• James Parry

Parrywinkle, April 19, 2018


PHOTO COURTESY RIGAUD OLDTIMERS HOCKEY ASSOCIATION

I was racking my brain for a fun intro to this week's column, and with the ice and snow now thankfully disappearing daily and life returning to the land despite the recent freezing rain, I suddenly thought of the Pleistocene Era that is said to have begun some 2.6 million years ago. I know, but sometimes I get these crazy ideas!

More specifically, to the last Ice Age which peaked 21,000 years ago and ended just a mere 11,500 years ago as the gargantuan glaciers that covered most of planet Earth melted and receded. Okay. So I had to look that up on Google. But sheesh, anyone around at that time could not have felt more relieved than we are right now to see our winter of discontent come to an end. Or almost!

People are out walking and smiling again. Gardens are emerging from under their deep blanket of white. Birds are singing. Tree buds are burgeoning. Winter woolies are being chucked for another year. Winter tires are being changed. And Crocus and Snowdrops are already blooming in sunny spots.

Ah, you just gotta love it!

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CARING FOR COLE - Meanwhile, over at Hudson's legendary watering hole, Château du Lac, on Saturday afternoon April 14, there was a big party of another kind going on and for a most serious cause. Billed as a palooza, a word I've never heard before but which, according to Google again, means an all-out crazy bash in one place with a ton of people partying like there's no tomorrow.

Crazy it may have been. But its raison d'être was for a serious cause. Namely, a fundraiser in support of 32 year-old Hudsonite, Cole Dreger, who is currently recovering from emergency surgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute following a brain aneurysm a couple of weeks ago. And who will be convalescing for eight months or so before, hopefully, being able to return to work with Ken Crombie and his team at Ace Hardware on Main Road.

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BIG BRAVO - And what a party it was with the full support of the local community and raising a staggering $14,000 with all the money going to Cole's uncle, David Brooks, who will be allocating it accordingly until Cole is back on his feet.

So a big hand folks for the organizing team comprising Stephanie Lapointe, Mike Gervais, Francine Martin, Sean McAllister, and Melanie Lachapelle, as well as the Château staff - with special shout out to Lindsay Lubell Smith - James Randall, Alicia Aird, and Shane Halfyard. As well as Jordan Drisdelle who loaned the games for the day.

And a big bravo to the artists who performed on stage including Seiji Gutierrez, The Black Cadillacs, Dave Randall who also loaned his equipment and did sound for all the other artists, André Maillet, and The Guilbros.

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HEARTFELT THANKS - As an emotional Cole told me the following day, “I cannot even begin to describe what this has all meant to me. Words escape me. I stopped by briefly but had to leave as I was in tears. And still am in a way, but in a positive sense. The love that was shown to me was overwhelming and I would like to thank everyone who came out to support me during these difficult times. It really shows what a wonderful, caring community we live in and it is something that I will remember all my life.”

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ROHA FOR HUMBOLDT - And now back to the ice and another heartwarming cause. To the Bourget Collège Arena to be exact where on Monday night, April 16, and during finals week, players with the Rigaud Old Timers Hockey Association (ROHA) now in its 22nd year passed around the helmet and raised almost $1,000 that will be going to the Humboldt Go Fund Me campaign in support of families there still reeling from the recent tragedy in Saskatchewan.

Explained Marc Emond, who has been involved with coaching hockey for over three decades, “It really hit us hard. Over the years, I have coached many youngsters and virtually all of our players, about 56 regular and 15 spares, have children of their own. We all wanted to do something to express our feelings and when we decided to have a collection everybody, without hesitation, chipped in.”

What's more, every ROHA player now has a Humboldt Broncos logo sticker on their helmet thanks to St. Lazare resident, Martine David, sales manager for NU-Foilprint in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, who arranged to have them printed up and delivered at no charge whatsoever.

ROHA played their finals last night, April 18, and regardless of who actually won, all of them are sure winners in my book! See photos on our Facebook page.

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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