Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Friend Emma Awarded Queen's Jubilee Medal

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you the story of my friend, Emma Cormier being awarded the Queen's Jubiliee Medal. Emma is one of the first friendly faces we encountered in the community when we arrived here 5 years ago. As my husband was emigrating here, aside from the myriad of forms to fill in, medical tests were a part of the process. In those early days we spent a lot of time at the library printing forms and as much time between our local clinic and hospitals. More often than not, we met Emma at one or more of those places. As part of the same worshipping community, Emma, her sister, Emerise and I often met at church where they were ever so welcoming with smiles and Emma giving the warmest, tightest hugs making us certain that we had picked the right community to settle in. At the time, names were secondary and we only knew each others' faces from the village.

Left to right: Brian and Vivienne Edwards, Vina McGraw,
Emerise Cormier, Emma Cormier, Marc Cormier, Patsy Murphy,
Jeanine Cormier, Bernadette McGraw
Photo credit: Joan LeBlanc, Writer / Journalist / Photographer
At Mass one Saturday as we hugged Emma let me know about her impending award. I was thrilled at the news, assuring her that she certainly deserved it. She then invited us to attend the special ceremony, and to say that it was an honour would be an understatement! We were 2 of 7 guests permitted to witness the ceremony for each of the 6 recipients from our area, held at the Marshland's Inn in Sackville, NB.

Emma's list of volunteer efforts within the village for many years includes Treasurer of PEDVAC, where I have the pleasure of serving on the board with her, Church community work, local housing association, Scouts Canada and in our case, a warm welcome to a lovely village in the Maritimes. We didn't know this lady from a bar of blue soap and yet she has always treated us like family. It did not surprise us then that by command of Her Majesty the Queen, the Diamond Jubilee Medal was presented to Emma in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of her Majesty's accession to the throne and in recognition of her contribution to Canada.

The Ark, Safari Lodge, Aberdare Mountains, Kenya
Incidentally, this is even more special to me as Her Majesty's accession occurred while she was visiting my birthplace, Kenya. On vacation at the Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park, she received the news of her father's passing. The affectionate phrase often used to describe the transition was that "She was the young woman who went up a tree as a princess and came down a Queen". My mother as a young woman remembers Her Majesty's visit to Kenya, standing amid the crowds along the parade route in Nairobi for this auspicious occasion, awaiting a glimpse of the beautiful then-Princess Elizabeth in Kenya in 1952.

Officiating were recently appointed Liberal House Leader,
  Liberal Foregn Affairs citic, Beauséjour MP,  Dominic Leblanc,
NB Senator Fernand Robichaud, and representing RCMP
was the dapper Constable Yoan Comeau
Photo credit: Joan LeBlanc, Writer / Journalist / Photographer
The Queen has been an extraordinary servant of her country and likewise has Emma of our small community. Small communities like ours all across this great nation help to make Canada the wonderful country that it is and make me proud to call it my home. Emma's fellow recipients of the medal this year were Shirley Buck, Carolyn Carmichael, Doreen Richards, Francis Sweeney and Michael Dean. Without these hard working volunteers and so many others like them, our communities simply would not have many services taken for granted in larger towns and cities. Congratulations to all the recipients of the Queen's Jubilee medal and thank you all for your selfless contribution to make the world a better place.

Congratulations to my friend, Emma Cormier! We love you and thank you for including us in this celebration of Her Majesty the Queen and yourself, who are both such a large part of the fabric of our lives.

Article addendum: 

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Bountiful blessings to you and yours, 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

We Got a Moose

Hello there, VivBounty here to share the exciting story of our friend Rob's moose hunt.

Rob's moose 40 years ago
The last time Rob shot a moose was 40 years ago. 1972 was a big year for him and Angie. First they bought a 200 acre farm, then he shot a moose and to put the icing on the cake, their daughter was born. That year Rob called his childhood friend Roger to help him drag the moose out of the woods.

To obtain his coveted moose-hunting license this year was literally the luck of the draw for Rob. Over the years since he shot his first moose, his name has been "in the hat" so to speak from time to time with about 60,000 other hopefuls. Imagine the excitement when he knew this year he was awarded one! For each license awarded 2 shooters are permitted to hunt for the moose, commonly referred to as the 1st gun and the 2nd gun. Rob chose his friend Ronnie, a born woodsman around these parts as his second gun. It is only fitting that his boyhood friend, Roger was invited to go along just as an unarmed observer.

Rob's injured knee played a big part in the hunt this year. Ronnie must be given much credit for his preparations going into the woods days ahead for several runs on the ATV to find a trail with a good line of sight, scouting for moose tracks to decide on the best place to build a blind on the ground where Rob could perch safely and comfortably to take aim and from which Roger could observe. To say New Brunswickers are passionate about moose hunting is an understatement and Ronnie's own childhood friend, Donny, although not part of the actual hunt, helped him to scout and build the blind for the comfort and safety of all concerned.

On the day of the hunt the drive-bys and preparation had not been in vain as Ronnie went walk about to circle the area hopefully getting a moose to walk out into Rob's line of sight on the logging trail. This is not an exact science, the general consensus being if you see a moose and you are licensed, you best take your shot or you may not see it again during your 3-day permit and fines are steep not only for shooting a moose out of season, but also for keeping moose meat in your freezer without a permit. Well Ronnie's preparation and instincts paid off, the moose appeared and he took his shot.

Now the moose had to be field dressed in the woods. This involves removing the organs which can get quite messy if you don't know what you are doing. Depending on the ethnicity of the hunter, the liver and heart may be kept for later consumption.

The next thing was to drag the moose with the ATV from the mile or so into the woods out to the main road where Rob's truck was parked. He says, "Real men manhandle the moose onto the truck but why work hard when you can work smart?" One of the few hunters in the area with a winch on his truck, they hoisted the moose up onto the bed of the pick up.

That evening Angie looked at her watch about 9:30 thinking to herself  "It's kinda late to be out in the woods." Dare she hope they got one? Well indeed they had! The proud and exhilarated hunters returned with their prize moose all shiny and white inside on the bed of the pick up truck. Angie took these wonderful pictures and the moose was carefully placed where it could cool naturally without the worry of spoiling until it could be examined by the biologist the morning. It is against the law to skin the moose before the biologist has examined it. Fortunately weather conditions were ideal with our local temperature being only 3°C overnight.

The next morning the biologist removed a tooth from the lower jaw which indicated the age of the moose to be about 2 years and a male, commonly called a bull.  Rob's guestimation by the size of his prize moose was that he was too small to have been born in the spring 2 years ago but larger than if he was born this past spring, making him approximately 16 months old, young enough to yield approximately 485 lbs of tender, less gamy, more beefy tasting meat for the consumption of 2 very happy families.
Rob with what's left of the poor fella

There is much cause for celebration in Rob's, Ronnie's and Roger's households this year on this momentously rare occasion. I'm so grateful to Angie for sharing your great pictures with me for this blog as I'm sure are your children who were unborn the last time their dad got a moose. Congratulations to Rob on getting the license, Ronnie for being chosen as the 2nd gun and shooting the moose and Roger for being the fortunate witness to only the 2nd time in 40 years his friend got a moose. 

Until next time, be sure to subscribe to this blog feed for more lovely stories about the joy of country living.

Bountiful blessings to you and yours,