Central Manitoulin Chatter

February 19 – I’m sorry for the lack of the Chatter the last little while as this writer has been away for six weeks in the south, well southern Ontario, visiting with family and friends. It is good to be back on this magical Island of ours with no rushing, crunchy snow and no slush!

The Family Day celebrations at the Providence Bay Arena on Sunday had families enjoying fun sponge hockey games. The food at the concession was delicious with chicken burgers, pizzas and Anna Orford’s lasagna. Thank you to the many volunteers who made this day such a great success.

The Manitoulin Secondary girls’ hockey team “Mustangs” came in second at the tournament in Wikwemikong. We hope you do well at the tournament in North Bay.

The Mindemoya Thunder Bantam won the 13-division hockey tournament the weekend of February 8 and 9 in Espanola. Aylana Cranston scored the winning goal in overtime to win 3-2. Way to go Thunder.

This writer has been enjoying the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia. The televised events have had great coverage. Our Jacobs curling team from Sault Ste. Marie is doing us proud and putting Northern Ontario on the map. We wish all our Canadian Olympians great success. Let’s all mark March 1 on your calendar for the Brier on TSN at 4:30 pm.

Manitoulin ladies are busy quilting every Friday in the seniors’ room in Providence Bay. These talented ladies sure turn out some beautiful quilts.

Many Islanders have been visiting friends and families off-Island. Dylan Stone and Ashley Noble and their children Tieren and Ayriss visited Sault Ste. Marie. Marg and Harold Arnold and Roger and Lois Newton, Marilyn Haner and Don and Theresa Webb travelled to the Big City—Sudbury.

Many get well wishes to our neighbours and friends on the Island. Steven Bryant of the US is on the mend from open heart surgery. He is married to Michelle, daughter of Merdick McFarlane and Sherri Cranston, grandson-in-law to Marg Cranston and Bob Cranston and Bev and Marjorie McFarlane. There is a fundraiser to assist them with medical, medications and out-of-town living expenses. Donations can be made at all Bank of Montreal locations on the Island or www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/your-generous-help-is-needed-/135190 for online donations for Steve and Michelle. We extend our get well wishes to Mary Vanhorn, Jim Lanktree, Lois Newton and Don Burke and send them our very best. It is so good to see our neighbours, Don and Pat Burke, back in their home. Don is busy with therapy in Mindemoya.

Our deepest condolences are extended to the Oliver family in the passing of Mary. This writer will sure miss her smile, big wave and chats. Sincere sympathy wishes to the Sheppard family in the passing of Ron; the Wilkinson family in the loss of Verna; and to Sandra Williamson in the passing of her mother Shirley Kiss of Sudbury. Our condolences and best wishes are extended to the Pyette family with the loss of their mother, Eileen.

February 26 – The Sochi Olympics drew to a close on Sunday with such a fantastic ceremony. What a way to end the games with the Canadian men’s hockey winning gold. Canada came in third with the number of medals won at the 2014 Olympic Games with gold in men’s and women’s curling among the count. Team Jacobs put Sault Ste. Marie on the world map! We can be very proud to be Canadian.

I attended the breakfast at the Providence Bay Curling Club Sunday morning after watching the Olympic hockey game. It was great to see the old “reliables” and enjoy the blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup. The first Thursday of every month this fabulous breakfast is served featuring pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit and beverages. The Providence Bay United Church has their “decadent” pancake breakfast on Saturday, March 1 from 8 am until 11 am. Providence Bay is still alive and well!

The soup and sandwich luncheon at St. Francis Anglican Church in Mindemoya is on Wednesday, February 26 from 11 am until 1:30 pm. Wow, one could eat out just about every day!

Birthday wishes to all those Manitoulin residents who celebrate in February including William Kay, Natasha Bruyeré, Marilyn Holmes, Lois Newton and this writer! It was great to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my 39th birthday! Friends and family of Lois Newton surprised her with a birthday get-together on Monday the 17th at her home.

Royce and Margaret Young spent a couple of days visiting Sudbury with their daughter Cindy and granddaughter Olivia. We wish everyone safe travels whether you are travelling to Sudbury or to the south. Steven and Alison Orford and their children have gone to Horseshoe Valley for a skiing and snowboarding trip. Enjoy your holidays and safe return.

It was nice to see Eunice Sagle at the Bantam hockey game in Mindemoya on Sunday night the 16th. On February 20, Central Manitoulin Public School students left for a couple of days on a ski trip to Searchmont. Everyone had a great time.

The Mindemoya Thunder midgets won the semi-finals against Manitowaning 2 out of 3 on Friday. They then went to Sudbury on the weekend for a hockey tournament at the Countryside arena.

Congratulations and best wishes are extended to the latest little Islanders. Welcoming their new babies are Ben and Rossalind Seabrook and their baby girl “Ruby Jane” and Bruce Orford and Allison Pyette and their baby girl “Charlie Catherine.” Proud grandparents Stu and Agnes Cuthbertson get bragging rights to their new grandson Jaxson. This writer just loves those babies’ names.

The Pentecostal Church Senior luncheon on February 20 was well attended. Three kinds of soup, sandwiches and dessert were served. The next seniors’ luncheon is on Thursday, March 20 with stew on the menu.

Euchre will start at the Spring Bay Community Centre on Friday, March 7. See you there!

The Ride Manitoulin Motorcycle Rally 2014 committee has been meeting to plan this year’s rally in Providence Bay on the weekend of July 18 to 20, 2014. This Rally takes riders to all points of Manitoulin, supporting all businesses and visiting points of interest. It is a great weekend for everyone with visitors from all over Ontario and the Northern United States generating income for businesses and tourist operators across the Island. The committee is looking for food and merchandise vendors for the Rally. Please contact Leanne at 705-377-6134 or email ridemanitoulinrally@gmail.com.

The wind is whipping up the drive from the lake, driving the snow in flurries. Is spring really just around the corner? It will be a long while before those huge piles of snow melt! We have been watching the two bald eagles soaring in the wind and wonder if they’ll produce any offspring again this year.

Please be careful when you’re snowmachining or ATVing on the trails, ice-fishing on the frozen water and walking in this cold. Keep your pets inside and don’t forget to feed the birds and deer. It has been a tough winter for our wildlife.

Please be mindful to shop locally and support your Island businesses. Call 705-377-4909 and leave your notes, news and tidbits on the answering machine or email centralchatter@gmail.com. Please don’t forget to say your name and telephone number if I have to confirm any news. That’s all the news that is fit to print! Take good care.