• James Parry

St. Thomas Ladies Auxiliary calls it a day after 43 years of spreading Christmas cheer


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

All set for their last Christmas Bazaar after 43 years are the Magnificent Seven on the steps of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Hudson. From left to right, Barbara Verboomen, Renate Pasborg, Lise Dorval, Marta Deschamps, founder Frances Hynes, Muriel Baggott, and Pauline Poirier.

For the past 43 years, a very special group of volunteers has been a brilliant part of Hudson's Christmas and Holiday festive season bringing goodwill and joy to so many, including those less fortunate in our region and even further afield.

They are the St. Thomas of Aquinas Ladies Auxiliary, founded by Frances Hynes in 1947 with but one objective – assisting people in need and especially children which they have done ever since at their eagerly-awaited Christmas Arts & Crafts Sale held in Reid Hall below the church at 413 Main Road.

Sadly, this year's sale – being held Saturday, November 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – will be their last. As Auxiliary secretary Lise Dorval told Your Local Journal earlier this week, “Unfortunately, after 43 years of constant work, it is now time for us to say goodbye due to older age and lack of member renewal in recent years.”

When it all began, the group had some 40 members with Hynes as their leader and inspiration. Earlier this week, the Magnificent Seven ladies still carrying on gathered for a photo on the steps of their church. Namely, Frances Hynes, Pauline Poirier, Lise Dorval, Muriel Baggott, Josette Mallette, Renate Pasborg, Barbara Verboomen and Marta Deschamps.

Said Hynes on behalf of them all, “We would like to thank all parishioners who brought all kinds of crafts and wonderful desserts along with all those who supported our efforts by visiting our annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Sale. They have helped support so many charities and worthwhile causes such as Father Veilleux's marvelous work in Peru, including the adoption of local families and providing medical supplies in that country.”

Added Dorval, “In our diocese, our annual sale has helped abused women, as well as sending children – including those with physical challenges – to summer camp. And in Hudson, we have long supported the Le Pont/Bridging food bank helping families in need at this very special time of year as well as the emergency fund of our beloved priest, Father Roland Demers.”

The date again is Saturday, November 18. Prices are marked down and, as always, there will be the Ladies’ famous bake table replete with Chelsea buns, fruitcakes, pies, tourtières and turkey potpies that always sell like hot cakes. A great occasion to stock up on your Christmas gifts and perhaps thank the ladies for a job well done.

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