Parrywinkle, May 25, 2016

Remember that old adage that home is where the heart is? Well, as I learned this week, for proof positive, one only has to check out the volunteer committee members who have been working so hard behind the scenes to make this year's Hudson Country Homes Tour all set for next Thursday, June 1, yet another great success.


MULTI-GENERATIONAL AFFAIR - And I was fascinated to discover that not only are many of the homes featured steeped in history but so too are the volunteers! This year’s conveners, for example - Marilyn Pound and Linda Cobbett - are following in the footsteps of family members who did the same or otherwise volunteered over the past 60 years. Archival photos show Marilyn’s mother, Catherine Gray, as supervisor from 1983 to 1985. As well as Linda's mother-in-law, Ruth Cobbett, as a committee member, and her husband’s aunt and uncle’s Duclos home on the tour.

Cody Gilmour is continuing the tradition begun by her mother, Shelagh Gilmour. And Betsy Aird grew up in a family immersed in the tour. Her Mom Barbara, Aunt Joan Aird Jacobsen, and Betsy have had each of their homes on the tour and together with her sisters, Suzi and Mary, as volunteers, Betsy has also enlisted her hubby, Peter Lang, to help with the parking. Not to mention that she herself was a convener for six years.

Gay Campbell started with the tour years ago when asked by her mother-in-law, Phyllis Campbell, to join in and Gay’s husband, Chris, couldn’t refuse his wife’s request for parking assistance as was the case for Gerald Potter, Laurie Tomita’s husband, and George Dempsey, Elizabeth’s husband, as well as Elio Sasso, Jean’s husband. In fact, it was 20 years ago that Jean joined in to help with the lunches at St. James enlisting her daughter, Judith, 10 years ago and even her granddaughter, Delphine Hamaoui!

Truly a remarkable multi-generational endeavour involving more than 300 local volunteers, six exceptional residences, and a fundraiser for Hudson's St. James' Anglican Church that supports many local and not so local charitable and worthwhile causes while attracting hundreds of out-of-towners to our wonderful little community by the lake.

For more information or to order your tickets at $30 each and $15 for the lunch at St. James' go to And hope to see you there!


OPEN AND SHUT CASE - Meanwhile, and just for a change of pace, people often ask me if I do Sudoku. That mind-boggling Japanese-inspired puzzle created back in the late 1980s, now a daily pursuit of millions of Canadians.

Crikey Mick. If I go to the grocery store to buy more than four items, I need a shopping list in writing. And then I have to add up the total of purchases in the basket to make sure I have everything. So invariably I answer no. Never. Sheesh, I get a migraine just looking at the grid. Preferring instead to do my head in trying to solve the weekly cryptic crossword in the Montreal Gazette created by my old friend, the late and great Alan Lee.

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY Former Reader’s Digest director Ken Andrews (left ) and author Rob Shutler with his two new books Mathematics Finely Explained.

Why am I mentioning this? Because of Hudsonite, Rob Shutler, who taught Math at Hudson High School - now Westwood Senior High - for 28 years before retiring in 2015 to spend more time with the love of his life, Lesley Bobeldijk, and their pet pooch, Euclid.

As I learned this week, Rob has also found the time to write two books under the umbrella heading of Mathematics Finely Explained and each the size of a telephone directory, devoted to two other loves of his life. Namely, Algebra and Geometry.

Just published by Trafford Publications in Indianapolis, Indiana, they are impressive tomes to say the least. Intended for not only serious Math students in Grades 9 to 12, but also for teachers and even universities for better curriculum development. What's more, explains Rob, they are not based on any provincial Math curriculum - which may vary across Canada - but are applicable right throughout North America.

These are not the first books he has written, however, having previously published four during a sabbatical in 2002. Nor will they be the last as he has already submitted one on Trigonometry and has seven others in the works. Go figure!

And that's a wrap!