Some 60 OUFC members and friends were on hand to toast our 50th anniversary at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Toronto last Thursday evening.
Tree themed decorations (thank you Barb Yaroski) decked the hall, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres were served and the wine flowed. The Kohen Hammond Quartet filled the ballroom with upbeat Jazz tunes. Guests were all invited to ‘bid’ on party favours donated by OUFC board members and advisors. Candles, books, pottery, a picnic basket, jewelry tree and a bottle of scotch were among the treats that were up for grabs.
The evening featured two very memorable highlights. First, 12 year old singing sensation Brook Pastuch kicked things off with an amazing solo rendition of O Canada, and after just a few bars, we all found ourselves joining in. Thanks to Edith George for bringing this darling into our midst.
The second were the glowing tributes that flowed to Jack Radecki, OUFC retiring Executive Director. Speakers were, Bruce Bostock, Peter Dmytrasz, Ian Bruce, Greg Hill, Mike Rosen, Mark Procunier, Philip van Wassenaer and Richard Ubbens. While all had been invited to roast or toast, all chose to recount, with great affection, some of the many ways that Jack has made a real difference to them and to trees across the Province.
Peter Wynnyczuk presented Jack’s parting gift, a Mic-Mac Indian Presentation basket holding a hand turned Burled Maple bowl. Tucked inside was a pendant for his wife, Ali, who has clearly given up untold hours with Jack while he has been in the field and at meetings working for our urban forest.