What a wonderful time of year it is being Christmas. All the lights, smiles and hustle and bustle make it a time of year I thoroughly enjoy. What a great event Festival of Lights was to officially start the Christmas season here in Summerland.
I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to Australia where I visited Toowoomba (the city in Australia where I did my exchange in 2004/2005) and competed in the Pan Pacific Games at the Gold Coast in Southeast Queensland.
I played fastball with a team from Australia who had been entering the games since 1998 and for the first time won the gold. To see their excitement in finally winning the elusive gold medal was a moment I will never forget.
While in Australia I also had the opportunity to attend a test cricket match. To say there is nothing like it in North America is an understatement as the game lasted five full days.
Then to make it even more complicated the match ended in a draw. That was just the first of three test matches each played in a different city (and to just leave you even more confused South Africa defeated Australia 1-0 after 15 days of cricket.)
In Canada we complain if a hockey game goes over three hours so a five day event with no winner seems a waste. But the Australians do love their sports with unique sports like Aussie Rules Football and Rugby League (a variation of the rugby we play here in Canada).
On returning home it was great to see with the NHL strike nowhere closer to being settled that the Summerland Steam, Penticton Vees and Kelowna Rockets were all doing well.
My congratulations to the Summerland Steam who just completed an eight-game winning streak.
For all those hockey enthusiasts missing the NHL, come down to the Summerland arena and you will be amazed at the level of hockey.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and don’t forget to check the new Parks and Recreation brochure for all the extra swims and public swims over the holidays.
Dale MacDonald has been Summerland’s Director of Parks and Recreation for the last 22 years and in his sporting past has won provincial championships in four different sports.