Closing the door on 2018

On this, the last day of 2018, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank all our readers and bring back only some of the many hundreds of stories that took place in our community over the past year.

There is no doubt that the world seems to have been a more chaotic time than we have seen in a long time but there are good things that have taken place close to home and we wanted to end this year on a more positive note.

We’ll start with our local schools where our young people have experienced incredible achievements.

      Matthew Patterson

Early in the year, Saugeen Central became National Champions in band competitions bringing home both gold and silver – a real accomplishment under the direction of Matthew Patterson.

Saugeen District Secondary School also saw a first as archery student Natasha Burrows brought home the 2018 Provincial Championship.



Then, it was an historical first when the bridge spanning the Saugeen River became a symbol of reconciliation and cooperation between our two communities of Southampton (Saugeen Shores) and Saugeen First Nation.  With collaboration between the elders of Saugeen and G. C. Huston Public School, the bridge was officially re-named ‘Zgaa-biig-ni-gan’/’We are Connected’, a symbol of communities working in partnership.

        Mayor Mike Smith (ret’d) and Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot


            Principal Dan Russell

It was the brain-child of G. C. Huston’s former school principal, Dan Russell.  While it was also finalized just as he retired from the school to move elsewhere, it was a major accomplishment for Mr. Russell, the students of G. C. Huston and the peoples of the two communities.

Before the end of the school year however, all was not smooth sailing as a bomb scare closed down the entire area around G. C. Huston Public School and the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.  Although it was a tense time for an entire day, it was a false alarm.

   (L) G.C. Huston Principal Dan Russell, Fire Chief Phil Eagleson, Mayor Mike Smith and Police                                                                       Chief Mike Bellai – a Bomb scare

Throughout summer, another contentious issue was that of the little train on the Port Elgin Beach which garnered more than its share of attention as people protested its removal.  A long-time iconic attraction for families, the train station and train became a hot-button for both local residents and summer visitors who wanted the train to remain.  In the end however, the little engine that could … couldn’t, and it was the end of an era on Port Elgin beach.

On a more positive note, one of the highlights of the summer was the first-time ever Gran Fondo cycling event that started and finished in Southampton but was held throughout Lake Huron shore region in support of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital located in Southampton.  More than 700 cyclists and many volunteers joined in support of the hospital as Mother Nature cooperated with perfect cycling weather.  The event, anticipated to become an annual event, drew riders from across Canada and the U.S. raising more than $125,000 for local health care.

Another milestone in support of health care was the third annual Radiothon fundraiser for the Light the Way Campaign. Held at the local radio station, 98 theBeach, the fundraising goal was $50,000 but the final total was a staggering $80,968 raised through donations from individuals, businesses, organizations and minor hockey.

While overall, it was a positive year for the community, it was also a time of sadness as many long-time residents passed away with almost one for each month of 2018. Many of us have lost old friends and family members and our thoughts go out to all of those for whom 2018 was a time of loss.

An old saying by Alexander Graham Bell is that, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

As the door closes on 2018, let’s not look back but forward and not miss seeing the one that is opening into 2019.