Thursday Oct. 17, 2019

Oct. 17, 2019

19 sept 2019

Real Estate Listings



CommuniTree CONFERENCE from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Just Food Farm, Big Red Barn, 2nd floor - 2391 Pepin Court in Blackburn Hamlet. Check in and registration at 8 a.m. The Conference will include various panels, a networking break and a tour of a Community Food Forest. This is an opportunity for community members to share tree-related stories, data and projects and provide attendees with new ideas, information and resources to carry out tree-related initiatives in their communities.

HALLOWE'EN HIJINX from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. A day of family-friendly Halloween fun at the museum! Wear your costume and explore the origins of Halloween traditions as you collect some yummy treats along the way. Complete a scavenger hunt, create your own masquerade mask and more! Cost: $19.75 per family (2 adults + children); $7.75 adults; $5.50 seniors, children and students. Children 5 and under are free.

THE GLOUCESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY will present a talk by military historian Captain Steven Dieter entitled “From Normandy to the Scheldt.” This will take place at 2 p.m. at the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood, and will include a guided tour of the National Military Cemetery for those who wish to take it. Admission is free.

ORLEANS COMMUNITY SPAGHETTI SUPPER AND SILENT AUCTION hosted by the Orléans Lions Club from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the basement of St. Joseph Church, 2757 St. Joseph Blvd. Tickets: Adults $13 ; Children under 12 $5 available at th door or in advance from members or by sending an e-mail to (or call Lion Jean Paul at 613-830-7035). Tickets include spaghetti and freshly made sauce with buns, dessert, tea and coffee. Cash bar. All profits to support Camp Banting, a summer camp for kids with diabetes.


Keeper of Navan’s Tweedsmuir History passes away at 92
By Fred Sherwin
July 11, 2019

When she was alive, Verna Cotton was a walking, talking treasure trove of information when it came to the history of her beloved Navan where she was born and raised and lived until health issues forced her to move to a retirement residence in Orléans. On June 4, she passed away after a lengthy illness at the age of 92.

Verna served many roles over the years. She was twice married. Her first husband, Ralph Savage, died in 1955 after just six years of marriage. She eventually remarried three years later to Syd Cotton and the pair operated a dairy farm just outside of town on Trim Road.

She was involved in nearly aspect of Navan life and was a teller at the original RBC branch in the late 50s and early 1960s. But it was her role as one of the founding member of the Navan Women’s Institute that she was most proud of, and in particular her role as curator of Navan’s Tweedsmuir History books from 1984 to the time of her passing.

The Tweedmuir History books are a collection of newspaper articles, letters, programs, photographs, wedding notices and anything else that documents the community’s local history.

There are more than 940 other communities in Ontario who keep a Tweedsmuir History. The histories were initiated by Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir, in 1945 in collaboration with the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario. Verna was the third curator of the Navan Tweedsmuir History.

Most community histories consist of two or three volumes. During Verna’s tenure as curator, the Navan Tweedsmuir History grew to more than eight volumes.

Besides her work as village historian, Verna was also a member of St. Mary’s Anglican Church and served as the church’s envelope secretary for more than 40 years. She was a founding member of the Cumberland Historical Society and contributed to both the Murder in Navan and History of the Domes publications.

Life-long friend and fellow Navan resident Ross Bradley sat behind Verna at church for more years than he can remember. He will remember her as a woman who devoted her life to collecting and safeguarding the community’s history.

“She was a wonderful person and she will be greatly missed,” says Bradley.

It was a little known secret Verna was also an avid baker, having won the Baking Queen competition at the Navan Fair on three separate occasions and she was an enthusiastic bowler for over 50 years.

Although she never had any children of her own, she always had time for her many nieces and nephews including former Cumberland mayor and Conservative MPP Brian Coburn who delivered her eulogy during the memorial service on June 10.

“Perhaps it is unfortunate that it is only when we lose someone that we find out the multitude of things in which they were involved that have benefited all of us in one way or another,” Coburn said about his aunt.

“Events, organizations, celebrations etc that we go to and enjoy, but don’t give a lot of thought as to the effort and work that goes on behind the scenes to that make an event or organization successful. Verna was one of many workers behind the scenes who make our community of Navan such a wonderful place to call home. Rest in peace, Verna.”

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)



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