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May. 19, 2019 | Sunday
Local News
New community group aims to be the ‘heart’ of St. Davids
Paul Harber of Ravine Vineyards gives a talk about the history of grape growing. (Supplied)

The burgeoning village of St. Davids, 11 kilometres south of Lake Ontario, has always had an independent spirit.

While many of the villagers’ social, cultural and spiritual centres are in the Old Town and neighbouring cities and towns, the residents of St. Davids have enthusiastically embraced a new social initiative called the Friends of St. Davids.

The organization focuses on local events and activities for local people: to provide a heart for their community.

This all came about when my wife Dorothy Walker wrote and published “A Village in the Shadows.”

The book’s title struck a chord with villagers who thanked her for writing the remarkable history of St. Davids that barely gets a mention by other historians.

In conversation with her readers, it became clear to Dorothy that there is a real need for a social club whose only qualification for membership is to live in or close to St. Davids.  So, Dorothy and I got to work and assembled a team to achieve this goal.

The first step was to organize a modest event to “test the waters.”

So, with the professional support of the team at Ravine Winery, the group held a wine and cheese reception for just 60 guests in Ravine’s barrel cellar in December.

The event was sold out.

Ravine’s proprietor, Paul Harber, gave a talk about the history of grape growing in the unique soils of St. Davids, the Friends ran a popular prize draw and –- the most important outcome of all –- new friends were made that evening.

Buoyed by the success of their first event, the Friends held a public meeting at the St. Davids Lions Club on Feb. 5 to invite input from residents on the events and activities that they would like to be included in the group’s program.

In addition to village-wide events, people want some special-interest activities for smaller groups.

While details of the comments and opinions expressed at the meeting are still being analyzed, the leadership team of four couples is busy planning the next event.

It will be an informal family-friendly outdoor party in June at a local venue. Details will be announced as soon as arrangements are firmed up.

Residents of St. Davids and vicinity can get more information and subscribe to the free Friends of St. Davids e-newsletter by emailing: fosd2019@gmail.com.

“A Village in the Shadows” is available from many local retailers, museums, online bookstores and directly from the author. Call (905) 262-6605 for details.

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