Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Extended Groton Community Sings — GCCC 2015

I was late putting out the sandwich boards for this year's Groton Community Christmas Chorus, but as you see here in my selfie when I did put the first one out, that I'm looking pretty pleased with myself. I guess that's because I love having the opportunity to bring this gift to our community every year.

Click on the image to the right to see the full-sized version of this year's GCCC 2015 board — right in front of the Union Congregational Church on Main St in Groton, Ma, where all 3 concerts are performed each year, starting in 1974 by Edie Tompkins. That makes this year the 41st Annual GCCC. Wow! What a legacy!

Either the picture above or the GCCC flyer on the left give the details of when the 3 concerts are sung. For fire safety reasons the Church is only allowed to hold a certain number of people at one time so we sing three concerts in mid December to make sure we can accomodate all who want to come and start of their Christmas season with this concert. See the flyer on the left for details.

See you there !

Maybe after we sing the concert I'll use this space to attach some snapshots or video clips.

Click here for a selection of my blog articles about the Groton Community Christmas Chorus as I have sung in it many times over the years.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Honoring our Dad — “Dutch” Pammett — Chalice Lighting 2015

Coincident with a long weekend visit from my sister Nanci and her husband Art Phelan, Nanci and I wrote and delivered the Veterans’ Day tribute you see below as part of what we call the “Chalice Lighting” ceremony at our First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist) — a Welcoming Church in Groton, Ma.
Good Morning, I'm Kevin Pammett –
         and I’m Kevin’s sister, Nanci Phelan from Canada.
[kp] It is our privilege to light the chalice this morning in honor of Veterans’ Day and also to honour our father, Harold “Dutch” Percy Pammett who was a veteran in the Canadian Navy during WWII.
[np] For us, Remembrance Day will always have a special meaning because Dad passed away on that day in 1981. He was out golfing on a sunny autumn morning’ having just beaten my mom in a game of gin rummy. I was sitting on the couch with my young children, watching the Remembrance Day service on TV, when I got the phone call. It was a sad shock but over the years we’ve found comfort, healing and a kind of dignity in the coincidence and in the memory.
[kp] For me, it is now more than half of my life ago that Dad died – imagine – a heart attack while he was doing what he loved ! … Among the major life lessons I learned from my Dad – because he died at the young age of 61 – was this: All we really can count on is living every day to the fullest – because “Tomorrow is promised to no one.”

In addition, I hold my Father honorably as a real life example of the many hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives and who continue to give everything of themselves – in the service of their country.
[np] Another Remembrance Day memory occurred in 1999 when I was chosen to lay a wreath on the Cenotaph in Ottawa, for the Canadian Federation of University Women. It was a wonderful and exhilarating service on a crisp, sunny morning under a cloudless blue sky. To my right was a sickly old man on an electronic scooter, outfitted with a Canadian Flag. There were throngs of people and vets in a great array of uniforms. We were in front of the Peace Tower and beside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Canadian Snowbirds, who are famous worldwide for their aeronautics, did a fly past salute. It was an honour to be part of such a poignant and venerable celebration. I was deeply moved by the immensity of what war had wrought. Remembrance Day took on a meaning beyond the personal and a poem took shape.
[kp] This year, since Nanci and her husband were visiting us for the long weekend, we had the opportunity to forge another treasured Veterans’ Day memory by going to the Waterfire event in Providence where they held a special tribute to our Veterans of Foreign Wars. What a privilege it was standing around “the basin” with dozens of blazing fires burning over the water, listening to a marching band and several traditional “American” songs as we watched the ring of men and women – each lighting the torch of the Veteran standing next to them – until the whole circle was ablaze with hundreds of torches proudly held high. Indeed, it brought tears to my eyes as I thought about the sacrifices made by these heroes and it really left me feeling “Proud to Be an American”.

Veterans’ Day, I’m sure, means very different things to each one of us and so Nanci and I light the chalice this morning in honor of Veterans’ Day or Remembrance Day, and in honor of what each person here holds for it in their hearts individually.
  How fortunate I am to live in such a community, and to have had this opportunity to do this with my dear sister.