WENTWORTH – The Wentworth Pioneer Club meets at the Wentworth Recreation Centre the second and fourth Fridays of the month, with the fourth Friday having a potluck supper followed by games. A recent fourth Friday meeting had a Christmas theme.
The potluck supper had, as usual, enough casseroles, salads, breads, biscuits and sweets to make a tasty meal, together with friendships and lively conversations. Fortunately, having a commercial dishwasher at the site makes the clean-up after the meal fast, hygienic and efficient.
The Christmas program was organized and presented by Claire Patriquin, Janice Smith, Georgie Patriquin, and Betty Curry. The program had background music on a player (both donated to the Pioneers by Bob and Janice Smith), skits, contests, poems and readings, and live piano music with both solo and chorus singing. Invigorating was the enthusiastic response and laughter by the Pioneer members to this program.
A beginning entry featured by Claire Patriquin was called “The Hat Story” and she asked Vernon Sprague and Bob Smith to do a humorous skit with four hats representing people placed in front of each of them. As Claire read the script representing the story of four people, Vernon and Bob at top speed had to take hats off and on their heads as the different people’s names were spoken, with everyone, including Vernon and Bob, laughing very hard. Having done their skit at breakneck speed, Vernon and Bob had a tie in this contest.
Another skit organized by Janice Smith consisted of a parcel bulging with many layers of tightly-done wrapping paper and two very bulky mittens. Janice passed along a single playing Auction 45s card to each member, and when a member held a King, he or she had to try to unwrap the parcel with the big mitts. It was hard going and took time, but finally Carol Hyslop was declared the winner of the contest and of the parcel. Incidentally, Janice Smith was honoured on this Friday by earlier being on the phone to Maritime Noon (CBC Radio) and telling the true story to Maritimers about a deer coming to a person’s yard and bending down to lick the family cat.
Next, another talented Pioneer member, Georgie Patriquin, gave out two pages of challenging contests. Georgie gave us a short time to write down answers to a quiz about the scriptural text to the birth of Christ and another quiz to answer from drawings with clues to Christmas carols. These were daunting quizzes for our intellects and memories, but finally Grace Fiddes won the first quiz and Carol Hyslop won the second quiz.
Claire Patriquin proposed a game of musical chairs, and, in this fast moving game, one member was left standing without a chair after the music stopped and everyone else had found a chair. Finally, one chair was left for a seat and both Eleanor Sprague and Bob Smith were left to somehow get on that one chair when the music stopped: Bob Smith won the contest, with competitive Eleanor left standing after putting on a valiant effort to win. Bob did share his prize of chocolates with others.
Georgie Patriquin once again tested our brains in order to know how clever we all were. Georgie passed a large empty bag to the first person who then said what she imagined she put in the bag and then in sequence each person had to state what was in the increasingly large number of imagined items in the bag. This was a real test for memory and Eleanor Sprague won this contest by reciting a very long list of imagined items which were in the bag after everyone else had dropped out. All of the above skits and contests were fun and everyone enjoyed them.
The poems and readings were more serious and thought-provoking. Janice Smith read a selection called “The True Meaning of Christmas,” which emphasized kindness and the giving of gifts or funds to those in need. Claire Patriquin read a poem, “A Different Kind of Christmas,” which stressed the importance of remembering at Christmas the Canadians serving in the armed forces and then another poem, “It’s Beautiful Woman’s Month,” about the necessity of linking good character to beauty:
“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry...”
The poem continues on with the same theme. When Claire ended the poem, there was applause and I heard a man say in a low voice with a laugh, “What about us?’ and a woman answered, “Handsome is as handsome does, so the poem applies to you as well.“ The man answered, “So, you’re saying I’m handsome? Thanks so much.” At Pioneer meetings, people are always joking to make life pleasant.
Finally, Betty Curry arrived late as she had been invited to play piano at another meeting. Betty as pianist went to the stage to play songs and hymns about Christmas, and to encourage group and solo (Peggy Patriquin) singing.
Claire Patriquin concluded the program at 9:30 p.m. by reading scripture and poetry selections and asking Betty to lead in two favourite hymns: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Away In a Manger.”