Friendship Bear # 2"Friendship Bear ෂ"
Friendship Bear # 1
At the 5th Halfway Dance, January 1994, our traveling Friendship Bear #1, donated by Leo and Linda Bidal, was given to a club in the state of New York because they had traveled the furthest to attend the dance. In 1997, the Ozone Squares & Fascin-9-ers Teen club in Covington, LA advised they were passing it on. Sadly, we have not heard of his whereabouts since.
Friendship Bear # 2
However, in April 2004, Don and Fran Cooper donated Friendship Bear #2 (aka Freddy). Friendship Bear #2 had a turbulent beginning as he was "bear-napped" by unknown dancers shortly after he arrived at the Club. But thanks to the detective work done by the graduating class of 2004, Friendship Bear # 2 was "found" and has enjoyed the dancing atmosphere ever since.
Freddy has started his travels. He is currently with the Swinging Stars Club in Dollard- des-Ormeaux (outside Montreal). He has his own traveling case, plus his personal Canadian passport. During his travels to clubs far away, he will keep an eye out for his sibling.
In March, 2008, we received a news letter from Terry Hebert, a caller in Fredericton, NB with an update on Freddy's travels. Terry is president of the NB Callers Association. Many thanks to Terry for his help! Read on...
After reading his passport we have found out that Freddy left Montreal and was accepted and nurtured by a couple from the Hampton Hoedowners Square Dance Club in Hampton NB. Bob & Peggy O'dell have been looking after Freddy for quite sometime by the looks of it. I never got to see the actual date in Freddy's passport. Soon after, one of my dancer couples, Wayne Hiltz & Gail MacAulay, went to a dance in Hampton and took claim of Freddy. They have had Freddy for a while now and decided that last night Freddy should be traveling again. We had a great dance and the couple who will be taking over looking after him is a couple from Presque Isle Main -- Bob & Jenny Williams. They are a great couple and traveled close to 160 miles one way to get to our dance last night. I am not sure where Freddy will go from there. I am thinking that with the discussion last night Freddy will remain in NB for awhile longer and may even make it to the National Convention in London in July. Here is hoping maybe!
In July 2009, at the London Convention, Freddy was reunited with his home club, Mississippi Squares, after traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was good to see him back home. It was also nice to see that he had a new traveling partner called Junior. He spent the rest of the summer with Bob and Alice Nicholls, who got his passport updated and made sure his laundry was clean and tidy for more travels. Freddy and Junior sat around the pool and enjoyed some down time.
In November of 2009, he was invited by Sandy and Michelle Tremblay, to go to Florida for the fall months. Freddy jumped at the opportunity and was soon on his merry way to the sunny south. He really enjoyed the fellowship he had with the people and almost got kidnapped by a little granddaughter of one of the members. What an exciting life he has!
Freddy returned back to the Mississippi Squares in Carleton Place, Ontario in time to enjoy a white Christmas. However, Freddy is ready to see more places. He is hoping to be able to hitch a ride with the person, or couple, who attends the 20th Anniversary of the Half Way Dance in Carleton Place. He would prefer to go to the person, or couple who has come the farthest to this dance, and then visit with their club before traveling on.
Thanks for the great idea of this traveling bear. Hopefully Freddy will keep traveling and make it to find his sibling soon!