PAT ASLING Special to The Standard
December is the season of love, joy, peace and goodwill! Certainly not so in a great part of the world, not even our own part. It seems so many terrible things are happening, passed on from what is occurring in other parts of the world. The war in Ukraine continues with great loss of life and damage, but the news has lately been focused on Palestine and Israel and the total destruction, ever-mounting death rate of mostly women and children being herded into an ever-shrinking part of their already small outdoor prison as it is referred to. And the West Bank, in the towns and villages where most of our Christmas traditions and reasons to be originated.
We need to do better. Let's start with our own communities. Kudos to those groups and individuals who are reaching out to those in need, and apparently, there are many.
Wacky weather we are getting this past week and next. Forecasters talk about El Nino (that bad little boy), who will bring us warmer winters, and, in the next breath, about the lake effect that will bring major snow storms. Just be prepared.
It's rather a gloomy time with many people not feeling the best with colds, flu and some COVID-19 being passed around. Think Christmas thoughts, do some decorating and enjoy the company of friends at lunch, of course.
Not too many celebrations that I am aware of, although there are usually many at this time of year.
I always feel sorry for those who are born at Christmas, New Year's, or any major holiday and who often come out second best to the holiday. Happy birthday, first of all, to Audrey Kester, who turned 91 on Sunday. Audrey, nee Noble, lived with her husband Ron and family in Zephyr for many years but moved to Newmarket after her husband's passing. Her son Ben is head of the Roads department, and her husband was town treasurer for many years. And both were pillars of Zephyr United Church all their lives.
Birthday greeting also to Barb Pratt. Barb is well known for many reasons, First of all as the first owner of Blue Heron Book store and then for her work with the Lucy Maud Society and many other community activities. Happy birthday to Carleigh Higgins, a young lady making her mark in the healthcare world who makes the most marvelous cakes. Carleigh is the daughter of Cindy Barnett, granddaughter of John and Marion Barnett, which makes her another cousin of mine. Best wishes to Carolyn McGillivray, who also celebrated a birthday this past week. Carolyn keeps busy with her grandkids and helping her husband, Alan, with his research as well as her own. Speaking of which, the book "Decades of Harvest," which was written by Alan several years ago, is back in print and available for sale. It contains a great deal of historical information about the town and townships of Uxbridge and Scott (now combined into just Uxbridge). You can get a copy by calling or emailing them or the library. The McGillivrays live in the former Presbyterian church in Zephyr.
On December 3rd, the Monday Morning Singers presented the "Magnificat" which tells about Mary's conversation with God about the coming birth of Christ, taken for Luke 1:45-54. There was great anticipation as St. Paul's Church was almost full by 2:30 p.m. when the concert didn't start until 3 p.m. Guest soloist was Leslie Higgins. Leslie grew up in Uxbridge and started her musical career early, it seems. Certainly, she was a part of Jennifer Neveu-Campsall's Bella Nove choir for many years until she went to Western University, from which she recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Music and Voice Performance and U of T with her Masters in Music Vocal Performance. A case of small but mighty in voice.
This coming weekend is a busy one the Zephyr Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, December 9th, from 8 to 11 a.m., $5 per person. On the Friday night, the 8th "Jazz at Leaskdale" takes place. Along with Tom Baker will be Amy Peck, who blows a mean horn; she is wonderful. Other artists usually accompany Tom and make for a great night of jazz. The Leaskdale Historic Church, 7.30 p.m., entrance by donation. Also, on the 9th at St. Andrew's Presbyterian, the new choir led by Jennifer Neveu-Campsall will perform in the evening at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Sandwiched in there is One Voice Choir who perform at 7:30 p.m., at St. Paul's Anglican on the 8th and at 3 p.m. on the 9th. Tickets are $20. The following week, the Festival of Lights will be on so many things to see and hear in the weeks ahead. Not to mention lunches and Christmas parties.
Rick McKinley was the guest preacher at Zephyr United Church this Sunday and will return for the next two Christmas services.