Harrow Baptist Church to host “Solitary Refinement” production



By Ron Giofu


The story of Richard Wurmbrand and his wife Sabina is coming to Harrow Baptist Church.

Wurmbrand, an author who had been imprisoned in Romania for 14 years due to his religious beliefs, is the subject of a stage show entitled “Solitary Refinement – An immersive experience about the Persecuted Church.” That show is coming to Harrow Jan. 26.

The show is part of a cross-country tour being presented by the Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), a Streetsville, Ontario-based organization that supports people persecuted for their faith as well as “giving a voice to the voiceless,” said CEO Doug McKenzie.

Producing the story of Wurmbrand took about four years and it went on the road about 18 months ago. VOMC has presented about 85 performances of “Solitary Refinement” since April 2017 with more shows to be presented across Canada this year.

“We decided a year-and-a-half ago to tell the story in a contemporary form of education,” McKenzie explained.

The public can expect to be “immersed” in the show, he said, noting they look for venues that can accommodate 150-300 people.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) and Harrow Baptist Church will be co-hosting a production of “Solitary Refinement” Jan. 26. Admission is free but there will be an offering taken. (Special to the RTT)

“The play is affirming and informing, but also challenging,” said McKenzie. “It poses a powerful question in the here and now: would we be willing to suffer for Christ, as others are doing in so many countries today?”

McKenzie added he hopes the show will be “a profound and moving experience for them.”

The 75-minute show becomes a partnership with the church that hosts it, as the church handles much of the local promotion of the show. While there is no admission charge to attend, the public is encouraged to donate that evening.

“We do ask for an offering to cover the expenses of doing the tour,” he said.

Playwright Dennis Hassell said, via press release, that “in researching Richard Wurmbrand’s story, I was surprised by joy. I discovered a man overflowing with hope, love and even humour. Amid the suffering, he found the supernatural. He encountered Christ in ways more tangible than we normally find in our comfortable churches. Richard never wanted us to feel sorry for him, he felt sorry for us!”

Everyone is welcome to attend, said McKenzie, regardless of faith.

“It’s not about denomination. It’s about Jesus,” he said.

“Solitary Refinement” is geared for people ages 13-and-over and starts at 7 p.m.

Harrow Baptist Church is located at 2548 King St. East in Harrow.

Winter Owl Prowl coming to Holiday Beach Jan. 31



Special to the RTT


It’s that time of year again – time to listen for owls at a woodlot near you!

Shake off that cabin fever and enjoy an evening learning about the owls of Ontario, their adaptations, calls, and behaviours.   Weather permitting, participants will take a guided walk through the woods, looking and listening for owls.

“Walking outdoors on a winter evening is a special experience on its own,” says Jessica Rose, ERCA’s Environmental Educator.  “However, when circumstances are just right and we’re able to call in an owl, it’s really an extraordinary experience.”

The Winter Owl Prowl is coming to Holiday Beach Conservation Area Jan. 31 from 7-8:30 p.m.

The Owl Prowl will take place on Thursday, January 31 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area, from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  The cost is $7 per person and pre-registration is required.

To sign up, visit

Holiday Beach Conservation Area is located at 6952 County Road 50 in Amherstburg.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.


Belle Vue Conservancy stays busy in 2018


(EDITOR’S NOTE — The River Town Times invited service groups, churches, non-profit organizations and museums to recap their activities and accomplishments. Three organizations responded in time for the Jan. 2 issue and we printed their submissions.)

BVC Ongoing Activity Report

-Monthly installments regarding the residents of Belle Vue authored by Debra Honor, printed in River Town Times

-Research commenced for a play/book “The Medicine Bag” and the Belle Vue Story led by Mary Anne Ada

-Photos by Paul Hertel and coverage by RTT concerning replacement of Belle Vue roof and eaves funded by donations to Amherstburg Community Foundation through the Belle Vue Conservancy

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

BVC 2018 Monthly Activity Report

-Annual Windsor Military Studies Conference February 9 & 10, 2018 Paul Hertel & Meg Reiner presented a showcase celebrating WW1 Veterans who lived at Belle Vue from 1946-1954

-March 4, 2018 First Annual International Womens’ Day Brunch, partnered with RTT, local leaders and LaSalle Food Bank

-National Trust Launch Pad Coaching session

-First BVC Newsletter distributed to volunteers and donors

-April 13 Rocking for Belle Vue with Rick Rock at the Legion

-May 1 Second Annual WSO Concert at Christ Church

-All That Jazz for Belle Vue – first fundraiser starring Renee King Jackson at Artisan Restaurant June 25

-Property Cleanup deferred due to roof scaffolding on property

-August – Issue Two of BVC Newsletter distributed

-Mandate Organization & Core Activities document endorsed by BVC

-September Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue, Nine and Dine Golf fundraiser Sutton Golf Course

-October 29 Memphis Jazz and Soul for Belle Vue – second fundraiser starring Renee King Jackson at Artisan Restaurant

-Belle Vue Future Use Report released by Town confirming use as a Conference Centre

-November Christmas decorations and Holiday wishes added to Belle Vue street signage

-Anonymous donation $10,000

-Updated window inventory for donor sponsorships

-December walk through of Belle Vue with local antique expert to inventory saleable items for Belle Vue Restoration fund

An employee from Robertson Restoration works on the roof at Belle Vue in June 2018. (Photo by Paul Hertel/Belle Vue Conservancy)

BVC 2019 Activity  – Tentative Plans

-Ongoing activities from 2018 report continue

-BVC 2019 Monthly Activity Report

-February – Annual Windsor Military Studies Conference TBD

-February – Second Annual Rick Rock Rocking for Belle Vue

-March Second Annual International Womens’ Day Conference

-April 24. 2019 Third Annual WSO Concert at Christ Church

-May- Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue Nine & Dine event

June –Jazz concert

July – Property Cleanup weekend

August – Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue Nine & Dine event

September/October Jazz concert


To get involved with the Belle Vue Conservancy or to make a donation towards the restoration of the historic property, please visit


Holiday Art at the Gallery now open



By Ron Giofu


The holiday season is approaching at the Gibson Gallery is getting into the spirit.

The gallery’s “Holiday Art at the Gallery” opened Nov. 22 and runs through Dec. 9. The event acts as a mini-Art by the River with vendors and exhibitors coming in and offering their goods for people to buy.

“We have even more exhibitors this year,” explained Bonnie Deslippe, a board member with the Gibson Gallery.

Muriel King and Linda Jones were shopping at Holiday Art at the Gallery Nov. 23 at the Gibson Gallery.

Deslippe said there will be a nice variety of goods available at “Holiday Art at the Gallery” and pointed out there is no admission. She added that the Wednesday Guild will also be holding a raffle for some large afghans in conjunction with Holiday Art at the Gallery.

Holiday Art at the Gallery is the final event of the 2018 season at the Gibson Gallery. It was preceded by the Members Exhibit in which members of the Gibson Gallery got a chance to display their own work.

“It was a good exhibit,” said Deslippe. “There was a nice assortment. It’s always very eclectic.”

About 21 exhibitors took part, with paintings and sculptures among the work shown. Members are contacted and invited to participate and Deslippe said they then wait to see what comes in.

Deslippe said there was no real theme to the members’ exhibit, but “it’s always very interesting.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and is open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Donations are welcome.

For further information on the Gibson Gallery, call 519-736-2826 or visit their website at Their Twitter account can be found at while their Facebook account is found at

Amherstburg Freedom Museum hosting “Christmas at the Museum” Dec. 12



By RTT Staff


The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is encouraging people to ring in the holiday season with them.

The annual “Christmas at the Museum” concert is returning Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., in the Nazrey AME Church National Historic Site.

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum invites the community to “join us for a warm and friendly celebration of the Christmas Season with special musical guest Brynda and Company! The hour and a half program is sprinkled with traditional songs of the season and heart warming carols to start the holiday season off right!”

A dessert buffet will be served following the Wednesday night concert. The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is also asking people to bring a canned good which will be donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

The public is asked to purchase tickets in advance as seating is limited. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased by contacting the Amherstburg Freedom Museum by phone at 519-736-5433 or on

The museum is also thanking the event sponsors, which include Detroit Memorial Park Association Inc., Dollars and Cents Investments Inc., and James H. Sutton Funeral Home.

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is located at 277 King St. Their website is