• James Parry

Parrywinkle, January 26, 2017

Ouf! Tell you folks. It's good to be back from last Friday's big inauguration galas and balls of America's 45th president, Donald J. Trump, in Washington, D.C., with all expenses paid by my most generous publisher here at Your Local Journal. And just for the record, I felt obliged to turn down the offer of a long weekend stay - again, all expenses covered and with rates at about $700 U.S. a night - at Trump's newest hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Nah, I'm only kidding. For like a rube rubbernecker at a road accident, I elected to watch it on TV along with millions of other Canadians in what had to be the craziest reality show of the century in the comfort of my own home right here in Hudson!

And besides, I had two other upcoming more important local balls and galas to report on in our neck of the woods. As well as a right royal regal evening here in town spotlighting Queen Victoria, who reigned not for four years, with the possibility of eight, but for 64 from 1837 to 1901. Making her the longest-reigning British monarch to wear the crown until surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II on September 9, 2015.

Intrigued? Then read on dear readers!

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RIGHT ROYAL EVENING - For my beautiful Sunshine and I were most graciously invited to attend, in appropriate period dress if possible, a fabulous reception and the 'live' screening of the premiere episode of the thrilling and enthralling Masterpiece costume drama, Victoria, now being shown on PBS Mountain Lake broadcasting from Plattsburgh just south of the border.

All at the beautiful B&B Gite 72 on Birch Hill Street in Hudson Heights, owned and personally operated by Miriam Dunne who - may I say it? - is a member of the 'Royal Family' herself. As she was crowned Queen Mum of Hudson's St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2015!

Welcomed by Ronit Yarosky, Director of Donor Engagement, Canadian Friends of Mountain Lake - which has been bringing some of the best of television to our region for the past 40 years - guests also partook in a delightful trip-down-memory-lane quiz on Downton Abbey, also shown on PBSML. All vying for a beautiful basket of appropriate delights courtesy of Nicky & Derek Fisher, owners of Hudson's very own British food emporium, Clarence & Cripps, on Cameron.

Simply delectable were the delicious nibbles and canapes created by Hudson caterer extraordinaire and - if in surname only, a Baron - a member of the order of the British nobility usually referred to as 'Lord'. Namely, Stuart LeBaron, whose company Baron Bites recently moved to a new location on Main from his former premises opposite Hudson's Fire Station.

The convivial company from throughout the region was right in to the spirit of the evening. And all agreed that Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman portraying her at the tender age of 18 and her life full of turmoil, is one viewing experience not to be missed.

For further info on the series, or to learn more about how you can personally help to keep such quality series coming, give Ronit a call at (514) 882-5223 or e-mail her at ryarosky@mountainlake.org. And do enjoy Victoria!

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HAPPENING FOR PALLIATIVE CARE - Meanwhile, organizers are currently putting the final touches to the annual Happening Gala in support of the Palliative Care Residence on Como Gardens in Hudson when over 400 people from far and wide are expected at the Pavillon sur le Lac du Château-Vaudreuil in a benefit fundraiser for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence Foundation on Saturday, January 28.

Under the honorary chairmanship of André Gingras from Groupe Autoforce, and supported by events production company CUBiX, planners are keeping a few surprises in store for guests. But there is certainly no secret that following the traditional cocktail and culinary experience, on-stage headliners will be the brilliant Boogie Wonder Band.

Says André, president and co-owner of Groupe Autoforce which includes Cadillac Chevrolet Buick GMC of Île-Perrot, Mazda 2-20, Île-Perrot Toyota, and Île-Perrot Collision Centre, “I am extremely happy to support the foundation. I have myself had family experiences in the past few years where I was able to witness the significant difference that a palliative care residence can have during the last few days of life.

“The testimonials of the families who have come through the doors of the residence reiterate time and time again their appreciation for the specialized services and support offered. For over six years these services have been given free of charge to over 950 terminally-ill patients of all ages who have been cared for with respect and concern for their dignity.”

Adds Jacinthe Demers, the residence's Interim Executive Director, “We could not pursue our mission day after day and year after year without the community mobilization and support. The Happening represents for us the most important annual fundraising event to gather crucial funds to operate,”

To reserve tickets priced at $250 with a $100 tax receipt for this most praiseworthy musical, culinary and social experience, contact Barbara Firth at (450) 202-2202, extension 132. And boogie on!

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TALLY HO - The following Saturday, February 4, Hudson's Whitlock Golf and Country Club, will see The Lake of Two Mountains Hunt Club - founded way back in 1946 and the only hunt in Canada whose territory extends over two Provinces (Quebec and Ontario) - hosting its black-tie dinner welcoming members and non-members alike for a night filled with tall tales of the 2016 hunting season, super silent auction, and live entertainment.

Intrigued to learn from secretary, Sophie Maheo, that the Club - which relies on the support of local landowners who allow members to hunt on their land as well as the generous sponsorship of the Hagen family - has actually never caught a fox or coyote in over 30 years. “It really is a game of cat and mouse. With the mouse always winning,” she laughs.

Adds Sophie, “That being said, foxhunting has many benefits, both for the rider and for the horse. For the rider, it gives a chance to use the skills taught in the ring while enjoying the wonders of nature. And while there are jumps on the territory, these can be avoided if one does not wish to take them. For the horse, it builds confidence and gives a change of pace to the sometimes monotony of the ring.

“One does not have to own a horse to come out, however, as mounts are available for lease. We are always looking for new riders and we are a fun and friendly group who love horses, hounds, and the camaraderie spirit of the hunt.”

Moreover, for some riding members it really is a family affair with ages ranging from 14-year-old Hudsonite Emma Campbell riding with her father, James, to others in their late 70s. Also from Hudson, Maiwenn (8) and Ewen (6) are currently taking riding lessons at Forever Green Stables so that they can soon join their parents, Sophie Maheo and David Anderson, on the actual hunt which is based in Ste. Anne de Prescott with the 13-hound kennels located nearby in Glen Robertson, Ontario.

For more info, Sophie can be reached at (514) 208-1837 or by e-mail at sophie.maheo@gmail.com. It sure promises to be a great ride!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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