THURSDAY, Nov. 12/09

“AYLMER POLICE HAVE CONFIRMED A BODY WAS FOUND IN CRYSTAL PARK TUESDAY, NO FOUL PLAY IS SUSPECTED.”

TODAY:

-Blood Donor Clinic at East Elgin Community Centre, 2:30-4 and 5:30-8 pm

-“10,000 Villages” Sale continues at Old Town Hall auditorium, 10am-5 pm

-EESS Football-Junior Playoff= 6 pm host St Joes ( Seniors at St Joes at 12:30)

AYLMER REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE:

A large crowd attended the Nov. 11 service in town, “about average” said Michael Wellwood, service organizer. There were 16 wreaths laid. The address was given by Rev. Richard Lelanage of the Aylmer Christian Reformed church. The Aylmer Community Band and the EESS Band performed.  About a dozen WW2 veterans attended. Included in the parade from the Legion to the Cenotaph were Cubs and Scouts, Air Cadets, Knights of Columbus, and Ontario Police College officials. As usual all classes of Immanuel Christian School were in attendance.

EESS GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS WEDNESDAY:

At Aylmer – SENIOR – EESS defeated Parkside 57-19 (Tessa Kreiger had 13 pt.); JUNIOR = EESS defeated WESS 48-8.

Next Games: Friday =In Dorchester; Juniors vs. Glendale at 3:30; Seniors vs. Dorchester at 7.

VOLLEYBALL EESS Jr. Boys vs. Ingersoll today at CECI, St Thomas, in playoffs.

“‘BAYHAM PILGRIMS’ NOT LETTING ‘ESTHERVILLE’  BE A DEAD ISSUE!”

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(EDITOR’S NOTE:  A Baptist church existed at ‘Estherville’ north of Port Burwell in the mid-1800s with a cemetery. In the spring Bayham Council allowed Tony Csinos to erect a cucumber shed on his land which is between the cemetery and Highway 19.  The ‘Bayham Pilgrims’ believe there are unmarked bodies under the shed. A dowser, Mae Leonard, recently examined the property but found no evidence of bodies.)

Straffordville – In their quest to preserve a disputed section of the old Estherville cemetery at Port Burwell, the ‘Bayham Pilgrims’ are leaving few stones unturned.

Last Thursday night at Bayham Council’s regular meeting here, Wanda Hoshal, spokesperson for the ‘Pilgrims’, was on the agenda to address the issue. She appealed to the Council to invoke the provincial Boundaries Act to order to allow an investigation to establish if the present highway represents the traditional roadway allowance and “if there are errors to correct them”. Even though the dowser’s report didn’t indicate there would be bodies between the cemetery and Highway #19, “older citizens know what was on the property…graveyards are not just where the bones are.” Implementation of the Boundaries Act would allow for an official and expanded search but would be costly.  Added Hoshal: We owe them (our ancestors) a debt. We cannot be silenced.”

Hoshal later in an interview said she was concerned that Council didn’t address the issue at any length, either when they accepted the dowser’s report or after her address – “Council ignored Mae’s letter. Mayor Acre asked if anything was needed to discuss in information … it was put to a Vote and carried, no one on council asked any questions.  When I brought it up it was not questioned or any answers given.”  “I became involved in mid Sept./08  when I saw that digging was started in what we had always considered cemetery, .. because  my husband’s great grandparents and at least 14 other relatives are buried there. I went to the municipality and questioned why, and then also let the cemetery board in Toronto know what was happening when I received no satisfaction from the municipality.  The rest of the pilgrims gave me their support soon after, as many of them also remembered it as being part of the cemetery.  We have approximately 1000 pages supporting our opinion including the minutes from the church, Hagan papers, land registry and the deed given by Joseph Merrill to the Baptist church and a copy of the Hollywood papers.”

Responded Bayham Mayor Lynn Acre:  “Our staff met with Tony (Csinos) and agreed on the road allowance to be dowsed. The letter from Mae confirmed that she felt there were no graves under the road allowance. Council did not make any decisions during closed session but are awaiting further legal counsel.”

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