Beach Memories: Thanks to all the people and organizations that make the Beach such a great place

On hand to help Gene Domagala celebrate his 80th birthday, which was on Nov. 14, were Jean Cochrane, Carole Stimmell, Sheila Blinoff and Kim Van Rooy. One of the gifts given to Gene was a mock front page of Beach Metro News featuring tributes to him and photos. Photo by Jim McKibbin.

By GENE DOMAGALA

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of those who wished me good luck and best wishes from the bottom of my Beach heart!

All of the charitable works that have been done in the east end and the Beach are due to the wonderful kind people in the community.

The organizations, public institutions, religious places of worship, and commercial establishments are all part of what makes our area so great in helping so many people. This is the true spirit of the Beach.

I walked down to Kew Gardens the other day and looked at one of my favourite trees. I looked at it and said this tree is the Beach, and it is the Beach Tree.What do I mean? You look at the tree and you think of the people of the Beach who have done so much to make this area and this city so great. The Beach, and the city, have been around since 1834. This Beach Tree symbolizes all that is good in people.

For example, the roots of the tree are the original pioneers who came and settled in this area and made the groundwork for future generations.

The trunk of the tree symbolizes all those people who are alive now and make this area so remarkable through their hard work and indomitable spirit.

Above, I see the branches of the tree symbolizing all the different nationalities , our Indigenous peoples and our racial equality spread through our area.

The saplings of the tree denote our young children, some of them not yet born, who will take up the beauty and the charity work in the future.

I look at the leaves falling down, and they remind me of our present COVID-19 situation that is upon us. But the leaves will return again, the pandemic will pass and our Beach will return again as well. It might take a while, but the Beach Tree Spirit will be there with the great people of the Beach.

I must make this earlier Thanksgiving a thanks to all of those people, and places, I have had the distinction of having worked with and helped me to understand what a Beacher, a Torontonian and a Canadian is.

Thanks especially to our local newspaper Beach Metro Community News, and all of those people who devote their time and life to helping others.

I can’t list you all but you will always be in my memory. I can’t list so many people who I have worked with; they are in the hundreds. You all know I have great respect for all of you.

The churches St. John’s R.C., St. John Norway, Beach Synagogue, Beach United, Calvary Baptist, Kingston Road United, St. Aidan, Corpus Christi, St. Nicholas etc…they have all done work for so many and continue to do so.

Our financial institutions Royal Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, T.D. Bank and others have given so much and still give.

Our places like the Balmy Beach Club, Beaches Rec Centre, Community Centre 55, Senior Link, Cancer Society, Toronto Beaches Lions Club, Civitan, Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club and Kew Beach Tennis Club.

We also cannot forget who taught us our history – the Beach and East Toronto Historical Society.

For the book learners we have our two great public libraries – the Beaches Branch and Main Street.

There are just so many organizations and people that make our area great.

I must not forget our great schools and their teachers at Norway, Kew Beach, St. Denis, Balmy Beach, Adam Beck, St. John, Notre Dame, Neil McNeil, Malvern, Kimberley, Williamson Road and Glen Ames.

There are also our grocery and other stores and restaurants that make our Beach such a great place to live in.

Let us not forget our grass, sand, and water, and most of all let us not forget the example of our Beach Tree—our symbol.

Thank you to every Beacher!


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