Friday, February 14, 2014

Clockmakers Inn, 74th Crusaders & Amazing Kids

The Clockmakers Inn has a history that reaches back to 1894 when it was built for a wealthy sea captain named Rufus Curry who passed away in 1934. 

His wife stayed in the house until 1946 and for the next 10 years this French Chateau styled home was a nursing home called Windsor Manor.

Today the home is a Bed & Breakfast that has been renovated from top to bottom. Every room has its own bathroom, there is Wi-Fi and air-conditioning and all of the modern conveniences like cable TV are available. And yet, history lives on here.
From the original woodwork to the gorgeous grand staircase and stained glass windows this Registered Provincial Heritage Property truly is a testament to the care it’s been given by the Dunham’s.

In total, the Clockmakers Inn offers 8 rooms for guests, with some of them being suites that include kitchenettes! It’s not pet friendly but they do have a business they work with called the Hound Tales Inn that will take your pooch over night.

There are 5 fireplaces and 24 rooms and a wrap around veranda that is simply magnificent in it’s size and the comforts it offers. There is a carriage house where the young Dunham’s live and immense grounds that offer a fair amount of privacy because of the way they are planted.

The house is filled with antiques and hand paintings and it is a marvelous place to stay. The beds were comfortable; the hot water for the shower plentiful and strong, the room was well appointed and breakfast was hot, tasty and plentiful.

The only thing that I did not particularly enjoy was the one child, probably around 3 or 3 1/2 years old, leaving his toys all over the stairs; it made for treacherous stairs with so many people going up and down as they were checking out.

Grandma was doing her best to keep a rein on him but you know what little ones are like.
I had truly enjoyed my stay here. My only regret, as with every other place I have really liked, is that I only got to enjoy it for a bit and then not to it’s fullest either.

Packed up and ready to head out, I gave Darren a quick call to let him know I was leaving.

I was meeting him and one of the other CAV guys, Ollie, in Greenwood for an interview with a reporter from the Aurora Newspaper.

It was an over cast day and it felt like we were in for some rain.
And oh did we get rain!

We had decided we were going to stop in to the 74th Crusaders clubhouse. There was a scooter rally on so we knew the clubhouse would be open. We got there and about 3 minutes later the skies opened up, man was I glad we were done with the gravel road to get into the place!

We hung out had a coffee and I met so many great people – the guys from the scooter rally were seriously crazy people.

I met Joey and Jim and Dave and so many others that I can’t remember their names but they all had one thing in common – they were kind beyond belief. This is a hard working riding club that does some major charity work in their region and it’s too bad that Mother Nature didn’t hold out for us a bit so I could really see the campground they have built here.
The club rents it out to others when they aren’t using it and it’s been the site of weddings and family reunions and crazy scooter rallies!

When the rain finally let up from its absolutely torrential downpour, we jumped on the bikes and headed for Yarmouth. We didn’t stay dry for long.

It poured and the wind howled and it was positively NASTY! There were places we were down to 30 and 40 KPH and it felt like it took forever to get to Yarmouth.
In fact it took over 5 hours to do what should have taken 2 – 2/12 hours! 

We had picked up a couple more CAV members about two hours out of Yarmouth where we had to beg at the Tim Horton’s to let our friends little dogs come inside to warm up and thaw out. The young man on duty called his manager, explained the situation and as long as the dogs we constantly being held and not making any noise and we sat in the back, by the door well away from any food we were OK – so that’s what we did.

After a bowl of soup where everyone was taking turns holding the dogs so we could all eat and warm up, we plodded back to the bikes. Riding in this stuff was no fun but we had no choice, I had to be in Yarmouth where my room was, regardless of the fact there would be no ride this night.

Just outside of Yarmouth PackRat was waiting for us at the Afghanistan Memorial at the Yarmouth School.

We spent some time admiring the gorgeous monument – there wasn’t any point thought in trying to dig out the camera.

We rode in to Yarmouth and got me checked in. It was decided that Darren – Willie as we call him would stay with me since I had two beds – it was simply too nasty for him to be riding back to Greenwood.

Everyone went their separate ways but were told that Mr. B and some of his kids were going to drop by and visit us. Willie and I took turns getting disrobed from soggy wet gear and into something dry and warm.

While he had a hot shower and changed, I went to the front desk to find out about take out etc and then remembered, I have wine and cheese. With the help of the front desk gal, she and I scrounged some bagels from the breakfast room to have with the wine and cheese I had gotten the day before, she even found a corkscrew – funny how that happens huh! This was going to be our supper. I asked about laundry facilities and she said no problem, we can dry some of your gear for you.

With that I went back to the room and was assaulted by the smell of stinky wet leather. We had our boots on the heat register and it was turned up on high and the room was beginning to feel like a sauna.

I dropped off the bagels and the corkscrew and headed back to the desk with the stuff that could go in the dryer.

The wind was just howling outside. I kept going to the patio door to check on the bikes that were parked up front under the canopy. We might as well have had them in front of the room because the wind was coming from the exposed direction and they were soaked anyway!

At about 7:30 we got a call that someone was here to meet us – it was Mr. Joe Bishara and students Sam Turpin and Carly Churchill of the Maple Grove/Yarmouth Memorial Club.
In their own words, here is who the Memorial Club is and it’s history:
The Maple Grove/Yarmouth High Schools

Memorial Club began as the “Memorial Committee” in the fall of 1985. It was started by teacher Joe Bishara in response to the apathy and indifference that was being shown towards veterans, seniors and our war dead by both adults and students.

Initially the club consisted of twelve students and their interest was in erecting a monument at Maple Grove Education Centre, in Hebron, Yarmouth Co., N.S. to honour our wardead and Veterans. With the full support of the school principal, Gary Archibald, and under the guidance of Joe Bishara, enough funds were raised by the student body in only three months to erect the monument in May of 1986. The official dedication and unveiling took place in November of 1986, with a large number of veterans and members of the public attending.

The project is the first of its kind in Canada, where students raised thousands of dollars to erect a monument on school grounds to honour the sacrifices of our veterans and perpetuate the memory of our valiant war dead.

Over the years the Memorial Club has grown to average almost 150 junior and senior high school members annually. It expanded to the Yarmouth High School in 1993. The members have written their own constitution, prayer, and pledge. The success of the club stems from the initiative of its members. They decide which functions and events they will take part in. Members of the club volunteer their time by taking part in approximately fifty functions a year. Their volunteer work teaches them the true meaning of respect, sacrifice, volunteering and especially leadership. The average dedicated member amasses over three hundred hours of volunteer service each year.

The Memorial Club could not survive without the full support of the administration and staff of MGEC and a parent support group which organizes fundraising events, event details and chaperoning trips and club meetings.

As I listened to these passionate, passionate young people talk about being in service to their fellow man, the visits to the veterans, the fundraising, the sacrifices they made considering their ages, I was dumbfounded.

There needs to be this kind of initiative in every school across this country and it is my hopes to start spreading the word to schools and students far and wide by helping to build a web page that teaches people everything they need to know on how to start the same kind of program in their region. I am working with Mr. B and Sam on this project.

After the kids and Mr. B left, Willie and I spent some serious time talking about these kids and how could we help get them some recognition – they truly have no idea just how outstanding they really are and they should have all gotten Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for what they had accomplished.

I had a rough night’s sleep listening to Willie snore in the other bed, I was beat but I just couldn’t settle down, thank goodness the next day was going to be a down/sight seeing day – off the bike for a bit I’d be able to really wind down.

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