Bench tossed into river

Courtesy photo by Daniel Rudd.

CHESTERVILLE — Rev. Bruce North of the Harmony Church Drop-In Centre says he was warned about placing a conventional public bench in front of his Chesterville venue.

“When I first put a bench out there years ago, they all said it would be in the Nation [River] before the week was out. So I had a very good long run with it,” wryly observed North today, Feb. 23, the day the pessimistic prediction finally came true.

The advice, he recalls, came from the village’s Green Action Gang — Chesterville’s version of an ‘In-Bloom’ committee — whose members dutifully painted the bench in front of the Main Street North Drop-In Centre each year.

Chesterville’s other, beefier public benches were locally fundraised and procured by the Gang a few years ago. Those reddish solid-concrete units, sourced out of the United States, were chosen because they are much too heavy for this type of mischief.

The one spotted in the river today — by Pastor Daniel Rudd through the window of his riverbank office at The Gathering House Church, just east of the Drop-In Centre — was plastic but filled with stone dust for extra heft.  The bench apparently disappeared from its spot at the Centre sometime the previous evening, according to North, who suggests two people would have been required to carry off the act of vandalism.

Rudd snapped a photo of the bench just before 1 p.m., minutes before it broke through the ice and sank.

“Broken people do broken things,” observed the Centre’s coordinator, Megan Campbell, in the resulting Facebook post.

Constable Joel Doiron of the SD&G OPP said the incident was not yet on file with the detachment.


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