2018 Year in Review – March

January 7, 2019   ·   0 Comments

March 1

• It’s now been more than 18 years since Choices Youth Shelter (CYS) set up shop in Orangeville. The brainchild of a local community task force committed to addressing issues surrounding affordable housing and homelessness in the region, the organization is considered as something of a safe haven for youth in the community, and has been for much of the past two decades.

A non-profit organization, CYS provides a “safe and supportive” living environment for homeless youth in Dufferin County. Extending its services to individuals between the ages of 16 and 24, Choices offers youth an alternative to living on the street, while also putting supports in place to help them transition to a move productive and brighter future says Jessyca Keyes, the organization’s emergency housing manager.

This year, Choices launched day-time programming. The shelter on Townline is now open between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and all holidays.

• It was an educational excursion like no other and one that will not only stick with the 25 Orangeville District Secondary School (ODSS) students who embarked on it, but change their lives forever.

Leaving behind their lives of relative luxury and comfort, the group, which included four ODSS teachers, ventured down to Ecuador on Feb. 16 for a 10-day mission in the South American nation. 

Once there, students spent time helping an indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest, participating in experiments at the Equator and visiting stunning waterfalls in “beautiful” Banos.

March 8

• It has been a week of mourning for members of the Orangeville Fire Department (OFD) following the death of one of their own – long-time volunteer firefighter Owen Sheardown. 

The five-year department veteran passed away on Feb. 26 surrounded by friends and family following a short battle with cancer. Flags at all municipal facilities were lowered to half-mast last week in commemoration of Mr. Sheardown’s years of “excellent” service.

Mr. Sheardown leaves his three children, Makayla, Evander and Logan, their mother Ilike, his partner Brooke and stepchildren Addison and Carly. He died two days after his 42nd birthday.

• Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph is doing its part to help reduce poverty in the region, announcing this week that it has purchased a property on Broadway in town that it hopes to turn into six affordable homes for local families. 

The purchase and planned construction is a part of an extensive project the organization hopes to see through in Dufferin County over the next few years, says Habitat WDG CEO Steve Howard. Development on this first property is expected to begin later this year.

• Orangeville’s council chamber will be receiving a “much-needed” facelift later this year, Council having signed off on almost $200,000 worth of upgrades at Town Hall on Monday (March 5). 

The plans call for a complete reshuffle of the room, located on the main floor of Town Hall. The project will include a new state-of-the-art $40,000 audio and visual system and brand new portable furniture for Council and Town staff.

March 15

• Carman Lemcke, Shelburne’s longest serving police chief and one of the longest serving across all of Canada, has passed away at the age of 85. 

Mr. Lemcke, who served with the Shelburne Police Service for 37 years, from 1956 to 1993, was struck with pneumonia last Thursday (March 8). Following a brief battle with the illness, he passed away on Tuesday. 

Known simply as ‘The Law’ for generations in Shelburne, Carman spent his first 12 months in the community as a constable before assuming the position of chief in 1957. He would spend the next 36 years running the community’s long-standing police service, becoming one of the longest serving police chiefs in Canadian history. 

• It was a short lived playoff run for the Orangeville Junior A Flyers.

The Flyers were up against the Toronto Patriots in the first round of the OJHL playoffs and four games later they were done for the season.

The Flyers were out-gunned by the Patriots scoring only one goal in the entire series and giving up 25 goals over the four games.

Finishing in third place in the West Division of the OJHL, the Flyers ended the regular season with a 22-31-1 record including six overtime losses and managed to put 51 points on the record.

They managed to squeeze into the playoffs as the bottom seed and finished in the number 15 spot over all in the 22 team League.

March 22

• If you’re a Dufferin resident, you can show off your artistic talent by participating in Orangeville’s Call for Artists for the 2018 Utility Box Art Display Program.  

The Town is looking for local artists to help beautify our community and celebrate the Town’s vibrant arts culture and history. Launched in 2016, the program has seen eight functional utility boxes transformed into colorful works of art for the community to enjoy. 

The Program is designed to recognize local artists, providing them with the opportunity to submit original artwork for installation on selected Town utility boxes using a custom vinyl wrap process.  

A jury will select the winning submissions, and successful artists will receive a fee of $500 for their designs.

March 29

• Westside Secondary School recently welcomed a group of students from Japan for their international exchange program, something the school has done for several years.

In partnering with the Red Leaf program, the welcoming ceremony took place at the school last Thursday (March 22), with this year seeing 20 Japanese students visit Orangeville for 10 days. The school’s band played both the Canadian and Japanese national anthems while welcoming bags were being given out.

Christine Kirkland, one of the school’s guidance counsellors and organizer for international student visits, said the students are paired with a Westside buddy, where they will shadow them in their classes in the afternoon, while in the morning they will take English class, giving them a taste of Canadian culture. 

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.