2017 – A Year in Review

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

With the start of a new year, staff members at the Essex Free Press thought we would reflect on some of the many highlights of 2017. Some of these moments created challenges that needed to be overcome, while others were uplifting, which provided positive impact on the community or residents.


The Essex County 4-H Association hosted an awards presentation and a sign-up event at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201).

Representatives of the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) were thrilled to display two beloved Harley-Davidson motorcycles that belonged to the late NHLer, Bob Probert. The CTMHV also announced that its annual car raffle winner was Essex resident Randy Renaud, who picked up his white ’65 Corvair.

A devastating fire destroyed the Story Book Early Learning Centre in downtown Essex Centre. Employees of the local daycare immediately went to work to try and secure a new location that would meet its needs and ministry standards.

“Unprecedented,” is how the president of CUPE Ontario described the ongoing dispute between the Essex County Library Board and its 57 striking librarians.

The Town of Essex Council decided to notify the Greater Essex County District School Board that the Town was interested in purchasing the secondary school that closed in June, 2016.

The newly elected Chairman of the Essex Regional Conservation Authority, Rick Fryer, believed “A healthy economy, citizens, and environment are all linked together.” Fryer will lead the organization for two years.


To kick off its 150th anniversary, Cottam United Church celebrated Scottish poet, Robert Burns, with a dinner.

Around 200 individuals braved the cold Lake Erie waters as they took the plunge to support ACCESS County Community Support Services and Childcan at the 17th annual Polar Bear Dip.

Local youths were given an opportunity to let their on-court skills shine as the Essex-based Knights of Columbus (Council #3305) hosted its annual Basketball Free Throw Competition at Essex District High School.

Several local businesses, community service clubs, and residents forwarded their support to staff of Story Book Early Learning Centre, who were working around the clock to prepare a portion of the former Sun Parlour Junior Public School as the new facility.

The Essex Ravens Pee Wee Major hockey team hoisted the prestigious Silver Stick championship trophy above their heads in Port Huron. With the Atom Minor team, who won its tournament the weekend prior, there were two teams in one year that brought the title home.

Several Beavers, Cubs, and Boy Scouts put weeks of hard work and dedication to the test at the Essex Area Scouting Kub Kar Rally and Scout Drags, held at the Harrow Agricultural Building.

The Essex Municipal Heritage Committee and members of Essex Town Council unveiled a plaque to commemorate the Essex Railway Station and acknowledge its place in history.

After an unprecedented seven-and-a-half months of striking, the doors at 14 library branches in Essex County were expected to reopen. The strike put 57 library workers on the picket line.

The Essex 73’s advanced to the semifinals of the PJHL after defeating the Mooretown Flags 4-1 in the series. For the third straight year, the 73’s and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals met in playoffs.


For the third straight year, the Essex 73’s sunk the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals to advance in the quest for the league title.

The Physical Education Leadership Class at Essex District High School hosted the annual Mental Health and Volunteer Fair.

Essex Fire Chief Rick Arnel and Assistant Deputy Chief, Jason Pillon, were special guests at an Essex County Farm Safety Association meeting hosted to help farmers prevent barn fires.

The musically inclined Baillargeon family of Amherstburg welcomed patrons to the fourth annual “Kids Curing Cancer” pasta dinner fundraiser.

Former Maplewood Public School teacher and local resident, Milo Johnson, was looking forward to the completion of his new book, “New Canaan Freedom Land: The Blacks of Colchester Township.”

The largest train show in Southwestern Ontario, the 22nd Annual Essex Train Show, was held at Essex Public School.

It was announced that, beginning in May, the McGregor satellite office of the Harrow Health Centre would be open four days a week as the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care had decided to provide funding.

Lions Club’s 1st Vice District Governor Joyce Mahovlich awarded three local members with Service Awards: Secretary Lion Judy Robinet (20 Years), Lion Louis LaLonde (35 years), and Lion Linda LaLonde (25 years).

Students from around 80 elementary schools in the Windsor and Essex County area displayed their ability to strategize during the 19th annual Windsor Chess Challenge, hosted at the Ciociaro Club.

Students at Essex Public School enjoyed the annual Winter Carnival, an event that celebration French language and culture.

The Town of Essex issued a Request for Letters of Interest, hoping to see what organizations, businesses, or groups would be interested in potentially partnering with the Town as leasers or space-users if the Town of Essex purchased the former Harrow High School facility.

The Town of Essex was seeking public input on the composition of Town Council, the process by which the Deputy Mayor is elected, and the number and size of wards.

Students at Gosfield North Public School, with guidance of grade seven leadership students Sabrina Dyck  and Madelyn Butcher, collectively raised around $3000 for the Ronald McDonald House in London.

At the Windsor Essex Sports Personality of the Year Awards, Harrow’s Lionel Sanders was named the Male Athlete of the Year.

In an effort to keep the minds and hands of dementia and Alzheimer’s suffers busy, parishioners of Trinity Anglican Church, in Cottam, were crafting fidget blankets.

For the sixth straight season, the PJHL Stobbs division trophy remained in the hands of the Essex 73’s. The hometown athletes topped their county-rival, the Lakeshore Canadiens, 4-0 in the best-of-seven series.

The Town of Essex Council approved the recommended expansion of the Essex Centre Community Improvement Plan (CIP) project area to incorporate the properties on the north side of Maidstone Avenue.

It also adopted Bylaw 1590, which provides a new CIP Project Area boundary map.

Several Essex & District Horticultural Society members were among the 365 residents of Windsor and Essex County who were presented Ontario Volunteer Service Awards at the Caboto Club in Windsor.

The Essex Minor Hockey Association hosted the annual Day of Champions at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.

Essex’s Assistant Planner Rita Jabbour presented the new Heritage Grant Program proposal to members of the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS) during its March meeting.

Two electric vehicle charge station were unveiled in the parking lot at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.
Leamington District Memorial Hospital, in partnership with the Essex County OPP, announced the Transfer of Care Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to help those in a mental health crisis be given the care and support they need in a more streamlined fashion.

The Essex Raven Novice Major hockey team clinched the OMHA (Ontario Minor Hockey Association) championship title with an overtime win against Grimsby.


Cynthia Cakebread, Manager of Recreation and Culture for the Town of Essex, was recognized for ten years of service as a trainer for the High 5 program through Parks and Recreation Ontario.

During a special luncheon, former Essex Fire Chief Ed Pillon, CET, received the Windsor-Essex County Technologist of the Year Award.

Thanks to online voting, the Harrow Fair earned the top honour in the 2017 Festival-Family & Fairs category of the Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island’s (TWEPI) Best of Windsor Essex Awards.

The Town of Essex retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd., to work alongside Consultant Dr. Robert Williams to conduct a ward structure review of the municipality, which included the election process for the Deputy Mayor position.

Representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion, 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and members of the public gathered at the Harrow Cenotaph to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

The Essex Energizers Skipping Team brought home many ribbons, medals, and provincial records from the 2017 Provincial Competition, which was held in Parry Sound.

Portraits of Ken Sturdevant, Henry Denotter, Euclid Mailloux, William Mailloux, and Jack Morrisnow were hung at the Harrow and Colchester South Agricultural Building, following the annual Essex County Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

In an exciting and tough-played seven-game-series, the Essex 73’s fell to the Ayr Centennials for the Schmalz Cup championship.

Essex Gospel Community Church hosted its annual Community Easter Egg Hunt in the yard of Essex Public School.

The Squirettes, based out of the McGregor Knights of Columbus facility, hosted its annual Easter extravaganza for the community to enjoy.

Colchester North Public School students involved with the 2017 installment of the Gesto Theatre play, “Into the Woods,” displayed their talents before friends, family members, and school peers.

The Essex Minor Hockey Association (EMHA) recognized volunteers at its annual Volunteer Appreciation & Awards night.

Parishioners at Essex United Church donned cowboy hats and their finest denim to put on the 2017 mystery, “Pig and the Poke Bar Welcomes Home Dixie Diver and the Downhome Dealers.”

In celebration of Earth Day, staff with the Town of Essex, members of the Essex Communities in Bloom Committee (CIB), and mascots Bloomer and Petunia, joined the kindergarten and grade eight students at  Essex area schools to plant trees in their school yards.

Members of the local OPP made a surprise visit to the Quilts of Valour (QOV) Program’s monthly sewing day at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201). Thanks to the generosity of the OPP officers, $1200 was collected and presented to the crafters so they could continue to provide homemade quilts to local veterans for free.

The Essex Optimist Club recognized the efforts and volunteer services of 45 local youths through the annual Youth Appreciation Night.

The tethering component of Essex’s Animal Care and Control Bylaw was to be amended. The 12hour stint an animal could be tethered in a one-day-period was to be reduced to ten hours.


Local ambassadors for organ donation, 15-year old Kaidyn Blair and six-year old Emily Ledoux, proudly hoisted the ‘Be a Donor’ flag up in front of the Essex Municipal Building.

The Town of Essex Community Services department earned first place in the Scarborough Cup, awarded to the municipal affiliate with the largest lifesaving/leadership program in a community with a population between 10,000 and 50,000.

At Holy Name of Jesus Church, the Essex Community Concert Band presented its performance entitled, “Everything, including the Kitchen Sink.”

A Family and Math Fun Night event, held at Gosfield North Public School, allowed the students to demonstrate how they learn math in the classroom through a variety of activities.

The Harrow Community Seniors group donated an audio/visual projector for the community room at the Harrow & Colchester South Community Centre.

The Essex Christian Reformed Church held its annual Kub Car Race Night to the delight of all the children and their families in attendance.

Family and friends gathered to dedicate a new bench to the memory of Bradley Holland, who served the Town of Essex Fire Department for 22 years, culminating his career in serving as the District Chief.

Participants made their way down Talbot Street with the Flame of Hope for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, which celebrated its 30th year in Ontario.

Representatives of the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) hosted an appreciation ceremony with the grade seven and eight students and staff of St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School in Harrow. The school was honoured as the first within the Municipality of Essex to participate in the OneWater educational program.

Supporters and representatives of Greyhound Pets of America-Canada met at Sadler’s Park to participate in the third annual Paws in the Park Dog Walkathon.

A special tree planting ceremony to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday took place at the Oldcastle Heritage Park, located behind Tecumseh Fire Station # 2 off of Walker Road.

Representatives, supporters, and clients of Community Living Essex County (CLEC) connected with area dignitaries during the 12th annual Mayors’ Luncheon at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Maidstone.

An estimated 650 elementary school students from around Essex County gathered at Sandwich Secondary School in LaSalle to compete in the annual Greater Essex County District School Board’s Special Olympics.

After around 30 years of service to the region in various capacities, Essex County Chief Administrative Officer Brian Gregg announced he would retire in September.

The eyes are clear, the hands are steady. Dr. D.M. Child celebrated 50 years of practicing medicine in Essex Centre. He still has that calm, reassuring voice and has no plans to slow down.

Members of the Kingsville Knights of Columbus Council #8233 presented members of Kingsville Council with a $2283.29 donation to support the Town’s Mettawas Park development.

The Essex Energizers Skipping Team spent Victoria Day weekend at the 2017 Canadian Rope Skipping Championship in Kingston, Ontario, competing with over 300 athletes from all across Canada.


Sadler’s Park was the setting for the annual local leg of the provincial-wide Walk for Dog Guides event. The event was hosted in support of the Lions Foundation of Canada’s Dog Guides program based out of Oakville, Ontario.

Prominent community member and sales person at Ken Knapp Ford, Bob Blair, officially retired. The local car dealership hosted an open house as a way to thank Blair for his years of service and allow members of the community to congratulate him on reaching this milestone.

The second annual Essex Rocks & Rolls Car and Motorcycle Cruise In was held at the Heritage Gardens Park, and the adjacent municipal parking lot. It brought in many visitors to Essex Centre.

The Maidstone Bicentennial Museum welcomed visitors to the annual 1812 Encampment. The Maidstone & Area Historical Society hosted the event.

Following a closed session meeting in which Council met to discus a personnel issue, Chief Administrative Officer Tracey Pillon-Abbs, who was hired in July of 2016, was dismissed.

The Kingsville Historical Park Museum hosted a three-day event, featuring several unique heritage fibre crafts demonstrations with Sande Gunning, a needle-art professional from the River Gallery, New Brunswick.

Area musicians were invited to bring along their instruments to play in the first Community Jamboree at Viscount Estates, in support of the Essex Area Food Bank.

Thousands of elementary school children from across Essex County made their way to the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village to take part in the Essex Region Children’s Water Festival.

After 33 plus years, Gary Smith, a senior captain with the Essex Fire & Rescue Service, announced his retirement from the firefighting brigade, which installed his great-grandfather, Sam, as its first Chief back in the late 1800s.

Colchester Harbour became the first marina or beach on Lake Erie, in Canada and the United States, to be awarded a prestigious Blue Flag certification, marking it with an international symbol of excellence.

The families of Gosfield North Public School students enjoyed the annual Evening of Arts and Strawberry Social.

It was a Ford frenzy at the Essex Railway Station as Heritage Essex hosted a car show that was specifically for one brand of auto.

In his continued effort to raise awareness about the organ donation registry, 15-year old Kaidyn Blair led walkers through town during the annual “Kaidyn’s Dream…A Walk for Life.”

In its 28th year, the McGregor Music Festival, held at Co-An Park, featured a full lineup of bands and musical acts in its continued support of the Windsor Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation (WECCCF).

MPP Taras Natyshak presented Essex resident Kim Verbeek the Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Communities Recognition award.

The team members from Essex-Windsor EMS were the first ever to win back-to-back gold medals in the International Paramedic Competition, held in the Czech Republic.

Essex Council recognized area resident Jan Mooney with the Senior Citizen of the Year Award.

Community Living Essex County held the 56th annual meeting and awards presentation to honour those who continue to overcome obstacles and make a positive impact in all areas of their community.

It was an emotional evening for the students of Holy Name Catholic Elementary School as their friends and family gathered to watch them receive their graduation diplomas.

A familiar face at the Harrow Arena for over 31 years, employee Paul Wright, was set to retire. The Town of Essex hosted a surprise party to show appreciation for his years of dedicated service.


Representatives of the University of Windsor presented the board members of the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village with a Community Heritage Medal.

Students in the Essex District High School graduating class of 2017 were presented their secondary  school diplomas at the 132nd annual convocation.

Canada’s 150 was celebrated in Woodslee. Residents were welcomed to enjoy a parade and tour
the newly renovated Millen Centre Park.

Essex United Church hosted a Canada 150 celebration on July 1 as a way to give back to the community.
The Maidstone Bicentennial Museum celebrated Canada’s 150th anniversary with a special display that showcased the flags of every province and territory, the Canadian flag, the Métis flag, and a flag representing the First Nations.

Members of the Harrow Chamber of Commerce took the reins to organizing the community and local business-driven Canada 150th celebration at the Harrow Fairgrounds.

In conjunction with internal fundraising and funding from the Ontario 150 Community Capital Program through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA) was able to add 14 thousand square feet of paved parking to its facility.

The Essex Yellow Jackets Mosquito Major team won the Ralph Hall/Jack McCart Classic baseball tournament, which the LaSalle Titans hosted.

A couple hundred Canadian flags were placed along Talbot Street in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, thanks to area resident Randy Thiessen, his wife, Renee, and daughter, Johanna.

Students at Gosfield North Public School presented the Kidney Foundation of Canada-Windsor District with a $600 donation, which was made in memory of former teacher and track and field coach, Frank Mazzara.

World War II veteran Tom Robson was selected as this year’s recipient of the 2017 Essex Citizen of the Year.

The 30th annual Essex Fun Fest crowned its prince and princess, paraded through the streets of downtown Essex, brought in classic cars, served up carnival treats, and provided family-fun entertainment for the entire community.

Essex Councillor Bill Caixeiro, who was one of two Colchester reps at the municipal decision-making table, suddenly handed in his resignation to the Town via a letter that was dated for the July 4 regular council meeting.

Essex Council congratulated Essex Fire Chief Rick Arnel on his election as the Executive Vice President of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs.

Members of the Essex Community Policing Committee presented $10,000 to the Windsor Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA).

Essex resident Jodie Matte earned a third-place ribbon at the Canadian Quilters’ Association Trend-Tex Challenge.

The Essex Minor Baseball Association (EMBA) celebrated its 60th anniversary with appearances from World Series champion Dave Rozema, the Detroit Tigers mascot PAWS, and former Hockey Night in Canada Executive Producer and Essex resident, Ralph Mellanby.

Then newly elected Essex Rotary President Kim Spirou was looking to ensure the local service club members were taking advantage of every opportunity to improve the community and the lives of others over her term at the helm of the club.

Local athlete Kaidyn Blair earned three gold medals at the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain.
Essex Centre BIA installed a shade sail, two chess tables, and planters at the new Parkette, located next to Deluxe Restaurant. The project has improved the physical environment of the business core.

Lazee G Ranch hosted its “Wild West Shodeo,” which brought the rootin’-tootin’ fun of the Old West to the south-east Windsor ranch for two days.

The Consulate of Mexico hosted its first Mex-Can International Baseball Tournament in Leamington, with several exciting games of baseball.

Staff members and County Council dignitaries gathered at the Essex Civic Centre grounds to participate in a Canada 150 and Essex County 225 celebration. The event was made possible through the Windsor Essex Community Foundation.

Essex County Council decided the $790,000 saved from the 231-day CUPE strike would not be returned to individual municipalities. Instead, the County was to hang on to it and use it to fix up its library branches.

It was announced that a by-election would be held to fill the seat on Town Council that was formerly held by Bill Caixeiro, who had resigned.

National judges from Communities in Bloom made their way through the Town of Essex to assess the municipality for the 2017 program.

The Essex Energizers Skipping Team traveled to Novi, Michigan to compete in the AAU Junior Olympics.


The Town of Essex hosted “Get Your Red and White ON,” a one-day celebration of Colchester’s 225th anniversary, as part of Canada 150 celebrations, at Colchester Harbour.

A new mural, “Lest We Forget,” located on a building with a view from Heritage Gardens Park, was officially unveiled.

The Essex Bantam Travel baseball team won the championship at the South West London “A” Summer Classic tournament.

The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association Annual Twilight Tour began at the 2016 Conservation  Farm Award winner, J. Brush Farms, in the Harrow area.

Jesse Anthony Sharron, a tenor from Cottam, sang the Canadian National Anthem at the 2017 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix before an audience of 45,000.

From Point Pelee National Park, over 150 cyclists began a seven-day tour of 24 Ontario Great Lakes communities as part of the 10th annual Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA).

After six seasons with the Essex 73’s, Scott Miller resigned as the junior hockey club’s General Manager.
Thousands of people headed to the Pavao family farm in Ruthven for the 16th annual Sun Parlour Rodeo.

The annual Essex County Plowing Match was held at the Anger family’s 140 acre “Colchester Farms,” on the Arner Townline.

The Kingsville Lions Club hosted the 5th annual Kingswoof Dog Show at Lakeside Park.
Parks Canada and Fort Malden held re-enactments to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Upper Canada rebellions of 1837.

In honour and memory of the late Jim Craig, the former Associate Owner and Pharmacist at the Essex Shoppers Drug Mart who had passed away, the Essex Area Food Bank received eight grocery carts of non-perishable items.

Recent graduates of the grade six Values, Influences, and Peers (VIP) program, enjoyed the 23rd annual Essex County OPP Cop Camp.

Representatives of the Town of Kingsville were pleased to receive a $10,000 donation from the Honey Family Foundation Endowment Fund through the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, for the development of the Mettawas Park Waterfront Development Project.

The Kingsville Historical Park Museum project “Remembering Red Beach” had researchers and volunteers digging up information on the service personnel of the Essex Scottish Regiment embarked during the Battle of Dieppe of WWII.

The Fourth Annual Kingsville Folk Music Festival was held at Lakeside Park in Kingsville with several bands and performers, including Jimmy Rankin, Cowboy Junkies, Sylvia Tyson, and Kevin Breit.

The 158th Annual Comber Fair, that showcases the area’s agricultural background and talent, did not disappoint the many patrons who enjoyed all it had to offer.

The three-day, 33rd Annual Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Museum show was held in McGregor.
There was no escaping the water attacks for the participants who took to the trail at Holiday Beach Conservation Area for the annual Wet & Wild Hawk Run.

The businesses located within the Victoria Wellness Centre hosted the third annual barbeque and block party for the community.

Robert Maisonville, the then Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer for the County of Essex, accepted the position as the County’s new Chief Administrative Officer.

Spearheaded by members of the Essex Rotary Club, a new plaque now marks the history of the cannon, which is located on the front lawn of the Essex Municipal Building.

Many families and individuals headed down to the John R. Park Homestead on Monday afternoon to view the solar eclipse.

The historic Essex Railway Station offered area youth a chance to feel what it would have been like to live in the wild west as it hosted its Cowboys and Cowgirls event.

Essex resident and Team Ontario member, Jessica MacPherson, brought home the gold medal from the women’s under-21 baseball championships held in Stonewall, Manitoba.

The Kingsville Historical Park Museum suffered an attempted break and enter into an outdoor building used to build displays and store office supplies for the Cadet Core.

Edmonton Oiler Zack Kassian was a special guest during a community barbeque hosted at Jeff Smith’s County Chevrolet.

What began as a Centennial project back in 1967, with a small handful of artists, has grown nearly tenfold as was evident at last year’s “Art by The River” festival, held at Fort Malden in Amherstburg.

The Essex Yellowjackets won five straight games to claim the junior ‘AA’ provincial title of the Ontario Baseball Association.


Councillor Randy Voakes held a press conference in the front yard of the Essex Municipal Building to talk about the second report from Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze, in hopes of bringing “Some clarity to the outstanding political issues that resulted in complaints being filed against me.”

Emma Kovacs, a recent graduate of Essex District High School, learned she had earned the Governor General Bronze Medal for earning the highest average amongst her peers for grade 11 and 12 combined.

The Essex Minor Baseball Association’s peewee travel team made the trek to Cooperstown, New York, the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as the only Canadian club in a youth tournament that attracted 104 teams.

163rd annual Harrow Fair attracted thousands of people to the fairgrounds to take in the animals, midway, and live musical entertainment hosted throughout the long weekend.

Registered show dogs of all shapes and sizes took to the field in Kingsville over the Labour Day Weekend to vie for best in show at the annual Essex County Kennel Club Dog Show.

Essex Sun County Soccer U9, U13, U15, and U18 teams each won the championship in their age divisions of the tournament held in Leamington. The U11 team was a finalist.

The Maidstone Bicentennial Museum received a financial contribution, in honour of the late Ethel Allison, who was a founding member, from her brother, Tom Allison.

The Essex County Ontario Provincial Police hosted the Fourth Annual Torch Ride for Special Olympics Ontario to raise $9000 for Special Olympics.

No Essex team had won a championship at “A” or above, until Essex’s 2017 Bantam Travel team brought home the title after a fantastic season of baseball.

Essex’s acting CAO Donna Hunter, who has worked for the Town since 2002, was officially appointed as the Town’s CAO.

The Knights of Columbus Councils of St. Mary’s Maidstone and Holy Name of Jesus Church joined forces to host a pasta dinner to raise funds to purchase new coats for area children in need.

With a parade, pancake breakfast, chili cook off, vendors’ market, a kids’ zone, and horse show to enjoy, the Cottam Rotary Club hosted its annual Cottam Horse Show and Fall Festival.

The tradition of one of the largest minor hockey tournaments in Southwestern Ontario continued as the Essex Minor Hockey Association hosted its 40th annual Early Bird Tournament.

Legion Week was hosted to promote the programs and projects members of the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201) hold throughout the year to benefit their community, veterans, and youth initiatives.

The Essex 73’s began its second season under head coach Cam Crowder. For the first time in 44 years, Essex played without long-time volunteer, and recently retired, Frank Matthys, working behind the scenes.

Essex Public School hosted its second annual Terry Fox Run to unite students and staff in the spirit of hope that Terry Fox himself instilled in a nation more than 35 years ago.

Essex Fire & Rescue service received a brand-new piece of firefighting equipment, a 2017, 800-gallon pumper truck.


In their first meeting back after the summer break, members of the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS) took a special look at the history of postcards in Canada and their role in maintaining casual correspondence beginning more than 100 years ago.

Thanks to a Canada 150 grant, courtesy of the Windsor Essex Community Foundation and the Government of Canada, the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum partnered with Fort Malden and the Town of Amherstburg to host the Culture Days & Rendezvous event.

Along with its annual Open Houses, Essex Fire & Rescue Services encouraged families to practice their home fire escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week.

Local musicians, Gord Wright and Marion Bruce, were inducted into the Windsor-Essex County Hall of Fame for their years of dedication to the local music industry and their involvement in many charitable musical performances across the region.

The Essex Centre BIA hosted its first annual Fall in Love with Our Local Street Party to give local businesses and patrons a chance to connect in celebration of the start of the autumn season.

The Ruthven Apple Festival was hosted at Colasanti’s Tropical Garden to fundraise for Community Living Essex County.

A ball diamond at Co-An Park was named after John Alexander to recognize his years of dedication and service to the community.

The Kniaziew Family, founders of Orangeline Farms and Zing! Health Forward, were presented with a BMO Ontario Farm Family Award at the 100th Annual International Plowing Match.

The students at Essex Public School joined individuals across the region to participate in the annual 12 O’clock Walk Across Windsor-Essex event to celebrate a healthy, active lifestyle.

The Windsor-Essex Community Foundation presented a cheque for $30,000, funded through its Class Action Community Fund, to Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp.

The Rotary Club of Essex hosted a Pizza and Pasta Dinner at Essex United Church on World Polio Day in hopes of raising awareness about Polio and the need to continue with vaccines for children.

The doors at Essex District High School were opened to bring back alumni of all ages for the annual homecoming celebration.

Despite high winds and the threat of inclement weather leading up to the event being cancelled at 7 p.m., hundreds of craft beer enthusiasts made their way to the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex to take part in the annual LaSalle Craft Beer Festival.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s (WSO) quartet made a special visit to the Iler Lodge Retirement Residence as part of its Music for Health outreach program.

The Essex Centre BIA and Rotary Club of Essex joined forces to host the 2017 Business Excellence Awards and dinner.

Harrow native Lionel Sanders crossed the finish line in second place at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The Town of Essex recognized the Harrow Public School-based Ontario Early Years Centre for having helped the Essex Communities in Bloom Committee (CIB) win the Bees Matter-Pollinator Friendly  Community Award at the 2017 National CIB Symposium and Awards.

The tradition of celebrating migration, heritage, conservation, and the legacy of Kingsville’s famous Jack Miner continued with the 48th Annual Kingsville Migration Festival.

After 32 years of service, Community Living Essex County Executive Director, Nancy Wallace-Gero, announced her retirement, effective April 2018.

The Windsor Essex Therapeutic Riding Association hosted its 13th annual Halloween Spooktacular.

The Harrow Rotary Club’s first annual Fright Night brought a chill to the Old Mill in Harrow in support of Essex Fire & Rescue in Harrow.

The Essex Ravens Novice Major team captured the championship win at the annual Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Classic Novice Rep Tournament in Parry Sound, Ontario.

AKO Fratmen coach Mike Lachance, of Essex, was named Ontario Football Conference Coach of the Year.
Essex native Matt Puempel was traded from the New York Rangers to the Detroit Red Wings.

Candidate Ron Rogers handily won the Ward 3 by-election, receiving more than double the votes of his nearest competitor.

A special ceremony re-opened the one-room schoolhouse at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village after its recent restoration was made possible through a Canada 150 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant.


The Town of Essex recognized Harrow native, and world-class triathlete, Lionel Sanders during an official celebration to unveil a new town welcome sign in Harrow, which honours his 2016 world record Ironman Triathlon completion.

The Essex District High School Senior Girls’ Basketball Team earned the Windsor and Essex County Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WECSSAA) championship.

At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, Essex residents bowed their heads at the local cenotaph in a gesture of appreciation for the freedoms they enjoy, thanks to the sacrifices veterans and fallen service personnel made and continue to make.

Hundreds of people from across Essex County participated in the 23rd Annual Jingle Bell Run, Walk, and Wheel from Ken Knapp Ford, in Essex, in support of Community Living Essex County.

Members of Gosfield North Public School’s Boys’ Soccer team earned the EDESAA championship for the Essex District.

Local residents gathered at the Woodslee’s Libro Community Centre, formerly the Millen Community Centre, to participate in the annual Honouring Veterans event.

15-year old Ethan Robinson, a grade 10 student from Kingsville District High School and a resident of Harrow, joined Ehva Hoffmann as the second Youth Council Rep for the Town of Essex.

An estimated $46,000 was raised for the Essex-based food banks during the local Essex Region Goodfellows Newspaper Campaign.

“High-rollers,” were out for the Essex Community Policing Committee’s annual Casino Night fundraiser, hosted at Essex District High School.

Essex Community Services hosted a unique fundraiser. The “Stout and About Craft Beef Tour” visited three breweries.

The Town of Essex invited its slew of volunteers out to the Shaheen Community Room at the Essex Centre Sports Complex for its annual Volunteer Appreciation Night.

The Essex Centre BIA and Essex Salvation Army joined forces to host the Annual Essex Centre Tree Lighting, which offered hot food and drink, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and live music entertainment to kick off the Christmas season.

The grade seven students at Holy Name Catholic Elementary School were proud to collect around 200 pairs of eyeglasses, safety glasses, and sunglasses throughout the month of October for the people of Haiti.

The Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society enjoyed guest speakers Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg as they presented the history of shipwrecks of Point Pelee.

The magic and spirit of the season returned to Gess†wood Camp as volunteer actors took visitors back to the time of the birth of Christ with the annual Bethlehem Walk.

The Essex Ravens Atom Minor hockey team went undefeated to win Gold for Canada in the “Nation’s Cup” held in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

Cottam United Church was decorated for the season and opened its doors for the Kingsville Christmas House Tour.


Kicking off Christmas, Trinity Anglican Church, in Cottam, hosted its first annual candy cane hunt throughout the church’s yard.

The tradition to visit Santa Claus was made available at Cottam Rotary Park as the Cottam Rotary Club hosted the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event.

With brisk evening air, around 20 floats and marching bands travelled down King Street, in Harrow, with the support of the Harrow Kinsmen, for the Harrow Santa Claus Parade.

Students in the grade nine tech class at Essex District High School (EDHS) donated a brick from the former EDHS facility, mounted on a wooden base they created, to the Essex & Community Historical Research Society for permanent display.

Essex District High School’s high-achieving academic students were recognized at the annual Academic Awards Evening.

Santa Claus was on hand to greet the community at Colchester North Public School as part of the decade’s long, seasonal tradition known as the Family Christmas Hayride.

The annual Victorian Christmas event celebrated the holiday season, as it was done in the past, at the historic Essex Railway Station.

The spirit and magic of the holiday season was in the air as the community enjoyed the Essex Centre Santa Claus Parade as it travelled through town.

With the help of the local Métis Nation, students at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School, in Maidstone, created “Healing Blankets” for donation to those in need.

Essex County Council passed the 2018 budget with a 1.54% increase during its meeting on December 6.
Essex District High School grade 12 student, Austin Siverns, through the school’s grade 12 Leadership Class, hosted a Turkey Dinner for families in need of support.

The community was saddened by the news that dedicated community leader, and 2017 Citizen of the Year, Tom Robson, had passed away on December 7 at the age of 94.

Santa still had time in his busy schedule for another special visit to Essex as he dropped into the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village for breakfast.

Local OPP personnel and firefighters of Essex Fire & Rescue collected over 700 new, unwrapped toys from local participating business, in addition to clothes and food, through the 2017 Santa’s Cause for Kids program.

The Essex Centre pavilion is one step closer to being built as Essex Council moved to award the request for tender for the construction of the Essex Centre BIA Pavilion to Goodreau Sawmill Inc.