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The Front Page

Thank You For Your Service; Robert Allan was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from his Birch Cliff community. What started as a FB post about the WWII vet missing the Warriers Day Parade, because the CNE was cancelled, became a full fledged parade in his honour. See Hedy Korbee’s touching story on Page 12 of the E-edition

Bluffer's Park Journal

Lake Turns Deadly At Bluffers Park

By Jim Sanderson

In three separate incidents in Bluffers Park on Saturday August 15th, Lake Ontario showed just how dangerous it can be. In the first of these, a body was found in 1 to 1.5 meter waves about half a kilometer off the Marina at 5:20 PM. It appeared to have been in the water for some time and as of publication, foul play has not been ruled out.

Just two hours later, two heroic bystanders on Bluffer's Beach noticed a 10 year old boy in trouble in the undertow. They were able to get in the water and save him, but they sustained injuries when returning to shore, and had to be assisted by Toronto Fire and Paramedics.

About this same time, beachgoers noticed two young men in trouble about 70 metres off the same end of the beach. One of these swimmers, aged 30, was retrieved from the shore a few minutes later, given first aid, then taken to hospital, but pronounced deceased. Efforts by the Toronto Police Marine Unit, The Coast Guard, Toronto Fire, and Canadian Forces to locate his 23 year old brother continued into the evening, then resumed early Sunday and were pursued throughout the day. This search came to an end on Monday August 17th about 8:00 AM, when Parks maintenance workers noticed a body in a rocky cove just west of Bluffer's Beach. As of publication, Toronto Police have yet to confirm the victim is the deceased man for whom they had been searching.

The west end of Bluffer's Beach is a known hazard when winds and waves blow across the long diagonal fetch from the southeast corner of Lake Ontario. This weather pushes water along the beach shore until it reaches a rocky, man made berm at the west end of the swimming area, which directs it sharply away from shore in a strong current. Even expert swimmers caught in this "rip" can be swept away, but anyone unaware of the phenomenon, especially children and novice swimmers, is at risk when strong winds and waves blow up from the southwest.

One of the Boating Officers of Scarborough Bluffs Sailing Club who is a lifelong sailor and has lived on the Toronto shore all his life, told me that Bluffer's Beach is one of the most deceptive on the lake. On most summer days its gentle slope, fine sand, and moderate surf make it safe and inviting. But a few times every season, usually in August and September, it must be treated with caution and respect.

I was in the water at Bluffer's Beach just two hours before the incidents there happened and noticed the high waves and strong current. Lifeguards were doing their best to keep hordes of bathers close to shore and away from the dangerous end of the swimming area, which is marked by buoys, but the enjoyment of big waves on a hot afternoon made the crowd difficult to control. There is no doubt that these guards have a challenging duty to keep everyone safe - they are unknown heroes for all the successful rescues they perform that never make it into the media. They are surely due a big vote of thanks for the great work they do, especially in times like these.

~ Jim Sanderson is a Bluffs area resident, and the Author of 'Toronto Island Summers', and' Life in Balmy Beach'.

50th Anniversary Guildwood Tennis Club

1st Day of School at Hunters Glen Jr. p.s. ~ Post Covid

Sept. 1st, 1944 - Canada’s Day of Redemption

By Larry King

How could it be this easy, this return to that port, its name “Dieppe” now seared infamously into Canada’s national memory for the past two years and thirteen days? There, on 19 August 1942, 6000 soldiers, 5000 of them Canadian, attempted the first Allied landing against Hitler’s “Fortress Europe”. His most renown general, Erwin Rommel, had since been further fortifying German defences along the English Channel of occupied France. From England across this narrow passage an inevitable amphibious invasion would certainly be launched. Was Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall” impregnable, as Nazi propaganda vaunted, certain this would reach the ears of Allies planners in England? The horrendous casualties of the nine Canadian and two British commando regiments of the Dieppe Raid reinforced that boast, reviving the term “cannon fodder”, referring to Canadians the seemingly callous way British commanders deployed their troops in the trench warfare of 1914-1918.

How could it be this easy, this return to that port, its name “Dieppe” now seared infamously into Canada’s national memory for the past two years and thirteen days? There, on 19 August 1942, 6000 soldiers, 5000 of them Canadian, attempted the first Allied landing against Hitler’s “Fortress Europe”. His most renown general, Erwin Rommel, had since been further fortifying German defences along the English Channel of occupied France. From England across this narrow passage an inevitable amphibious invasion would certainly be launched. Was Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall” impregnable, as Nazi propaganda vaunted, certain this would reach the ears of Allies planners in England? The horrendous casualties of the nine Canadian and two British commando regiments of the Dieppe Raid reinforced that boast, reviving the term “cannon fodder”, referring to Canadians the seemingly callous way British commanders deployed their troops in the trench warfare of 1914-1918.

Of the soldiers of the 2nd Division, Canadian Army nearing Dieppe in late August 1944, very few were returning. All nine regiments landing two years and thirteen days ago had then been decimated; for example, 502 of the 553 members of the “Essex Scottish” were casualties left on the beach. Each regiment had to painstakingly rebuild, as each had merely 25 or so survivors for this return engagement. As all of our fighting men were volunteers to this point, Dieppe hardly spurred enlistment. None of the nine had regained sufficient strength to land on Juno Beach by D-Day, 6 June, 1944, the epical event that occurred three months prior to their return.

D-Day succeeded with far fewer casualties than its planners anticipated, in large part, said Allied commanders, due to bloody lessons learned at Dieppe. Cold comfort to Canadian soldiers but regardless of their scepticism, the nine regiments were as determined to return to Dieppe as they had been eager to undertake the raid. To that end, after the Battle of Normandy the task assigned to the Canadian Army was to seize key ports along the Channel to allow for easier massive transfers of manpower and matériel essential for the Allied advance to Berlin.

An aerial bombardment with offshore shelling from battleships was planned for early September 1st to soften German defences at Dieppe prior to the 2nd Division’s entry, this time by land two years and thirteen days after the raid. These preliminaries were eerily similar to the plans that provided utterly inadequate support for the landings two years and thirteen days ago. Now, in a cruel twist of irony, they were unnecessary.

After overcoming heavy resistance during its inexorable slog along the Channel, the 2nd Division’s last 70 km to Dieppe seemed a romp. It met only sporadic sniping as the German army, the Fuhrer’s once-invincible Wehrmacht, accepting the inevitable, hastily withdrew to defend Germany’s Rhine frontier. Thus the taking of Dieppe was almost a formality, yet nonetheless highly symbolic and a tonic to a war-weary nation and much more so for the nine regiments seeking some atonement for the carnage wrecked upon them two years and thirteen days ago. It also offered welcome deliverance to the beleaguered citizens of occupied Dieppe.

A halt was ordered outside city limits the eve of August 31. When the 2nd Division, Canadian Army entered next morning at 10:30, it was as spiffy for a “spit-and-polish” parade as field conditions permitted – cold-water shaves, shined boots, freshly-pressed uniforms from the quartermaster. The tumultuous greeting this time was purely vocal, from overjoyed citizens several ranks deep lining the parade route where two years and thirteen days ago they crouched in cellars, puzzled as to what had unleashed that hellish artillery fire pouring from their cliffs, unaware that Canadians were attempting a futile landing on their beach. First to enter Dieppe, buildings still pockmarked by bullets fired two years and thirteen days ago, were the regiments from 19 August 1942. To reporter Ross Monroe, accompanying the 2nd Division, this was “the most impressive and meaningful Canadian parade of the war.”

The initial orderliness eventually disintegrated, not from withering enemy fire but from effusive, long-repressed citizenry pressing forward offering flowers, wine and embraces. Parade marshals, likely aware of casualties in battles to come, allowed their “lads” to be swept away by the crowd. None paid café bills this day; many were treated to home-cooked meals in spite of the privations of rationing imposed by the occupiers. (One man I met at the Square du Canada, Dieppe, in 2004 said the raid was his earliest childhood memory. He had a jaundiced, albeit humorous, opinion of his Canadian liberators, in sharp contrast to that of his fellow Dieppois. Email me – hogtownlarry19@gmail.com - for his story of his life between the raid and the day of liberation.)

In spite of entreaties to celebrate, for the 25 or so from each regiment who landed here two years and thirteen days ago there was a greater necessity. However painful, they steeled themselves to revisit that beach where on its shingle man and vehicle floundered with fatal consequences. Formidable concrete defences of two years and thirteen days ago had been strengthened further; the esplanade now fully barbed wired, the beach now thoroughly mined. Then, led by locals, also non-festive, they reached a plot smothered with so many fresh flowers that the plain nameless wooden crosses were hard to discern. Local people situated this cemetery to overlook the beach. Without being ordered by the Germans they removed over 900 dead raiders, burying them here where they dutifully maintained this ground. They were ordered not to put flowers on graves nor erect any memento to the slain. Plans of the plot were kept clandestinely, with each deceased ID recorded to match each cross location, so that his name could be properly inscribed on his cross after the Occupation. A strengthening onshore wind now chilled the exposed hilltop cemetery.

They could hear comrades and other Dieppois beckoning them to join festivities in the town centre. Memories of two years and thirteen days ago would never be erased, but they would attempt to set them aside for a short bout of merrymaking. They had earned it.

Of the soldiers of the 2nd Division, Canadian Army nearing Dieppe in late August 1944, very few were returning. All nine regiments landing two years and thirteen days ago had then been decimated; for example, 502 of the 553 members of the “Essex Scottish” were casualties left on the beach. Each regiment had to painstakingly rebuild, as each had merely 25 or so survivors for this return engagement. As all of our fighting men were volunteers to this point, Dieppe hardly spurred enlistment. None of the nine had regained sufficient strength to land on Juno Beach by D-Day, 6 June, 1944, the epical event that occurred three months prior to their return.

D-Day succeeded with far fewer casualties than its planners anticipated, in large part, said Allied commanders, due to bloody lessons learned at Dieppe. Cold comfort to Canadian soldiers but regardless of their scepticism, the nine regiments were as determined to return to Dieppe as they had been eager to undertake the raid. To that end, after the Battle of Normandy the task assigned to the Canadian Army was to seize key ports along the Channel to allow for easier massive transfers of manpower and matériel essential for the Allied advance to Berlin.

An aerial bombardment with offshore shelling from battleships was planned for early September 1st to soften German defences at Dieppe prior to the 2nd Division’s entry, this time by land two years and thirteen days after the raid. These preliminaries were eerily similar to the plans that provided utterly inadequate support for the landings two years and thirteen days ago. Now, in a cruel twist of irony, they were unnecessary.

After overcoming heavy resistance during its inexorable slog along the Channel, the 2nd Division’s last 70 km to Dieppe seemed a romp. It met only sporadic sniping as the German army, the Fuhrer’s once-invincible Wehrmacht, accepting the inevitable, hastily withdrew to defend Germany’s Rhine frontier. Thus the taking of Dieppe was almost a formality, yet nonetheless highly symbolic and a tonic to a war-weary nation and much more so for the nine regiments seeking some atonement for the carnage wrecked upon them two years and thirteen days ago. It also offered welcome deliverance to the beleaguered citizens of occupied Dieppe.

A halt was ordered outside city limits the eve of August 31. When the 2nd Division, Canadian Army entered next morning at 10:30, it was as spiffy for a “spit-and-polish” parade as field conditions permitted – cold-water shaves, shined boots, freshly-pressed uniforms from the quartermaster. The tumultuous greeting this time was purely vocal, from overjoyed citizens several ranks deep lining the parade route where two years and thirteen days ago they crouched in cellars, puzzled as to what had unleashed that hellish artillery fire pouring from their cliffs, unaware that Canadians were attempting a futile landing on their beach. First to enter Dieppe, buildings still pockmarked by bullets fired two years and thirteen days ago, were the regiments from 19 August 1942. To reporter Ross Monroe, accompanying the 2nd Division, this was “the most impressive and meaningful Canadian parade of the war.”

The initial orderliness eventually disintegrated, not from withering enemy fire but from effusive, long-repressed citizenry pressing forward offering flowers, wine and embraces. Parade marshals, likely aware of casualties in battles to come, allowed their “lads” to be swept away by the crowd. None paid café bills this day; many were treated to home-cooked meals in spite of the privations of rationing imposed by the occupiers. (One man I met at the Square du Canada, Dieppe, in 2004 said the raid was his earliest childhood memory. He had a jaundiced, albeit humorous, opinion of his Canadian liberators, in sharp contrast to that of his fellow Dieppois. Email me – hogtownlarry19@gmail.com - for his story of his life between the raid and the day of liberation.)

In spite of entreaties to celebrate, for the 25 or so from each regiment who landed here two years and thirteen days ago there was a greater necessity. However painful, they steeled themselves to revisit that beach where on its shingle man and vehicle floundered with fatal consequences. Formidable concrete defences of two years and thirteen days ago had been strengthened further; the esplanade now fully barbed wired, the beach now thoroughly mined. Then, led by locals, also non-festive, they reached a plot smothered with so many fresh flowers that the plain nameless wooden crosses were hard to discern. Local people situated this cemetery to overlook the beach. Without being ordered by the Germans they removed over 900 dead raiders, burying them here where they dutifully maintained this ground. They were ordered not to put flowers on graves nor erect any memento to the slain. Plans of the plot were kept clandestinely, with each deceased ID recorded to match each cross location, so that his name could be properly inscribed on his cross after the Occupation. A strengthening onshore wind now chilled the exposed hilltop cemetery.

They could hear comrades and other Dieppois beckoning them to join festivities in the town centre. Memories of two years and thirteen days ago would never be erased, but they would attempt to set them aside for a short bout of merrymaking. They had earned it.

Celebrating Summer Camp Successs

Rowan, Elliott & Ronan are READY
SET
GO!!!

By John Smee

Naturally parents are concerned about the return to school coming shortly. There may be some comfort in knowing Variety Village has just successfully completed their 7 week summer camp.

Since July 6th the Village has hosted 400 children ranging in age from 5 to 14 and to their credit not a single camper, counsellor or staff member has come down with Covid-19.

So today they had a chance to share their story and celebrate their success.

As Karen Stintz said “under normal circumstances we wouldn’t celebrate the end of camp but this not a normal year and what we want to do was talk about why the camp was so successful and also showcase that it can be done during a pandemic and that as parents and kids are going back to school and let them know that there is a way, that there is a way forward.”

And a big part of that success was the kids themselves. According to Stintz “I would say that there are certainly a couple of things ...lessons that we’ve learned. Number 1 is that kids actually know what’s happening they are taking their precautions, they are washing their hands, they are sanitizing their hands, they are keeping their social distance, they understand that their are new rules.”

And while some parents may have been reluctant to send their little ones off to camp, every kid came back and there were parents that if they had booked two weeks they stayed for the two weeks and some parents extended to the whole summer because it's such a great experience for their kids.

Variety Village offers a truely unique experience because it’s one of the few places in the city where kids can come play along side kids with disabilities.

“We offer a unique service for the community and we know it's a service that the Community Values so when we weren't able to offer that service during the closure, it was a difficult time not just for us but for the community.

Just ask Lindsey Paisley whose son Pierce, age 8, attended camp this year along with his older brother Charlie aged 10. She describes the camp experience as “incredibly important”.

At first, when schools and Variety Village, were forced to closed Pierce was “out of his routine and didn’t really understand what was going on and he loves Variety Village. He loves other kids and he loves being social.”

During the closure, Paisley and her husband who both work full time, had to take morning and afternoon shifts with Pierce who requires continuous supervision. It also meant working until midnight sometimes to keep up with their demands of their jobs.

Feeling isolated? Stintz says “50% of kids with disabilities say they have no friends and so they live social isolation and so that’s why Variety Village becomes that much more important for these kids”

She goes on to say, “we were really excited when we were able to open camps and we were equally grateful to the families that trusted us to be able to provide this camp service for their kids. The feedback we had from the families that said their kids came out of their shell through the experience of being at camp.Kids have a new awareness around disability and inclusion by being part of our camps.”

Pierce, Andrew, and Variety Village CEO Karen Stintz just hangin' on the swing

So nervous parents may not have to look any further than Variety Village.

As Stintz says “of course the parents are going to be reluctant to send their kids back to school, I understand that, but I think we need to give credit to the kids too. That they know it's a new world.

Pearce and Andrew having some real fun now that they don't have to sit for the photographer
Toronto, CA
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