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2022: The last year in review, part two

July

La Bouffe Additionelle opened its new location next to the Little Green Library in the space that previously housed the Friperie Communautaire Huntingdon.

The Valley Flower Show returned following a pandemic-imposed hiatus with a floral celebration of the Roaring 20s. The Flower Show raised funds for local efforts to support Ukrainian families looking to come to Canada and specifically the Valley.

Four Valley athletes participated in the Special Olympics Quebec Summer Games, bringing home an impressive 11 medals between them.

 

PHOTO Claude Gervais

 

 

Flames engulfed Ormstown’s Express 57 restaurant, which was renowned for its retro look and memorabilia, much of which was destroyed in the fire. A fundraising campaign was launched by Gabrielle Limoges, the director of Une Affaire de Famille, with the goal of raising $10,000 to help owner Claude Gervais recover from the fire and start over.

August

The Livestock Breeders Association of the District of Beauharnois (LBA) held an information session for members to discuss possible plans to update the century-old dining hall facilities at the Ormstown fairgrounds.

The village of Ormstown became a pesticide-free environment following the adoption of a bylaw respecting the uses and restrictions of pesticides and other chemical products within the urban perimeter of the village.

A fish die-off event occurred in the English River near Howick and Très-Saint-Sacrement, leading local organizations to speculate on what may have been the cause.

The 192nd edition of the Huntingdon Fair saw record-breaking attendance and the return of a full schedule of events following the pandemic.

Parents were almost left scrambling to find transportation for the start of the school year after government negotiations with school bus companies dragged on. The school year started with bus transportation across the Valley, but this was not the case for many other Quebec regions.

The Hemmingford Fire Service became one of the first departments to be trained and equipped to carry out grain-entrapment rescues. The Godmanchester Volunteer Fire Department also became certified for this type of rescue.

The Chateauguay Valley Antique Association returned to hold its 35th annual antique show and tractor pull in Rockburn.

The Place 5 R thrift store in Sainte-Barbe was forced to put an end to its operations.

September

Elgin bagpiper Wanda Goundrey reflected on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, having played before an audience that included the Queen and members of the royal family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 2018. Following the performance, the piper was introduced to the Queen during a walkabout. The monarch passed away at Balmoral on September 8 at the age of 96.

 

PHOTO Courtesy of Wanda Goundrey

 

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec proposed revisions to the current Salaberry-Suroît and Chateauguay-Lacolle ridings which would divide the municipalities of the Haut-Saint-Laurent region between the two federal districts. The commission also proposed changing the names of both ridings to Salaberry-Suroît-Soulanges and Chateauguay-Les Jardins-de-Napierville.

Havelock Fair marked its 150th edition with a two-day fair for the first time in its history. Moving forward, the traditional agricultural fair will remain a two-day affair.

Short on space, the New Frontiers School Board launched public consultations to find solutions to possible overcrowding in several schools and centres, including the Chateauguay Valley Career Education Centre in Ormstown.

Havelock mayor Stephane Gingras stepped down from the position.

Local members of the Women’s Institute gathered to celebrate the organization’s 125th anniversary by planting a commemorative red oak tree in Ormstown.

The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent adopted a bylaw banning the dumping and backfilling of materials near municipal wells to restrain illegal dumping.

PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

The LBA presented an evening with renowned author, academic, activist, and animal behaviourist Temple Grandin, who gave a talk on paying more attention to those who think differently to a sold-out crowd at the Ormstown fairgrounds.

October

The second edition of the LBA’s Fall Festival heralded the changing season and the start to a successful harvest season.

Carole Mallette, the candidate for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), was elected to represent the Huntingdon riding following the October 3 provincial general election. Mallette won with over 46 per cent of the local vote over Parti Libéral du Québec candidate Jean-Claude Poissant, who received just over 14 per cent support from voters.

Students and staff at Heritage Elementary School were left rattled after a lockdown was initiated at the Huntingdon-based elementary school following reports of a potential threat nearby. The incident turned out to be a false alarm but proved valuable as a learning experience for the school and the NFSB.

The Barrie Memorial Hospital was central to a national discussion on emergency room wait times and staff shortages when a man died minutes after arriving at the Ormstown emergency room. He had waited for 16 hours to see a doctor in another hospital the previous day.

Les Complices Alimentaires inaugurated their “smart” freezers in Huntingdon and Hemmingford which are stocked with locally harvested and processed fruits and vegetables available at affordable prices. The vending-machine-style fridges are aimed at reducing food waste while addressing social inequality issues within the region.

Ambioterra opened its regional nursery, the Pepinière régionale du Suroît in Hemmingford, which has the capacity to produce 15,000 trees per year to help reforest the regional agricultural zone.

November

Members of Melissa’s Sunshine Camp and the social integration class at the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Centre (HAECC) toasted the success of their Art’porte-Moi project with a vernissage in Huntingdon.

Parc Safari launched Féerie, a festive new installation featuring 85 giant illuminated animal structures. The new initiative will allow the zoo to remain open into the winter months and marks the start of a new phase of recreational development at Parc Safari.

Gerald Beaudoin was sworn in as the new mayor of Havelock.

The 13th annual Rudolph Run returned to an in-person format as runners in their festive best hit the streets in Ormstown to raise over $4,800 for La Bouffe Additionnelle.

The Valley was well represented at the 100th edition of the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

December

Since last March, at least $37,000 was raised within the Valley to help Ukrainians find safety in Canada and this area. The funds raised through the Chateauguay Valley for Ukraine movement purchased flights and medical exams for 35 Ukrainians and helped an additional 19 individuals in some way. Several Ukrainians settled in the Valley during the year and are adapting to life here amidst a welcoming community.

Santa Claus was a welcome sight at holiday events, where children enjoyed being able to whisper their Christmas wishes while sitting on the jolly elf’s knee after two years of more restrained visits.

The LBA transformed the Ormstown fairgrounds into a Christmas Village, while the municipalities of Howick and Très-Saint-Sacrement saw the streets once again lined with children awaiting the return of the Santa Claus Parade. The municipality of Ormstown also held Enchanted Christmas activities.

The Centre de services scolaire de la Vallée-des-Tisserands inaugurated its new facilities at the École des Jeunes-Riverains elementary school in Saint-Anicet following a two-year expansion project.

Parents were relieved as school let out for the holidays following a difficult fall that saw a spike in children falling ill, as COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the flu led to higher absenteeism rates.

 

PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

A train derailed in Godmanchester leading to the closure of the railroad as crews worked to recover two locomotives and four rail cars. There were no injuries, no leaks, no fires, and no dangerous goods involved.

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