Letters: week of Dec. 24

Carrier’s kind act will help widower get through Christmas

Sir: On Oct. 17 I lost my wife to COPD after a long battle.

We loved to sit together on our front porch and watch people going by, and one of the things we enjoyed was a grandfather and his granddaughter delivering the Sarnia Journal. They make such a good team.

I recently approached the gentleman who delivers the paper and told him of my loss, and the enjoyment we had in watching their teamwork. I gave him a gift, so he could buy himself a coffee.

He said he didn’t need it. But he saw a man who could use it, left his route, and gave the man the gift. He then finished his route and wished me a Merry Christmas and offered condolences on my loss.

That Sunday, there was a knock at the door. There stood the grandfather, with a French horn. He asked if he could play a few tunes in honour of my late wife.

As he played, motorists going by slowed and rolled down their windows. Two police officers down the street paused to enjoy the concert.

My daughter-in-law asked him to play Amazing Grace, and he did.

People who heard came outside to listen, and the police officers came by to acknowledge his effort. When he stopped playing, applause could be heard on my street.

I recorded it on my phone to show this man’s gift to friends. This Journal person showed that people care, that Sarnia cares.

God bless him. It will help me get through this Christmas and beyond.

People, please reach out and thank your delivery person and mail carriers. Just a simple “job well done” can make their day.

Merry Christmas, and a safe 2021.

 

Ron Fice
Sarnia

 


 

Christmas catalogue column brought back warm memories

Sir: Regarding Nadine Wark’s Dec. 3 guest column about Christmas catalogues.

I worked at Sears for a short while printing these Wish Books, and her words brought back so many memories.

Taking our children to see the Eaton’s and Simpson’s windows in Toronto was always such a joy. Children today, and their parents, are missing out on so much because we chose not to support these department stores.

The stories she remembered about the dolls, trains, skates etc. nailed it right on the head, as they were all available out of the Wish Book.

The column almost brought tears to my eyes thinking how much this generation of children and grandchildren will miss out on the simple and meaningful joys of Christmas, as we knew them.

Excellent work Nadine.  And thank you, The Journal, for publishing the article.

 

Gary Avery
Corunna

 


Thank you Journal, for remembering our veterans

 

Sir: I read with great interest the Dec. 3 letter from Theresa Bakker of Townsend, Ont. entitled “Kudos to The Journal for Remembrance edition.”

I too would like to thank everyone involved, both for the special edition and for providing extra copies to share with two first cousins whose fathers served in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

Mary Ettinger
Sarnia


 

Overhaul needed to fix Sarnia’s crumbling infrastructure

Sir: At this year’s city budget input session I presented a lot of facts and figures showing how Sarnia’s per person capital spending is low compared to other similar-sized municipalities.

I also showed how we pay more than our fair share to Lambton County for its operations. I urge all Sarnia taxpayers to view it (Regular Agenda Meeting video, www.sarnia.ca, starting at 15:45).

I believe chronic underinvestment is one reason our shorelines are crumbling, our assets don’t get maintained but demolished (e.g., Dow People Place, Jackson Pool, Ferry Dock Hill, Germain Arena), and our roads and underground services are in poor repair.

It is clear politicians in Sarnia and Lambton County need to work together to reduce overhead and inequitable costs.

But why is there a need to have duplicate departments at Lambton and Sarnia? Why are Sarnia taxpayers paying so much to pave roads and repair bridges in the county? We need to update our cost-sharing agreement and I believe it can be done without staff losses.

Such changes would put Sarnia on an even footing with other Lambton communities. I pointed out at my 2019 budget presentation that Sarnia spent the least on capital projects, at just over $400 per citizen, while some other Lambton communities spent over $1,000 per citizens.

It should also be noted Sarnia has the second highest tax rate in Lambton County.

I implore Sarnia politicians to work hard and smart to get our tax dollars back where they belong – spent on Sarnia’s crumbling assets. Respectfully submitted,


Susan MacFarlane
Sarnia

 


 

City wise to keep nature trail buffer land in public hands

Sir: Kudos to a group of property owners on Lakeshore Road east of Modeland who recently voiced their concern about possible development on the Howard Watson Trail.

They proposed purchasing buffer sections of public land beside the trail so THEY could safeguard it.

Sarnia has been guardian of the trail since about 1990 and has done a superb job managing and protecting it. The city has done much to make the trail safe and pleasant for thousands of residents.

In the 1980s, Sarnia’s trail became a beacon for other provincial Rail-to-Trail conversions. It was an example of responding to community needs, and has remained so.

The trustworthiness of the city in guarding the trail is well established. History speaks for itself.

Unfortunately this group, while well meaning, has no credentials to establish trustworthiness for trail protection.
But the group has clearly voiced a legitimate concern about development. It would be more effective, however, if they supported their cause by making donations to the Bluewater Trails committee.

 

Fernand Noel
Sarnia

 


 

Centenarian’s drive-by birthday salute a touching story

Sir: I would like to thank the family and all those involved in organizing the drive-by birthday salute for 100-year-old Bruce Murray, and for publishing the story on the front page of the Dec. 17 Sarnia Journal.

It would be impossible to share all of Bruce’s life and his achievements over the past 100 years – and counting!

My dad married his sister in 1969, and ever since then he has been that kind, thoughtful and humorous uncle any person would wish for.

Bruce is a respected veteran, lived a wonderful life, loved his wife Helen for 70 years, and raised three kids I know he is very proud of.

The story and tribute lightened my spirits and made me rejoice during these challenging times. There is so much sad news with this pandemic, but that story is one we needed to hear and share hope with one another.

Thank You. And stay safe and well.

 

Dan Wever
Grande Prairie, Alberta

 


 

Federal ‘conversion therapy’ bill

Sir: On Oct. 1, the federal government introduced a legislative amendment to criminalize “conversion therapy” in Canada with Bill C-6.

As I understand it, such legislation would criminalize professional, parental, and pastoral counselling, teaching, and mentoring for children, teens and adults seeking help in the areas of sexual ethics and identity.

Any proposal to ban “conversion therapy” must properly and precisely define what are the truly harmful types of therapy: therapy that would go against freedom of conscience.

We must especially protect vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation, particularly from those pushing radical “gender reassignment” for the young.

Our legislators must uphold professional, parental and pastoral counselling, teaching and mentoring that respect freedom of conscience and belief.

 

Marie-Paule Wilkinson
Bright’s Grove

 


 

Local program helps adults earn their high school diploma

Sir: A new year is on its way, a time for people to think about new opportunities, plans and goals.

Many people in Lambton County may not be aware they can obtain their high school diploma at the Alternative & Continuing Education Centre.

Most are closer than they think, with various ways to reduce the number of credits required to graduate, including credit for life experience. Guidance assessments are individualized and free.

Adult students have the option of self-study lessons or online courses, with support available for both. The diploma earned is an actual Ontario Secondary School Diploma – the same as at any other high school in the province.

A free upgrading program is also available to refresh math and essay writing skills before taking a high school credit, with face-to-face and online options.

Some students upgrade math skills to improve their chances of successfully passing trades exams.

Many students work full-time, have families, and have been away from school for a long time.

It does take time and effort, but over 60 local people graduated with their Grade 12 Diploma (OSSD) this year, despite a pandemic and other challenges. Others can too.

We’re here to help. Call 519-383-8787, ext. 4 to set up an appointment to register and get started on a new future.

Esther Tolooei
LBS Upgrading Program Instructor
Lambton Kent District School Board
Sarnia