Saturday, 20 January 2018

In Johnstown,Ontario, just East of Prescott, there stands a strong 60 ft. tower, a former windmill and now a heritage lighthouse.  It was the site of the historic Battle Of The Windmill (1838), fought between approximately 250 insurgents called Patriot Hunters, from the United States who were sympathetic to the 1837 Rebellions in Canada, and local militia and British soldiers.
 A group of citizens called "The Friends Of Windmill Point" was formed in 1996, their mission to ensure that this impressive tower and its grounds are kept in good shape and open to the public during the Summer months, both as a resource to educate about the area's history and to share its beautiful vista.  I have been impressed by the number of people from all over the world who come to this site to view the beautiful St. Lawrence from the top windows of the tower, and to learn its story.
 On July 1st 2017, to mark Canada's 150th birthday, the FOW installed a symbolic light at the top of the lighthouse; When it was decommissioned some forty some years ago, its light had been extinguished.  As a recent member of  the FOW,  I wrote the following poem, a tribute to its strong, nurturing character:

The Windmill Lighthouse

I have folded my arms
They are gone, long ago,
And my eyes have been closed
To the travellers below;
I still gaze over water,
And watch in my way,
As below my strong tower
Parents stop, children play;

Their harmless mock battles
Remind me today
Of those others who died,
And oft times I pray

For the lives of the men,
Who surrounded my tower,
Could they not feel my sorrow,
Could they not feel me cower?

I cried when my walls
Were a refuge for men
Who came not in peace,
But misguided intent.

Now, I witness your struggles
As you pass by each day
And I silently cheer
When you choose the right way.

For years I've been waiting
Where your forefathers stood,
Now, once more I will shine out -

A symbol for good.

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