Goodbye to a community leader, summer and sanity:Phil-ing in

In homage and remembrance of the last Prince Edward County raised editor of the Picton Gazette the late Phil Dodds, this corner will endeavour on an irregular basis to recreate a ‘Phil-ling In’ editorial where views on multiple topics are offered.

GODSPEED GARTH

This corner was sad to learn of the passing of Wellington resident Garth Manning earlier this week.

For those of you unfamiliar with Manning, the Welshman was an accomplished Toronto-based lawyer and the Ontario Bar Association president in 1990.

In his retirement to Prince Edward County, Manning sought to be involved in our community in many meaningful ways. Included in these efforts were regular correspondence in the Letters to the Editors section of local newspapers, service with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation as well his staunch and public opposition to industrial wind turbines in Prince Edward County as evidenced by his involvement in the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) group.

In his obituary in the Gazette this week, Manning is refered to as “Encyclopaedia Garth” and this is a very apt description of the man as this corner knew and conversed with him regarding local news topics of the day whether they be health care or wind turbine related or otherwise.

Manning’s dry wit and passion to be a life-long learner helped him throughout his life and storied legal career and made his impact on Prince Edward County and its citizens in his retirement years undeniable and memorable.

Manning will be missed.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER It’s certainly not hard to tell its August in Prince Edward County if you are out on the streets or reading social media or even the Letters to the Editor in this week’s Gazette.

Nerves of residents are clearly frazzled as the tourist season slowly starts its final descent towards that sweet relief only clear September skies and a wide open midday Main St. can bring.

We are careful not to join in the mob and dump all over Prince Edward County’s prominent economic pillar of tourism because of congestion, noise and the occasional visitor that has seemed to left their thinking caps in their home locale.

Like it or not, tourism is the driver of Prince Edward County in 2019 and virtually everything in our community’s economy ebbs and flows around welcoming all of Ontario and most of western Quebec.

But it’s a brave bunch of soldiers living here who can endure the hustle and bustle and chaos that summer brings every single year and wear that ‘I survived another summer living in Prince Edward County’ badge with pride.

Remember, just four weekends left.

SAD UNITED STATES OF AFFAIRS

There’s not much your humble scribe can add to the tsunami of words already delivered in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH last weekend.

Here in Canada, we watch these tragic scenes play out in the United States and, while, Canadians aren’t immune to these events ourselves, we at least seem to be able to have some time in between to process our shock and allow the grief cycle to naturally wind and wend to its conclusion before we might collectively start wondering “What’s next?’

The Gazette will simply state we are distraught by this disordered and destructive path our friends seem to be reluctant to remove themselves from.

We are saddened our good and valued neighbour seems hellbent on destroying themselves from within and are all but paralyzed to address and heal this horrific epidemic.

-Jason Parks