Wortley Villager March 2020

Villager March 2020 Issue 38

Wortley Villager Issue #38 March 2020 www.villagerpublications.com Managing Editor: Cathy Wood Cathy@villagerpublications.com Publisher: Barb Botten Villager Publications P.O. Box 134, Lambeth Station Ontario N6P 1P9 Barb@villagerpublications.com 519-282-7262 Graphic Artist: Cathy Wood To advertise: 519-282-7262 or barb@villagerpublications.com or cathy@villagerpublications.com We look forward to hearing from you!

Janice Howell’s painting of her friend Sue walking Roxy as they leave ‘A Village Tail’ – Roxy’s favorite place to get treats! See page 8 to learn more about Janice andher art. Congratulations to ‘A Village Tail’ for being selected Best Pet Shop in the London Community Votes for 2019.

Back in the Day: Springbank Drive facing east to Wharncliffe. 1966.

Welcome to the Wortley Villager! We support local arts, entrepreneurs, business, organizations and more by bringing historical and current neighbourhood people and passion to print. You are invited to participate in your communitymagazine: to share stories, photos, event information and to advertise. The 100% locally owned and operated Wortley Villager is published ten times a year with thousands delivered free to area residences, more set out at local venues, and posted online at www.villagerpublications.com.

Do you have an Old South Neighbour of Note? Do you do cultural cooking? Drop us a line at Cathy@villagerpublications.com

AMANDAAUSTIN SATURDAY JUNE 6 See page 15 for vendor application information.

* All Ages, Levels & Styles. * Adults & Beginners Welcome. * Conservatory Exam Preparation. * Theory & Composition Lessons. * Recitals & Chamber Music. (519) 673-1895 susanjfischer@aol.com www.susanthepianoteacher.com Professional Piano Lessons with Susan the Piano Teacher

Marketing Your Property to Get it SOLD! Service is my priority. Community is my passion.

Wortley Village Location!

Preserve your family history and memories Safekeep your precious memories, share with friends, create photo books and more. Photo Digitize Service We’ll pick up your treasure box of family photos, digitize them and return them, copied onto USB. Proceeds benefit Big Bike Giveaway. bigbikegiveaway.ca 519-200-5496 call/text

Days on Market

Sale Price to List Price No. of Listing Sold

Amanda Austin London & Area Realtors *Information collected from 2017 YTD sales with London and St. Thomas Realtors

Coldwell Banker Power Realty Brokerage I ndependently Owned and Operated www.amandaaustin.ca

Amanda (Patrick) Austin Sales Representative

amanda@amandaaustin.ca Direct: 519-871-9807 • Office: 519-471-9200

donate@bigbikegiveaway.ca

Page 2 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Peggy Sattler New Year’s Levee and Community Recognition Awards Peggy Sattler, MPP for London West, held her annual New Year’s Levee and Community Recognition Awards, January 23 at the Byron Legion. Recipients included: Patricia Boost (London Community Chaplaincy), Sue Bushell (Forest Edge Community Club), Ron Calhoun (Byron Community Organization), Ian Cheng (London Multicultural Community Association), Brooke Connell, Trevor Dias (London Cycle Link), Jim Easton (Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres), Susan Epstein (Friends of the Coves Subwatershed), Carol George (Girl Guides), Kevin George (Rector, St. Aidan’s Church), Jennifer Howard (The Arts Collective), Mae Jacobs, Erik Jacobsen (Hyde Park Business Improvement Association), Doris Miller (Thames Valley Trail Association), Jim Nother, Jr. (Optimist Club of London-Nor’West), Bob Porter (Old South Community Organization), Eric Thomson (Optimist Club of Byron), Shelby Wall (London Junior Optimist International Club), Paul Wilton (Urban League of London), Byron Believers, George Bray Sports Association, Ideal Way and Westmount Block Party. "It was a wonderful evening and a welcome opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes of London West, whose volunteer contributions are deeply appreciated,” said Peggy. Read more at: www.peggysattler.ca/communityrecognitionawards On Tuesday night January 21st, Old South’s Ben Porchuk spoke at the Central Library’s Wolf Hall in the second lecture of Nature in the City talks. He described the health and spiritual benefits of walking in the woods, and also his new work as a forest therapy guide. Over 300 attendees paid close attention to his words and photos. The last lecture of the series was held February 18th. The City of London’s Patrick Donnelly and Linda McDougall highlit the ecological transformation of the Coves and described ways to explore and help protect the area. The lecture series is co-sponsored by Nature London and London Public Library. More information is available at www.naturelondon.ca AWalk in the Woods by Pat Tripp

Peggy presents Susan Epstein with a Community Recognition Award. A community leader for 35 years, and active with Friends of the Covers Subwatershed, Susan created the Arthur Ford Outdoor Education Foundation to plan, build, and sustain a nature park. Ever since, she has been part of the team helping local children embrace natural sciences and respect the earth.

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com CLASSIC LANDSCAPING • PROJECT WORK • DESIGN SERVICES JaycaN Landscape Co. 23 Cynthia Street, London, Ontario N6C 1G5 226-236-9196 • info@jaycanlan.ca https://jaycanlan.ca Your landscaping needs begin with JaycaN Landscape Co. Wortley Winter Wonderland Photo by Marianne Pfleger

• Page 3

Wortley Villager • March 2020

In this house : A look at Old South homes and the people that live in them ... By Louise Daw I was reminded how talented one of my neighbours, Sue Henson, is when I noticed she had been nominated for an Architectural Conservancy Ontario (London branch), and the Heritage London Foundation Award for her work with stained glass. Little wonder – her work is absolutely spectacular. Henson and her husband Mike Lucas have lived on Baker Street for the past 29 years and have watched the neighbourhood shift. When they first moved in there were many older people and they were warmly welcomed into the neighbourhood. Today, now their children have grown up they are now the older people. “I remember being invited to an old fashioned tea party to meet the women on our street where there were many fancy home made desserts and coffee and tea served in a colourful array of china cups,” explained Henson. This is one of the many memories that Henson has of this tree lined street, a stone’s throw to South Secondary and Tecumseh Public School where their two sons went to school. Shortly after moving in they converted their garage into a stained glass workroom. Henson has worked on her business for the past 40 years restoring and creating wonderful stained glass pieces. Over the years Henson has restored over 120 churches across southwestern Ontario. Other projects have included the Idlewyld Inn on Grand Ave’s front door, King’s College at Western University, Lawrence House Centre for the Arts in Sarnia, The Carnegie Public Library in Goderich, and the Westover Inn in St. Marys to name a few. She has also restored and made original stained glass panels for many residences in London. When she has free time she works on more “artsy” pieces that typically incorporate what she sees in the neighbourhood for inspiration. “One of the things I like most about this area is the huge old trees that tower over the whole neighbourhood. I can see those beauties from all of the windows in my workroom,” said Henson. One winter she was inspired when she saw the beauty of the bare trees and created a series of 21 painted glass squares based on the intricate cross hatched patterns formed by them. When all the pieces are put together the branch lines continue throughout, forming a larger section of the tree. Individually they are wonderful too! The painting technique Henson uses is called sgraffito, - which is typically used in painting for pottery glazes. The result gives an appearance of wood cuts. The idea was to make a play on the trees being the source of wood. Using different colours of glass, you can see the variety of the hues the sky takes on throughout the day. This series was taken from the enormous black walnut tree she can see from her workroom. So the next time you are strolling through Old South you might notice many homes with old stained glass windows and transoms. Perhaps some of these might have been restored by Henson.

Henson used this black walnut tree (above) as inspiration for her stained glass piece (below).

Inside Henson’s stained glass artist studio

Page 4 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Ward 11 Update By Stephen Turner Councillor – Ward 11 City of London 226-927-0765 It’s a delicate balance. Working to ensure the appropriate mix of services can be provided while setting a level of taxation that is sensitive to the financial pressures faced by Londoners is no easy task and almost always a no-win situation. Set the tax

rate too low and we won’t be able to maintain our infrastructure, provide housing to those in need, clear the snow quickly or prevent sewage from bypassing water treatment plants. Set the tax rate too high and those on fixed and limited incomes will have to make hard choices about whether they can stay in their homes while we run the risk of being less attractive as a city to existing and prospective employers. And cities that have run successive tax freezes have later found themselves with massive infrastructure gaps showing that municipal budgeting is often a question of “pay now or pay later.” Often, the rate of inflation can act as a reference towhich property taxes should be set. As the household expenses increase from year to year, so, too, do the costs of providing the services to the city. During the past four years, we were pretty successful at holding the line. From 2015 to 2019, Ontario’s inflation averaged 1.7%. While the average tax increase during that time was 2.7%, the residential tax increase was actually below inflation at 1.5%. This year, however, posed a much greater challenge. At the outset of the budget process, city council and staff set a similar target of 2.7% for the next four years but there were a couple surprises in store for us. Shortly after council set the budget target, the provincial government announced its budget which significantly cut transfers and cost-sharing with municipalities. For London, that impact was over $6 million per year, which on its own, represented a 1% increase to the municipal tax rate just to maintain services. Adding to this, we were informed, was a significant increase in the cost of land ambulance service for which we have little control. Over the course of three weeks in February, city council debatedwhat programs to reduce, maintain, and augment in order to set a tax rate that was reasonable while ensuring we supported necessary investments. Internal audits and program reviews were able to identify over $4 million in operational savings. Business cases for reductions were considered that would have lower impacts on the community and saved approximately $17 million over the next four years. Finally, we debated the business cases for new investment. Council was guidedby theCity’s strategic plan developedby the issues Londoners raisedduring the last election. Over $45 million was invested to address affordable housing and homelessness. An additional $8 million was allocated to improving transit service, and we made permanent earlier pilot projects providing reduced fares for youth, seniors and low-income Londoners. The Coordinated Informed Response program to help provide wrap around supports and rapid housing for the most vulnerable homeless Londoners received $7 million. Green bins were finally approved and will be launched next year and funding was also dedicated to support council’s declaration of the Climate Emergency. In the end, the average tax increase over the next four years was reduced from a potential 4.3%down to 3.9%. However, the actual residential rate increase will likely be below 3%. It’s no easy task to find consensus amongst 15 members of council. There were some tough discussions and even tougher decisions. I’m thankful for all the helpful input you provided us over the course of the budget. I know the rate may be a little higher than desired but I hope you feel we were able to strike the right balance.

Full view of the black walnut tree

One of her first of herself

Stunning piece adorns her studio

Louise Daw is a local Realtor www.louisedaw.com You can follow her on Facebook: Louise Daw Real Estate Instagram: louisetherealtor Twitter: louiseadaw

Have you had changes in memory? Are you feeling forgetful?

4 A re you 60 years or older? 4 Do you have trouble remembering things? 4 Do not have Alzheimer’s Disease? Dr. Montero-Odasso invites you to take part in a physical exercise study that may help to improve your memory and mobility. For more information, contact (519) 685 4292 ext. 42179 When you call in, you will be asked questions about your memory and general health. If eligible, you will be invited to visit the Gait & Brain Lab at Parkwood Institute, 550 Wellington Road South, London, Ontario.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Montero-Odasso, Geriatric Medicine GaitAndBrain.com

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

• Page 5

Wortley Villager • March 2020

Neighbour of Note – Len Elliott

Len Elliott had been a truck driver when he was injured at work in 1978. “I had to have back surgery and was not able to return to work,” he explains. “This was at a time when flea markets were popular and I decided I would like to try to make something out of wood to sell at them. I knew nothing about woodworking. My younger brother, John, taught me the basics and some of the finer points, so I bought some tools and began making things.” After this start, Len was mostly self-taught. “I read books, watched woodworking shows on TV and was eventually able to check out the internet – once it was invented,” he smiles.

While he originally made things like bowls, shelves and other household items, Len’s focus shifted when his first grandson came along 32 years ago. “Now with nine grand- children and 10 great

grandchildren, toys are the logical choice for all of my focus,” says Len. “The grandchildren are grown and the great grandchildren already have more than enough toys, but there are still a lot of long winter days to fill and a basement full of tools to use, so I busy myself making lots of little wooden toys.” Len ordered 5,000 wheels for his little cars, trucks and SUVs in the past year! Taking a plain piece of pine, black walnut, spruce or other wood and turning it into a tractor-trailer with cranes or bulldozers on it or a plane, train, jeep, small car, pickup truck, SUV or other toy in the 8’x16’ basement workshop of his Wortley home gives Len a great sense of accomplishment. His most rewarding moments occur though when he presents one of his hand-made toys to a child. “I keep my coat pockets full and when I see a little one somewhere, I ask the parent’s permission to give their child a toy for free. They cannot believe it is for free, but when we look at the child with the biggest smile in the world, I tell the parents ‘that’s my price, right there!’ Once when I took a small car out of my pocket to give to a little child in a stroller, his mother looked at it and got tears in her eyes. She was very touched as she said her father used to do the same thing when he was alive. Then when Bettina Weber of Boutique Firenze called to say that her whole stock of my toys had been purchased by one gentleman to be donated to Toys for Tots for Christmas, I could not have been more proud”. “Not only will London’s children in need receive a beautiful home-made gift and happy holiday memory, this gesture supported a local artisan and an independent small business,” said Bettina. “What a lovely way to spread joy in the season of goodwill!” Len and his wife Jean have lived inWortley Village since 1969. “It has been a wonderful place to raise our two sons. It is a quiet, safe neighbourhood to raise a family. Everything you need on a daily basis is within walking distance,” said Len. Len’s toys are available for sale at Boutique Firenze, 189 Adelaide Street, S, Unit 3 (www.boutiquefirenze.

Page 6 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Family Skate Party The 30th annual Family Skate Party was held February 7 at Farquarson Arena, presented by Tecumseh Community School and Old South Community Organization. You can follow both organizations on Facebook to keep informed of upcoming events.

LIST FOR LESS 3.5 % Commission 433-0300 5 1 9 www.byronvillagerealty.ca

John Thurman BROKER OF RECORD

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Wortley Villager • March 2020 • Page 7

Neighbour of Note – Janice Howell

Janice Howell had been occupied with raising a family and with a career in research at St. Joseph’s, then neuropsychology at University Hospital. She also worked on environmental issues for TREA (Thames Region Ecological Association), and as Chair of the Public Liaison Committee for Waste Management with the City of London. But painting and drawing had been her passions since childhood, and in 2012 Janice received two calls that changed her life. “One was from the GPG (Gallery Painting Group) to let me know I had been accepted into the group. The second was from City Hall informing me that I had been accepted as a member on ACE (Advisory Committee on the Environment). The timing was perfect since I had just decided to retire.” The GPG is an en plein air (outdoor) painting group where a group of artists get together at various locations in and around London to paint. “It has provided me with the motivation to become an active artist. It is such a great experience going to interesting spots in TheWildWortley Turkey Imagine the surprise when an unexpected visitor walked up to the livingroom french doors of an Elmwood Ave home and peered in! A wild turkey recently visited a number of back yards, garages and bird feeders in the village. Wild turkeys are foragers, eating everything from acorns to berries, grains, fallen fruit, snails and worms. Once on the brink of extinction, through conservation and reintroduction efforts, their numbers have recovered but as natural foraging areas disappear, they are more frequently being seen in human-populated areas.

artists that put on a show each year at TAP (The Arts Project) and donate proceeds to My Sisters’ Place. As a resident of Wortley Village for 13 years, Janice loves to go on walks in the neighbourhood and get inspired by the beautiful gardens and unique historic

London (ie. farms, gardens, the market) with a fun group of artists and I have learned so much from them. We even went to an alpaca farm this year!” exclaims Janice. Janice is also active with The SHADY Artists - a group of four en plein air

Elmwood Street. Photo by Marianne Pfleger

Tecumseh Avenue. Photo by Val Frankis

Page 8 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

which is a cute retro restaurant in north London. I went out on a limb, as I often do, and painted the building in a purple shade, which it is not! The owner, Jane, came to the SHADY show opening night with her parents, expressed how much she was touched by my painting and of course she bought it. I havemany stories similar to this which bring home the connection an artist can make within the community and the joys of painting local scenes.”

Bruce Street Garden

To see more selections of art from Janice, Don, Michele and Sandi of SHADY Artists, visit www.shadyartists.com. Watch for details on their show in September and the Gallery Painting Group show in October. You can also see Janice’s work in the Portside Gallery in Port Stanley and later this year at Aeolian Hall.

Home in Wortley Village

“I really am thankful to live in the vibrant and friendly Wortley Village neighbourhood,” continues Janice. “My husband and I regularly visit the hardware store, the bakery not to mention the grocery store, restaurants, the bank and pharmacy. We are so lucky to have all these local shops and businesses within a short walk from our house. When I paint, I try to transform a common scene into a lively, colourful interpretation that will present a whole new view and perspective. In Wortley Village I have had fun painting Tuckey’s Home Hardware, the Old South Village Pub, A Village Tail, Quarter Master, Sweet Onion Bistro, Mai’s Cafe and Wortley Road Dental.”

houses and buildings. “I often can’t wait to get home and paint a scene of a home with historic features and a lovely front garden,” says Janice. Particularly inspiring to Janice is how local painting encourages involvement with the community. “I did a painting of a London cafe called ‘The Bag Lady’

Right: Wortley Village Pub

S H O P Know the people behind the product with two great SHOP LOCAL tools LOCAL

\ villagerpublications.com Follow us on Facebook

Innovative technology for businesses to be found online

]

Your local community magazine

Your local on-line directory

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

• Page 9

Wortley Villager • March 2020

By Rick Young By day, long-time Old South resident Sookie Mei (23 years and counting) plies her trade as a Technical Writer at a London software company. By night, however, it’s a whole different story. Many Londoners know her as one of the co-founders, along with Anne-Marie Caicco and Lil Malinich, of Theatre Soup, the independent theatre company the three women established in the 1990s. “Back in 1998, there was not a whole lot of theatre happening in London. There was the Grand and London Community Players, and a few inde- pendent shows, but the landscape was still quite bare. What we were finding as 20-something women was that the roles we could play were usually ‘the main character’s wife or daughter,’ and that main character was usually male,” Sookie recalls. “We set out to change the theatre landscape in London, to produce shows that would challenge the audience, and that had a female focus. Doing so would also give us a chance to act, since we could choose plays that had strong female roles in them and cast ourselves.” “Our first show was Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, featuring the three of us in the lead roles, and we never looked back! While Anne-Marie and Lil have both moved away from London, I continue as the Artistic Director of Theatre Soup, and strive to find great shows to share with London audiences, albeit on a less-frequent basis,” Sookie says. Sookie is also the Arts Coordinator for the London One Act Festival – a role she says is a fun one. “LOAF likes to bring other types of arts into the festival, so my job is to engage local visual artists to display their works in the McManus lobby, and ask London musicians to warm up the crowd before each performance night. I also hire a local artist to create the LOAF awards each year, which have ranged greatly from sculpture to jewellery to custom books to paintings. Each year has a different award by a different artist, which makes it extra special,” says Sookie. In addition to her theatrical pursuits, Sookie finds time to play bass guitar in her ‘80s New Wave cover band, Venus in Furs . She also had a show on CHRW Radio called The All-Syrup Super Squishee Show for many years and wrote for the now-defunct Scene Magazine. Sookie’sparents supportedall of her interests likeballet, theatre, synchronized swimming, flute, violin, chess, and volleyball. “My mother was my Senior Kindergarten teacher, and she got me started in my theatre career by casting me as one of the Three Little Sheep who had lost their way in the play All About Three . I’ve really never done better work!” jokes Sookie. Sookie says her “big break” was getting a part as one of the kids in Oliver! at the Sudbury Theatre Centre. “It was a new theatre, and Oliver! was the inaugural show. I loved every minute of it, and every time I encounter that particular scent of a newly published programme, I am brought right back to that place and time,” says Sookie. “I was able to take drama in the last couple of years of high school, and I was in our production of Jesus Christ Superstar. I won the English & Drama award at graduation.” English and Drama studies at Western University brought Sookie to London and she’s been here ever since. “I was so fortunate to find fellow theatre enthusiasts while I was there and after graduating,” she recalls. Sookie cites many career highlights, including creating Theatre Soup, receiving some Brickenden and Dish Awards for her acting and producing over the years, and hosting the Brickenden Awards with her close friend, Lesleigh Turner. “I count hosting the Brickendens as one of the most fun nights of my life. I’ll never forget being backstage and us deciding to switch dresses before we went back on again, only I got stuck in Lesleigh’s dress, and she had to Neighbour of Note – Sookie Mei

go on without me! The memories are made even more dear since Lesleigh passed away a few years after that. Having that opportunity to work with her was a definite highlight,” says Sookie. Her many contributions to the London theatre scene have not gone unrecognized. On February 10 at the 2020 Brickenden Awards show, Sookie received the Chris Doty Award in recognition of her lifelong contributions to theatre in London. “When told I would be receiving this award, I burst into tears! It was overwhelming to think that I was deserving of such an honour,” says Sookie about the award. “I was friends with Chris Doty and know how hard he worked to support London arts and artists, and to be able to contribute even a little bit to anything Chris was doing fills me with joy and humility. I joke with my friends that it is the ‘You’re Old and Your Career Is Over’ award, but I am just funning – I know that I still have lots of theatre in me!” What does the future hold for Sookie Mei? “Theatre Soup celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2018, and we put on a show featuring three new short plays by London playwrights past and present. One of those shows, WANNABE by Caitlin Murphy, is to be lengthened by the playwright, and Theatre Soup will present it at this year’s Fringe festival,” she says. “I am happy to have London superstars DinahWatts (director), Meghan Brown (actor), and Danika Tipping (actor) joining in the fun, and I will also be acting in this hilarious show.” Sookie’s advice to her fellow Old South neighbours? “The arts scene in London is what has kept me here, and I have never thought of moving, because I love the London theatre scene and all the people in it! I hope that readers will get out there and support the independent shows going on every week, whether as audience members, or getting involved on stage or backstage.” Keep up to date with what Sookie and Theatre Soup are up to at: https://www.facebook.com/theatresoup/

Page 10 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Andrew Glen book selected as a Best Kindness Book for Kids. Eli and the Fisherman , by local author Andrew Glen has been selected as one of 29 ‘Best Kindness Books for Kids’ by Unicorn Jazz, a children’s book company that celebrates

kindness, being unique and the power of believing in others. Learn more at https://unicornjazz.com/29-best-kindness- books-for-kids. You can order Eli and the Fisherman and other Andrew Glen selections on Amazon.

Congratulations to Wortley Auto Service. Londoners voted the 12 Wortley Road auto service in the categories of Brakes, Repair and Maintenance and Tire Retailers. https://london.communityvotes.com

Roofing• Siding Doors • Renovations

V 28 th Anniversary

1992

2020

GreenOn Certified Windows GreenOn Certified Contractor

Up to 1 Year NO INTEREST NO PAYMENTS O.A.C.

2375 Main Street 519 652-5010

Serving London, Sarnia & St. Thomas

Living together? Make it legal! License your pet. All cats and dogs must be licensed by law. Licensing helps save animals’ lives. • Lost pets are returned home • Helps to fund animal services programs • Homeless pets get adopted Please do you part! Contact us to license your pet

CANADIAN TAI CHI ACADEMY Introduction to Tai Chi classes Elmwood Presbyterian Church • 111 Elmwood

Contact us for details: 226-270-8502 www.londontaichi.ca

PRIDE Around Town R I D w n london@canadiantaichiacademy.org Facebook: Canadian Tai Chi Academy-London Branch sk about o r introduction classes.

London Animal Care Centre • 121 Pine Valley Blvd, London • www.accpets.ca 519-685-1330 • Facebook.com/LondonAnimalCare

Watch for the 4th edition of Pride Villager – at local pick up points while quantities last (including at 40 London and area libraries) or online at www. villagerpublications.com, due out early April 2020. Contact Barb@ VillagerPublications.com for advertising opportunities.

StrictlyAddressing 'direct mail marketing solutions

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com CONTACT K AREN LEMANS K I 519 433-4242 ill karen@strictlyaddressing.com GI www.strictlyaddressing.com Fast turnaround / Competitive Pricing Lookingfor a Great Deal on MailAdvertising? WE ARE OFFERING $0.09 POSTAGE/ PIECE ON NEIGHBOURHOOD MAIL*

Wortley Villager • March 2020 • Page 11

The Story So Farr.... by Christopher Ellis with thanks to Nicole Aszalos and Minette Klazinga for their assistance. Most individuals who populated early London South are largely for- gotten in histories of the area. The preserved records and resulting written histories tend to focus on successful businessmen, politicians and other

Chris Ellis

notables and their impressive edifices. However, many residents were largely tradesmen and more working class in the earliest times. One such largely forgotten “common man” is Joseph H. Farr. In fact, other than as a simple name in directories and land registries, we would know much less about him and his family if it were not for the dramatic manner, described later, of his passing. The story of Joseph and his family provides a more balanced view of the character of the London South area in those early times and the nature of the many different institutional, social, familial and employment ties that bonded the community together. Joseph H. Farr was one of London South’s early residents and one of, if not the earliest, residents involved in purchasing property in Colonel Askin’s block of surveyed building lots. The Askin lots, bordered by modern Wharncliffe Rd. on the west, Wortley Rd. on the east, Alma St. (later Byron Ave.) on the north and Bruce St. on the south, were made available in the early 1870s. While most buyers purchased one or two adjacent lots, in 1872 Farr purchased four lots, numbered 30-33, on Bruce St., facing the end of Edward St. The lots were purchased for $150 each with Joseph’s wife Emma (nee Morgan) listed as the land grantee. Joseph Farr was born in early 1832 in England while his wife was born in Brecon, Breconshire, Wales on March 12, 1834. At a “very young age,” Joseph emigrated to the western United States and for a time served as a mail rider, a somewhat risky and adventurous endeavour. It is probable he actually met and married Emma there. For a time, they lived in Indiana, where their three eldest daughters were born between 1855 and 1859. In 1860, they left the USA, perhaps because of the growing unrest that would culminate in the Civil War. There is no evidence they had family ties to the London area but they came here by covered wagon and settled in Westminster Township. The earliest record places them living in 1864 to the southeast of the current Baseline/Ridout intersection on Lot 26, Concession I.

Stanley St. at the Thames River. He also was somewhat of an entrepreneur, with an apparent long term plan of deriving income in various ways from the four lots he had purchased. From 1861 to 1868 the Farrs’ had three more daughters and in 1870 a son. Unfortunately, two of these daughters died at only three years old in 1864 and 1867 and the son, a machinist for Yates and Gibson’s company on York St., died when he was 20 of tuberculosis. Two of the eldest, USA born daughters married carpenters, Hugh Lawson andMacLean Stinson, who alsoworked for Wm. Gerry & Co. After living for a time in the Farr houses described below, and actually being married in them, the Lawson and Stinson families ended up remaining in Old South in houses that one assumes their husbands had a hand in building, at #53 Bruce St. and #5 Deane St. respectively. While Lawson spent his early years near Strathroy before moving to Old South to work for Gerry, Stinson had lived in the neighbourhood for some time -- his father was a cooper who owned the property at the northeast corner of Wharncliffe Rd. and Bruce St. The other eldest Farr daughter married the owner of the General Store in Ilderton. The Farrs apparently initially lived on Lot 30 (now #68 Bruce St.) and probably in a simple structure that no longer exists. By at least 1883 they built (or had built) and were occupying the current structure on the east half of Lot 31 (#66). Subsequently, by 1887-1888 they had built, and were living in #60 (Lot #33) and then by 1888-89 in #62 (Lot #32), which was their final home. Their former abodes were rented to tenants, including several other carpenters for Gerry. It seems likely, given this connection and the fact that Farr and two of his sons-in-laws worked for the same firm, that Wm. Gerry & Co. built these modest Ontario Cottage frame homes. In 1887 Lot 30 was sold to Henry and Catharine Thompson and they seem to have had built the current house, #68, at that location in 1891. The house and its lot at #66 Bruce were sold by the Farrs in 1891 to James Grigg, who was a carpenter for the Grand Trunk Railway. In the early 1900s Grigg had built the current #64, where he lived into the 1930s. We would know much less about Joseph Farr if not for his tragic passing. A London Free Press article of October 27, 1899 provides important details of his early life while recounting how he died in an electric street railway accident, being pinned between two cars on Richmond St. in front of the City Hall. The accident was blamed on his health issues and the fact neither of the two cars involved sounded their gongs. He apparently died at his home (#62 Bruce) where he had been transported after the accident and

Joseph worked first as a laborer, actually employed by Colonel Askin farming the Askin block area. Then, for 13 years, Joseph farmed the block for himself extending into the time when the Askin building lots already had begun to be sold. Joseph

was a strong supporter of the Askin Street Methodist church (now Wesley-Knox United) at the southeast corner of Askin and Teresa Streets, located since 1875 around the corner from where he lived. He apparently often reminisced about how he farmed wheat where that edifice is now located. After retiring from farming he found work as a mechanic and a teamster, working in the latter capacity in the 1880s for Wm. Gerry & Co., builders and contractors on Craig St. and then for D. Darvill & Co., an implement maker located on

Page 12 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

Heritage Fair at HMCS Prevost The 8th Annual Heritage Fair was held in February at HMCS Prevost, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Battle of the Atlantic. Themed ‘Remembering Their Sacrifice – 75 Years Later’, the event featured guest speakers, exhibits, interactive activities, an Antique Road Show featuring Second World War memorabilia and more. Stephen Holowitz (piano), Adam Corrigan-Holowitz (MC), Dave Nuttall (whistle) and Paul Stevenson (trumpet) packed a room for a sing-a-long of songs that were popular during WWII, with Adam providing some historical context of the songs.

his funeral was held the next day from that address, seemingly a typical parlor funeral of the day. Emma continued to live in #62 Bruce until 1911 and died in 1912 while living elsewhere in London with her youngest surviving London born daughter, Emily Flannigan, and her family. Emma, her husband, and their two daughters who died

very young, are interred/memorialized together in Woodlawn cemetery located at the northeast corner of the current Springbank and Wonderland Roads. Emma’s will was executed by her son-in- law Hugh Lawson and her next door neighbour (and obviously a good family friend), James Grigg. The house at #60 Bruce went to the youngest daughter, while #62 was sold off. As a result of lot severances and the building of later houses that shifted boundaries, only #62 Bruce has an intact lot exactly the same as it was when surveyed for Colonel Askin and purchased by the Farrs. In fact, there are only two other houses on the north side of Bruce that still have such associated intact lots: #54 and #56. Unlike the other houses owned by the Farrs, #62 Bruce was built more in the centre of the lot suggesting it was the original intention not to subdivide that lot in the future and that it was always envisioned as their permanent home location. The history of Joseph Farr and family in the area bridges the transition of London South from a more rural community to being a part of the city itself. They were immigrants who helped to found this Old South neighbourhood and whose lives are tied to many surviving structures. Their story brings to life the highly integrated and vibrant local community of those early times.

Photos: 1: Wm Gerry & Co. ad from 1880s city/county directory. 2: 62 Bruce St. as it appears today. 3: Gravestone of Joseph and Emma Farr in Woodland Cemetery, photo compliments of Angela M. Clatworthy (FindAGrave.com).

Top: Stephen Holowitz played a WWII-era piano that had been located at HMCS Prevost back in the day. Middle left: Adam Corrigan-Holowitz, Stephen Holowitz, Dave Nuttall and Paul Stevenson. Middle right: Michael Lawrence (left) at the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association exhibit (see article March 2019). Bottom: the First Hussars Museum exhibit.

London Artists Studio Tour Drop in and meet some local awesome artists!

The London Artists Studio Tour provides an opportunity to connect personally with London’s awesome artists where they work and maybe even live as they invite you into their studios, to see first-hand the materials and equipment they use and the work environment that results in the art that intrigues, excites, inspires and trains us to see the world through an artist’s eye. Visit www.londonstudiotour.ca for a complete list of participating artists.

April 24 – 26

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

• Page 13

Wortley Villager

March 2020

The Karen Schuessler Singers 2020 Singathon by Harry MacLean There’s amajor choral concert coming up—Bach’sSt. JohnPassion— and the Karen Schuessler Singers needed $17,000 to hire soloists and the London Symphonia orchestra. Tickets sales can only partly cover expenses like this, so what to do? Organize a Singathon! Go out into the community and gather sponsors. And then sing! This year’s KSS Singathon was held on Saturday, February 1, in the Food Court at London’s Cherryhill Mall. Over two hundred music lovers were on hand to enjoy a full three hours of music broken only by a short recess and an audience singalong. Music offered ranged from ABBA and Beatles’ tunes to repertoire from recent KSS concerts to gospel numbers and Handel’s always popular Hallelujah Chorus.

Karen Schuessler

Bach’s St. John Passion Bach’s masterwork, the dramatic retelling of Jesus’ last days, sung in English The Karen Schuessler Singers with Chelsea Van Pelt, Sarah Hicks, Christopher Mayell, David Diston and London Symphonia Saturday April 4 8 pm Wesley-Knox United Church 91 Askin Street, London Tickets $30/$27/$10 at Attic Books, Tuckey Home Hardware, Long & McQuade North, and www.kssingers.com As in other years, the choir was led by a host of celebrity conductors, and occasionally by members of the audience who, in exchange for a donation, tried their hand at conducting. It was all good fun and, by the end of the afternoon, over $8000 had been raised. The St. John Passion will be going ahead! London Community Activist Richard Yake brought the Power of the Strawberry to the Singathon.

Susan Smythe, choir member, was Master of Ceremonies

London North MPP Peggy Sattler (celebrity guest conductor) and Karen Schuessler

Veteran meteorologist and television weatherman Jay Campbell, an enthusiastic supporter of KSS was one of the celebrity guest conductors.

Page 14 Wortley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

The Village Vibe

Good Neighbourhoods Talk March 7 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

BACH’S ST JOHN PASSION Saturday April 4, 2020, 8:00 PM WESLEY-KNOX CHURCH

Hyland Cinema hylandcinema.com Coming Soon: Willie, A Hidden Life, Balloon, and more. Idlewyld Inn Afternoon Tea March 21, 2–4pm (and third Saturday every month). www.idlewyle.com Old South Spring Artisan and Vendor Market April 25, 9am – 3pm, Wortley Road Public School BMO Centre London, 295 Rectory Street. Open to all London residents. Meet your neighbours and discuss community building in London. Register on EventBrite Irish Dance Ceili hosted by The London Irish Folk Club at the German Canadian Club, 1 Cove Rd, 8.00 pm - 12.00. Live traditional Irish music by Traddicted. Dances instructed by Maureen O’Leary, no dance experience necessary. Everyone welcome! Cash bar. Tickets $15, children 12 and under free. Call 519-471-9008 or email londonirishfolkclub@hotmail.com. Wortley Walkers Walk and Talk! Then coffee and friendships! Visit https://www. meetup.com/Wortley-Walkers/events/ for dates and times. EASTER DINNER Choose from two Heat N Serve options: Each dinner comes with Glazed Carrots & Broccoli Casserole BAKED HAM in our Sweetened Pineapple Raisin Sauce, Scalloped Potatoes, Apple Slaw, Dinner Roll & Butter Pickup on Sat. April 11 / 20 between 12:00 & 2:30 Comfort food – Made from scratch!! – OR – TURKEY Sliced and ready for you with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Stuffing, & Cranberries $21.49 per person Space is available to local (London) Artisans that enjoy their craft as a hobby from their home, not from a place of business. The craft must not be their main source of income and must be made by the crafter themselves. Payment due upon approval of your application – contact by email. Questions may be sent to oscolondon@gmail.com Vendor applications will be accepted at Curiosities April 1st to 13th. NO LINE UPS. You will be invited to participate by April 30 if your application is chosen. The date of the event is June 6. Vendor Applications 174 1/2 Wortley

An explosive and highly dramatic retelling of Jesus’ last days— Bach’s Cecil B. DeMille spectacular. With London Symphonia and acclaimed soloists, it promises to be a major event in London’s concert season.

BRASSROOTS – BRASS ROCKS April 25 St. James Westminster The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Beach Boys and more. www.brassroots.ca

Landon Library 167 Wortley Road

Paper Bag Princess Day! Saturday, Mar. 7, 2:30-3:30 pm

Kiwanis Seniors Centre Lunch and Learn Thursday, March 26 - 12:30 p.m. Moving on In Presented by Century 21 & Seniors in Transition Tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich, dessert, coffee & tea. $7.50 St. Patrick’s Day Lunch Friday. March 13 Beef Irish stew in an Irish soda bread bowl and dessert. Entertainment. Members $8.50, Non-Members $10.50 We will have a variety of programs happening for children during March Break. Check out what is available by going to www.lpl.ca Join us to celebrate the classic Robert Munsch story "The Paper Bag Princess" with activities, crafts and storytime! Emerging Artists (Ages 11+) Saturdays, Mar. 14, April 11 & May 9, 10:30-12:30 pm Join this series of fun and engaging visual art workshops designed to spark imaginations while working with different materials and techniques and experimenting with the use of symbolism in art. All participating artists will have an opportunity to exhibit their art work. Call the branch to register starting March 7. Poetry London Readings: Mary di Michele and Susan Gillis Wednesday, Mar. 25, 7-8:30 pm Poetry London hosts and celebrates nationally acclaimed and local poets. Please check the Poetry London website www. poetrylondon.ca for more information. March Break Programs at Landon March 14-21

Order your fresh baked pies and butter tarts!

519-668-3360 | 746 Wharncliffe Rd South | www.outnbackcatering.ca

To advertise here, please contact Cathy@villagerpublications.com

• Page 15

Wortley Villager

March 2020

U P C O M I N G E V E N T S AT T H E I D L E W Y L D U P C O M I N G E V E N T S A T T H E I D L E W Y L D

Louise Daw YOUR OLD SOUTH SPECIALIST

Louise Daw Sales Representative The Realty Firm Inc. 519.601.1160 (office) 519.495.8820 (direct) www.louisedaw.com for buyers and sellers Over 30 years in Old South Premium client services

$90 Inclusive

March 13, 2020 Murder For Hire presents

April 12, 2020 Sunday Festive Easter Brunch 11:00am and 2:00pm $42.95+HST (Children 10 & under $21.50+ HST)

The Great Gaspè The Great Gaspè is a story told by narrator Mick Faraway, who is Gaspè’s neighbor. As the story opens, it is 1922 in New York, Mick is recounting his first impressions of the friends, business associates, and acquaintances of his neighbour. He goes to visit his cousin, Mona and her husband Noah Lotte. They are the perceived as the “American Dream”. The Lottes live privileged lives, contrasting sharply in sensibility and luxury with Mick’s more modest and grounded lifestyle. The Gaspè parties are opulent and magnificent in every way. Costume suggestions: Gangsters; Flappers; Everything Opulent 6:30 cocktails | 7:00 Buffet Dinner & Show

4:30pm and 7:30pm $45.95+HST (Children 10 & under $22.95+HST)

36 Grand Ave London, Ontario N6C 1K8 | ph 519.432.5554 www.idlewyldinn.com | IdlewyldInnAndSpa

*not intended to solicit those under contract

Matt’s Car Care Tip

COMPLETE VEHICLE CARE 12 Wortley Road (519) 642-3819

BE ROADTRIP READY With the better weather coming soon many people look forward to getting out of the house – and city – and hitting the open road! Before you go, you’ll want to assure your vehicle is road-ready safe. Your vehicle has been through a long winter of temperature fluctuations and will benefit from an oil change. Winter driving can be hard on your brakes and suspension system: all that breaking for ice can wear down your pads and rotors and those icy bumps and potholes may have knocked your suspension and alignment out. Cold temperature starts may have weakened your battery. You’ll want to have your starting and charging systemchecked. Tire pressure changes with fluctuating temperatures and under-or over-inflated tires put you at risk for accidents, blowouts and flats. Before enjoying the spring and summer driving season, your tires should be checked for uneven or irregular wear and and rotated (or replaced). You’ll save costs in the long-run by changing out your winter tires to summer ones. Avoid the cost and inconvenience of vehicle problems while on your Spring

“Matt and the rest of his crew provide absolute top tier service. Honest, trustworthy, and extremely reliable. I wouldn’t take my car anywhere else.” AS

Call for an Appointment Today

GOING AWAY FOR MARCH BREAK? Get a Spring Roadtrip Service Includes our premium Oil Change (up to 5L of semi-synthetic oil) Plus the following: • Brake & Suspension System Inspection • Starting & Charging System Inspection • Tire Inspection and Rotation Call for an Appointment Today

$69.95 for most vehicles

• Windshield Washer Fluid Fill Up Visit www.wortleyautoservice.com to book your appointment online.

roadtrips with our Spring Roadtrip Service. Happy and Safe Driving!

shop@wortleyautoservice.com • www.wortleyautoservice.com

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs