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Letters, week of Dec. 4

Ho, ho, hold the Santa photo Sir: I have been called more than once an "Alberta Widow." Like many other families, my husband has had to seek work out west, as it currently makes more sense than a lengthy and costly career change.

Ho, ho, hold the Santa photo

Sir: I have been called more than once an "Alberta Widow."  Like many other families, my husband has had to seek work out west, as it currently makes more sense than a lengthy and costly career change.

He misses out on our lives two thirds of the time, so I try to keep him updated with photos of our daily activities.

While at the mall the kids naturally wanted to see Santa.  I told them they could speak with him but that our official Santa visit to get our picture would wait until Dad was home to share the occasion with us.

While my kids were speaking with Santa, I snapped a photo, even though their backs were to me, to send to my husband.  I was quickly (and rudely, but that's not the point) told that there were no photos allowed.

I take great issue with this.  We, along with many others, dutifully pay the ever-increasing price of a photo on Santa's knee for our memory bank.  It wasn't about the money.

What bothers me is that there are many families who can't afford the $8 to $42 for the photos, depending on which package you want to shell out for.

Why can't a struggling family have a picture of their kids with Santa taken on their phone as an everlasting memory instead of having to forgo altogether?

I get that someone has to pay for the three people it takes to run the operation, but it seems to me that many people purchase photos regardless, and any potential deficit is a small price for the mall to pay considering all the hustle and bustle from now until Boxing Day, not to mention the exorbitant cost of rent for the mall tenants.

I think this year I will take my Santa picture money and donate it to a cause more worthy than commercialism, and I'm sure I won't be the only one without a picture of my kids on Santa's knee.

Lynae Morningstar



Lesson learned from farm accident

Sir: My home is on a farm in Lambton County.

I have the pleasure of planting anything of my choosing: perennials, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses, herbs, etc.

About 10 years ago I planted a bamboo plant, which is robust and produces bamboo shoots. However, last year it froze and I cut it off at eight to 10 inches high using bolt cutters.

I said to myself, ‘Those are wicked looking pokers and could put out an eye or such damage.’

Now, I am pretty handy so I bought 2x8s and porch decking and built a lovely little deck over it. Problem solved.

Then, on the west side of my house there is an old goat pastures – weeds, goldenrod, eight feet tall, as well as all the ash saplings. Mid-summer I systematically cut many off with the pruning saw, 10 to 12 inches from the ground.

Then the worker came out and cut the entire area with the Bush Hog but a few young ash trees remained. It was when my son was pulling the few trees and stumps out that the bad part begins.

Of course, I was the helper, and while attaching the sling to a pair of baby ash trees I tripped and was impaled on a short stump. Disaster time!

An ambulance ride, and 50 staples in the leg. I had my safety shoes on, and my safety glasses, but no leg armour.

In a twinkling – the farm accident occurs!

I have learned a great deal. Do not leave stumps, any stumps. Pull them out or dig them out. They can kill you.

I am ever so thankful for the ambulance medics and hospital doctors who repaired my wound. I am thankful for my nurse, who comes daily to dress my leg. And thankful to my family who was there in my distress.

The reason I am writing is for people to be aware of their surroundings and try to anticipate a mishap. Safety first!

The survivor,

Jeanne Guymer



Big Sisters sale a success

Sir: Our organization wishes to express sincere gratitude to Mike Service, Operations Manager and his staff at Bayside Centre.

For the past two years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sarnia-Lambton has held our annual Big Sisters Show and Sale at the Bayside Centre, which has been a wonderful venue for our event, vendors and the public alike.

We have experienced nothing but positive support and assistance. Mike and staff were willing and eager to help us with whatever our needs were to achieve a successful event.

The hustle and bustle in the Bayside Centre, in the heart of downtown Sarnia, was wonderful. Its accessibility meant those in wheelchairs or children in strollers could attend, and the underground parking is a real plus.

The Big Sisters Show and Sale drew over 4,000 people and was a win for our organization, the Centre and the downtown.

The event makes it possible to serve children and youth through a wide variety of programs that provide needed support and mentoring.

It wouldn't be possible without the continued support of the entire community and the Bayside Centre. Kudos.

Mike Hurry

Executive Director

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sarnia Lambton

Lisa Armstrong

Big Sisters Show and Sale Volunteer Committee Chair


Rochon column evokes another era

Sir: Congratulations to all the staff of the Sarnia Journal. I look forward to reading Sarnia news and seeing Sarnia photos.

In particular, I enjoy John Rochon's column. My father came to Imperial Oil in Sarnia in 1926. He then spent nine years in Peru with International Petroleum, a subsidiary.

In 1937 my parents arrived in Sarnia, my father having found his true love from Paris, Ontario, in Talara, Peru.

John's column brings back that era and the landmarks that I grew up with. I still have the duffel bag that I bought for Guide camp at the war surplus store that was located at Christina and George.

Thank you, all.

Judy MacDonald



Pennies in your pocket

Sir: On behalf of the president, executive board, staff and membership of the Point Edward Ex-Servicemen’s Association, I wish to thank the anonymous person who, on Nov. 26, dropped off a box of pennies to our bar steward.

To some it may only seem like ‘just some pennies,’ but to us and our commitment to our Veterans in need, words cannot express our gratitude for your kind and generous gesture.

We at the club have a saying; “Pennies in our pocket will only make a hole; drop them in the jar below and help us reach our goal.”

Thanks again and God bless. Lest we forget.

G. Douglas Neely

Point Edward


Candlelight Vigil was magical

Sir: The Royal Canadian Legion Sarnia Branch would like to thank Sarnia and area for participating in the Candlelight Vigil on Nov 10.

This ceremony is for anyone who would like to make a donation towards a candle and to place it at the legion cenotaph in memory of someone.

This year there was a fantastic turnout for this remembrance. It really is breathtaking to watch the people walk down Front Street with the candles and one by one place them on the cenotaph. Persons of all ages, deep in thought, place their candle in memory.

When all the candles are placed, in the frosty evening it is a magnificent sight to see.

The candles are watch over by our area cadets. All evening they stand vigil over the candles, until the Remembrance Day Service. Under the stars and glittering with frost, it is magical.

Thank you again, to the Cadets for partaking of this ceremony. Your participation brings so very much to the ceremony.

Anne Tigwell Thackeray

Public Relations Officer

Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 62

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