stigma faced by those living with these illnesses, as well as their loved ones. This will include some simple but effective de-stigmatizing techniques.
For information or to register, contact Mental Health Estrie at 819-565-2388 or outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com.
VIACTIVE
Weekly bilingual sessions of Viactive, those gentle yet peppy exercises for persons age 50 and over, are in Sawyerville on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., in the Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road, Sawyerville. Info: Gérard Nault, 819-889-2630.
And in Island Brook, Viactive sessions are Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Newport Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212. Info: 819-889-1340.
CHURCHES
Anglican. In-person service is November 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. Because of construction work at Trinity United Church in Cookshire, weekly Sunday services will be at 10:30 a.m., at Sawyerville United Church until further notice. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by October 31 for publication November 9 and by November 14 for November 23.

Rachel Garber

YOUNG VOICES

Shout it out!
I struggle with Google sometimes. One tiny misclick and the document I’m working on suddenly soars somewhere to outer space. But now I’m working on something that I really do want to send out there. I’ve been told by an under-20 expert that Google Forms is the kind of sign-up form the younger generations are accustomed to.
Ok. Here we go.
The occasion is Townships Young Voices. It’s a brand new project by the Townships Sun that offers cash awards and magazine publication to young creative people (or as they tell me to say, “creatives”).
So if you know someone age 29 or younger who enjoys art, photography, or writing, give them a shout! Full details are at TownshipsSun.ca/Townships-Young-Voices.
You’ve heard of the community magazine for the English-speaking communities in the Eastern Townships? Its logo displays a drawing of our very own Megantic mountains. (The Megantic Observatory is missing in the drawing. Fun fact: The Observatory was built in 1977, just two years after artist Stephanie Wells of Scotstown made the drawing.)
Ok, 1975. That places the Townships Sun in Generation X (born 1965–1980). It is mostly read, it is said, by Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation (born 1928–1945), and maybe a few hangers on in the Silent Generation (born 1901–1927).
Wow. Of what possible interest could a magazine going-on-50 be to youthful Generation Z (born 1996–2010)?
Well, it’s time for a revolution. I’ve had the opportunity to introduce a few 20-somethings to the new Townships Sun, and they’ve been enthralled. That makes me, the volunteer editor, very happy.
Now we are actively reaching out to writers, photographers and artists in the Townships. We’re publishing articles and themes that are relevant to all ages. We’re working hard to fulfill our mission as a magazine.
That means we’re looking for quality work. For feature articles that go into more depth and are well researched. We’re printing more variety of content – stories, poetry, art and photography. And we’re looking for submissions from younger generations, too, both Millennials and Generation Z-ers.
Here’s how the Townships Sun is reaching out.
Awards: We’re offering $750 in awards, plus publication in the Townships Sun, for short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art and photography, submitted by December 1st.
Workshops: For youth, an array of free creative workshops by zoom to help participants create/write new works and win awards. The topics are fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual arts – art and photography. For magazines. For each topic, a series of three workshops will be led by an expert, Townshippers all.
Writer Scott Stevenson (maybe a Millennial) of Island Brook will lead the workshops on writing non-fiction, starting October 18. Cécilia Alain (definitely Generation Z) of Sherbrooke and recent Bishop’s graduate is leading the workshops on art and photography, beginning October 25.
That same week, Rebecca Welton (probably Generation X) of Brompton begins leading the workshops on fiction writing. And Jan Draper (I think she might be a young Boomer) of North Hatley leads the workshops on poetry. That leaves me, an older Boomer, to wind things up with a single workshop on Working with an Editor. In other words, how to get your work published!
To participate and get the Zoom link, just sign up on the Google Form on the Young Voices page of the website, TownshipsSun.ca.
Your favourite young creative says they’d like to check it out? Well, the school library in every English school in the historical Eastern Townships now has a complimentary subscription to the Townships Sun.
The new YouTube channel, TYVoices, is being populated with introductions to the workshop leaders, hot tips about getting published, and guest interviews.
The new Instagram account, @TYVoices, gives running details of all this.
A new e-Guide explores the ins and outs of getting your art, photos and writing published in magazines.
That leads up to the award submissions deadline, December 1st. So check out the Google Form at TownshipsSun.ca/Townships-Young-Voices.
Townships Young Voices has some strong partners. Write Here, Write Now! of the Bishop’s University Lifelong Learning Academy is organizing the workshops. Townshippers’ Association is organizing the awards competition, and also giving financial support, as are the Townshippers’ Research & Cultural Foundation and the Rotary Club of the Boundary in Stanstead. Léa Côté of Bishop’s University’s Experiential Learning Program is videographer.
ZOOM ON HEALTH LAW
The Basics on How to Plan when making health care decisions is the topic of a Zoom workshop presented in English by Educaloi on Thursday, October 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The workshop offers information about the rules on consent to health care, and the various legal tools for planning health care in advance, including protection mandates, advance medical directives, and living wills. Info or registration: Vanessa at va@townshippers.org.
AGEISM UNVEILED
The Observatory on Aging Society is offering a Zoom workshop in English, discussing how ageism has been observed in many areas of our society, including family, education, work, health, media, and politics. The speaker is Daphne Nahmiash, PhD, and the date is Tuesday, October 25, from noon to 1 p.m. Info or to register: Vanessa, va@townshippers.org.
CHURCHES
United. Because of construction work at Trinity United Church in Cookshire, weekly Sunday services will be at 10:30 a.m., at Sawyerville United Church until further notice. The Thanksgiving service on October 9 will include Communion. Participants are invited to bring their own communion elements; some will be available for persons who don’t bring their own. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. In-person service is October 16 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by October 17 for publication October 26, and by October 31 for November 9.

Rachel Garber

MIGRATION

It is the migratory season for many animals, humans included. This year Literacy in Action is celebrating the theme of migration with a creative cultural literary festival in English. Community art, emerging artists, storytellers, live music and food are part of the three-pronged event.
And the festival is migrating to Bury on October 15, after a day in Richmond, and before one in Stanstead.
Leading up to the event is a series of Arts & Scraps workshops that LIA organized in collaboration with local community organizations such as the Bury Historical and Heritage Society and the Community Learning Centre at the Pope Memorial school. Meghan Dove, new Bury resident, is the Bury-Community-Artist-in-Residence for this project.
“Art has such an amazing way of exploring and expressing pieces of our journeys, especially when words don’t easily come to us,” wrote Yolanda Weeks of LIA. She is organizing the workshops and festival.
“So, what does this have to do with literacy?” you may ask.
Joanna Bateman, executive director of LIA replies. “We often say literacy skills help us navigate the world around us, but it is also that literacy skills help us communicate with each other, to imagine and create the world we want to be part of.”
She distinguishes between two types of literacy: cultural and core. Core literacy has to do with the three Rs – “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic.” But these skills are intertwined with cultural literacy, understanding the world in which we live and communicating with others. Cultural literacy is what makes the three Rs so important, and so rewarding.
During the festival, Roy MacLaren and Marie Marceau will be making music. Art will be on exhibit, exploring the theme of migration, especially as it relates to the English-speaking community in the Townships. Yummy treats, with dairy- and gluten-free options will be on the menu. And the event will be in English, with French translation available for festival goers.
LIA’s Migratory Community Arts Festival in Bury will be on Saturday, October 15. It begins at the Bury Municipal Library, 569 Main Street, from 1 to 2 p.m., and migrates to the Bury Armoury, 563 Main Street, from 2 to 4 p.m.
TOWNSHIPS YOUNG VOICES
Keep your antennae up for news about the Townships Sun’s new project offering $750 in awards to under-30 creatives who enjoy art, photography, or writing, whether poetry, fiction or non-fiction. A series of online workshops will be offered in October and November, leading up to the awards deadline, December 1st. For more information, visit the Young Voices page on the townshipssun.ca website!
TRANS OR NON-BINARY LOVED ONE
Mental Health Estrie is offering a free workshop in English on Zoom on how to accompany a trans or non-binary loved one on their journey. The workshop will offer information about gender identity and transness, understanding what a transition entails, and practical tools to become a better ally to trans and non-binary people. The presenter is Séré Beauchesne Lévesque, intervener and educator at TransEstrie, and the date is Wednesday, September 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Info or registration: 819-565-2388, or outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com.
BULLYING: HELP FOR CHILDREN
A two-part series of workshops in English is planned for parents and caregivers, offering tools to help children when faced with bullying, via Zoom. The presenters are Rebecca and Jade from Bulle & Balluchon, and the dates are Wednesday and Thursday, September 28 and 20, from noon to 1 p.m. Info or registration: Vanessa at va@townshippers.org.
HEALTH DECISIONS
The Basics on How to Plan when making health care decisions is the topic of a Zoom workshop presented in English by Educaloi on Thursday, October 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The workshop offers information about the rules on consent to health care, and the various legal tools for planning health care in advance, including protection mandates, advance medical directives, and living wills. Info or registration: Vanessa at va@townshippers.org.
AGEISM AT A GLANCE
The Observatory on Aging Society is offering a Zoom workshop in English, discussing how ageism has been observed in many areas of our society, including family, education, work, health, media, and politics. The speaker is Daphne Nahmiash, PhD, and the date is Tuesday, October 25, from noon to 1 p.m. Info or to register: Vanessa, va@townshippers.org.
FREE LEGAL INFO
Townshippers’ Association offers free, confidential access to legal information in English, in partnership with the Université de Sherbrooke. The Legal Info Clinic is staffed by a student from the Law Faculty one day a week, who can answer legal questions by phone, email, or in person by appointment. Although students are not permitted to give advice or opinions, they can give information, refer you to practising lawyers, or services such as Educaloi. The Clinic is open Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until April 2023. Info: 819-566-2182 or legalinfo@townshippers.org.
ART, CULTURE, MUSEUM
Visit the art exhibit at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery in Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Info: galeriecookshireeaton@gmail.com.
See the John-Henry-Pope exhibit at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope, 25 Principale West, Cookshire, open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Thanksgiving weekend.
Stop by the Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, on Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., until the end of September. Info: 819-875-5256.
CHURCHES
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca. Note that October 3 is the 200th anniversary of St. George’s Anglican Church in Lennoxville, with a service at 11 a.m.
United. Regular services are at Trinity United, Cookshire, at 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville United, 11 a.m. Info: 819-889-2838. For pastoral care, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by October 3 for publication October 12 and by October 17 for October 26.

ACTU-Rachel

BOOTS OR NO

We’re on a school bus on the back roads of Eaton Corner, and Sharron Rothney is regaling us with tales from the past. The tour is part of the Sawyerville Baptist Church’s 200th anniversary celebrations. This story may have happened in the Congregationalist church, or the Methodist church, or the Baptist church, she warns, depending on the storyteller. They all shared the same pastor.
“Sam Laberee was a religious man, and he liked to shop around for his religion. He’d walk from Sand Hill to church in Eaton Corner. He had a habit of leaping to his feet during the sermon, and shouting ‘Praise the Lord!’
“So one day after church, the pastor said, ‘Sam, we have a special preacher next week. I want you to stay in your seat, and not talk at all. And if you do this, I’ll give you a new pair of boots.’
“Now, with all the walking Sam did, his were worn out and he needed those boots. So they struck a bargain. It wasn’t long until everyone in the village knew about it.
“So that Sunday, Sam had eyes only for the preacher. The congregation had eyes only for Sam. The sermon was drawing to a close, and they thought, ‘Oh, Sam has won.’
“Then all of a sudden, Sam leaped to his feet and cried out, ‘Boots or no boots, Praise the Lord!’
“Anyway, the minister thought he’d done very well, so he got his boots.”
Now that’s integrity, boots or no boots.
SEX ED
Do you talk about sexuality with your young children? Do you know how to do so? Would you like to participate in a study that will give you some tools and tricks to help talk about sexuality with them?
Elisa Philibert, an elementary education student at Bishop’s University and an employee of the Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre, has a project for you. She aims to learn from parents what resources and information would be useful in order to address the topic of sexuality with less apprehension.
Elisa is looking for English-speaking parents of children aged 3 to 8 years old to participate in a 30- to 60-minute interview; a 3-hour session and receive a box of resources and information on the topic of sexuality education; and then be invited to a 30- to 60-minute group session with other parents.
For information, contact Elisa at ephilibert20@ubishops.ca or 819-919-5107. Now.
VICTORIA CENTRE OPEN HOUSE
Following the Bury Town Hall’s move to the former Desjardins building down the street at 528 Main, the old Town Hall building at 569 Main, Bury, has a new name and a new vocation. It’s the Centre Multifonctionnel Victoria/ Victoria Multipurpose Centre.
Its many purposes? It’s already the home of the Bury Municipal Library, and a selection of other community groups have also moved into the building. There’s the Bury Historical and Heritage Society, Bury’s IMAGE de Bury Community Newspaper, and The Bury Athletic Association.
Now these groups have joined forces to invite the public to visit during a joint Open House on Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This coincides with the final public market of the season in the park right behind the new Victoria Centre. Town Hall representatives will be present to help inaugurate the new Centre.
The groups invite everyone to stop in, have some refreshments, and see some interesting displays. It’s a chance to meet the members of your local organizations and learn about their community projects.
YOGA IS NOW
Last reminder: Yoga classes began in Sawyerville on Tuesday, September 13, at 10 a.m. in the Sawyerville Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road. Info: Myrna MacDonald Lowry, myrnamac44@gmail.com, or 819-875-5393.
MUSIC IS NOW TOO
Visit the art exhibit at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery, and you’ll be intrigued by this concert: The Musical Universe of Louis-Pierre Bougie. Musicians: the Quatuor Molinari with the flutist Myriam Genest-Denis, and with the participation of René Lussier. It’s this Saturday, September 17, at 3 p.m., at the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale West, Cookshire. Tickets: $25. Reserve at galeriecookshireeaton@gmail.com.
VIACTIVE BEGINS ANEW
Weekly bilingual sessions of Viactive, those gentle yet peppy exercises for persons age 50 and over, are in Sawyerville on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Where: In the Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road, Sawyerville. Info: Gérard Nault, 819-889-2630.
And in Island Brook, Viactive sessions begin Wednesday, September 21, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and continue weekly at the Newport Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212. Info: 819-889-1340.
MURMURS, MUSEUM & TOURISM
The multimedia show in the Parc des Braves in Cookshire ends on September 17. Until then, you can see the 30-minute wordless image and sound show on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, twice each evening just after dark.
During the month of September, The Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, is open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information during the week, please leave a message at 819-875-5256.
The tourist information bureau at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope, 25 Principale West, Cookshire, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Thanksgiving weekend.
CHURCHES
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is planned for September 18 at 11 a.m. at St Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. No service on September 18: Rev. Spires is away on vacation. For pastoral urgencies before September 18, call Robert Halsall (819-875-3601). After September 18, call Rev. Spires at 819-452-3685. Regular services resume Sunday, September 25, at Trinity United, Cookshire, at 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville United, 11 a.m. For information, check the message at 819-889-2838 for information.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by September 19 for publication September 28, and by October 3 for October 12.

ACTU-Rachel

DID YOU KNOW?

Working on the September issue of the Townships Sun these past few weeks, I’ve learned a lot.
For example, what’s been going on at Bishop’s University after that message on the bridge last fall: “He raped me, I reported, he’s still in my class, BU take action”?
Did you know Black Cats Book could be closing? A community meeting has been called on Wednesday, September 14, at 5:30 p.m., at the Amédée Beaudoin Hall, 10 Samuel-Grantham, Lennoxville, to discuss how we can save it.
What does our resident philosopher, Don Atkinson, recommend for our school system?
Oh, did you know homeschooling is IN among English speakers in the Townships? About 2.5 percent of our students were homeschooling in 2021-2022; more than twice as in Quebec as a whole. Scott Stevenson tells us more in the September Townships Sun, available now at the Cookshire IGA.
DENIS PALMER & FRIENDS
A new exhibit of recent works by artists Denis Palmer and Réjean Côtes is at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre. Palmer’s new works include woodcut prints developed from sketches, old and new, created during his wanderings in the woods and waterways surrounding his home. “Carving a woodblock for an hour or so on a late winter afternoon, for me, seems an ideal way to embrace the season,” he commented.
If it’s Réjean Côtes, it’s ceramics, including pottery and murals: In 1982, he and Palmer collaborated on an award-winning mural in Sherbrooke. His “current approach is more oriented towards the research, diversity, and uniqueness of each piece,” in his words. Other artists, Anne Letendre and Marianne Cusson for example, collaborate by decorating his pieces.
Uplands, 9 Speid Street, Lennoxville, is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Recent Works exhibit continues to October 30.
VIACTIVE BEGINS AGAIN
Weekly bilingual sessions of Viactive, those gentle yet peppy exercises for persons age 50+, begin in Sawyerville on Wednesday, September 7 at 10 a.m. Where: In the Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road, Sawyerville. Info: Gérard Nault, 819-889-2630.
The Viactive sessions in Island Brook are to begin during the second half of September. Stay tuned.
QUILT SHOW
The Lennoxville Quilters Guild’s annual Quilt Exhibition is on Friday, September 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and September 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Grace Village, 1515 Pleasant View, Huntingville. The show offers many large and small quilt displays, quilting demonstrations, and more. Admission is $5.
YOGA IS BACK
Yoga classes begin in Sawyerville on Tuesday, September 13, at 10 a.m. in the Sawyerville Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road. Info: Myrna MacDonald Lowry, myrnamac44@gmail.com, or 819-875-5393.
MUSICAL UNIVERSE
Visit the art exhibit at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery, and you’ll be intrigued by this concert: The Musical Universe of Louis-Pierre Bougie. On the program are works by Mozart, Ravel, Hétu, Shostakovitch, and Debussy. Musicians: the Quatuor Molinari with the flutist Myriam Genest-Denis, and the participation of René Lussier, a good friend of Louis-Pierre Bougie.
It’s Saturday, September 17, at 3 p.m., at the Saint-Camille Church, 170 Principale East, Cookshire. Tickets: $25. Reserve at galeriecookshireeaton@gmail.com.
OPEN HOUSE AT VICTORIA CENTRE
The Victoria Centre in Bury has been reborn, and is having an open house to prove it. Earlier this year, the Bury municipal offices moved into the former Caisse Desjardins building down the street, and the “Old Town Hall” building was christened the “Victoria Multipurpose Centre (Centre multifonctionnel Victoria).”
The Bury Municipal Library has been joined in the Victoria building by several local community organizations: the Bury’s IMAGE de Bury Community Newspaper, the Bury Athletic Association, and the Bury Heritage and Heritage Society are now headquartered there. (The Society’s first project after its founding in 2002 was to restore this very same building.)
On Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., these organizations are opening their doors to the public. The Open House coincides with the final Public Market of the season, in the park just behind the new Victoria Multipurpose Centre. All are invited to stop by and meet the members of these local groups and learn about how they support the community.
MURMURS, MUSEUM
The multimedia show in the Parc des Braves in Cookshire is still showing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The 30-minute wordless image and sound show can be viewed twice each evening just after dark, until September 17. Sunset is at 6:54 p.m. on September 17. That’s your last chance.
The Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, is open on weekends only during the month of September.
DRAWINGS IN SAWYERVILLE
Congratulations to Logan Sidaway, winner of the drawing contest at the Sawyerville Library, and “many thanks to the children who submitted drawings…. They certainly livened up the space!” said Librarian Ann Rothfels. Drawings were submitted between June 15 and August 15, and posted in the library.
CHURCHES
United. In-person Sunday services on September 4 are in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville at 11 a.m. “At both services, we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. It is also a Food Bank Sunday, and we ask anyone coming to workship to bring a non-perishable food item,” said Rev. Tami Spires. To make a financial donation, call her at 819-452-3685. No services September 11 or 18: Rev. Spires is away on vacation. For pastoral urgencies September 5-14, call Rev. Samuel V. Dansokho (873-200-2011); September 15-18, call Robert Halsall (819-875-3601).
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. The Sawyerville Baptist Church plans to celebrate its 200th birthday on September 3 and 4. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is planned for August 21 at 11 a.m. at St Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by September 5 for publication September 14 and by September 19 for September 28.

ACTU-Rachel

LUCID BLUE

Shortly after the first electric car was invented, my son began pestering us to get one. Well, time flies.
Energy.gov says that invention was in the 1830s, in Hungary, the Netherlands and the US. After that, the electric idea kept popping up, getting whacked down by the gas car industry, and popping up again. In times of gas shortages, the idea gained strength.
Who Killed the Electric Car is a fascinating documentary about a General Motors experiment in California, when furturistic EV-1 cars were leased to hundreds of happy users. But the honeymoon ended a decade later, in 2006, when GM refused to renew the leases and crushed the fleet of electric vehicles.
But now we face the mother of all shortages. We’ve squandered oil supplies and we’ve undermined the earth’s environment, our life-support system itself.
Vegan for the past 20 years, my son has ever been ahead of the curve. He’s had the electric car in his sights forever. Back then, he even invested in a lithium mining enterprise; that’s the metal needed for electric car batteries. (Sadly, that investment in Texas was not a good one. But now, times have changed.)
In 2010, the Nissan Leaf hit the road. My son took note. But we’d just bought a Honda Fit; another new car was beyond our means. Besides, our mechanic said it was a bad idea, living out in the boonies as we do. Electric cars have a limited range.
But as the climate kept changing and pollutants kept growing, more car manufacturers began creating and upgrading electric vehicles. Their range kept growing. Electric charging stations kept proliferating. And with government subsidies, their prices kept shrinking.
So last January, as our exhausted Fit suffered the winter blues, we whipped into action. Extensive online research narrowed our search to two models that had the longest range, best recharging options, and the most manageable prices.
The Chevy Bolt and the Hyundai Ionic 5: The next day, we visited the dealers in Sherbrooke. The Chevy Bolt was priced better, but had less leg room and promised a longer wait – until November. The delay was because of the exploding-battery recall; supplying new batteries for the existing cars took precedence over building new cars.
The Hyundai Ionic 5 excited us: Its instant power. Silent ride. Sleek shape. Spacious inside. Super display. The longest range we could find.
Estimated date of arrival: August. But maybe sooner, if someone else ordered the same model, but changed their mind after it came off the assembly line.
Did I mention we were excited? We opted to pay an extra $200 for Lucid Blue paint. My son approved.
Oh, the waiting! When gas prices skyrocketed, the wait became excruciating. We checked with the Sherbrooke Hyundai dealer several times over the months. Once he said, “Sorry, there’s a backlog of orders. You won’t get it until 2023.”
The next month, “Good news. Headquarters asked us for the first nine orders in January 2022. Everyone else will have to wait until 2023. YOU were among the first nine, so you will get yours, maybe, before Christmas. We’ll know six weeks in advance.”
Another month, he said, “Probably in October or November; maybe in September!”
We’d love to install the Level 2 Rapid Charger in our carport this summer, but cannot do so until we get our Vehicle Identification Number. That happens when our Lucid Blue Baby rolls off the assembly line to journey from South Korea across the ocean by ship, across Canada by truck (or train?), and six weeks later, into our eager hands.
Today, we call Hyundai Sherbrooke again. No sign of our car yet.
We console ourselves. People who order today have to wait two or three years. We’re still hoping for this year!
MUSICAL UNIVERSE
Visit the art exhibit at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery, and you’ll be intrigued by this concert: The Musical Universe of Louis-Pierre Bougie. Musicians: the Quatuor Molinari with the flutist Myriam Genest-Denis, and the participation of René Lussier. It’s Saturday, September 17, at 3 p.m., at the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale West, Cookshire. Tickets: $25. Reserve at galeriecookshireeaton@gmail.com.
YOGA IS BACK
Yoga classes begin in Sawyerville on Tuesday, September 13, at 10 a.m. in the Sawyerville Catholic Church basement, 4 Randboro Road. Info: Myrna MacDonald Lowry, myrnamac44@gmail.com, or 819-875-5393.
NOT IN CANTERBURY
The Saturday market in Canterbury (Canterbury Centre, 1095 Victoria Road) has been cancelled until further notice.
MURMURS, MUSEUM & TOURISM
The multimedia show in the Parc des Braves in Cookshire is still showing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The 30-minute wordless image and sound show can be viewed twice each evening just after dark, until September 17.
The Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, is still open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the end of August.
The tourist information bureau at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope, 25 Principale West, Cookshire, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CHURCHES
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. The Sawyerville Baptist Church plans to celebrate its 200th birthday on September 3 and 4. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is planned for August 21 at 11 a.m. at St Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. An in-person Sunday service is August 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the Trinity United in Cookshire, and August 28 at 9:30 a.m. at the Trinity United in Cookshire, and 11 a.m. at Sawyerville United. All the services are at 10:30 a.m. Check the answering machine message at 819-889-2838 for information.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by August 22 for publication August 31, and by September 5 for September 14.

Rachel Garber

WE’VE BEEN HAD

It was Canada Day in Bury. There I was at the bright orange-clothed Townships Sun table, facing the entrance of the Armoury. Hungry hordes came in waves to get strawberry shortcakes served up by stalwart volunteers of the Bury Historical & Heritage Society. A fair number stopped and chatted with me.
For which I was grateful. Some even leaned over me to speak confidentially. I confess we were mostly mask free. I confess it was fun. I confess a good time was had by all.
The latest mutant of the novel coronavirus stopped by and apparently had a great time too.
We came down with something about 48 hours later, feeling woozy and a little feverish. We picked up a Rapid Response home testing kit at the pharmacy. I was never very good at chemistry (which is why I chose journalism over nursing in those faraway days when girls’ career choices were rather more limited). But it was kind of fun, setting up the tiny test tube and employing my huge magnifying glass to follow the minuscule instructions. Swabbing, swirling, squeezing out three drops, and timing the whole procedure.
My test was negative, but John’s was definitely positive. The fever stayed three days, the fatigue and coughing stayed longer. After two weeks, he tested negative (which is a good thing), but he still feels relatively weak.
In our household, we are all in the high-risk category. I hear about the rising rate of Covid hospitalizations. I learn that multiple reinfections can exacerbate the severity of the illness. I observe that carelessness has its price.
We feel fortunate to have had all four vaccinations. But I learned the hard way that the virus is not finished with us. Fact is, in following the zeitgeist and letting down our guard, we’ve been had.
RAGTIME IN CONCERT
In the Parc aux Braves in Cookshire, on Sunday, August 14, at 5 p.m. is planned a concert, Ragtime et compagnie with Catherine Meunier, percussionist, and Steve Normandin, accordionist. In case of rain, the concert will move to the St-Camille Catholic Church, 170 Principale East.
This is the final concert this season in the Concerts Apéro series organized by the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery.
BINOCULARS TO WIN
Children age 13 and younger: It’s not too late to join in the drawing contest at the Sawyerville Library, 11A, Clifton Road, sponsored by the Toronto Dominion Bank. The prize will be a pair of binoculars and the draw will take place on Wednesday, August 17. Library hours for delivering the drawings: Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The drawings will be placed on display at the library, although it is not necessary to be a member of the library to participate. For more information, please contact Ann Rothfels at 819-875-5438.
COOKSHIRE FAIR
The Cookshire Fair is back, August 18-21. What’s planned? Arts and culture exhibitions on the ground floor of the main building. A wrestling match and bingo on Thursday evening. Arm wrestling competition on Saturday afternoon. Tractor and truck pulls on Friday and Saturday night. A horse pull on Sunday night. Animal judging classes Friday through Sunday. Latino dancing Sunday afternoon. Winslow dancers Friday and Saturday night. A family zone with more than 25 rides and games for youngsters and teenagers.
Entrance for ages 7 and under is free; for others, $10 for Thursday, $20 for Friday and Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or the whole weekend for $45. Questions? Contact Barb Ward at 819-640-7367 or Myrna MacDonald at 819-875-5393. For information in French, visit expocookshire.com.
FARMERS’ MARKETS
August is the high season for farmers’ markets, with their fresh veggies, baked goods, crafts, jams and jellies, music and outdoor friendly visits. The market in Canterbury (Canterbury Centre, 1095 Victoria Road) is on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; in Dudswell, on Saturdays at 9 a.m. to noon; in Bury (in Memorial Park, or if it rains, the Armoury), on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and in East Angus, on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
MURMURS ON THE MURS
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Parc des Braves in Cookshire is the multimedia show about the history of Eaton Township. Murmurs of the Township, or Les Murmures du Canton. It begins at nightfall on the murs (walls) of Victoria Hall, Cookshire Elementary School, and St. Peter’s Church. The 30-minute wordless image and sound show can be viewed twice each evening.
EATON CORNER MUSEUM
The Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, is open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance is free for members; non-members pay a fee. Info: 819-875-5256 or eatoncorner59@gmail.com.
JOHN-HENRY-POPE
The tourist information bureau at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope, 25 Principale West, Cookshire, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CHURCHES
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is planned for August 7 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire, August 14 at 11 a.m. at the Brookbury Church, and August 21 at 11 a.m. at St Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. An in-person Sunday service is August 7 at Sawyerville United; August 14 at the East Clifton United; and August 21 at the Trinity United in Cookshire. All the services are at 10:30 a.m. Check the answering machine message at 819-889-2838 for information; the regular worship schedule will resume at the end of August.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. The Sawyerville Baptist Church plans to celebrate its 200th birthday on September 3 and 4. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by August 8 for publication August 17, and by August 22 for August 31.

ACTU-Rachel

200 YEARS & COUNTING

The Sawyerville Baptist Church at 33 Cookshire Street in Sawyerville celebrates its 200th birthday on Friday and Saturday, September 3 and 4. Imagine: the church was founded in 1822!
Two days of activities are to feature guest speakers, music, photo displays, a chalk art presentation, a bus tour of historical points of interest, and a buffet supper. Persons wishing to participate in either the supper or the bus tour are asked to reserve their seats before August 1st by phoning Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
CANTERBURY FLEA MARKET
July 15 is the deadline to donate good-quality items to the Canterbury Center fund-raising campaign. Please call Tony De Melo at 819-872-3400 (leave a message); pick-up of items can be provided. All proceeds go to help restore the former Christchurch Canterbury, now Canterbury Center, at 1095 Victoria Road.
The items will be on sale at the Canterbury Flea Market, July 30-31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vegetables, coffee and hotdogs will also be for sale. Re-use, Re-cycle, Reduce!
QUINTET CONCERT
In the Parc aux Braves in Cookshire, a concert is on Sunday, July 17, at 5 p.m., by the Quintette DeVito, with Robin Doyon and Stéphane Beaulac playing trumpet, Gabriel Gauthier Beaudoin on horn, Martin Ringuette on trombone, and Jean-Philippe Dutil playing tuba. In case of rain, the concert will move to the St-Camille Catholic Church, 170 Principale East.
This concert is part of the Concerts Apéro series organized by the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery. On August 14 is planned Ragtime et compagnie with Catherine Meunier, percussionist, and Steve Normandin, accordionist.
GHOSTS & OTHER DOOHICKEYS
The Townships Trail’s mystery drama in English comes to the Parc des Braves, 125 Principale West, Cookshire, on Sunday, July 24, at 4 p.m. Ghosts & Other Doohickeys is to be performed outdoors, but will move into the adjacent Victoria Hall if it rains. Attendance is free of charge. Bring your own chair.
DRAWING CONTEST
A drawing contest for children age 13 and younger is now on at the Sawyerville Library, 11A, Clifton Road, sponsored by the Toronto Dominion Bank. It is not necessary to be a member of the library to participate, but the drawings will be placed on display there. The prize will be a pair of binoculars and the draw will take place on Wednesday, August 17. Library hours for delivering the drawings: Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, please contact Ann Rothfels at 819-875-5438.
COOKSHIRE FAIR
Heads up: The Cookshire Fair is back! August 18-21 is the big weekend. Entrance for ages 7 and under are free; for others it costs $10 for Thursday, $20 for Friday and Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or the whole weekend for $45.
What’s planned? Arts and culture exhibitions on the ground floor of the main building. A wrestling match and bingo on Thursday evening. Arm wrestling competition on Saturday afternoon. Tractor and truck pulls on Friday and Saturday night. A horse pull on Sunday night. Animal judging classes Friday through Sunday. Latino dancing Sunday afternoon. Winslow dancers Friday and Saturday night. A family zone with more than 25 rides and games for youngsters and teenagers.
Questions? Contact Barb Ward at 819-640-7367 or Myrna MacDonald at 819-875-5393. For information in French, visit expocookshire.com.
MURMURS ON THE MURS
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Parc des Braves in Cookshire is the multimedia video show about the history of Eaton Township. Murmurs of the Township, or Les Murmures du Canton, will begin at nightfall on the murs (walls) of Victoria Hall, Cookshire Elementary School, and St. Peter’s Church. The 30-minute show is about the history of the Eaton Township, with two showings each evening.
BLACK TOWNSHIPS
Black Histories in the Eastern Townships is an outdoor exhibit in front of the Richmond County Historical Society’s Museum, 1161 Route 243, Canton de Melbourne. It’s on Wednesday to Sunday until October 9, in collaboration with the Eastern Townships Research Centre. For those who missed it a few months ago at Bishop’s University, here is another chance.
COOKSHIRE ART GALLERY
Still on: Iridescent Thought, or Pensée irisée, the Raven Collective’s exhibition, showing the work of Ann Bilodeau, Yong Sook Kim-Lambert, Laurence Bacon, and Norman Gladu. When? Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where? At the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery in Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire.
EATON CORNER MUSEUM
The Eaton Corner Museum at 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner, is open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance is free for members; non-members pay a fee. Info: 819-875-5256 or eatoncorner59@gmail.com.
JOHN-HENRY-POPE
The tourist information bureau at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope, 25 Principale West, Cookshire, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CHURCHES
United. An in-person Sunday service is July 10 at Trinity United in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and at Sawyerville United at 11 a.m. On July 17, instead of a local service, Revs. Tami Spires and Mead Baldwin will preside at the Celtic Festival Sunday Service in Kinnear’s Mills. On July 24 and July 31, services are planned at 10:30 a.m. in Brookbury, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Brookbury United Church. Note the schedule may be changed to 2 or 2:30 p.m.; please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge (UEVPC) answering machine, 819-889-2838.
Baptist. In-person services are in French at 9 a.m. and in English at 11 a.m. Info: Please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-889-2819.
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is July 17, at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. For a schedule of services, visit deaneryofstfrancis.com and click on the “Calendar” link. Please note that Home Prayers videos on Sundays via Facebook and website have ended, at least for the summer. Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by July 11 for publication August 3 and by August 8 for August 17.

ACTU-Rachel

GHOSTS & OTHER DOOHICKEYS

The Townships Trail is launching the English version of the mystery drama created in French in 2019. “For several weeks now, something has been amiss on the Townships Trail. Objects have been disappearing or turning up in unexpected places,” reads the synopsis. “Ghost hunter Glenn Stevens has been tapped to investigate. Thanks to his paranormal detection doohickeys, he discovers…”
Ghosts & Other Doohickeys is on tour across the region along the Townships Trail, and stops at the Parc des Braves, 125 Principale West, Cookshire, on Sunday, July 24, at 4 p.m. The performance is outdoors, but if it rains, actors and audience will move into the adjacent Victoria Hall. Attendance is free of charge. Bring your own chair.
The three actors are directed by Mary Harvey; the play was written by William S. Messier.
MURMURS ON THE MURS
Look for Murmurs of the Township, or Les Murmures du Canton on the murs (walls) of three historic buildings, Victoria Hall, Cookshire Elementary School, and St. Peter’s Church, starting Thursday, June 23, at nightfall. The wordless multimedia light and video projections continue all summer on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Parc des Braves in downtown Cookshire.
Each show is about 30 minutes long, with two showings every evening. On average, about 15 images per second scroll across the walls, showing some 50,000 drawings. Three videos are projected simultaneously.
The show is about the history of the Eaton Township, but is also reminiscent of the Eastern Townships in general: original Abenaki residents, American soldiers, American and British settlers, and flora and fauna.
Les Murmures du Canton was launched last summer, a collaborative effort by the Productions de l’Inconnu dans le noir, the Maison de la culture John-Henry-Pope, the Town of Cookshire-Eaton, Tourism Eastern Townships, and the Quebec Ministry of Tourism.
EATON CORNER MUSEUM
At 11 a.m., the Eaton Corner Museum will open to the public, and stay open until 4 p.m. This happens June 25 and 26, and then every Thursday to Sunday during July and August. Find out about membership; it includes the Museum’s entrance fee. Where? At 374 Route 253, in Eaton Corner. Info: 819-875-5256 or eatoncorner59@gmail.com.
CANTERBURY CONCERT
On June 25 at 8 p.m., at the Canterbury Center, musicians Christian Nolet, Kevvin Hinse, and P.O. Boudreault will perform traditional Quebec music on guitar, mandolin, violin, Irish bouzouki and voice. To be among the audience of 50 persons, reserve your $15 seat by phoning Gilles Gaulin at 819-872-3273, or Ed Pedersen at 819-872-3400. Masks are suggested. Proceeds will help support the restoration of the Center’s small windows. Where? At 1095 Route 214, Canterbury.
COOKSHIRE CONCERTS
Afternoon concerts in the Parc aux Braves in Cookshire, Concerts Apéro, are back again, organized by the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery. On Sunday, June 26, at 5 p.m., two guitarists will play Jean-François Desrosby and Tommy Dupuis in a concert entitled Place à la relève : le maître et l’élève (Make Way for the Next Generation: the Master and the Student). In case of rain, the concert will move to the St-Camille Catholic Church, 170 Principale East.
We can look forward to a July 17th concert by the Quintette DeVito, with Robin Doyon and Stéphane Beaulac playing trumpet, Gabriel Gauthier Beaudoin on horn, Martin Ringuette on trombone, and Jean-Philippe Dutil playing tuba.
And then on August 14 is planned Ragtime et compagnie with Catherine Meunier, percussionist, and Steve Normandin, accordionist.
CANADA DAY
At the Canada Day parade in Bury on Saturday, July 2, the Bury Historical & Heritage Society will be serving strawberry shortcake. Homemade shortcake, fresh strawberries, $8 a plate, between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Armoury. Yours truly will be near the Armoury entrance, at a sunny yellow table showing off the new July-August issue of the Townships Sun magazine, and our new Young Voices project.
JOHN-HENRY-POPE
The tourist information bureau at the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where? At 25 Principale West, Cookshire.
COOKSHIRE ART GALLERY
Iridescent Thought, or Pensée irisée, the Raven Collective’s exhibition is still on, showing the work of Ann Bilodeau, Yong Sook Kim-Lambert, Laurence Bacon, and Norman Gladu. As of June 25, the gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where? At the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery in Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire.
CANTERBURY FLEA MARKET
To donate good quality items to the Canterbury Center fund-raising campaign, please call Tony De Melo at 819-872-3400 (leave a message) before July 15. Pick-up of items can be provided. All proceeds go to help restore the former Christchurch Canterbury, now Canterbury Center. The items will be on sale at the Canterbury Flea Market, July 30-31. Re-use, Re-cycle, Reduce!
TOWNSHIPPER WARNHOLTZ
Townshippers’ Association has a new president, Donald Warnholtz of Sherbrooke. Warnholtz is also Director General of the Dixville Foundation, and has had a 36-year career as clinical program manager in health and social services. Gerry Cutting has stepped down after 12 years as president of Townshippers’ Association. Townshippers’ has been around since 1979. Info: www.townshippers.org.
CHURCHES
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. An in-person Sunday service is July 3, at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. Also, Bishop Bruce Myers offers Home Prayers at 4 p.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. In-person Sunday services are June 26, July 3, and July 10 at Trinity United in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and at Sawyerville United at 11 a.m. In case of any changes, please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge answering machine after Friday at 819-889-2838.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by June 27 for publication July 6, and by July 11 for August 3.

ACTU-Rachel

CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS

I hope you are not ornithophobic.
If you do have a fear of birds, you could be freaked out by the new show at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery. It’s put on by a conspiracy of ravens.
Just kidding, but only partly. Yes, ravens usually hang out in pairs; not in murders, as crows do. But when they do group together, they’re an “unkindness” or a “conspiracy.” And they definitely are unkind, mostly a rowdy bunch of young males fighting for dominance and females seeking mates. Researcher Bernd Heinrich at the University of Vermont (livescience.com) called such a group a “mobile discotheque” and said the sight of them could induce Hitchcockian flashbacks to The Birds, that famous horror movie. It’s enough to stress out the ravens themselves, he said.
But no, the Raven Collective of artists is not unkind, although their conspiracy is a touch boisterous.
They are, in fact, a group of five Townships artists who come from away and have spread their wings abroad, but have returned to the nest, so to speak; the group first exhibited in Cookshire in 2015.
That was when Robert Peloquin joined forces with Ann Bilodeau and Yong Sook Kim-Lambert. Today, the group has grown to five, with Laurence Bacon and Normand Gladu of Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton joining the conspiracy. Their approaches are varied: Peloquin sculpts in glass, metal and stone. Bilodeau draws and collages. Kim-Lambert paints in acrylic. Bacon weaves and uses vegetation-based inks. Gladu sculpts high reliefs in found objects and mixed media.
What is their affinity? You might say Nature, or in the words of their press release, “the expressive power of matter (materials and subject) and the act of storytelling.”
They explore “the realms of interaction between humans, other living beings and the social, intimate and physical spaces that they occupy.”
Another interaction in their work is between the abstract and the actual; the suggestion of a story stimulates the mind of the beholder to put flesh on its bones. That brings us to the topic of this exhibit: Iridescent Thought, or Pensée irisée. That’s what art is about, isn’t it? Materials shaped to express thought; matter divulging spirit.
The Raven Collective presents a crunchy combination. The works are varied and rich, colourful and intriguing. You can sink your teeth into this exhibit.
The exhibit is at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery, 125 Principale West, until July 17. The spacious gallery is open weekends, 12 to 4 p.m., until June 24; after that it is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 to 4 p.m.
PIONEER WOMEN
Is – or was – she her own woman? Does – or did – she live in the Townships? How has she helped shape Townships history?
Think of a woman you could describe in those terms. Adèle Blais would like to hear from you. She’s a Sherbrooke artist whose 22 portraits of such women as Ella Fitzgerald populate a book, Fortes. Blais’s current project is to create an exhibit of pioneer women in the Eastern Townships for a 2023 exhibit at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke. She’s inviting all of us to nominate just such a person by sending her several photos of a woman pioneer, and a 500-word text about her. The world of business, art, volunteerism, ideas – the list of domains women have helped build could go on and on.
Blais’s deadline is July 1st; she asks that suggestions be sent by email to info@adeleblais.com. To see Blais’s striking portraits in paint and collage, visit adeleblais.com.
EATON CORNER MUSEUM
The Eaton Corner Museum will open to the public on June 24 to 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fees are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for youth. Membership includes entry to the Museum. During July and August, the Museum will be open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 374 Route 253, in Eaton Corner. Info: 819-875-5256 or eatoncorner59@gmail.com.
JUNE 24th CONCERT
Canterbury Center is hosting a concert in celebration of the Fête Nationale du Québec on Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Musicians Christian Nolet, Kevvin Hinse, and P.O. Boudreault will perform traditional music of Quebec on guitar, mandolin, violin, Irish bouzouki and voice.
Only 50 tickets will be sold. To be among the 50 lucky people in the audience, reserve your $15 seat by phoning Gilles Gaulin at 819-872-3273, or Ed Pedersen at 819-872-3400. Masks are suggested. Proceeds will help support the restoration of the Center’s small windows. The Canterbury Center is located at 1095 Route 214, Cantberbury.
SUNRISE
Discover what would have made Charles Bury go berserk. With Scott Stevenson and Brenda Hartwell, explore how Townships musicians and thespians weathered the pandemic. Read a story by Marc Boucher about a family in crisis, dealing with raw questions. Learn how NOT to herd porcupines. Find out how to plog and plalk.
Yes, the June issue of the Townships Sun has hit the newsstand at the Cookshire IGA. Better yet, subscribe at thetownshipssun.org, or 819-566-7424.
CHURCHES
Anglican. In-person Sunday services are June 12, at 10:30 a.m., at St. John’s Church in Brookbury, and June 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. Also, Bishop Bruce Myers offers Home Prayers at 4 p.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. In-person Sunday services are at Trinity United in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and at Sawyerville United at 11 a.m. In case of any changes, please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge answering machine after Friday at 819-889-2838.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by June 13 for publication June 22, and by June 27 for July 6.

Rachel Garber

WHY I DON’T SEW

“Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference dominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade.”
That’s from the Singer Sewing Machine Manual. It was published in 1949, not long before I was launched into my youthful indoctrination on how to grow up to be a woman. The manual’s instructions continue:
“When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so that your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor might drop in or your husband will come home, and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing.”
I retch. I’m hearing these words in the voice of Aunt Lydia of Handmaid’s Tale fame as she explains the rules that dominate women in the Republic of Gilead. I do not miss the overt suggestion that I should be “constantly fearful … [my] husband will come home” when I am not dressed up. What are the consequences? I will leave this to the gentle reader’s imagination.
Who reminded me of this advice – and yes, it is genuine, per fact-checker Snopes.com – was Margaret Atwood in an interview I recently watched via zoom. The topic was Burning Questions, her new book of essays.
The interviewer asked her to comment about the current abortion controversy in the United States. She had some telling comments. One was the common-sense observation that if society requires women to bear children, it is in fact engaging their services. Women conscripted for these services should have the same benefits and salaries as military recruits. Think about it: military personnel put their physical bodies at the service of the state; so do child-bearing women. Aren’t child-bearing and child-rearing a battle, in many ways?
Yes, of course, the circumstances surrounding childbirth are much more complex than simply remuneration. For most parents, having children is enormously rewarding and joyous, maybe the best experience in life. That has been my experience, too.
At the same time, as a single parent, I can tell you that balancing the hands-on care of a child with the need to make a living is overwhelming. Rigid workplace demands oppose essential child-rearing demands, and the scale on which one balances priorities simply breaks down.
The shortage of baby formula revealed to the world that only a quarter of babies in the United States are breastfed. In Canada, it’s about 34 percent by the age of six months, reported a study in the International Journal for Equity in Health, and many of the mothers who don’t nurse are economically disadvantaged. While the reasons for choosing not to nurse can vary, the necessity to work at a job that precludes nursing is a big one.
Then a shortage of baby formula happens, and the whole system breaks down. Who suffers the most? It’s a toss-up between the hungry baby and the mother desperately seeking to save her child.
Take away a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and life, trap her in an impossible predicament, and you have the stuff that revolutions are made of: a hefty proportion of the population with nothing to lose.
I see the focus on regulating a woman’s body as a throw-back to the era of woman-as-chattel who must fearfully please her master, à la Singer Sewing Machine instructions.
Why is it hard for me to believe anti-abortion sentiment has anything to do with the life of the child? Because society arranges itself to care so little for that life after the child is born. As a village, we have failed our children and their mothers, in so many ways.
Well, that pretty much sums up why I don’t sew.
JUNE 24th CONCERT
Canterbury Center is to host a concert celebrating the Fête Nationale du Québec on Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Musicians Christian Nolet, Kevvin Hinse, and P.O. Boudreault will perform traditional music of Quebec on guitar, mandolin, violin, Irish bouzouki and voice.
Only 50 tickets will be sold. To be among the 50 lucky people in the audience, reserve your $15 seat by phoning Gilles Gaulin at 819-872-3273, or Ed Pedersen at 819-872-3400. Masks are suggested. Proceeds will help support the restoration of the Center’s small windows. The Canterbury Center is located at 1095 Route 214, Cantberbury.
“THREE R’S” FOR CANTERBURY
If you have good quality items that you would like to donate to the Canterbury Center fund-raising campaign, please call Tony De Melo at 819-872-3400 (leave a message) before July 15. Pick-up of items can be provided. All proceeds go to help restore the former Christchurch Canterbury, now Canterbury Center. The items will be on sale at the Canterbury Flea Market, July 30-31. Re-use, Re-cycle, Reduce!
CHURCHES
United. In-person Sunday services are in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville, 11 a.m., with Rev. Tami Spires. For service information, please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge answering machine at 819-889-2838.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. In-person service on Sunday, June 5, at 11 a.m., at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. Also, Bishop Bruce Myers offers Home Prayers at 4 p.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by May 30 for publication June 8 and by June 13 for June 22.

ACTU-Rachel

GROWING PAINS

It’s been a challenging winter. Yes, yes, I know, the weather.
But that wasn’t the half of it. The editor of The Townships Sun suddenly passed away, and I had the chutzpah to step in. It’s been a wild ride, fun all the way. I get to work with lots of creative types, all across the Townships.
For the May issue – now on the newsstand at the Cookshire IGA – I visited a slew of ceramic artists who create a kind of alchemical transformation using clay, fire and water. John Mackley writes about his experience as a “Back to the Lander,” and a new generation of them in the Townships today. Scott Stevenson writes about the growing pains of organic farming, stymied by a policy that requires “healthy farming” to “pay to certify its status, while farms using toxic chemicals don’t shoulder that extra cost.”
There’s a story by Janice LaDuke nestled in among the articles, poetry, art and photos by other Townshippers. (Notice all my mentions are of Haut-Saint-Franciscans.) And there’s a description of Young Voices, a new project that aims to involve a new generation of creative types – writers, artists and photographers – in our community and our community magazine, The Townships Sun.
This issue is the last one in Volume 49, on the cusp of the magazine’s 50th anniversary. It was started by a small group of young people – many from around here: Russell Pocock, Roderick Macdonnel, Brian Olding, Susan Mastine, Robert Winter, Bernard Epps. The logo was designed by Stephanie Wells of Scotstown, and shows the sun peeking over the Megantic mountains.
That was then; now we need more readers and contributors from our neck of the woods. Visit TheTownshipsSun.org to get three recent issues in pdf for free, and also to subscribe. A year is only $15 (e-subscription – a pdf version in full-colour), or $25 for the print version. Join us in the Sun!
HAIKU ZOOM
An evening of Haiku readings and conversations is Friday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., an online launch party for three nifty little poetry books. They are Last Summer Pear, by Angela Leuck, Spring to Lips by Phyllis Sise, and Ditch Walker, by Bernice Angeline Sorge. The poetry is short, the books are little, but all are mighty in humour, beauty, and the joys of nature. Get the link for this free session by contacting bulla@ubishops.ca. The event is organized by the Bishop’s University Lifelong Learning Academy, Write Here Write Now, and Yarrow Press, an imprint of Shoreline Press, right here in the Townships, and the publisher of all three books.
YOU CAN TOO
Write Here Write Now (WHWN) continues to offer free Zoom workshops for new and other writers. For the past year or so, I’ve been participating as both a learner and a leader in these varied workshops. They’ve given me inspiration, ideas, and encouragement, and also an opportunity make new friends among creative persons in the Townships.
Here is what’s coming up: Rebecca Welton offers an introductory workshop on writing Short Fiction on May 11 and June 11, and Short Fiction Readings are planned for June 12. She leads another workshop, Beginner Blogging for Authors, on May 12. For writers of children’s literature, Rebecca Facilitates a Estrie Kidlit Meeting on May 15. All of Rebecca’s workshops are at 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
On Tuesdays, May 17 and June 17, I myself lead a workshop on Editing and Giving Feedback, and on Tuesday, May 31, a special workshop on the Ins & Outs of Magazine Writing – you guessed it, I’m looking for new writers for The Townships Sun! My workshops are at 10 a.m. to noon.
On Thursday, May 26, Jan Draper leads a workshop on Poetry; then on June 3, a Poetry Reading Practice Session. Both are from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Viewers and readers are invited to a Poetry Reading on June 17, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Etienne Domingue leads a Fantasy Fugue Forum – on fantasy writing – on May 30 and June 27, at 7 to 9 p.m. Two last workshops are one on Art and Writing led by Christopher Brandon, May 21, and Local Journalism offered by Gordon Lambie, May 28. Both are at 2 to 4 p.m.
For the link for any of these workshops, contact bulla@ubishops.ca.
TREE GIVEAWAY
For families of Pope Memorial School students and residents of Bury, the Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre is giving away trees on Friday, May 20, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the school, 523 Stokes, Bury. Trees are free, two per person, while quantities last. For details, see the Eaton Valley CLC Facebook page, says Jenny Ménard of the CLC at the Pope Memorial and Sawyerville elementary schools. The trees are offered by the Quebec ministry of forests, fauna and parks, in celebration of May, the month of trees and forests.
IMAGINARY WORLDS
An art exhibit at the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery presents three imaginary worlds by three contemporary artists: François Haguier, Guy-Anne Massicotte, and Manon Potvin. The show is open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 4 p.m., until May 22, at the gallery, 125 Principale West, Cookshire-Eaton.
CHURCHES
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. In-person service on Sunday, May 15, at 11 a.m., at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire. Also, Bishop Bruce Myers offers Home Prayers at 4 p.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. For service information, please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge answering machine at 819-889-2838. For pastoral emergencies, contact Rev. Mead Baldwin at 819-837-1112.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by May 16 for publication May 25 and by May 30 for June 8.

Rachel Garber

The English

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been called “English,” starting in Amish Country, especially in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
“English” is what Amish people call anyone who do not speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Yes, they would even use that label for French speakers, I think. It’s a binary world view: You either are or are not one of the 300,000 native speakers of Pennsylvania Dutch in North America. If you don’t speak that language, you are English. Yes, I fall into that category.
But, no, I never thought of myself as English. My father’s first language was Pennsylvania Dutch, a dialect of German that comes from the Palatine region of Southern Germany, Alsace and Lorraine in Eastern France, and parts of Switzerland. (No, not the Netherlands: “Dutch” is a corruption of “Deutsch,” which means German.) My family were Mennonites, close cousins to Amish, although they now mostly speak English.
I always assumed my DNA was 100 percent Swiss German, from the canton of Bern in Switzerland. In family stories, Northern Switzerland was always the starting point of my ancestors’ migration to the New World. Beginning in 1663 the migrations began, mainly to escape religious persecution. They were an insular group; I never heard of one instance of intermarriage with a “worldly” person, not before my generation.
Thing is, if you married a non-Mennonite, it almost always meant you’d left the church, and your branch of the family tree was broken off right there, and the family no longer had contact with you. That’s sort of what happened to me, although times have changed and I enjoy a close relationship with my immediate family.
I’ve been in Quebec now for 48 years, and I am still irritated and bemused when I hear persons whose first language happens to be English labelled, with various overtones, “les anglais.” The brand “English” carries connotations that may be friendly, derisive, resentful or bitter. For me, the first barrier to speaking about those feelings is the widespread blindness to the great diversity among the people lumped together under that label.
Now, to my amazement, I have to admit I’m a bit guilty of that same blindness, in relation to my own ancestry. I recently had my DNA analyzed, and no, I am not 100 percent Swiss German! In fact, only 48 percent of my DNA resembles that of people from Germanic Europe, an area taking in Germany, Czechia, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
(Switzerland – Bingo! But only 48 percent?!)
Now I have to have a chat with my neighbour and figure out how we are cousins, because a full 22 percent of my DNA is French. Really? French?
My older brother enlightens me. “Some intermarriage for Amish and locals in Alsace-Lorraine?” Oh yes, I recall my mother’s history lessons about the Alsace-Lorraine region in eastern France; it was ceded to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War, and handed back to France in 1918 after the First World War. But that was after my ancestors had migrated to Pennsylvania. I had not realized my family’s personal interest in the Alsace-Lorraine story, or that my Mennonite ancestors could have intermarried with French persons.
Am I ready to own my French side? Absolutely! Is that what motivated me to study French while a student in Virginia? Is that what destined me to settle in Quebec? Hmm.
But the rest of me? Well, 20 percent of my DNA is similar to persons from Belgium and/or England, including the Channel Islands. Now Belgium is easy to understand; I know family stories of my ancestors coming to the New World via Belgium. One young couple were kidnapped; the ship’s captain enticed them to stay aboard overnight to bid their friends farewell. The ship was to leave in the morning.
Well, when morning came, they were far out to sea. To get his passage money, the captain sold them as indentured servants to a Captain Morgan of Morgantown, Pennsylvania. So the story goes. No mention of intermarriage in Belgium, but it could have happened.
And then the last 10 percent: Sweden and Denmark. I bow to my mother’s blue-eyed family, and our Viking forebears – the word “our” referring to so many northern Europeans, including French, most likely. So maybe it’s time to stop thinking of “the French” as a monolith. Could “they” be just as variegated as “we” are?
THANK YOU
April 24-30 is Volunteer Week, and the Centre d’Action Bénévole du Haut-Saint-François takes the occasion to thank all our volunteers for everything they do. The motto this year? Volunteering is Empathy in Action. “Volunteering can help us develop empathy and see the world through the eyes of others. Thank you for all your caring, compassion and contributions to our communities,” wrote Diane Grenier, volunteer coordinator with the CAB. She can be reached at 819-560-8540 or coordo@cabhsf.org.
FUSILIERS DE SHERBROOKE
The music of Leonard Bernstein, Jan Van der Roost, George Gershwin and John Williams: the Fusiliers de Sherbrooke bring a breath of fresh air in Cookshire on Saturday, April 30 at 3 p.m., at the St-Camille Church, 170 Principale East, Cookshire-Eaton. Proceeds will benefit the Maison de la Culture John-Henry-Pope.
CHURCHES
Anglican. In-person service on Sunday, May 1st, at 11 a.m. at the St. Peter’s Church Hall in Cookshire. Also, Bishop Bruce Myers offers Home Prayers at 4 p.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. For service information, please check the United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge answering machine at 819-889-2838. For pastoral emergencies, contact Rev. Mead Baldwin at 819-837-1112.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor __ Houle at 819-239-8818.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by May 2 for publication May 11, and by May 16 for May 25.

Rachel Garber

PITY THE SWALLOWS

Yellow and dark blue stripes across its back, big red blotch on its underside, body the size of a grape, eight legs spanning the palm of your hand.
Why, it’s the Joro spider, of course. Welcome the newest immigrant to the American east coast, set to send its young on silken parachutes across the border into southern Canada, or to hitch a ride on your car. Delivered to us from its native Japan via the shipping routes of our global marketplace.
Newscasters say humans shouldn’t worry. These giant arachnids are timid and gentle. They flee rather than fight. Their tiny fangs cannot even puncture human skin.
But they’re deadly to small insects – mosquitos and such. I wonder if our insect numbers will plunge even further. I wonder how our swallows and other insect-eaters will fare, with a shrinking buffet of bugs. Will our plants lose even more pollinators?
It’s a toss-up, which invasion to worry about more: Russia or the Joro spiders?
JEWEL OR ALBATROSS?
“Good Luck With That” is the title of an online talk about the Canterbury Center, the famous restoration project of the Bury Historical and Heritage Society. Ed Pederson, the Society’s secretary, will talk about his journey working on this project. The tongue-in-cheek subtitle of his talk is “Canterbury Center, the jewel in the crown or the albatross ‘round our necks?” One of the Heritage Talks series of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, it is on Sunday, March 20, at 1 p.m. For the Zoom link, visit Facebook.com/qahnheritagetalks.
READS!
CBC’s popular “Canada Reads” season is at hand, and the Lennoxville Library is once again organizing a “Lennoxville Reads” activity. It’s on Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. and participants are welcome either in person at the Hope Community Church, 101 Queen Street, Lennoxville, or by Zoom. (For the zoom link, check bibliolennoxvillelibrary.ca.)
The books being debated? Five Little Indians, by Michelle Good; defended by Vicky Boldo. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan; presented by Jamie Crooks. Scarborough, by Catherine Hernandez; discussed by Mary Sweeny. What Strange Paradise, by Omar Al-Akkad; presented by Mary Purkey. Life in the City of Dirty Water, by Clayton Thomas-Müller; defended by Jesse Dymond. The emcee will be Stephanie Brown.
ART FILMS
Artist Joanna Nash is offering a series of art films about women artists, via Zoom, at no cost. On Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. is a 56-minute film, Agnes Martin: The World at my Back, and a 25-minute film, Marina Abromovic’s Relentless, Violent Genius: 1970’s to Present. Martin was respected for her pure abstraction; Abromovic is a highly acclaimed performance artist.
On April 6 will be three documentaries by the pioneer filmmakers Bonnie Klein, Sylvia Hamilton, and Kathleen Shannon of Studio D, the first publicly funded feminist film-production unit in the world.
On April 20 are a mix of documentary films by Louise Abbott: One about Tanya Mars (performance art), another about Joanna Nash and the Powerhouse Gallery, and a third about AnnBruce Falconer (dance).
For information or to register, contact Nash at joannanash@yahoo.ca.
WRITING WORKSHOPS
Write Here Write Now (WHWN) offers monthly zoom workshops on various topics: Beginner Blogging for Authors, with Rebecca; Editing and Giving Feedback, with Rachel; Writing Poetry with Jan; and Fantasy Fugue Forum with Etienne. All are welcome; participation is free. To receive the schedule and zoom link, contact Jan Draper at jandraper@yahoo.com.
ISABELLE LAFLÈCHE
The Knowlton Literary Festival is offering an online workshop with Isabelle Laflèche, author of international best-selling novels in both English and French: J’adore New York, ditto for Paris and Rome, and a series for teens, Bonjour Girl. Her focus is on intuition, and how it communicates with us. The workshop is Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost: $30. Maximum: 15 people. To register, visit knowltonliteraryfestival.ca.
BOB McDONALD
The host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks is coming live to the Lac-Brome Community Centre on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. Bob McDonald will speak about COVID and Climate Change, and how the pandemic demonstrated how the world can respond to a global threat, and how that can be applied to the future of green energy to lower our carbon emissions. He is author of An Earthling’s Guide to Space. Covid measures will be followed. Advance registration is required, at knowltonliteraryfestival.ca.
PHOTOS GALORE
The 70-some members of the Club Photo de Sherbrooke are exhibiting their work at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid Street in Lennoxville. The theme is “lines,” resulting in a variety of imaginative and personal photos. Uplands is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the exhibit ends June 19. Also, the outdoor photo exhibit “Rituals and Ceremonies” by Gabriel Safdie continues until May.
GOOD STUFF
You know spring is here, because it is time to plan ahead for the Canterbury Flea Market, July 30-31. If you have good quality items that you would like to donate to the Canterbury Center fund-raising campaign, please call Tony De Melo at 819-872-3400 (leave a message) before July 15. Pick-up is provided, if required. All proceeds go to the restoration of the former Christchurch Canterbury, now Canterbury Center. Re-use, Re-cycle, Reduce!
CHURCHES
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. Services will continue at home until the end of March. Please call the office at 819-889-2838, contact Rev. Tami Spires at 819-452-3685 (leave message) or spiresta@hotmail.com, or check the «United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge» Facebook page.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by March 21 for publication March 30 and by April 4 for April 13.

ACTU-Rachel

CRAZY IN MAPLE LEAF

“You are something, perhaps crazy!”
That’s the email my older and wiser sister wrote to me when she heard I was the new editor of The Townships Sun. Yep, at a time I should be fading into the sunset, here I am facing a new challenge that, for once, is not health-related.
I’m enjoying it, although not rejoicing in the circumstance that opened up this opportunity for me – the untimely passing of past-editor Barbara Heath, whom many of you knew, or knew of.
With almost 50 years under its belt, The Townships Sun is a little community magazine in English about “Townships life and culture, past, present and future.” Remembrances are the most natural place to start when thinking of the English-speaking community, but I’m trying to encourage more content – articles, stories, poetry, photos, artwork – about the present and future of our community.
Now I have trekked through the editorial work of the first two issues. The first one was delayed by a paper shortage, but is now in the hands of subscribers and on the shelves, including a new shelf at the Cookshire IGA. This issue has the dual themes of “Truth and Reconciliation” in the Townships and the new surge of Townships book writing, publishing and reading – both present and future.
The December-January issue will feature a sampling of visual artists – so many in the Townships, with such varied approaches! – including two in the Haut-Saint-François. Accompanying their work are short stories and other local and inspirational offerings on other topics.
What’s so much fun? Being in contact with such creative people. Learning even more about the fabulous community in which we live. Thinking more deeply about the time in which we live, the past that led us here, and where we are heading.
How has the pandemic changed us? Who are the great photographers among us? What are the concerns of the next generation? What do you know about any “disappeared” hamlets near you? (Maple Leaf, for example)? And so much more!
If you can contribute to this discussion, I’d be very interested in hearing from you at editor@TownshipsSun.ca.
ESCAPING BOMBING IN SCOTLAND
First published in Scotland and just now released in Canada is a memoir named Marjorie’s Journey: On A Mission Of Her Own. It tells the story of a young Scottish woman who, to escape the bombing during World War II, led a group of 10 children on a daring journey by ship from Scotland to South Africa, where she set up a home for them.
The Quebec connection is the author of this little book, Ailie Cleghorn, a retired professor at Concordia University. Her mother was a close cousin of Marjorie Marnoch, and they grew up together in Ailie’s grandparents’ home in Aberdeen. Cleghorn tells Marjorie’s story, chronicling extensive research and interviews with the children that took her on an international mission of her own.
And the Townships connection is obvious, for those of us with roots in Scotland! To hear a short interview with the author, visit scotlandstreetpress.com/journal.
RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN RELATIONSHIPS
From Mental Health Estrie is a workshop via Zoom, free and in English, on Wednesday, November 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Melanie Hughes will present “Conflict Resolution for Interpersonal Relationships.” To register, visit Mental Health Estrie’s Facebook page, email outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com, or call 819-565-2388.
CHRISTMAS MARKET IN COOKSHIRE
This extravaganza of crafts has some 20 exhibitors showing off and selling all kinds of treats, edible or not. The Market is on Sunday, November 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire.
OSCAR AND WALTER IN LAC MÉGANTIC
The exhibit by Tony De Melo has been extended to December 6: Trials and Tribulations: Oscar and Walter, an Encounter shows a series of paintings using actual texts from Oscar Wilde’s trials, on which he enlarged and superimposed details from Walter Crane’s engravings and drawings. You can see this thought-provoking exhibit at the Galérie Métissage, 6361 rue Salaberry, Lac Mégantic, Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SMALL ART IN COOKSHIRE
A massive group show of small format artworks by beloved artists from our region – that’s what the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery is offering in the period leading up to Christmas. The exhibit of “gift-sized” works opens on December 11. Heads up: One of the artists is Denis Palmer. Look for more details in the next Rachel Writes.
STUFF WANTED IN CANTERBURY
Thinking ahead they are, those people at the Canterbury Centre. “We are beginning to collect items for our Marché aux Puces (Flea Market) at the Canterbury Centre: antiques, collectibles, household wares, small tables and chairs in good condition, architectural items, stained glass, old photos, prints, and paintings. We do not take large appliances, furniture, electronics or clothes. Call 819-872-3400 and Tony will get back to you,” writes Ed Pederson of the Bury Historical & Heritage Society. The Marché aux puces is planned for July 2022.
CHURCHES
United. In-person Sunday services are bi-weekly. The November 21th service is at home; November 28th services are in person at Trinity United, 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville United, 11 a.m. Info: 819-452-3685; spiresta@hotmail.com; or United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge (Facebook).
Baptist. In-person Sunday services are with Covid-19 protocols in place (distancing; masks can be removed when sitting down; wear masks when singing, etc.). The service is in French at 9 a.m., and in English at 11 a.m. Persons with flu symptoms are asked not to attend services. The pastor’s message is also available on YouTube: For the link, contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 4 p.m., Sundays, on Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by November 29 for publication December 8, or by December 13 for January 5.

Rachel Garber

REMEMBER HOME CHILDREN

Joel Barter sent us a terse message: “The first Home Children wreath ever laid in Quebec will be in Bury at 2 p.m., November 6, 2021.” Lori Oschefski, the CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association confirmed his assertion.
Remembrance Day! We have so much to remember on November 11. Before 1931, as Armistice Day, it marked the day the First World War ended in 1918. Later, it became an occasion to remember all wars, and the veterans who served in them.
We wear red poppies in remembrance of “all those who have served in the nation’s defence,” (warmuseum.ca).
Starting in 1933, the members of the Women’s Co-operative Guild in Britain began also wearing white poppies in support of peace. Today, peacepoppies.ca encourages us to wear white poppies, signifying a broader remembrance to include civilians who now make up 90 percent of conflict victims, and supporting the use of non-violent means of conflict resolution.
And we lay wreaths to honour those killed.
Now, for the first time, Joel Barter is laying wreaths for the more than 100,000 children shipped from Britain to Canada between 1869 and the 1930s – the first wreath at the cenotaph in Bury, then another at the Gibbs Home, 806, 13th Avenue North, Sherbrooke (for the date, see Joel’s Eastern Townships Roots Facebook group.)
Today, more than four million Canadians are descended from those original children who landed here unaccompanied by adults – many at the Gibbs Home. They worked as farm hands and servants, cut off from their families. Their stories are replete with hardships, tragedies and also miracles. At 100objects.qahn.org is one story about Home Child Frederick Williams and his “home-child-box” of belongings. Stories about other children are at pier21.ca.
Barter has helped 10 families find their relatives, mostly through his Facebook group. “I got immersed in it and decided to help with getting their story out,” he wrote.
CEREMONIES
Remembrance Day ceremonies: Thursday, November 11, at 11 a.m. in both Sawyerville and Cookshire. At 11:45 a.m.: at Island Brook in Newport, and in Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton. On Saturday, November 13, is a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in Weedon. On Sunday, November 13, it is at 11:30 a.m. in East Angus. Bury and Scotstown ceremonies were November 6.
LISTEN!
Mental Health Estrie is offering two workshops via zoom, free and in English. On Wednesday, November 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Rachelle Doucet will teach “Active Listening Skills.” On Wednesday, November 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Melanie Hughes will present “Conflict Resolution for Interpersonal Relationships.” To register, visit Mental Health Estrie’s Facebook page, email outreach@mentalhealthestrie.com, or call 819-565-2388.
WINTER EATING
How to support your immune system and mental health over the coming months of shorter, colder days and winter blahs and sniffles? Registered dietitian Cora Loomis will tell us how to do this by “Eating Well for Winter.” At lunch via Zoom on Thursday, November 18, from 12 to 1 p.m., she will talk about foods, supplements, and forms of self-care to keep us happier and healthier during winter.
WINTER EXERCISE
Are you vaccinated? Are you willing to wear a mask before arriving in your exercise area? Will you wash your hands, bring your own materials and water bottle, and stay one metre away from other participants?
If your answers are “yes,” you are welcome to any of the Viactive groups listed below. All three of the bilingual weekly exercise groups for people aged 50+ are free of charge, and newcomers are welcome to begin anytime.
In Cookshire, Serena Wintle welcomes you on Wednesdays, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Manoir de l’Eau vive, 210 Principale East. Info: 819-875-5210.
In Newport, Lyne Maisonneuve and France Demers invite you to the Viactive group at the Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212, Island Brook, on Tuesdays, 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 Église Notre Dame du Rosaire (Catholic church), 4 Randboro Road, Sawyerville, on Wednesdays, at 10 a.m. Info: 819-889-2630.
OSCAR AND WALTER
Trials and Tribulations: Oscar and Walter, an Encounter by Tony De Melo contemplates two men. He created a series of paintings using actual texts from Oscar Wilde’s trials, on which he enlarged and superimposed details from Walter Crane’s engravings and drawings. You can see this thought-provoking exhibit at the Galérie Métissage, 6361 rue Salaberry, Lac Mégantic, until November 30, on Thursday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
COOKSHIRE CHRISTMAS MARKET
To avoid delivery delays, visit the Cookshire Christmas Market. It’s a two-storey extravaganza, with some 20 exhibitors showing off and selling all kinds of treats, from wine to wooden toys for all ages, and from maple syrup to baked goods. Prices range from $3 to the sky’s the limit, if you are an extravagant gift giver. The Market is on Sunday, November 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Victoria Hall, 125 Principale West, Cookshire.
CHURCHES
Baptist. In-person Sunday services are with Covid-19 protocols in place (distancing; masks can be removed when sitting down; wear masks when singing, etc.). The service is in French at 9 a.m., and in English at 11 a.m. Persons with flu symptoms are asked not to attend services. The pastor’s message is also available on YouTube: For the link, contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 4 p.m., Sundays, on Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. In-person Sunday services are bi-weekly. November 14th service is at home. November 21th services are in person at Trinity United, 9:30 a.m., and Sawyerville United, 11 a.m. November 28th service is at home. Info: 819-452-3685; spiresta@hotmail.com; or United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge (Facebook).
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by November 15 for publication November 24 or by November 29 for December 8.

Rachel Garber

BLESSED BOONIES

Back in the last quarter of the 20th century, I lived in downtown Montreal, mostly on The Main. Buying fresh fruit and vegetables in a farmer’s market, organic or not, was not easy. It involved fighting traffic and dodging the green hornets (parking police), or dragging a cart up and down stairs, using public transportation.
Our Italian neighbours had a tiny plot of tomatoes in their front yard, measuring about 5 by 10 feet. I envied them. That’s how deprived we were.
Then we moved to the blessed boonies. It is such a luxury to live so close to organic, natural food sources.
Yet much of our agriculture is not organic or natural. I doubt too many residents view liquid manure, herbicides and pesticides as assets to the quality of air, water, soil, and the natural environment. Yes, they enable large-scale farming. No, they do not add value to the food we eat. They may contribute to fruit with perfect looks, but at the expense of taste.
In the past decade, we’ve seen a gradual movement toward smaller-scale farming that does not depend on chemical herbicides and pesticides. The organic sector is still small, but it’s growing.
Since 2015, the Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has offered support for farmers converting to organic operations through the Programme d’appui pour la conversion à l’agriculture biologique (PACAB).
Minister André Lamontagne has just announced the extension of this program to March 31, 2023. The program offers financial support to convert plant, maple and honey production, as well as to construct or modify livestock facilities, to meet organic standards.
Mr. Lamontagne named the benefits of organic farming: « These foods respond to consumer concerns in terms of health, environmental protection, the fight against climate change, animal welfare and the local economy. »
The Ministry’s announcement said organic farms in Quebec more than doubled between 2015 and 2020. Now we have more than 2,400 such farms, representing nearly 9 per cent of all farms in Quebec. And surely PACAB has played a role in this growth, disbursing more than $10 million in financial support to agricultural businesses.
The demand for organic food is growing. The market in Quebec is valued at nearly $1 billion, and over $125 billion worldwide. Quebec has fully one-third of the organic farms in Canada. For information about PACAB, check out www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/conversionbio.
Today, our rhubarb bed alone is larger than our erstwhile neighbours’ tomato patch in Montreal. They would be shocked at the size of our garden here in the boonies. We are so blessed.
NO-MOW MAY
We who are blessed with lawns: Have you heard about the movement to not mow during the month of May? Bees, hoverflies, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators are in trouble, especially in the spring. We can at least let our dandelions grow for them: 75 per cent of the world’s main food crops and 85 per cent of wild plants rely on pollinating insects.
NECK-TO-NECK
We look the short distance across the border with a bit of envy these days. Things are opening up. So many Americans have already had their second Covid vaccinations, while Canada has lagged behind in the percentage of first shots, let alone the follow ups.
But now the New York Times reports on a new study that suggests waiting three months to have the second shot could offer better protection than having it just a month after the first. Hmm. So maybe the strategy of delaying the second shot until more people have had their first will give an additional benefit, long-term.
Last week both Maclean’s magazine and CTV reported that Canada has practically caught up with the USA on the first vaccinations. More than 46 per cent of Canadians have been vaccinated with at least one dose, compared to 47 per cent in the USA. Each day, Canada is vaccinating about 0.90 per cent of the population; the USA, only an average of 0.22 per cent. By the time you are reading this, Canada should have given a first dose of vaccine to a higher percentage of persons, compared to the USA.
Like I said, we’re neck-to-neck, at least in terms of first vaccinations.
TWIPPERS FESTIVAL
That’s Townshippers’ Festival, of course. The news: We will have one this year, throughout the entire month of September. It will be virtual, with activities for all ages.
“We’ve begun brainstorming ideas for programming and activities, and we are looking forward to discovering new and creative ways to bring people near and far together in celebration of the region’s English-speaking community, its heritage, and our contributions to the Townships,” said Rachel Hunting, Executive Director of Townshippers’ Association.
Townshippers’ Association is a non-profit, non-partisan, community organization that has been serving the English-speaking community of the historical Eastern Townships since 1979. Info: townshippers.org.
CHURCHES
United. Home worship services are available Fridays after 2 p.m. at Sawyerville United Church (box on top of freezer), or at Trinity United Church (plastic bag at basement door). To receive services by mail or email, or for pastoral care, contact Rev Tami Spires at 819-452-3685 or spiresta@hotmail.com. Facebook info: United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge.
Baptist. In-person Sunday services for 25 or fewer persons with Covid-19 protocols in place (wash hands at the entrance, stay 2 metres apart, use assigned seating, wear masks, do not shake hands, and leave via the exit door). The service in French is at 9 a.m., and in English at 11 a.m. Persons with flu symptoms are asked not to attend services. The pastor’s message is also available on YouTube: For the link, contact Pastor Michel Houle: 819-239-8818.
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 10:30 a.m. Sundays on Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email rawrites@gmail.com by May 31 for publication June 9, and by June 14 for June 23.

Rachel Garber

A RED CHRISTMAS

Guest writer John Mackley offers this holiday story:
Nick glanced at Mary over his favourite reindeer mug. Steam rose in wisps around his snowy white beard. The pungent scent of cinnamon gave his coffee a festive accent.


“I know that look,” he remarked, taking a sip. “What have you got up your sleeve this time?”
Mary smiled. “You think you know me so well, don’t you?” She continued buttering her toast.
“I’m not saying I know WHAT you are thinking, only that I can tell you have something particular in mind, and the sooner I know what it is, the better it will be for everyone.”
With that door open, Mary walked through. “What if we dressed up as ‘regular’ folk? Common, modern, everyday people on the street. We could go into town and play ‘Secret Santa!’”
“But, aren’t I already ‘Santa’?” Nick queried.
“Yes, of course you are, my silly Mr. Claus, but they don’t have to know that. We’ll get out your old farmer’s coveralls and a plaid shirt, old boots and a tuque and no one will recognize you.”
“What about you?” He asked, curious to learn where this was leading.


“Hardly anyone knows what Mrs. Santa Claus looks like, anyway. I can just dress like a farmer’s wife and be fine. Then all we have to do is keep our eyes open for families who are out Christmas shopping. It shouldn’t be hard to spot the ones without much to spend. They will be the ones with more kids than packages. Or what about the single mothers with their kids in tow because they can’t afford a baby sitter?”


“Okay, I’ll bite. What will we do next?”
When they arrived at the shopping mall, the pair found the place nearly deserted. The Covid-19 safety protocols had many of the shops closed and most of the people staying home.
“We’re in a RED Zone.” Nick pronounced. “This pandemic has been going on for so long, people probably can’t afford to go shopping even if they could go out.”


“With social distancing, there would be no way to get close enough to anyone to slip any candy or money into their bags like I planned! I guess we’ll have to switch to Plan B.”
Before leaving the mall, they passed by the grocery store. They filled their minivan with non-perishable food and special treats. Then they delivered it all to Moisson HSF, along with a generous cash donation. They spent the rest of the day dropping off anonymous gift baskets on random doorsteps in poorer areas.
“It may not be as much fun, not to be able to see their faces when they find their gifts, but you’re used to that. Right, Nick? It feels good anyway.”
“It feels good, at that. Thank you Mary. What a great idea.”
They were anonymous, but not unseen. Someone was spying on them, and was inspired.


That night, Lois sneaked down the street where she lived. On the door knobs of certain houses, she hung an anonymous Christmas stocking full of small gifts for the people who lived there.
Rhoda peeked out her window, watching Lois. Then she began knitting a scarf for Mental Health Estrie’s HUGS for the Homeless (mentalhealthestrie.com). Her brother David saw what she was doing, and sent a donation to Moisson HSF (www.moissonhsf.org).
Younger sister Phoebe helped him with the online donation, and saw how happy he felt. “What can I do?” she asked herself. She quickly searched online for “Continuum HSF,” clicked on “English,” and found a list of local community groups. “I know! I’ll donate to the women’s shelter.”


And so, in this Year of the Pandemic, Nick, Mary, Lois, Rhoda, David, and Phoebe each made a small, secret gesture of solidarity, and all felt profoundly grateful and connected to their community. “Sometimes,” little sister Rachel mused, “small and secret can be exceedingly sweet!”
“Merry Little Christmas to all, and a Tiny Happy New Year!”

POETRY BREAKS
A Poetry Break on December 10 focuses on “Snow Flakes” by Emily Dickinson, “Winter” by Robert Southey, “Little Tree” by E.E. Cummings, and “Mistletoe” by Walter de la Mare. It’s at 10 to 11 a.m., is free of charge and open to all – no previous experience with poetry is needed. To register and receive the Zoom link, email Michelle, ml@townshippers.org.
CHURCHES
Anglican, Baptist, and United churches have all cancelled Christmas Eve and special holiday services because of Covid-19 restrictions. The usual Sunday services are described below.
United. Home worship services continue over the holiday season, and will be available for pickup at Sawyerville United Church (box on top of freezer in porch), at Trinity United Church (bag on ramp door at the back of the church), by email, and by post. To receive service mailings, please call 819-889-2838 and leave your contact information on the answering machine, or email Rev Tami Spires at spiresta@hotmail.com. Pastoral care: Rev. Tami, 819-452-3685.
Baptist. In-person Sunday services continue for 25 or fewer persons with Covid-19 protocols in place (wash hands at the entrance, maintain 2-metre distance from others, use assigned seating, wear masks, do not sing, do not shake hands, and leave via the exit door). The service in French is at 9 a.m., and in English at 11 a.m.
A mask is provided for persons needing one, and a list of all the attendees is kept, in case of infection. Persons with flu symptoms are asked not to attend services. The pastor’s message is also available on YouTube, by invitation only. For the link, contact Pastor Michel Houle: 819-239-8818.
Anglican. Over the holiday season, Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 10:30 a.m. Sundays on Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email rawrites@gmail.com by December 14 for publication January 6, and by January 11 for January 20.

Rachel Garber

NITTY GRITTY

Read Rachel Writes for the nitty-gritty of daily life: Composting, taxes, and the arts. Look elsewhere in this issue for articles in English about a shuttle bus from IGA Cookshire to IGA East Angus, and a little review of the Eaton Corner Museum’s murder mystery.

I can see the question mark in your eyes: How can “arts” be the “nitty gritty of daily life”? Well, as a friend wisely observed, “the real business of civilisation is the arts. Politics are merely its entertainment.”
Composting is an art too. Apparently, so are taxes. Ask any of the 1 percent. Read on.

COMPOSTING
It seems odd to me, living in the boonies, that some of us might not nourish our own compost piles. But apparently not. Cookshire-Eaton is going to collect organic matter in brown bins for composting. The bins are being distributed any day now. The first collection is planned for April 13. Three information sessions are planned: March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Salle Guy-Veilleux on Castonguay Street, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Salle Johnville, Jordan Hill Road, and March 25 at 6:30 p.m., at Salle Sawyerville, 4 Randboro Road.

One thing to watch out for are those little stickers they put on apples, avocados and other fruits. Apparently many end up in the compost, and they cause major problems for composting facilities. Most of them do not break down, and sorting them out from the compostable materials is well nigh impossible. They’re too small and pliable. CBC reported that some composting companies call them the worst contaminant in their entire operation. I’ve heard of truckloads of compost going into landfill because it contains those little stickers.

So have a heart for the earth our home. Peel the stickers off. Put them in the garbage. Send the pure peelings to the compost.

ALL ABOUT AGING, Mar 4 to Apr 11

Accessible Vitality: New Research and Key Concepts for Vital Aging. This is a new continuing education course at Bishop’s University’s Senior Academy. It’s led by Naturopath and author Susan Rose. Via interactive lectures and lots of handouts, she promises to explore key concepts from 21st century health research findings: trends and reversals in nutrition, environmental toxins, detoxification pathways, brain and vitality-enhancing supplements, the fascinating microbiome, and new cognitive health research. The six-week course is Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., March 4 to April 11, and costs $100. Info: 819-822-9670, or contedu@ubishops.ca.

INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE, March 11+

Are you ready for the bilingual income tax assistance program in Sawyerville for persons with limited income?

Persons eligible for this free service have a maximum annual income of $25,000 if single, or $30,000 if a couple, and an additional maximum of $2,000 for each dependent. This can include a maximum of $1000 of earned interest, but no rental income. Self-employed workers or persons declaring bankruptcy are not eligible, nor are the returns for a deceased person or the surviving spouse in the year of death.

When? Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 11, 18, 25 and April 1 (for pick-up only), and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 18 and 25.

Where? At the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street, Sawyerville.

The service is offered by the Loisirs Sawyerville. “Welcome are old and new friends,” said Danielle Paré. “You will find Francine, Suzanne and Danielle ready and willing to serve as best we can.” Info: Danielle 819-889-2614.

THE MIRACLE WORKER, Mar 12 to15

The Miracle Worker, The Story of Helen Keller, by William Gibson is a new dramatic production at the Centennial Theatre, Bishop’s University. This story of the young Helen, deaf and blind since infancy, is “one of the most beloved American plays of all time,” explains Melanie Cutting. “The Kellers hire a teacher for Helen, Annie Sullivan, who was herself blind for a period of time. Annie arrives with a rough, no nonsense mentality and despite the grave misgivings of the Kellers, she performs a miracle: she gives Helen the gift of language.” A play for the whole family. When? March 12-15 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday March 14 at 2 p.m. How much? Students: $12; Adults: $22; Seniors: $20 (plus $2 reservation fee if not paying in person). Reserve before March 10, and get a $2 discount. Tickets: 819-822-9692, Monday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.

HAIKU BOOK LAUNCH, 15th
“Sky frozen into the ice, crystallized sunlight.” That’s a haiku, a short breath of poetry. It’s by Marjorie Bruhmuller. She is a reader of Rachel Writes, and I am one of the happy readers of her poetry! So I can’t omit announcing the launch of her new book, Back Porch Haiku, even if it is a little distance away, at the North Hatley Library, 165 Main Street. It’s worth the drive! When? Sunday, March 15, at 2 to 4 p.m. Free, with refreshments.

SUGAR SHACK BRUNCH, 29th
A Sugar Shack Brunch is planned for Sunday, March 29, at the Saint-Mathias-de-Bonneterre Community Centre, 2019 Route 210. The brunch is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a folk gala in the afternoon. Info: 819-889-2558.

CHURCH SERVICES
United. Sunday services are at 9:30 in Cookshire (side door) and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. World Day of Prayer is on March 6. A service prepared by women in Zimbabwe, with the theme “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk.” is planned for Sawyerville. For date and time of the service, call 819-889-2838 and listen to the message.
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 a bit past 11 a.m. in Cookshire, at the Trinity United Church hall (side door). Info: 819-887-6802.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email rawrites@yahoo.com by March 9 for publication March 18, or by March 23 for April 1st.

©2022 Journal Le Haut-Saint-François