Cheers & Jeers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Cheers to the or­ga­nizer who hired a bus and signed up ap­prox­i­mately 25 young peo­ple for a tour of lev­ees around the Char­lot­te­town area on New Year’s Day. The tour started in mid-morn­ing and went into the early evening. The young ladies and gen­tle­men were on their best be­hav­ior, most were dressed in for­mal /busi­ness at­tire, all seemed to be hav­ing a great time and were wel­come with open arms at all the lev­ees. It seems the fu­ture of lev­ees on P.E.I. is in good hands with more and more younger peo­ple tak­ing an ac­tive in­ter­est in the Jan­uary 1 tra­di­tion.

Cheers to the leg­endary Benji Stevens, who re­tired re­cently as man­ager of the Cavendish Farms Well­ness Cen­tre in Mon­tague. Stevens man­aged the Ice­land Arena for many years prior to the open­ing the new fa­cil­ity some six years ago. He was an en­er­getic and op­ti­mistic pro­moter of many ac­tiv­i­ties in Mon­tague and his na­tive Ge­orge­town — es­pe­cially sports such as foot­ball, base­ball and hockey — for many years. Greg Ma­cLaren has taken over as man­ager of the well­ness cen­tre on a tem­po­rary ba­sis un­til the spring.

Jeers to a ma­jor­ity of fans in the sell­out crowd of more than 3,500 in at­ten­dance at the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders game Wed­nes­day night at the East­link Cen­tre — many to see Daniel Sprong in his first game back this sea­son af­ter be­ing up with the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins since Septem­ber. When Sprong was in­tro­duced, one would have ex­pected a thun­der­ous, stand­ing ova­tion. In­stead there was sim­ply po­lite ap­plause. For a full crowd in the build­ing, there was wasn’t much buzz for a thrilling game de­cided in a shootout. Sprong had a goal and as­sist in reg­u­la­tion and a goal in the shootout. Where is the Cone­head when you need him to get fans fired up?

Cheers to the hun­dreds of swim­mers who braved chilly wa­ters and the spec­ta­tors who turned up to cheer them on dur­ing the an­nual Polar Bear Swim at the Char­lot­te­town wa­ter­front New Year’s Day morn­ing. Con­di­tions were al­most ideal with the tem­per­a­tures just be­low zero, the sun was mostly out, winds were light and there was no ice to deal with. Do­na­tions of food and money as­sisted the Up­per Room soup kitchen.

Cheers to Don Cud­more, the re­tir­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Tourism In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) who was awarded the Tourism Toronto Life­time Achieve­ment Award. The award was handed out at the Cana­dian Tourism Awards in early De­cem­ber in Ot­tawa. The ac­co­lade rec­og­nizes an in­di­vid­ual who has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion of en­ergy, ser­vice and tal­ent to­wards the growth of the Cana­dian tourism in­dus­try. “. . . the re­cip­i­ent demon­strates lead­er­ship, vi­sion and in­no­va­tion built on a solid foun­da­tion of strong val­ues and sound busi­ness strate­gies.” TIAPEI cred­its Cud­more for shap­ing and defin­ing the P.E.I. tourism in­dus­try over the past 20 years into what it is to­day.

Cheers to Ozzie MacEachern, owner of the Clyde River golf course, who opened Christ­mas Day and again Box­ing Day for a spe­cial fund-raiser. A cheers last week said he was only open Christ­mas but he was back in busi­ness Box­ing Day as well with his pot of chili and re­fresh­ments. All money col­lected over the hol­i­days was do­nated to a fund as­sist­ing Syr­ian refugees. He has left the flags in amidst hopes for a Jan­uary thaw.

Cheers to the 12 Char­lot­te­town Ru­ral stu­dents who sub­mit­ted works of art for con­sid­er­a­tion for the front page photo in The Guardian’s Christ­mas Eve edi­tions. Is­land artist Henry Purdy had a tough time se­lect­ing the win­ner — a wa­ter­colour paint­ing by Grade 12 stu­dent Chaeyeon Lee — of a win­ter light­house scene. All 12 works were stun­ning sub­mis­sions from a group of tal­ented young­sters in teacher Richard Haines’s art class.

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