New London Rural Community Fire Company marking 50th anniversary Saturday, Aug 25 at fire hall

Story and photos by Jim Brown

Would you believe several firefighters, who were around when the New London Rural Community Fire Company began service 50 years ago (incorporated in 1968), are still on the roster? They are Dale Parsons, Peter Elsinga, Douglas Cole and Joe Reid.

Fire chief Allen Cole and the entire New London Rural Community Fire Company will be welcoming area residents to the fire department’s 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, Aug 25 at the New London Fire Hall

Fire chief Allen Cole, son of Douglas Cole, says two of the four “originals” are 86 years of age (Douglas Cole and Joe Reid) and although they are not on active fire service still provide valuable support around the department including working in communications and taking supplies to personnel on fire calls. The others are in their 70s.

At the other end of the age spectrum is a 17-year-old junior firefighter.

They and the rest of the 38 person fire company will be celebrating the department’s 50th anniversary on Saturday, Aug 25. Everyone is invited to the bash at the New London Fire Hall, running from 9 am to 6 pm.

Among the guests are Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry, Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter and Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers, with other local and provincial dignitaries expected as well.

A memorial service will be held for New London firefighters who have passed on.

There have been many exciting changes over the past five decades including a new fire hall, built in 2009 with impressive community support at a cost of approximately $750,000. The department has also seen an increase in fire trucks from two to the current six.

There will be a free breakfast, free bouncy castles for the kids, fire hats and T-shirts to give away, and of course, all the department’s entire collection of emergency vehicles will be on display to impress kids of all ages. Many family-friendly activities are slated for the day.

The celebration concludes with fireworks in the evening.


MacCaull and friends light up the stage

Acclaimed Island musicians Roy MacCaull, Marcella Richard and Larry Campbell took to the Stanley Bridge Centre stage on Aug 19 to deliver another rousing performance. Mixing popular original tunes with country, gospel and folk favorites and a salty splash of homespun humor, the talented trio provided a memorable evening’s worth of entertainment. Don’t worry fans, you will see them (and Roy’s magic mandolin) at the SBC many more times!
Photos by Jim Brown


Kitchen scorched in South Rustico restaurant fire

Firefighters rushed to South Rustico early Saturday morning after a kitchen caught fire at the The Olde Forge Country Kitchen. There were no injuries.

New Glasgow firechief Jason Peters said there was extensive damage inside the building from smoke and fire. The exterior looked unaffected.

Firefighters got the call at 6 am and investigators are “leaning” towards one of the kitchen appliances as the cause, he said.

Mutual aid support was activated and firefighters from New Glasgow, New London and North Rustico fire services answered the call.


Northern Star newspaper has folded

A trusted friend to many in the central North Shore has folded after 23 years. The Northern Star newspaper, published monthly, hit the newsstands for the last time on Aug. 1. It was launched in October, 1996. Publisher Paul Blacquiere described the Northern Star as “the original Facebook” for many of its readers.

Jim Brown photo


Resort Municipality seeking candidates for Council

By Jim Brown

Want a part-time job that pays $1,463 a year, but offers a great opportunity to serve the public? Then you might want to rush down to the municipal office in Cavendish to put your name in.

The Resort Municipality is short two candidates to fill its slate of councilors for the Aug 13 election, so it has extended the nomination period, as per the Municipal Government Act, to 2 pm, Aug 3 from July 27.

The Resort Municipality’s Council has a mayor and six councilors, with the mayor earning $2,195 a year. The planning board chair earns $1,777 annually.

Currently four candidates have declared for the six council positions. They are George Clark-Dunning, Kenny Singleton, Linda Lowther and Lee Brammer. Mayor Matthew Jelley has been acclaimed.

The province has changed the election process, with new legislation dictating an annual general meeting is no longer required by municipalities. In the past, the election nomination process would run at the same time as the AGM or a public meeting where people could be nominated from the floor and asked if they wished to stand for election. If the candidates didn’t face any challengers they would be acclaimed.

The Resort Municipality has 280 year round residents, a number that swells to more than a thousand if seasonal residents are included during the summer, according to Brenda MacDonald, the Resort Municipality’s CAO.

Giving seasonal residents an opportunity to vote is why elections are held in the summer and not in November, as is the case with other municipalities on PEI.

Brenda confirmed the tab will be higher for this election, which could cost as much as $3,000, since there will be additional ads in newspapers, advance polls and other expenses related to conventional elections.

That compares to about $500 for previous elections.

If there are any bugs in the new system the province will have a chance to fix them before the November municipal elections.

On election day, Aug 13, polls are open from 9 am to 4 pm. An advance poll will be held on Saturday, Aug 11, from 9 am to 12 noon.


Stanley Bridge bash welcomes seasonal visitors from America fighting Trump

Story and photos by Jim Brown

Eleanor Hora’s home was a good-natured shrine to the Trump resistance movement in Stanley Bridge on July 21.

Eleanor was hosting the second annual meeting of the Trump-Free World Society (Stanley Bridge Founding Branch), which drew dozens of Americans and Canadians from diverse backgrounds, who all shared one thing in common: the dream of a world without Trump.

Groaning tables were filled with Trump-themed finger foods. The culinary highlight was a large cake topped in swirling orange icing bearing the image of President Trump as a diapered baby, similar to the Trump Baby blimp that flew over London during his recent disastrous visit there.

Guests were handed photo reprints of the Trump baby image to hold up for a group photo, with one woman playfully tearing up her photo to show her distaste for America’s 45th president.

Also, after making a wish, guests pricked orange balloons symbolizing America’s president and his administration. If only they would deflate as easily.

Over spirits and good food participants unburdened themselves and exchanged stories about what it’s like to live in a world defined by Trump and about an America facing one of the gravest threats in its history.

They left the bash feeling more optimistic about the future and with a growing sense of shared purpose.


Cavendish Beach Music Festival Day 4 – Broods before Mendes

Photos by Jim Brown

It was Shawn Mendes day at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, helping the festival close out one of the most successful summers in its decade long history. But before Mendes there were the Broods, a wildly successful New Zealand brother-sister duo consisting of lead vocalist Georgia Nott (in photos) and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Nott, who also does backing vocals. They captivated a revved up crowd with a sultry, soulful afternoon set that hit all the right notes.