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Elphinstone Chronicles: Goodbye Gayle and hello Faye

After four years, Gayle Neilson is leaving the Elphinstone Chronicles beat. But, she's got an enthusiastic successor in Faye Kiewitz.
C. Elphinstone Chronicles_resized
Gayle Neilson when she was visiting Norval, Ontario. (This manse was the home of Lucy Maude Montgomery for several years.)

After more than four years of writing the Elphinstone Chronicles column, the time has come to pass the torch to a new “voice.”  

It has been a pleasure and an honour to write about this unique community; in the process I’ve learned more about Elphinstone than having lived here 36 years prior! I got to dig into the history of our Area E Regional District, helped by interviews with many “oldtimers.”  I’ve written about the history of the Elphinstone Community Association, which has been around (changed its name a couple of times) since the 1960s, and also about its regular meeting place in pre-COVID times, the Frank West Hall. I’ve talked about how certain streets came by their names, about Chaster House and about Cedar Grove School, arguably the real hub of Elphinstone. And let’s not forget our great artists, the many farm gate stands dotting our community or Reed Road Forest, the treasured natural woods that form Elphinstone’s northern boundary. I’ve even noted the Elphinstone Community Association in Manitoba, and made mention of the original Elphinstone in Scotland. However, the one thing I was not able to find out is the Indigenous name for Mount Elphinstone even though I tried through a number of channels. I now leave that challenge to my successor, Faye Kiewitz. 

It was gratifying to get such a lot of feedback from an email I sent out to my Area E contacts asking for someone to take over penning this column. People responded with great ideas, along with offers to write the odd guest column, names which I’ve now passed along to Faye. But it was Faye Kiewitz, who responded immediately and even took it upon herself to go and chat with Coast Reporter Editor, Bronwyn Beairsto. 

Born and raised in Elphinstone, Faye is the daughter of Martin and Tracey Kiewitz, of Henry Reed Organic Produce, where she works full time. She does so many other things including hosting Rock N’ Roll Bingo, trivia, events and fundraisers under the name Coastal Hosts with fiancé, Scotty. I’ve known Faye in various capacities and was especially amazed when, a few years ago, her hand shot up when the ECA was looking for a chairperson. It was her first time attending! She did that important job for a year and she also chaired the Agriculture Advisory Committee for two years before the SCRD ended it (and why was that?). She even started a softball team called, appropriately enough, ‘The Farmhands.’ She says, “I have a passion for the Coast’s history and hope to dig up some amazing stories about Elphinstone.” 

I know you will support Faye in helping keep the community informed of events and activities. So now, dear readers, please let Faye know what’s on your mind, pass along news or send her enticing tidbits of history. You can get in touch with her at: 

I’d like to thank everyone who took time to respond to my request. I’m also truly grateful to the many people who have told me how much they appreciated the column and given me feedback over these 4+ years – that meant a lot to me.  See you around. 

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