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Press Release

52nd Rockhound Gemboree


Bancroft Chamber of Commerce President Mike Daly, Mayor Bernice Jenkins, Mayor Vivian Bloom Hastings Highlands and Hastings County Warden Rick Philips welcomed visitors at the gemboree opening ceremony. 


Message from Hastings County Warden Rick Philips at the opening of the 52nd Annual Rockhound Gemboree in Bancroft, Thursday July 30, 2015


Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to be here and take part in the opening ceremonies of the 52nd Annual Rockhound Gemboree!

The County of Hastings is pleased to be able to welcome you to the Bancroft area and we thank you for visiting us. 

I always feel that I am “somewhere” when I am in Bancroft.  I am proud of our County and the diverse activities it offers to our visitors.  I understand this festival has been recognized as a top 100 festival & event in Ontario.  Now that is really quite an accomplishment!!  The unique quality of an event such as this speaks to the diverse offering of tourist events that our County has to offer. 

For 52 years this event has been drawing tens of thousands of visitors from all over North America, which is why this area has been designated as the Mineral Capital of Canada.  I am told that this event is considered one of the largest gem and mineral shows of its kind in Canada and in fact North America.  Congratulations!


Our County’s Economic Development office continues to partner with the Bancroft Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization to further improve and enhance recreational geology in Hastings County.  Initiatives are underway to develop and promote mineral collecting opportunities in the area and encourage visitors to come to North Hastings for a unique travel experience.

While you are here, I encourage you to not only explore the exhibits, tours and the variety of minerals and gemstones but to see what else Bancroft and North Hastings has to offer.  It is obvious that they are proud of their history and heritage.

Once again, thank you for coming to the Bancroft area and sharing in this wonderful event.  I hope you enjoy your stay.  Thank you.

Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday March 31, 2015


Council members heard a presentation by CAO Hazel Lambe that provided an overview of strategic planning actions and considerations, and town and regional economic development initiatives. Municipal goals will be the foundation for all departmental  activities that will be delivered by management during Council budget deliberations.


To view Slide show presentation - Action Planning 2015- click here

To view Slide show presentation - Regional Shared Services Economic Development - click here 


Press Release - May 20th, 2015



Mayor Bernice Jenkins Comments from Tuesday December 9, 2014  


Good morning and welcome to all.

A special welcome to the new faces at the council table.

I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and what wonderful achievements this council can accomplish. This is an exciting time for us all. I would like to tell you to take time to be a sponge. Unfortunately, the business of the town must move forward. You will be making decisions based on the information before you and trust in our staff.

Through my remarks at each council meeting I try to let council know what I have been doing on your behalf. As I mentioned you will have access to my calendar and I will try to populate it with the town events that I have been asked to attend. When I have a conflict I will ask the DM or one of council to bring Greetings on my behalf.  If you know of some function coming up at which you would like to represent council, please contact me and we will try to make it happen.

 I also use my remarks to bring information from County Council. I leave my printed copies for County Committees in the office for your perusal.

County Council was sworn in on December 4th. Warden Rick Phillips accepted the position of Warden for a further two years. The Warden called 2015 as the “Year of the County Family”. He remarked on the following: The draft of the New Official Plan is to be ready by the end of 2015. We will negotiate a new contract with “911”. EMS will proceed with the “Paramedicine Pilot Project” They answered 28,000 calls in 2014. There will be five new accessible and energy wise housing units completed in Bancroft. We will work with AMO, FCM and partners at other levels of government on the National Housing Strategy. We will have a few Senior Management Positions to fill. We will continue to play a leadership role on EOWC.

Many of our services are provided for the two separated cities; Belleville and Quinte West. Both Mayors attended the Swearing In Ceremony along with the Commander from 8 Wing, CFB Trenton. They brought greetings and spoke of “Looking Forward & Growing Together with our shared services. There are representatives from both on our shared committees.

In November the County launched a new Website and a new Logo. Please take the time to check it out. EOWC presented a white paper on Bill 8.

As a County Councillor I am appointed to Committees at the pleasure of the Warden. For 2015 I have been appointed to Economic Development and Planning & Hastings/Quinte Emergency Services Committee. The Finance Committee will not be appointed until January.

Lots going on: I hope you all enjoyed the 2nd Battalion from Petawawa as much as I did. The Rally is always exciting for those who come out. I took part in the Long Service Awards for our Fire Fighters. DM Jenkins and I attended a roll out reception for EORN in Picton. I attended the AGM for Loyalist and the Chamber of Commerce. The Santa Claus Parade was great and we all appreciated the weather. Thank you to staff for their extra efforts. I visited with Santa in the newly renovated Santa’s House. The Lions have more plans for next year. There are a number of Open House (pl) over the next couple of weeks. I invite you to look at my calendar and I would ask that you let me know if there is something I have missed.

Please take a moment to check out the new plaques at the Town Office. One from the Warden honouring our Veterans and one from 2nd Battalion, Petawawa

The Staff Christmas Party is Friday night, I hope you can attend.

If there is need for a further council meeting before the end of the year we will call a Special Meeting.

For those of us who celebrate Christmas I wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas for those who don’t I wish you a Happy Holiday. Please take time to enjoy your families and friends. Come back in the new year rested and ready to work. 

It is my honour to represent this council and the people of the town of Bancroft. I thank council and staff for your support.

This ends my comments.


Town of Bancroft

8 Hastings Heritage Way, P.O. Box 790
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-3331
Fax: (613) 332-0384

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