Maritimes Social – An Annual Event

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A Fiddles N Stix band member plays Amazing Grace on the SAW, at the Annual Maritimes Social in Leduc.

 

 

It has become a tradition in this city, and the event is sold out, every year… The Maritimes culture is the focal point and purpose of the event, and those among our neighbours who are natives of the Maritime Provinces are welcomed and celebrated.

On Saturday, November 3rd, Myrtle Smith, a dynamic and lovely grande dame of Leduc did what she does every year at this time: she hosted the Maritimes Social, and greeted a full house of 150 guests into this Dinner & Dance soirée held at Telford House, at the eastern edge of Leduc’s downtown core… The steady stream of guests entering the building right on time created an exciting ambiance, as guests had heard or already knew that this evening was going to be fun! The dinner prepared by Eagle’s Nest Catering (.ca) did not disappoint, as it was delicious and plentiful: the corned beef was the “pièce de résistance”.

The founder of this function some seventeen years ago, Myrtle had hosted the very first Christmas dinner for Maritime natives who were attending her church, St Paul Anglican in Leduc: she was the main person to host this event for a long time, until in recent years, when she shared all the planning and ticket-selling duties with members of St Paul Anglican Church. Way back then, she had asked her good friend, the late and fondly-remembered elected official Pearl Livingston, to attend as a “mummer”: so dressed as a man, unrecognizable to her own friends, Pearl had arrived to entertain the guests for a short while with her unique brand of humor. 

A special birthday man was introduced: Mr Fred Rayment, an Alberta native, spent 38 years working and living in Newfoundland, and was a guest at the very first Maritimes dinner in Leduc: now having reached the impressive age of 91 years young, this fun and interesting gentleman has never missed this annual event!

Pastor Joanne Webster was a sweet and cheerful hostess, leaving the MC duties to a band member of Fiddles N Stix, the amazing five-piece Sherwood Park band that has been an honored partner of this event for several years now. With their antics, unique hats and wigs, funny stories, strong instrumentals and vocals, this band was thoroughly entertaining and memorable.  They also performed several ‘classic’ tunes, where the guests could join them in song, such as “The Rant & The Roar of True Newfoundlanders” and “The Unicorn Song”. One piece really amazed all who were present, when “Amazing Grace” was performed with emotional resonance on… the saw! That was a unique and fascinating performance.

  A bevy of door prizes was offered, and it was obvious that guests enjoyed the long list of winners of these unexpected and tasteful prizes… Playgirl Hair Salon owner Hilda Holloway, a long-time member of the Leduc-Nisku EDA Ambassador Team and welcoming lady, was surrounded by close friends, and shared that she had thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening!

Several members of Leduc’s St Paul’s Anglican Church were on hand to serve refreshments, clean tables after the meal, and basically do all the hosting duties. It was gratifying to many guests to witness that a couple of ‘elected officials’ were part of this fun & humble group: Leduc County councillor and New Sarepta resident Jocelyn McKay and County Mayor John Whaley, along with his lovely wife Fiona worked as hard as the others. Lisa Wojna, mystery book author and Leduc-based fitness guru was a keen member of the group, also joining the others on the dance floor… 

There was laughter, new friendships formed, great food and Maritimes music now a favorite for many: our Leduc Mayor Greg Krishke and his wife Joanne (quite the fun storyteller!) seemed to enjoy their dinner companions and the music… All in all, this was a successful function, created simply for the purpose of meeting our Maritimes-born neighbors, and showcasing that culture. This writer has attended the Maritimes Social in the past, and now plans on making it an annual tradition.  So CONGRATS, Myrtle Smith and St Paul Anglican friends, the Maritimes Social was a great time! 

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