Parrywinkle January 21, 2016

Looking for something new to do this year? As I've said before, and will surely say again, the wonderful community that is Hudson would simply not have been the same over the decades without the countless volunteers who, year after year, give of their time and areas of expertise to making our little town by the lake a better place in which to live.

That being said, it is a fact of life that many of those long-time volunteers are not as spry as they once were. And several have decided in 2016 to take a well-deserved break while hoping to pass on the torch, as it were, to younger people or those new to the community that are perhaps looking to become more involved while meeting new friends and perhaps sharing a common interest. Well, now is the time!

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LEADER WANTED - Just learned from Al Jared, for example, that the volunteer-run, not-for-profit Hudson and Region Studio Tour - held for two days every year the last weekend in September - is currently searching for a replacement to lead its committee in 2016, its 12th year of operation. Needless to say, that person must have leadership skills and has to be interested in promoting the arts in Hudson and the immediate surrounding area.

For the record, the committee is made up of volunteers comprising Al & Georgia Jared, Betty Marok, Cork Winters, as well as John Sauter and Monique Renaud, each member being responsible for one facet of the tour which began in 2003 as The Hudson Studio Tour.

The role of the leader is to organize meetings and co-ordinate the tasks of the individual members and, if you are interested in taking on this challenge, or know someone who might be, give Al a buzz at (450) 458-5471. I know he would love to hear from you!

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GATHERING GARDENERS - Meanwhile, if gardening is more to your liking and you would love to join a great group at The Hudson Garden Club (HGC) that organizes and is involved in a wide range of activities throughout the season, the club's board of directors would also be delighted to hear from you.

HGC president, Lorrie Phelan, tells me that volunteers are needed to help head up the monthly raffles, secure local gardens for the two annual Garden Tours, and organize the Summer Garden Party as well as the Easter Seed Planting when members help children plant seeds in small containers that they can take home and watch grow.

The club is also looking for a member to join the board in the role of secretary, a position that mainly entails taking minutes at board meetings and handling the club’s correspondence. Interested? Then call Lorrie at (450) 458-4032 or e-mail her at hudsongardenclkub@gmail.com. And who knows what will grow from it!

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GENTLEMEN NEED NOT APPLY - Must say it was a pleasure bumping into - quite literally - Christine Snyder earlier this week. Yet another dedicated volunteer, this time with the Hudson Village Theatre, who was putting up posters around town for a really fun, one-night Friend Raiser to which I am definitely not invited. Well, except perhaps to take a pic for YLJ.

Nothing personal, I was assured. But you see, it is a 'Ladies Only No Gentlemen' evening - and fundraiser in fact for HVT - complete with wining and dining and the screening of an hilarious British comedy titled What We Did On Our Holiday starring Rosamund Pike from Gone Girl, former Dr. Who, David Tennant, and the inimitable comedian and The Hobbit star, William 'Billy' Connolly.

Says Christine, who recently joined HVT's board of directors, “It is a wonderful opportunity for ladies to make new friends, connect with others, and enjoy a great evening out with a lot of laughs. After all, not everyone is already a member of a club that has regular activities at which they can socialize and have fun!”

What a great idea on the part of HVT and one, I understand that, if successful this first time, could be followed by other similar happenings throughout the year. The movie, by the way, tells the tale of Doug and Abi who take their kids on a family vacation. Surrounded by relatives, the youngsters innocently reveal the ins and outs of their family life and many intimate details about their parents. It's soon clear that when it comes to keeping a big secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability!

Tickets to the January 28th event, which include the movie and dinner, are $25 plus tax and can be reserved by calling the Box Office at (450) 458-5361 or online at villagetheatre.ca. Doors open at 6 p.m. with movie at 7:30 p.m. Eat your hearts out guys. And now back to the ladies and still on the topic of food!

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FROM IRELAND WITH LOVE - This time around, brown Irish soda bread. And a fascinating full-colour article, together with a personal true-and-tried recipe, in the December-January edition of the online The Cook's Cook magazine penned by none other than Miriam 'Min' Dunne. Still the reigning Queen Mom crowned at last year's Hudson's St. Patrick's Parade until her successor is named in March, and owner of Gite 72 on Birch Hill.

Min, who grew up in a small fishing village called Blackrock on the east coast of Ireland, says she learned the recipe from her Aunt Mary who lived with her family and trusty Aga oven in Kilkenny. One of my favourite draft beers, incidentally. But definitely never had it with soda bread!

Admits Min, “It took me some practice as an adult to get my Irish soda bread right, even with all o