Former Lower Sackville Coun. Bob Harvey gave pretty much as good as he got during a Jan. 25 roast and toast event held in his honour.
The sold out event was a fundraiser for the Cobequid Radio Society, and the dialogue delivered by the roasters and toasters didn't disappoint.
Hosted by retired local broadcaster and radio society director Al Hollingsworth, the appreciative audience was regaled with tales of Harvey as a history teacher, a councillor, a proud ‘charitable' Irishman and a father.
HRM councillors Tim Outhit, Bill Karsten, Brad Johns and Gloria McCluskey were all on hand to make the well respected, recently retired politician squirm. Former county councillor Theresa Scratch was sick with the flu, so her words were delivered by neighbour Marilyn Challis.
Harvey's daughter Janet (Harvey) Langille was the final roaster, with seven pages of notes and several zingers that had the room howling.
Outhit offered several anecdotes about Harvey, and at one point accusingly looked at him. He said for years Harvey carried candies in his pocket and would pop them into his mouth when he thought no one was looking.
"Not once did he offer me one," Outhit opined, noting that he could be coughing and gasping, but no go.
Harvey calmly reached into his pocket and pulled out a mint, handing it to a triumphant Outhit who exclaimed "Finally!"
McCluskey repeatedly referred to him as "Bobby," and spoke about how she used to be impressed by the glow that always surrounded Harvey in the council chambers. Until she realized it was an overhead light shining off his bald head.
Johns ended his roast by handing over a gift wrapped book he said was written by Harvey's favourite historian and author. It was, of course, Harvey's own book about Sackville's history.
Before launching into the family perspective during her turn at the podium, Harvey’s daughter offered him one last chance to purchase any of the seven pages of notes she was planning to read from. Just a few pages in, Harvey loudly asked her if he could buy the next page. Langille declined, stating she was having too much fun.
When it was his turn, Harvey threw a few zingers back and expressed his gratitude to the sold out crowd who showed up to raise funds for the Cobequid Radio Society.
The Cobequid Radio Society successfully operated out of Lower Sackville from the spring of 2010 until late 2011 when its CRTC license application was turned down.
The initiative was spear headed by the late Owen Davis, who passionately supported the station financially and otherwise. The small, non-profit radio station played classic country, bluegrass and traditional East Coast music. It also supported a variety of community groups and events.
Hollingsworth, a director with the society who served as the station's manager, said it's common for a first application to be turned down. The society's board is working on its next CRTC application, and members are in the process of recruiting three or four new board members.
Anybody from Lower Sackville and its surrounding communities interested in serving on the community radio board is encouraged to send an email to email@example.com .
"If we can file an application in March, I think we'd hear by June or July. If the response was positive, we would have one year to get on the air from the time we are approved," he explained.
They already have the necessary radio equipment. Hollingsworth said if they get the green light this summer, they could technically be on the air within a month.
They're still looking for a suitable antenna location and a building as they previously operated out of Davis's property.
"We have a population bigger than Truro or Amherst or New Glasgow and we don't have a radio station," he said. "Our vision is to serve our communities, including Sackville, Beaver Bank, Waverley, Fall River and Hammonds Plains. There is so much going on in these communities."