Pancake supper brings crowds to Wentworth

Wentworth News with Hope Bridgewater

Published on March 15, 2017

Without maple syrup and without volunteer workers, there would be no pancake supper in Wentworth.

Under the skillful direction of Helen Feeley and Marie Duranceau, maple syrup and volunteers helped make the supper a superb and tasty success.

No. 1.Selling tickets – Ethel Gilroy, Twila MacMaster; No. 2. Hostess for the large crowd attending – Sandra van der Made; No. 3. Cake table – Jeanette Murray, Pearl Crowley; No. 4. Scraping plates – Eleanor Sprague, Ben Legere; No. 5. Tea and coffee servers – David Fitzpatrick, Mike Law; No. 6. Servers – Helen Feeley, Bert van Vulpen, Aaron van Vulpen and Carol Colin van Vulpen, Erica van Vulpen, Alan Huestis, Debbi Alexander, Derek and Debby Prest, Gordon and Christine Hart, Melissa Rushton, Colin Topshee, Dana Murphy, Brian Keiver, Stuart Palmer; No. 7 – Making beans: Norah Topping, Betty Curry, Helen Feeley, Ben Legere, Bun Betts, Hope Bridgewater, Carol Mascal, Helen Lucas, Eva France, Jeanette Murray, Linda Patriquin; No. 8. Making cakes – Anne Mallick, Sandra Mayne, Laurel Adams, Sonya Seymour, Ethel Gilroy, Eleanor Sprague, Helen Feeley, Carol Mascal, Joan Johnson, Sheila Palmer, Pearl Crowley, Shirley Patriquin, Gloria Merlin, Jocelyn Morris, Marion Brown, Kelly Steeves, Jeanette Murray, Carolyn McNutt, Brenda Hardie, Sharon Miller; No. 9 – Kitchen helpers: Sorry, I do not have a list for the kitchen workers at present.

Thank you for all your hard work. We could not have had the supper without you. I will list your names in a future column, as you deserve full thanks.

As for maple syrup, it is needed to make the plain or blueberry pancakes taste so good, and the sausage, baked beans, and cakes heighten the taste. In addition to the skilful and friendly service attending the delivery of the food, superb music on stage by Dr. Gerald MacKenzie (fiddle), Martha Forrest (guitar) and Betty Curry (piano) made the friendship chatter and food more wonderful.

Maple syrup was well featured, as it should be at a pancake supper. At a special table, Jean Bentley, owner with her husband Avard Bentley of Bentley's maple business, and her daughter, Marney Bently, had for sale 100 per cent pure maple products including syrup, butter, cream, sugar, and candy. Bentley's maple business is situated on Westchester Mountain and has been producing syrup since 1980.

The Bentleys collect sap from maple trees by a tubing system of 35,000 taps which goes directly to an evaporator, vacuum pumps, pre-heaters, and reverse osmosis filters; it takes 40 litres of sap boiled down to make one litre of maple sugar. Maple syrup is healthy as well as tasty because four tablespoons of maple syrup has the same antioxidant value as a serving of broccoli. The Bentleys also own Bentley's Blueberries Limited.  Blueberries were used as well at the pancake supper with the blueberry pancakes.

Robert MacLean, president of the recreation centre, was present at the event and pleased at the successful result, and thankful for all the volunteers who helped. Also, in co-operation with the new learning centre, MacLean agreed to help it by having a 50/50 contest at a table staffed by Paul Murray in order to raise funds for the learning centre.

The photo of councillor for District six, Barbara Palmer, Jean Bentley, and Marney Bentley is a symbol of why an event such as this pancake supper can work well with people willing to volunteer for a good cause. Councillor Barbara Palmer, who volunteered for kitchen work at the pancake supper, wrote this note to me: “As the councillor, I am glad to help out with community functions. I have lived in Wentworth since 1987. I was married to Jim Palmer in 1988 and have raised two children: a son who is now at university and a daughter who is 16 and in Grade 10. I have volunteered at several events in the community and have been on several committees for local groups. I became councillor in the 2016 October municipal election and I am enjoying meeting new people. I am learning about what makes the district work as it does and how things can be made better.”

I also received a note from Marney Bentley: “Avard Bentley was born and raised in Westchester. He married Jean Purdy in 1961 and they lived and raised their five children in Amherst. In 1980, they began Bentley's maple business on Westchester Mountain and in 1982 moved to Westchester so Avard could work full time on the blueberry and maple business. Today their son Michael works full time for them. Their daughter Marney comes to the pancake supper with her mother and has her ‘vacations’ at blueberry season.”

All in all, it was a great attendance featuring a big crowd, friendly and efficient volunteer workers, and lots of maple syrup made for a successful pancake supper on March 11.