June 6: Picton, ON: Small Town Hospitality - Big Time Heart

Picton, Ontario is a tiny town of just 4000, but today it had a huge heart for our Canadian troops and the Portraits of Honour road team.

Arriving early in Picton, the team faced a mechanical issue that threatened to delay set-up of the stage. Without hesitation however, local supporters called in THEIR troops and saved the day.  The wonderful folks at LDS Welding drove right over and had the problem solved in minutes, refusing to accept one red cent for their efforts.

The day continued perfectly with community members young and old gathering in the sunshine to hear Artist Dave Sopha, Lieutenant-Colonel David Andrews of CFB Trenton, local dignitaries and provincial representatives.  School kids and cadets waved Canadian flags and shared their support for our troops by signing a flag to be sent overseas.

Local band, Instant Rivalry, a brother and sister team with a Jason McCoy meets Sheryl Crow kind of sound, sang original numbers and popular hits that spoke of the impact of war and the struggles that soldiers and their families face. The duo had previously been invited to Afghanistan to perform for our troops but their Mom had decided at that time that they were too young. Today though, a couple of years later, she spoke to us saying, “ I think I will encourage them to go the next time they are asked. They’re my babies, but all of those people on the mural are somebody’s baby too.  The troops and their families deserve our contribution.”

The entertainment continued with recording artist Janette Arsenault sharing the pride as she sang “My Canada”.

The day had gone perfectly, and there were big smiles all around, until the team noticed another issue with a slight hydraulic leak on one of the arms that raise the stage. Once again though, before there was any time to worry, County Tractor Repairs and Parts was on the scene volunteering their skills to keep POH on the road. The local Kin even supplied the team with lunch while we waited.

When we thanked the local organizers for all they had done to create such a wonderful day, their response was “ No. Thank you, for bringing this incredible tribute to the rest of Canada, even small towns like ours.” For the people of Picton, it wasn’t about glitz or glam, it was about doing all they could to support the troops, and welcome our team to their community.

Now that is small town hospitality. And that is what it means to be Canadian.

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