A big sur­prise for our Mala­gash colum­nist

The Amherst News - - CLASSIFIEDS - Mar­ian Durl­ing Mar­ian Durl­ing writes for the Mala­gash area for the Amherst News.

As Christ­mas ap­proaches, it re­minds me how large crowds can be­come.

Russ and I had a quick trip to Monc­ton and ven­tured into the newly re­lo­cated Costco. Well, we were there for about five min­utes and quickly left! My days of shop­ping in crowds like that are over! ■■■

We also re­cently were in­vited to a sur­prise birthday party for a friend. The event was tak­ing place at our com­mu­nity hall. We ar­rived a few min­utes late but thought we would still be there be­fore the guest of hon­our. We walked into the hall through a cur­tain of crepe pa­per stream­ers and to my shock and de­light it was a sur­prise birthday party - a month and a half early- for me! I am turn­ing the big 80 in Jan­uary and my daugh­ters and bet­ter half knew that it would prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble to sur­prise me then.

When I re­al­ized it was for me I quickly looked around and spot­ted our two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters, Miriam from New An­nan and Karen from Ot­tawa and then my eyes fell on two of my five grand­chil­dren – Holly and Thomas from Ot­tawa.

When they heard about it and knew their mom was com­ing there was no way they weren’t! What a de­light! There were our nieces, Gail from Hamil­ton, Judi with hus­band David, from Dartmouth, Janet from Win­nipeg, great-nieces Tracey and Jen­nifer and great-great-niece and nephew, Madison and Will from Dartmouth.

So many de­light­ful friends were there and when I thought it couldn’t get any bet­ter, the door opened and through the stream­ers came the most won­der­ful woman, my 94-year-old aunt Peggy Arm­strong and her son Barry. They flew in from Hamil­ton to be with their East Coast fam­ily. Truly I am blessed!

Aunt Peg even joined in a rous­ing fam­ily cir­cle dance to We Are Fam­ily. Greet­ings were read from my sis­ter Barbara who lives in Strat­ford and wasn’t able to at­tend. A sin­cere thank you to ev­ery­one who at­tended, the beau­ti­ful cards and the lovely gifts. ■■ ■

A re­cent card party was held at the com­mu­nity hall and there were five tables in play. Women’s high went to Maxine Brown, men’s high to Win­ston Pa­triquin. John Pan­herst was the lucky win­ner and trav­el­ling went to Sheila MacKin­non. The 50/50 went to Les Strugnell. ■■ ■

Rev. Con­nie McNa­mara in­vited us all to bring hats to dec­o­rate the church as her topic was “the hats we were.” Hats of all kinds and colours dec­o­rated the church. There was a coat rack at the front with a great va­ri­ety of hats in­clud­ing an RCMP For­age Cap. I can tell you it was well worn in its day. Sev­eral ladies wore hats dur­ing the ser­vice and a group pic­ture was taken and has been posted on Face­book. ■■ ■

Our com­mu­nity also re­cently paid trib­ute to the late Ray­mond Allen with a most unique Cel­e­bra­tion of Life. Ray­mond passed away on Nov.17 af­ter a bout of cancer.

The ser­vice was con­ducted by McNa­mara at St. John’s United Church in Wal­lace. Ray­mond had a very big hand in the plan­ning of this ser­vice. No tra­di­tional mu­sic for him. The ser­vice in­cluded mu­sic from Rolling Stones, Mar­shall Tucker Band, Joe Walsh, Guns N’ Roses and fi­nally Bob Dy­lan’s Knock, Knock Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

The fam­ily had set up a lovely dis­play of his life at the front of the church in­clud­ing his Har­ley Davidson mo­tor­cy­cle jacket. The date was cho­sen to hon­our their 32nd wed­ding an­niver­sary. Ray­mond al­ways gave Dawn a dozen red roses on the event and there were a dozen red roses rest­ing on the ta­ble. A lovely reception was held in the lower hall fol­low­ing the cel­e­bra­tion. ■■ ■

Have a great week ev­ery­one. Be care­ful driving as the road con­di­tions can be tricky. Still some deer run­ning the roads and as you know they can pop out at any­time. Happy shop­ping and it’s so nice to see all the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions on the houses. I love this sea­son of the year!

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