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Victoria County

Overcoming hurdles: The Life of Eleanor McQuarrie, D.V.M.

in Just in Time by

Life had changed in untold ways for Lindsay residents by the mid-1940s, particularly in terms of how they got around. Save for the odd wagon belonging to a milkman, internal combustion vehicles had long since displaced the horse-drawn traffic of years gone by. Scarcer still was the sight of someone riding about town on the back of a horse.

Yet, that was exactly what folks living across the way from 17 Adelaide St. saw when teenaged Eleanor McQuarrie emerged from that house and mounted her steed during that decade. Later, when the family moved to 251 Kent St. — home to today’s Kent Inn — Eleanor spent many pleasant hours with her horse adjacent to Lindsay’s increasingly busy main thoroughfare.

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Kitchen says he used the name ‘City of Kawartha Lakes’ to attract investment

in Municipal by
Kitchen says he used the name ‘City of Kawartha Lakes’ to attract investment,

Commissioner Harry Kitchen called the controversy around the renaming of Victoria County “his one regret” with the amalgamation report he issued in 2000.

In a telephone interview with The Advocate Kitchen said,” I wish I had spelled out in the report why I named it what I did. The choice of the new name was not clearly explained. For the sake of a couple of paragraphs the reasoning should have been covered.”

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Amalgamation: All for one, one for all

in Editorials by
Farm country, Canadian Shield…anything but “cottage country”

Twenty years ago this month, Victoria County ceased to exist. In its place the City of Kawartha Lakes was born, as vast and rural as the county ever was, dotted with a postcard town and attractive villages.

As our municipal affairs writer, Kirk Winter, soon found when he put together this month’s feature story, the imposed single-tier amalgamation of Victoria County was a watershed moment in local municipal affairs.

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Amalgamation 20 years later: Victoria County’s demise still rankles many rural constituents

in Municipal by
Amalgamation 20 years later: Decision to dissolve Victoria County still rankles many rural constituents
"Sometimes we need to focus on what we have, not what we don't," says Coun. Tracy Richardson. Photo: Erin Burrell.

It was perhaps the most divisive political debate in this area since self-government in 1863. Amalgamation — the forced bringing together of the constituent parts of the old Victoria County 20 years ago this month – is a word that still triggers much debate and tests professional relationships to this day.

The fissures still run deep, particularly amongst those over the age of 50. Many knowledgeable individuals who were there two decades ago have died, developed sudden political amnesia, or refused to become engaged in a retrospective of an issue they wish would just disappear.

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Second World War vet returns ‘home’ to Oakwood farm on Remembrance Day

in Community by
Second World War veteran, Jim Jenkins, outside his childhood home in Oakwood where he was born. Photo: Roderick Benns.

By his own admission he should have been killed many times during the four-and-a-half years that Jim Jenkins, 96, served King and country as a member of the Canadian forces.

Now, well into the winter of his life, he is on a tour with his wife, Joan, and daughter, Jane Kent, from their home in Toronto. He wanted to once again see the Oakwood farmhouse that he was born in – and where he was based before volunteering to stand up against German fascism.

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Lindsay’s last hanging: The McGaughey case of 1924

in Just in Time by
Lindsay's last hanging: The McGaughey case of 1924
Fred McGaughey, age 32, will hang by the neck until dead in the gaol’s courtyard.

It’s May 25, 1924, and the evening is drawing nigh. You are a senior student at S.S. No. 6 Ops Township, known to locals as “McArthur’s School,” and you have just had supper at Joseph Parrington’s place, down on what is now called Halter Road. You’ve been helping Mr. Parrington with chores since school began, and he has graciously invited you to eat with his family on this calm Sunday night.

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Remarkable Kawartha Lakes’ women, past and present

in Just in Time by

The young lady in the accompanying picture is my great-grandaunt, Euphemia “Effie” McQuarrie (1885-1967), known by her extended family simply as “Aunt Ef.”

Born in Argyle, she was once described as “small in stature, a very attractive girl with a good mind and a delightful personality.”  Photographs of Ef, and Edwardian-era postcards she mailed to her siblings, portray her as a vivacious individual who personified what American writer Winnifred Harper Cooley called “The New Woman;” one who was independent, educated, and in control of her own destiny.

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St. Thomas Aquinas takes us back to the 1980s

in Around Town/Community/Education by
Aiden Shearer stars as Corey Palmer in Back to the 80s. Photo: St. Thomas Aquinas.

The decade spanning 1980 through 1990 was significant on multiple fronts.

The world watched as the Prince of Wales wed Lady Diana Spencer (1981) and as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down (1989). Canadians cheered on Terry Fox as he began his Marathon of Hope (1980); saw their Constitution repatriated (1982); and handled $1 coins for the first time (1987). Ontarians voted out the Progressive Conservative Party after over four decades in office (1985) and watched the SkyDome’s retractable roof open to a torrential downpour (1989).  Here in Victoria County, the Town of Lindsay celebrated its 125th anniversary by painting faces on fire hydrants (1982); the indefatigable Bill Scott represented his constituents in Ottawa; and Union Carbide announced that it would cease production of film, film packaging products, and industrial garbage bags at its Lindsay plant (1989).

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Bards of the Kawarthas: Our poetic past

in Just in Time by
Just as artefacts and artworks function as windows into our collective past, so to do those rhymes of old.

Many years ago, when my father taught school full-time, a highlight of the academic year for his students occurred on or around the 25th of January – the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796), the “Bard of Ayrshire,” who is widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. For over 30 years, students in Mr. McKechnie’s classroom celebrated the legacy of this literary legend by reciting portions of To A Mouse and Auld Lang Syne, among other works; enjoying a cup of tea; and feasting on the Abernethy biscuits and shortbread made by his grandmother and mother, respectively.

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The Great War’s legacy in Kawartha Lakes

in Just in Time/Opinion by
I think of the station platforms in the various towns and villages across the county, from where soldiers bid farewell to loved ones on route to war.

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of the year, Canadians from coast to coast will pause for two minutes’ silence to remember those who died during the First and Second World Wars; the Korean conflict; and various peacekeeping operations in which Her Majesty’s armoured, naval, and air forces have been involved over the course of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The statistics are staggering: nearly 70,000 Canadians died during the First World War (1914-1918); nearly 50,000 gave their lives during the Second World War (1939-1945); 516 died during the Korean War; and over 1,800 have paid the supreme sacrifice in various operations at home and abroad over the course of the last 70 years.

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