Cheers & Jeers
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.