Should old acquaintance be forgot
A fresh garden salad with house dressing rounded out the appetizers for the celebratory dinner that was to follow.
The main course of Roast Prime Rib of Beef and Roast Pork - served family style on plates- was accompanied by oven roasted potatoes and a medley of garden fresh vegetables. After coffee was served, dessert arrived. "Chef Ivan’s Special Surprise" was a luxurious mix of ice cream, strawberries, blueberries all liberally laced with chocolate syrup. It took a while to get it to the tables but it was well worth the wait.
Dancing into 2007
Peter Beck and the Mississauga Express Band entertained the revellers with their extraordinary repertoire of dance music: Undying tunes from yesteryear that are still treasured and special today filled the house. Being so enthusiastically involved the band almost missed the arrival of the New Year and had to very quickly count down from - 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1…Happy New Year!
I was now waiting for the traditional "Ault Lang Syne" but that unfortunately didn’t happen.
While an abundance of colourful balloons dropped from the ceiling and were eagerly stomped on by the crowd others were busy hugging and congratulating each other or toasting the New Year with a glass of Champagne.
This traditional event usually takes place on the first day of a new year and provides an opportunity for the common "Burgers" of the city to meet the mayor face to face, to shake his hand, and the hands of some of the councillors in the line-up.
David Miller graciously received all the good wishes from the crowd, to listened to some of their concerns and patiently posed for pictures. It is one more opportunity for him to be close to his constituents and have his hand on the pulse of the community. There also were a few councillors in attendance: Pam McDonnel, Norm Kelly, John Parker, Lindsay Luby, Bill Saundercook, Joe Mihevc, Paula Fletcher, Cliff Jenkins, Michael Thompson, Chin Lee and Raymond Cho.
Only about 600 Torontonians took advantage of this opportunity and most of them lined up much earlier than the proposed start of the levee at 2:00 pm probably thinking like myself that a city of a few million people would have more folks interested in local politics and the exchange of good will.
After the welcoming address by Ekko Hildebrandt a mouth-watering dinner was served. Chicken Kiev and pork tenderloin was on the menu, accompanied by potatoes and vegetables. The food received some unusually great comments from some of the guests and so did Reif’s wines, which were served with the meal.
The Golden Keys entertained the dancers – with their rich repertoire - in the hall and the Chalets did so upstairs, where the horseshoe bar was often frequented by some of the ‘downstairs’ guests – who wanted to ‘sit down’ at the bar.
The ‘countdown’ at midnight was broadcast to the lounge upstairs simultaneously with the hall, - while the coloured balloons dropped from the ceiling - followed by ‘Ault Lang Syne’ and a taped medley of famous church bells, as they rang last year across Germany. It was a very moving experience for a number of the guests.
When the hugging and kissing, the toasting with champagne and the stomping of the balloons was over the crowd settled down again and was served with a selection of open-faced sandwiches that were prepared by the ladies’ auxiliaries in the Hansa kitchen.
I dare say there was not a German Club in Canada where such scenes were not played out in the old familiar ways.
I wonder how many of the revellers had made a "New Year’s Resolutions" - again. Most people make some, but only very few actually follow through. The impulse to reform, to start something new, runs at a deeper level than just the desire to become thinner or richer or healthier or to quit bad habits in the coming years. But resolutions are fragile and often disappear like the bubbles in the champagne at midnight and are usually at the curb with the Christmas tree on pick-up day. We may mean well, but are easily distracted by the daily grind, demands and temptations. But of course there is always next year! Since I am already as great as I can be – no resolutions for me!
"Happy New Year"!
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