Social aspect is highlight to most levees

Raissa Tetanish
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‘We just like seeing the people come in and enjoy the food’

BIBLE HILL – Cold winter temperatures didn’t stop hundreds of Colchester County residents from seeing old friends and making new ones at New Year’s levees.

“This is our first time we’ve ever been to a levee,” said Stephen Taylor, as his wife, Anita, sat across from him at a table at the Masonic Lodge on Pictou Road over the lunch hour.

“You always think it’s going to be something you’re going to do,” said Anita.

The couple stopped by the lodge after a friend and neighbor, who belongs to the organization, told them about it and invited them along.

“He and I usually walk together in the morning, but it was too cold to walk,” said Stephen, adding it was suggested the couple stop by the levee for a bowl of hot seafood chowder.

With many ringing in the New Year in high style, the Taylors stayed at home and made some phone calls to family members instead.

“We’re looking forward to good health and a more relaxed year,” said Anita, with Stephen adding, “and good times, I hope.”

The couple enjoyed the social aspect to the levee, having seen some friends they hadn’t seen in a year or two. Both said they might make it an annual tradition.

For too many years they can remember, the members of the Bible Hill Fire Brigade Ladies Auxiliary has been preparing and serving the food at the village’s annual levee.

Joanne Johnson, one of the members there year after year, said the group starts cooking the food three hours prior to the event.

“We just like seeing the people come in and enjoy the food,” she said, about halfway through the hour-long levee. “A lot of the people come over to us afterward to say they enjoyed it. That’s what it’s really all about. You enjoy preparing any food for events when you know people are going to enjoy it.”

Johnson said she loves seeing the familiar faces each year, many of whom she’s friends or acquaintances with from other places.

“I’ve lived on the Hill all my life, so I see a lot of the Hill people come out,” she said, adding members of the St. David’s United Church where she is a choir singer also stop by.

“And even those I went to school with.”

Enjoying the social aspect of the levee were Charlie Boyce and Foster Stewart, both residents of Bible Hill.

“I actually never miss it,” said Boyce, who used to visit all the levees hosted by local fire brigades.

“And it’s tradition,” added Stewart. “I come to see the people more than anything.”

At the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 on Brunswick Street, many faces for the levee are the same ones that have been to others earlier in the day.

It’s one of the last ones on the circuit of levees, and a live band helps bring in a crowd.

When Country Heat was on a break from performing, only a few people were standing around the centre of the floor chatting, however it quickly filled up with dancers once the band started playing again.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa 

Organizations: Bible Hill Fire Brigade Ladies Auxiliary, United Church, Royal Canadian Legion Branch

Geographic location: Pictou Road, Brunswick Street, Country Heat

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