• James Parry

Parrywinkle, May 31, 2018

PHOTO BY CRISS GAETANO

Yours truly (at right in back row) and Patricia MacGeachy (fifth from left) were delighted to be guest choristers for the service at Wyman United Memorial Church in Hudson this past Trinity Sunday, May 27.

Did I ever tell you about the time back in the late 1960s in Toronto when the theatre critic at the long-demised Toronto Star singled me out in a review and sang my praises as a 'rising star and terrific tenor'? No? Then permit me to elaborate for I do have a reason!

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WHY AT WYMAN - I was a volunteer member of the Scarborough Music Theatre at the time – which is still there today – and was painting scenery and props when visiting director, Garth Allan of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw Festival fame, announced he was staging The Canterbury Tales for 14 performances in our theatre-in-the-round. “And you are going to play Chaucer,” he told me in no uncertain terms. “Why me?” I asked in awe. “Because you have long hair, some gravitas, an English accent, and a real beard. Can you sing?”

And so it was that, despite my protestations to the contrary, I ended up in the role. Obliged to join in four chorus numbers, as I recall, as the dozens of pilgrims wended their merry way to see the shrine and receive the blessings of St. Thomas à Becket.

And now confession time. I didn't sing a note. I learned the words, made sure I walked next to real tenors, and lip synched every song. Sheesh, did I get s#*@ from those guys when they read the review!

All of which is to say that there was no chance of faking it this past Sunday when - together with non-choir member and soprano Patricia MacGeachy - I joined the gowned choir at Wyman United Memorial Church in Hudson, if only for one performance, for their fourth annual Chorister for a Day program.

And I have to tell you dear readers, while I am not a congregant of any church in Hudson, it was a most marvelous, emotional, and uplifting experience singing hymns and anthems that I had never heard prior to the pre-service rehearsal - let alone sing - before.

As for a review? Well, suffice to say that Music Director Wanda Kaluzny and The Rev. Kent Chown did say I would be welcome back at any time. And that is on record here in The Journal even though I did write it myself! (See photo on our Facebook page).

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PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Getting all set earlier this week for Saturday's Spring Fling were four of the participants comprising (from left to right) Sara Lazarek of the Hudson Food Collective (HFC), Felicia Ruzilo and Lisa Van Egmond of Hudson Greenhouses, and Robyn Rees also with HFC.

SUPER SPRING FLING - And now to an invitation to a very special happening extended to all from throughout the region and, coincidentally, being staged on the grounds of Wyman, 513 Main Road, this Saturday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Namely, the annual Spring Fling when several organizations from throughout the community will be getting together to celebrate the arrival of good weather and great gardening.

The Wyman plant sale featuring locally grown plants direct from the growers including Hudson Greenhouses in St. Lazare will be the centerpiece while the Hudson Garden Club will hold its very popular root sale, and the farmers at the Hudson Heartbeet Farm will be selling seedlings for your vegetable garden.

The Hudson Food Collective and the Dandelion Festival will be on site to talk about their projects and celebrate the dandelion in all its glory and the Greenwood Centre for Living History will be under a tent talking about their upcoming summer program and announcing the winner of its third annual Spring Photography Competition.

Le Nichoir Wild Bird Conservation Centre will be offering the first 50 visitors a native tree, the Pin Cherry, perfect for attracting feathered friends to your garden. And the cooks and bakers of Wyman’s Kitchen will be offering sandwiches and goodies to munch on as you amble through the various displays. (See photo on our Facebook page). Sounds like a lot of fun and hope to see you there!

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THE BRITISH CAME - Meanwhile, strolled over to St. Thomas Park to check out the 9th biennial Hudson British Car Show on Sunday afternoon which, despite what threatened to be a lousy rain-drenched day - a repeat of the day before - actually turned out to be not a bad day for exhibitors and visitors alike although it did bucket down during the official presentation of prizes as judged by the public.

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

And which I learned from show coordinator this year, Terry Connolly, saw over 200 British vehicles - including motorcycles and many MGs, Triumphs, and Austin Minis - driving into town from far and wide. Oh yes, and what surely had to be the oldest car in the show, a 1927 Rolls Royce Berwick in what seemed to me at least in jolly good tip top condition!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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