Mono Council raises tourism flag, issues Senior of the Year award

June 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Special to the Citizen

Mono Council opened its doors to two bright and cheerful events on May 29, starting with the raising of the Headwaters Tourism Flag at Town Hall, in recognition of Tourism Week, running from May 27 to June 2.

The other occasion was the awarding of the Senior of the Year Award to Dave Barr, who has been a long-time resident of the town.

Mr. Barr, who has farmed in Mono for 75 years, was quite the recipient. Amongst his many achievements, he has built his own airplane and flown it, with his wife Grace, all across Canada and down to Florida, where the couple own a property. He loves mystery novels and was a bomber crew member overseas during the Second World War.

Mr. Barr recounted how, in 1930, his mother came to Ontario to find a farm and then after purchasing acreage and buildings known as [lots] 26-27 Second Line in Mono, packed up the family in a 1929 automobile and moved to Mono.

He recalled that his father didn’t particularly care for the limestone rocks in the fields, but loved the good brick house and spacious barns. In 1943, Dave joined the airforce and was assigned as a wireless operator in the bomber command. After training in Guelph, he was shipped out to England, in March 1944 and flew 30 missions between then and 1945, when he was reposted to field duties, as he had done his flight work. So as not to be bored and because it meant he would get home quicker, he volunteered for the Japanese front and shortly found himself back in Ontario, in Orangeville.

It was in Orangeville that he found his future wife, Grace, and bought her a banana split! From there, Mr. Barr went to Greenwood Nova Scotia to leave for the Pacific, but fate intervened and the war ended before he shipped out. Instead, he ferried Lancaster bombers from Halifax to Alberta for storage. After that, he became engaged to Grace and settled into life a s a farmer and a father, retiring in 1975 and turning the farm over to his son Wally.

Mr. Barr thanked Council profusely for the honour he received and for the chance to talk about his life and times in Mono.

Next up were the 30-year service awards  given by Michael Dunmore to town employees Murray McLellan and Blair Hunt. Mr. Dunmore had nothing but praise for the two and wished them continued good luck in their next 30 years of service.

Council then turned their attention to a presentation from Maureen Riedler, the executive director of Dufferin Hospice, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018. Dufferin Hospice is not a live-in facility, but rather offers services to people suffering from a life-threatening disorder and people going through the loss of a loved one. Ms. Riedler explained that sometimes an accumulation of everyday chores can make dealing with a serious illness so stressful and often expensive. She said the first person met is usually the Hospice social worker, and expressed the importance of the little things along the way, such as the parking costs at the hospital while you are awaiting diagnosis, or the number of meals you end up buying. These and a myriad of other related costs can become extremely stressful and cumbersome to someone.

Maureen then went on to outline some of the various courses Dufferin Hospice offers to help alleviate stress and complications surrounding many situations. One of these is a Therapeutic Yoga class that can help to relax patients but also helps with things like Neuropathy, which often develops after chemotherapy treatments. The Hospice also offers Arts Therapy and even simply providing a person to take over while a caregiver runs errands or just sleeps for a while.

Councillor Fred Nix asked her where the hospice receives its funding and was told that some $18,000 come from the annual Walk, held each spring, and the rest from governments and donations.

Next up, was a presentation from Karisa Downey, the Dufferin County Economic Development (DCED) officer. Ms. Downey was there to enlighten Council as to what services she could offer and what initiatives were being explored by the DCED. She presented a concise report on the agency and its services before taking questions from Council.Councillor Nix was anxious to hear what opportunities there were for home-based businesses, of which there were a large number in Mono. The answer was twofold and centred around finding available high speed Internet for rural business people and farmers. Ms. Downey stressed that while her organization was strong in the more populated areas, such as Orangeville, it was reaching out to communities such as Mono to help them improve  their rural relations and programs. Coming to understand the rural demographic and how to relate to it’s needs and expectations was a key component in the overall plan for Dufferin County.

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