In the spring of 2021, when the COVID-19 vaccination program was finally gathering momentum, the leadership of the Friends of St. Davids (FOSD) decided that it was time to plan a reopening celebration, after over a year of lockdown.
During the pandemic, we had learned to stay away from each other. Even Christmas was a virtual celebration. Now, with family and friends being vaccinated, it was time to start the healing process.
Just a few months later, with the Delta variant lurking dangerously around us, FOSD’s 2021 celebration was in two parts last Thursday: a golf tournament at Eagle Valley Golf Course, followed by a picnic, both carefully planned to keep our friends safe.
The St. Davids Lions Club made its pavilion available to the FOSD so members can get reacquainted safely at the picnic, with a barbecue generously provided by Kent Heritage Farms and music by professional musician Dave Rusch.
FOSD has lots to celebrate. It was founded in 2018 by Dorothy and Greg Walker, who recognized that rapidly growing St. Davids needed a social group to help residents, new and lifelong, to get to know each other. By January 2020, the organization had held four events — two at Christmas and two in the summer — and started five special interest groups: wine-tasting, euchre, a luncheon group, a pub night, and mahjong. Then the pandemic hit us, and it all had to pause. However, when public health regulations allowed, FOSD started two outdoor activities: yoga lessons and a walking group.
In May, Susan Pearson offered to start a garden group that, with help and encouragement from the NOTL parks and recreation department, would adopt the pollinator garden and lavender garden, both located at the four corners intersection. The group now has nine active gardeners, all caring for these beautiful areas at the centre of the village.
Then Lili Revas-Kvederys came up with another community-building project. Her vision is to have Little Free Libraries located throughout St. Davids, all designed to reflect the rich history of the village. Lili recruited master model builder
Leslie Mann has built the first library.. Dorothy Walker provided the story of the heritage property that this first unit represents, and the library will soon be installed at the Tanbark Park pavilion.
Historically, St. Davids was a proud and thriving independent village until, starting in the 1960s, it was bypassed and overlooked. Now, as a proud community of Niagara-on-the-Lake it is rebounding with new growth, new businesses, and new energy. On Aug. 26, the Friends of St. David celebrated this wonderful comeback!