• James Parry

Parrywinkle January 19, 2017

Ah, 'tis good to be back dear readers. As I've said before, and will surely say again, while the Christmas break here at Your Local Journal is always welcome, I do miss penning this column what with so much happening and so many fascinating people doing so much positive stuff for the community in our little town by the lake every week of the year.

So out with 2016 and in with the New Year with all the promise that it holds. Not that I'm wearing rose-tinted Pollyanna spectacles mind you. For there sure is a lot to bemoan both here at home and elsewhere in the first couple of weeks of 2017.

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TRUMP TROUBLES - Our deeply divided neighbours to the south, for example, swearing in their deeply divisive and controversial - and that's putting it mildly - 45th president of the U.S., Putin's big buddy Donald Trump, tomorrow (January 20). And his promised 'renegotiation' with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the North America Free Trade Act and all that that entails including the recent dumping of Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, for someone a lot tougher.

To the west, Vancouverites - the majority of whom don't even own a snow shovel - literally fighting over free road salt being distributed at 10 fire stations there on January 4 with the police being called in to intervene.

This while in Syria, at the very same time during a so-called ceasefire but with Russian bombs still allegedly raining down, residents there are facing bare shop shelves and surviving on meagre stocks of salvaged canned food or whatever while keeping warm just by huddling together or around fires of scrap wood of which there is certainly no shortage.

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HEROES HAILED - Here in Hudson, and as posted with pics on YLJ's Facebook page that very day on January 4, a family lost their home, and almost their lives, in a post-Christmas Day early-morning blaze first spotted by two Hydro-Québec linemen while working during a power outage in the eastern sector of town. Guys by the name of Mario Ménard and Guy Desgagné who were hailed as heroes by Hudson Firefighters after they rescued the mother and her two children from the flame-engulfed second-storey house with literally only seconds to spare.

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SLIPPERY SLALOMS - This during a mini ice-storm that struck the region leaving some residents in Saddlebrook without power for almost three days. Ironically, as I learned from Rod Hodgson, almost to the very day that Quebec's infamous Ice Storm began in 1998.

And then there is the undeniably deplorable state of snow clearing of Hudson streets undertaken by a new company that, following the lowest tendered bid, secured the contract with the Town of Hudson this winter. Resulting in merchants along Main and Cameron bitterly complaining to Town Hall in early January that they were losing business because clients were unable to park or cross the piles of frozen snow lining the slippery sidewalks. Then there are the bashed stop-signs at almost impassable intersections, and many residents fuming about their streets - including ours - looking like one-lane slalom runs at the Winter Olympics.

There's an old adage that says you get what you pay for. Well, all I can say in this instance is that taxpayers, including myself, have certainly been shortchanged!

And now on to more positive stuff, as is my custom.

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NOT FORGOTTON - Learned from member, Linda Eames, that heartfelt thanks go out to all those who kindly donated to the Annual Veterans Gift Drive organized by Hudson Legion Branch #115 just before the holidays with many boxes and bags of gifts being delivered to the Volunteer Services Department at Ste. Anne's Veterans Hospital on December 19 by Belinda Gare, Sharon Graham, John Dalgarno, Barbara Gare, and Gwen Periard.

Johanne Grenier, Director of the Volunteer Services, expressed her sincere gratitude to members of our community for their support in bringing the Christmas spirit to the residents of Ste. Anne's and thanks also go out to all those who volunteered their time and effort to help collect, sort and distribute the gifts which were most warmly received.

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TOTS TOTE TREATS - As were the many bags of non-perishable food and other essential items that were collected over two weeks by youngsters aged two to five at Garderie Entre Deux Montagnes on Wharf Road together with their families and staff for Hudson's Le Pont/Bridging food bank which they presented on December 22 to Carol Laws at IGA Hudson just before Christmas.

Dropped by to take the pic below and I have to tell you, everyone in the store that morning - staff, customers, and yours truly alike - were really moved emotionally to watch the little darlings, together with their teachers, trudge in out of the snow all linked together safely bundled up and obviously so happy to be there. They even did a tour of the shopping aisles and it sure warmed the cockles of one's heart to see them head for the candy section!

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TALKING TURKEY - In the same spirit of giving, and as they have done for the fourth year in a row, a big bravo to all the volunteers at St. James Anglican Church in Hudson who prepared and hosted a fabulous free turkey dinner with all the trimmings, carol singing, and live music on January 7 hosted by The Rev. Sophie Rolland and emcee extraordinaire, Frank Royle, for some 120 guests.

Including my beautiful Sunshine and I, who might have otherwise spent the holidays without a big family with whom to celebrate as well as several residents of Manoir Cavagnal on Main.

Why January 7 which just happened to be the first day after The Epiphany marking the official end of Christmas, as well as the exact day of Armenian Christmas? Because, as I learned from Frank, it meant that so many of the volunteers, with families and previous commitments of their own, were free to devote their time to bringing joy to others.

And that they certainly did. Including our table companions for the evening Don Kerbyson and Terry Hasenhundel, George & Heather Cockburn, Vance Larson, Bryan Pearce, Bob Adams, and Sheila Bartram. A truly wonderful evening much appreciated by all!

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BRAW BRICHT MOONLICHT NICHT - Speaking of dinners and popping back to The Legion for a moment before I forget, in the words of the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns, in his 1786 immortal poem, To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church:

And would some power give us the gift

To see ourselves as others see us!

Why, as a Sassenach, am I mentioning this? Because on Friday, January 27, at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre at 394 Main Road, there will be a lot of Scots to see when The Legion will once again be hosting its annual Robert Burns Dinner & Dance and you dinna have to be Scottish to attend. There will be music by Greg Inniss, the bar will be open for a wee deoch an doris and other liquid libations, and for more info or to confirm a reservation call (450) 458-4882.

After all, even though New Year's Eve has come and gone, it is still possible for everyone to sing in true positive style We'll take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Habbie

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