Celebrate, celebrate

Sunday will be a day of celebration, as a fine soul taken too early is remembered, and politicos toast their election success, if any

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. But this coming Sunday will mark a time of celebration.

We – and when I say we I mean at least 150, probably more – will be celebrating the life of Kevin Savitsky, one of many fine souls who left this world far too early.

Savitsky, 47, died earlier this month of cancer, leaving behind a great wife, Heather, and two daughters who, fortunately, both got their mother’s looks.

I can say that about Kevin, someone I’ve known since our days together at Beairsto Elementary School BFI – Before French Immersion – because one of the great things about our relationship was our ability to put each other down.

Last time I saw Kevin was at one of our mutual favourite spots, the ball diamond. He was coaching young women in minor fastball, I was continuing my life as an aging softball player.

“Knoxy, nice arc on those pitches. You must have reached, what, five miles an hour on that pitch?” deadpanned Savitsky on my skills as a slo-pitch chucker, then breaking into that megawatt smile and laugh of his.

It was hard to argue with him, so I just laughed along.

Good thing I never knew he was called “Big Sexy,” until I read that in his obituary. Man, the fun I could have had with that.

I expect the Village Green Hotel will be filled with laughter and tears Sunday afternoon as we celebrate Big Sexy’s life. It may have been a short life, but it was packed with stories.

There will also be celebrations around the North Okanagan on Sunday for municipal politicos and their respective campaigns.

Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby and Enderby could be celebrating new mayors.

Or there could be celebrations for the old guards keeping their posts.

Spallumcheen will, for certain, wake up to a new mayor Sunday.

The only North Okanagan community that will, for certain, have the same leader in place is Armstrong, where Chris Pieper and his wife, Anita, will toast his second term as mayor after being re-elected by acclamation.

Each community could have different looking councils Sunday, with challengers possibly celebrating wins over incumbents, or the incumbents celebrating the fact they showed the majority of the electorate that they’re doing good jobs.

What will be paramount to the celebrations is the electorate getting out Saturday and casting their ballots.

Seriously, you can’t gripe about anything that goes on in your community if you don’t take 10 minutes out of your day and vote. Municipal politics affect us more than a provincial or federal election.

Sunday should also be the day – and this should be made mandatory with some kind of resolution – that ALL political candidates celebrate the end of the campaign by taking down ALL of their signs.

Okay, finally, on to the other big celebration Sunday, the B.C. Lions impending victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL’s Western final.

Sure, I may sound cocky but why not? The Lions have been, easily, the best and most dominant team in the league over the last half of the season, and are the clear favourites to win the Grey Cup, which they would celebrate on their home turf the following Sunday.

It’s still hard to fathom that the Lions are even in the playoffs and hosting a playoff game, let alone the conference final, after they started 0-5 and many fans – yours truly included – were calling for head coach Wally Buono’s job.

The Lions won 11 of their last 13 games to earn the right to host the Eskimos.

Trust me, as a longtime Lions fan, there is nothing better before Grey Cup than celebrating a win in November over Edmonton.

– Roger Knox is a senior reporter at The Morning Star, covering crime, court, Armstrong and Spallumcheen politics and sometimes even sports.