Remembrance Day at Springwater Park

October 16, 2016

November 11, 2016, Springwater Provincial Park


Thank you for your support.


Methven A. “Matt” Adamson overcame many obstacles to found, nurture and defend Springwater Park.

May 4, 2016

A fellow forester told me recently that Major Adamson had to fight like hell with his superiors about the park’s very existence.

19490627 Adamson photo

From the Barrie Examiner June 27, 1949:

METHVEN A. “MATT” ADAMSON is superintendent of the Ontario Forestry Station at Midhurst. He is one of those responsible for the beautiful development at Springwater Park, picnic and recreational centre for thousands of Simcoe County folk and visitors from all over Canada and the United States.

Plaque Adamson

Plaque reads:

Springwater Park:  An everlasting tribute to the foresight, ingenuity and resourcefulness of Methven A. Adamson Superintendent Provincial Forest Station Midhurst during the period 1929 – 1956.

Plaque Adamson distance

Across from the Vespra Boys cairn, the main maintenance building in the back.


For more details, please see:

Charlie Day was a model Midhurst resident.

April 26, 2016

Charlie and Jean Day were my next-door neighbours on Bayfield Street when I was growing up.

19510222 Charles Day photo

From The Barrie Examiner, Thursday February 22, 1951:

Charles E. Day was recently elected president of the Barrie and District Civil Service Association. Previous experience with the association includes two years on the executive and six years with the sub-committee of the Department Council.

He is presently work foreman at the Midhurst Forestry Station, having been with the reforestry since 1928.

Born in Cambridge, England, Mr. Day received his education in that country. Upon finishing continuation school, he came to Canada and took up farming in Flos Township from 1920 to 1922. He farmed in the West the following year, returning east in 1924 to begin four years with the CPR.

Mr. Day left the employ of the CPR in 1928 and joined the staff of the Midhurst Reforestry as accountant.

He married the former L. Anne McGinnis of Midhurst in 1929 and they have one son, William. A member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Midhurst, Mr. Day has been warden of that church since 1929, with the exception of the war years.

He is a past master of Kerr Lodge AF&AM, Barrie, a member of the Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite, and Spry Sovereign Rose Croix Lodge, Barrie. A member of the Canadian Legion, Vespra Branch [149]. Mr. Day was president from 1936 to 1945. He saw war service in both World Wars. In the first war he served in the British Army with the 12th division, Kitchener’s Army. He joined the Grey and Simcoe Foresters  in 1940 and served with the A&T Staff till his discharge in 1945.

Mr. Day is an ardent hunter, and was connected with the Midhurst Athletic Club as secretary-treasurer from 1929 to 1934.

Mr. Robert Peacock was the only other Midhurst resident to serve in both World Wars.

Remembrance Day ceremonies at Springwater Park for 2015

October 26, 2015

November 11th at 10 am.

Remembrance Day Invitation 2015

All welcome to this very special place. pdf

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and the Vespra Boys cenotaph at Springwater Park

October 26, 2014

A friend sent this along to me.

War memorial cartoon

I thought I’d just republish it.

After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.

His cartoon was not only trending on Twitter but requests for use of the cartoon came in from CNN, Fox News and The Independent, the UK publication which ran an online editorial below the cartoon.

Even the Canadian War Museum came calling.

Water cooler conversations throughout Nova Scotia seemed to be all about the cartoon and the feelings it evoked about the cold-blooded murder of a 24-year-old reservist in front of Canada’s National War Memorial.

Simply stated, for the few who may not have seen it, the cartoon suggests the coming to life of the bronzed First World War soldiers that sit atop the memorial. One soldier is bent over, supporting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s body. Others are reaching down as if to help, while still others stare stoically forward.

His feet, complete with Argyle and Sutherland Highland hose and white spats, are the only part of the young soldier showing.

“That’s the part that touched me – the feet,” said Ian Thompson, associate publisher of The Chronicle Herald.

“(And) I guess it’s the notion of those folks in the statue coming to the aid of that young soldier.”

Thompson was not surprised by the sheer volume of requests from news agencies around the world for MacKinnon’s piece.

“Those of us who work here know Bruce is a world-class cartoonist,” Thompson said.

“Some of the world’s largest news outlets – they want his stuff!”

The cartoon made it to the top of and the image-sharing site

Perhaps most impressive of all was a telephone call from an elderly man in Saskatoon who saw MacKinnon’s work online.

“Quite frankly, what he did brought tears to my eyes,” George Whitter said. “It was absolutely magnificent and I don’t use that word very often,” he added.

Whitter even went so far as to say the cartoon should be made into a bronze plaque and placed on the War Memorial.

“It is a powerful depiction of how these are not just soldiers from the past but they are of present and, sadly, the future,” he said.

And what of the man who has an uncanny knack for hitting nerves and opening tear ducts? Of drawing thought-provoking cartoons that jam up news servers and cause readers to drip tears onto newsprint?

By noontime, MacKinnon had done a number of interviews with local news outlets and with CNN.

“It’s the symbolism that is so important in cartooning … this one was a particularly emotional and disturbing one,” said the legendarily humble cartoonist.

“I’m glad it came through clearly.”

One woman emailed MacKinnon to say she was comforted by the thought that what he depicted is maybe what happened – the old soldiers really did help the young man as he lay dying.

“I can’t really take credit for what the cartoon has evoked in people because I think it’s the emotion attached to the story that triggers the response,” MacKinnon said.

This from the man who, after 28 years with the Herald, still can’t believe he gets paid for drawing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A portion of all sales of Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon about the shooting in Ottawa will be donated to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
If you would like to order a reprint, please visit or call our customer care line at 1-800-565-3339 ext 0.

The gates to Springwater Park will be opened from 8:00 am to 2:00 if you choose to celebrate Remembrance Day with us.

The 2014 Remembrance Day ceremonies at Springwater Park are well on their way.

August 20, 2014

Enjoy a double slideshow of the 2012 event which features a non-cleaned Vespra Boys cairn.

If you’d like to help the organizers out, just comment on this post and I will confidentiallydo the rest.

  • my immediate family’s military heritage.

Has the Ministry of Natural Resources treated the ladies in Springwater Park in a Christian manner?

December 20, 2013

Speaking from my imperfect knowledge of  Catholic social justice principles, no.

SSMarie Precious Blood Cathedral1

Notwithstanding an overall cordial relationship between the perfectly legal First Nations occupation and the local/regional MNR staff and the Premier’s office, any decision above the “mid-level grunt” level is clearly in bad faith (mala fidesand unfair dealings.


  • refusing to meet with the occupation, Beausoleil First Nation, and community leaders at the same time, even once after 8.5 months opportunity to do so, (unreasonably force a winter occupation to cynically take credit for re-opening on Apr 1, 2014 which may coincide with a provincial election),
  • breeding distrust between indigenous and settler leaders (divide-and-conquer),
  • using the 230 cm of our expected snowfall and -20 C temperatures to drive first nations’ grandmothers out of the park or into the hospital,
  • cynically playing “bad cop” to Premier Wynne’s “good cop” (here, here, here, now here),
  • threatening to knock the building down,
  • cutting off all electricity for lights, heat and security in a 193 ha., unsecure wilderness more than 3 months ago,
  • refusing to meet with community groups from the Assistant Deputy Minister level and above,
  • (so far) refusing the community permission to do volunteer snow removal to keep the 14 km. of ski and snowshoe trails open. This also forces low income families to pay over $1,000 at private ski resorts for a season pass instead of using our already-paid-for trails.,
  • showing up late as guests for a spiritual ceremony,
  • refusing to allow fallen trees to be harvested for firewood by chainsaw,
  • failing to investigate damage done to vehicles (twice), and
  • approving the sandblasting/desecration of the Vespra Boys cairn (eg. the Anishinaabe and Medewinin Lodge call field stones “Grandfather”; people, animals, air, land, water, trees and even stones have a type of “soul”, made by the Creator and it is my great honour to have been taught should be valued and protected from harm).

I wish Minister David Orazietti and his family all the best for this Christmas season. He and I will be enjoying the warmth, generosity, support and company of our family, parish and community over this very special time in the liturgical calendar. I imagine that the Precious Blood Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie will be as comfortable as St. Mary’s parish in Barrie will be for Midnight Mass next Tuesday night. St Marys bulletinWe have a terrific new pastor at St. Mary’s who was born in Kenya.

I’ve never had occasion to talk to him specifically about intolerance but this is the first such collection I can remember.

Cross-posted on

NOTE: A very similar article appeared in the Springwater News on January 2, 2014. pdf

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