Here's my advice: don't buy a toaster as a memento. At my grandmother's moving sale, I was too young to think about lasting value. My parents urged me to buy something, so I bought a cheap toaster that I don't think my grandma ever used. When I got married we used it, but we threw it out when it stopped working. While I have great memories of my grandma, I regret not having something of hers that I can see and touch.
On the other hand, it was awesome to be part of the annual Commemorative Service at the Altona Mennonite Meetinghouse, where Stouffville's founder is buried. Standing in a building built in 1852, I couldn't help noticing that it was so plain. Compared to Old Order Mennonite meetinghouses built more recently, it was austere. I thought about how difficult life was for our ancestors and yet what wonderful gifts they passed on to us. Because of their industrious and simple lifestyle, they were ableto build a strong community. That community now provides us a comfortable and enjoyable life.
Taking time to appreciate our heritage filled me with gratitude for those who came before me to this area.As I was preparing to speak at that Commemorative Service, I learned of the loss of a different heritage site. Few in Stouffville know that developers discovered the remains of Ontario's largest Huron-Wendat village, on Stouffville Creek, between Byers Pond Way and James Ratcliff Avenue.
A 2007 Town Council resolution promised to recognise this site but there is no sign that this has been done. Now the site is a large pond built for storm drainage. Will we dispose of this village and lose out on the chance to see and touch our history? Are we so ungrateful for what we have that we turn ourbacks on those who came before us?
Huron-Wendat village by Pastor Cameron Kaufman-Frey
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