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April occurrences at the Legion

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Jason Pankratz - Tillsonburg Legion

I’m going to begin this article by advertising what is happening at the Legion this month.

April 27th is our monthly Friday supper. This month we are hosting the popular meatloaf dinner. Serving begins at 5 p.m. and costs $12. Make sure to come out before the food runs out, which it usually does.

The following day on Saturday, April 28 from 9-4 is our first psychic and wellness show. A 20-minute reading is $30. Take a look at the Legion Facebook page for vendors.

Remember that the Legion can host your personal event too, either in the hall or the downstairs canteen. Call the office to discuss the event and rental agreement. You can have personal parties, group dances or other events. The Legion space is available for many different community organizations and opportunities.

I am fascinated by the month of April. Maybe it’s the emergence of the new season and craving evidence of spring. Throughout history there are a lot of interesting connections and events that have occurred in April.

First of all, happy birthday to my father Wayne. Dad turns 65 this month. He has been such a support and guiding force in my life. Sadly, in my youth, I didn’t understand how wise he was and how he was shaping me to become a grown man. I do now. There are so many moments as an adult where I reference his words, actions, and the lessons he taught me. His faith, integrity, and humour have influenced me greatly. Happy birthday Dad!

I know it’s a weird connection, but Dad was born on the same day that Abraham Lincoln was shot, 88 years later. I have always been fascinated by Lincoln, his life and death. American hero worship is the essence of his legacy. I realized this in the mid 1990s when I took a trip to United States as a teenager. Lincoln’s face was everywhere - from the obvious historical locations like Gettysburg to the Lincoln mattress sale in Springfield, Illinois. Consequently, John Wilkes Booth would be killed in a raid exactly seven days after he assassinated Lincoln.

Dad was born exactly 41 years to the day, after the sinking of the Titanic. It’s hard to imagine that when Dad was born the memory of the Titanic for survivors and their families was vivid memory. History has a way of making time seem so much longer and impersonal. Dad has taught me to seek out history and enjoy the opportunities to learn from it. Part of understanding history is about acknowledging time lines and the lives of those who lived through historical events.

My brothers and I have each have a different kind of relationship with Dad. That shows his ability to connect with the different interest of his sons. Mom and Dad have created a home and familial legacy that becomes much more relevant as time passes. The family table, talks, prayers, and ability to stop in mean more as age, time, and individual lives create distance.

The focus on family and community is what is important. Our lives pass us by daily without our acknowledgment most of the time. Remembering takes effort. I encourage everyone to get to know their family history, how it connects with events, and appreciate those lessons. The stories and connections of the past DO mean something to the present and future generations. Pictures and videos capture faces and actions; but don’t forget about the importance of experiences and stories. Time passes, we get older, and we are all shaped by our history, personalities, hardships, and successes. Those are the characteristics that are rarely captured by photos or videos. 

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