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Mercredi, 21 novembre 2012

Well Said, Wells!

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We were talking about community the other day, at the Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre. The Centre is a many-windowed room with a videoconferencing set-up, situated at the far end of the Pope Memorial School in Bury.

People with a bit of gray hair were in the room. And like gray-haired people can do, someone compared today with the past. The topic was community events. Bringing people together as a group. How e-devices have become the primary tie that binds. How people can hunger for real contact, how tweets can often provide only superficial connection.

How we have good roads and cars, but don't get together for community events. Not nearly as much as we did when we had to travel hours by horse and sleigh.

And right there, I thought of Wells Coates. He's someone with a bit of gray hair, and a lot of gray matter beneath it. You'll recall him as the recent recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Medal from Queen Elizabeth II. It was awarded for his decades of community service.

Wells started life when community had a different shape. Some nine months ago, I asked him about the past. What's one thing you'd like to keep or bring back?

"I remember going to house parties when I was two or three years old," he said. "Right up until about 1940, they were quite popular. We used to go down to my uncle's. The neighbours would come in, the women would bring in sandwiches and cake, and they'd have a local get-up orchestra. A man would play the violin. There was always some woman who could chord on the piano. We'd dance.

"They'd have them maybe once a month. In the evening, after chores. Usually in the kitchen - the kitchens were a lot bigger. The kids would be running around for awhile, then they'd get tired, and go to sleep on the beds. Usually they'd finish up around 12 o'clock, and then they'd have lunch. I remember coming home at night in a sleigh, in the wintertime, and seeing the shooting stars coming down."

Well said, Wells.

Calling all artists, again! You're invited to a workshop all about Communications, Marketing and Local Arts Involvement as Community. The speaker is Brenda Rooney of Theatre Wakefield. That's in Wakefield, Quebec, just north of Ottawa.
Rooney will be coming to the big screen at the Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre (CLC), 523 Stokes Street, Bury. The videoconference facility there allows questions and comments from the viewers in various parts of the province.
The workshop is on Thursday, November 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., and it's free.

This workshop is the second in a three-part series to be broadcast across Quebec over the CLC Video Conference Network. Another workshop is coming up on December 12, on Working with Youth (including troubled youth), by Jennifer Cooke of Ici Par Les Arts.

The series was originally presented last March as part of the English Language Arts Network (ELAN) Arts & Community Culture On-the-Road (ACCORD) Touring Workshop [learn more at]. For more details or to register, please contact Rosemary Lowe at 819-872-3771.

Talking about bringing art into community, and community into art - here's an idea to stir your imagination. It's called the Melting-Pot Mosaic; Create Community Art! You are invited to leave your mark as part of a group that will design two mosaics. You can bring one home with you, and add the other to a larger communal work of art. When completed, the community artwork will be exhibited throughout the region.

It involves taking part in one of a series of art workshops, Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. They continue until December 6. To take part, contact the Uplands Cultural & Heritage Centre at 9 Speid St., Sherbrooke , at 819-564-0409, or Participation is free, but registration is required.

Two educational programs on health issues are coming via interactive videoconference at the Eaton Valley CLC, 523 Stokes Street, Bury.

How to Communicate in the Face of a Life-altering Diagnosis. That's the topic for today, Wednesday, November 21, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Jog Your Brain (Memory Loss, not Alzheimer's). That's the topic for two weeks from now, Wednesday, December 5, also at 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

For more details or to register, please call Rosemary Lowe at 819-872-3771.

These sessions are brought to us by the CHSSN Community Health Education Program (CHEP), and are hosted by Townshippers' Association. Financial support comes from Health Canada through the McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project.

Anglican: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (819-239-6902). Also in Bury, Messy Church for young families is on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. The next one is December 5. Children aged 2 to 12 are welcome, along with their parents, for stories, crafts, worship and dinner (provided).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).

United: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville (for details, listen to message at 819-889-2838).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by November 26 for publication December 5 and by December 10 for December 26.

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