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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

A Year in Review - 2018


• Over the Christmas break, Hockey for Hospice held its 22nd Annual Tournament to support the local Hospice programs for Windsor and Essex County. The tournament raised nearly $340,000, with the local Thunder hockey teams raising almost $3000.

• On January 13, the Polar Bear Dip took place along the shoreline at Cedar Island Beach to raise funds for Childcan and ACCESS County Community Supports Services.

• Military memorabilia collectors and firearms enthusiasts of all ages made their way to the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village on January 14 for its Militaria, Gun & Sportsman Show.

• The Essex Region Conservation Authority hosted its Annual General Meeting and awards ceremony at the Essex Civic Centre on January 18, which was held to recognize individuals and organizations that have made positive contributions to ERCA’s efforts in the past year.

• On January 19, the Essex County 4-H Association held its annual sign up night to introduce youth to the variety of clubs it hosts. Club volunteers were also thanked.

• The Essex Retirees’ Social Club hosted its third Liver and Onion Luncheon at its Russell Street clubhouse on January 23.

• The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary School Robotics team, “The Hawkbots” experienced a successful showing at the FIRST LEGO Ontario West Provincial Championship, held at the University of Waterloo.

• The Windsor Police Services’ Camp Brombal, hosted at Camp Cedarwin, and the Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp each received $125,000 from the Alan Quesnel Family Foundation.

• On January 22, the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS) welcomed local historian and former teacher, Milo Johnson. He highlighted the challenges, tribulations, and courage members of the black community demonstrated when serving their country during the American Revolution through to the Second World War.

• Former EPS principal, Lynn McLaughlin, shared her experiences dealing with a life-threatening brain tumor diagnosis in her new book “Steering Through It.” A book reading was hosted at the Kingsville Pubic Library on January 22.

• Windsor-Essex Pride Fest hosted its first Essex County-based Community Engagement Session, at Essex United Church on January 23, to engage members of the LGBT community and their allies on their thoughts and ideas on what types of social and outreach programs they would like to see developed.


• Bob Mitchell, who has a keen interest in railroad history, was the guest speaker at the Essex County Historical Society luncheon, which was hosted at the Essex Railway Station on Saturday, February 3.

• At the Monday, February 5 Essex Council meeting, Fire Chief Rick Arnel was recognized for having earned a Canada 150 Medal.

• Pastor Jim Hatt return to the pulpit the first week of February, after undergoing triple bypass surgery and experiencing a stroke.

• On Friday, February 2, the Jingle Bell Run Steering Committee presented the 2017 event proceeds, a total of $7500, to Community Living Essex County.

• The Essex Thunder house league girls’ hockey teams participated in the 28th Annual London Devilettes Hockey Tournament. The Atom team brought home a gold medal.

• The Gosfield North Cougars Boys’ team won the championship title at the 29th Annual Red Raider Rebound basketball tournament.

• The Essex 73’s wrapped up its Stobbs Division regular season in third position. The team faced Petrolia in the first round of the playoffs.

• The 73’s went on to finish off the Petrolia Flyers in a four game sweep that wrapped up on Sunday, February 11.

• On February 10, Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts from across Essex County met to compete in a regional Kub Car competition at the Harrow Agricultural Hall.

• The Essex Party & Discount Store held its final three days of sales before closing its doors for the last time on February 17, at 6pm.

• Colio Estate Wines hosted its 18th Annual Festival of Ice the second weekend of February. The family-friendly, two-day event included live ice-carving and refreshments.

• On February 16, the quill artwork exhibit of Yvonne Morrisseau was launched, in celebration of Heritage Week, at the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum.

• On February 17, grade eight student Lauren Baillargeon, along with her younger brother and sister, Ty and Kierstyn, hosted the fourth annual Kids Curing Cancer event. Later in the month, $13,750 was presented to the Fight Like Mason Foundation, from their Kids Curing Cancer initiative.

• The students and staff at Gosfield North Public School celebrated French culture with the annual Bonhomme de Neige Carnaval celebration.

• The Harrow Rotary Club presented Essex Fire & Rescue Services with a cheque for $11,528.11, to put towards the purchase of a fire extinguisher training system.

• Grace Baptist of Essex held a special breakfast event on February 24, which included a presentation from Pastor Richard Valade about his experiences in the United States Marine Corps and subsequent deployment to Vietnam.

• The Town of Essex announced the appointment of Kate Bailey to the position of Manager of Finance and Business Services, as of February 26, 2018.


• Visitors headed to the John R. Park Homestead on Sunday, March 4 for the Museum’s annual Maple Syrup Festival.

• The Essex Thunder Atom girls capped off an amazing year of tournament action, taking home gold at the Keith Lindsay Memorial Tournament, for its third championship title that season.

• With a win on March 9, the Essex Ravens Atom Minor team took a six-point series over the Woolwich Wildcats to advance to the All Ontario Finals against the Barrie Colts.

The Barrie Colts went on to take the series, 6 points to 2, to win the championship title.

• Jimmy Hayes, from Essex, who won the Knights Of Columbus regional free throw championship, advanced to represent the region where he sank 19 of 25 free throws at the competition.

• On March 9, T w e n t y - t w o candidates were welcomed into the Essex Windsor EMS family during a commencement ceremony at the Essex County Civic and Education Centre.

• Students at Essex Public School wrapped up their final day of studying before heading into March Break by celebrating French culture, song, and food during the annual Winter Carnival event.

• On March 10, active duty OPP officers and NHL alumni faced off at the Leamington Kinsmen Recreational Complex to take part in the Scotiabank NHL Alumni Benefit Tour, in support of Special Olympics Ontario and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

• At the March 19 meeting of Essex Town Council, Deputy Fire Chief Rick Malott and Alex Denonville, Manager of Communications for the Town of Essex, presented the launch of an emergency alert system, Essex Alerts, to Council.

• In mid-March, The Feed Store, in Harrow, held its fifth annual Maple Syrup Festival in support of the 4H Dairy Club.

• The Community Support Centre of Essex County Program Coordinator, Rachel Noel, Essex Mayor Ron McDermott, and volunteers met in the parking lot of the Essex Retirees’ Social Club on Monday morning to participate in the annual March for Meals program.

• The Essex 73’s season ended on March 13 with a 3-1 loss to the Lakeshore Canadiens.

• On March 23, The Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s string ensemble performed at Essex United Church. The event benefited the Essex Public School and Essex District High School music programs.

• On March 26, Essex’s CAO Donna Hunter provided the highlights of the Executive Summary regarding the Workplace Assessment of Essex Fire & Rescue to Council.

The Workplace Assessment was conducted as a result of an anonymous letter, sent to Hunter, members of Council, and the Town’s HR department that alleged Essex Fire & Rescue Services had a “poisonous work environment.”

• Former long-time maple syrup producer, Ken Hunter, was the guest speaker at the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS) meeting on March 22.

• To bring Scouting back to Cottam, organizers of the program hosted an open house presentation at Cottam United Church the third week of March.

• World class triathlete and Harrow native, Lionel Sanders, accomplished another monumental feat in his storied athletic career on Tuesday, March 20, when he repeated recognition as male athlete of the year at the 13th annual Windsor Essex Sports Person of the Year Awards.

• On March 21, LaSalle’s Luke Wilson made it official, via a twitter post, that he had signed with the Detroit Lions NLF organization.

• The 11th annual Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Warden’s Luncheon, held at the Ciociaro Club on Thursday, March 29, took on a special significance as it was the final luncheon under the eight-year tenure of Essex County Warden, Tom Bain.

• One of the Town’s most anticipated Easter traditions made its annual return to Essex on Saturday morning, March 31, as the Essex Gospel Easter Egg Hunt was hosted at Essex Public School’s playground.

• On Friday, March 30, the McGregor Knights of Columbus hall and grounds was the setting for the Squirettes of Mary (Chapter 1001) annual Easter breakfast and egg hunt on the morning of Good Friday.


• At its April 3 meeting, Council learned the Harrow Lion’s Club and Hall on McAffee Street would be turned over to the Town to end its lease agreement. As of July 31, the club would dissolve.

• On April 3, one of the eight silver roses being relayed across Canada, before crossing North American boarders as part of the annual “Running of the Rose” relay, spent some time in Essex Centre. Members of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church Knights of Columbus (Council #3305) hosted a special ceremony to relay one of the roses to representatives of the Michigan State Knights of Columbus Council.

• The 2017-18 Essex 73’s awards banquet was held on April 3. Players and members of the organization were recognized for their outstanding contribution over the season. Presented with awards were: Most Improved Player - Quinn Fazekas; Coaches Award - Riley Meyerink; Most Sportsmanlike Player - Adam Gaiarin; Most Consistent Player- Jack Sanko; Leading Scorer - William Stadder; Most Dedicated Player -Cody Leeming; Best Defenceman - Anthony Cristofaro; Player of the Year - William Stadder; MVP Playoffs - Michael Vieira; Bursary Award -William Stadder & Adam Gaiarin; Volunteer of the Year - Lisa Birrell.

• The Essex County Agricultural Hall of Fame inducted Charles Desmarais of Stoney Point and Terry Wright of Harrow during its annual Hall of Fame ceremony at the Harrow & Colchester South Agricultural Building on Thursday, April 5.

• The 17th annual Bill Jones Sr. 3-on- 3 Hockey Tournament was held at the Essex Centre Sports complex, the first weekend of April.

• In early April, the Essex Energizers jump rope team competed at the Provincial Championships in Hamilton, Ontario.

• At the grounds of the Essex Centre Sports Complex, nearing the former Ravens Football Fieldhouse, work began to install the Essex Centre Splashpad.

• On April 15, the Essex Community Concert Band (ECCB) took to the stage at Holy Name of Jesus Church with its performance of the aptly entitled “Fantasy & Fiction,” that took concert-goers on a nostalgic trip, beginning in the 1960s, with the instrumental themes from Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey, right through to more contemporary favourites, including the themes from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

• Two local parishes, Essex United Church and St. Paul’s Anglican Church, banded together to create a safe place that will help parents, teens, and school-aged children navigate through challenges they may be facing through the, “Thrive: A living Manual for Families” program. The first event was scheduled for April 29 at Essex United.

• The kindergarten students and staff at Harrow Public School hosted a special collection for the Ronald McDonald House in Windsor, in mid-April.

• In early April, the 2018 All-Ontario Peewee Triple A Championships were held in Essex. The hosting Sun County Panthers’ perseverance over the five-day tournament was rewarded, as the team took the 2018 Peewee Champion title.

• The Town of Essex announced the appointment of Brandi Sieben to the position of Manager of Human Resources.

• In celebration of Earth Day, Colchester North Public School hosted an array of fun activities to educate youth on how they can better the planet.

• Holy Name Catholic Elementary School grade eight student Emma Tellier learned the art piece she created for the annual poster competition would be featured on the front cover of the 2018 Harrow Fair Book.

• On April 22, Lazee G Ranch hosted its annual Horse Day event that offered fun events for all ages, tours of the barns, pony rides, and horse-back riding performances.

• The Essex Area Optimist Club hosted its ninth annual Youth Appreciation Awards event to recognize outstanding youth members for their civic contributions.

• The last week of April, a large group of Gosfield North Public School students wowed teachers, staff members, fellow students, and family members as they hosted the annual spring play, “The Shoemaker and the Shhhhh…Elves.”

Laurel Robinet wrote and directed this fractured fairy tale, with the assistance of Librarian Susie Woodruff, who lent a hand in directing as well.

• Kaidyn Blair, who received a lifesaving liver transplant shortly after his first birthday, gave consent to becoming an organ donor on his 16th birthday, while applying for his health card.


• Rotarians from both sides of the border gathered on Tuesday, May 1, along the Rotary (1918) Centennial Hub, to plant 300 trees. This event was hosted by Rotary District 6400 in partnership with Essex Region Conservation.

• Essex District High School students Valerie Alexander and Jenna Reaume joined an all-female robotics team, “Build a Dream Amazon Warriors,” earlier in the year.

The Build A Dream Amazon Warriors competed in Windsor and in Waterloo, before moving on to compete in Mississauga at the provincial competition, which took place April 11-14. The Build a Dream Amazon Warriors then advanced to the provincials to complete in Detroit, at the Worlds, placing 14th out of around 70 teams in their division. They finished as a highest rookie seed.

• On May 7, the students of Gosfield North Public School let their athletic abilities shine at its annual Track and Field Day at Essex District High School.

• During the first week of May, students and staff at Colchester North Public School hosted the 2018 edition of Theatre Gesto, presenting the play “Lion King Jr.”

• The ever-popular Kingsville Historical Park Museum (KHPM) Yard Sale / Fundraiser began its annual nine-day run at the military museum on Friday, May 11.

• Essex Christian Reformed Church held its annual Kub Car Race on Monday, May 7, to the joy of all children and adults attending.

• In mid-May, the WECDSB Construction Academy students, teachers, and camp volunteers worked on building the new cabins at Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp.

• Local OPP officers and representatives of affiliated groups hosted the annual Police Week on May 12 and 13, offering an interactive display at the Essex Canadian Tire.

• On May 12, residents had an opportunity to get ready for the springtime planting season at the annual Essex & District Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale, held at the Essex Railway Station.

• Graduating students at Essex Public School braved the blustery winds and the torrential downpour late Friday afternoon, May 11, to plant a tree in honour of Earth Day.

• Rotarian Neil McBeth, a member of the Rotary Club of Essex, received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. McBeth was selected for this award in recognition of his active service of over 33 years to the Rotary Foundation, where he worked to raise funds and provide leadership as a regional Rotary Foundation Co-Ordinator and his support for initiatives, such as the End Polio Now campaign as a Zone Coordinator. He previously received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award, Rotary’s highest honour for individual Rotarians.

• Essex United Church’s basement transformed into the Leland Hotel and Saloon for its annual murder mystery fundrasier. The western-themed play, was titled, “Dead in Deadwood.”

• Celebrating the spirit of partnership and inclusion as part of Community Living Month, Community Living Essex County (CLEC) hosted its 13th annual Mayor’s Luncheon at St. Mary’s Hall in Maidstone on May 18. The annual event brings together CLEC supporters and its clients, along with regional mayors, to celebrate the positive impact CLEC has on those in our region living with intellectual and physical disabilities.

• Members of the Essex Energizers Jump Rope Team hopped and skipped their way to the podium, as the team won medals in numerous categories at the Rope Skipping Canada National Championships held at the St. Clair College SportsPlex over the Victoria Day weekend.

• Story telling and encampment sites were available to those who visited the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum’s annual War of 1812 Encampment on May 19. The event is a way to learn about the past through a hands-on experience.

• Over the last weekend of May, the Essex District High School Rotary Interact Club hosted its first annual flea market in the school’s gymnasium to raise funds to support the local high school’s sister school in Maforeka. The school was constructed eight years ago in the western African nation of Sierra Leone.

• On Sunday, May 27, friends, family, and members of the Brooker Baptist Church congregation gathered to honour the career and service of Reverend Stephen Jones with a special retirement open house celebration.

• Detectives of all ages were out in full force on May 26, with Holy Name of Jesus Parish the scene for the “Murder.” The mystery event, coordinated by Pastoral Minister Nick Fournier, transported those in attendance back to a family conflict that ended in tragedy, so the tale went.

• A large crowd enjoyed an event highlighting McGregor’s history on May 31, at the McGregor Community Centre, for a special presentation of the ‘McGregor News’ event.

• 4,000 regional students learned about water science, water attitudes, and water conservation during the 15th Annual Essex Region Children’s Water Festival, during the last week of May.


• Treasure hunters and entrepreneurs of all ages flocked to Cottam to participate in the annual yard sale, the first weekend of June.

In addition to some residents selling gently used items, some sales were used to support fundraisers for important causes.

• At the June 4 meeting, Essex Council learned the Workplace Assessment for Essex Fire & Rescue had a price tag of $113,950.80.

Council learned that, for the second year in a row, the Colchester Harbour has received the world-renowned eco-certification for beaches and marinas, the Blue Flag certification.

• Despite some early morning showers, the 26th Annual Colchester Walleye Derby, an annual, event got underway.

• On June 8, Heritage Essex hosted its second annual Ford Day at the historic Essex Railway Station.

• On June 10, the CTMHV hosted its first event of the summer, the annual Festival of Cars show, which was coupled with an automotive flea market.

• NDP incumbent Taras Natyshak was elected to represent the Essex Riding at Queen’s Park for a third term.

• The Maidstone Bicentennial Museum’s Old Time Black Powder Muzzleloader Marksmanship Challenge was hosted on Saturday, June 9.

The competition was coupled with the Museum’s annual fundraising yard sale, held over the weekend.

• On June 10, residents flocked to Co-An Park in McGregor to enjoy the 29th annual, “Music Festival for Cancer.”

Over the course of the event’s 29 years, organizers estimate they have raised over $300,000 for the Windsor Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation.

• The 2018 Relay for Life event took place at the grounds of Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens on Friday, June 8. Over 20 teams combined to raise over $47,500 for cancer research and vital support services for people living with cancer.

• The Rotary Club of Essex awarded $1000 scholarships to Essex DHS graduates Kaitlyn McCarthy and Emma Mineau.

• Ten Essex District High School track-and-field athletes advanced to compete in the OFSAA competition, which took place at York University in Toronto.

Grade nine athlete, Milan Lobana, earned first place in the Midget Triple Jump, securing him as the top athlete in the province in that division.

• The Essex Minor Baseball Association Midget Minor team brought home a championship title the first weekend in June from the London Badgers “A” Trevor Barton Memorial Tournament.

• Essex powerhouse, 21-year-old Luke Tremblay, made the podium at the IPF World Powerlifting Championships, held in Calgary.

On Monday, June 11, Tremblay competed against 12 other athletes, from 11 different countries, in the Junior, 105 kg category, to earn the overall bronze.

• On June 13, weekly roller skating nights began at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

• Supporters, staff, and clients of Community Living Essex County (CLEC) gathered at the Ciociaro Club on the evening of Tuesday, June 19 to participate in the 57th Annual General Membership Meeting.

• Actors Colin Mochrie and Kevin McDonald were in Harrow the last week of June to film the movie, “Boys Vs. Girls” at Kiwanis-Sunshine Point Camp.

• The Essex Yellowjackets Mosquito Major Baseball team brought home the championship title from the Ralph Hall/Jack McCart Classic Baseball Tournament, which was hosted in LaSalle.

• On Saturday, June 23, the Woodslee Orioles hosted a day of festivities, featuring all five of the Woodslee-based baseball teams in action, for the special unveiling of a new backstop at Reg Chevailler Park, which is located on Orioles Park Drive, the home of the Association since the late 1950s.

• The Town of Essex officially unveiled the Essex Centre Splashpad on Tuesday, June 26, during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

• Thanks to a generous donation, the Town of Essex unveiled a pathway made of Mobi Mats on Wednesday, June 27, at Colchester Harbour beach.

• The staff at Essex Public School said goodbye to another talented group of students on June 26, as the members of graduating class of 2018 individually walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

• Essex District High School’s 2018 graduates received their high school diplomas during the this leaning institution’s 133rd annual convocation, on Wednesday, June 27.

• In celebration of June being Indigenous History Month, the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum hosted a birch bark canoe workshop one June 29.


• On July 1, Essex United Church hosted its fourth annual Canada Day festivities. The free event welcomed all who wanted to enjoy the celebration.

• During the Essex & District Horticultural Society’s June meeting, Naturalized Habitat Network’s Program Coordinator, Dan Bissonnette, presented the club with a $425 donation, the organization’s remaining funds.

• Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau payed a visit to Highbury Canco. in Leamington on Canada Day, which resulted in a block party with live music that shut down a portion of Erie Street.

• At the July 3 meeting, Essex Council decided to send a letter to the three treatment plants from which it gets its water to make it known that it does not want fluoride added to its drinking water.

• The Annual Essex Fun Fest offered an array of activities, attractions, a midway, vendors, food areas, and nightly music entertainment.

• The first annual Ontario Martinfest was a big success as it attracted a large crowd out to Colchester Harbour and Park on July 7.

• On July 5, the Essex County Farm Safety Association hosted its annual Kid’s Safety Day event, at the Harrow Fairgrounds, with support from the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. 

• Christine Hayes, was named the 2018 Essex Citizen of the Year during the annual announcement at the Essex Fun Fest.

• In honour of Blake Clifford, the Clifford family officially dedicate a memorial bench, which is located in front of the Shoppers Drug Mart in Harrow Centre.

• EDHS graduate Claire Crawford earned the EDHS Governor General Bronze Medal for academic achievement.

• Essex Mayor Ron McDermott presented the 2018 Senior of the Year award to Essex Centre resident Diana Dennis at the July 16 Council meeting.

• In memory of daughter, Kari, who passed away due to melanoma cancer at the age of 30 in 2014, the Hedges family donated a sunscreen dispenser for each of the three splashpads located within the Municipality of Essex.

• Due to her incredible on-track success, Essex District High School graduate, Kennedy Campeau, was preparing to start her post-secondary education at the University of Detroit Mercy with a scholarship that would cover her tuition, fees, and books, valued at $112,000 US.

• WECSSAA announced its all-star selections for the Tier III girls’ soccer with three Essex Red Raider players on the list. Midfielder Vanessa Gualdieri, Striker Payton Moore, and Goalkeeper Kaya Hearns, were all chosen by WECSSAA as players of all-star ability among the athletes from eight different schools.

• On July 29, the Colchester Family Fun Day kicked off with the unveiling of a new heritage plaque that overlooks the recreational harbour and beach.

• The annual two-day Explore the Shore event took place the last weekend of July, highlighting numerous businesses and community groups along County Road 50, between Amherstburg and Kingsville. 

• The Essex Centre BIA hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 25 to officially welcome its new pavilion into the community.

• Essex resident Summer Stockwell made the top six round in an international makeup artist competition, NYX Face Awards.

• On July 28, Murray Sellars and Robert Anderson were recognized as outstanding volunteers at part of the 40th anniversary of Co-An Park. 


• On August 3, antique, classic, and vintage vehicles parked along Talbot Street, between Victoria Avenue and Brien Avenue, as part of the Essex Dream Cruise In event.

• On August 4, the Essex Railways Station opened its doors to celebrate the King of Rock ‘N Roll, Elvis Presley.

• On August 4, local and out-of-town farmers took to the competition field, located along County Road 34 in Cottam at the McLeod Farm, to display their talent during the annual Essex County Plowing Match.

• The 17th Annual Sun Parlour Rodeo, hosted on the Pavao family farm in Ruthven, attracted an estimated 5000 spectators, over the first weekend of August.

• Over the second weekend of August, the 159th Comber Fair did not disappoint fairgoers who enjoyed the annual celebration, which highlighted local agriculture, musical entertainment, and its one-of-a-kind carnival amusements and midway.

• The historic Essex Railway Station hosted its annual Family Fun Day on August 11 with family friendly activities and a barbeque.

• The 34th annual Steam and Gas Engine Show was hosted at the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Museum, located adjacent to Co-An Park in McGregor, over the second weekend of August.

• Over the second weekend of August, the Essex Junior baseball Team was unable to defend their 2017 “AA” Provincial Championship, but finished with a silver medal at the 2018 “AA” Provincial Championships. This was an emotional end for the teammates who have had a great ride. The core of this group has participated in six provincial finals in six years.

• On Friday, August 17, the Kingsville Historical Park Museum unveiled “The Veterans Memorial Maple Tree Program” that was designed to raise funds for the museum, honour veterans, and add colour to the facility that houses around 12,000 historic artifacts, related to local servicemen and women who have served their Country.

• Nearly 80 selected grade six Values, Influences and Peers (VIP) program graduates, from across Essex County, came together in Gesto during the third week of August, to enjoy five full days of leadership and teamwork building exercises at the 24th Annual OPP Cop Camp.

• During  the annual Victoria Wellness Plaza’s free community barbeque and block party on Friday, August 17, a little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of organizers or those who attended.

• The Essex 2009’s soccer team wrapped up its season with 18 wins and one tie, to secure first place in the league standings and further earn the championship title. 

• On August 21, the Essex Soil & Crop Improvement Association (ESCIA) hosted its annual Twilight Tour at the Honourable Eugene F. Whelan Experimental Station, located in Woodslee.

• Over the third week of August, the Town of Essex and Essex Fire & Rescue joined forces to offer area youth a chance to learn about fire safety and fire prevention during a firefighter-themed summer day camp program.

• On August 30, a plaque, recognizing Harrow’s history, was unveiled at the entrance of Harrow Veteran’s Memorial Park as the Essex Municipal Heritage Committee unveiled the sixth municipal-wide commemoration piece in its Heritage Plaque program.

• The Essex Midget Minor (16-year-olds) baseball team captured its (fourth in-a-row) AA Baseball Ontario Provincial Championship.


• Over the Labour Day weekend, the 164th Harrow Fair took place. Thousands of visitors descended on the Harrow Fairgrounds to celebrate local arts and agriculture over the course of the fun-filled, four-day event.

• At the September meeting of Essex Town Council, Kelsey Santarossa, who founded the Youth Council Coalition of Canada (YCC), requested Essex Council support an application she wished to submit to the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation Community Impact Grant.

  If, and when, successful in achieving the grant, she said, the YCC would come back to work with supporting municipalities to create Youth Councils.

Residents of the Townsview subdivision approached Council, at the same meeting, regarding possibly fundraising for a park.

  • On September 9, the Harrow Rotary Club held its first annual two-on-two beach volleyball tournament at Colchester Beach.

• On September 5, Libro Credit Union forwarded around $80,000 to seven local, specially selected, recipients of the 2018 Libro Prosperity Fund.

  The Harrow and Colchester South Chamber of Commerce was awarded $15,000, which will be put towards its economic development project, “Win this Space Harrow.”

• On September 5, the recently renovated oncology room at Erie Shores Healthcare was unveiled, thanks to Miss. Lizzy’s Tea Foundation, which raised the $32,000 needed for the renovation.

• On Saturday, September 8, at Co-An Park, St. Mary’s Park celebrated the end of another successful baseball season with the annual closing tournament.

• On September 11, the Essex 73’s began its season with a big 6-3 win at home against the feisty Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

• The Cottam Rotary Club took advantage of the remaining warm weather to host the Cottam Fall Fair and Horse Festival on September 16.

• With a 6-0 record, while outscoring its opponents 31-5 in those six games, the Essex Ravens Atom Major took the championship title of the 41st Annual Early Bird hockey tournament.

The Essex Ravens PeeWee Minor also took the championship title at the 41st annual Essex Early Bird Tournament, in a 3-1 final against the Tecumseh Eagles.

• On September 11, the Essex Firemen’s Association donated an accessible swing to Sparky’s Park, located inside Tulley Meadows, and is working on getting the fire safety messages updated and remade.

• On September16, Legion Week kicked off in Essex. This multiple-day event offered fun activities for everyone, over the age of 19, to enjoy, while learning about the many services and programs the local Legion offers.

• On Friday, September 21, a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened the Souterrain Impressions Exhibit at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village, which was available for public viewing until November 18.

• On September 22, the Gosfield North Sportsmen Association (GNSA) held its 18th annual fish fry at St. Johns Hall in Woodslee.

• The Essex Communities in Bloom (CIB) Committee recognized many owners of residential and commercial properties for their beautification efforts during its annual Awards Reception, held at the McGregor Community Centre on September 26.

• On September 30, the Knights of Columbus Councils of Essex and Maidstone joined forces to raise funds to support Coats for Kids through the 8th annual pasta dinner at St. Mary’s hall in Maidstone.

• The Tecumseh Fire Station in Oldcastle was filled to the capacity on September 30, for the grand opening of the brand-new Sandwich South Cultural and Resource Centre.

• The 39th Annual Ruthven Apple Festival was held over the last weekend of September to support Community Living Essex County.

• On September 28, the Essex Centre BIA hosted the second annual Fall in Love with Our Local Street Party. This year’s Street Party had a superhero theme.

• The Town of Essex and its Communities in Bloom committee were given the Outstanding Achievement Award for community involvement at the 2018 Communities in Bloom National/International Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Strathcona County, Alberta on September 29.


• Zach Kireta, who works at the Essex Aquatics Centre as a Lifeguard and Instructor, received an In Motion All Star Award at the 11th annual Southwestern Ontario in Motion (SWARG)  awards ceremonies.

• On October 3, 2018, the community, and the Essex Free Press, lost a long-time historian, advocate, and writer, Evelyn Couch- Burns.

• October 4, the Harrow & Colchester South Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet the candidates night, allowing constituents to learn more about those who were running in the Essex Municipal Election.

The Essex Centre BIA hosted a meet the candidates event on October 11, at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

• The fifth annual LaSalle Craft Beer Festival took over the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex, over the second weekend of October.

• On October 23, participants and volunteers showed support to the annual Essex Baby Steps-A Walk to Remember event, which began from the Essex Centre Sports Complex. It raised awareness about pregnancy and infant loss, during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

• Essex Fire & Rescue hosted open houses at all three local fire stations during Fire Prevention Week, held the second week of October.

• Constable Sarah Werstein, an OPP police officer stationed in the Municipality of Essex, took over the Community Policing Officer position.

• On October 22, the Town of Essex Municipal Election results were announced at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201).

Larry Snively will serve as Mayor. Richard Meloche will serve as Deputy Mayor, alongside Coucillors Morely Bowman, Joe Garon, Kim Veerbeek, Chris Vander Doelen, Steve Bjorkman, and Sherry Bondy.

• On October 24, sweet and spicy aromas filled the air inside the Essex Centre Sports Complex as Essex Community Services hosted its 10th annual Chili Cook-off competition.

• On October 24, the Rotary Club of Essex, along with the Essex District High School (EDHS) Rotary Interact Club and Student Council, hosted the annual Pizza for Polio event to celebrate World Polio Day.

• On October 26, the Erie Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star hosted a pasta dinner in support of the Wounded Warriors Canada organization, at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201).

• On Saturday, October 27, the Town of Kingsville launched its Salute to Veterans Banner project with the first ceremonial banner featuring Veteran Lt.-Col. Murray Stewart, who was on hand for the celebration.

• On October 27, Christine Hayes was recognized as Essex’s 2018 Citizen of the Year at a special banquet, held at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201).

• On October 27, the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) transformed into the fictional Town of Chatsfield for the annual Murder Mystery event.

• Controversy stirred following the Essex Municipal Election when Essex Councillor Sherry Bondy brought forward concerns she had heard from residents about the use of proxy votes.

• St. Paul’s Church recognized senior support workers with the annual “Legacy of Heroes” ceremony.

• Holy Name of Jesus Church’s Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) held its annual Turkey Dinner and Bazaar fundraiser at the local parish on October 28.

• Over the last weekend of October, Western Secondary School hosted its 30th annual Pumpkin Fest.

• Local powerhouse, 22-year-old, Luke Tremblay, lifted his way back onto the provincial podium on October 28, after earning an overall gold medal at the Ontario Junior Provincial Powerlifting Championships, which was held at Seneca College.

• The Town of Essex announced the appointment of Heather MacDonald to the position of Assistant Manager, Finance, and Chris Nepszy to the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.

• On October 31, youngsters adorned in their best costumes were trick-or-treating in the downtown business core during the annual Essex Centre BIA Tiny Tot Parade.

• At the end-of-the-month assembly, Students and staff members at Gosfield North Public School presented a cheque for $6900 to the Terry Fox Foundation, and the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams celebrated their pennant and district wins, respectively.


• On November 1, Tom Rindlisbacher and his mother, Eleanor, spoke at the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum on how they created a painting of Chief Tecumseh in recognition of the 250th anniversary of his death.

• The Ken Knapp Ford 24th annual Jingle Bell Run, Walk, and Wheel, fundraiser for Community Living Essex County was held on Sunday, November 4.

• At the November 5 meeting of Essex Town Council, long-time municipal employee, Al Diemer, was recognized for obtaining his Certified Road Supervisor (CRS) Certification.

• Over the first full week of November, the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum highlighted a few special displays to recognize Remembrance Day and the centennial anniversary of WWI’s Armistice.

  • In an effort to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, the Essex Municipal Heritage Society, in partnership with the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS), hosted a public meeting at the Harrow Community Centre on November 1. Retired Lt.-Col. Hardy Wheeler provided a briefing of the history of the prestigious Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment.

• Students took over the Gosfield North Public School gymnasium on November 8 to do their part in a worldwide Guinness Book of World Records attempt to break the record for “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.”

• On November 9, the LSST Department at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary School led a Remembrance Day mass inside the local school’s gymnasium as a way to pay tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers who fought for the rights and freedoms Canadians enjoy today.

• Hundreds of Essex residents gathered at the local cenotaph on Sunday morning, November 11, to honour the fallen soldiers and veterans who have fought for the rights and freedoms Canadians enjoy today, as part of this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony.

• In recognition of Remembrance Day and the centennial anniversary of WWI’s armistice, around 40 individuals volunteered to take on a shift to stand in silence at the Essex Centre cenotaph.

  The Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201) organized the vigil, with the help of many volunteers on various shifts, that began around 48 hours before the 11th hour on November 11.

• At Woodslee United Church, twenty-five congregation members gathered to ring the church bell 100 times in acknowledgement of a very special Remembrance Day that marked 100 years since the end of WWI.

• Zenon Andrusyszyn, of the Souterrain Impressions Exhibit, delivered a presentation at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village on November 10, detailing the work done by the Canadian Historical Documentation and Imaging Group to document First World War soldier carvings found in a chalk cave in France.

• The Essex Raven PeeWee Minor hockey team was in Owen Sound the first weekend of November for a Silver Stick Regional Qualifier tournament. The team played hard in a nail-biting final against the Oakville Rangers, and brought home a silver medal.

• Through its bottle drive efforts, the Squires group at Holy Name of Jesus Church presented just over $500 to Essex Community Services. 

• Lifelong Essex resident Shaun Byrne will head the eSports Administration and Entrepreneurship program at St. Clair College, which will educate students in the business of competitive online gaming.

• The Essex Ravens Atom Major hockey team took the championship at the Buffalo River Classic, in New York. The team faced competition that consisted of American “AA” teams, and played all the games on outdoor rinks.

• It was a successful weekend for the annual Essex Region Goodfellow’s annual Newspaper Campaign, thanks to the generous donations of the community and dedication of its volunteers.

• Thanks to the generosity of the community, the St. Mary’s Maidstone and Holy Name of Jesus Church’s Knights of Columbus Councils donate 11 boxes of youth-sized coats to the Essex Area Food Bank and six boxes to Lakeshore’s Community Support Centre on November 16.

• Woodslee’s Libro Community Centre became a special place of remembrance on November 17 during the Woodslee Millen Group’s annual Honouring the Veterans event.

• Monday, November 19 marked the last meeting of the 2014-2018 Term of Essex Council.

  Outgoing Council members took the time to say goodbye, while those continuing on spoke about what is to come in the future.

• After receiving 640 submissions, and almost 1 million online votes in support of projects from across the country, the Aviva Community Fund announced its 2018 winners, which included  a $100,000 grant that will help purchase a grandstand for the Essex District High School sports field. 

• The Rotary Interact Club held its annual pasta dinner fundraiser at the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201) on November 19 to raise funds for Essex District High School’s (EDHS) sister school in Maforeka.

• It was a championship win, at the Southpoint Capital Cup, for the Essex Ravens Atom AE hockey team, which was its first tournament of the year.

• The Essex Ravens Novice Major hockey team took the Championship of the 34th Annual Doug Robinson Tournament, in Lincoln, Ontario.

• The Essex Thunder Girls’ Atom hockey team took home its second championship at the 5th annual Lakeshore Lightning Hockey tourney.

The Essex Thunder Peewee Orange Girls Hockey House League team also captured the championship in its division.

• On the evening of November 20, top Essex District High School students were recognized for their outstanding achievements during the annual Academic Awards Night.

In addition, the 2017 Proficiency Award winners were announced - Paige Miehls for grade nine, Priscilla Dyck for grade 10, and Melinda Kovacs for grade 11.

• On November 22, Cottam United Church hosted its 72nd turkey dinner tradition, which celebrated the American Thanksgiving Holiday.

• Some Essex County residents rang in the holiday season with a hands-on wreath making workshop on November 24, which the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) hosted, at the John R. Park Homestead.

• Explore the Shore held its inaugural Christmas market inside the Colchester Community Room on November 24.

• The Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) hosted its annual Christmas Craft Show over the last weekend of November.

• On Friday, November 23, the Essex Centre BIA and the Essex Salvation Army hosted the annual Tree Lighting and Kettle Campaign Kick Off event on the front lawn of the Essex Municipal Building.

• With the help of his friends at the Harrow Kinsmen, Santa Claus made his annual visit to Harrow Centre on Friday, November 30, to participate in the Harrow parade.


• The popular, live-action nativity performance returned to GessTwood Camp over the first weekend of December. Camp volunteers and performers took visitors back more than 2000 years, to the time of the birth of Christ, during the annual Bethlehem Walk production.

• Over the first weekend of the month, the Essex District Christmas Craft Show was held at Essex United Church.

• The Kingsville-Essex Associated Band organized the annual Christmas Gift Show fundraiser, held in the Essex District High School Gymnasium.

• Firefighters with the Kingsville North Fire Station helped Santa arrive at the Cottam Tree Lighting event in style on the evening of Saturday, December 1.

• Homemade soup and sandwiches were a big hit at the Essex Retirees’ Social Club’s Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale on November 1.

• On Monday, December 3, the new term of Council was inaugurated during a special meeting.

• Cottam’s Jamieson MacNeil returned home a champion, taking home a piece of hardware in all three colours, from the World Dance Championships, which took place in Poland between November 29-December 4.

• Maurice Chauvin, of Pointe-aux-Roches, was named winner of the 2018 Conservation Farm Award at the Essex Soil & Crop Improvement Association Annual Meeting on December 6.

• On December 8, the annual Essex Centre BIA Santa Claus Parade wowed residents.

• On December 8, Santa and Mrs. Claus, were the guests of honour for the Town of Essex’s first-ever Breakfast with Santa, held at the  Essex Centre Sport Complex’s Shaheen Community Room.

• On December 9, the historic Essex Railway Station hosted its annual Victorian Christmas Sale & More.

• Essex Rotarians and volunteers from the Union Gas Helping Hands in Action program volunteered at the Essex Area Food Bank to pack up a huge contribution, which was to feed 125 families in need this holiday season.

• At the December 17 meeting of Essex Town Council, Council discussed how to handle the “opt in” or “opt out” options for recreational cannabis retail, but ultimately decided to make that decision at the January 14 meeting, giving administration time to launch an online survey and collect some public input.

• Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara took his official oath as the new County Council Warden on December 12, during the 2018-2022 term of Essex County Council’s inaugural meeting.

• St. Mary’s French Immersion Catholic School’s grade six students guided their young kindergarten-aged buddies safely to the neighbouring Maidstone Post Office on the morning of Wednesday, December 12 to hand-deliver their letters to Santa.

• On December 12, the Town of Essex and Essex Fire & Rescue hosted a dinner to recognize local firefighters who have dedicated 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service to their community.

• On December 15 and 16, Santa’s Helper Christmas Market took over the Cottam United Church hall.

• On Friday, December 14, Essex United Church hosted children from the church, and across the county, to share a performance of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.”

• On December 16, the Essex Community Concert Band treated listeners to a holiday performance at Holy Name of Jesus Church. The performance featured renditions of 11 different Christmas songs.

• It is official...the World Speed Stacking Association’s “Stack Up!” event has set a new Guinness World Record Mark for “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day,” with help from the students in the grades two to five classes at Gosfield North Public School. The stacking took place on November 8. Each participant will now be presented with a certificate of proof to commemorate the achievement.

• Various business and organizations sponsored several free recreational skate and swim activities over the holiday break.

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