Editorial: Thanks for the memories

It is a little like saying good-bye to an old friend. The Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club has announced that this year it will no longer host its Canada Day celebrations up at the Point in Iroquois.

There are a number of reasons why the Lions felt the time had come to give up a tradition that goes back about 40 years. This service club has given its very best to Iroquois’ Canada Day for four decades: arranging for and running musical entertainment, great kids activities, special booths, games for the small ones and for adults too, bingos, bouncy castles and inflatables, car shows, sporting events, and then winding it all up by serving a chicken barbecue.

But times, tastes and crowds have changed.

As Lions president Jim Mustard said, “We just feel that it has run its course.”

We understand why the Lions have come to what is for them, a decision genuinely tinged with sadness.

Still, unless some other group takes on a new celebration, the Point is going to seem very quiet, maybe a little lonely, this Canada Day, 2019.

At the same time, we all have a lot of grand memories to share, and a great deal to thank our Lions for.

We will remember those July 1st evenings dancing to and singing along with local musicians enthusiastically performing in the Lions’ band shell.

We will recall laughing at the sales patter of the folks running the booths, and at the kids mock jousting and tumbling down the bouncy castle walls. We’ll reminisce about the very unique Canada Day costumes on display under the shade trees at the Point, where we had all staked out our lawn chairs. Some will even have memories of occasional ships passing through the Locks that sounded their horns in a salute to the happy party on shore.

And who will ever forget those dedicated (and sweating in July heat!) Lions spending hours bent over hot coals getting that chicken just right? No one minded driving miles for Canada Day Lions chicken! Just like no one minded the traffic jams when people gathered for the fireworks that traditionally ended the Iroquois celebration.

Thanks for all the Canada Day memories, Lions. We will miss you.

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