Friday, October 14, 2011

Rebuilding of the Square

If you recall from past post on Aug 20th, 2011 I was taking my first (and maybe only plunge) into wedding photography.  Out in Dutton area, west of London, just as we finished taking the last picture , the rain started, and by the time we got back to the reception area it was pouring solid. End of the worl d kinda rain.

That was only a small hint of the storm system that was getting ready to roll in from the north across Lake Huron and pummel the town of Goderich, Ontario , about an hour north of London.

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Over the last now 15 years of living in Southern Ontario, I have either driven through or spent a day in Goderich. Sat at the outdoor patio of the Bedford Hotel, located on The Square of downtown. The Square surrounds the Municipal Courthouse and was home to many festivals and open air markets.

Sorry had to borrow an image of The Square from the web -courtesy of (thank you). take note of how many trees surround this photo of the old court house, not much was differnet when i had visited in the past.

On Aug 21st , 2011 that all changed when at aprox. 4pm a tornado touched down in Goderich, causing severe damage to local business, homes and all but clearing every tree around The Square.

Here is my pic of The Square on Sunday Oct 10th, 2011 - there are maybe 3 trees left on the far side of the courthouse, mostly protected by the building.

The reason I had traveled there on Sunday was that the previous night I went out to take pics for one of many "Rebuilding the Square" events being held to give aid to the town of Goderich in the spirit of rebuilding this area. Hopefully back to some of it former glory, though as we know, will be some time before trees cover that space again and offer the shade they once did.

A 133yr old church after the roof was torn off .
From the looks of it they are trying to restore it, the trusses were still intact and stored on the ground while they resolve the structural issues.

The event I attended was in the town of Exeter, about half way to Goderich along highway 4, at the South Huron Recreational Centre.  My interest was that Hurton Merv and the boys would be out playing a few numbers along with a few other local bands, so more exposure for me and chance to meet some new people.

Was a good time, between local highschool, big band, jazz band and rock acts there was quite a spread of music. Unfortunatley attendance was low, though they had sold over 500 tickets and made $3k on silent auction. Not bad for a small town on a Saturday night of Thanksgiving weekend.

Of course Merv was out making friends as only Merv can do. What is it with singers in rock bands ???

Booze Hounds got things started up after the easy listening start to the night. High Energy non-stop barrage. I dont think they had one break between tunes.  Great stuff !!

Followed up by Hurtin Merv and the Boys doing what they do best.  They know how to get people out on the dance floor and keep them there.

Mr Terry , White Strat  in hand cutting through.

After a good set, Sarah Todgham joined them onstage for a few numbers and then sang a few solo songs.

Next up Bender, great players , big sound. Look forward to hearing them in smaller place that is not so much the empty gym sound that was going on that night.

Was thinking as I started writing in here just now, that most of us that were bred, born and lived in Canada all our life. dont really know or have experienced any natural disaster to this magnitude. We live in fairly dense communities well sheltered from it all.
Not saying we don't have it happen as anyone living on the East or West Coasts will tell you. Just we don't experience this in the Montreal or Toronto's of Canada.  OK the occasional ice storm knocks out the power or someone flips a switch in the USA and we survive for 3-4 days with no power (remember that blackout).  i have lived most of my adult life in Northern and Southern Ontario, nothing happens here. It snows to hard stay home. 

So next time your sitting in your home while it rains or snows outside, in comfy London,ON or Sudbury,ON, Toronto or Shippenville,PA and you dont worry about what will happen next, think about those people that live in areas that get hit all the time.   Southern US states that get pummeled by Hurricanes and Tornado's.  The Philippines in the midst of non-stop typhoons for last few weeks. The flooding that happens in Southern China every year, washing away roads,towns and people. Japan !!

I ended my time in Goderich by going down to the beach area on Lake Huron, all redeveloped in the last few years and really nice.  Plenty of parking, great play areas and the most spectacular sunsets.

Of course took the usual array of pics as the sun set down over Lake Huron.

And then out of no where a guy poling himself along the shoreline, riding some sort of flat board maybe a big surf board.

Maybe something he does every day , who knows.
Struck me that considering whats happened to Goderich this year (and other places around the world) how life had returned to some what normal, people doing what they always do, out walking, sitting on the benches, sitting in the cars, watching that sun set, one more time on the day.

Was a calm moment on the water. A calm moment watching him go by.

A very lucky moment to catch him in the sun that way.  my pic of the year so far.

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