Monday, March 21, 2011

International Women's Day Celebrated in Elgin

Written in Part By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock & Elsie Steeves

Photos Top to Bottom;

1. 85 Women joined together in the Elgin Fire Hall Community Center to help celebrate International Women's Day

2. Author Deborah Carr, guest speaker for the day, receiving her certificate of appreciation from MC Moranda Vangeest.

3. Singers Donna Carty and Ruth Kristenson had everyone singing tunes of old.

4. Guest speaker Winona McLean receiving her certificate of appreciation.

5. Comedian Debra Steeves

International Women's Day Theme” Books"

Written By: Elsie Steeves

Moranda Vangeest was the emcee at the 9th Annual Women's Day Celebration held at the Elgin Community Centre. This year is the 100th Anniversary for International Women's Day. Everyone received a warm welcome at the door from Debby Leaman. Up words of 75-80 Ladies were present.

Healthy Living displays and W.I. materials were on hand. Every table had books on display for all to view. Everyone enjoyed the music by Donna Carty and Ruth Kristenson. The Audience sang along to the music titles of 1911-1918. Julie Kean Marks conducted a game titled "Sorts". This contest got everyone up and moving around.

Karen Davidson introduced the special speaker of the day, Deborah Carr, author of her book titled "Sanctuary." Her book tells the story of the life of Mary Majka from Caledonia Mountain. It depicted Mary’s life of passion, and many points of interest in her life. Mary Majka is a remarkable Lady. Publisher Goose Lane said this about the book: “Authentic. Original. Inimitable. Mary Majka is one of Canada’s great pioneering environmentalists. She is best known as a television host, a conservationist, and a driving force behind the internationally acclaimed Marys Point Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve on the Bay of Fundy. Sanctuary gives full expression to the intensely personal story of Mary’s life. A daughter of privilege, a survivor of World War II Poland, an architect of dreams, Mary Majka became a passionate environmentalist intent on protecting fragile spaces and species for generations to come. In this amazing story of determination and foresight, Deborah Carr reveals a complex, indomitable, thoroughly human being — flawed yet feisty, inspiring and inspired.”
Deborah signed and sold many copies of her book that day in Elgin.

Hazelanna Carter spoke about the 100th Anniversary of the Elgin W.I. which will be held June 25th and 26th at the W.I. Hall this. Anyone wishing to start up a Junior W.I. Group was invited to please contact Hazelanna at 756-2531.

Lunch Break was held, and just prior to lunch the Women's Institute Grace was sung. Elgin W.I. group provided the delicious lunch.

The other guest speaker of the day was Winona McLean. She spoke about her life achievements, famous people she has been involved with and events, present day. Winona is the Editor of the local paper " Local News and Views". This paper is published once a month from the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame located in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick.

Comedian Debra Steeves kept the ladies in stitches with her comedy act. Everyone joined in the Theme song, "I Have A Dream".

Stephanie Colburne spoke about the "Green Party", and she gave a list of ideas and concerns. Linda Goggin conducted an exercise break. Julie Kean Marks held a quiz of the daily events. Many thank you certificates were given out to those taking part. Hats off for a job well done to the Women's Day Committee, another very successful day and year.

A Brief History of International Women’s Day

By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

100 years ago, the first International Women’s Day celebrations were taking place around the globe. In 1977 Canada supported the leadership of the United Nations by proclaiming a specific day to celebrate the existence of rights for women and to celebrate their achievements. This special day was, in part, brought about to help draw attention to and to resolve such issues as: violence against women, harassment and forms of sexual exploitation, discrimination and pay equity in the work place, and to bring attention to the terrible truth of poverty among many single moms and their children.

These issues remain unresolved, not only for women in Canada, but still greater in the developing countries. This is why we celebrate International Women’s Day, so that we are reminded that the job of equality is far from satisfactory.

In New Brunswick the suffragette movement began in the mid-19th century, but not until April 1919 were women allowed to vote. The fight for equality was far from over, for not until 25 years later were women allowed to stand for provincial public office.

Last year great gains were experienced during our provincial election with the greatest number of women running for office in New Brunswick’s history. Higher levels of Canadian women are earning university degrees, and women make up nearly half of the country’s workforce.

International Women’s Day was celebrated in Elgin with a near full house as women from Elgin, Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Portage Vale and surrounding areas came together to honour and encourage women who have paved the way for a more equal world for women, and to encourage the generations to come.

Deborah Carr…Part of Her Story

It was a pleasure and encouragement to listen to Deborah describes the different stages of her life that lead her to where she is today, a successful author.

In 1999 at the age of 38, after working for the federal government for 17 years, Deborah made the difficult decision of leaving the security of this good job behind to find the life she desired. In her search she experienced new landscapes, false starts, failures, fear, and financial setbacks. In her pursuit for answers she reached into her memories of childhood, ran marathons, read many books and wrote for the Times Transcript as well as many other magazines. She discovered the importance of spending quiet reflective time alone. It was during these quiet times she looked inward, always seeking and testing her motivations, and paying heed to her soul’s whisperings.

Deborah drew comparisons between Mary Majka being 38 years old when she stood in a meadow on Caledonia Mountain and knew that this was where she belonged and herself being 38 when she handed in here resignation to start living the life she was meant to live.

It was passion and purpose that drew Deborah into the life of Mary Majka. Deborah wanted to learn how this woman achieved so much, where she got her energy and how she managed to get others fired up enough around her to support her and help her achieve her dreams.

Deborah learned that when she allowed her own authentic nature to shine and purposely allow space in her own life for the things that were dear to her heart, was when she truly discovered her own power and reason to be. She began to live, on purpose.

Mary’s nature showed Deborah that she bent for none, and accepted her strengths as well as her weaknesses without apology, understanding that they are opposite sides of the same coin. This was an important fact, for far too often we allow our perceived shortcomings to keep us from doing the things we were born to do. We have to learn to accept our shadows, as the necessary backside of our light.


In Deborah’s book ‘Sanctuary’ Mary’s story unfolds like that of a butterfly and every page brings the reader closer to the beauty of a good soul. Well worth the read.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Few Photos To Cheer

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sharing My Thoughts of Just Yesterday

When I got up this morning the news of the earthquake in Japan was being reported on Canada AM. As I listened I couldn’t help but think about what I entered into my journal just yesterday, and I would like to share it with you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:00a.m.


It is time for earth’s population to beat their weapons into ploughshears.

(I remember for years, even as a very young person thinking it would be beneficial for the human race to intermingle and marry, have children so that our population would become mongrelized so that there would be no racial differences, then there would be a greater chance of PEACE ON EARTH.)

We are at a crucial time in the history of our home-earth. There have been crucial times before over the eons of time for our planet, but this is the here and now for us!

We (everyone) have heard, seen and experienced the reeling of our home/earth, whether through floods, earthquakes, volcano activity, or massive crippling storms and diseases. Our own home/earth will be the weapon of mass destruction, and everyone on earth will count as not. Floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, storms or diseases will be no respecter of anyone on earth.

Are we not intelligent enough, as a whole, to see what has happened, and what surely will happen again? Do we not see the need, and realize that now is the time to beat our weapons into ploughshears?

Even though we know we are powerless to the devastational power of “Mother Earth and Mother Nature” we know we have the power to rise up and assist areas that are suffering under these devastations, that is, if we band together as a human race!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Angel Howatt...Committed and Focused

You have all heard the old saying, “Practice Makes Perfect,” Angel Howatt of Petitcodiac has proven that the saying is so. She practices on and off the ice six days a week and sometimes seven. This hard work and determination won Angel Silver overall at the 2010 Skate Canada Skate NB Fall Competition and first for NB. This competition gave Angel a seven point lead over the next NBer going into the next competition for CWG points.
At the 2011 BMO Skate
Canada Skate NB, NS, PEI Sectionals (provincials) Angel won GOLD for NB and finished first overall for the Maritimes. Angel has fifteen points above the next NB skater sealing the deal on making the 2011 Canada Winter Games in February.
Angel also gained her spot on the NB Eastern/Western Challenge Team (PreNovice Nationals) for December 1st competition in Mississauga, Ontario. There will be no ‘taking time off’ for Angel as she continues pursuing her dreams.
Angel loves sports in general and next to skating she loves basketball. She made a very difficult decision this year to not try out for basketball, the game she has played and worked into her off ice times since she was five years old. Angel has given up a lot of things she loves, but she knows she has to keep all her energy and focus on skating in order to pull off the skate she needs to obtain her goals.
Much credit is given to Angel’s coaches, she says, “It wouldn’t have been possible without my coaches, Robert Leger, long time coach and second mom Kathy Grenier and coach and mentor Meaghan McGibbon. They work me hard, keep me motivated, dry my tears at times and give me hugs when it’s needed most. We are definitely a team and with each of them I feel it’s possible. Of course I love and appreciate my family who are always behind me with love and support!”
Angel is hoping to add some new elements to her routine to help get more points. For sure she’ll have a double axle and she’s asked her coaches to put in a triple axle. Angel is always pushing herself, as do all true athletes.
Good luck Angel, all of Petitcodiac will be watching and cheering for you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Can Be Beautiful

Photos By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

Hi everyone. I just wanted to share a few photos taken today while out walking on the Mapelton Road near beautiful Elgin.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Gillespie’s Cottage Industry

Written By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

Danny Gillespie of Parkindale was recycling long before it was a common household task that it is today. In the early 70’s, while in Fredericton, Danny was introduced to a local initiative project called “The Repair and Redistribution of Household Articles”
Later Danny enrolled at the Moncton Community College to further hone his skills of upholstery. His skills were enhanced by friends and family who brought their furniture to him for restoration.
In 1989, after all the necessary procedures and papers filed, Danny hung out his shingle…”Valley Upholstery” at his Parkindale log home and has been there ever since. Danny enjoys the satisfaction of taking a precious family heirloom that has seen its better day and restoring it to its original state, much to the pleasure of his customer.
Danny has experienced a great variety of jobs over the years from bike seats, truck and car interior, snowmobile and ATV’s, barber shop chairs, salon chairs and even a chiropractor’s bench. He remembers fondly of redoing a 1937 Desoto and many other antique cars.
Not only does Danny work in the local areas of Salisbury and Petitcodiac, but does special jobs for Spenser Memorial Home, various truck companies, CRC Recreational Vehicles, banks and the Jordan Life Care Center.
But Danny’s talents don’t stop with upholstery; Danny is a fine musician with his own unique voice and style that has delighted audiences everywhere. In Danny’s own words he tells this story:
“I feel like I have been around music all my life, from the songs we sang in Sunday School and church, the songs my parents sang and the songs on the radio. Saturday nights, as a little
boy, would be bath night and afterwards we would listen to country music on the radio, live CKCW…the Bunk House Boys. I would learn the songs off the radio get in the old swing in the yard and sing my heart out.
By the time I was 13 I had a guitar. Pauline Stevenson showed me how to play “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down,” and I have been playing ever since. As a teen, I and a group of friends got into folk music, Ian and Sylvia, etc. I started to play coffee houses and house parties. As soon a I turned 21 I went to Fredericton. In 1971 I gathered up a bass player, a lead guitarist and started playing the bar scene. We played songs by Dylan, Neil Young, The Band, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and did a Blue Grass set as well. I also played the mandolin.
By 1974 I had moved back to Albert County started technical school and played Howard Johnsons on the weekends. By 1977 I hooked up with Dale Stiles and my wife, Coleen, who is an excellent bass player, we called ourselves “Pickled Skunk,” and we played all types of venues in Sussex, Petitcodiac and Moncton.
Lately I have been playing solo with guest performers, and having a fairly eclectic song list I try to provide the music the audience likes.” Entertaining is my drug of choice, and I always feel so lucky when I have a chance to do it.”
Something fairly new in the music circle, and which Danny has adopted is “House Concerts.” A House Concert is a chance to experience music in a warm and intimate environment. Someone opens up their home and invites people into their living room or rec room to share great music by one of their favorite musicians for a minimal fee that goes to the musician. It is a chance to meet the performer, purchase and have them sign one of their CD’s if they have one.
House Concerts are a wonderful way to open up your home and enjoy great music with friends and family. Great music makes so many people happy, and House Concerts also gives great exposure to incredible musicians, whose talent you really believed in, and wish to help promote.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Canadian Syrup Inc. Elgin….Celebrates Re-Opening

Photos Top To Bottom:
Murals on door by Fred Harrison of Goshin, Elgin, NB
Murals in Conferance Room
Map showing all the countries where Canadian Syrup Inc. goes to.
Roger showing parts of the factory.
Roger pointing out packages ready for Australia
Ribbon cutting, staff in blue (6 of 15)L President of the Albert County Chamber of Commerce Brian Keirstead, MLA Wayne Steeves, Judy and Roger Steeves and son Kirk.
Murial in staff room
Fire in May of 2009 that destroyed the original plant

All photos by Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

On Tuesday, December 21, 2010 many family, friends and neighbours braved the stormy weather to join Roger and Judy Steeves, of Canadian Syrup Inc., to help celebrated the re-opening of their 12,000 square foot production facility by highlighting its new production and packaging capacities.

Roger took several groups on a tour of his new and improved facility. While doing so he told of his families struggles and hardships to bring “From The Ashes,” so to speak, his company to become a company that now ships maple products to countries all over the world. He was very proud to tell of the new product lines they have developed and of the new ones they are working on. His latest success was to develop a syrup that stayed suspended in ice cream to make a Maple Swirl Ice Cream treat.

As he lead the tour to the far end of the facility, the shipping and receiving department, he pointed out, with great pride, the boxes upon boxes all wrapped and waiting for the big trucks to start their journey to their final destination of Australia.


Our family was one of the first settlers to arrive in the Elgin area dating back to the 1700's. Our great-grandfather received land grants. At that time there were native Indians who were very familiar with the art of making maple syrup. Legend says: in the early days, Indians discovered maple syrup by accident. It has been told that one spring an Indian brave threw his ax into a maple tree located near their fire pit. While the women were cooking on an open fire, the heat from the fire started the sap dripping from the tree, down the ax handle and into their pots. This made their meal very sweet, so they collected this "sweet sap" in larger amounts and boiled it into a sweet thick syrup. Similarly, our great-grandfather made maple syrup in large iron pots over an open fire, using wooden spills in small drill holes in the maple trees.
Our grandfather was one of the first in the area to construct a building, as well as using a new method of extracting the water with an evaporator. He advanced from wooden spills to steel spills, and collected the sap with horse and sleigh. Our father carried on the tradition. He used more modern equipment such as corrugated evaporators, lids on cans, and plastic pipe which ran from one tan house to the main camp. With our father we expanded using pipeline to all trees, vacuum pumps, reverse osmosis machines and forced air evaporators. The tradition continues with our son. He helped to develop a WORLD CLASS LINE OF NATURAL PRODUCTS that are sold world wide.
Our "Original Canadian Syrup" continues this tradition, as an award winning 100% Natural product that was hailed as breakthrough in Maple Syrup technology.
This special formulation consists of the same natural ingredient breakdown as maple sap, but is much more consistent in taste, color and aroma. With our unique process, Original Canadian Syrup brings the highest quality with no additives or preservatives, allowing you to use it exactly like traditional maple syrup at a significant cost savings.

The "Original Canadian", A natural choice from the Steeves family to yours!

The Honourable Rob Moore was unable to attend, due to illness, but had earlier said, “The Canadian food processing industry makes an important contribution to the strength of our provincial and regional economy. Thought our government’s investment of more than $240,000. Canadian Syrup Inc. is enhancing its productivity and improving its capacity to compete in national and international markets.”
The project has helped the company to retrofit an existing building to replace the processing, packaging and warehouse facilities that were destroyed by fire in May 2009. The company’s state-of-the-art facility supports an enhanced production process, automated packaging and provides co-packaging services to other companies.
MLA Wayne Steeves said, “The Government of New Brunswick recognizes the importance of the maple syrup industry as a contributor to the province’s economy. We are proud to be able to contribute to the success of Canadian Syrup Inc. a home-grown New Brunswick company, with assistance from Business New Brunswick’s NB Growth Program.”
Roger Steeves, President of Canadian Syrup Inc. said, “We know firsthand how difficult it is for small business in our province with a lot of companies closing or moving out of NB. We are proud to say that we continue to grow and are the largest employer in the small community of Elgin. Now, after a year of hard work, determination and significant investments by our family in getting our new facility operational, along with some funding help from ACOA and BNB, we are able to continue producing our great products for customers all over the world.”
Support for the Canadian Syrup’s development of its new facility includes a $240,000 repayable loan made available through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP). The Province of NB is assisting the company with an investment of $40,000.00

Manufacturing of syrup, sugars, spreads and candies. Canadian Syrup Inc. has won the Canadian Grower New Product Award and is Federal Licensed Packaging Plant. With the capability of producing 20,000lbs of bulk product per day, plus packaged ...163 Gowland Mountain Rd., Elgin, NB