Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Good Morning Bruce,

Just thought I'd take the time to give you an update as to what transpired during the month of July. Well to start it off, it rained just about everyday. Not really news nor should I feel privileged but anyway, we pushed through and set up for the third annual "Veterans Party" or as it was dubbed the "Old Soldiers Christmas Party". It's kind of fitting to call it that as one said, "We might as well celebrate Christmas in July, we were never home in December." We weren't that many (maybe 40 people) but we had a great time. A fantastic supper, a "Bomb fire" and a live band, we partied till the "Wee hours" of the morning. It's like they say, it's not the quantity but rather the quality of the company. It is totally amazing how all these good folks got along. What was more amazing is how old we are all getting.

All the Maritimes were well represented and so was the province of Quebec. Amongst the partakers were MPs in the likes of Yves Beausoleil (instigator of these parties), Carl Inglis (who forgot his rain suit), Luc Veilleux (contact person at Dorval Airport) and André Belley (Security Specialist in Valcatrez). The one that traveled the furthest was Yvon Brière aka “Bonhomme” who came in from Sudbury, Ontario. This "ex-Airborne" turned "Navy Stewart" type was quite the character and a guy that was right up my alley. He pulled in with his "Harley" sporting an assortment of patriotic flags and towing a huge trailer, that not only carried his luggage but also two army barrack boxes. Obviously, a "pack rat" who collects military memorabilia’s, it was great to be able to swap stuff with this guy. Did I mention that one of his barrack boxes was full of these "Army" souvenirs? His wife described their basement and from what she said, I think that "Chief Elliott" might have met his match. As an added bonus, the next morning, he prepared breakfast for the entire crew and this on the fire pit and on his own dime. Great time was had by one and all but it was not to stop there. People kept trickling in at “CIMENT HILL” and this till last night (31 Jul 09). Let's just say that I'm not the "Party Animal" that I used to be...

A few things were noted and are worth mentioning. The first thing was the comradery that was felt throughout the event. It was obvious to me that there was a sense of belonging amongst those gathered and that we felt the need to remind ourselves of who we are and what we stand for. Secondly, this organization called "VETERANS CANADA" do great things for fellow soldiers. They’ve been known to physically go to someone's basement and talk to him, guiding him to needed assistance. During these trying times, I do believe that such a bunch can do wonderful things in helping some of our troops coming out of Afghanistan. Call it “Front Line” intervention or call it being “God Parents” to a needy soldier, whatever… Their devotion is an example of what determined volunteers can accomplish. They've taken it upon themselves to offer their services to provide motorcycle escorts to fallen comrades at various funerals throughout Quebec, a gesture that is mostly appreciated by the families. Did I mention that they raised over $1500.00 this spring for the "MP Blind Fund”? Anyway, I for one feel quite comfortable hanging around with this great bunch of guys (kind of reminds me of our PPCLI days) and I might just stick around and see what transpires. They seem to fill that particular void that I’ve been feeling for all those post military years and that my friend is a “good thing”.

Other than that, Fran and I are real busy taking care of business at the mill and at the lodges. To the onlooker, it seems effortless but let me tell you, it takes a lot of efforts to keep this big boat afloat. I guess that’s the price of success. Not to worry, “mushing” season is only five months away. This season, our goal is the “Quebec Mid-distance” Circuit that ends in Fort-Kent, Maine with a “60” mile race. But that’s a totally different story.

Stay in touch, Buddy and remember, the “JIM MORTON, not for Timmys” coffee is always fresh.


P.S. The 1955 ¾ Ton “Provost Paddy Wagon” finally made its way to “CIMENT HILL” and decided to stay and call it home. It purrs like a kitten but I guess it’s like all those “old things” that are no longer deemed useful by the military, “it needs some tender loving care and an oil change”. More to follow.

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