• James Parry

Parrywinkle

Well, the freakin' floodwaters may be slowly retreating. But there's certainly no letting up in the groundswell of praise for the many hundreds of volunteers - not only from Hudson but from far and wide - who stepped up to the plate to help local residents through their nightmarish battle of the past couple of weeks. And rightly so during what has been dubbed the Flood of the Century.

Indeed, days before soldiers moved in and to parryphrase the title of a certain 2015 TV blockbuster smash hit, they were a true Band of Brothers and Sisters who will be long remembered and saluted. That being said, we should perhaps remember that it is not only in times of crises that volunteerism comes to the fore in our fair burg where it is a way of life, 12 months a year. Year in and year out.

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PRAISING PETER - Take a recent Saturday evening at Wyman United Memorial Church, for example, that my beautiful Sunshine and I were honoured to attend. When for no other reason than to say a big thanks to one such volunteer, there was a surprise party for Hudsonite, Peter Mundie, whose year-round volunteerism for decades is the stuff of legend.

With family visiting from Ottawa, Peter thought he was heading out in the car for a quiet dinner at a local restaurant. It was only at the very last minute that his beloved wife, Anne, told him that they would be popping by the church - which has been such an integral part of his life and faith since 1974 - to check on something that had unexpectedly cropped up.

PHOTO BY MAY'S STUDIO

Crikey, was he in for literally the shock of his life! And in a most positive way as over 75 well-wishers were there waiting in silence and the dark in the basement for his arrival. And what a fun yet most emotional evening ensued.

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THE GUY TO GO FOR - The Wyman Choir - of which, and I have this on an impeachable authority, he is the best male singer - was there to pay hommage with a 27-verse song of praise brilliantly researched and most humourously penned by Bill Young, encapsulating his life from A to Z. Well, kind of!

Also at the podium, the Rev. Kent Chown, as well as Clint Ward and Inga Lawson of the Hudson Film Society for which Peter volunteers his time in the projection booth for every screening. Said Clint to spontaneous applause, “Peter is a good example of the saying that the brightest stars are those who shine for the benefit of others. Even though on every occasion we shout at each other from stage to booth!”

Echoing that sentiment were Audrey Wall and Terry O'Shaughnessy of the Greenwood Centre for Living Arts for which he also volunteers. And then on behalf of all congregants, John Lawson confessed at the podium that he wasn't sure if the evening was meant to be a roast in the old Dean Martin style or a serious homage to the man known as the “guy to go for when you have a problem. Whatever the problem.” Said John, “Regardless, this room is full of love for you, because you have given so much to the church and the community at large.”

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CAMERALESS FOR ONCE - And as proof positive of the fact that Peter didn't have a clue as to what was his real destination that night, he arrived without his ever-present camera. Through which over the years he has captured literally thousands of images of Hudson and Hudsonites for posterity. Images that, hopefully, will one day serve as an inspiration for our next generation of volunteers in our very special little hamlet with a population of just over 5,000. And not only special I hasten to add but, in my mind at least, truly unique!

Oh, by the way Peter, I seem to be having a little snafu with my camera. Can you…? Nah, forget it. After all, I bought it from Linda May who took so many pics of your memorable evening and whose eponymous studio is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year and I have never ever had a problem with it since! Way to go Peter!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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