Ellen grew up on a mixed operational farm in East Templeton, QC. During WW II, she worked with Secret Operations of the Department of Defence, living then in a bungalow on Scott St. She later moved to her bungalow of choice at 898 Iroquois Rd. (at that time known as Chenier Ave.) between Carling Ave. and Strathmore Blvd., with the bathroom on the main floor. At the time she moved into the Redwoods Retirement Home, she had lived on Iroquois Rd. for 42 yrs.
In her earlier years, Ellen had been a founding member of the Ottawa Ski Club, helping cut ski trails, doing winter camping and horseback riding. When Iris and I arrived on Iroquois Rd. in 1967, one house removed from hers and also on the west side, Ellen was retired, but still rode her bicycle and pursued cross-country skiing. She travelled extensively with other single women friends.
Ellen was a wise, frugal, but very generous person in all respects. She left a bequest of $5,000 to Woodroffe and a $1,000 bequest to the Woodwark Student Bursary Fund. She was interred at Templeton United Church Cemetery (now part of Gatineau city) on 11 May 2013.
She became very much part of our family by mutual informal adoption.
As I write this, all the weather reports are telling us to prepare for a late, and cold, spring. That kind of sums up this winter, doesn’t it? I hope we’ll have flowers for Easter, but it does seem to be a bit distant right at this moment.
But whether Spring is here or not, Easter is! The central Christian holiday, Easter marks the climax of Jesus’ life, and the most important event of our year. Our preparation for Easter starts on Shrove Tuesday, and has carried through the season of Lent. We have celebrated our Anniversary in that time, been led in worship by scouts and guides, celebrated Communion, and welcomed new members. All while engaging in the prayer and reflection that Lent encourages upon us.
I love the movement of Holy Week, and the events of Easter weekend. We start with the high of celebration on Palm Sunday, and move through the days of the last week of Jesus’ life. Most of the Gospels agree that Jesus visiting the temple and throwing over the tables took place on the Monday of Holy Week. On each of the following days, Jesus would return to the city to teach and to speak to the crowds, before slipping back out ahead of the police looking to arrest him. On Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples, a tradition that we remember in our own Seder Meal. Then on Friday, he was tried, found not guilty, and executed. That is not the end of the story. But without all those events, Easter morning just doesn’t make sense. The early rising sun on Easter morning is so much more powerful because of the darkness that has gone before it.
This is the season not only of resurrection, but of rebirth and renewal. All those “re-” words! This is a time for starting again, for finding new ideas, and new ways of living our lives, both in the Congregation, and at home. I wish for you a joyous Easter, and a new life full of excitement and challenge.
We are in the middle of another busy year at Woodroffe. Fundraisers and other activities are continuing as in other years, despite our major reduction in Ministerial hours, with the help of volunteers stepping up to help when asked. Here is an update on Stewardship activities, completed, underway, and planned, since the last Uniter.
As you can see from Joe’s article, we are in better financial shape now than we have been in some time, and are truly Building for the Future. We have no current special fund raising campaigns, since our washrooms have been refurbished and fully paid for. However, the building fund also covers unexpected expenses, such as leaking roofs. Also, Admin and Finance would love to be able to give the Scout Hall a long overdue facelift, so any donations to the building fund will help us to be good stewards of our church building.
Poinsettiaswere once again popular before Christmas, and sales added about $250 to our coffers. The recent frozen berries sales netted almost $300 for the church, and will be enjoyed by many. The HST Auction will be taking place on March 29 after church. We are planning to serve lasagna and salad, with baked goodies for dessert, as a change from the hamburgers and sausages of the last few years. Tickets for the lunch will be sold throughout the month of March. Please offer your treasures, your talent and your time and come bid on the many items which will be auctioned off by a professional auctioneer.
Believe it or not, spring will come, flowers will bloom, and this winter will someday be over! On Saturday, May 23, we are holding the second Baking, Books and Blooms sale. We will focus again on things that are very popular with our congregation, tied to the spring and planting season: plants/gardening items, baked good and books (for your summer reading pleasure). You may again see back bacon on a bun this year! We will be asking for support from the congregation: for baked goods; for books that suit the spring or summer activities; and perennials, annuals, house plants, plant pots or gardening tools. Note that this is not the long weekend, but the weekend following the long weekend in May.
Also, sometime in June or early July, strawberries will be ready and it will be time for the Strawberry Social, the final fun- and fund-raiser of the church year.
If you have any ideas for fundraising that would be fun and could benefit your church, please let anyone on the Stewardship Committee know. We can always use new ideas and energy to put them into action. Current members are Tricia Curtis, Shirley Hockin, Sue and Joe Smarkala, Matt Gallinger and Bob Walkington.
After surviving the coldest February in at least the last 35 years, if not ever, it was a joy to welcome the much warmer first days of March. Hopefully, Old Cold Man Winter will go out with a whimper and not a bang as we celebrate Lent and the lengthening days of spring. Our Christian Education Committee continues to be busy supporting different groups of our congregation as well as those who use our church for their gatherings. We would like to share in a review of recent activities and those to come in the next few months.
Our Church has been the sponsor of the 96th Ottawa Scouts for many years and as a member of the group committee, I can say it is a fabulous group that is thriving. The recent Scout Guide Service on February 22nd (Baden-Powell’s actual birthday!), was a joy to watch as each beaver, cub and scout told jokes, sang songs or did a skit. Remember, at campfires, we do cheers - some would say that they are grrrrrrrr-ate!
The Library Sub-committee ensures our library is stocked with interesting and insightful books for children and adults alike. I encourage you to check on a regular basis to see if there is something that catches your attention. Elsewhere in this issue librarian Don Mutch notes 2 new books.
As Lent is a time for reflection, the children are currently learning about this season in the Church School. A Lenten Reflection Group for adults meets every Friday morning until Easter.
Speaking of Easter, as the children learn about its significance, I am sure many of them are also thinking of the impending visit by the Easter Bunny! As a parent I always marvel at the hiding places the Easter Bunny chooses to hide goodies. Easter is not just one day (but the Easter Bunny only comes once!) but a season of celebration that extends 50 days until Pentecost, which will bring us very close to the end of the Church School year.
It is hard to imagine at this time, but we are already thinking about the end of the Church School year. As a celebration of its end, the Christian Education Committee will be planning games for the school’s year-end barbecue.
Like many committees, it takes a lot of dedicated people and volunteers to make things happen. These people include the committee and sub-committee members, those leading morning reflection groups, the Church School teachers, the Toddler Room volunteers, a dedicated Church School Co-ordinator, and, of course, the children. We are blessed to have them all!
The Mission and Service and Christian Education Committees would like to thank the congregation for their contributions to the Chipembi Girls’ Secondary School bursary, a mission accomplished! Both the Presbytery Dinner on February 10 & the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on February 17, helped us reach our goal of raising more than $3,000 to send a girl in Zambia to school for five years. The Presbytery Dinner raised about $600 and the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper raised another $235.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to all of those who helped us to feed the multitudes at these dinners and the Stone Soup lunch. Thanks to your help we were able to prepare and serve Stone Soup to 70 congregants, a spaghetti dinner to 75 attendees of the Presbytery Dinner, and over 75 friends, family, and congregants at Shrove Tuesday’s pancake supper. We could not have done it without your help and we tip our hats to everyone who pitched in either physically or monetarily: Steve Mairs, Sally Falkner, Peter Morrison; Pat, Brent Cuthbert & team, Doug McKee, Joe & Sue Smarkala, Carolyn Williams, Cathy& John Seaborn, Ralph &Trisha Curtis, Shirley Hockin, George Neville, Ray Cuthbert, Joe Holmes, Lynn Crocker, Dave Watson, and Pat Pearson (and we apologise if we have missed anyone.) Woodroffe United Church parishioners make a great team!