Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – It’s Christmas Time 2017! 121017

Cornwall Ontario – Santa Claus is coming to town very soon and bringing lots of toys. I have it on good authority from two little angels in a store. …two little girls about four and six. I don’t know if their Mom heard them because she was busy reading some instructions for some Christmas decorations. They told me that the baby Jesus is being born in a faraway place in a Manger where there are Angels and people who have little sheep. And…. we can go to a church and see a tiny baby doll just like Jesus in a little bed of straw, so we can have an idea what the Baby Jesus looks like. Out of the mouths of babes. Awe and wonder.

Everywhere we go these days there are Christmas decorations and lights. It is cheerful and uplifting to have so much colour and festivity around, especially on those wintry grey blah blah days. Haven’t seen any mistletoe yet, though. lol.

At the Family Corner Restaurant at Pitt and Ninth Streets, I saw those two lovely waitresses, Mary Lefave and Tammy Demontigny….chatting up Santa Claus. Probably a good way to get lots of presents under the tree. Might try it myself.

Mary and Tammy are not only great waitresses but also very nice women. That is what makes them so special. I hope they do get lots of goodies from Santa.

This huge Santa in the photo below moves around to music and sings. Lots of fun.

The restaurant is decorated with lots of boughs, Santa’s, little snowmen, Wise Men and all our favourite Christmas decorations. There is a glass peacock, blue with lights that is very lovely. The tables have lots of decorative cloths and the whole restaurant is festive and welcoming. Henry and his staff, once again, has done a great job decorating for a special holiday. Lots of good food too.

The tenants of Beek Lindsay Seniors Residence are having a Christmas food drive to benefit the Food Cupboard of Trinity Anglican Church. It is a wonderful thing to share with those who are in need.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) , the eight day Jewish Festival of Lights is, (December 13-20 this year)  according to a web site, celebrated with a nightly lighting of a menorah candle, special prayers and special foods. It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

According to the article, in the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by Seleucids (Greek-Syrians) who were forcing the people of Israel to accept their culture and beliefs. A small group of faithful Jews led by Judah, the Maccabee, defeated the Seleucids and drove them from the land, even though the enemy’s army was one of the mightiest on earth. To me, that is the first miracle.

The Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple and rededicated it to the service of G-d. When they went to light the Menorah in the Temple, (a seven branched candelabrum) they discovered that there was only one cruse of olive oil that wasn’t contaminated. They lit the menorah and the one day cruse of oil lasted miraculously eight days. To commemorate this Miracle, they instituted the festival of Chanukah, a wonderful joyous celebration.

To all our Jewish friends and neighbours, Happy Hanukkah!

BRRRR…Baby, it’s cold outside!!!. Who would go camping in the winter?? Well, a few hearty Guide-Sea Rangers from Trinity Anglican Church tried it a few times in the winter of ’58. My friend Frances-Glass Irwin sent this photo of a few of the girls in the bunkhouse drying the dishes, I think. Fran said they stayed out in a tent at least one night. They put hay which had been stored in the bunkhouse on the ground for warmth. She had her Mom’s old racoon coat for warmth over her sleeping bag. The other girls had similar things. She said it was cold but cozy in the tent. They had stored dry firewood in the bunkhouse and used it to cook some things in the fire pit outside. She thinks they brought jugs of water with them. Myna Lalonde brought some snowshoes which the girls all tried walking in for fun. Fran thinks they were just there Saturday and Sunday at a time.

In the photo left to right are: Elizabeth Farlinger, Ann Tabram, unknown girl, Betty Lalonde and Fran.

There will be the 4th. Annual Christmas Dinner on December 25th for anyone alone this Christmas or needing some great company and a delicious meal. Dinner will be served from 12 noon to 2:30pm. at the Agora Hall ( Nativity Hall), 301 McConnell Street. There will be no charge but a donation would be gladly accepted for next year’s dinner. If you need transportation, please call Alison for a pickup at 613-622-4719 the week of Dec.17th. There is an elevator for wheelchair accessibility. To help, call Darlene at 613-330-4491.

I found this old program of the Tenth Annual Children’s Christmas Broadcast Dec. 8, 1958. The program inside is very interesting. The broadcast ran from 7:30 to 12:30 in one hour segments. Each hour had a different announcer and orchestra. There were 10 artists performing each hour.

The Announcers were John Laroque, Hal Lee Jr. , Don Passerby, George Heath and Norm Wright.

Orchestras were Charlie James, Cornwallis Orchestra, Jimmy Thompson, Bob Eadie and St. Lawrence High School Band.


Vocalists included: Vicky Hall, Judy Gannon, Paul Comeau, Jeanette Laplante, Joe Padulo (London Records), Hank Primeau, Frances Shaw, John Brunet (Western singer), Tilly Benn, Rex Silmser (Western singer), Everett Rush, Nancy Ruffo and Ernie Sequin ( Western singer).

Choirs and groups included: Joe Ceasor and Friends – (Western singers), CCVS A’Cappella Choir, General Hospital Nurses, S.L.H.S. Choir, CCVS Mixed Choir, Hotel Dieu Hospital Nurses, St. Columban’s Men’s Choir, Knox United Church Choir, Fire Dept. Glee Club, Operatic Society, Lions Club Carollers with Fern Derouin, Lloyd Moquin Western Group, John Molyneux and S.D.& G. Singing Officers and Ernie Baribeau and his Velvets with Florian Labelle.


Marian Weatherhead told Children’s Stories and there was a Monologue by Harry Hertz.

Accordion players were Michael and Walter Nowicky and also Frank Bojardski.

Pianists performing were George Patrick and Janet MacPhee and Cyril Moss (Concert Organist) with Ray Dextras, Violinist. The orchestras played instrumentals and were also sometimes accompanied by vocalists.

Sandra Lee- Herrington, Hal Lee Jr.’s sister, told me that her Dad, Hal Lee Sr., started the Children’s Christmas Broadcast with the Cornwall Musicians Guild , Local 800. Apparently, Mayor Aaron Horovitz would pledge a certain amount of money and it would be dispersed throughout the program as goals were met. The performers all donated their time.

A little Christmas Joke:

Lee, a little boy of 7 was asked to say Grace for the Christmas Dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. Lee began his prayer thanking God for his Mommy, Daddy, brothers, sister, Grandma and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the stuffing, Christmas pudding, and cranberry sauce. Then he paused, and everyone waited…and waited. After a long silence, the little guy looked up at his Mother and asked, “If I thank God for the Brussels sprouts, won’t he know I’m lying?”

Happy Hanukkah and have a good week, and watch out for the Mistletoe Dawn!


  1. Happy Honakka to the Jewish people in Cornwall.

  2. I truly enjoy all your columns. I learned about Cornwall history not told. This is a real treasure and gift to all to use. How can we ever thank you!!

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