Cowichan News Leader

Local Paul Ruszel wins city centennial song contest

"I know the people singing in the choir,

"I know the farmers and the taxi drivers,

"I know the churches and all the pubs,

"That’s why I love this town."


Valley tunesmith Paul Ruszel has won the Duncan centennial songwriting contest with his entry Love This Town.

Councillor and centennial committee head Sharon Jackson said Ruszel's song was played Friday morning on Sun-FM radio after judges selected his number from 11 entries.

"It'll be played again on On Sun-FM March 4 just after 8 p.m."

"I'm delighted," 58-year-old Toronto native Ruszel said.

"Interestingly enough, even before the contest, I submitted the song to the centennial committee."

That proactive gesture gave committee head Jackson an idea.

"I thought 'We should open this (entries) up', and it's the one picked anyway."

Judging was done by a five-member panel.

Ruszel scored $1,000 worth of recording at Richard's Studio in Lake Cowichan for his tune touting Duncan's down-home feel, Jackson explained.

"Paul talks about the city being a friendly place where you know the names of your waitresses."

The local doctor, grocer and mechanic too.

Ruszel said his prize tune was sparked by a guy spouting sour grapes about the city.

"My song gives us some good feelings about living here.

"It was a inspired by someone complaining about the lack of opportunities in the valley and its lack of culture, and I thought 'I don't get this at all.'

"It just feels good to be acknowledged in your own town."

The former member of Sea Dog, and current player in Jane's Way band, said Love This Town will grace his upcoming CD Get Off The Train, due out in a couple of months.

Meanwhile, "Paul's also invited to sing the song at our March 4 centennial celebration just after noon at city hall's flag standards," Jackson said of Duncan's new flag being hoisted by Lt.-Gov. Steven Point.

Birthday cake and coffee follow in city square to fete Duncan's 100th birthday involving a raft of activities in the coming months.

A fly-past by a Canadian Forces' Sea King chopper from the Comox base is also expected, she said, humming praises about Ruszel's song.

A copy of Love This Town will also be placed in a city time capsule being buried in May in Centennial Park.

"That's go along with our Super Hero Kids Run," she said.

Centennial action also includes a popular geocaching event.

"We put out the first geocache yesterday and it's already been found by several people," she said of the scavenger hunt where folks using GPS gear and more to follow clues to hidden items.

Each cache has swag in it and you replace it with stuff of greater value.

"The first one had trackables shaped like a little totem," Jackson said Totem Town icons.

"We challenge trackers to send them to our sister cities so you can track the movement of trackables all over the world."

Duncan's sister cities include Meru, Kenya, Montmagny, Quebec, and Kaikohe, N.Z. whose mayor, Wayne Brown, visits Duncan next week by coincidence.

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