Let there be light–at EESS

webeesslightsA dim gym at East Elgin Secondary School was considerably brighter than expected during a Junior girls basketball game on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 19. Thames Valley District School Board workers, who weren’t expected to replace the many burned-out lights in the gym until next week, arrived early to do the job on Thursday. As shown in a picture from a Senior girls game two days earlier, 22 of 54 fixtures in one half of the gym were burned out. Poor lighting in the gym had been an issue since school opened in September.




Great Big Crunch taken at Davenport PS

BigCrunch@DavThe Grade 7 pupils of teacher Kate Gutmanis’s class at Davenport Public School in Aylmer bit into apples from Great Lakes Farms of Port Stanley on Thursday morning, Oct. 19 as part of The Great Big Crunch event to celebrate Breakfast for Learning Month. Locally, Eat 2 Learn, otherwise known as the Elgin School Nutrition Network, purchased and distributed more than 14,000 apples to 32 schools across Elgin County. The Great Big Crunch raises awareness about the important role nutritious food plays in a school child’s physical, social and academic development while at the same time promoting the availability of local produce. The annual Great Big Crunch has expanded this year from Elgin schools to include seven daycare centres and three library branches.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

webjrbbKayla Voros of host East Elgin Secondary School tried to find a way past a Woodstock College Avenue defender during a Junior girls basketball game on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Tied 22-22 midway through the third quarter, EESS built up what seemed a comfortable lead, but WCI came back in the end to win 35-34.

EESS not so bright

websrbbEast Elgin Secondary School athletes have been playing in increasingly dim conditions in one half of their main gymnasium since September. At this Senior girls basketball game on Tuesday, Oct. 17, where EESS hosted and defeated Woodstock College Avenue 47-16, 22 out of 54 light fixtures in this half of the gym were burned out. Thames Valley District School Board has reportedly agreed to finally send workers to replace the light bulbs, but not until next week.

A “Keyboard Fantasia”

WhyteconcertAylmer Baptist Church music director Neil Whyte, left, had Devin Hilliker turn the pages for him while he played a “Keyboard Fantasia” concert in front of more than 50 music lovers on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 15. Mr. Whyte’s piano performance featured a selection of songs by composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Ferruccio Busoni, Enrique Granados, Frederic Chopin, Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, Leroy Anderson and Claude Debussy. The concert was held to raise money for Aylmer Baptist Church.

Arrow on the back stroke

ArrowsAylmer Optimist Arrows swimmer Sarah Varley competed in a girls age 8-9 25 yard back stroke heat during a SEAL (St. Clair-Erie Aquatic League) meet hosted by her team at the Ontario Police College pool northeast of town on Sunday, Oct. 15. The Arrows competed against swim teams from Blenheim, Sarnia, Chatham, Leamington and two from the Windsor area.

Sailors sink Spitfires 6-3

SpitfiresPort Stanley Sailors forward Tyler Foslett, left (#9), couldn’t quite get a handle on the puck with a gaping net in front of him during first period action versus the Aylmer Spitfires in their Provincial Junior Hockey League game at East Elgin Community Complex on Saturday night, Oct. 14. Watching almost helplessly were Spitfires starting goaltender Garrett Farquhar and his defenceman Connor Richer. The visiting Sailors doubled the Spitfires 6-3 with Foslett picking up a pair of second period goals. Also scoring for Port Stanley were Nolan Blewett with a hat-trick and Derek Smith into an empty net late in the third period. Aylmer’s goals were scored by Brayden Smith, Ryan Van Roestel and Luke Bettencourt. The win improved Port Stanley’s Yeck Division record to six wins and three losses while the loss brought the Spitfires down to 2-6 for the season. On the road the night before, the Spitfires lost to the Thamesford Trojans 5-3. It was a busy weekend for the Aylmer squad as they also played against Port Stanley at the St. Thomas Timken Community Centre on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 15, a 2:30 p.m. start.

Training for flashovers

CEfiretrainingVolunteer firefighters in full gear from all for Central Elgin halls received day-long flashover training at the Yarmouth Centre Fire Station located just east of St. Thomas on Saturday, Oct. 14. The training continued all day on Sunday as well. The firefighters were trained using a Drager flashover simulator. “Flashovers occur when high temperatures in a space result in the simultaneous ignition of all the combustible contents,” a media release from Central Elgin Fire and Rescue stated. “They are the leading cause of firefighter injuries and death, so firefighters need to be able to recognize the risk factors and learn how to react to them.” The simulator trains firefighters to recognize conditions that lead up to a flashover and learn techniques to delay the phenomenon, the release continued. The simulator has an enclosed area firefighters can closely monitor fire behaviour and learn the warning signs of a flashover. “The observation level gives firefighters a safe vantage point for observing the stages of fire as it progresses to flashover,” the release concluded.

Barn gets one-piece 500 foot long eavestrough

EavestroughOn Friday morning, Oct. 13, Teichroeb Exteriors Inc. worker Henry Knelsen, front, steadied the end of a 500 foot long one-piece section of eavestrough that was about to be installed on a chicken barn at Walker Poultry Inc. just south of Richmond on Richmond Road. The property is also known as the Richmond Ranch. While there’s no official category for the longest one-piece section of eavestrough in the Guinness World Records, Teichroeb Exteriors worker Steve Fehr said he couldn’t find a longer example in his research. Business owner Johnny Teichroeb said the longest prior one-piece section of eavestrough he had installed was 120 feet long on a condominium building in Simcoe. The long section of eavestrough for the chicken barn came out of a specialized machine on site that was fed a roll of prefabricated aluminum material. Once the 500 foot section was complete out of the “gutter machine,” a process that took about 15 minutes, the crew of 13 workers carried it in their arms in unison and climbed ladders to drill it in place on the barn. Teichroeb Exteriors is located on Hacienda Road southeast of Aylmer.

Learning fire safety

FireopenhouseAylmer volunteer firefighter  Mike Holmes, left, encouraged his son Cale, 6, to read a pamphlet with information on smoke alarms while his other son Colin, 9, looked on during the annual Fire Prevention Open House held at the Aylmer Fire Department on Thursday evening, Oct. 12. Fire Prevention Week was observed from Oct. 8-14. Aylmer Fire Chief Sam Taylor encouraged local residents to test their home’s smoke alarms monthly, to change the batteries twice a year when clocks are moved ahead or back, to replace the alarms after 10 years and to develop and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in the family.