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    Christmas 2012

    Hello SOAR Members: Another year is rapidly coming to a close, even though our Fall in Toronto has hung in there pretty well. It's

    time to look back and see what your SOAR committee has accomplished??

    The spring Luncheon at the Latvian club was well attended (65 attendees) coordinated by Barb Priest and Peter Defreitas. The food was good and abundant and it gave a chance for all to reconnect with others from Shell.

    The Spring Golf tournament was held at Maples of Ballantrae this year and was attended by 33 golfers. This

    event was pulled together by Bob Davie and the new course had good reviews from those in attendance, ...probably worth a repeat!

    Harley William's attempt to get members on a bus trip to the St Jacobs area didn't pan out, nor was there significant interest in a dinner/theatre event at Stage West in Mississauga. Perhaps it was bad timing or the

    locations that did not appeal to our group?

    The Fall luncheon at the Historic David Duncan House was a very well received. Bob Davie and Barb Priest coordinated the event and our treasurer, June Bullied set a bargain price for this up scale dining experience. We had 75 guests (The most we have had out in a long time) and all were complimenting the décor, food

    selection and fine service! It proves, once again, that retirees love to eat especially when the price is right!

    All in all a busy enough year for your SOAR volunteer committee.

    We are trying to provide opportunities for members to get out and socialize with their friends from Shell,

    however, as always, we need more input and “hands” to come up with ideas that will reach additional members.

    If you would like to help, please let us know and join the committee working on the activities for 2013.

    Another “Special Thanks” goes to Neil McCann for his efforts to maintain our membership file, tracking down member’s changes and his excellent work at producing the quality SOAR Newsletter 3 times a year! He is always looking for ideas or articles from members, so help out if you can. Remember Neil is our "Roving Reporter" connecting with the group from Edmonton, Florida, Phoenix, the Turks & Caicos...or even Ontario

    from time to time!

    So from our SOAR Committee we wish you all the Merriest Christmas Season ever and a Very Happy and Healthy New Year in 2013.


    Bob & Erika Buchkowsky - Niagara-on-the Lake Well it’s been quite a year so far! We received the offer for home on May 22 and were out by June 21st. Fortunately our brand new bungalow in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Village of Virgil was ready. Talk about everything being wine related. House design

    is the Chardonnay, our street is Riesling Drive & our development is called the Vineyards. Therefore it made sense to have our new e-mail: [email protected] Why the move to NoTL? We have always loved the area, have visited many times, winters are warmer with much less snow, we are close

    to everything especially the U.S. border and best of all – we LOVE drinking wine! We decided it was time to downsize to a smaller house, but still having the small- town ambiance. The back of the house faces east looking onto large

    private backyards so although we do not have any trees we are surrounded by lovely mature trees

    and vegetation. Will we miss raking 80+ bags of leaves in the Fall as we did at our former heavily treed property … No…..don’t think so. Fabulous historic Old Town is really close, about an 8 minute drive down the street from us. Erika’s already found a very a nice Spa there to get some much needed pampering usually followed by “shopping therapy”. We have already enjoyed various visitors and expect a lot more. If you are visiting the area, let us know … we’d love to see you! Bob & Erika Buchkowsky, 10 Riesling Drive, R.R.5, Niagara-on-the-Lake, On. L0S 1J0 Phone: (289) 868-9566

    Better be careful Erika & Bob or your place could turn into a Shell B & B !! (The Editor)

    Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.

    I have a great joke about procrastination...

    I’ll tell you later.

  • Garnett & Denise Gow - Orleans, Ontario

    It's been awhile since old "Gator" has checked in with the Shell gang. Bob Nairn's recent article about "Shelly" made me send you a picture taken at the 1986 Grey Cup parade in Ottawa. (Bob's HIGHLIGHT). I will never forget this, because I dressed up in that white Oil Can

    Mascot and walked "BLIND" for the mile and a half parade route. The ventilation was terrible, my glasses fogged up, and I literally hung onto a flex hose and allowed myself to be towed for at least half of the two hour ordeal!! It goes without saying that (left to right), Bill McAllister, Jim Hoffard, Chris Farrell, Sarah Russell, Bob Narin (right side, Bob's wife Bridget behind the white bear??) rode in cars/Shelly while Francois Guay 2nd from right and I (centre behind truck) WALKED!! Shell was not always fair. Ha, Ha.

    I also included a picture taken at my retirement party (Feb 1999) where I gave "patented gator noses" to Dave Filo, Teresa Wesselink, Jim Milligan and Dick Hetrick. The world lost an angel when dear Teresa passed away. She was a pioneer for women's equity within Shell and was respected both by Agents and fellow Shell staff. Our trips to Audit Timmins and Kap were truly epic battles of good versus get out alive was testimony to our speed and elusiveness.

    Denise and I continue to travel extensively. The Caribbean at least once/twice a year (Punta Canna this November, Montego Bay for two weeks in February 2013); plus trips within Canada, USA and Europe being plotted in when budget allows. We paid a 10 day visit to Newfoundland in June, enjoyed the trip immensely. If ever you visit Rocky Harbour be sure to catch the

    "Anchors Away" show. These guys sing, play numerous instruments, tell jokes and generally entertain at a very high level. We had a bad year for icebergs and whales, but beer, lobster, cod and screech were pretty good substitutes.

    I no longer work in a Councillor's office for the City of Ottawa. He lost the last election (3rd term try) and I subsequently lost a great

    part time job as an administrative assistant in the Ward Office. I still have a flyer delivery business and get great "paid" exercise

    while working for Ottawa City Departments and Hydro One. Work is spotty but it makes pocket money for my sports and theatre


    Denise is still the love of my life and the worlds best Mom and Grand Ma. She's so good at it that Jodi (now 34) still lives at home. Sonia, a teacher (en francais) has two children, Gabriel 10 and Melisande 7; needless to say that are our pride and joy. Many trips to the rink, gym, auditorium for "Gran Mana and Gran Papa".

    I miss not seeing a lot of the Toronto, Calgary, Montreal based Shell retirees. Email has been a great way for us to keep in touch. I'm afraid of Face Book. TOO MANY PEOPLE KNOW MY PAST.

    I'll sign off for now. Our health is pretty good overall and life in general is worth living every day to the fullest. We welcome anyone visiting the nation's capital to our home. My famous bar is still pretty well stocked. Wine Cellar still is adequate, over 200 bottles.

  • Bye for now and may God Bless you all.

    Garnett "Gator" Gow

    The article in the Summer 'Newsletter' about Shelly had a picture of a person lifting the front end of the truck. I thought that it was Bob Nairn but he has told me that it was Bob Millroy the Cap-Tire rep at the time. (The Editor)

    Sheila Andrews – Toronto (Part 1) (Part 2 to be in the Spring Issue) In September 2012, I decided to take a 'SOLO' vacation to Australia and I did

    just that...."making Memories to last". It was actually a nice, but long journey, flying to Los Angeles and then boarding the 'Virgin Australia Flight' to Sydney. However, I am so happy that I took this opportunity to go to OZ, while I am still healthy and mobile!

    I had a marvelous time there and the weather was just great; not too hot, as it was the end of their winter and into early Spring. The birds were singing, the

    buds waiting to burst forth into flowers and some of the native bushes were already fragrant & flowering. It made everything 'Downunder' such a welcoming sight. Australia is such a big country, slightly smaller than Canada,

    however, it is a vast country no doubt, with such varied climates and such a variety of flora and fauna, making it so

    distinctly different.

    The loud, chirping laugh of the 'Cuckabura' was indeed an interesting sound to wake up to each morning. There were so many parrots and cockatoos and cockateels as well all over the place. I kept my windows open and the noisy birds sure

    did wake me up! My first reaction, hearing the "Cuckabura", was indeed a surprise. He actually laughs like a kid. I never realized that, till I actually heard him. As a kid, I learnt the 'Rounds',..."Cuckabura sits on an old gum tree, merry, merry king of the bushes he ; ...laugh cuckabura laugh,"... that's exactly what he does,...laughs!!!

    I arrived in Sydney ,bright and early around 6 a.m. after a long,15 hrs flight, non-stop, from LAX to SYD. However, I had slept at least 6 hrs. solid on the flight, so it wasn't that bad, after all. I didn't have any of the 'jet lag' that I expected. It was so good to wake up bright and early on that sun shiny day and the warmth of the sun was enough t