East Plains United Church
Cockell Art


Sunday Bulletin for April 21, 2019
 Easter Sunday Service Rev. Barb Fullerton preaching; "Embrace the Easter Experience" Gospel reading: Luke 12, 1-5, 9-11. PDF

Two Events on Climate Change, April 27 + May 4, 2019
 The social + goodies for the film on April 27 starts at 7:00pm in the sanctuary and is followed by the screening at 7:30pm. PDF

Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick April 28
 Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick, a surgeon in Huntsville, Ontario, will be leading our worship service on Sunday April 28, 10:30am. Dr. Kirkpatrick is the son of Lois Kirkpatrick, a long time member at East Plains. He will be talking about his experience as a member of "Medecins sans Frontieres," /Doctors without Borders. Last year Dr. Kirkpatrick received a service award from the OMA for his years of service.

Messy Church March 3, 2019
 You are invited to our Messy Church Family Night on Friday March 3, 4:45pm-7:00pm. This event is for all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. Lots of crafts, a celebration time (a Bible story) and a free meal. It's a lot of fun. PDF

Vista Orders.
 Vista orders dates: May 5, June 2. PDF

 Joseph has been promoted to P5. PDF

Letter from Agnes Nanyonga Oct. 2018
 Agnes is now 16 yrs old and had just completed her studies at TRC to become a tailor. It is nice to hear from her again. 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.


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.


December 9, 2017. Tim Burrows is a member of the Golden Horseshoe Electric Vehicle Association as well as the Southern Ontario Tesla Owners Club. He spoke about the "Next Generation of cars." The following description is taken from his website www.TimTalksTesla.com. "Entertaining and informing.... Tim gives a brief history of electric cars and answers some of the most frequently asked electric car questions about ‘where to charge’, ‘how long it takes to charge’, ‘how far you can expect to go on a charge’ etc. He also predicts that in the near future, cars that drive themselves will significantly reduce death and injury on our roadways and have other profound effects on society."

November 18, 2017.Hugh McCully is a charter member of the Burlington Amateur Radio Club which meets regularly at East Plains UC. He spoke briefly of the important role HAM operators play during natural disasters such as hurricane Maria that devasted Puerto Rico last September. His main focus however was the work done by Canadian operators in promoting the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It started with a couple of operators out west (Don Studney and Keith Witney) who got the ball rolling in early January 2017 and from there it took off. By April 2017, 179 operators worldwide had made 47,000 contacts in 130 countries. Hugh himself traveled to Arras France (10 km south of Vimy) along with 16 other operators where they set up their call station in "the Shack." From April 1 to April 9 (Celebration Day) they took shifts working 24 hours/day communicating mostly in English but there were also a couple of French speaking Canadians. On April 9 25,000 people showed up for the celebration. Hugh also visited a lycee in Arras where he explained to high school students the importance of the role played by Canadians in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The French government donated the land to Canada in 1922.

October 21 2017 Ed Jokinen was our guest speaker. Ed was born in Moncton NB and grew up mostly in semi-rural Quebec. He attended McGill University in the faculty of science but left after two years to pursue a career in aviation. He was hired by Air Canada in 1974 and spent the next 40.5 years in the Flight Decks of many of Air Canada's fleet types.Ed's talk took us into the flight deck of a modern airliner; he also gave us a bit of an idea about the lifestyle, duties and responsibilities of an airline pilot.

September 9 2017 Neil Beesley a senior project manager at Hamilton Water gave us a brief history of Hamilton Water. He began by reminding us how fortunate we are to have safe drinking water but cautioned that constant vigilence is required. He spoke of Thomas Keefer an MD who first designed Hamilton Water Works back in 1856.At that time tree trunks were used as pipes. He also spoke of John Snow, a British engineer who discovered back in the 1850s that cholera is a water born disease, not air born. He showed us some old photos of the Ferguson Ave. pumping station, the Gore Park fountain and the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. More modern pics included the Woodward Waste Water treatment plant. He described how water today is taken from lake Ontario, treated and distributed to residences and businesses in Hamilton and the surrounding area. finally he spoke of the work being done to "delist" Hamilton Harbour and the need to protect animal and plant life in Cootes Paradise.

June 10,2017. Karen Candy, Director of Care for the Burlington Carpenter Hospice gave a presentation on the history and growth of this palliative care facility, now celebrating its fifteenth year of operation. They are about to break ground on a new addition to their building located on Parkway Drive adjacent to St. Stephen UC.

April 8, 2017. Gail Wolters is the founder and president of Canadian Nurses for Africa.(CNFA) She and her team of 12 have traveled to Kenya several times to set up clinics in the Kakamega and Vihiga regions of Kenya in order to provide basic health care to the local population that is poor and suffers from high unemployment. The team pays all their own expenses, including airfare, food and accomodation.They travel by van to set up clinics in local schools and churches where they administer medications to treat illnesses such as malaria, jiggers worms and URTI. Those with more serious conditions are sent to the nearest hospital, paid for by CNFA. CNFA has also set up a business relationship with a company in British Columbia to drill wells and construct latrines for the locals. The team also tries to educate the people, especially young girls about the basics of health care and how to look after their bodies. For more information about this amazing and dedicated group go to their website www.canadiannursesforafrica.ca.

March 11, 2017. Dr. John Deadman, a forensic psychiatrist traced the history of forensic psychiatry beginning with the Code of Hammurabi (Ancient Babylon, circa 1700 BC) and ending with the "Paradigm Shifts" in psychiatric care that began in the 20th Century. Today under our current system of justice an individual accused of a crime must be judged mentally fit to stand trial. If a team of psychiatrists determines that he/she is mentally ill, the individual is not sent to jail, but rather is sent for treatment to a facility like St. Joseph's HealthCare (West Fifth Campus in Hamilton).

Joe Kovacich a colleague of Dr. Deadman and a retired social worker spoke more about St. Joseph's and explained that there are now 5 units that deal with issues other than mental health. There are in patient facilities (100 beds) and out patient services for people dealing with addictions etc. Dr. Deadman has written a book:"Moving out of the Shadows- a History of Forensic Psychiatry in Hamilton," that is available in our church library.

February 11, 2017.Bill Thompson a retired chartered accountant and member of the Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) museum, spoke about the history of street cars with a particular focus on local lines. Bill has a collection of over 600 post cards many of which he as made into digital images for his presentation.

In the early 1800s urban transit consisted of horse-drawn wagons that ran along dirt streets. Later rails were added allowing the cars to move faster and avoiding muddy streets. Ridership increased and so did the profits.One of the humorous points concerning horse-drawn cars was what to do with the horse when the car was going down a hill? No problem; they just tied the horse to the back of the steetcar. Rather tough on the horse one would think.

Toward the end of the century electric powered streetcars appeared that ran on DC current and were powered by 1-2 HP engins; streetcars ran on single tracts. In 1895 the Great Gorge Route was established that ran on the American side of the Niagara river. This was a great tourist attraction but it was dangerously close to the river. Bill showed us a 1900 film taken by Thomas Edison that showed the force of the river running along side the streetcar. The Preston Car Company of Preston Ontario was founded in 1908 and manufactured streetcars mainly for local transit authorities in Hamilton, Toronto etc. Only a few Preston built cars now remain. The Halton museum opens in May and is highly recommended. You can take a ride on one of the old streetcars and be treated to ice cream. www.hcry.org

Spectator columnist Jeff Mohoney was our guest speaker on January 14, 2017. He talked about the history of the Hamilton Spectator which celebrated its 170th anniversary last year (2016). Founded by Robert Smiley in 1846 the paper was sold to William Southam in 1877. Presently the paper is owned by Metroland Media Group, which in turn is owned by Torstar Group. In 1976 the Spec moved its headquarters to its present location on Frid street, Hamilton, to accomodate the instalment of three new presses. Jeff spoke of the changing culture of the newspaper business and the difficulty of competing with online media sites, resulting in substantial changes in staff and resources. Jeff has worked at the Spec for several years and is passionate about his work. Our group had several questions for Jeff. A very enjoyable event.


January 9 2016 The speaker was, Commander Robert (Bob) J. Williamson CD (Ret’d). He is a retired Hamilton High School Principal. Currently, he is Director of the Hamilton Commissionaires. He gave an audio/visual presentation, entitled “Three Hamilton WWII Veterans”. It was the story of how three young boys from Hamilton spent their time servicing overseas during the war, one in the navy, one in the army, and one in the air force.

March 12, 2016. Judith Bishop was our guest speaker. Judith is a former trustee of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and a strong advocate for public education in Canada. As a "Hallmark of a good school" Judith singled out high academic standards, pride in the school and good staff student relations. Citing statistics from 2000-2012, Judith noted that Canada has consistently ranked very high compared to internationally publicly funded school systems. Students enjoy a wide range of programs including special needs programs and parent and student rights are protected by the Education Act. In summary, public education underpins democracy and diversity, is accountable and is internationally respected.

Men's Breakfast April 2016

April 9, 2016, Phil Davis was our speaker who spoke on "The Dawn of the Space Age," ( a personal story.) Phil is an electronics engineer (now retired) who worked on radar and sonar systems at Cape Canaveral (named Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973) during the early 1960 cold war days when the Americans and the Russians were vying for leadership in space technology, both trying to become the first nation to reach the moon.He worked on the Apollo program for NASA. Later he worked for General Electric on mainframe computers. He retired (a second time) in 2002 then wrote and published his memoir "A Small Skirmish in the Cold War," that is available in bookstores. He moved to Canada in 2007 and took out Canadian citizenship.

Men's Breakfast May 2016

May 14, 2016, Ian Bell spoke on "Blind Pigs and Midnight Herring, rum running on Lake Erie during the Prohibition." Ian is a musician but also served as the curator of the Harbour Museum in Port Dover for 13 years until he stepped down from that job in 2013. He also worked for a decade at the Norwich & District Museum and at Black Creek Pioneer Village. As a folk musician Ian has performed across Canada and in the USA and for many years was a regular musical contributor to "The Vinyl Cafe," "Fresh Air" and other CBC radio programs. His latest recording is "Forget me not when far away," a collection of songs from the Great Lakes.

June 11, 2016.Bill Dale accompanied by his daughter Leslie, showed a video entitled "A Life Well Lived."The video tells the story of Bill's wife Pat who was diagnosed with Alzhemier's disease in 2008 at the age of 61yrs. Bill with the help of his family acted as care givers for seven years before putting Pat in a nursing home where she later died. Pat was a nurse and she and Bill raised 3 daughters, led an active life and enjoyed many happy moments before Alzheimer's robbed her of her memory. Bill wrote the script for the video, produced by Lynn Rogers(memoriesofalifetime67@gmail.com), and describes how every aspect of Pat's life changed and how that affects the care givers. For example Pat's circle of friends diminished as she had difficulty remembering names and talking about past experiences; she had difficulty making decisions and as time wore on there was the chance of her wandering off. The video ends with these words: "Kiss my cheek and hold my hand; don't ask me to remember or understand; be patient." Bill's message to others in this situation: "Give constant and unconditional love."

October 22, 2016, Jim and Sue Waddington. For the past 40 years Jim and Sue Waddington have driven, paddled and hiked their way across Canada in search of sites of some of the most famous paintings by the Group of Seven + Tom Thomson. Jim (a retired physics teacher at McMaster University in Hamilton) showed our group some of the pictures he as taken of these sites (over 600) then justaposed the pictures with the paintings on our screen. When Jim finished, Sue (an artist in her own right) answered questions from the audience. The Waddingtons have published a book "In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven," that is available online or in most bookstores. Google "Books" or Jim Waddington for more info.

November 19 2016, John Beeden was our guest speaker. It took John 209 days to row across the Pacific Ocean to Cairn's Harbour in Australia. He had previously done the Atlantic in 53 days. For more info on this adventurer from Burlington ON go to http:/bit.ly/22wVU2w.