Celebrating Carnaval at Huntly Wynd

Bonhomme is the official representative of the Quebec Winter Carnival. It is a snowman-like figure clad in the distinctive red tuque and arrow sash of Quebecois heroes.

Huntly Wynd residents Renée and Jean are passionate about their heritage – something they love to share with their neighbours by hosting a Carnaval Celebration every year in our Clubhouse… complete with authentic French Canadian cuisine, traditional clothing and music!

Did you know that Renée owned and managed a highly-rated restaurant in Toronto? Amongst many other awards and medals, she received the title of Woman of the Century by the Alliance des Femmes de la Francophonie Canadienne (Alliance of Francophone Women of Canada) in 2014 for her many years of volunteer work, at the provincial and national levels, on the development of French language minority education and the promotion of the French language.

And… did you know that Jean is a well-known, highly regarded educational leader and a published author? He is the author of a book on distance education and has published over 30 articles… in addition to giving hundreds of lectures at the provincial, national and international levels on technology and the learning process in the 21st century. Jean is the only person who has been a University President, a College President and a School Superintendent (School District #93 – BC French Provincial School Board) during his career. He is also the perfect sous-chef and entertaining host… isn’t that right, Renée?

We’ve heard nothing but raves about this year’s 5th annual event! Jean and Renée’s generous menu this year included:

  • French Canadian Pea Soup
  • French Cheeses
  • Pâtés Maison
  • Crudités avec trempette à l’ail et herbes fines (Crudités with garlic and fine herbs dip)
  • Hors d’œuvres au Saumon fumé et fromage en crème à l’aneth (Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cheese)
  • Canapés au Crabe des neiges (Snow Crab Canapés)
  • Olives assorties farcies (Stuffed Assorted Olives)
  • Noix assorties (Assorted Nuts)
  • Fudge à l’ancienne (Old-fashioned fudge)
  • Sucre à la crème (a traditional sweet from Quebec)

In the words of Ken and Sue (Unit 13):

“Jean and Renée are such gracious hosts who have annually demonstrated the importance and value of traditions here at Huntly Wynd by hosting a Carnaval Celebration. This year’s celebration was well-attended and enjoyed by all. The pea soup, an annual feature of the fare presented, was as delicious as always. Jean and Renée were dressed in their traditional costumes with their matching legitimate French accents. It was a privilege to attend and we hope that they will continue this tradition.

We are fortunate that the designers and builders of Huntly Wynd (Jack & Dave Caplan) had the foresight to build a Clubhouse, in the form of an old Scottish Hunting Lodge, which provides a warm and inviting venue for events such as Carnaval. The Clubhouse was called “Huntly Lodge”. The name Huntly came from Huntly Castle in Scotland and Wynd (as in wined) means a narrow street or lane in Scottish.

Many residents are aware that Huntly Wynd was officially opened forty years ago on June 28, 1977. Carnaval is just one of the traditions that makes living in Huntly Wynd very special.” 
Jean and Renee - hosts of a Carnaval Celebration at Huntly Wynd! Both are dressed in traditional red clothing with arrow sashes around their waists.
Merci, Jean and Renée!
What is the story behind the red sashes worn by Renée and Jean?
Click here to learn more about Carnaval de Quebec and about Bonhomme Carnaval!

Contributed by Danita – Unit 75 (with input from Renée – Unit 94)

Huntly Wynd has a Swim Team!

Photo: Huntly Wynd pool and hot tub
Photo courtesy of Dave (Unit 73)

Well, technically, it’s not a swim team, it’s more of a pool team. The Huntly Wynd community is especially appreciative and proud of the small group of owners who have the training and/or experience required to follow a strict schedule of testing our indoor pool water, twice per day on the weekends! This responsible and reliable team of owners seems to have a way of slipping into the pool area, unnoticed, where they:

  • Ensure that both the chlorine and pH levels are appropriate – this is called keeping a balanced pool.
  • Use small amounts of testing pool chemicals and ensure enough active chlorine is in the water to keep the water free of germs or bacteria.
  • Maintain the important balance between alkalinity and acidity which is addressed by testing for pH. A proper pH is around 7.2 to 7.6 on a pH test kit’s numeric scale. Even 7.2 is considered good and this allows the chlorine to work most efficiently.
  • Make adjustments if either chlorine or pH are significantly off. In most instances, the water is in very good condition and is maintained throughout the week by our pool maintenance folks from Imperial Paddock. Between our weekend owners’ team and the weekday pool maintenance folks, our pool water stays clear, balanced and sanitized.

Our community members are that much healthier and safer because of the Huntly Wynd Pool Team… many thanks to Bob (Unit 77)  who is currently working solo! Thanks also to past team members Garth (Unit 16), Bruce (Unit 88) and Don (Unit 98). Where would we be without you? (Probably very sick and in hospital.)

Question: Do you know what happens if you’re caught peeing in the pool?
Answer: Ur-ine trouble!

Illustration of man belly laughing on the ground - he has one hand on his head, one hand on his belly, and one leg kicked up in the air.Illustration of young lady belly laughing.

Contributed by: Danita – Unit 75 (with input from Bob – Unit 77)

Bob Robertson – In Memoriam

We are saddened to learn of the transition of former Huntly Wynd resident Bob Robertson who, along with his wife Linda Cullen brightened the spirit and atmosphere of Huntly Wynd during their short residence here. Always good for a laugh, he quickly became HW’s “funny man” and paired up with Linda, they were always the life of many gatherings and events in the Huntly Wynd clubhouse. I fondly remember Christmas caroling up and down the streets of our complex one very chilly December eve with none other than Bob in the lead. What a hoot that was…an evening I will long remember!

Bob was elected to Council beginning 2009 and became our Strata Council Presidentthe the following year. It was Bob with his deeply engrained sense of community spirit that initiated the HW Community Updater which remains one of his legacies to this day.

I am providing this link for those who wish to send condolences to Linda. Bob, you will be sorely missed by your many fans, your former Huntly Wynd neighbours, and by those of us who were fortunate enough to get to know you on a personal level. May God grant Linda comfort at this time of profound loss. And may He grant peace everlasting for Bob in his final rest.

Enclosed is an article which appeared in Victoria’s Time Colonist newspaper on March 22nd 2017:

Bob Robertson and wife Linda Cullen formed the comedy team behind the CBC radio hit series Double Exposure. In 1994, the show was named the best weekly network program on CBC Radio and Stereo.

Photo of Bob Robertson with wife Linda Cullen being recognized by the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame for their program Double Exposure.

Bob Robertson, who with wife Linda Cullen formed the comedy team behind the CBC radio hit series Double Exposure, has died at age 71.

Cullen told CBC News that Robertson died Sunday in Nanaimo.

Robertson and Cullen had been called the funniest married couple in Canada after spending decades in the entertainment business together.

They met at a Vancouver radio station where they both worked, and together they created the popular CBC Radio series Double Exposure, which satirized contemporary Canadian politics. It ran from 1987 to 1997, when the pair moved the show to television on CTV and the Comedy Network.

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Double Exposure was nominated for several awards, winning the ACTRA radio award for best comedy in 1990.

In 1994, the show was named the best weekly network program on CBC Radio and Stereo. Their later TV show earned six Gemini nominations and it was given a star on Vancouver’s Entertainment Row in 2004.

Double Exposure was known for the stars’ impressions of the politicians of the day, including memorable sketches about Brian Mulroney, Joe Clark, Preston Manning, Barbara McDougall, Bill Vander Zalm and others, as well as international figures such as Margaret Thatcher.

CBC Television comedian Rick Mercer and other Canadian entertainers tweeted their condolences on Monday.

“A funny man is gone. RIP Bob Robertson — nobody could nail an impersonation like Bob. Condolences to Linda,” Mercer wrote.

© Copyright Times Colonist

Contributed by: Rob – Unit 75

Light and Lemony – Lemon Sponge Pudding

Can’t think of a nice, light dessert for your guests? Here’s a favourite of our Huntly Wynd friends and neighbours… and the answer to the question that inevitably follows dessert: “Can I get the recipe for this?”

From the Joy of Baking (that includes a how-to video)!

Lemon Sponge Pudding

A single spoonful of this delicious dessert has been scooped out from the ramekin revealing a top layer of sponge cake with bright yellow lemon pudding underneath.

  • 1/3 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for egg whites)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest 
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole or 2% milk (not skim)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and place rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Butter six 1-cup (240 ml) ramekins.
  3. Beat 1/3 cup sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in three egg yolks, one at a time.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  6. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined.
  7. On low speed, mix in the lemon juice and milk, set aside… it will seem runny.
  8. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.
  9. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
  10. Beat in 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form.
  11. Gradually fold egg whites into batter mixing only until incorporated.
  12. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
  13. Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan (or any size pan that will fit the ramekins as long as they don’t touch one another or the edges of the pan). Carefully pour in enough hot tap water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  14. Bake for about 45 minutes until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake top comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom.
  15. Remove the ramekins from the water bath immediately and cool slightly before serving.

This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of softly whipped cream and fresh fruit. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator. Excellent cold or you can reheat the puddings in the microwave.

Contributed by: Danita – Unit 75

Harriet the Hummingbird Homesteading at Huntly Wynd

An Invited Guest

We have had a guest visiting us again throughout the winter… here at Huntly Wynd.

We now understand that she has invited more of her kind to visit all of us here as well.

Her name is Harriet and she is a hummingbird. Harriet is full of energy and enjoys the company of other hummingbirds. Harriet does not like crows and they do not like her.

Harriet grudgingly accepts the company of residents who occupy their patios in the summer months.

Earlier this month (March), we could see Harriet flying back and forth into the Rhododendron that is at the back of our unit, across the fast-flowing stream. We ventured outside to see what all the commotion was about. As we approached the stream, Harriet came flying out of the Rhodo and sat on my head. We quickly backed up and retreated to our kitchen.

Armed with our trusty iPhone, we took the photo below. There in the crook of a branch stretched over the stream was Harriet sitting on her nest.

From above, an umbrella of leaves conceals Harriet the hummingbird as she sits nestled in her tiny yet perfect nest quilted together with lichens and plant fibers.

The nest was so tiny, yet so perfect. It was almost impossible to see. It looked like another bump on a branch. From above, an umbrella of leaves conceals it and protects it from the elements. And from the side, it looks like a tiny knot, quilted with lichens and plant fibers.

This velvety cup is likely cradling one to two eggs that will hatch hopefully in the next week or two. The juvenile hummingbirds will leave the nest two to three weeks after they hatch.

We hope that Harriet and her offspring will visit us this summer.

Contributed by: Ken and Sue  – Unit 13