Tonight is one of those times when I really wish I had thought to take some “before” photos so that you could better appreciate the “after” ones that I’m going to show you. But I didn’t, and so we’ll just have to make do. What I want to share with all of you people who take an interest in Queensborough – and bless your hearts for doing so – is the fine volunteer work that’s been going on of late to spruce up our pretty little hamlet.
First, a little bit of back story: as I’ve mentioned many times before, Queensborough has for some years been part of the sprawling Municipality of Tweed, which includes the village of Tweed itself, a half-dozen hamlets (of which Queensborough is one) spread over a far-flung area, and a whole lot of rural and forested land, including one whole huge township (Grimsthorpe – and is that not a great name?) that has basically nothing but wilderness and the odd hunting camp in it. With all these hundreds of square miles under its purview, perhaps it’s not surprising that the Municipality of Tweed doesn’t get around to a whole lot of brush-clearing or maintenance work in Queensborough (and probably its other hamlets too). Which kind of makes one long for the pre-municipal-merger days when we were not part of Tweed, when we had our own governance in the form of Elzevir Township council, and the Elzevir works department kept things up. But time marches on and “progress” happens, and what can you do?
Well, actually, you can do something, and that leads me nicely into this evening’s story. I gather it started with our friend and neighbour Chuck deciding that the edges of his street, King Street, needed some work, and therefore undertaking some mowing and brush-clearing. Before he’d been at it long, another of our friends and neighbours, John – the same John who takes such good care of our lawn at the Manse – was joining in on the work. And the project moved on from King Street to Bosley Road, where John undertook to tackle the brush and grass and other vegetation that had pretty much taken over the sidewalk leading up to St. Andrew’s United Church – the only one of Queensborough’s four churches that is still in operation.
Now, that sidewalk leading up to the church is very dear to me. In my years growing up in Queensborough I must have walked up it from the Manse to church (and choir practice, and sundry other activities at St. Andrew’s) and back down again thousands of times. So in recent times I had found it discouraging and depressing to see the sidewalk so overgrown that you couldn’t even use it any more. The excessive vegetation overgrowing everything seemed to say, “No one comes by here. No one goes up to church. Nothing’s happening.” It was gloomy.
So how cheered I was to see John hard at work clearing it out, just as Raymond and I landed in Queensborough on a Saturday afternoon a little over a week ago. And John stayed at it over the next couple of days, cutting grass, weed-whacking, and cleaning up all the resulting debris. The sidewalk is now clear – as is the route to the Sunday-morning service, and there’s a hint if I ever heard one – and it looks terrific.
And John hasn’t stopped there! Over the past few days I’ve spotted him doing cleanup work in several other parts of Queensborough. People, the place is looking better than it has for years. All thanks to volunteers who take pride in the pretty and historic place they live in. I hope they know how much it’s appreciated!