A Message from Mayor Doug Struthers

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Hello –

It seems such a long time ago – and yet, a mere year ago, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Grenville County Plowing Match – 1919. And I recall musing that the greeting that Fall might well have been: “It’s nice to see you”!

How significant was that: it’s nice to see you. A little perspective. 1919 was also the year of the Great Flu Epidemic. Contracting the flu was so pervasive that clergy encouraged folks to not gather in places of worship. And so, by the Fall of 1919, when it was somewhat safer to gather outside, I am sure it was indeed nice to see folks.

And here we are 2020 in the midst of a world pandemic – COVID 19. Staying safe by being mindful and adhering to the medical advice: washing our hands often, staying two meters apart, wearing face masks when in close proximity to one another and when shopping locally to support our businesses.

While we have not had any community spread, we continue to read and hear what seems as waves of information regarding a second wave, potential school closures…. at times, perhaps, no sense of a light at the end of the tunnel.

As a community we have done well – the result of our individual and collective diligence in adhering to the guidelines has indeed helped prevent community spread of COVID 19. Yes, we know how to step up! One only need recall some of our history.

Stepping up: Many will recall the Wolford Helpers, a group of women who worked for years in our rural hamlets and agricultural areas ensuring friends and neighbours in need never went hungry.

Stepping up: The Great Ice Storm of 1998. Friends and neighbours pulling together to ensure everyone stayed warm and fed.

A side note here to give a shout-out to our Volunteer Fire Fighters. In 1998 they were our front line workers, from sunrise to sunset, helping throughout our municipality, helping us stay safe, secure and warm. And during this pandemic they continue to be our front line workers – not only attending fires – they are our First Responders for MedAid calls. Our friends and neighbours! Thank you!

Stepping up: our Municipal Emergency Control Group. Going above and beyond their normal duties, showing leadership in planning and protecting the health of residents and municipality.

Stepping up: Our volunteer Communities in Bloom Committee. Their hard work encouraging so many groups and individuals to contribute and showcase so much of what makes our community Canada’s Prettiest Village!

Stepping up – what we have done, what we need to continue doing.

As we face what may seem like a daunting time ahead, we can draw on our history, our values, our wherewithal, to get through this together. Small town, rural values. Perhaps 4H Club values. Head: thinking; Heart: relating and caring; Hands: giving and working; Health: our individual and collective community health.

Support our friends, neighbours, businesses – we know how to do it.

Merrickville-Wolford: diligent and sensible. Stay safe and strong.

Mayor Struthers

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