First of all, my apologies for not being in touch for a while. As many of you know, I took off for India in mid October, and returned only just in time for Christmas in mid December. Looking out of the window as my son Glenn drove me home from the airport, I was dazzled at the winter landscape - fresh snow on the rooftops and along the branches of evergreens; quite a contrast from the scene I'd left just a day earlier ... balmy temperatures and warm breezes off the seafront on Marine Drive in Bombay. It felt good to be back home even though the icy roads made for very cautious driving over the next several weeks.
While I was away, I was both shocked and saddened to hear that Hilda Pacheco had passed on, and although I wasn't able to attend her memorial service, I know that several members were there to pay their last respects to a gentle and kindly soul, and to offer their condolences to Joe. Also the sudden and tragic news that Cecil (Alves) had left us in early January following a stroke on New Year's Day, made for a sad start to 2017. The Sacred Heart Church in Ladner was packed with folks who had gathered to celebrate Cecil's life and to offer words and hugs of comfort to Hilary, Karen, Albert, Christian, Stuart and Savina. Cecil, a kind-hearted and soft-spoken gentleman (in the true sense of the word), will be greatly missed, specially at the monthly Seniors socials which he has been a part of for many years. We members of the AIRC offer our heartfelt sympathies to Joe and family and to Hilary and family at this sad time.
Many thanks to Eric (Liu) who, along with Jacquie (Michael) helped to organize our Christmas carol sing-along, which, very unfortunately, we were forced to cancel at the last minute. A fresh snowstorm on the weekend of December 18th meant that most of our members would be reluctant to drive along icy roads. It was a pity as this traditional get together has always been a happy way for us to usher in the Festive Season. However, as we make our way through 2017, I hope this year brings you all the best of health and many glad times surrounded with the warmth and love of family and friends.
I will be leaving on February 7th for Australia for two months, and by the time I get back in early April the days will be longer, the weather milder and perhaps we can get together to welcome Spring either at our Chelsea Gardens venue, or at a conveniently located restaurant.
As we start 2017, we have a modest bank balance to cover costs for website domain maintenance, and up-front, out of pocket expenses for social events. To continue to keep us afloat as a Club, we once again ask for your support by way of your annual $15.00 membership fee (covers the household, not individuals) which is very affordable - in fact just little more than the cost of a caffe mocha and ham-n-cheese sandwich for two from Starbucks! Cheques should be made out in the name of "The A.I. Recreational Club" and sent to Vivek Savkur at #708-8851 Lansdowne Road , Richmond , V6X 3X7. Our appreciative thanks in advance.
While we will continue to organize lunch or dinner (no host) get togethers at restaurants throughout 2017, we'd like to add more Club sponsored social events to the mix but this is difficult to do without more volunteer support. Jacquie and I need your help with a variety of tasks such as phoning around to find reasonably priced venues, getting catering quotes, themes and ideas for our parties, phoning to invite/remind people about an event—particularly those who aren't on e-mail—and a myriad other little organizational details that need attention. If you can help at the helm, please call me at 604-593-0065 . We really need you!!!
Thank you for being part of our social events through the years, and with your help, I hope we will continue to meet, mingle, and have fun in one another's company throughout the months ahead.