Lighting up the park in Morewood
Once again, the Morewood Recreation Association has added to the holiday spirit with the illumination of Veterans Memorial View Park on Fri., Nov. 27. The event was live streamed, however people are invited to enjoy the holiday decorations while walking or from their car throughout the holiday season. Thompson Goddard Photo

MOREWOOD – Since 2015 the Morewood Recreation Association (MRA) has provided families an opportunity to visit with friends and neighbours, enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate and then watch as the Christmas lights in Veterans Memorial View Park are turned on for the first time. 

This past Fri., Nov. 27, the MRA held their annual tree lighting event at Veterans View Park located at the main intersection of this North Dundas community, with a bit of a difference this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the necessity to ensure people’s safety. The tree lighting ceremony was live streamed with people able to enjoy the lighting from the comfort of their homes. Katie Lesage, MRA acting president/vice president, in an email to The Chesterville Record, encouraged people “to visit our little park” either by car or walking to enjoy the holiday lights.

Lesage continued donations from the community provided financial support for a professional service to decorate and maintain the lights on the big tree. She explained how additional decorations and lights, some of which were donated by the township of North Dundas, were designed to help raise people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MRA members decorated the remainder of the park with MRA member Brent Richard providing “little trees that the kids can hang hand-made ornaments on.” Morewood RA member Glenn Smirle spearheaded a new campaign to have “Merry Christmas” signs erected at the entrances to the community as well as facilitating the hiring of the decorating service for set up and maintenance of the big tree lights.

On behalf of the MRA, Lesage wished to thank the community for participating and enjoying the lights at Veterans View Park before expressing a sincere thank you to Morewood and North Dundas businesses, the Chesterville Lions Club, the Morewood Presbyterian Church and community members for their donations, commenting “Its so greatly appreciated. We are truly blessed.” 

She also extended thanks to the North Dundas Fire Service (NDFS) Station No. 1 in Morewood “for all their support. They are a wonderful group of volunteers that not only protect us but offer up their time to volunteer and help/partner with MRA events” throughout the year. Lesage explained how NDFS Station No. 1 chief Ken Byers with Debbie Courneyea and Laurie Rae spearheaded the effort to revitalize the MRA in 2015 in an effort to “bring the community together” at a time when the Morewood Branch of the SDG County Library system was facing closure.

She described the MRA as a community organization which strives to do “what’s in the best interest of our community.” While the membership has changed over the years, the organization continues to provide “our town and our community” with year round activities such as BBQ’s, children’s movies and crafts, a Halloween party, winter carnival and the annual tree lighting. Lesage continued, in addition to these activities, an “earth day community clean-up day, planters at Veterans View, banners for spring/summer and fall/winter” are some of the community projects the MRA is involved in. 

2021 marks the centennial of the dedication of the Morewood Cenotaph on which are listed the names of residents killed in World War One, World War Two and acknowledges participants in the Korean War below a statue of Capt. Ernest Glasgow. When asked, Lesage commented a donation of $5,000 dollars was recently donated by the MRA to the Morewood Memorial Association to be used for projects associated with the centennial commemorations. She explained how the MRA “decided that the cenotaph and what it commemorates is very important to Canada and to our town.”

The Morewood Recreation Association volunteers, with the support of community organizations and residents, continues to provide an opportunity to enjoy some fun and fellowship. For more information or to see what is happening next in Morewood, please visit their Facebook page.