by Lorraine Payette, written on July 27, 2013
(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) What better way to start a perfect summer’s day than to go down to the Springer Theatre in Gananoque and indulge in an old fashioned shore breakfast? Jayne Curtis and her crew got out all the fixings, and the Thousand Islands Association (TIA) got its 2013 AGM going in fine style. The organization is proud to announce it has fifty new members, and is hoping for even more in the upcoming year.
All the usual guests were there, with MP Gord Brown and MPP Steve Clark of Leeds-Grenville and Mayor Frank Kinsella of TLTI. The Clayton Fire and Rescue team had brought their fireboat in, and representatives came down from Brockville to share news about both the Aquatarium and Shoal Sisters, a brand new program to call attention to TIA and all the fine work it does providing shoal markers throughout the Thousand Islands.
“I know what good work the Thousand Islands Association does,” said MP Brown. “I have the honour and pleasure of living right on the River in Gananoque along the Parkway, and I’m out on the water a lot. I know that those shoal markers definitely make sure that everyone stays safe, especially after having a little incident when I was a kid. Everyone should be very happy they’re out there, and that the Association keeps doing everything it can to keep putting them out there. I want to congratulate them for all the work that they do to promote the Thousand Islands, which are very dear to my heart.”
“I want to congratulate the Association for the work that they do with the shoal markers and also with our fire agencies,” said MPP Clark. “I know that Chief Bennett is very appreciative of all the cooperation and the advocacy that you have for the cause. I can’t think of a better corner of this province or of our friends across the border, and I think we are very blessed to have one of the nicest, if not the nicest, areas in this country. I know that some of the bursaries that the Association gives on both sides of the border are much appreciated by our young people.”
“This Association serves both sides of the border,” said Mayor Kinsella. “It’s an international organization. We now have the Great Lakes Protection Act in Ontario. It’s a bill introduced in the Ontario legislature in June, 2012, and is very important to our area. I’ve been to meetings where we’ve talked about the environment and effluent coming out of some of the waste sites. It all passes by through here, and I’ve been advocating for water quality control. I belong to the Great Lakes Association, but there are only seven of us and we can’t do everything. So we need associations like TIA to nominate someone that’s really passionate to come in and participate with us.”
Kinsella went on to say that he hoped the associations could work together for the protection of the area, not just with shoal markers but by keeping the water pure and usable for generations well into the future.
The Township donated $2,500 to TIA in the spring when they needed help, and the money has been put to good use by the Association. Vanessa Latimer and David Orr of TIA officially thanked Mayor Kinsella for the assistance.
A new fundraiser for this year is the “Own Your Own Shoal Marker” program, which is doing very well. For a $500 contribution, you will have a shoal named after you, and will receive a tax receipt.
Declaring this to be the best turn out they have ever had at TIA, Orm Murphy of the organization was happy to introduce this year’s guest speakers, Doug McLellan and Lyne Roberge, from the McLellan group. They spoke not only about the great attractions to be afforded at the upcoming Aquatarium in Brockville, but about the brand new fund raising program called Shoal Sisters.
The Shoal Sisters posters feature photographs of women of all ages, gowned in white and carrying lanterns, standing on different shoals in the Thousand Islands, lighting the way and protecting all boaters from dangers in navigation. The hope is to produce a calendar next year featuring beautiful colour photographs of the ladies and their shoals. All proceeds from sales of the posters and potential calendar go to continue the many works funded by TIA. Posters start at $40 apiece, with all money raised goes toward the Shoal Markers Fund.
For more information on the Shoal Sisters program, please go to http://www.lovethisriver.com/ . For more on TIA, go to http://www.1000islandsassociation.net/ .