The Oxford Mills Community Association held its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in Maplewood Hall. There was a record number of attendees that reflects the growing presence of the community association in the hamlet. Gerry and Debbie van Gurrp were in attendance and were honoured for their years of support. Their house and business are for sale and a warm Thank You was extended to them for their giving spirit.
Ashley Sloan, our Events Coordinator, gave a thorough review of the events that were hosted in the past year. These included the inaugural Equinox Supper and the other annual activities, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Community Plant and Garage Sale, Canada Day celebrations, Theatre in the Park, Halloween haunted hall and Christmas celebrations at the beginning of December. It was explained that some of these events were sponsored by local businesses and earned money for the community association. These funds helped to cover the cost of other events that bring social and cultural activities to the hamlet.
The plans for 2020 were also presented: in addition to the above events, the OMCA is working with the community associations of Bishops Mill, Burritts Rapids and Kemptville to bring a Meet Me on Main Street Block Party in August. The plan is for each community to host a neighbourhood party through the month of August. This is an exciting prospect for the Oxford Mills group as they are now quite seasoned at organizing successful community events. Another new event that is being planned is an Apple Harvest in September.
President Marc Nadeau discussed the expanding role that OMCA plays within North Grenville. This includes beautification projects at Maplewood Park and establishing and maintaining planters on the two bridges. It was mentioned that the group had been invited to make a submission to the Municipality’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan. A committee was formed that toured the hamlet’s two historic buildings and two parks that identified concerns that were presented during the consulting process. The report prepared by the consultants made direct reference to the concerns listed.
Mayor Peckford was in attendance and extended warm regards from the rest of Council. She brought news that the closure of Oxford on Rideau Public School has been deferred to 2022 which led to a discussion of the merits of the planned closure at a time when young families are moving into the Village and two new subdivisions are being developed close to the school. The OMCA was acknowledged for its contribution to the Parks, Recreation and Culture consultation and it was noted that money has been earmarked for the three historic building in the municipality. The Mayor spoke enthusiastically of the prospect of North Grenville hosting the Meet Me on Main Street and was appreciative of OMCA’s willingness to participate. Mayor Peckford was informed of the community association’s endorsement of establishing canoe launches along the South Branch and the need for the Municipality to work with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to make this a reality.
In conclusion, the meeting was a success in bringing interested individuals together who have a passion for public spaces and making Oxford Mills and exceptional place to call home. Please join us at our next meeting on March 4, 7:00 PM at Maplewood Hall or at the Equinox Supper on March 19, 6:30 same location.