Parrywinkle, Nov. 2, 2017


YLJ FILE PHOTO/JAMES ARMSTRONG

Like most guys I know, spending an hour in a store, let alone four, just ain't gonna happen. You go for a pair of socks, buy a pair of socks, and get out fast. No browsing or window shopping. I would rather have root canal work without an anesthetic or be chucked into a patch of poison ivy! But that's exactly what I did this past Saturday, October 27, and it could not have been more pleasurable and rewarding.

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HUMBLING EXPERIENCE - For I was at Walmart in Vaudreuil-Dorion, together with fellow Hudson Legion Branch #115 member, Michael Elliott, pinning on poppies to shoppers as part of the annual Poppy Campaign that runs through November 11 not only here on the home front but throughout Canada.

Tell you folks, it was a most illuminating, emotional, and humbling experience. Being born in England in the fall of 1945, I never served in the military. But my father, John Parry, did with Montgomery's Eighth Army in North Africa and although he never did talk about it I know he was secretly proud to be dubbed a Desert Rat.

And so on Saturday I was thinking of him and all the other Veterans who put themselves in harm's way to serve and fight in foreign lands so that people like you and me could live in the world - with all its problems and current conflicts - that we enjoy today. Including, on Sunday, November 5, voting in a democratic election for mayors and councillors in our region.

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PARADE ON SUNDAY - Sheesh. Four hours? I could have stayed there all day. We held out until relieved for the afternoon shift by Marie Larouche and Flore Koluzs. As was the case with other volunteers at 11 other nearby locations all organized and supervised with military precision by Gerry Foliot and Moe Lafoley with every cent raised going directly to honour and support Veterans, serving military, and their families.

So, on their behalf, the next time you are out shopping or popping into a local bar or restaurant between now and November 11, do pick up a poppy. And hey, if you left it on your other coat or lost it perhaps when attaching your seat belt, may I suggest that you take another one. Chipping in what you can, loose change and all. After all, it's only once a year for a great cause that lasts all year long!

This year's Remembrance Day Parade in Hudson, by the way, leaves the IGA parking lot at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, November 5, with the Cenotaph Memorial Ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. just after the parade arrives at The Legion located behind the Community Centre at 394 Main. Lest we forget!

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BUCKET LIST 2 - Something that I will certainly never forget, albeit for a totally different reason, is the one-man show at Hudson Village Theatre three years ago when Hudsonite Michael McNally ticked off an item on his bucket list that he had long dreamed of doing. Booking HVT and singing standards on stage with all proceeds going to a cause dear to his heart. Namely, The Bryan Liew Foundation, named in honour of Bryan Liew, former St. Lazare resident, coach of the Hudson/St. Lazare Running and Athletics Club as well as the athletics club of Westwood Junior High who passed away in 2013.

Well, Michael is back, for one night only, and again at HVT but this time co-hosted by stars such as Alexandre Beaulieu - who has appeared in Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables - Paola Travaglini singing classical duets with Alexandre, and Michael's talented daughters Katie - former singer with the Freddie James Project - Alessa who is flying in from London, England, and Francesca who will be singing alongside their dad as well as doing their own solos.

Said Michael, 75 years young and still running an average of 40 km weekly, “It really will be a musical extravaganza and all the money raised will be going to help promote and support amateur sports as well as help develop sports infrastructure including a synthetic track in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.”

It's all happening at HVT, 28 Wharf Road, on Wednesday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at $20 a pop are selling fast and for reservations, call (514) 572-2332 or e-mail michaelmcnallyster@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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