© Daily Herald staff
Last year I had only been here nine months when I wrote my first Christmas cheer column.
This year, I’ll stretch it over two weeks. And if I keep meeting people at the same pace I have in first 20 months here, the Christmas column will soon be starting in May.
This remains an almost no-win idea for me. It’s not just likely that I’m going to forget people who belong here, it’s an iron-clad guarantee.
So with that in mind -- that I can’t possibly include all of the people who have crossed my path in the last year -- I’ll proceed with apologies.
• To the entire Horn family, who I see next door at Fresh Air Experience, thanks for always making me feel welcome.
• To my friends on the other side of the Herald, over at Gene’s Sports Excellence -- including Marlon, Gene, Dave, Chad and the rest of the crew -- thanks for being so friendly when I come in.
• To Darryl Frenette from Gil’s Barbershop, the man tasked with tackling my unruly mop, my apologies.
• To all of the letter writers who have reached out to us over the year, thank you. If you can send me a letter of fewer than 300 words, I can usually get it in within a couple of days.
• To the first couple of Central Avenue, Bison Cafe owner Laura Moser and her hubby, former Herald managing editor and all-around excellent guy Barry Glass.
• To Malcolm Jenkins, may he never hesitate picking up the phone to give me a call.
• I sit on two boards in town and deal with a big group of people on each. From the Prince Albert Community Foundation, thanks to Garth Beddome, Marlaina Hauser, Merv Bender, Marilyn Peterson, Bryan Rindal, Barb Gustafson, Marianne Turcotte and Leanne Chongva.
And to the members of the Prince Albert Downtown Improvement District Association board, thanks for the interesting insights. They include Sharon Faul, Laura Moser, Linda Jensen, Denis Benard, Jason Hurd, Stacy Coburn, Lucy James, Mike Horn, Paul Luedtke and Rick Orr and of course staff Bob Gill and Lori Bourne.
• To Marvin Sanderson, the man who did so much for the First Nation Summer Games, and his big team of staff and volunteers, including Dean Bear.
• To softball coaches extraordinaire, Derek Smith and Dwayne Stonechild, hosts of the Western Canadian PeeWee Regionals last summer.
• To Griffith Baker and Twyla Exner, the first couple at the Mann Art Gallery.
• To the Chamber of Commerce gang, Merle Lacert, Carolyn Carleton and Danica Jessie.
• To my coffee buddy Tony Thompson, who can sneak an Elton John lyric into almost anything.
• To my running pal, CTV’s Teena Monteleone, who proved to herself at Summit Run last spring that the seemingly unattainable is possible. And to her cohorts Gord, Blair and Christine.
• To the CBC’s Ryan Pilon.
• To John M. Cuelenaere Public Library director Alex Juorio, a man I keep threatening with coffee invitations that neither of us can keep.
• To Annette Henbid for her hospitality at the Kyla Art Show And Sale.
• To Brian Martin, Mont St. Joseph’s excellent executive director, for his unending optimism.
• To Carla Flaman up at Prince Albert National Park for her invitations to come north.
• To Richard Ahenakew and his wonderful staff at Northern Lights Casino, who deserve a special shout-out for running a high-class facility and for their charitable good works in the community.
• To two of my favourite young ladies in the city, Mona and Mara Selanders.
• To Sask. Rivers Supt. John Schultz, who I shared a meal with during the summer and walked away impressed. I went for coffee with director of education Robert Bratvold far too long ago and told stories with another former Manitoban. Let’s hope my calls this year are all social or congratulatory.
• To Debbie Lehner and her amazing staff at the SPCA, thanks for your hard work.
• To Jerry Jarvis, may the recently retired Newfie actually retire rather than finding 12 new things to do. But some things are even out of Santa’s powers.
• I took a year off from triathlon in 2013 so I didn’t see much of my friends from the Prince Albert Triathlon Club. But merry Christmas from an absent member to Marty Houle, Roy Fremont, Mark Nagy, Theresa Nimegeers, Valerie Horner, Mark Doyle, Carmen Doyle, Clifford McBeath, Sherry Ann, Alana Cassidy, Anson Antree, Graham Parsons, Mike Horn, Patty Tetreault, Dale Janeczko, the Charles family and the dozens of others who make the club so great.
• To Charlene Tebbutt, a former Daily Herald wordsmith who now strings for the Star Phoenix.
• To Dalelene Yelland and the great folks with the Prince Albert Community Players for their wonderful entertainment. And also to Cara Stelmaschuk and the great folks with Odyssey Productions, for exactly the same reason.
• To Shayne Lazarowich of the Multicultural Society, a great singer who always gets the joke.
• To Delphine Melchert, a woman who quietly does great things in the community, including drowning me in email, something I am grateful for.
• To Lucian Phillips and the gang down at LDP Martial Arts, thanks for making me welcome.
• To all of our local people in uniform, whether they work for the Prince Albert Police Service, the Prince Albert Fire Department or Parkland Ambulance, thanks for your service. A special nod goes to Troy Cooper, Kelly Stienwand, Les Karpluk, Jason Everitt, Trevor Dutchak and Lyle Karasiuk for their hard work. My Christmas wish for all of them is that their services are required less next year.
OK, now we’ll finish up with the lightning round.
• To some of the folks I’ve chatted with in the community including Fred Matheson, David Harradence, David Thorpe, Dean Link, Rod Thomson, Marion Power, James Young, Jennifer Brockman, Kelly McLean, Kelly Taylor, Jim and Helen Scarrow, Kiley Bear, Les Nemish, Linda Alberts, Marnee Chubak, Nicole Marud, Randy Friesen, Cathy Ruxton, Connie Schill, Deb Honch, Jayne Remenda, Whitney Darchuk Victoria Jurgens, Darryl Hickie and Randy Hoback.
Next week we’ll finish up this massive list. Good luck with your Christmas preparations.
Perry Bergson is the Daily Herald’s managing editor. You can reach him at 765-1302 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org