A table of smiling faces posed for a picture with Santa at the CLDCC dinner

More than laughs shared at Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce gathering

Rita Dustow made a special presentation to VIC coordinator Katherine Worsley on behalf of the board.

More than a few laughs were shared over dinner at the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce (CLDCC) Christmas party.

A few new elements were introduced to this year’s event, held Dec. 15 at the Lake Cowichan Curling Club. CLDCC’s board had obviously put some thought into a new approach which included asking The Print Spot’s Lillian Laird to be the emcee for the evening.

Instead of Laird going from table to table with the microphone and asking everyone to introduce themselves, a different tactic was used. At every table, there was a little metallic box containing cards upon which was written the beginning part of a statement. Each person at the table received a card and in turn, stood up and completed the statement with their own ending. This was a good ice breaker and elicited the first round of laughs.

After everybody had visited the buffet table and dinner was well on its way, Laird again took the mic to read out an anonymous message she had received: Santa had been kidnapped on his way to the dinner, and it seemed as if the culprit was at one of the tables. The rest of the guests were given the task of trying to find out ‘who dunnit’.

In fact, it was a staged ‘mystery,’ masterminded by Laird herself for the occasion, which four or five audience members had agreed to take part in. Realtor Wendy Klyne was one of the more vociferous actors in the game. She was accused of having it in for Santa because he ran against her for mayor several times and won. Another actor in the story was Copper Lane Boutique owner Corrie Helliwell, with a claim to being Santa’s illegitimate daughter from a fling he had had many years ago. Of course, this put Mrs. Claus (Visitor Information Centre’s Katherine Worsley) in a difficult position, and both women were suspect for wanting to change Santa’s will.

For a good half hour, comments, clues, accusations, and banter ensued as each player tried to throw the scent off himself and shift the blame on to one of the other players. Also taking part in the skit were B & B owner David Kidd, Simon Downs of SB Windows, and Curt Feltrin, whose wife runs Scarlett’s Second Hand Boutique.

In the end, Santa (played by 98.7FM The Lake’s Mike Bishop) finally showed up, saying it was nonsense about the kidnapping, and the party resumed as he went from table to table to have his picture taken with everyone.

Before the evening continued with dancing to music by DJ Geoff Dunn of Due West, CLDCC president Rita Dustow made a special presentation to VIC coordinator Katherine Worsley on behalf of the board.

“We just decided as a board to give her a certificate of appreciation and a couple of gift certificates for all she does,” Dustow said.