WENTWORTH - The community of Wentworth have performed several Christmas programs to celebrate the religious nature of this season. Already mentioned in newspapers have been the “The Sounds of Christmas” by the Cumberland Singers, the Memorial Christmas Tree Lighting, and the Christmas Craft Show.
Three more events helped raise the recognition of the Christian spirit operating in Wentworth: the United Church Women's Christmas supper, the Old Valley Schoolhouse's Directors and Friends Christmas Supper, and a sponsored trip for all ages to Sugar Moon Farm.
The United Church Women held their annual potluck Christmas supper at the downstairs hall at the Wentworth United Church. As one entered for the 5:30 supper, beautiful music filled the hall.
Playing at his piano was Harry Bentham who plays and entertains at corporations and private functions. He is not only a great musician, but also in Wentworth was an entertainer working the room with high energy and friendly communication skills. He enhanced the meaning of the supper program with the background music and even helped make the food by some magic taste terrific.
Harry Bentham was born in Toronto and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music from ages 7 to 15. He studied modern jazz with Gus Armitage in Toronto for three years, and he keeps studying jazz to make all kinds of embellishments. He says ,”My large repertoire include oldies, goodies and modern favourites He now lives in lives in Masstown. He said of the United Church event, “ We had a great night on Tuesday.”
The church hall was decorated with nativity scenes and balsam fir with holly. People were leisurely with the meal, but once the it ended, several singers stood up beside Harry Bentham and sang Christmas carol and songs: Richard Logan, Bob Smith, Marie Duranceau, Norma Mundle, and Peggy Patriquin.
This program was a relaxing and spiritual evening and a salute to the Christmas spirit.
The Old Valley Schoolhouse was once a one-room school for grades one to eleven with one teacher teaching all grades, and it is now a Heritage building in memory of one-room schools. It is now managed by the Friends of the Heritage Schoolhouse of the Wentworth Valley Community Hall Association. Coming into this Heritage School One see the remnants of it being a one room school by its four blackboards, a wood stove fuelled by a wood fire and examples of school seats holding two students.
Invited members and friends for this Christmas supper were seated at two long tables which had 24 places set. Debbie Barclay has a love of cooking, organized the meal, began the day before the event, came in at 8:30 a.m. the next day and worked up to 5:30 p.m. finishing the details for the start of the supper.
The meal consisted of turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, pickled beets, and drinks. Norah Topping added a dessert of apple pie with mince tarts, and cookies. As people ate, they chatted in friendship and it was a happy time.
Although 24 places were set, nineteen were filled with the following people: Ernest and Wavey Wood, Bob and Monica LaFrance, Mike Saxton, Sr., Mike Saxton, Jr., Debi and Butch Atkinson, Norah Topping, Howard Waugh, Tim Rushton, Shannon Letcher, Andy Hunt, Mel Clark, Debbie and Harold Barclay, Hope Bridgewater, Greg Bridgewater, and Caol Hyslop.
A few historical details: the late Bob Hyslop began from this school the three hour hikes (up and back) on the nearby mountain range to High Head and these hikes still continue. The late Flora Little was the last teacher at the school when it closed in 1959. This Christmas supper was another grand way to celebrate Christmas.
The third Christmas event was the visit to Sugar Moon Farm. The Learning Centre received a grant enabling the staff to offer free programming to the community. The focus was to bring seniors and youth together to act as mentors to one another as a Christmas theme. The bus trip, tour, meal, and cookie decorating were all free. The Wentworth Girl Guide leaders arranged for their members to attend and the united Church Women arranged for the seniors (aged 50+) to attend as well.
The bus (Colchester Train Co-operative Ltd) came from Truro and left Wentworth at 10 am for Sugar Moon Farm and the bus trip was enjoyed by seeing how remote Sugar Moon Farm was up on a hillside.
At the farm, there was a personalized private tour from co-owner Quita Gray, then a delicious meal featuring wholegrain butter milk pancakes, local sausages, and maple baked beans. At the end there was maple sugar thrown on ice for eating as a candy and was both fun and popular.
Quita Gray commented how lovely it was to see a group combined of the young and seniors come together in such understanding and friendship. Certainly, a wonderful Christmas theme.
Sugar Moon marks the time to begin tapping maple trees for sap to run in March and April and we were lucky to be in the month of December when we could consume the tasty maple syrup.