THURSDAY, Jan. 14/10



(Anneke Jones (nee Barbour), daughter of Pastor Peter and Helene Barbour of the Full Gospel Church, Aylmer,  provided this info to Aylmer News about her husband’s family who are involved in a mission in Haiti)

“Thank you so much for your interest in Haiti.  We are working 24-7 right now trying to get funds for supplies for the Haitians.  Let me give you a quick overview:  Basically, my husband Joe’s family moved to Haiti in 1995 and since then have built a couple of schools, an orphanage, churches, a trade school, medical/dental clinics, a homeless shelter & were in the process of building the first seniors’ (nursing) home in the country.

When the earthquake hit yesterday we weren’t sure of the damage to the area they work in because all lines of communication was down. CNN, NBC, Global TV & CBC were in contact with Joe’s mom & CNN actually got a line through for her to contact one of the Haitian Pastors.

The first news we heard was that one of our Pastor’s (who we were quite close with) wife, oldest daughter & their toddler were crushed in their home. Their middle daughter was able to crawl out of the rubble and was found sitting there.

The security wall around the orphanage was demolished so they have no safety against kidnapping for ransom, looting and other crimes.

All the wells that the mission drilled are destroyed so they don’t have any clean water there.

Every home that was built is also destroyed. They are sleeping outside, in the rain… which gives them no protection from not only the elements, but also from being robbed or adults & children being kidnapped as well.  All jails were destroyed, so people are very afraid of the prisoners who are now loose.

The churches have or are about to collapse, as is all shelters so there are about 2000 people huddled together in one of our villages.

There is so much more, I can’t possibly explain everything at once. Everything that was built up the last 14 yrs is lost… Yet… Despite all of the devastation… People were still praying & praising God for saving their lives…

We are trying to raise funds to send food & supplies. Right now the banks are all destroyed so money may need to be “carried” in. Joe is hoping to go in with his Mom as soon as possible… If they can get a flight.

We are updating the email newsletter every time they receive more news. The website is:

Joe & I are currently on a train from Montreal to London & will be in Aylmer tonight & tomorrow.

If there is anything else you would like or need, such as photos, please feel free to let me know.  I will pass on as much information as I can.  We are waiting for more photos to arrive this afternoon.

Thank you again for your interest & helping us get the word out!

Anneke and Joe Jones at "Place L'Or School" in Haiti


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

-EESS Boys’ Hockey, host Parkside

-Bayham Council


(Submitted by Heritage member Paul Baldwin)

“Aylmer has a Property Standards and Maintenance By-Law, 55-97, guaranteeing protection for the health and safety of both occupants and the public-at-large and standards for the maintenance of all properties within the Town.  Whether or not it protects our Heritage Properties from “demolition by neglect” however is debatable, as the failure to maintain the house at 46 John St. S attests. So members of the Aylmer Heritage Committee attended a seminar organized by the St. Thomas-Elgin chapter of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario on Tuesday to learn what they might recommend to Council to adequately protect our architectural heritage.  They heard the presentation of Catharine Naismith, former President of ACO, the specific recommendations of Joe Muller, Cultural Heritage Planner for the City of Hamilton, and the practical experiences of the Property Standards Office of the City of St. Thomas.

Mr. Muller’s comments most directly related to Aylmer’s needs. He noted a Property Standards and Maintenance by-law is intended to maintain the standards of the Ontario Building Code and modern standards are often at odds with heritage preservation.  With that understanding, the new Ontario Heritage legislation (2005) provides for an amendment to a by-law such as ours, designed to specifically protect officially designated heritage buildings.  Heritage can be protected by designation or by use of a Heritage Easement, a practice more common in the past few years.  The City of Hamilton has passed a heritage amendment and encourages both designation under Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act and heritage easements.  While not yet tested in action, it does have the teeth to actually protect the assets a community treasures. Members of chapters of ACO and Municipal Heritage Committees from St. Thomas, London, Ridgetown, Chatham-Kent, and Aylmer were in attendance.”


(Aylmer Library Supervisor Chris Mayhew provides info on a new library initiative involving the Aylmer Mennonite Radio Station for Aylmer News)

“Tune-In is designed as radio broadcast pilot project whose goal is to bridge the cultural and economic barriers of Elgin County to bring the library, its resources, programs, and services, to the Low German Mennonite Immigrant population of East Elgin.   Elgin County Library is seeking to partner with the Mennonite Community Services (MCS) to launch a library promotion campaign that would help build a climate of positive integration within the county. Our project, Tune-In, has a two-pronged approach- first to reach out to a population that operates within a traditional oral culture. Our first proposal is to purchase air time from the Low German Radio Station CHPD for an initial one year period at a cost of $5,000.

DE BRIGJ 105.9 FM is the primary source of news, weather reports, public service announcements, religious broadcasts and entertainment for many people in the Aylmer region who lack English language skills. Our proposed radio program would consist of a story-time, together with interviews with library staff and users, and promotional and informational material about the library. To coordinate this project we are looking at hiring a project manager with a teaching, broadcasting and public relations background to work with both organizations several days a week for a 4-6 month period.( Julie Berry)

Another piece of this project involves the translation of the Library Home Page. Again the oral culture of our target group calls for an exploration of alternative communication strategies. Our proposal is to have a link on the Library Page that would connect to a podcast that would give a verbal translation of the principal elements of the page. Other radio spots could also be inserted on the webpage as podcasts.”


(This info is provided by Jake Wall, Radio Station Manager)

1- Location?= Radio De Brigj (The Bridge) is located on the second floor at 16 Talbot St E. in 4 rooms plus a small waiting area (2 offices, 1 recording studio & 1 broadcast studio).

2- How many employees? = There are 5 (1 full-time & 4 part-time ranging from 1 day p/week to almost full-time) and a couple of volunteers.

3- When did you become manager? =Our previous manager, Hein G. Rempel, went into semi-retirement and on May 1, 08,  I was promoted to manager.

4- How long are you on the air?  =Every day but Sunday.  We broadcast from Monday to Friday 7-8 am and 5-8 pm and Saturday from 5-8 pm.

5- What are examples of your programming? =We air children’s programming (some locally produced and some we get from other sources) 1 program specifically geared toward the ladies (featuring a recipe and a short devotional),  a half-hour weekly news/information program which gets produced and aired here and is also sent out to other stations in Manitoba, Texas, Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay and even Germany. 1 half-hour weekly program (news and information, some humor and something to think about) that is produced by one of our friends in Manitoba,  a 15 min Spanish program per week and some other Christian programs. During the time when the Spanish speaking (mexican)migrant workers are around here (May – Oct) we have a one hour broadcast in Spanish for them with some news from back home, information an music and a 15 minute Christian program.

6- How are you financed? = Mostly from advertising and program sponsorships. We also receive some donations from individuals, churches and businesses. In the past we received a grant from the Attorney General’s Office for some programming dealing with domestic violence and for this year the library  wants to purchase some air time and we also have a grant from the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union to find, produce and air weekly stories about Peace, Justice and Mutual Aid.

7- Do you have local singers? Do you take requests?=  We do have several local groups/individuals whose music we play on the radio. We have music by request Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat 6:45 – 7pm and Wed for a full hour 7-8pm. Which is by the way our most popular hour.

8- How much English programming do you have? What about news and weather?= We air ‘Keys for Kids’ daily about 5:10 pm and ‘Our Daily Bread’ at the end of each broadcast shift at 8am & 8pm. We also air a fair amount of English music (English, German & Spanish music is a lot easier to find than Low-German) The library program  will also be mostly English. We try to find some relevant news on the internet and local papers and we have a weather forecast twice a day 7:45 am and 7:45 pm as well as School and School Bus cancellations.

9- Any idea of how many listeners?  How far does your signal go? = We estimate somewhere between 5000-8000 regular listeners (probably more). Our signal reaches about St Thomas to the west, hwy 401 to the north, the lakeshore to the south and Pt Rowan and Simcoe to the east.

10- Any changes planned? =Our broadcast license from the CRTC is up for renewal and we feel positive that they will renew for another 6 years but it depends on what kind of restrictions/freedoms they give us – it might open some more/different possibilities.



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