How cold and dark was it? IT was so cold and dark that…
• Some Leaside churches were forced to cancel services the morning of Dec. 22 because of the ice storm. Downed power lines and tree limbs surrounding St. Cuthbert’s Anglican made access impossible; Leaside United rescheduled its morning service and pageant to Monday night. Others coped in various ways, “We go on no matter what,” reported Northlea United (which actually had power). St. Anselm’s, which lost many tree limbs on their property, held a small service in the dark with some natural daylight “thanks to big windows that let in the light.”
• Trumpet player and leader of Leaside’s C-flats band, Cynda Fleming, kept practising in spite of six days without heat and light. Fleming was booked to perform at various events, and “the trouble with playing the trumpet,” she explained, “is that you have to practise every day, otherwise you lose your embrasure. The old saying is, one day without practising, you notice, two days your stand partner notices, three days everyone notices! I kept going with it in my cold and dark house (with a book light!).” A kindly next-door neighbour kept the musician in hot coffee.
• Long time resident Dave Stickney was spotted several places in the neighbourhood carrying a gas-powered (we assume) chain saw, helping neighbours cut their way through their front lawns.
And speaking of ice, various scheduled ice events continued to take place this winter in the community. Novices took to the ice at Leaside Curling rink Jan. 18 to try out curling. Training included learning buzzwords like “Hurry Hard” and “Toss a double-takeout.” This year’s annual Leaside Invitational Select Tournament, Feb. 6-9, includes at least 100 hockey teams. Big congratulations to all Leaside Synchronized Skating teams that competed at the annual Winterfest competition in January. In a sport notorious for tight scores, Leaside’s Juvenile team missed the podium by a mere .5 of a mark.
• 2014 is a big year for Rolph Road School, founded in 1939. Leaside resident and former parent at the school, Petra Grantham, is one of the volunteers helping with the anniversary, which includes a special exhibit. “Those working on the celebrations are looking for memorabilia such as class photos, stories/memories and all things related to the school’s history,” Grantham says. If you’ve got some treasures in your attic (and stories in your head), let the school know: firstname.lastname@example.org. For general news/information about the event contact 75anniversary@rolphroadschool. com.
• Many may remember Don Ladkin, long-time Leaside resident who passed away Dec. 31. For years Ladkin returned to Leaside High each graduation to present an award named in honour of his brother, David, who died tragically years ago during a phys ed class. Alan Redway, Don and David Ladkin were all members of the St. Cuthbert’s Church Junior Choir. In later years. Redway recalled, “Don would walk his dog past my house, stop and chat and tell me that he had been at the high school commencement to present the trophy.”
• As of Jan. 1, travelling the 11 and 28 Bayview bus routes should be easier. Partly in response to overcrowding once the LRT construction starts on Eglinton, the TTC reworked schedules for peak periods (Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.). “It also means that kids from East York can have a choice of two buses to get to Leaside High school,” explains Councillor John Parker, who met with the high school home and school executive in December to work out a plan.