East Plains United Church
Cockell Art


Sunday Bulletin for August 4, 2019
 8th Sunday after Pentecost. Our Sunday services during August will be held at West Plains United Church. PDF

Our 2019 Spring Newsletter.
 An update on current news items from East Plains United Church with a lead article from Rev. Barb Fullerton. PDF

 Joseph has been promoted to P5. PDF

Vista Orders.
Next Vista order date: July 28. PDF

Letter from Agnes Nanyonga April, 2019
 We have just received this letter (dated April, 2019) from Agnes thanking us for providing her with the Singer sewing machine which she will use to earn money to support her two youger siblings who are currently enroled in TVS.  PDF

Letter from Joseph in Uganda
 Joseph is a young student in primary four at the Tekera Mission in Uganda. East Plains is proud to continue our support for this mission. PDF

East Plains Co-op PRESCHOOL.
 for Toddler and Preschoolers. Programs for children ages 18 months-5yrs. Call 905 681-0233 or go on the internet to: eastplainspreschool.com

A complete list of activities is available on the Calendar page.


June 8, 2019, George A (Sandy) Thomson was our guest speaker. He is a resident of Burlington and is the founder and Chief Innovator at Thordon Bearings. He is the driving force behind the development of marine, hydro and aviation non-metallic bearings and seals that are truly revolutionary; long lasting and operating without oil or grease.He has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Elmer A. Sperry Award. Sandy told us of his passion for steamships and the purchase of his first vessel named the Rudokop. He bought it in St. Petersburg for $100,000 US and then set out for a port in Poland with a Russian crew. They experienced mechanical problems (broken propeller blade), and spent longer than expected at sea. They ran low on fuel and food but managed to reach Poland safely. At 80 years old, Sandy has lived a life of adventure that most of us can only dream of.

May 11, 2019. Andrea Buttars was our guest speaker.Andrea is the Manager of Resource Development for Wesley Urban Ministries and has worked for Wesley since 2007. This role oversees fundraising, volunteers and communications. Previously Andrea worked at Five Oaks Centre, a United Church Centre. Andrea, her spouse Reg and their three kids attend St. Mark's United Church in Dundas.

April 13,2019, Denise Davy is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Hamilton Spectator for 26 years writing about individuals with mental health issues. She spoke about "Margaret" a homeless lady who she interviewed in 1993 and who died in 1995 at the age of 47 years. Margaret was on medication from the age of 17 and she spent most of her adult life in boarding homes and hospitals. Denise wrote a book about Margaret and started a project called "Purses for Margaret," hoping to raise funds to provide better care for the homeless, especially homeless women. Denise would also like to see more funding from the provincial government for homeless shelters like the "Good Shepherd" in Hamilton.


December 8,2018,Don Crossley was our speaker whose topic was "Memories of Burlington." When Don first arrived in Burlington in 1952, Burlington was a town of 5,000 residents.He is the past president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, and past chair of the Burlington Seniors Centre. Don has amassed a large collections of memories, some his own, others from former residents of Burlington. Before the Burlington Skyway bridge was built, there was only the lift bridge over the Burlington canal, consisting of two spans that opened to allow freighters to enter Hamilton harbour. One day one of the spans malfunctioned and a freighter smashed into it. It took 1.5 years to repair the damage. He also remembers the day, the Halliday Homes plant burned down in 1974. The owner, Bud Gordon, who was a long time member of East Plains UC, was devastated. Don with the help of his friends at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce put up money to open a new office and pay the staff. This happened the day after the fire. Don also mentioned the J Cooke Concrete Blocks plant that opened in 1935. By 1969 it was the largest builder of concrete blocks in Canada. Don showed an image of the historic Freeman Train Station that was relocated in 2013, from the old hamlet of Freeman to its present location on Fairview, just west of Brant street, now called Burlington Junction. (Before Burlington became a city, there were several hamlets named after families who owned farms in the area.) The Fillman family was also mentioned, and one of the oncles built the Willowbank house on present day King Road. Finally, the Brant Inn was mentioned and Don remembers people dancing on the Lido Deck to the music of Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey etc. Apparently there were trains that passed nearby occasionally tooting their whistles at the same time the music was playing.

November 10, 2018, Mike McDonnell of Waterford ON, gave us an interesting presentation about "Canadians in the American Civil War." 50,000-60,000 Canadians took part; most fought for the Union, but some fought with the Confederate armies. Why did they join?-beliefs (didn't support slavery), money, family ties and some wanted the adventure. Twenty-nine were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour and five became Generals. One individual, Lieutenant William Cooke survived the war and is burried in Hamilton. He joined the 7th Cavalry, under George Custer, the American colonel who died in the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Another Canadian was Rev. James Moore (1842-1931) a Quaker turned Baptist minister who has ties with McMaster university in Hamilton. He is burried in a cemetery in London ON.

October 13, 2018 Andrea Kelly spoke about "Project Harvest-Guatemala.". This project began with the vision of one man, Paul Lemieux (now 71 yrs). Food shortage is a major problem for rural communities in Guatemala mainly because of extreme weather conditions and poor soil quality, resulting in malutrition especially among the young. Delegates travel, at their own expense, to these rural areas to train the people (mostly women) on how to grow crops. They have learned for example how to harvest rainwater in the rainy season by setting up a catchment system so crops have enough water to survive during the dry season. For more info go to Paul's website: projectharvest.org.

April 23, 2018 Jennifer Maruno is a retired elementary school principal with the Peel District School Board. She is also an author and has written a series of books about the treatment of Japanese Canadians living in British Columbia during WWII. Her debut novel "When the Cherry Blossoms Fell," is told through the eyes of a nine year old girl Michiko Minigawa whose father is sent away to an internment camp. Jennifer married a Japanese Canadian whose mother Eiko Kitagawa Maruno,experienced much of the hardship and discrimination that took place during the war. Eiko, along with all Japanese Canadians living in BC along the coast were suspected of spying for the Japanese. Stripped of their possessions by the Canadian Government, these Japanese Canadians were sent to internment camps in the interior of BC where they were forced to work in lumber yards, railway lines etc. Eiko along with her Japanese born husband Sam, made their way to Ontario with their children, after the war. In September 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney issued an official apology and compensation to the Japanese Canadians.

March 18, 2018,Ruth Greenspan,Executive Director of the John Howard Society (JHS) of Hamilton, Burlington and Area, began by telling us a couple of stories of how the JHS helped individuals, run afoul of the law, get their lives back in order. She mentioned for example the "Justice Circle" program run in high schools like John A Macdonald HS in Hamilton. She then switched to a power point presentatiion and gave an overview of the programs/services provided by JHS, for both adults and youth, male and female. She mentioned the escalation of gun violence in Hamilton last year and this year, and how boys as young as 8 yrs are encouraged to join gangs. To counter this, JHS has set up YARD (Youth at Risk Development) where front line workers meet with troubled youth. They go into schools and act as a liaison with police in order to provide as much help as possible. The JHS of Hamilton has a staff of 50 and 200 volunteers to serve over 2,000 clients. The JHS of Hamilton is holding a fund raiser at the Hamilton Yacht Club on June 1, $50 dinner. For more info go to www.jhshamilton.on.ca

February 17, 2018 Mike Fletcher grew up on a dairy farm near Port Dover but showed little interest in following his father's career as a farmer. By his own admission "a below average student" he left high school early to follow an interest in underwater diving and water exploration beginning on lake Erie where he worked in the offshore oil and gas industry as a commercial diver.

Mike showed us a video he made that focused on his efforts to save a sunken shipwreck called the "Atlantic" that sank off the coast of Port Dover in Canadian waters in the mid 1800s with 300 people aboard, mostly immigrants from Scandanavia. An American treasure hunter from California named Captain Morgan, claimed he discovered the wreck and removed the artifacts. A terrible court case ensued involving both American and Canadian courts but eventually Mike won the case. The video also showed some interesting footage of Mike's deep sea diving explorations with his son Warren when they travelled to China and Turkey. A very interesting life for a man who didn't do so well in school."

January 13, 2018, Bob Barnett was one of the founders in 1997 of the Escarpment Biosphere Conservency, a land trust charity with the mission "to establish nature reserves in the Niagara Escarpment area and to educate the public about conservation and preservation." EBC, a non profit organization, is Ontario's second largest land trust and is one of about 30 trusts that form the Ontario Land Trust Alliance. This Alliance has been able to conserve over 80,000 acres of ecologically significant lands in Ontario and the number is rising. EBC has protected 53 sq km of land on 162 sites from Caledon to Manitoulin which include the habitat of 53 rare endangered and threatened species. Most of their reserves are donated which keeps their cost of protecting land to only $50 or $100 an acre. Presently EBC is working on a project to buy Willisville Mountain and turn it into a nature reserve. Any help/donations would be greatly appreciated. For more info go to www.escarpment.ca.