The Melfort Rotary Club hosted the 71st Annual Rotary Carol Festival on Sunday, December 8 at the Melfort United Church. There was an important person missing for this year’s festival as the regular carol song leader Gordon Liddle was absent having passed away earlier this year.
“I mean Gordon was the sound of the Carol Festival and he just personally loved doing this. He loved music and he loved to bring out the music in people,” Rotary Club of Melfort president Ken Singer said.
“Gordon, he’s really missed in our club that’s for sure and all of the things that Rotary did Gordon was involved in. The musical side of Rotary is missing a voice,” Singer added.
The event kicked off with new carol leader Captain Rick Robins leading the audience in Carol Singing, including Liddle’s favourite “Good King Wenceslas”.
The program aslo included a memorial for him. Stephanie Turner also dedicated a performance of “Blue Christmas” to Liddle.
In a break with tradition there was only an afternoon performance.
‘It’s disappointing but that’s the reality of it. Maybe there is less choirs around now or it just worked out that this is a busy weekend,” Singer said.
“I mean we will see how it goes again. We try to get our invitations out to as many as we can. Because maybe we might do okay today with one performance and maybe if there and achieve the same dollars we did last year,” he explained.
The afternoon raised over $5,100 for the Salvation Army Hamper Program. The Carol Festival has always been in support of the Hamper Program.
“It’s a tradition that’s for sure,”
As well Bernice McCosh returned for her 71 st Carol Festival.
“It’s amazing and Bernice McCosh has been to every one,” Singer said.
Performers in the afternoon included the United Church Carillons, who also accompanied the Carol Singing, the Siermachesky’s, Annika Forsyth, Jennifer Summach and Will Heavin, Sadie Grabil, Madison McAvoy, Taya Bennett, two performances by Megan McAvoy, Levi Grabill, the United Church Choir, the Summach Famuily, Kamryn Heavin, the Melfort Girl Guides, the Siermachesky Ladies, the Turner Girls, Alexis, Rachelle and Ryan Heavin, Bev Pompu and Victoria Riley and the traditional closing performance by the Rotary Choir.
As well Robins told the Christmas Story as it related to the Mister Rogers. The announcer for the performance was Singer.