Lumberjack Dinner

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John McDonnell of CPAWS and MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller at the Lumberjack’s Dinner at the Pontiac Conference Centre, January 26. (GF)

Gaetan Forgues

Friday, January 26, the 8th edition of the Night of Memories Lumberjack Dinner was held at the Pontiac Conference Centre in Fort-Coulonge. The event raised funds for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS/SNAP) towards the protection of the Dumoine, Noire and Coulonge Rivers.

The evening began with a welcome address to the full house of more than 200 by MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller, who said that the event is organized to pay tribute to all the lumberjacks and log drivers whose hard work has helped shape the Pontiac. Memories were shared by men who worked the Coulonge Drive, including Dénis Soucie, who brought the logs down for the last time in 1982. Toller also said that there will soon be some good news for Pontiac forestry.

A lumber camp style dinner was served featuring homemade bread, cabbage salad, meatloaf, roasted chicken, veggies, mashed potatoes, fried bologna, beans and Pudding Chaumière for dessert. During dinner, a lumberjack and log driver video presentation was made by former log truck driver and forestry operator, Clayton Denault, who recorded much of the footage himself.

The musical entertainment for the evening began with the upcoming singer Gail Gavan performing folk songs from the labour camps, lumberjacks and log drivers. Gavan was accompanied by renowned musicians such as champion fiddler Louis Schryer, Erin Leahy on piano, Gillan Rutz on guitar, Marie-Jeanne Brouseau on accordion and step dancers Chelsea and Kaitlyn Schryer.

A silent auction was held which included the chance to bid on a trip to Toller’s Gaultois Inn in Newfoundland. Toller said she would like to thank the public for their continued support of this event and all the musicians who helped make the fundraiser a great success. An approximate total of $3200 was raised for CPAWS/SNAP.