The good old days becoming a bygone phenomena in Prince Edward County

It seems there’s always something to be said for the good old days in Prince Edward County especially with the pace of change our bucolic ‘burgh has been subjected to in recent years.

It wasn’t too long ago where you knew your neighbours and if you wanted to have a friendly chat, all you had to do was wait until the next rec committee meeting, township function or church league softball game.

But times change.

It’s distressing to hear a young farming family with lineage dating far back into those good old days is dealing with a second complaint filed against them to the Ontario Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals regarding the springtime state of their barnyard.

Let it be noted Steve Everall grew up around beef cows at the right hand of one of the kindest, most respected farmers and councilors Prince Edward County has ever known.

The late Ron Everall was as revered a council member as anyone would hope to find in any municipality in Ontario at the time of his passing, which sadly happened 13 years ago this coming Monday.

Like any person growing up on a farm in Prince Edward County, Steve was taught by his father there was no greater role than being a steward of the land and a keeper of sentient livestock.

Pride in your farm, pride in your animals and pride in your role in this agricultural community where fathers and mothers taught sons and daughters about the joy of harvesting a great crop or producing quality milk or sending healthy livestock to market was something to behold and be admired for in our community.

Should there be functions for the public to make inquiries if they sense something is amiss at a local farm? Of course. Prosecute those who blatantly harm or mistreat animals to the fullest extent of Ontario’s animal cruelty laws.

But a second investigation in three years has turned up the same results- despite some unfortunate muddy conditions due to a wet spring (which every livestock farmer in Ontario is tasked with), the animals are in good overall health.

Furthermore, if everyone knew of the legacy of the Everall family in North Marysburgh when it came to agriculture, there would be no questioning the care and concern Steve and Angie Everall have for their animals.

Turning in top animals at the sales barn year after year and producing 4H winning calves should end any further discussion there’s anything untowards going on at Cedar E Farm.

The point being what was common knowledge by way of community communication not so long ago has become a fading concept in 2019 in Prince Edward County.

This community was built on the backs of Loyalists and a fact of life in those early days was you knew and counted on your neighbours.

Knew them and loved them.

Because if you didn’t, there was a better than average chance you didn’t survive winter.

That type of community feeling was ingrained in Prince Edward County and its people for generations through the better part the last two centuries, a legacy that seemingly could never be erased by the sands of time.

At least until recently.

Couple that with the communal feel and sense of pride that comes with being an islander set apart from the main land of Ontario and you have something special and unique. And coveted.

Today Prince Edward County finds itself a much changed society that will soon be unrecognizable to many who have a few generations in the graveyard.

Sadly, it seems far, far away from those good old days.


-Jason Parks