Ridge helps keep the freeze off

By the way, did you hear:

• The final word on the Jan. 11 Dateline Cowichan photo of the 1963 beauty pageant contestants, after a reader brought in the actual newspaper clipping: the competition was sponsored by the Duncan Junior Chamber of Commerce to pick the Cowichan Exhibition queen. The winner was Catrien Oud.

• Hayley A. Picard tells us Dr. Dan Duta will be using his medical skills to assist people during a stint in Africa, while his wife Dina Holbrook and daughter Gillian Duta (a Grade 1 student at Queen Margaret’s School) work in local orphanages for about one month. QMS teacher Sue Stone and senior students designed, created and donated hand-made toys which Dina and Gillian will deliver to the orphans.

• Tammy Gurski and her husband Chad of Valley Carpet One are helping Variety – The Children’s Charity for most of February by donating Helping Hearts chocolates to all their clients. Each box means a donation to Variety and the firm will be donating a portion of our sales during this time period to Variety, as well.

• The Duncan World Community Film Festival will not be back until Ocotber, but you can check out one of its films Jan. 31. Award-winning For Once in My Life screens at the Cowichan Station Hub at 7:30 p.m. It’s described as an inspiring documentary about a band of singers and musicians who have a variety of physical or developmental disabilities including: autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and visual impairments.  Admission is by donation.

• A big shout-out and a round of applause to Marjorie and Desmond Pratt and all the folks at Arbutus Ridge, who kicked in with donations of more than 250 garments turned over to the Salvation Army in conjunction with Peter Baljet’s annual Anti-Freeze campaign this Christmas. Coat deliveries were done with the help of Osborne Reality.

• Add Charles Davidson of Cobble Hill to the list of locals sharing stories of Cowichan Christmas spirit. He lost his wallet 10 days before Christmas only to hear a friendly voice from Walmart accounting office, informing me that a wallet bearing my name had been handed in.  He writes: “I wish to thank the gentleman who handed it in, complete with all contents, including cash. I intend to give a donation to the local food bank to express my gratitude.”

Exciting things happening for you, your friends or your family that you want to share with your community? Send me a quick email at We’d love to spread the word.

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