Thursday Tidbits

Posted on April 5, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 3 comments

Swan song

The time has come to hang up the gloves…. literally and figuratively. The gloves, seen in the picture at the bottom of the page, were purchased over a decade ago and I have worn them just about every winter day over that period of time. Go ahead and call me a cheap Scot but these gloves were warm and durable as they helped me prepare for several marathons including Boston twice.

Almost 60 years ago, my father took me up to the choir loft at St. Ninian’s Cathedral to attend mass. He was a member of the senior choir along with a bevy of talented people including several members of the Cameron Clan. (Cue “The March of the Cameron Men.”). It was the start of an apprenticeship of church music and singing in four parts. It was stirring to hear such heavenly music with Mrs. W.J. MacDonald at the organ.

I have spent a lifetime singing in church choirs. It has been one of my greatest joys. For the better part of 36 years, I have trudged up the spiral staircase (stairway to heaven???) to sing under the watchful eye of James MacPherson. Of all the treasured memories to this point in my life, witnessing the genius of James year in and year out is very near the top of my list.

But alas, that staircase seems to be getting longer and steeper. It is time for a new generation of singers to step up and lend their voices in making celestial sounds.

Nothing is forever. With the passing of James last November 8th. we all knew that the dynamics of the choir would change going forward. In a stroke of genius (and a bit of luck), St.Ninian’s was able to attract a young and multi-talented music graduate by the name of Emery van de Wiel. With very little time to get his feet wet, Emery was staring at navigating the Christmas season. Now, Easter has come and gone and Emery has definitely found his groove.

Besides his work with the choir, he was the musical director for the enormously popular “Everyone’s Way of the Cross” which was recently staged at St.Ninian’s. Emery has shown us that he belongs and will lead the music ministry for many years to come.

But, he needs some new foot soldiers. If you are interested in joining the choir, get in touch with Emery at While all voices are welcome, a few new tenors are his priority.

Speaking of all things musical, the spring concert for the Antigonish Chorale Ensemble is this coming Sunday, April 8th. at 7:30 p.m. at St. James United Church. The theme is “Earth Day” and promises to be a great show.

The first annual “Bowl With Bernie” was held last Saturday at the Pins Bowling Center. A large and exuberant crowd showed up and $7,200 was raised for L’Arche and CACL in Bernie’s memory. I was able to contribute in a small way by selling copies of my books with all the proceeds donated to the cause. I had a wonderful time chatting with old friends and I met some new people too. Bernie will never be forgotten by his legion of family and friends.

If you are looking for me this weekend, I will be holed up (!) watching The Masters golf tournament, my absolutely favorite television event.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Fare thee well, Joe White. A “ working man” and friend to all, has left us.


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