Cel­e­brat­ing good times, mourn­ing the bad

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - Mar­ian Durl­ing cov­ers the Mala­gash area for the Amherst News.

Happy New Year, ev­ery­one. It’s hard to be­lieve 2018 is gone!

Mala­gash Church held its an­nual Christ­mas Eve Ser­vice and the church was full.

Rev. Con­nie led a ter­rific ser­vice which in­cluded a pageant and spe­cial mu­sic by the choir un­der the di­rec­tion of Jan­nie Berke­laar. Jan­nie and Nancy Purdy de­lighted ev­ery­one with an or­gan-pi­ano duet. The ser­vice al­ways con­cludes with can­dles be­ing lit from the Christ Can­dle and the singing of Silent Night. Re­fresh­ments

were en­joyed fol­low­ing the ser­vice.

It seems the hol­i­days snuck up on many of us. Nor­mally we mail out cards but all of a sud­den Christ­mas is here and the cards are still not writ­ten. Oh well, my New Year’s res­o­lu­tion is to do bet­ter next year. De­cem­ber proved to be a very busy month with so many events, both happy and sad, tak­ing place. I was even re­minded by a fine gen­tle­man that I didn’t have a col­umn in the pa­per re­cently. A faith­ful reader who en­joys read­ing this pa­per. Thank you to my undis­closed fol­lower, I will try bet­ter in the new year.

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Robert and Jo­ce­lyn Dob­son have re­turned home af­ter spend­ing Christ­mas with their son and daugh­ter in Hamil­ton, Ont. The Dob­sons used to live in Hamil­ton so they did lots of visit­ing with fam­ily and friends. Glad to have them back with us.

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Our walk­ing group took a brief va­ca­tion. We started again in the Mala­gash Com­mu­nity Hall on Jan. 7. We wel­come new walk­ers to join us on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days.

Our group, un­for­tu­nately, lost one mem­ber last week. Sheila Ross, who was my fall­back when I couldn’t be there, passed away very sud­denly fol­low­ing surgery. She sent me a text on a Mon­day telling me she was in the hos­pi­tal and wouldn’t be able to join us for awhile but was look­ing for­ward to com­ing back. Un­for­tu­nately, three days later she passed away.

She was a well-loved and re­spected mem­ber of our com­mu­nity and will be missed. It was won­der­ful to hear the trib­utes by a long­time friend and her daugh­ter-in-law.

Our sin­cere sym­pa­thy to her hus­band, John, daugh­ter Julie and sons Jor­don and Jason.

She loved her grand­chil­dren and en­joyed telling us sto­ries about their ad­ven­tures.

Her Cel­e­bra­tion of Life was con­ducted by Rev. Con­nie McNa­mara and in­cluded a solo by Sheila’s grand­daugh­ter and lovely pi­ano pieces by An­gela Tren­holm.

A large re­cep­tion was held fol­low­ing the ser­vice at the Mala­gash Com­mu­nity Hall where fam­ily and friends were able to so­cial­ize and share other sto­ries.

John McMa­hon, of Wal­lace, also passed away — on Christ­mas Eve.

He was a butcher by trade and the owner of McMa­hon’s restau­rant in Wal­lace. His fu­neral was held at St. John’s United Church with McNa­mara of­fi­ci­at­ing. Our sin­cere sym­pa­thy is ex­tended to his wife, Joyce, sons David and John, daugh­ter Ni­cole. A re­cep­tion was held in the lower hall of St. John’s Church.

Russ and I also at­tended an­other Cel­e­bra­tion of Life in Truro for an old friend, re­tired S/Sgt Chuck John­son. He was 93 and had lived a long and lovely life. At the con­clu­sion of his ser­vice a spe­cial hymn of Com­men­da­tion en­ti­tled The Spirit is Re­leased was sung. This beau­ti­ful piece was writ­ten by Rev. Va­lerie Kings­bury and the mu­sic com­posed by Chris Bow­man, the church or­gan­ist.

The re­frain tells it all: “The spirit is re­leased and re­turns from whence it came. United with the uni­verse and di­vine eter­nal flame. The spirit in un­leased and it spreads through time and space, in­fus­ing all cre­ation with di­vine amaz­ing grace.”

One of the verses goes like this: “But you still re­main among us in the many thoughts we share. We’re filled with mem­o­ries and sto­ries that speak of your love and care.”

How true and may those mem­o­ries and sto­ries bring you all peace and com­fort.

Here is a quote from a old friend of mine: “Life is like a mir­ror; we get the best re­sults when we smile at it.”

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