Letters – Our readers write: Autumn 2010

Letters published in the Autumn 2010 edition of In The Hills magazine.

September 13, 2010 | | Autumn 2010 | Back Issues | Departments | Letters, Our Readers Write

Accolades for a master craftsman

Further to the piece on the Patullo stone wall on Mississauga Road (A Fine Old Wall Restored, Summer ’10):

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Loudon, chief certifier of Britain’s Dry Stone Walling Association, at a workshop at Credit Valley Quarries on behalf of the fledgling Dry Stone Guild of Canada. I was observing rather than participating and I was amazed to watch a group of neophytes throw up a twenty-five-foot stretch of a five-foot high wall over a mere two days! Gorgeous piece of work!

Andrew and I got to talking and he told me his opinion of Mike Schenk’s work on the Patullo wall: It’s brilliant! Mike is brilliant!

It doesn’t follow some of the rules used in building new dry stone walls (many of the stones appear to have been placed on the vertical rather than horizontal, the latter orientation providing greater stability and strength), but as a restoration Andrew felt it is wonderfully true to the original and matches the best work he’s seen in Britain.

He was also fascinated by the use of cedar shims, a technique he’d never seen before, either in the UK or Europe. Whereas Mike seemed to think the cedar had been used for levelling, Andrew thought it was more likely for stability, instead of through-stones.

Regardless, he was mightily impressed with Mike’s craftsmanship, and photos of Caledon’s heritage-designated wall will now become part of his various presentations on dry stone walls. So, accolades from the very top of the profession! The wall not only looks great, it is great.

Sally Drummond
Heritage Officer, Town of Caledon

Dance kudos

My sincere gratitude to Michele Green for her article on our dance group (Dancing on the Edge,  Summer ’10). She is an amazing writer. The piece is full of sincerity and authenticity (a reflection of the author).

Thanks so much for being interested in what our little collective is trying to do. I especially loved Michele’s note at the end – that she “applauds” us. That means a lot coming coming from Michele, a professional dancer and choreographer.

Michelle Grierson
No 6 Collective, Orangeville

Citizens’ Brigade

Once again, In the Hills has set me thinking, as I sense that the rural lifestyle of Caledon, which I love, is still under attack. Here are some observations on topics which I have not yet seen subject to rational debate.

In (Imagining the Future Summer ’10), Jeff Rollings raises the issue of low voter turnout at elections, which have traditionally been the means by which the population can express its approval (or otherwise) of the government.

The failure of this democratic process is the reason for the emergence of concerned citizens groups, largely unco-ordinated, which does not help much. I would like to attempt an explanation for this state of affairs.

The voting process has become so unfriendly that I am no longer prepared to have anything to do with it. When I moved into this area twenty years ago, voting was a pleasurable occasion. I knew some of the registering staff, caught up with the local gossip, they checked me off in their big book, and that was that. Last time, I was asked for two pieces of photo i.d., so I walked out, and will never, ever return.

On the provincial and federal levels, there is absolutely no point in voting at all. With a few shining exceptions, I find them all self-serving liars, and I’m surprised that anyone turns out!

Finally, I don’t see why anything should change. People come to live here because they like it. I cannot imagine any other reason. There’s no public transport, the postal service is totally dysfunctional, and so on. But that’s all a small price to pay for the beauty and tranquility of the countryside.

John Tysoe
Cheltenham

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