Parrywinkle, Dec. 7, 2017


Well, it's official folks. Santa's back in town! Welcomed along Main Road in Hudson this past Sunday, December 3, among people-packed sidewalks replete with young families, seniors, and visitors from throughout the region. With tiny tots in tow all snugly bundled up catching the candy canes and looking on agog as the Santa Claus Parade wound its way from Côte Saint-Charles to the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre where the kids could have their photo taken with Jolly Old St. Nicholas himself!

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JOLLY GOOD TIME - Unlike previous years, not a snowflake in sight and no biting wind to chill the bones. But rather a balmy 4° C under clear skies. And to the few negative nabobs who moaned to me that all that was missing was snow - and not tongue in cheek I hasten to add - I say bah, humbug! There's plenty of time for that between now and spring and when Hudson's next annual parade, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, rolls around in March.

Once again, Santa's Parade had it all. Pipes and marching bands, community and local business floats, fire brigades, equestrians, ponies and horse-drawn wagons, pet pooches galore, local musicians and, of course - as they have done for several years in such a big and most welcome way - the Karnak Shriners complete with their terrific train, as well as marvelous mini cars and ATVs zipping hither and zither to the delight of young and old alike.

And, all once again, superbly orchestrated by the Town of Hudson, not one negative incident to report, and it all got off to a brilliant candlelit start outside the community centre on Friday evening, December 1, with Hudson's Festival of Lights. (See photos on our Facebook page).

Way to go Hudson. You did our little town proud. And a jolly good time was had by one and all!

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FLYING HIGH WITH CLINT - As was the case on Saturday afternoon, December 2, when my beautiful Sunshine and I - along with what had to have been well over 100 others from far and wide - popped by Heather and Bert Markraf's Gallery Plus on Main Road for the official launch of proud Hudsonite 86-year-old Clint Ward's autobiography, On All The Other Days: The Adventures of a Renaissance Man.

Tell you dear readers, it would take a book to do the 318-page photo-packed book justice but obviously I don't have the space. Suffice to say the opening chapter is a mind-blowing account of Clint's brush with death in 2015 that resulted in the amputation of his left leg. It goes on to span his short stint in Canada's Royal Canadian Air Force followed by 40 years as a professional aviator with Trans Canada Airlines (TCA) and Air Canada including 12 as a Captain on a Boeing 747.

Also his legendary water skiing exploits at the Hudson Yacht Club and indeed throughout Canada, his love of travel, writing, art, storytelling, music, theatre, and so much more. And always with an innate passion and all truly indicative of a real renaissance man who - as a prairie boy from Saskatoon growing up in the 1930s - moved to Hudson in 1956 and has lived every day to the fullest ever since.

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HOW WRONG CAN YOU BE? - Still reading the book, of course, but when scanning it earlier this week, one illustration just jumped right off the page. It was a photocopy of a letter signed by TCA's chief pilot to the airline's director of flight operations back in 1956 which stated in part:

“A discussion was held today with First Officer C. G. Ward relative to his history with the company. Ward was advised that we were very unhappy with his general attitude and approach to his work and that rather than show any improvement since our last discussion, there was definite indication of a degeneration. He was advised that his present attitude made him an undesirable type of employee and unless he adopted a more co-operative and pleasing approach it was highly doubtful that he would remain with us for any great length of time.”

Clint would go on to carry the tattered letter throughout his illustrious flying career! Copies, by the way, are available at Gallery Plus, May's Studio, and Pure Art Boutique in Hudson. Thanks for the memories Clint!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail creation@videotron.ca

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