April 2020
Volume 31, Issue 8

First the important news!!  The Brookfield Mens Club (BMC) Ladies Night Extravaganza has been moved from its traditional April date to May 18 - that date to be re-visited in a few weeks. Despite some being creatures of habit, please do NOT show up on April 20 expecting the annual gala. Hopefully, it will proceed on Victoria Day?!? – a decision to be made by the end of April.

       Until some weeks ago, when most of us heard the word corona, we tended to think of a popular bygone Toyota model, or the edge of the sun visible during a total solar eclipse, or perhaps even cerveza. But not anymore - the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic has turned most people's world upside down, not unlike an inverted snow globe! The nettlesome microbe has impacted all - cancellations hit most every facet of life as we knew it. Public health officials became the new oracles, and most of the population dutifully followed their instructions. Mathematicians were quietly pleased, as the great majority of the populace, who had never before displayed an interest were now boning up on asymptotes, standard deviations, X and Y axes, slopes, and all things related to ciphering out "the curve" on a graph showing expected contagion rates and spread rate. Travelers returning to Nova Scotia were compelled to self-isolate for 14 days, lest their travels brought them into contact with infected parties. "Soft-talkers" went unheard, as "physical distancing" (aka 'anti-social' distancing) became the new normal, requiring all to keep 2 metres (6.6 feet) apart. Organizations' meetings were thwarted as mandates were handed down restricting gatherings to a half-dozen; e mails, video-and-tele-conferences filled the gaps for most groups, albeit a lot less effectively. The restrictions had civil libertarians gnashing their teeth, but they bit their tongues and complied, filing it under the “greater good”. Sadly funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life also have been deferred - it is hard not to lend a hand or a shoulder to our grieving friends and neighbors. Citizens who hit the sidewalks for their limited fitness regimens looked Python-esque, walking onto roadways and lawns to give each other wide berths. While pay packets, business revenues, and savings accounts all shrank for most, there was something being gained - though most weren't thrilled to be packing on pounds with the loss of access to gyms, parklands, recreation, and training facilities. The forced togetherness has seen several spouses gain new insights into their partners!

     At this writing, the public schools and universities have been shuttered. The prohibition will last at least until May 1. Collegians are receiving their lessons/instruction via online methods, and the Department of Education is formulating instructional stratagems for Grades P-12. School athletic programs and extra-curricular events for the remainder of the academic year have been scrubbed.  Sadly, both churches in our village have closed their doors, in the midst of the Lenten season, and congregants have had to view Holy Week/Easter services online! The Sportsplex suffered major losses, as the closure edicts resulted in the cancellation of three major hockey tournaments, including the Ladies Pink Ribbon event in support of cancer research, and the Peter and Mary Agnes Memorial Tournament, the annual four day event that brings 1st Nations players and fans from all over the Maritimes. The Brookfield Curling Club had league playoffs aborted mid-stream and the St. Patrick's Day and 31st Annual Great Community Curling Classic went by the boards. Rentals, canteen, food and beverage revenues lost from these events (and other hockey rentals/playoffs) will be in the $ 52,000 range! The very popular annual Youth Expo hosted by the Women That Hunt, which brings 2 -3000 people to the village, is another casualty.

      Many businesses/proprietorships have taken a massive body blow, as restrictions or outright closures have reduced some business flows to a trickle. As we collectively tumble headlong into a recession, we can only hope it is of short duration - but even if the virus is just a bad memory 2 - 4 months from now, the economic recovery will take much longer. We are a hardy people - we hope that all our readers persevere and push toward better days ahead, physically, economically, and psychologically/emotionally.

    The BMC was able to hold their March meeting - as already stated, Ladies Night was re-set to May, with the April 20 meeting - now cancelled - geared to handle their plans for spring/summer. This delay allows an extension for nominations for the BMC Eagle Award - committee chair Austin Ross (673-2260, austinross@eastlink.ca)  will now accept suggestions until April 24. While we are asking for the public's input, we will mention that the Brookfield Athletic Association (BAA c/o mdhenderson@eastlink.ca, 673-2769), will welcome nominations for the Randy Roop Memorial Award, presented yearly to a citizen who has made significant contribution to the community's sporting life, be it through leadership, sponsorship, or competitive actions.

      The Brookfield Community Assembly (BCA) had earmarked April 25 as
Community Clean-Up Day - this date is now another victim of COVID-19 - it will hopefully be re-scheduled later in the spring. The BCA provides leadership and supplies, and has been joined by the BMC and 569 G N Henderson Squadron, who have done their respective Adopt-a Highway routes at the same time, and from the students at SCA, who have hoovered the ditch along the 289 from the Creamery Brook to the east end of the elementary school. As both the Cadets and school students are without a home, their activities, including help with this important work, hopefully can come at a later date. It is the hope of the community's leadership that many of our residents will come out, when the new date is announced, and join the above-mentioned volunteers and pick the trash from the ditches. The BCA coordinates supplies of garbage bags, pick-up of same, gloves, safety vests, etc - all we need is you! Participation has dwindled the past two years, and there has been a distinct shortage of 'people-power', which has made it impossible to do all the by-ways. The ask this year is for residents to clean up in front of their own properties; this will free the volunteers to do the more heavily-polluted areas, typically the ditches not in front of homes. Many Brookfielders have no ditches whatsoever, so minimal-to-no work - perhaps you can help the BMC/BCA groups, or a friend/neighbour with their ditch. Locations with deeper ditches, which tend to gather more junk, include Trunk 2 South from civic # 680 to the CN tracks; Hwy 289 West from civic # 35 to the railway (and beyond);  the Upper Brookfield Road, and from that avenue east along 289 to Alder Brook;  John Bell Road; and Trunk 2 North from Brookfield Lumber to John Bell Rd. (this is nominally part of the Cadets range, but they have to go all the way to Hilden, so hopefully Brookfielders can relieve them along this prominent stretch). So please be prepared to assist when the time eventually comes; or tackle your immediate area anytime!

      There were travelers - some were gone and back before the pandemic; others were forced to cut stays short, and get back ASAP to Home Sweet Home, to start their 14 day self-isolation.  Charlie and Kathy Weatherbee and Jonathan Woolfitt and Jodie Matheson and families arrived in Quebec for ski holidays; but their arrival synched with the closure of the resorts due to COVID-19! Dave and Anitra Whidden visited their daughter and grandkids in Newfoundland. The Dominican Republic lured Brian and Sherry Stewart, Kraig and Julie MacKenzie, Dan, Lexie, and Kristen Stewart, and Shann and Ginny Singer; while Florida was the destination for Daisy Hingley, Barb, Angela and Emma Nelson, Myrna Clarke, Shirley Comeau and Patty Stewart, and Theresa and Hayley Elliot. Karen Pierce went to Alberta and BC; Phil and Kitty McMullin were in Florida and Arizona and Gail Wright visited relatives in Arizona. Laurie "Chip" and Maxine Monk went to their home-away-from-home in Costa Rica. Scores of others cancelled their trips; Nova Scotia never looked so good to most!

      The community grieved the loss of several near and dear. BMClub-man Brian Campbell died from esophageal cancer at 70 - he and Gwen had retired back home after their careers in HRM; he was a regular at the golf and curling clubs, and a valued contributor to the BAA's Sports Draw. Baptist Church Minister Emeritus and BMCer Frank Locke lost his wife, the very athletic Hazel, 90. Former Intermediate Elks pitcher and long-time Stewiacke town councilor Russel Stoddard died, as did Gerald Graham in Eastville - brother to Maxine Monk and brother-in-law to Shirley Graham. Former member of the Sportsplex Board of Directors and original Cruise Missile Brookfield native Brian "Yankee" MacDonald died of pancreatic cancer in Windsor, far too young at 66. The same scourge claimed another great volunteer, (principally with 4-H), Hamilton Ave. native Elwood "Woody" MacDonald of Alton. Woody died on his 65th birthday; like Yankee, he was the father of four. Gerald Cox of Bell Road died on his 75th birthday, he leaves his partner Jean Fisher and four sons. He was known for his recycling efforts. Carline (Lynds) MacMullin, 64 formerly of Whidden Road died in Alberta – she was a daughter of Dora and the late Carl Lynds; sister to Fulton and Cindy. Isabel Henderson, 90, died in Pictou - she was the widow of Rev. John Henderson, who ministered to the Knox flock in the 50’s (and was a solid player for the 1953-54 Elk title team). Paul Ransome, 72 died in Halifax - he was a brother to former Elks outfielder Doug Ransome; and ex-batboy (1975-76) George Fisher, 59, died in Truro. Grace MacKenzie's sister, Ellen Miller 74, died in Truro; and former Brookfield Lumber employee Steve Cloney, 61, died in Oxford. Eric Storr's mother-in-law, Nancy Logue, 80, died in Wolfville. One of the truly nice people – Sandra Feetham, 64 slipped away after suffering from Alzheimer’s for many years. She leaves Farrell and three kids (Luke, Laura, and Rylan). Our sympathies go to all who mourn losses.

      Travel embargoes kept some away, but it was nice to see Leeann Medaglia, Tyler's Mum, in town from the Ottawa area; likewise Cody Locke and gal-pal Katherine Lahey were at Steve and Krista's. Katherine is in the veterinary program at UPEI, and found the internet here more favourable for her now-online classes, as opposed to her home on the island. Scott and Mike Johnson were home at Wayne and Sheila's, from Nunavut and Toronto, respectively. Eric and Lauren Matzner from BC were visiting grandparents Herb and Betty MacFarlane, and aunt Gail. Welcome Nancy Graham, a Dean native to the Brandt Lane apartments and Gary Fisher and Stephanie Morrell (and their boxer Prince Charles!) to the “Reclaimed Cottage” apartments.

     Congratulations to Adam MacDonald (Woody, Ruth) on his marriage to Elsa - happily Woody was able to attend the ceremony. Doug and Chris Bernard celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary; family and friends gave a “drive-by” greetings, tooting horns and waving signs, while respecting “physical distancing”! From the wilds of Northern Alberta comes word that Lewis Ingram and Lana Crewe, are grandparents FIVE times over! Their kids have been busy - in Toronto, Byron and Alyssa added Ivy in the fall, a sister for Edwin. Last summer things really heated up in Ft. McMurray – their daughter Kailee and Tony Huffman had twins Charles and Gabriel, and less than 4 weeks later, their son Justin and Ashley gave birth to Ellie. This gives the Ingrams a hockey team (Lana in net, five skaters, and former Cruise Missile Lewis calling the shots from the bench!). We hope they lug the whole brood back here before too long! Ryan Delaney and Ellen Atkinson brought home baby Hazel, a sister for Emmett - they live in the former Reclaimed Cottage building downtown. Now that the German Elite Hockey League season has, like sports everywhere, come to a screeching halt, there will be more time for hockey star Zach Sill to care for his and Leanne's new son, Lachlan Dean Sill, born in Koln (Cologne) on the banks of the Rhine on St. Patricks’s Day. Tammy and Grant Sill are thrilled to have a grand-son. Danique Henderson’s sister, Alexandria Rowsell, gave birth to Drew, in North Carolina. All the new births are heartwarming and exciting, for the families, and the community at large.
Football Nova Scotia cited a couple of local gridders with Offensive MVP awards for their play with the Truro Minor Football Assoc. Henry Jamieson (Ian, Erin) was named in the Mite division, while Eric Fields (Mike, Sharon) was the Bantam honouree!  All Around the Circle (AAtC) Seniors lounge hosted a fund-raising dinner for the Colchester Community Workshops that drew forty supporters.

Special applause for all those in occupations so needed by the rest of us - health-care providers, emergency services responders, those working in transportation and supply chain positions, cleaners, grocery and pharmacy staffers, those in essential production facilities, and more – THANK YOU!

Recovering from hip surgery is curler Dave Bangay; and Lacey MacDonald has been dragging around a boot to protect her ankle, broken in a fall; hopefully both back to full speed soon. Sheila Johnson is battling cancer, we pray for the best result for her.

      Sixty years ago, in early April 1960, the Brookfield Elks, NS Rural Hockey Champions, after an undefeated season (!!), played an exhibition game at the Truro Forum against a team made up of several Boston Bruins, led by star Fleming Mackell. Other Bruins, who downed the Elks 11 - 7 before a capacity crowd, were goalie Don Simmons, Leo Labine, Bob Armstrong, Jerry Topazzini; they were reinforced by Maritime pros Willie O'Ree, Chook Maxwell, and Forbes Kennedy.  Among the Elks on that team managed by Don Henderson, were Herman Murphy, Charlie Burnett, Lyle Carter, Don Stevens, Dave Fisher, Gerry Miller, Wally Fisher, Alfie Conrad, Lyle Bryson, Vaughn Briggs, Bryan Watson, Bobby Graham, Dave Benjamin, John, Hugh, and Win Matheson, Terry, Turk, Ned, and Phil Henderson.

      Fifty years ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice produced the incredible rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. The double album, subsequently made into a movie and stage productions, was a ground-breaking chronicle of Christ's last week. Though decried by some of the older set for what some saw as blasphemy, the innovative and brilliant score and lyrics made the lead-up to the crucifixion much more easily understood and relatable to the Baby Boomer generation. For them, the opus “humanized” the Scriptures, which were not easily read/comprehended in the biblical translations available prior to 1970. JCS very much resonated with them, and led to an upswing in interest in Christianity. Have a listen; the original recording is readily available on Apple Music.

With the uncertainty we find ourselves in, it is likely a mug's game to advise you of planned events - but we shall try, with the proviso to watch for further notices; hopefully most go as scheduled?! The BMC-sponsored Fish-a-Rama was slated for May 30 at the Wetlands Trailit was cancelled as the Fisheries Department will not be supplying fish this season. The Terry Fox Book and Bake Sale has been re-scheduled for June 13; The Terry Fox Golf Tournament is August 12.  As might be expected, the Brookfield Fire Service 75th Anniversary celebration, scheduled for May, has been postponed indefinitely – probably until September or October. Further details later. Coming Home to Brookfield celebrations (this year’s theme is Past History, Future Dreams) will be July 18-26, the Whing Ding July 24-25. The 32nd annual Elks Golf Scramble is set for Saturday July 4 at Brookfield Golf Club, which hopefully does not face a truncated season?!?!  Beating the dimpled ball while walking in the fresh air is one of the best therapies known! The Air Cadet Squadron's Annual Ceremonial Review and Inspection is slated for May 23 at the Sportsplex. Margie (Archibald) Johnson is hoping to hear from members (and teachers) of the SCHS Class of 1970, as they mark fifty years since receiving their sheepskins. (Trivia questions - what Principal shook the grads hands that night, and without consulting your yearbook, can you name four members of that class??) For more info, contact Margie at 673-2543, or msjohnson@eastlink.ca, or via FaceBook at SCHS 70. On the downside, in addition to those postponements already mentioned, AAtC has cancelled until further notice, their luncheon meetings, card parties, Chair Yoga, Good Time Fiddlers practices, and all other events.

Happy Easter, and be well!!

The Eagle

Trivia answers:  It was Principal C. G. "Tiny" Sutherland's last year at the helm of SCHS;  a few of the Class of '70 with local flavour - Rick Hiltz, Arlene Archibald, Jack Campbell, Lauren Sandmo, Phil McMullin, Margie Archibald, Gordie Tucker, Graham Benvie, Betty DeCoste, Paul Gamble, Graham Burrows, Pete and Richard Sutherland.