Tag Archives: Williamstown

Lancaster Curling club bids adieu to long-time member

Coleman MacDonald, a long-time member of the Lancaster and District Curling Club, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 15.

Coleman MacDonald

The 85-year-old Williamstown resident was predeceased by his wife Joan P. The couple were active at the curling club. Among their contributions over the years, they established the Glengarry Cup, an annual curling challenge with rinks from each of the county’s clubs competing in a friendly rivalry for county curling supremacy.

“Coleman was born at home, on the family farm – one of the few remaining bi-centennial farms in Glengarry. He milked cows with his brother, Mickey, until 2002, and continued to work the land until his passing. Coleman is known for having some of the best yielding crops in the area and was among the first to plant soybeans. Coleman made a lasting impression on those in the agricultural world, especially the young people who worked on the farm. Although he died at the house next to the farm where he was raised, Coleman was fortunate to have travelled throughout his life. He had a passion for curling and took every opportunity to sing its praises to those unfamiliar to the game. For this, he was inducted to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud to tell others of his Scottish heritage and his Glengarry roots. He will be remembered for the sparkle in his eye, the stories and jokes he told, and for his ability to make people smile.”

Except from Coleman MacDonald’s obituary published by Munro & Morris

Mr. MacDonald was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 when he was recognized for his 52nd consecutive season of curling.

Coleman MacDonald
The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame’s painting honouring the induction of Coleman MacDonald in 2015.

In his induction biography, Coleman was recognized for his numerous accomplishments in curling: receiving the 40-year pin (in 2012) for participation in the Moose Bonspiel hosted annually by the Alexandria Curling Club where he won all-star skip in 1986, receiving the 20-year pin for participation in the Monctonian Bonspiel which at its peak hosted over 70 teams from eastern Canada and the United States, skipping his Lancaster team at the prestigious Lord Elgin Bonspiel in Montreal a spiel that once hosted over 80 teams, and winning the 11th Annual Moose Bonspiel in 1975 playing third.

Over the years, he also won numerous awards and trophies at various local clubs, including those in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg, and Morrisburg.

In 1997, the Lancaster and District Curling Club granted Mr. MacDonald a lifetime membership, in recognition to his contribution, which included 29 years serving on the executive board.

In his hall of fame induction, Coleman was described as a “popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Coleman MacDonald’s life has been postponed, to be held at some point in the future. A mass of Christian burial was scheduled yesterday, for family and close friends, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Williamstown.

Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Friends of the Ruins, The Bishop’s House St. Raphael’s, or to the Lancaster Curling Club would be appreciated by the family.

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Char-Lan Crusaders recognized with online sports awards ceremony

Char-Lan District High School’s physical education director, Chantal Armstrong, announced the 2019-20 recipients of Crusaders athletics awards via an online ceremony.

Grace Laplante was named the school’s female athlete of the year, while the male award will be shared between Nicholas Oeggerli and Andrew Dixon.

Honoured as senior athletic participants of the year were Duncan McRae and Katherine Thompson.

The most promising grade 9 athletes named were Lila Mines, Grace Rouleau, Daniel Desroches, and Chad Watson.

Char-Lan Lettermen: Logan French and Lilah Mines (grade 9), Connor Spence and Hannah Lamarche (grade 10), Seamus O’Connell and Jorja McLeod (grade 11), and Jake Vanderburg and Jordan Andrews (grade 12).

Individual sports awards: Jordan Andrews (curling sportsmanship, senior girls basketball sportsmanship), Cameron Belisle (novice boys volleyball MVP), Jack Cayer (senior boys volleyball MVP, senior boys basketball MVP), Quinton Claude (junior boys basketball sportsmanship), Andrew Dixon (golf, boys hockey MVP), Robin Donnelly (tennis MVP), Grace Eamer (curling MVP, junior girls basketball sportsmanship), Cole Fournier (tennis sportsmanship), Kaye Fraser (novice girls basketball MVP, novice girls volleyball sportsmanship), Maggie Hope (junior girls basketball MVP, junior girls volleyball MVP), Grace Laplante (tennis MVP, senior girls volleyball sportsmanship, girls hockey sportsmanship), Josh Leduc (junior boys basketball MVP), Kayden MacCrimmon (junior boys basketball sportsmanship), Fiona MacDonald (senior girls volleyball MVP), Duncan McRae (senior boys basketball sportsmanship), Rory McCuaig (novice boys volleyball sportsmanship), Kiaryn McDonald (novice girls basketball sportsmanship), Frances McDonell (junior girls basketball MVP, junior girls volleyball MVP), Nicholas Oeggerli (senior boys volleyball sportsmanship, senior boys basketball MVP, boys hockey sportsmanship), Tessa Ramsey (junior girls volleyball sportsmanship, girls hockey MVP), Bryanna Rombough (novice girls volleyball MVP), Katherine Thomson (senior girls basketball MVP), Chad Watson (junior boys basketball MVP).

With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering the school from mid-March, other sports, including soccer and track and field were not played this year, so no awards were presented.

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Char-Lan Skating Club celebrates athletes with remote awards

In a normal season, the Char-Lan Skating Club’s winter on the ice at Williamstown’s arena would culminate with a showcase of performance and on-ice awards presented to the top skaters.

But this is not a normal year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tail end of the club’s season was scrapped, along with the showcase.

With no prospect of being able to get the group together anytime soon in light of ongoing restrictions, the club remotely announced its award winners for the 2019-20 season.

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By way of a video, the club bid adieu to the 2020 graduating class.

And finally, the Char-Lan Skating Club recognized two of its young program assistants. These skaters are club members who assist the coaches in training of other skaters throughout the winter.

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skating award
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Great Raisin River Footrace goes virtual for 2020

Back in April, with concern over the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, organizers of the 2020 edition of the Great Raisin River Footrace took the unprecedented step of halting registrations for the run, scheduled for August. This week, the group went a step further, cancelling the in-person race and switching to a virtual format instead, as a number of other runs across the region have done.

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The 2020 Footrace is the 42nd edition of the run in Williamstown, and again this year, it is being organized by Beyond 21, with Jane McLaren telling me, “We really want to maintain the tradition of this race, but with the COVID-19 cancellations of most events … well, it has been a challenge. So we are going virtual!”

She adds, “The race continues to be a fundraiser in support of The Hub for Beyond 21 Foundation (we provide services for adults with developmental disabilities in S. D. & G.). For more information on the work of Beyond 21, please see their website.

As for the now modified Footrace, participants can walk or run either an 11 km or 5 km distance on August 7, 8, or 9, and then upload their times to the results tracking site.

Registration is ongoing online here.

For your entry, you will receive a custom running buff (first 125 registrants who complete either the 5K or 11K), a handmade race medallion created by Beyond 21 participants (for the first 60 registrants in the 11K only), a virtual race bib, and “bragging rights to say you were a part of history – the only time the Great Raisin River Footrace has run a virtual edition.”

Organizers plan to host a pick up day in Cornwall for buffs and medallions. Those out of town or unable to attend will receive their buffs and medallions by mail. Pick-up and mailing will take place a few weeks after the race weekend.

Organizers not this year there will be no age group / division prizes due to the race being virtual.

More general information on the Great Raisin River Footrace can be found on their Facebook page.

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2020 edition of Williamstown Fair cancelled due to COVID-19

As the stream of COVID-19-related cancellations has mounted this year, it seemed inevitable that the county’s second-largest summer event (after the Glengarry Highland Games) would be disrupted, and this week the news became official: there will be no Williamstown Fair in 2020, at least not this summer.

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The official statement began, “With great regret, the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society, organizer of Canada’s oldest annual fair, announces the postponement of the traditional 209th edition of the Williamstown Fair (August 7-8-9, 2020) due to the ongoing pandemic.”

The Maxville Fair, scheduled for late June, was cancelled back in April (see my story about this here), and the Glengarry Highland Games, the county’s biggest summer celebration, was nixed last month (story here).

Despite the slight relaxing of government and health regulations recently, conditions remain as such that the holding of large events this summer simply won’t be possible.

“In light of directives from the government and public health officials, we have taken this difficult decision. Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our volunteers, community partners, and fairgoers, and we thank the public for their understanding and support.”

Michael Seguin, president of the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

The Williamstown Fair is Glengarry County’s annual celebration of agriculture and more, with a number of sports events featured over the course of the three-day gathering. Among these over the years have been competitions of tug of war, Highland Games, beach volleyball, and farmer olympics. The Great Raisin River Footrace has also been associated with the Fair each summer, too, though a few years back its route was adjusted to remain on the south side of the river, using the Sir John Johnson Manor House as its base.

On the 2020 Fair, at this point, organizers are deeming the action a “postponement.” The statement notes that “the Fair Board is committed to celebrating the community and its agricultural heritage and will be looking at ways of holding an alternative fair later this year.”

“Generations of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to organize this beloved annual event and the current situation is only one of the many challenges the Fair has faced since its inception in 1812.”

St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

At this time, a final decision on holding the Great Raisin River Footrace has not yet been made. The organizers, Beyond 21, have stated that an official announcement will come in early June.

On April 5, the committee announced, “With the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to suspend registration for the 2020 Great Raisin River Footrace.” However, the race was and has not been cancelled, at least not yet. Officially, the run is slated for Sunday, August 9. This year will mark its 42nd edition.

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Char-Lan Skating Club abruptly ends season due to township rink closure

With South Glengarry announcing the closure of all recreation facilities for the next three weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, the Char-Lan Skating Club was forced to abruptly end its season, with means the cancellation of this year’s showcase event, which had been scheduled for March 29, at the arena in Williamstown.

Reportedly, the ice-making machine at the rink will be turned off this weekend.

The club has cancelled, as a result, all remaining skating days, in addition to the annual showcase, which skaters had been preparing for under the theme, ‘Ice, Camera, Action.’ The event is traditionally held at the end of each skating season, with stands packed full of family members and friends, as all athletes from the club skate in group performances.

Here’s the club’s official announcement:

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Char-Lan Skating Club announcement regarding COVID-19

The skating club says it plans to hold a small awards ceremony at a later date. In years past, awards have been presented to skaters on the ice, following the performances.

Assessment Day

Recently, the skating club held its assessment day for competitive skaters.

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Char-Lan Skating Club photo

From the club’s Facebook post: “A huge shout out to the Township of South Glengarry for all their hard work and support in preparing our facility and ice surface for this special day, and to our Assessment Coordinator and wonderful CLSC families for organizing a fun-filled after-party for all.”

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Tyson Spink recognized with Finnish hockey league MVP honours

Williamstown’s Tyson Spink, a 27-year-old hockey player in the Finnish elite league, was recently honoured as the league’s most valuable player for the month of February.

A member of the Ässät Aces, which play in Pori, Finland, Spink tied for the most goals last month, notching 6 in 11 games.

On the season, the left winger has 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 50 games.

Today, he learned that the league is cancelling the remainder of the season and will not hold playoffs, nor award a championship, due to concerns over COVID-19.

Spink tells me that he and his twin brother Tylor (who also plays for Ässät), are “trying to get on the next plane out” of Finland and return home to Glengarry.

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(Ässät Finnish hockey team photo)

In the Liiga this season, Tylor had 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 52 games.

The Spinks played their junior hockey with the Char-Lan Rebels of the CCHL2, before graduating to the CCHL Cornwall Colts and an NCAA career with the Colgate Raiders. Their professional careers a season in the ECHL, followed by the last two campaigns in Sweden. This was their first winter in Finland.

Ässät finishes in 9th place in the 15-team Liiga, with 20 wins, 12 ties, and 27 losses.

Tyson ends up 44th overall in player scoring, while Tylor finishes in 56th spot in the league. The men were one-two in scoring for their team.

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Kilt Skate set for Sunday in Williamstown

Glengarry’s edition of the Great Canadian Kilt Skate is scheduled for Sunday, March 1, at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre, beginning at noon.

As South Glengarry’s announcement notes, “Help us celebrate our Scottish Heritage in Ontario’s Celtic Heartland at the Char-Lan Community Centre.” The event is free to attend, running from 12 through 3 p.m. at the arena in Williamstown.

There will be an official opening ceremony featuring township politicians and the South Glengarry Pipe Band. This will be followed by a performance from members of the Char-Lan Skating Club. Then the arena ice surface will be opened for participants on the Great Canadian Kilt Skate, through to 2 p.m.

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From 12:30 through 2 p.m., the canteen will serve up free hot chocolate and Scottish flag tattoos will be available in the lobby.

In the Tartan Hall (upstairs), a cash bar will be open. There will be a Great Canadian Kilt Skate cake and Scottish shortbread cookies. Scheduled performances on the stage include the MacCulloch Dancers, McFee Fiddlers, Coleman Highland Dancers, and the Hallions.

Outside, planned activities include a fire pit with marshmallows, a snow slide, and horse-drawn wagon rides.

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Rebels win home finale Tuesday, to wrap up in Winchester tonight

The 2019-20 CCHL2 season for the Char-Lan Rebels will conclude tonight, when the team skates on the road against the playoff-bound Winchester Hawks. Game time at the Winchester Community Centre is set for 8:15 p.m.

Let’s finish with a win and look forward to a great 2020-21! #GoRebsGo #FinishStrong #FinishWithPride #FutureLooksBright

Char-Lan Rebels Hockey Club on Twitter

Char-Lan won its home-ice finale Tuesday night against the very same Hawks, rebounding from a two-goal deficit to score five unanswered and extend the Rebels winning streak to four games.

Despite skating hard and carrying the play through the first period of their February 25 contest at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre, the Rebels found themselves trailing 1-0 at the first intermission.

At the 5:20 mark of the second stanza, Winchester scored again, but the Hawks would be shut down from that point onward.

Late in the period, with 1:25 left, Alexandre Elie got Char-Lan on the board, assisted by Ryan Grant and Isaac Testani. Thirty-five seconds later, Cuyler Molinaro potted the equalizer, set up by Elie and Parker Tallman.

The Rebels took control in the third, as Noah Konink scored a natural hat trick. Assists went to Testani (2), Elie, Paul Waldhauser, Justice Brownlee, and Tallman.

Goaltender Summy Mughal started the game, switching at the midpoint with Ceili Picard. Together, they combined for 27 saves, while Char-Lan snipers had 33 shots at the Winchester net.

Konink, with his three goals, was named the game’s first star. Testani, with three assists, was tagged as second star.

Char-Lan went three-for-six on the power play, while the Rebels penalty killers grounded the Hawks through seven opportunities.

A photo gallery of game action is available for viewing here.

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