Approximately 170 people from the region attended Ol’ Tyme Family Nite’s tenth anniversary celebration at the McLennan’s Elks Hall on January 27.
Along with the always-reliable Ol’ Tyme Family Nite Band the featured entertainer was award winning Canadian country music artist Duane Steele.
Following cocktails and an excellent supper, FCSS Community Development Coordinator Jean Moore-Lemoine, the inspiration and principal organizer behind the event from the beginning, offered a brief presentation acknowledging the integral contribution that volunteers have made to the event’s continuing success.
“Ten years ago we had a dream, we wanted to do something where people of all ages, all cultures and all abilities could get together and have fun,” says Moore-Lemoine. “We wanted people to feel like they were part of an extended family and thanks to some absolutely incredible volunteers we have been able to do that.”
Among those recognized for their contribution were of course members of the Ol’ Tyme Family Nite Band: Dwaine Isert and Gerry and Marie Dubois who have been onboard from the start. William Shaw from Gift Lake also made the journey over to McLennan for most of the ten years but was unable to attend the anniversary night’s event.
The lineup for the Ol’ Tyme Family Nite Band at the anniversary party was Dwaine Isert, Gerry and Marie Dubois, Phil Dube, Raymond Ray and fiddle player and singer Cheryl Isert.
Marie Dubois, along with playing with the band is also a regular volunteer in the kitchen.
“And there is something else I am going to tell you,” says Moore-Lemoine. “Whenever something requires let’s say sewing, woodwork, painting, baking or whatever, we call Marie and Gerry because we are sure they will find a way to fix it for us. They are the best people in the world.”
Another couple who volunteer and who were thanked for their contribution for the past ten years was Lou and Pierette L’abbe.
“We have two other volunteers who have given to us for the full ten years and they have done everything: they open up, they set up the tables and chairs and get the coffee going. Then Pierette is in the kitchen doing whatever needs to be done.”
Director, Georges Iliou thanked everyone on behalf of Smoky River Family and Community Support Service and individually introduced the FCSS staff to those at the event.
Iliou also extended birthday wishes and presented flowers to Jean Moore-Lemoine and FCSS administrative assistant Diane Servant both of whom were celebrating their birthday that weekend.
The entire evening had a relaxed, festive atmosphere with the Ol’ Tyme Family Nite Band opening with a short, half-hour set, followed after a short break before the featured guest, Duane Steele.
As with other Ol’ Tyme Family Nites, attendance at the anniversary party covered the spectrum. There were the very young to the not so young with members of the Friendship Corner and Residents of Villa Beausejour in Falher as well as people from all the surrounding communities.
And obviously there was no shortage of energy because after the Duane Steele 90-minute set, the Ol’ Tyme band took to the stage again and the dancing continued.
“This whole program is because of the incredible cooperation of everybody involved,” says Moore-Lemoine.
“We have the MD of Smoky River, Town of Falher, Town of McLennan, the Village of Donnelly and the Village of Girouxville and without them and the incredible support of the people who have the Elks Hall here we couldn’t do this.
“We have been so fortunate that we don’t have to pay rent on our hall and that is one of the reasons that we can continue to do this.”