My husband and I both work for the municipality we live in… and consequently both grew up in. Before becoming a manager he slowly worked his way up the ranks – first starting as a janitor at the local community centre. This said community centre has been not only a cultural but a historical staple in our city as well.
To mark the centre’s 50 year anniversary they invited a bevy of past and current employees to come celebrate with a soirée of music, keynote speakers, drinks and hors-d’oeuvres. I love our cultural centre so when my husband got the invitation to attend and it was a plus one event I was elated!!
I got all gussied up dressed to the nines and we made our way to the centre. Upon our arrival we were handed the evening’s program sheet. We said hello to some of my husband’s old and current colleagues.
We made our way to the bar where the usual drinks were being served. Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay and Wyndham Estate as the red option – both two great Australian wines, right DrivingMsMiranda? There was also Champagne. As you have read from my previous post Champagne Showers and Chambull in Cuba – I have a real love for the stuff. If you can believe, at my age, I still hadn’t even tried pink champagne. I thought it was something you only saw on television or in the movies. It really does exist, and the stuff’s pretty freaking delicious. As you can guess, I had found my drink for the night.
As if this evening wasn’t already a winner, I finally took the time to read the night’s program and get acquainted with the guest speakers. My eyes fell on the last person I would expect to see at a function like this. Bill Haugland.
For most Anglophone Montrealers who spent every weeknight at 6 watching the news when it was called Pulse on CFCF and then progressively became CTV News – you know who Haugland is. He was the news anchor for our local news program for over 45 years. He retired in 2006 – one year after I earned my Journalism degree.
I grew up watching the man. He was practically a member of our family. He was one of the icons that pushed to earn an Anglophone degree in a predominantly francophone province. You can believe my surprise when my brain finally caught up to my eyes and it finally clicked. HOLY CRAP BILL HAUGLAND IS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER TONIGHT!!
Discovering one of my journalism icons was a keynote speaker at the event
It might surprise you, but I’ve never really been one of those pushy reporter types. A lot of journalists have the guspah and the cojones to walk up to someone and demand something. Not me. I’m sort of, hey, I’m charming and nice maybe you’ll possibly see me smiling and decided to come over and talk to me?
I guess this is where the brilliance of my newly discovered love… passion for pink champagne comes in. At this point the waiter had put a bottle of the pink stuff aside for me. The champagne I assume was essentially to ‘toast,’ the opening speech. Not me. Not how I roll.
Armed with some solid Dutch courage in me, the killer charm my mother instilled in me and my father’s quick wit I walked over to the Mayor and managed to arrange a photo op with him and Haugland. The news anchor was on a break, but the Mayor assured me he would find me and I would finally be able to meet one of my icons.
(On a side note, I never actually thought the Mayor would come find me with Haugland in tow. I essentially just thought he was being polite and trying to get rid of me)
I continued talking with some of my husband’s colleagues. My jaw literally dropped when in the corner of my eye I saw the Mayor walking directly towards me with Haugland in tow. (in my head OMG OMG OMG act cool, act cool) I got my picture and I got to talk to Haugland for a few minutes. You could not ask for a nicer individual. After saying thank you for the 10 billionth time I finally let him go.
Bill Haugland to my left and Mayor McMurchie on my right
… and as the mature individual that I am ran to my husband, started jumping up and down (literally) saying oh-my-god! oh-my-god! To the point where my husband told me to calm down.
I had to toast myself with just one… more… glass of pink champagne!
I guess nothing really mattered after that. I can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my life. Yay!