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District communities abuzz with Canada Day activities

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Wow, what a whirlwind of fun events in district communities in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday.

I spent my Saturday morning in Barwick, where the annual fastball tournament was played on the weekend. You could feel the excitement as batters hit those balls at a speed faster than lightning.

It was just a thrill to watch these games. Hats off to Vaughan Wilson (and his volunteers) for another great tournament.

Meanwhile, the parade saw floats, decorated bikes, birthday cakes, and much more. The first prize float was won by the Barwick Baptist Church, with second prize to the McCormick cousins and a close third to the Strachan family.

The youngsters enjoyed the kids' games after the parade and what a “joy” to watch these kids run races, race in gunny sacks, and look for loonies in sawdust piles (it kind of put you back in your own youth).

Beer gardens, excellent food, and a lot of socializing also made for a great time.

Barwick, you did it up well!

Emo also had a hub of events on Canada Day, including a parade that also was enjoyed by many.

There also were bouncy castles, food booths including delicious fudge (my favourite), and live bands plus beer gardens.

My family and I enjoyed the “colour” run—an event that was well attended by people of all ages.

Way to go, Emo!

  • • •

Ralph and Tamara Galusha's home was a great way to spend our Sunday. Amanda Galusha is home from Toronto while Tess and Tyler Mann, along with their daughter, Tennly, are home from Lac La Biche, Alta.

A big meal was enjoyed by family and friends, along with bouncy castles and water sprinkles.

Many jokes (some funny, some not) also were told. Aren't families wonderful!

  • • •

It seems that way too often this year, I've had to send sympathy to families and friends. And this week definitely is another one as I send deep, deep sympathy and regret from the entire district to the family and friends of Andrea Silander.

This beautiful lady left this world on Thursday, June 29.

Although Andrea had lived for many years in Fort Frances, I still think of her as a Devlin girl. Always a smile and a hello.

Just two weeks ago while visiting Rosella (Andrea's school bus driver for many years), she shared with me that Andrea was the cutest little girl. Rosella then imitated the little wave she would give as she dropped her off at her home every night.

I'll always remember her as a stylish, well-groomed lady.

Sadly, Andrea struggled with health issues for many years and the disease of diabetes took its toll.

The last few years had been horrendously difficult on Andrea and her family as a great deal of her time had been spent in hospital in Thunder Bay.

Her daughters, parents, siblings, and others made many trips to spend time with her, hold her hand, wipe her face, and try to fill any wishes she may have had.

Andrea had spend the last few weeks of her life in our local hospital—once again her family and friends were with her.

She drew her last breath on Thursday evening, leaving a big hole in so many hearts and souls.

And once again I wish (and our entire district wishes) we could give Andrea's daughters, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and many more words that would make sense of this long, long road of hardship.

Many will have special memories of Andrea, including her family, friends, and hospital co-workers. Cherish them.

And for those who spent countless hours making her days on Earth the best they could be, always remember her life was the best it could be because of you all.

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