On Aug. 23, the Limerick Township Recreation Committee had its first meeting since March 2. In addition to staff updates from Victoria Tisdale, the township’s clerk and treasurer, and township council updates from Councillor Ingo Weise, there were updates provided on fundraising/youth events, the fire department, open mic nights, crafts, the NHPL, Ancestry Days and a National Touring Museum Event on dinosaurs to be held at the Limerick community centre in October. The next meeting date and time will be announced soon.
The chair of the committee, Natalie Phillips, thanked everyone for being there Aug. 23, and had everyone introduce themselves around the table. In addition to Phillips, her daughter Brianna was present, as were Bonnie Weise and Ingo Weise, Gary and Lillian Pattinson, Robert Chaffey, Kim McMunn, Shirley Polmateer, Nicole Ilcio and Tisdale. Absent were Jo-Anne Carrol, Dawn Lockhart, Linda Hamn and Dave Hamn.
Tisdale provided an update to the committee on its finances. She said there wasn’t a lot of action, but they had gotten a donation from the Hepburn family on June 10 in the amount of $1,174.40. Tisdale said that Hepburn had contacted the office in 2020 asking to locate a distant relative that had supposedly been shot in a hunting accident in Limerick Township.
“With the help of the Ancestry Club and former acting Clerk Steven Potter, they were able to track down his grave site. Mr. Hepburn then donated $1,000 USD to the recreation committee. Councillor Weise suggested that these funds (or at least some of them) go to the Ancestry Club,” she says.
Overall, with Hepburn’s donation, the current balance in the recreation committee’s account is $4,826.11. Tisdale also said that while they hadn’t gotten the bear proof garbage cans yet, they had gotten the eavestroughs fixed. She also said that the township had procured a grant to make the community centre washrooms accessible; the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Green Infrastructure Stream-2021 Intake.
Tisdale also went over the current COVID-19 guidelines for events from Ontario.ca. She said they had a few events recently; a takeout dinner to show the community’s support for Bowen Tripp and two celebrations of life (one for Liz Park and the other for the Hamn family).
Next, Weise provided an update from council. He said that the shipping container outside the community centre was to get everything out of the garage on the property, which has become a bit of an eyesore and will likely be demolished. He also reiterated that the community centre washrooms were going to be made accessible and that the Hepburn family had made a donation to the recreation committee. He also mentioned the Ancestry Club, which he said was quite popular with people in the township and should be resumed as soon as it was safe to do so.
Nobody was present at the meeting to provide an update on the fire department nor were Dave and Linda Hamn there to give an update on open mic nights.
Brianna Phillips gave the committee an update on fundraising and youth events. She said that anything related to youth was on hold until 2022, as was fundraising due to the ongoing pandemic. She said they do hope to have another Art Walk this fall if possible. She also hopes to get some money for advertising purposes. She wasn’t sure of the exact amount at that point, but was thinking approximately $200.
Polmateer gave an update on crafts and said that there had been no craft sales recently due to COVID-19. She said she’d met with some ladies at the community centre to do some greeting cards and that went well. Although nothing was planned right away, she hoped they could have a Christmas bazaar but it all hinges on what happens with the pandemic.
Kim McMunn gave the committee an update on what’s happening with the library. She said the doors were finally open again and that they were retaining curbside pickup as it appeals to people who were unable to access the library before due to the stairs. She said that access to the computers was pretty steady and that membership has been dwindling a bit for printed materials. However, requests for e-resources have been climbing quite a bit, and she said that the training and programming has been transitioning to the contactless world and that that staff had been taking courses about things like how to print from phones and devices.
“It’s really interesting how COVID-19 has really pushed that envelope, moving technology forward. Many of our staff are old school and love the printed resources but are not loving the technology and changes, but we’re trying to find a middle ground,” she says.
McMunn said it was also the last week for their summer student Emma Dafoe, but that she would be staying with them to do Instagram posts and possibly be a call-in employee. She also offered the recreation committee the use of the library’s new green screen for anything they’d like to do going forward that might require it. Green screens, also called chroma key, allow one to superimpose a subject onto an unlimited number of backgrounds by singling out the green in the image or video and making it transparent so another image can be superimposed onto the background, replacing the green screen.
While nobody was present to officially give an update on the Ancestry Club, Weise said that there was a lot of interest in it and it had been well attended previously. They had a tentative meeting scheduled for sometime in September if COVID-19 allows, to get it all going again.
Natalie Phillips spoke about an upcoming event being welcomed by the Limerick Recreation Committee and the NHPL, from the National Touring Museum for October called A Jurassic Journey: We Survived Extinction Tour, with dinosaur expert Jim Jeffries. It will be on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at the community centre with all COVID-19 measures in place. There is also a possibility that it will have a Zoom component for people who are unable or uncomfortable attending in person.
Pattinson provided an update on churches, saying that a renovation was needed for the church in St. Ola, and they were currently looking at what such a project would cost and the full extent of the repairs needed. He also said that the former Presbyterian church in Ormsby was still inactive as it is so small that it cannot hold in person services yet with the ongoing pandemic restrictions.
Work was ongoing on getting the historical banners finished and erected for St. Ola, according to Pattinson. The banners arose from provincial government funding in 2018 with the Downtown Revitalization Grant and will ultimately have six banners in Ormsby and six banners in St. Ola. They were the idea of the Pattinsons, who own the Old Hastings Mercantile and Gallery in Ormsby.
At that point, Natalie Phillips adjourned the meeting and the next meeting date and time is to be decided. She said she would let everyone know when a firm date and time had been set.
Natalie Phillips thought the meeting went quite well overall even if a few people couldn’t make it out.
“I hope the COVID-19 situation allows events to resume to a safe degree this fall. Those open mic nights were a lot of fun and I’d like to get the art walk going again. I’d like to see that Jurassic event come by too,” she says. “I think that’d be great.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times