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Mailbag - Fall 2017

 

A PLACE CALLED LOCH-SLOY

I enjoyed the article on the Loch-Sloy Business Park in your Summer edition. Having lived in the County for some 10 years, I was quite familiar with the old RAF (which it was, not an RCAF) base at the Heights, encountering it before we had even actually completed our move to Picton, as I made use of the self-storage facility there.

However, I have to take issue with Jamie Scott’s statement on his father “whimsically renaming it Loch-Sloy”. Back in 2008, I wrote a history of the base for the County Archives, and I can assure you that I found then, as stated in the current Business Park website, the original British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) buildings were purchased around 1969 by the H.J. McFarland Company (as Loch-Sloy Holdings). The title was established at the outset by them, as it was the home of the Clan McFarland back in Scotland. In addition, the McFarland home in Picton was also called Loch-Sloy, as can be seen by driving past it. So this name very much originates there, long before Mr. Scott’s involvement.

Incidentally, the base held strong feelings for me as, when in 2006 I drove in to deposit some of our possessions there, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was taken right back to 22 years of age in 1957 when I came to Canada to train as an RAF navigator under the reborn BCATP, and lived for a while on camps in buildings just like those on this base. That was what led me to write the story of the base and the BCATP.
Michael Edwards, Picton

With regard to your article on Loch-Sloy in the Summer 2017 issue, I’m sure that author David Newland will want to know that the “P” in BCATP stands for Plan, not Program. Oh dear, there I go again, being a nitpicker. At 82 years of age, 32 of which I spent in the RCAF/Canadian Forces, I figure I’m entitled.
Denison L. (Denny) Quirk, Carrying Place, ON

TRULY CANADIAN CHARACTERS

In Orland French’s discussion of Daniel Massey in the Summer edition, he says, “The Massey family line produced actor Raymond Massey (Daniel’s grandson) and Vincent Massey (Daniel’s greatgrandson), the first Canadian-born Governor General.” Vincent and Raymond Massey were brothers. The error re their relationship has been made by Watershed in the past.
Virginia Thompson, Bath, ON

DROPS IN THE BUCKET

Thanks Watershed! Thoroughly enjoyed Tom Cruickshank’s article “Drops in the Bucket”. As with your Spring edition, this article resonates with activities on Picton Bay. The devastating effects of road salt on well water in Welcome (near Port Hope) is similar to wells that have become contaminated near the Picton Terminal. Tom’s article also brought to light the huge cost to taxpayers in towns like Port Hope and Grafton, when drinking water systems had to be expanded after contamination. By comparison to those towns and villages, Picton residents are currently paying the highest water rates in Ontario and that’s before discussions have even begun on moving the water intake valve farther into the Bay or pumping water from Wellington. While some have argued the best solution is to bring water from Wellington, as grant money could off-set the steep cost for this option, those grants are also paid for by taxpayers. I look forward to reading more informative and well-researched articles like this in coming issues.
Deb Reddon, Picton

WATER RESCUE

I applaud all those involved in working to delist the Bay of Quinte over the last decade (“Water Rescue,” Spring 2017). Their perseverance and commitment is commendable. As an ecologist and local resident, I too have watched the progress in the fishery especially and am confident that at present it is “restored”. I know a lot of hard work has gone into trying to rectify the eutrophication issue, most of it being applied to point-source issues such as sewage-treatment plants. These have also been successful to the degree that they can. Now the elephant in the room, as your reports indicate, is that the bay is still eutrophic. The ecology of the bay is still vulnerable to flips that could occur if the system tips to a new state as a result of any number of quite foreseeable issues. To name a few, another die-off of a fish species, Asian carp arrival and disruption, climate change. Any ecosystem sitting at the cusp is vulnerable. I believe there is enough instability in the system that it is premature to delist it.

I also believe the Bay is highly vulnerable to a major ecological shift as a result of both ongoing climate change issues and the as-yet unaddressed problems of non-point-source contaminants and nutrients. That 80-90% of the water bodies in the system (the small headwaters) remain unregulated and continue to be degraded and polluted at an ever-increasing rate (partially as a result of agricultural intensification) is a major concern. I believe there is no way the Bay will ever be delisted until this is addressed. Once progress is made on controlling impacts from these headwater systems, ecologists will begin to see declines in phosphorus, and stability of both water quality and biota will be feasible.
Les Stanfield, Ecohealth Solutions, Milford, ON

Just a quick note to say thank you for a beautiful magazine. The layouts are done to perfection and the pictures are all bright, thus making reading a pleasure. A copy or two are always in my B & B guestrooms and my guests often ask if they can take the magazine home. When I visit my friends, a magazine and a bottle of wine are together in my wine bag.

I have been in Port Hope for four-plus years and I have kept a copy of every magazine to date. I always wonder what will be on the cover of the next issue and am always amazed!
Rose Meghie, Plantation House Bed & Breakfast

TRULY HISTORIC CHARACTERS FROM OUR OWN BACKYARD

I take exception to the way Orland French has written his article on H. J. McFarland in the summer issue of Watershed.

Why would anyone dismiss Margaret Ackerman’s (my mother) efforts as the first and only female mayor of Picton? She was ahead of her time, well-educated and highly respected in her community. Margaret Ackerman held a full-time position as head nurse at the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital but also felt public service was extremely important. She sat on council and then “successfully” ran for Mayor. To dismiss her efforts as “experimental” is not only ignorant and insulting but really unnecessary to the article he wrote on H. J. McFarland.
Lawrie Ackerman, Prince Edward County

 Watershed looks forward to reading all your letters! Please forward your letters to Watershed Magazine, 160 Joice Road, Grafton, ON K0K 2G0 or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current Issue - Fall 2017

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jane kelly P8191289

IT’S ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO TRANSITION FROM SUMMER INTO FALL FOR ME. I’m never prepared for the abrupt change in temperature and I’m loathe to say goodbye to the endless ease of summer days..…... read more

Mailbag

A PLACE CALLED LOCH-SLOY
I enjoyed the article on the Loch-Sloy Business Park in your Summer edition. Having lived in the County for some 10 years, I was quite familiar with the old RAF....

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carl wiens

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