Thanks for the mem­o­ries

Shriners say good­bye to Ma­sonic Lodge with a fi­nal Jam­boree

South Shore Breaker - - AUTO - CON­TRIB­UTED edi­tor@southshore­breaker.ca

Good­byes are tough. Most would agree that a fi­nal farewell is never easy. But when you have fond mem­o­ries and laugh­ter to rem­i­nisce, it makes the good­bye a lit­tle bit eas­ier. And so, the Shriners are ready to give fans one fi­nal knock-your-socks-off, wouldn’t-miss-it-for-the-world jam­boree on Sun­day, July 29, at Bridge­wa­ter Ma­sonic Hall at 216 North St. at 1 p.m. Pro­ceeds will go to the Shriners Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Mon­treal. Tick­ets are $6.

Pro­ducer Sharon Rhyno re­calls that they’ve been putting on the ben­e­fit con­certs for 20 years and says she’s never con­sid­ered stop­ping.

“It’s so re­ward­ing. I just love the feel­ing of know­ing that you can help a child in need, and have a good time do­ing it.” Never one to look for recog­ni­tion for the hours of work she’s put into rais­ing money for the cause, Rhyno’s joy comes from see­ing the work the Shriners do first-hand.

“When you see a child that’s been helped, or see a fam­ily that’s been brought from an­other coun­try to help their child, know­ing that you’re con­tribut­ing to mak­ing that hap­pen is such a ful­fill­ing and sat­is­fy­ing feel­ing. You can bring joy to some­one’s life, bring a smile to some­one’s face, no mat­ter who you are. Ev­ery­one can do some good in their own way.

“We’ve been so lucky to have the sup­port of not only the per­form­ers, but also the fans who’ve been so loyal. There have been too many good mem­o­ries and laughs to count in this build­ing. Hope­fully we’ll be able to find a new place to make mem­o­ries soon enough,” says Rhyno.

And who’s go­ing to be on hand to give this build­ing one last rockin’ good time? Dale Verge and Doin Coun­try will be stop­ping by. Hail­ing from Port Mou­ton and from the Coun­try Mu­sic Hall of Fame in­ductee, Verge would rather sing than talk.

“We just love do­ing th­ese shows. I could sing and en­ter­tain for hours for such a good cause. What­ever we can do to help the kids is worth do­ing.

The crowds are so good at th­ese shows, it’s al­ways a good time. We can’t wait.”

Val­ley record­ing artist Ruth Man­ning and the Prospec­tors will also be on stage, and cer­tainly not for the first time. Th­ese long-time sup­port­ers fondly re­call shows gone by.

“I have spe­cial mem­o­ries of do­ing the im­per­son­ator shows and play­ing the role of Patsy Cline,” says Man­ning. “That was one of the first shows we did at the hall I think. We also love the warm, friendly, ap­pre­cia­tive crowds and the fact that it’s al­ways a packed house. ”

Speak­ing of the im­per­son­ator shows, Man­ning isn’t the only one who es­pe­cially en­joyed them. David Bur­bine, rock-steady devo­tee of mak­ing th­ese shows a suc­cess, says those are some of his favourite mem­o­ries, too, al­though it’s too hard to pick just one. “We love help­ing the kids, and we al­ways have a good time while we do it,” says Bur­bine. “We carry on with each other and the crowds love it. They feel like they’re part of the show, not just sit­ting there watch­ing it and that makes us feel good.” A show sta­ple and crowd favourite for many years, David Bur­bine & Tra­di­tional Coun­try wouldn’t dream of miss­ing the last one at this hall.

Tan­cook Is­land na­tive Lit­tle Buddy Hir­tle will also be stop­ping by. In the fall of 2012, Hir­tle per­formed at the North Street hall after the re­lease of his CD Buddy’s Best. “Mu­sic is the best medicine,” says Hir­tle.

And, of course, there’s Reg­gie Tan­ner. He’s ev­ery­where from em­cee­ing the Shriner ben­e­fit con­certs, to lend­ing his voice and an­nounc­ing for the South Shore Blue­grass Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion. But it takes a spe­cial kind of tal­ent to be an em­cee, and they’re of­ten over­looked. A mem­ber of Unity Ma­sonic Lodge for the past 18 years, Tan­ner has been a Shriner for the past 16. “Some­one asked me if I wanted to join the Shrine be­cause it was the fun part of Ma­sonry,” says Tan­ner. “So, I did.” Start­ing in the em­cee game in the ’90s by an­nounc­ing at the In­ter­na­tional Dory Races in Lunen­burg, he’s be­come a favourite fix­ture at many events, par­tic­u­larly the Shriner ben­e­fit con­certs. “The Shriners aren’t just a lot of fun, they also do fan­tas­tic work for chil­dren and that’s im­por­tant.” When asked what his favourite thing about be­ing an em­cee at the va­ri­ety shows is, after a pause for thought, Tan­ner says, “I have a lot of favourite things, but I like be­ing able to raise money for the chil­dren and work the crowd.”

Al­though this is the last show at the Bridge­wa­ter Ma­sonic Hall, the Shriners are more than happy to keep on keepin’ on with the ben­e­fit con­certs; they just need a space to make it hap­pen. If you know of a venue that would gen­er­ously lend their fa­cil­i­ties, con­tact Harry or Sharon Rhyno at 902-543-9897 or con­tact any lo­cal Shriner.

All pro­ceeds raised from the show are sent to the Shriners Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Mon­treal. They de­liver treat­ment to chil­dren with or­thopaedic con­di­tions, burns or cleft palates (to name a few). If you’d like to learn more about the Shriners Hos­pi­tal in Mon­treal, visit www.shriner­shos­pi­tals­forchil­dren.org/mon­treal.

Con­trib­uted

From left: Phil Lang­ford, pres­i­dent of the South Shore Shrine Club, is joined by Sharon and Harry Rhyno, pro­duc­ers of the Shrine ben­e­fit con­certs. The fi­nal con­cert at the Ma­sonic Hall on North Street in Bridge­wa­ter will be Sun­day, July 29 at 1 p.m. at 216 North St. in Bridge­wa­ter.

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