Port Matters

By Frances Kennedy
(Jan-Feb 2020)
– In November I attended my first ever karaoke night at the Legion and oh, what a night. However awfully talented, it still takes courage to attempt a song sung by a rock star or a coal miner’s daughter. When erratic Internet service threatened to foil the fun, folks rallied: long-timers and newcomers spanned age and gender, and soon we were all in. What ensued was triumph over the trials of technology. Without aid of words, music and sometimes even melody, truly great and true grit performers rocked an appreciative audience and we were all at once one. That, and a “we’re all here cuz we’re not all there doing something else with someone else” spirit kicked up a few newbies for an all-out all in evening of fun. If this is us, we’ve got all it takes to navigate the bridge closure and well, beyond.

Well deserved accolades to Jen Slack of Erie Fun Tours, and Jade Rogers of TimberNook Elgin, both finalists in The Pitch, a Dragon’s Den style competition sponsored by Elgin Business Resource Centre (EBRC.) Congratulations to Jade Rogers for the second-place award, well done. That two of the six finalists in all Elgin County came from Port Stanley is noteworthy. Let’s support our vital rural economy by patronizing and recommending local businesses. Entrepreneurs truly are “progressive by nature.”

By all accounts the Lions and Lioness clubs’ Dickens Days Night Parade and the BIA’s Dickens Days Weekend were everything everyone hoped for. Despite the Sunday’s inclement weather, a very merry old-time bustling with Christmas spirit prevailed in the village. Thank you and congratulations to all those involved, including merchants and restauranteurs, for some good old-fashioned fun. The “Port Stanley experience” is sure to win over any obstacles in 2020.

The 2019 Ugly Christmas Sweater Hop was yet another auspicious occasion for celebrating Port at its best. Walking the bridge between “Mayberry” and “Margaritaville” alongside a knot of partyers prophesying on the pending closure was bittersweet. But it was a fun-filled and festive way to span the great divide in an eventful evening of camaraderie, good food, great music and hospitality, Port style.

Further to that, since February is friends and lovers’ month and the advent of Lent why not make a date for another special event? On Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Port Stanley Festival Theatre, “Mardi Gras at the Stork Club” will celebrate the Club’s iconic music, and fabled stories of one of Canada’s most famous dance halls. The Uptown Dixieland Jazz Band will perform music from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, Louis Armstrong and early jazz. Participating restaurants and inns have Mardi Gras specials on offer and Erie Fun Tours has a dinner and tickets package. Tickets are available at PSFT online or the box office. Come out and blow off the blues with a razzle dazzle evening of swing and jazz.

Recently, our MPP, Jeff Yurek acknowledged big wins for Belmont, New Sarum and Springfield when TVSB rescinded their school closures. He reminded us of “the power of community advocacy and the importance of rural perspectives.” We must speak as one voice. Only if we span what divides us do we have the power to make the best version of this community our legacy.

When we practice our best future, we create it.