Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s Oktoberfest time again

Kevin Schmitt (left) and Art Primosch took part in Wednesday night’s keg tapping during Oktoberfest media night at Chicopee Haus, the newest location for Oktoberfest celebrations. Oktoberfest officially gets underway Oct. 7 at Kitchener City Hall. Both Schmitt and Primosch are former Oktoberfest volunteers of the year.

Wilmot Township will host one of the first events of the festival this weekend.

The second annual 100km cycling race, the Tour de Hans, presented by RBC, features two-time Olympic medal winner Simon Whitfield this Sunday. The race will begin and end at Hubertushaus (German-Canadian Hunting & Fishing Club) in Mannheim.


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Fueling up in New Hamburg with a member of NEAT

Walter Eckstein doesn’t like to see a nice day go by without getting out on his 1960 Massey Ferguson tractor.

So when the new Hensall District Co-operative gas bar opened for the first time Sept. 27 in New Hamburg, the North Easthope Antique Tractor Breakfast Club (NEAT) member saw the perfect reason to fire up the engine and drive up the street from his office at Wal-Dor Industries. It’s there where he keeps the machine in top condition for summer outings with the club.

NEAT, with about 60 members from St. Agatha to Shakespeare, wrapped up its 19-trip season last week with a fundraising breakfast at the New Hamburg Legion.

Every year, from spring to early fall, the club members hop on their antique machines and putter down local sideroads to make a 9 a.m. date with breakfast at a local restaurant, church or event. The breakfast club meets everywhere from St. Agatha to Milverton with some members travelling up to 90 minutes.

Once a month the group size swells to about 100 for a fundraising breakfast hosted by local church ladies.

“It’s a lot of fun,” says Eckstein, who’s been a member for about 10 years.

The breakfast tour, scheduled every Thursday morning through the spring and summer months, is a spectacle for locals and tourists often seen slowing down to watch the line of antique tractors crawl through town. Eckstein says the slower tractors are given a head start as the faster ones, moving at a snail’s pace of 15 miles per hour, putter up behind on the way to their breakfast rendezvous.

The club’s breakfast tour will resume again next spring at their traditional starting place, the Schmidtsville Restaurant in Wellesley.

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“One Book, One Community” author speaks to readers at Waterloo-Oxford

Louise Penny talks about her book "Bury Your Dead" with an audience at Waterloo-Oxford last week.

Writer Louise Penny visited Waterloo-Oxford high school on Sept. 21, part of an ongoing tour of the community that has embraced her stories.

The Montreal-based novelist read part of her book “Bury Your Dead,” which has been chosen for Waterloo Region’s 10th annual “One Book, One Community.”

The campaign encourages local fiction fanatics to share a Canadian book. Penny is touring the region to talk about her murder mystery series and meet local readers.

Getting to know Waterloo Region has been a pleasure, said Penny, a former journalist whose seven-book (and-growing) mystery series is set in Quebec.

Being chosen as the “One Book, One Community” selection for 2011 has also boosted sales, she said.

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Work on 9/11 memorial underway in Kitchener

Baden resident Sheila Snyder stands next to a steel beam from the World Trade Centre that will become part of a display commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Kitchener Firefighters’ Memorial on Queen Street.

Snyder, an employee at Metcon Construction in Kitchener, along with coworkers Ben Caskenette, Jay Liu and Carl Bennett, were commissioned to drill holes in the beam so it could be anchored to the ground at the memorial where it will be backed by frosted glass to simulate smoke.

The beam is among several from the World Trade Centre ruins that were sent to various fire departments across North America as a thank you for their help following the terrorist attacks.

Snyder said Metcon Construction specializes in structural steel for large buildings. Knowing the size and strength of the beams they work with, she says she can’t imagine the force it would take to bring it down.

The Firefighters’ Memorial is located in Civic Centre Park between the main branch of the Kitchener Public Library and Centre in the Square.

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Pretty in pink fundraisers fight against breast cancer

From left: CIBC employees Derek Leis, Ted Van Wyk, and Carlo Montagnese promote Run for the Cure in downtown New Hamburg.

Three CIBC employees took “casual Friday” to a whole new level Sept. 16 outside the New Hamburg branch.

The trio of men wearing frilly pink dresses and hats earned confused looks, laughter and waves from many passersby in downtown New Hamburg. The cross-dressing fundraisers were promoting “Run for the Cure,” a Canada-wide breast cancer campaign that uses pink as its primary colour.

The New Hamburg CIBC aims to raise $3,000 this year for the cause. Last year, the branch exceeded its own expectations and raised $2,800.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Run for the Cure will be at Bingemans on Oct. 2. The event is a 1 km or 5 km run or walk.

Last year, the local run raised $650,000, while the Canadian campaign produced $33 million for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

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Wellesley-North Easthope Fall Fair celebrates the season

Alexis Close guides her Shetland pony through its paces to win the top prize in her category during Wednesday’s competition.Fairgoers had a chance to witness a live milking demonstration while taking in Wednesdays activities at the fairgrounds.The fair's midway offered fun and games for all ages.

Contestants vying for ambassador of the Wellesley North Easthope Fall Fair take a break during Tuesday's competition. Pictured are, from left, Ashley Guild, last year's ambassador Justine Walker, 2011 CNE ambassador of the fairs Jocelyn Van Herk, Kelsey Gardner, and Tori Lynn Brick, who went on to win the competition. Chuck Keupfer photo

The fair's midway offered fun and games for all ages.

Fairgoers had a chance to witness a live milking demonstration while taking in Wednesday's activities at the fairgrounds.

Amy Rola, of St. Agatha, performs in the Wellesley Idol Competition during opening night of the Wellesley North Easthope Fall Fair last Tuesday. Rola will join her brother Greg and Ali Carroll this Saturday for the finals during Wellesley’s Apple Butter and Cheese Festival.

Wellesley-North Easthope's new Ambassador of the Fair Tori Lynn Brick enjoys the fair from high up on the Ferris wheel.

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Hundreds attend Doors Open sites in Wilmot

The Kitchener-Waterloo Gurdwara in Petersburg was one of five Wilmot sites to allow visitors in for free tours during last Saturday’s Doors Open Waterloo Region.

Visitors were asked to cover their heads and remove their shoes before entering the Baba Budha Ji Hall where volunteers with the Golden Triangle Sikh Association answered questions. The hall houses the Sikh holy book.

Following the tour, visitors were invited to sample Indian cuisine. Hundreds of people were expected at the various sites in Waterloo Region, which included the Carmel of St. Joseph monastery north of St. Agatha and a heritage walking tour of Philipsburg.

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Llama visits New Hamburg for Bolivia walk-a-thon

New Hamburg had an unusual visitor last weekend. A black llama was escorted through downtown by a group of walkers who had hiked all the way from Kitchener.

The walkers made the 20 km trip to raise money and awareness for a missions project in Bolivia, where the group has traveled several times to distribute food, clothing, build church projects, and run childrens’ ministries and orphanages.

The group works with the indigenous Quechua people in Bolivia. Both llamas and long walks are common in the mountain country where these people live. Some Bolivians in that area will walk for days to vote in an election.

The Canadian team includes members from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New Hamburg. They hope to return to Bolivia in fall of 2012.

The Saturday morning walk-a-thon aimed to attract attention for the team’s projects, said Gail Krampien, and the team also collected donations.

All money raised goes to the Bolivia projects, as team members pay their own travel expenses, she said.

Faith Life Financial matched the gifts up to $500.

Photos by Jim and Ron Krampien

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Tavistock continues tradition with 159th Fall Fair

The Tavistock held its annual Fall Fair Sept. 9-11, with stomach-turning rides and tasty treats.

The fair started with a ceremony that crowned Annie Rowland as the 2011 fair ambassador on Friday night. The runner-up was Alexandra Urlando.

All four contestants were graded by three judges for their poise and presentation skills during previous interviews and a speech given Friday night.

Check out more Tavistock fair photos, including the air band dance competition at the fairgrounds on Sept. 10:

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Wellesley barbecue brings community together

Submitted by Michael Newark

It was fun, food and fellowship at the annual community BBQ hosted by Wellesley Mennonite Church.

Warm sunshine encouraged more than two hundred visitors to attend the event last Saturday evening. Families, seniors and the young at heart mingled to enjoy hot dogs,
hamburgers, a wide range of salads and ice cream.

For the children there were a variety of games and a bouncy castle for their enjoyment. The free event was the seventh hosted by Wellesley Mennonite Church at their David Street location.

Visitors were invited to drop off items for the food bank. Interim Pastor Renee Sauder and her husband Fred Loganbill served up the hot dogs and hamburgers and greeted visitors as they arrived.

Wellesley Mennonite Church has been part of the community for thirty six years and welcomes anyone to attend the barbecue regardless of religious affiliation.

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New Hamburg’s webby walkway

The Hartman Bridge in New Hamburg resembled a horror movie set Monday morning after fog descended over town and condensation illuminated dozens of large spider webs clinging to the steel truss along the entire length of the bridge. Marta Doucet snapped this photo on her way into work at the Independent.

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New Hamburg vet clinic holds bike ride for local pets and families

The New Hamburg Vet Clinic will host its first-ever fund-raising bike ride on Sept. 11.

Sixteen bikers will hit the road for a 100 km trip and hope to raise $750 for two charitable causes. Organizers hope to make the bike fundraiser an annual event.

Money raised for the event will support the Wilmot Family Resource Centre and the Farley Foundation.

The Farley Foundation is run by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association to pay for emergency services up to $1,000 for pet owners who can’t afford it. The Wilmot Family Resource Centre is a local agency that promotes education and social services.

Anyone interested in giving tax-refundable donations to the ride can contact Dr. Glen Blier at the New Hamburg clinic.

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Derby fans fill the streets of Wellesley

A cool breeze, an overcast sky and a few drops of rain didn’t “detour” 48 drivers from across Ontario from burning rubber down Nafziger Road in Wellesley on Monday afternoon.

The Wellesley and District Board of Trade’s annual Soap Box Derby drew a few hundred spectators outdoors on a brisk Labour Day to watch 25 soap box cars speed down the hill in about 25 seconds flat.

Above, Jordy Torti, of Brantford crosses the finish line in front in the age 8-10 category.

The oldest driver of the day was 48.

Awards were handed out for Best in Show for the R J Trucks car, while winner of Most Creative was Firella Creek Sheet Metal.

2011 Soap Box Derby Winners:

8 to 10

1.  Caleb Bors  R J Trucks  24.43

2.  Nathan Stecho 25.35

3. Isaiah Siewert Milverton Wellesley Veterinary Clinic  26.38


1.  Trevor Grasby 24.69

2.  Tyler Poole 25.19

3.  Cole Foster Milverton Wellesley Veterinary Clinic 25.87


1.  Matthew Poole 25.53

2.  Ben Hordyk Milverton Wellesley Veterinary Clinic 25.97

3.  Sophie Jantzi Weitzel Pump and Water Treatment 26.25

18 and Over

1.  Brian Mainland H2 Ontario  25.18

2.  Jonathan Sauder – Leis Pet Distributing 25.47

3.  Dorothy McCabe Inspiring Minds Early Learnings  25.66

Earlier in the day, the Wellesley pond was filled with anglers for the Wellesley Lions Club’s annual Fishing Derby.

Four-year-old Leah McPhee of Wellesley went fishing for the first time on Sept. 6, at the annual Labour Day Fishing Derby in Wellesley. Gail Martin photo

Nathan Nijp, 6, had his first catch of the day just after 9 a.m., at the Labour Day Fishing Derby in Wellesley. Nijp is an old hand at fishing, having already caught three catfish in his young life. Gail Martin photo

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