Uxbridge veteran gets personal D-Day Remembrance parade
by Roger Varley
At the age of 98, Fred G. Barnard sometimes “humbly wonders if anyone knows” he was among the Canadian soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day – June 6, 1944. He received the answer loud and clear last Thursday evening.
Hundreds of people gathered outside his home to pay tribute to one of the last survivors of the first wave of assault on Juno Beach. His house was decorated with Remembrance Day banners featuring both him and his brother, Don, and the front lawn saw a carpet of small Canadian flags, rows of chairs for other veterans and tables loaded with memorabilia. From speakers set up in front of the house, the songs of Second World War chanteuse Vera Lynn wafted over the evening air.
When Fred stepped out onto his front porch at 7 p.m., a large cheer from the crowd was acknowledged by a smile and a wave. Fred had known nothing about the event until 40 minutes earlier.
As he settled in his chair, a bass drum sounded in the distance, soon joined by the keening of the bagpipes. Within minutes, the Uxbridge Legion Pipes and Drums led a parade to the house. The parade also featured the Legion colour party, veterans, current members of the Queen’s Own Rifles – (Fred’s old regiment) – the Uxbridge fire department, Uxbridge cadets, cubs and scouts, Durham Regional Police and a Mountie.…continue reading…
YDHR picks up tab for Canada Day
by Roger Varley
York Durham Heritage Railway (YDHR) presented a cheque for $12,000 to Uxbridge council on Monday morning, enough to cover the fundraising usually carried out to pay for Canada Day festivities at Elgin Park. The township covers the cost of the celebratory fireworks.
In a report to council, Ward 4 Councillor Willie Popp said the YDHR contribution will make it “inappropriate” for the Canada Day committee to solicit or accept donations from the public attending the free Canada Day event as has been done in previous years. The report also recommended that YDHR be allowed to collect donations at the event, with the proceeds going to YDHR. Popp said donations collected at Elgin Park in past years has averaged about $3,000.…continue reading…
Raptors frenzy invades Uxbridge
by Roger Varley
Hundreds of people descended on the arena Monday night to attend Uxbridge’s version of Jurassic Park as the Toronto Raptors sought to defeat the Golden State Warriors and win the NBA championship.
Organized in less than two days, the free event featured two 12-foot screens, set up on the floor of Pad 2, carrying the live television coverage of Game 5 in Toronto. Free snacks and soft drinks were provided by Zehrs, free popcorn was handed out by Roxy Theatres and The Second Wedge Brewing Co. set up a beer tent at one end of the ice pad. At the other end of the pad, scores of young people tested their basketball skills with two basketball nets provided by Canadian Tire and numerous balls from the township’s parks and recreation department.…continue reading…
Province pitches in funds for local festivals
by Lisha Van Nieuwenhove
Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy stopped by the Township offices on Tuesday morning to announce funding for three local festivals. HitsFest, the Uxbridge Scottish Festival, and the inaugural Uxbridge Holiday Festival will all receive money through Celebrate Ontario, a program designed to support local festivals and events of various sizes.
“Through Celebrate Ontario, our government is investing in Uxbridge’s tourism industry, supporting local jobs and highlighting our community’s unique and rich cultural heritage”, said MPP Bethlenfalvy. “This funding demonstrates a clear return on investment, respect for taxpayer dollars, and a focus on increasing
tourism in Uxbridge and across the province.”…continue reading…