Let’s sing carols

Here’s cheers for our Choraliers! That great group—large as any choir anywhere else with more than 60 voices—could sing every day and many of us admirers would somehow find time to listen. First off, tell Diane Maxey there’s nobody like her to be directing so many voices while leading and demonstrating with her own wonderful tones. Some day our community will build a music temple especially for the Choraliers while the whole world learns about them. It will contain a superb orchestra and TV cameras to project our gift to other outside countries not so well-endowed with such voices. Then the Choraliers will be regarded internationally as they continue growing and entertaining as only they can! Despite Christmas conditions of stress and turmoil, a number of us joined our seniors at Rainycrest last Thursday evening. We left realizing we had just applauded the best part of our local Christmas! The Choraliers have performed in several public appearances already this season—and more events are wanted! Then Saturday would find them “doing the town” along Scott Street. I’d like to list all of their names here because each singer should be singled out for applause. I know they really made my week just about the best I’ve every known in my old hometown—and I’ve been here for quite a while. Let’s never let them fade away because that would be a crime. Few other communities could boast such a brilliant band of singers—regardless of its size or location. And how it happened here, I’m sure nobody knows better than their talented and industrious leader who should be sincerely embraced for offering such a Christmas gift!
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Christmastime sociability with folks you rarely meet goes on and on throughout this month! For instance, there’s boxer Max Clement of Atikokan, who phoned at length on numerous subjects, including his trapping plans this winter and golfing here last summer. He mentioned our other boxer, “Bo” Armstrong, who recently gave me a Toronto hockey souvenir ticket. Max also was sad to learn our old chum, Allan Kielczewski, is no longer with us.
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Meeting Les Faragher over coffee was another pleasure. Les used to have a car body shop here and knows my son, Earl, whose Christmas was gladdened by his wife winning that big Legion draw last week (she and Earl now have a new Ford truck). Les was joined by his high school son, Chad, who confirms the students no longer were so upset as a week ago.
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Meanwhile, with all the visitors pouring in for the holidays, Eileen McGee certainly will have a housefull! She has seven daughters and a son, plus 15 grandchildren, who may return for a huge family reunion.
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Both those McDonald merry-makers, Marylou Boileau and Leesa Wickstrom, seem to be thriving on the Christmas rush as their hospitality, along with that of all their co-workers, never wavers.
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Nostalgia concerning my Mine Centre days accompanies Guy Mudge as he discusses the Mudges’ tourist resort on Shoal Lake. That popular family included twins Ted and George and their wives, as well as sisters Grace Matchet and Donna Baldwin, none of whom I have forgotten. How I’d enjoy reliving those days!
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Long-vanished Mine Centre is kept alive by its former students, I realized after meeting one of them. Alex Sockolotuk, for the first time in years, as we discussed our school days.
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When my Christmas tree fell over, my great nurse and neighbour, Lynn Dolk, wasted no time. She had it looking great again before my daughter, Carolyn, (who provided it) arrived to scold me for carelessness. `No, this was not Nutty’s fault because he has been on his best behaviour for the season, no doubt expecting—and usually deserving—trouble for his careless ways. His new mate—call her “Bridey” if you like—must wonder how we put up with him, because she is such a doll. I’ve noticed she keeps him in his place. Nutty has been controlling his wild ways and bad manners noticeably lately.
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During the coming quiet times in between holidays, there should be opportunity for those caring most about our community to discuss the fate of our poor old Rainy Lake Hotel—derelict and lonesome looking, and almost moving its old friends to tears. There she stands, ready either for someone with a bright idea to bring her back into our hearts or else be destroyed and forgotten. The “RL” deserves a better fate after all her great service years, and this just might be the time for suggestions. After all, she always has been our downtown centrepiece—and maybe could be again. For a community so well-decorated, how did we miss stringing a few hundred lights up and around the tall old RL?
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Marcia Shute showed me an Ottawa Citizen sports page with her grandson’s photo taken during a huge hockey tournament there involving 509 teams!
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Can anyone explain why CNR freight trains continue getting longer and longer. Waiting at crossings usually take a very long time, especially when one train proceeds another going in the opposite direction.
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Elderly George Bartlett, while donating his time to deliver for Meals on Wheels, usually drops useful or timely information along the way. And this gentleman can both inform and surprise you! In his sociable way, George had a timely story the other evening: His wife and a life-long friend have been exchanging Christmas gifts now for more than 65 years. Doreen Buffington and Margaret Bartlett never dropped that great habit.
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It’s a timely proverb that “the willing horse gets the load.” And you must agree in considering the responsibility shouldered by Gabrielle Hanzuk, or “Gaby.” Christmas is no time for her main job—rounding up volunteers to make Meals on Wheels deliveries—but leave it to her! And when the volunteers report having no extra time beyond Christmas preparations, does she suggest skipping a day or two for lack of help? Nope! Here comes Gaby herself, bright and cheerful as usual while hoping to recruit more help along the way.

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