Monday, August 24, 2020

The Mountain Ash

 According to the memorial book at SPPC, a tree was planted in 1998 in memory of Sam Shaw and Clara Kinnon. Twenty years later, we could find no sign of the tree so a new one was set in, a lovely mountain ash, on the Willingdon side of the property. It is now showing off some brilliant red berries.
The tree is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Clara Kinnon (Noel's mother) and her brother Mr. Sam Shaw. 
     Sam never married and Clara was widowed early in life. The custom in Ireland is for the eldest daughter to take care of any unmarried brother so Sam became a part of Noel's life at a very early age. 
     Uncle Sam was a short man, maybe five feet tall, but he was an excellent badminton player. In Ireland professional badminton players were graded, with #1 being the top category. Sam was not a professional but he was graded at #2. As a result he could only play for the church club eight times a year. His exalted status prevented him from taking part in more competitions. One of his advantages was his ability to play equally well with either hand. An opponent expecting a right-handed return was be taken completely off guard when the shot was played from the left hand.
     Years later, when Noel sponsored his mother to immigrate to Canada, she said she wouldn't come unless Sam came too. After a hunt for all the appropriate papers, brother and sister came together to their new home. 
     When Noel was minister in Medicine Hat, Sam lived nearby. He was retired by that time and loved to garden so he undertook to maintain the church flower beds at their blooming best during the growing season. He had a green thumb. They used to say around the congregation that if Sam put a piece of green paper in the ground, it would grow. 
     Sam didn't drive and travelled to the church by bus nearly every day. He kept an old pair of shoes and gardening gloves and tools at the church so he wouldn't appear untidy on the city bus.
     I'm so glad the newly planted mountain ash is doing well. Something green and growing seems an appropriate remembrance for a dedicated gardener and his older sister. 
     Thank you, Rev. Noel, for sharing this bit of family history with us.


     Now that our building is open, under strict COVID guidelines, we are able to bless the community by making a space available for non-church events. One such event is a concert by Larry's musical group, Raven Baroque, this Friday. The program is laid out below. Admission by donation. 

Raven Baroque at Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church
7:00 p.m. Friday, August 28, 2020
Admission by Donation

  1. G P Telemann, Viola Concerto in G, Jessica Pickersgill, soloist
  2. Vincenzo Galilei, Ricercare #10, #7 - 2 very short Renaissance musical experiments of a set of 12 by the father of scientist Galileo Galilei
  3. Antonio Vivaldi Violin Concerto in G, Op. 4, #3 (RV 301), Kate Rhodes soloist
  4. GF Handel, Deutsche Aria HWV205 Suesse Stille, Sanfte Quelle, Kate Rhodes, voice
  5. J S Bach, Violin Concerto in a, BW1041, Hollas Longton, soloist
  6. Arcangelo Corelli, Concerto Grosso, Op.6, #8, Fatto per la notte di natale 


Violin                                                Cello                                                      
Hollas Longton                               Larry Skaggs 
Kate Rhodes                                    
Don Kissinger                                 Bass
                                                      Mary Rannie 
Jessica Pickersgill                           Voice
Don Kissinger                                   Kate Rhodes

Support in 2020 by BC Arts Council and Heritage Canada

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