by David Herman
I wanted to follow up on Hilary Thomson’s Editorial, “Why not?”. When we moved here from Nova Scotia, it was a sure thing that, when we retired, we would move back home, where people were friendly, and the pace was a little slower. That was 1997, 22 years ago, and we are retired with no plans to go back home. We do visit, but our home is Kemptville now. Our first experience with the community was in January, 1998…The Ice Storm.
We were not too bad, only eleven days without any Hydro; but the thing was, we had a horse and other animals, so we were not able to lock the door and walk away until the hydro was restored, as we had to look after the animals. During this time, we really met our neighbors. We had people we had never met come and offer us the use of a generator for a few hours to pump out the cellar and run the furnace for a while. We had neighbors offer us good hardwood, cut and split and dry, to burn in the fireplace. We had friends from Orleans come and leave a cell phone and cash with us, as the phones were not working, and it was cash only at the few stores that were open.
That brings up another topic…Kemptville’s merchants. Jim and Judy Beveridge at B&H were open when most were not. They gave us a flashlight and a pad and pencil to record the items and prices to bring back to the front of the store where you paid for your items. The Grahame’s of Grahame’s Bakery, with their wood-fired oven, roasted turkeys, roasts etc. for people whose freezers were defrosting. These two businesses have shown such community spirit, exhibiting a shining example of what life in a small town should be. And in Kemptville that spirit still exists.
Just this week, on Wednesday, the hydro went off again and my wife had a pie in the oven, and she was concerned that it would be ruined. I spoke to Rick Grahame and, without a second thought, he said: “bring it here and I will finish baking it for you”. Which he did, and we were able to share it the next day at the Youngsters of Yore final meeting of the current season held at the library.
Our library, and the staff who run it, is another jewel in the crown of this small town. Did you know they loan out, tot hose with a library card, equipment for fishing, Nordic walking poles, GPS exploring kits, and MAPsacks for outdoor fun? They also have many programs for kids, teens and adults. We are so blessed to have this facility in out downtown.
No talk of the jewels of life in Kemptville would be complete without mentioning our Hospital. Don’t spread this around, but the service is great, and the wait times are almost non-existent when compared to the larger urban hospitals. Our current surgical rooms are second to none. When we arrived here in ’98, we had people telling us not to go to the Kemptville hospital, but that has changed. We have people coming from Ottawa to our hospital because of the level of care and the compassionate staff. We are so lucky.
Our little town has four School Boards operating schools in Kemptville. How great is that? The Kemptville Campus is soon to be paying its own way. The Municipal Centre, with its ice surfaces and theatre, is a vital part of Kemptville.
I also think that the North Grenville Times is a great asset to our town. It is a place where you, the regular citizens, can voice your opinions, and regardless of the amount of support you have for your point of view, it is your point of view and worth expressing.
I need to say that I know there are many more persons, places and things in Kemptville that make it a GREAT little town, but I would need a lot more space to cover them all. I apologize for those I have omitted, or those you feel should have been included.