Legion Week parade helps kick off festivities



By Ron Giofu


Legion Week is underway in Amherstburg with the local branch kicking it off last Saturday with parades and awards.

Legion Week, the origins of which date back to 1953 when an open house was held in Dresden, is traditionally celebrated the third week of September. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 held its parade and gathered back at the branch afterward. Capt. Jeff Turner, commanding officer of the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, acted as master of ceremonies and read proclamations from Ontario Command and other dignitaries, including Premier Doug Ford.

Ford’s statement included comments about it being a good opportunity for members of the community to come out and discover more about their local Legion branch.

Zone Commander Gayle Brown congratulated Legion Br. 157 for its parade and hoped the community would go to the Legion to find out what it’s all about.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard leads the Sept. 15 parade down Dalhousie St. (above) and Sandwich St. S. (below).

“I invite everyone to come in and see what the Royal Canadian Legion does and why we are part of this organization,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale brought greetings from the town, as Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was in Ohio with local Miracle League players at the Miracle League all-star game. DiPasquale stated the Legion is a very worthy organization.

“This building and the people who work inside of it make it go,” said DiPasquale. “It’s a great place.”

The parade returned to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 upon its conclusion.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh thanked those who helped put Legion Week together.

“A lot of work goes into this week,” she said. “It takes a lot of people, a lot of volunteers.”

Cavanaugh said the Legion is hopeful of having people come in and see what it offers.

“This week, if we get one or two members or if we get one or two people come out that have never been here before, it’s an accomplishment,” said Cavanaugh.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 also recognized members with Years of Service Awards.

Awards for affiliate members included Mark Denunzio (10 years) and Michael J. Duby (20 years).

Associate member ten-year awards included James Cyrowski, Martina Heeren, Christina Hindi, Diane C. Langlois, Judith Loomis, Murray Loomis, Amber Turner and Constance Sinasac. Cavanaugh and Jocelyn Hagerty received 15-year awards while 20-year award went to Gary Cooper, Ed J. Delisle, Dawn M. Fryer, Dennis Pajot and Karrie Thrasher. Receiving 25-year awards were John D. Bradt, John Richard Crozier, Mark Fox, Ulyses Wayne McKinnon, Clark Moore and Michael Prue.

Associate 30-year awards went to Carol Ann Goodbout and B.B. Sprague Jr. while J. F. Fox, I.J. Goulin and Cameron Jones were recognized for 35 years of membership. Receiving awards for 40-years were Kathryn Lancop and G.G. Murray Jr. while J.P. Mertens received a 45-year award.

Capt. Richard Girard received an award for his 55 years of service to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Years of Service Awards for ordinary members went to Allan Carroll and Shawn Cooper (10 years), Laura Gazdig, Terry Hall and Russell Revington (15 years), Tracy Cooper (25 years), William St. John (30 years), John Copland (35 years), Wayne Surtees (45 years), Wayne Hurst (50 years) and Richard Girard (55 years).

Activities and events the remainder of Legion Week include a veteran appreciation dinner Wednesday night at 7 p.m. where veterans eat free, a general membership meeting Thursday at 7 p.m., a Ladies Auxiliary dinner 4-6:30 p.m. Friday, a chicken wing special Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and a Sunday breakfast from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. where veterans eat free. There will also be music and other events during the week as well.

To view more photos from the Sept. 15 Legion Week parade in Amherstburg, visit our Facebook album.

Legion Week gets started with parade and awards



By Ron Giofu


Legion Week began in Amherstburg last Saturday morning with the annual parade with some awards and medals following.

The parade took place Saturday and left from in behind General Amherst High School and went down to the Cenotaph where a “drum head” service took place. It was explained by Zone Sgt. At Arms Richard Girard that in times of conflict, pipe bands that were utilized often piled their drums so that ministers could use them for altars when needed.

That was re-enacted Saturday morning with the aid of the Sun Parlour Pipes and Drums with Rev. Maynard Hurst blessing the drum head. Hurst also recognized the veterans and those who served, as well as Rev. John Burkhart.

Burkhart, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157’s regular chaplain, couldn’t attend Saturday’s service due to his health.

As part of the Legion Week parade, a drum head ceremony was held Saturday at the Cenotaph.

Legion Br. 157 recognized the people who saw it move to its current location, as president Laurie Cavanaugh pointed out Legion members talked about making things easier for the Ladies Auxiliary. The Ladies Auxiliary previously had to go up flights of stairs with food after preparing meals at home but the Legion was able to address that need in 1981 and the current design of the Legion was created.

Cavanaugh added the Legion has always been thankful of its volunteers, and that continued today.

“It’s about the volunteers,” she said. “We are thankful to our volunteers. Thank you to everyone who comes and helps out at the Legion and to everyone who showed up (for Saturday’s Legion Week ceremonies).”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said there are those in the public who only realize what the Legion does on Remembrance Day but pointed out the Legion does good things for people in the community every other day of the year as well. He encouraged other people in the community to join the Legion.

“If you are not a member, please become one,” he said.

Charles Goodchild was recognized for his 60 years as part of the Legion. Patti Hayes, executive assistant to Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, presents him with a certificate.

DiCarlo thanked the Legion and those who fought for Canada for what they have done for the town and country.

“We will be forever in your debt,” he said.

Among the associate members recognized for ten years of service were Judith Bondy, Jacqueline Carroll, Sheila Meunier, Brian Sukarukoff and Amber Turner.

Warde Yorke and Richard Girard salute during the Sept. 16 Legion Week ceremony at the Cenotaph.

Those reaching the 15-year mark as an associate member are Tracy Beaudoin, Ronald Haystead, Alvin Jackson, Marguerite Jones, Virginia Moore, James Repaye and John Purdie. Recognized for 20 years are Tim DeHetre, Ed Delisle, Gerald Langlois, Linda McCourt, M.J. McLean, J.R. Murray and Pete Reid.

Those reaching the 25-year milestone as an associate member are Brian Barrett, Ronald Belward, Jennifer Brunett, Margaret Cote, John Richard Crozier, John Gorgerat and David Iler. Hitting the 30-year milestone are Bea Gibb, Janet Martlin, Peter McEwen and JoAnn Mooney.

Recognized for 35 years as an associate member are Marion DeCarlo and Randy Fox while 40 year pins went to Val DiPierdomenico, Kathryn Lancop, Charles Sanford and Robert Vance.

Linda McCort (left) and Pat Amlin (right) present Richard Girard and Charles Goodchild with watches in recognition of their Korean War service.

Awards to affiliate voting members went to Peter Thyrring (10 years) and Albert Beneteau, Carol Cormier, Michael Duby, Carl Gibb, William McLean, D. Ross and Michael Sullivan (20 years).

Pins for ordinary members went to Bryan Giles and Frederick Wilkinson for their 10 years of service, Fifteen-year pins went to Cornelis Heeren, Leo Lapage, Terrance Sawchuk and Jeff Turner, while Bart DiPasquale, Nick Hertlein, Reg Major, Marcel Pare and John Walsh will receive 20-year pins. Chris Bebbington will be recognized for 25 years as an ordinary member while Gary Rung will be honoured for 30 years. Recognized for 35 years will be Lori Parent and Richard St. Aubin while W.C. Briand and M.R. Hagarty will be recognized for 45 years.

Linda McCort (left) presents Pat Waugh with a pin for her 55 years of service to the Ladies Auxiliary.

Charles Goodchild was on hand to receive his 60 year pin, with Nadine Abiraad and Patti Hayes making presentations to him on behalf of Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak respectively.

Goodchild and Girard were also presented with watches as part of the Royal Canadian Legion’s recognition of Korean War veterans.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard also received Legion Volunteer Service Medals.

The Ladies Auxiliary honoured Pat Waugh for her 55 years of service while Vera Botting was recognized for her 25 years of service. Kris Martin, Mary Ann Hasson, Bea Gibb and Ruth Ann Rocheleau were honoured for their 20 years of service to the L.A., while Dianne Breault, Debbie Sullivan and Jeannine Theriault were honoured for 15 years of service.

Melissa Pelletier, Linda McCort and Pat Sheardown were recognized for ten years of service while Mary Ann Brooker was honoured for five years of service.

11th annual Santa Claus Parade hitting Amherstburg streets this Saturday night



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade is this Saturday!

The parade starts at 6 p.m. and runs the same route as it has in recent years, with parade check-in at Sandwich St. North and Texas Road with the parade itself starting at William St. and heading south on Sandwich St. to Richmond St., turning down Richmond and heading west to Dalhousie St. before heading north on Dalhousie St. and finishing at Toddy Jones Park.

The 2016 Santa Claus Parade is Nov. 26. Pictured is a look back at the 2015 parade.

The 2016 Santa Claus Parade is Nov. 26. Pictured is a look back at the 2015 parade.

The parade is presented by the Windsor Parade Corporation, which is headed by Maggie Durocher and Dave Grimaldi.

“We’re excited,” said Grimaldi. “It’s Maggie and my hometown. We’re always excited to bring the show there and kick off the Christmas season.”

Grimaldi estimated there are nine bands that will be part of this Saturday’s parade, including three bands from the United States. The band Renaissance was part of last Saturday’s parade in Kingsville, with the roughly 125-student band being a hit, said Grimaldi.

The Detroit School of Performing Arts and band from River Rouge, Michigan are also scheduled to attend, he said.

There are six equine units scheduled to be part of the parade, with the Canadian Cowgirls set to be near the front opening the parade.

“Those are always crowd pleasers,” he said of the equine units.

The individual communities also are a big part of each parade, Grimaldi noted.

“Each parade is made by the community entries,” he said.

There is around the same number of entries this year as there have been in past parades and the uniqueness and personal touches to the floats add to it.

“We always look forward to seeing the local entries,” said Grimaldi.

Grimaldi estimates it takes about one hour and 20 minutes for it to pass any one location.

“Amherstburg has a unique quality about it,” said Grimaldi, though noting while Amherstburg set the standard, other parades “are working hard to match it.”

Many come from outside of Amherstburg just to watch the local parade, he added.

The organizers hope for strong crowds in the downtown core, believing the infusion of local restaurants could bolster attendance in the area.

A local real estate office is also helping out as the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is raising canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Amherstburg Food Bank. Their float will be collecting goods along the parade route, with Gemus adding that canned goods, non-perishable items and monetary donations are also being accepted at his Richmond St. office up until the parade as well.

Pair of festivals coming to Amherstburg area this weekend



By RTT Staff


There will be no shortage of things to do for people in Amherstburg this weekend.

A pair of festivals are scheduled for this weekend, one at the Libro Centre and the other at Co-An Park in McGregor.

The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show returns to Co-An Park with festivities getting underway Friday at noon. The weekend will not only feature steam and gas engines, but a flea market, crafts, a bake sale, a bean pot, threshing demonstrations, antique tractor pulls, stock lawn tractor pulls, a “show and shine” antique car show, entertainment, saw mill demonstrations and hundreds of exhibits throughout the weekend.

One of the major features of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show is the annual parade of tractors. That is once again scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. The participants lineup in the St. Clement’s Church parking lot before heading south on Walker Road. The parade then goes east on Concession 11 in Essex before making its way into Co-An Park at which point the opening ceremonies are held.

The Carl Smith Sawmill will be active at Co-An Park this weekend as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

The Carl Smith Sawmill will be active at Co-An Park this weekend as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

For more information on the parade, contact Donna Hanson at 519-839-4516 or e-mail

This year’s featured tractors and equipment at the show will be Ford-Ferguson tractors and machinery.

Hours are 12-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults (half price for seniors on Friday only), children 6-12 $2 and children five and under free. A three-day pass is $12.

For more information on the show itself, contact Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum president Gary Struhar at or visit

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is also this weekend, with pets and pet lovers expected to converge on the Libro Centre Saturday and Sunday.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is this weekend at the Libro Centre.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is this weekend at the Libro Centre.

Woofa-Roo features the Border City Barkers dog agility show, a parrot show from the CK Parrot Club, visits from the Elite Windsor K9 Squad and Sarah Parks Horsemanship, dock diving, seminars and discussions on solving separating anxiety (with Kelly French) and breaking bad habits and public proofing your dog (with Terri Coutts), a charity treasure hunt, a flyball tournament and “the Woofa-Roo Gauntlet.”

The weekend will also feature charity pet psychic readings with Dan Valkos, an all-breed lure coursing event, and “Disc Dog!,” the latter being new for 2016.

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival will also be collecting free will donations and will be hosting a silent auction, all to benefit charities and rescues.

A full schedule of events can be found at