Monthly Archives: June 2011

Local students support Stephen Lewis in fight against HIV

New Hamburg students Noam Gold-Utting and Callum Clarke were in Grand Bend June 24 to meet renowned Canadian humanitarian Stephen Lewis.

The two have raised $4,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation since Grade 7.

The Rotary Club of Grand Bend hosted “An Evening with Stephen Lewis” at the Huron Country Playhouse last week.

After a career in politics, Lewis became an outspoken advocate for HIV/AIDS, and served as the United Nations special envoy for that issue before founding his own Stephen Lewis Foundation. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2003.

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New Hamburg Lions pitch in again for Wilmot Rec Complex

Lion Chief Kevin Williams (left) of the New Hamburg Lions Club presents a cheque for $7,500 to Mayor Les Armstrong for the Wilmot Recreation Complex in New Hamburg. This is the sixth installment of the Lions’ $75,000 pledge to the project.

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Wilmot ACES swim team gives out year-end awards

Winners of the "Most Time Off" award for overall improvement this season

The Wilmot Aquatic ACES swim club gave out end-of-year awards earlier in June. Here are the swimmers recognized this year:

Top 10 for Most Time off (actual time off during long-course and short-course season):

10th J.Jay Funk 196 sec
9th Jacob Isaac 245 sec
8th Grace Cameron 264 sec
7th Damon Woolvett 294 sec
6th Katie Cameron 302 sec
5th Caleb Isaac 329 sec
4th Molly Cameron 381 sec
3rd Tyler Kinzie 398 sec
2nd Celine Funk 422 sec
1st Kaitlyn Ulmer 464 sec

Most Improved: Given to the girl and boy in each age group who has shown the best overall improvement (times, stroke, attitude, work ethic, commitment, sportsmanship) during the season.

8 and under Girls: Masha Kagolovaskaya and Hanneke Isert Bender
8 and under Boys: Brayden Van De Wynkel and Nolan Kennedy
10 and under Girl: Molly Cameron
10 and under Boy: Devin Mechalko
12 and under Girl: Sydney Gunn
12 and under Boy: Jonah Noseworthy
14 and under Girl: Mackenzie Saar and Ally Govier
14 and under Boy Caleb Isaac
15 and over Girl: Mary Tilford
15 and over Boy: Kris Sanders
Most Improved Master Swimmer: Greg Hallman

Winners of the Aquatic ACES' Most Improved Award for 2010-2011

Given to at least one swimmer from Junior Aces, teal/white and green and up, who displays fair play, has fun and always works hard at getting better:
Jessica Glendinnig, Whitney Stone, Celine Funk and Kaitlyn Ulmer

Given to someone who is a very important member of the team because of their commitment, fun personality, and for wanting to be a part of this team even if they are not the best swimmer, makes people feel welcome on the team:
Trevor Mains, Katie Cameron, Josh Cober.

Alex Buehlow and Erica Buehlow for the best combined times when adding up their four 100 metre events.

A member who is always willing to help anyone out, helps with the younger swimmers, is very enthusiastic about the team and is great with team spirit:
Caleb Isaac and Elise Funk

To the swimmer who is an all round great athlete, who works hard, has team spirit, a great work ethic. The coaches love to have this person around, and they have fun with all team members:
Jacob Isaac, Damon Woolvett, Regan Kennedy, Caitlyn Armstrong, Grace Cameron, and Margaret Heckman

This award is given to the person who exudes cheerfulness, helpfulness, confidence and whom the coaches most enjoy seeing on the deck. This person shows great sportsmanship and cheers his/her teammates on, no matter what:
Erica Buehlow and Tyler Kinzie

A new award this year was called the “Above and Beyond Award“ for vounteer of the year. It was presented by the board to the parent that goes above and beyond the call of duty for volunteering with the club. The first winner this year was Jackie Buehlow for her past eight years of volunteering on the board of directors, as well as coaching and everything else involved in the team.

The ACE of the Year award for most valuable team contribution went to Elise Funk, for displaying excellent team commitment and spirit, great work ethic, team leadership and role modeling, and strong determination to excel to the best of her ability throughout the swim season.

This swimmer exemplifies what it takes to be an all-round great athlete
This award is voted on by the swimmers on the team to the person they think represents the most Valuable ACE.

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New Dundee hosts New Zealand team in all-star fastball game

Tri-County All-Stars pitcher Shaun Winship delivers a pitch.

Local fastball players faced some international competition this week in New Dundee, as the K-W Cubs and the Tri-County All-Stars faced the Black Sox from New Zealand.

The double-header was played at the brand-new Doug Fisher Memorial Park, where spectators filled the bleachers and lined both fences to watch the games.

The Optimists Club offered a barbecue and beverage sales.

Look in the Independent for an upcoming profile of Doug Fisher: his rise as a fastball prodigy, his struggle with cancer, and his dream of a new ballfield for New Dundee.

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St. Agatha celebrates strawberries and family fun

The St Agatha Strawberry mascot meets kids at the festival.

St. Agatha’s Stawberry festival celebrated fresh food and family fun on June 18 with live music, children’s games, a barbecue, and plenty of local strawberry pies, shakes, and other treats.

Dylan Leis blows a bubble at one of the festival's play areas.

Sophia Bowman races through an inflated obstacle course.

The festival's games and food drew plenty of families from beyond St. Agatha.

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Library connects to bookworms with newly-launched website

New Hamburg library supervisor Yvonne Zyma shows Wilmot Mayor Les Armstrong the new site.

Book lovers have a new way to find their next great read. The Region of Waterloo library launched a brand-new website last month that it hopes will easily connect people to library information.

Besides listing the books and DVDs on library shelves, the new website also has interactive recommendation pages for different age groups, a “Homework Help” section, an events calendar, and more.

Library staff created the new website with feedback from focus groups and user interviews.

The new website is

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New Zealand Black Sox play in New Dundee on Wednesday

The Doug Fischer Memorial Park in New Dundee will host double header fastball this Wednesday when the New Zealand Black Sox softball team makes a visit as part of the team’s 20-day North American tour.

The team will play the KW Cubs at 7 p.m. and the Tri-County All Starts at 8:30 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and kids are free. There will be a beer tent and beef barbecue starting at 6 p.m.

Minor ball players can wear their team shirts to be eligible for a prize draw.

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Father’s Day car show attracts hundreds to Petersburg

Classic cars filled Petersburg Park on Sunday for the Fourth Annual Father’s Day Breakfast in the Park sponsored by the Petersburg Optimists Club.

Organizers sold over 1,200 breakfasts and welcomed over 300 classic cars. The breakfast numbers were up about 10 per cent over last year and the car attendance was up a good 20 per cent, reports lead organizer Ron Weber.

Photographer Paul Cassel captured the day with a great bunch of images. You can browse his entire collection of photos at

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14-year-old boy drowns at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp

A 14-year-old boy has drowned while swimming with a group of campers at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp west of New Hamburg on Saturday.

Malcolm Gyamfi, of North York, was rushed to the London Health Sciences Centre Victoria Campus around 4:30 p.m. yesterday after Perth East firefighters pulled him from a pond at the camp.

Gyamfi was swimming in deep water beyond a roped swimming area with other swimmers shortly after 4 p.m.

When he started to indicate he was in distress and went under, other swimmers attempted to help but were unable to pull him to the surface.

Immediate attempts to revive the boy were started by firefighters and continued as he was transported by Perth County Ambulance to Stratford General Hospital.  He was subsequently transported to the London Victoria Hospital where he died at approximately 11 p.m.

For more on this, pick up this week’s issue of the New Hamburg Independent.

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Mysterious sinkholes open on Snyder’s Road in Baden

Kevin Laughlin examines the sinkholes that appeared June 14 down the street from his Baden home.

The Region of Waterloo is investigating what caused three sinkholes to appear along Snyder’s Road East on June 14.

The holes, which were several feet wide and up to one metre deep, were spotted by police during the afternoon near Coachman’s Lane, just east of Brewery St.

Emergency repairs were made by Region of Waterloo crews Tuesday night to reopen the road to full traffic, but more thorough digging will be needed to find the cause of the sinkholes, according to repair supervisor Emil Marion.

Sinkholes are very rare, he said, especially when three open up at the same time. Usually a collapsed sewer or storm line causes ground to settle and form holes, but workers’ cameras showed none of the usual signs.

An underground pipe from an old cheese factory in the area may have collapsed, Marion suggested.

See the story on the Independent’s website here

Region of Waterloo crews erected warning signs and closed the road to non-local traffic.

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New Dundee’s memorial ball diamonds a hit with players

Kim, daughter of the late Doug Fischer, throws the first ceremonial pitch for the new diamonds as Fischer's father Jerry (white) awaits his turn.

Chris Thomson
For the Independent

The opening of the Doug Fischer Memorial Park in New Dundee this past Saturday produced a great turnout. The ceremony featured a bike rodeo, Ford Drive One 4UR Community, baseball skill challenges, New Dundee Public School choir performances, powerful speeches about “making Doug’s dream come to life,” and ceremonial first pitches thrown by Doug’s daughter and father.

The late Doug Fischer was an avid coach, player and advocate for a better place to play in New Dundee, years before the new ball diamonds became a reality.

It was a grey day as the events began Saturday. The bike derby was first, starting at 10 a.m. Children took their bikes through different courses and had their speed read by a speedometer.
Ford Drive One 4UR Community also began at 10 a.m. Expressway Ford brought a total of eleven different models to be test driven. They donated $20 for every test drive towards the New Dundee park’s improvement project.

At noon, multiple baseball challenges started up. This was followed by the grand opening ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

The New Dundee Public School choir performed many different numbers around the still-veiled sign. Speakers lent their words including representatives from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and TD Canada Trust.

MP Harold Albrecht was also on scene to support the project. A former player of Doug’s gave a moving speech about the former coach, remembering being inspired inspirational sayings like “he was always the first there and always the one last to leave, turning off the lights.”

Finally, former Wilmot mayor Wayne Roth, current mayor Les Armstrong, councilor Al Junker, and Albrecht unveiled the new park sign together.

Soon after, Doug’s daughter, Kim Fischer, joined by his father Jerry, threw the ballpark’s first ceremonial pitches.

The regional men’s league Dundee Dodgers and Cambridge Cubs played the first game on the Dodgers field after the ceremony.

Kids enjoyed the Optimist bike derby put on in the parking lot.

(From left) Former Mayor Wayne Roth, Mayor Les Armstrong, Councillor Al Junker, and Member of Parliament Harold Albrecht pose with park sign after unveiling it together.

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Local Power of Pink event raises money to fight cancer

Colour Paradise Greenhouse in Mannheim lent its support to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre with a POWER OF PINK event last Thursday. The event featured an evening of informative seminars, a vendor marketplace and guided tours of the greenhouse.

A portion of the proceeds from every plant sold, along with a donation in the name of “The Power of Pink”, will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre.

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Wellesley Idol contestants narrowed down to 12

Twenty competitors registered for Wellesley Idol  try outs on Sunday at the Wellesley Community Centre.

Pictured (in no order) are Ali Carroll, Beckie Duhamel, Samantha Hild, Michelle Wang, Nikita Metzger, Vanessa Metzger, Regan Schnieder, Holly Kavanah, Amanda Morin, Jordan Lauzon, Andrea Smith, Ashley Jeffries, Courtney Beich, Charlene Guild, Sarah Gingerich, Amy-Anne Rola, Greg Rola, Gabe Guerra, Abbi Longmire and Taylor Pfaff.

“Everyone did exceptionally well – we have a lot of talent in the area,” reports organizer Wendy Richardson.

The competition was open to anyone ages 10 to 18 who live and/or attend school in Wilmot, Woolwich, Wellesley and Perth East. The judges, Gary Goeree, Charlene Zehr and Grant Heywood chose twelve youth who will now proceed to the next elimination round on Sunday, August 21 at 7 p.m. at the Wellesley Community Centre.

Those going on to the next round are: Ali Carroll, Beckie Duhamel, Nikita Metzger, Regan Schneider, Amanda Morin, Andrea Smith, Ashley Jeffries, Sarah Gingerich, Amy-Anne Rola, Greg Rola, Gabe Guerra and Taylor Pfaff.

On Aug. 21, contestants will be narrowed down to six and those six will perform for the semi-finals at the Wellesley-NEH Fall Fair on the evening of Tuesday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m.

The competition will now be fine tuned to three and a “Fan’s Choice” will be voted on by audience that evening.

They will be performing at the Apple, Butter and Cheese Festival on Saturday, September 24th where a winner will be announced. First, Second and Third place prize money is donated by the ABC Festival 1st – $500.; 2nd – $300.; 3rd – $200. and Fan’s Choice – $125. is donated by the Wellesley-NEH Agricultural Society.

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100 years of bridal fashions brighten an overcast Sunday at Castle Kilbride

Mary-Eileen McClear was master of ceremonies for the sold out Livingston Dreams Wedding Dress Fashion show at Castle Kilbride yesterday. The day featured 24 models and 39 dresses spanning 100 years.

The newest dress was vintage inspired from the early 1930’s from Lorelei’s Bridal Boutique in New Hamburg modeled by New Hamburg resident Sophia Kinch.

On August 29, 1964 in Edmonton, Alberta at the McDougall United Church,  Eileen Moisey married Gordon Elkeer.  The bride’s mother was a teacher with the summer off and had time to organize all the bride’s needs.  This dress is modeled by Olivia Sehl featuring an A-line sweetheart neck with organza overlay, lace appliqués and accent bows to complete the dress.  Olivia is granddaughter to our handsome attendant Greg Voisin.  This 1937 dress modeled by Claudia Sehl was worn by Olive Kuchinski who wed William Moisey on August 1st 1937 in Edmonton, Alberta. This ivory column gown with lace overlay has three quarter length bat-winged sleeves with silk covered buttons and a sweet brush train. Notice the illusion neck line with transparent lace which was very popular in this decade.  Claudia is granddaughter to our handsome attendant Greg Voisin.

Showcasing this 1918 wedding dress of Marion Stewart who married Ernest Tucker in 1918 in Woodstock.  The Groom, like many men returned from the war injured. He had his elbow shot off in battle in France. He of course held his arm at an awkward position which is seen in the family wedding photos. The Bride who was married at home, was a petite woman who wore a corset all her life and loved clothes.   The dress is crocheted with an empire waist featuring a risqué V-neckline and half length sleeves with a small sweep train.

Meredith Ballaban, of Fergus, joined by her dad Louis Silcox, models a dress from her mother Nancy's collection.

Meredith's daughter Clara wears her great grandmother's veil.

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Wilmot council honours young hockey and swimming stars

Local athletes received some appreciation from Wilmot Township at the May 6 council meeting.

This year, New Hamburg won an unprecedented three Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships. The Novice Rep, Peewee AE, and Juvenile rep teams capped strong seasons by winning the 2011 provincial titles.

Council also recognized several members of the Wilmot Aquatic ACES swim club for top finishes at various swim meets.

The New Hamburg Juvenile Rep Huskies won the OMHA championship

The New Hamburg Peewee AE Huskies won the OMHA championship

The New Hamburg Novice Rep Huskies won the OMHA championship

Members of the Wilmot Aquatic ACES swim club were also recognized

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