Saturday, October 02, 2010

Moncton SPCA fall pet portraits

Click on the photo for a larger version of the poster.

The Moncton SPCA invites you to have your pet photographed. Photos will be taken with a digital camera, allowing you to choose the photo(s) that you like best. Sittings will be approximately 15 minutes long. The backdrop will be a fall theme.

- Session is held outside
- Please keep your pets under control and on leash while waiting
- Please clean up after your pets
- 5 x 7: $7 each
- 8 x 10: $15 each
- Order as many as you like in any combination
- Date: Saturday, October 16, and Sunday, October 17, if we get six or more bookings for this day
- Rain dates: October 23 and 24
- Call ahead to book your time for a sitting: 857-8698
- Featuring amateur photographers Amanda Beers and Jason Dempsey

This is an excellent opportunity to have a beautiful keepsake photo of your pet taken and help a worthy cause!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Welcome to October!

The month of changing and falling leaves... Thanksgiving (here in Canada).... Halloween... Oktoberfest... Columbus Day (U.S.)...

October is starting off very warm here in Moncton with a humidex of 31C (88F). By the end of the month, we'll probably see our first snowflake, though, so don't get too excited about today's warm weather.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy 50th anniversary to The Flintstones

The Flintstones debuted 50 years ago today on ABC on September 30, 1960. The show lasted six years until was cancelled. The last new episode aired on April 1, 1966.

The first episode to actually air was The Flintstone Flyer (see below) but the first one produced was The Swimming Pool.

Here is the first Flintstones episode that aired 50 years ago today: The Flintstone Flyer. Notice the very different early version of the opening theme.

13-year-old boy bullied to death?

School District 02's Aubrey Kirkpatrick receives Rising Star Award

Superintendent Karen Branscombe announced today that Aubrey Kirkpatrick, Director of Finance, Administration and Communication for School District 02 has been honoured with a Rising Star Award for 2010.

The Rising Star Award recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding results at the office, shown a strong work ethic and commitment to citizenship.

As part of the senior management team, he is gifted in bringing his vision to life. Aubrey is responsible for all day-to-day operations in transportation, finance, facilities and IT, including communications. This “add on” responsibility has led to the development of the district’s award-winning ACHIEVE magazine and the development of the district’s very popular Facebook page.

“Aubrey understands about the people part of the business and he prides himself in putting people first in everything that he does,” says Branscombe. “Aubrey impacts teaching and learning in our district by providing thoughtful, reflective leadership that is proactive and about the students. His work is always about the students first."

Aubrey extends his energy into the community and has spearheaded efforts such as “Five for Haiti”, which raised more than $80,000 in School District 02, and challenged other school districts to become involved. Additionally, Aubrey organizes the “Fill the Bus” food drive for Food Depot Alimentaire. The event grows each year and taps the spirit of students in collecting much-needed food items for the winter season when the food bank is critically low on food stocks. Last year (District 02’s ninth year), more than 13,000 kg of food was collected (29,000 lb, or three elephants, or 10 small four-door sedans).

Aubrey’s initiatives reach beyond the doors of the district office, and he continually shows leadership to staff, students and parents at the school and provincial level in order to improve our community.

Rising Stars is an annual provincial event intended to recognize knowledge industry workers, in companies or organizations throughout New Brunswick.

Contemplating, and missing, a friend lost to cancer

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

The issue of missing people was on my mind over the past few weeks. My friend Marc's mother Pauline passed away after a long battle with cancer. An initial five-year prognosis turned into seven years, but time caught up with her on Sept. 7 when she passed away here in Moncton.

Marc and his sister, with whom their mother resided, took loving and constant care of Pauline during her illness. For the past two years, Marc visited her every day -- sometimes more than once. Marc's wife Tammy was equally as devoted to her beloved mother-in-law. When Marc and Tammy chose each other as spouses, Pauline certainly gained a daughter in the process. There were certainly none of those stereotypical daughter-in-law versus mother-in-law battles in their family. Sincere and mutual affection and respect reigned on both sides.

I visited Pauline in the hospital just three days before she died. She had difficulty speaking and moving, but her faculties were all there. She knew everything that was going on, but her body was shutting down.

I knew when I saw her that it would likely be the last time. I'd known her for more than 30 years since Marc and I became friends in junior high school in the mid-1970s. She had a sophisticated sense of humour, which of course means that she laughed at all my sarcastic remarks. You gotta love someone who laughs at all your jokes, eh?

After she passed, I was honoured to be asked to be a pallbearer at her funeral. Knowing that Marc and Tammy would be grieving, I took it upon myself to take care of two of their sons who would be pallbearers with me. One of them is my 13-year-old godson, who was busy on the night his grandmother died taking calls from concerned teenage girls from school offering their condolences. His grandmother would have thought that was hilarious.

The moment before the casket is closed at the funeral home is particularly difficult. It's the last time you will see your loved one. While I waited with the other pallbearers before leaving the funeral home, I could see Marc kneeling at his mother's casket, looking at her with tears in his eyes, trying to tear himself away but not being able to. He took off her glasses as a keepsake. He stared at her for a long time with a look that was the personification of heartbreak. Finally, he managed to find the strength to leave.

The funeral procession was only 10 minutes long but seemed longer. We passed in front of Pauline's house. I could just imagine her sitting outside and finally happy, saying "Good riddance!" to the sick body that had held her soul for so long. The illness, weakness and pain were gone.

At the church, a priest I'd never seen before welcomed Pauline's body by sprinkling her casket with holy water. The pallbearers rolled her casket up the aisle and took our places so that the funeral mass could begin.

A few minutes into the service, the priest started crying. Now, if you've ever been to a funeral, they're sad enough without the preacher starting to bawl, too. He apologized and said he was a "crier." He also told the congregation that Pauline was his godmother, something I didn't realize. He'd known her all his life. This made it even more special.

The eulogy was beautiful and personal. His crying was certainly forgiven. It wasn't a robotic funeral for someone he never knew.

The family was very emotional during the mass, as you can imagine. Marc's youngest son started crying and couldn't stop. Marc was a mess and Tammy was trying to console him, too. The two pallbearer sons were doing OK and remaining stoic while another uncle and myself kept jabbing my godson in his back with our index fingers to get him to take his hands out of his pockets in church.

Just before the final farewell, the priest asked if there were any nurses who'd worked or trained with Pauline during her nursing career. As a show of respect to Pauline, he asked that each of them come up to the casket and sprinkle it with holy water.

Well, if we weren't crying before, this pretty much caused everyone's head to explode. Marc just opened his mouth and no sound came out, so floored was he by this deep -- and unexpected -- show of respect by her peers, which was a privilege to witness.

After the funeral, I gave my godson and his 16-year-old brother hugs for a job well done and took over consoling duties for a bit as the 11-year-old brother couldn't stop crying and his mother had to console his father. I held him in my arms as he sniffled into my shirt while I tried to console the poor kid, who was very close to his grandmother.

It's been more than three weeks since Pauline died and the world has continued to evolve. School has started. Routines are back on track. The tears are fewer, yet there are still some from time to time. Grieving takes time and sometimes it just hits like a brick.

Everyone misses her terribly... the mother, mother-in-law and grandmother with whom they shared so much. The Sunday suppers. The Christmas mornings. The special outings. The unexpected visits to tell her something special had happened. Her loud and joyful laugh. Pauline was shy, but she laughed like a diva.

New traditions will take hold for Sundays and Christmas mornings. Her good humour, kindness and generosity can never be replaced, however. And now I need to find someone else who'll laugh at everything I say. Pauline, you will be dearly missed by all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FotoExpo 2010 to be held October 28-31 in Moncton

The second annual FotoExpo 2010 festival will be held October 28-31 in Moncton.

FotoExpo is Atlantic Canada’s annual photographic arts festival designed to showcase professional and amateur photography through workshops, seminars, galleries and contests. This year’s festival will again feature renowned Canadian photographers from across the country as well as pre-festival excursion workshops through southeastern New Brunswick.

For more information, click on the above photo to visit the festival's website.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about the recent funeral of a friend's mother. Even the priest cried at that one.

Check out Hump Day in the editorial section section of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted online here tomorrow.

Remember... if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

50th anniversary of Riverview's Immaculate Heart of Mary parish

My highly unpaid regular correspondent Walt Forsey sent along this nice video of the 50th anniversary of Riverview's Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic parish.

Thanks for sending this in, Walt! Always a pleasure...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Win tickets to the Atlantic Dream Festival in Moncton!

Hear world-renowned entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson speak in Moncton!

10 tickets will be given away on Monday, October 25, to members of Dr. Michel Martin's Facebook page.

To be eligible, click "Like" on Dr. Martin's Facebook page here. Write a comment and double your chances of winning!

Tickets are valued at $235 each.

Click on the above poster for a larger version.

VOTE in today's New Brunswick provincial election

If you live in New Brunswick and are eligible to vote, please cast your ballot in today's provincial election! People died in wars so that we could have this right. It is a very important civic duty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hump Day returns this week

My weekly Hump Day column in the Moncton Times & Transcript's editorial section returns this week after a hiatus of several weeks due to the New Brunswick provincial election.

Watch for Hump Day in this Wednesday's newspaper!

Glad to be back!