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Surprise birthday party for our Malagash columnist

['Malagash and Area News with Marian Durling']
['Malagash and Area News with Marian Durling']

Malagash News with Marian Durling

Black Friday is over and so is Cyber Monday – not that it makes a difference to me and a lot of other people. I am still old school as far as ordering on line.

Russ and I had a quick trip to Moncton on Saturday, Nov. 24 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!

Saturday evening Russ and I were invited to a surprise birthday party for a local friend – invited of course by his wife. The event was taking place at 7 p.m. 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, 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 get this – 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+ 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 even though apparently they were told Best Wishes only, which I received.

Russ's sister, Linda and her husband, Ken, brother Paul and his wife Joan were a big help at our house when we finally were able to return home.

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. 50/50 went to Les Strugnell.

Sunday, Nov. 25 Rev Connie invited us all to bring hats to decorate the church as her topic was "The hats we were". Hats of all kinds, colors etc 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.

Thursday, Nov. 22, our community 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 Rev. Connie at St. Jonh's United Church, Wallace. He 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 by Dawn to honour their 32nd wedding anniversary. Raymond always gave Dawn a dozen red roses on the event and there was a dozen red roses resting on the table. A lovely reception was held in the lower hall following the celebration.

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 its so nice to see all the Christmas decorations on the houses. I love this season of the year.

Marian Durling writes for the Malagash area for the Amherst News.

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