A gala it was. The Premier, the Housing Minister, handshakes all-round, the best food prepared by Lindy and people, served by the most courteous, helpful and effervescent staff and volunteers in the city…and the speeches, congratulatory effusions–in the good sense of that term–besides, after 80 years a bit ebullience is in order. And Premier Stelmach saying things like, “Tonight I’ve had the honour of witnessing faith in action.”
Then there was Ed Viso (HM grad two years ago) in top hat and cane, and Chaplain Alan in razor-white suit that almost flowed, seraphim-like. Who else would you get to do the opening prayer? And then there was the art by Edwin from Breakout–work that rivals Bateman and Kinkade–set in the foyer like a gemstone.
And a tip of Ed’s top hat to all the setup and takedown people from east-Tegler to west-Brightwood, also, on the administration side, tickets, seating, etc., cheers to Ting, Jennie, Tara, Annette, et al, who saw to it that our biggest banquet yet went off swimmingly.
Of course the nucleus of the night was the graduation of over 50 men and women from Breakout and Wellspring. The stories from Ryan, Tanya, Paul, Chris, and James had most everyone welling up–and then cheering. A pause here to remember that it’s here, in the eyes and hearts of all those on stage that night, that makes everything we do worth it. (Salute to Edie and Marybelle at the Bargain Shoppe for acquiring all the suits for the guys; you had them all looking like men-from-Milan.)
But first-place for the best line of the night goes to our own Bruce Reith. In responding to the Alberta Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Yvonne Fritz, and her reiteration a of the 10-year plan and the billion dollar injection to eradicate homelessness, said, "I hope you’ve left something over for Calgary."
Thank you, really, everybody deserves a bouquet!
(Watch for a feature article by yours truly in Saturday’s Edm Journal – Religion Page)