“Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing “Embraceable You” in spats.”  ~Woody Allen

I do love Woody Allen! I know….it is the same quote from the earlier post.

If you happened to be at St. Anne’s church in Tecumseh on Sunday evening, you would have seen something very similar to a ‘moose singing’ as I sang a few Newfoundland tunes as a part of an evening of music in support of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). This event, now in its second year, was spearheaded by Tecumseh dynamo, Louis Gouin. What a marvellous man and how proud we should be in Tecumseh of him.  Louis has done so much for the needy and he has done it for so very long. A passionate advocate for the poor and a tireless advocate for those who struggle, Louis was awarded the Ontario Citizen of the Year in 2010 as well as the Tecumseh Senior Citizen of the year in 2009.  He is also a very persuasive character to whom it is difficult to say no. I remarked to a friend at last year’s concert that I had agreed to sing because of Louis Gouin. She said, “I thought we did these things for Jesus.” I said – “You clearly have not met Louis Gouin.”

Sunday’s event raised $3333 for SSVP which is up a thousand dollars over last year’s event. The talent throughout the night was awesome. My crazy performance even drew some laughter and applause. The highlight for me was eight-two year old Lee Asciak who brought the crowd to their feet twice with his beautiful operatic voice. I was surprised and thrilled by Jules Gouin who learned to play a great Newfoundland piece entitled ‘Saltwater Joys.’ Thank you Jules for bringing me back home!  The night was truly a great success because of Nancy and Stephanie Asciak. Known as Songbird when they perform, they organized such a wonderful program and orchestrated every moment to perfection. Stephanie even picked up and learned three Newfoundland ‘ditties’ three days before the event in order for me to have accompaniment and for that I will be forever grateful.

It was an honour to be included in such a wonderful line-up of great performers on Sunday. I am so pleased that the efforts of everyone brought in such a great offering.  More impressed am I with what SSVP has been able to do with the funds it receives.  The motto of St. Vincent de Paul is “Serviens in spe”…”to serve in hope.” The Society’s motto reflects its global nature and the Society’s desire to serve the hope offered by Christ to all. SSVP’s webpage says that “Vincentians are called to alleviate suffering and its causes, serving everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender, opinion or age. Poverty doesn’t always or necessarily involve being in need of material goods. We are all poor in one way or another.” Because of the hard work and dedication of people like Louis Gouin and those he attracts to the movement, many people have been assisted for many, many, years. Let us celebrate the fact that on this past weekend the people of Tecumseh stepped up to help those who are ‘poor in one way or another’ – Well done!

For those who were not able to attend but have asked for a recording, the video here has audio, thanks to Nellie Schuurman who recorded two pieces. I tried to upload the audio and could not get it working, so I made a video with some of my favorite Newfoundland photos, most of which Catherinanne snapped over the past few years. So enjoy the dulcet tones of a moose singing!

Louis Gouin is pictured in the left of this photo and Don Meloche is on the right. Great guys who gave me a great tour of the stores last summer