Our Chairman, George Shields, had the good fortune to fly to Ottawa, free of cost to H4S, for a presentation at the University of Ottawa. Here is his story. It's certainly informative and an excellent reason for supporting the Harmonize For Speech Fund.

To say that I had a great time is the understatement of the year! My old buddy, Jack Nash, met me at the airport and we proceeded to the University. They had arranged a meeting with about eight of the students and we certainly told them a great deal about H4S (many will be visiting our website) and, in particular about the University of Toronto fellow students.Then it came time to go to the large auditorium where everyone was assembled. The quartet had warmed up by this time and greeted me with warmth and hugs. Polaris Quartet has done this appearance for ten years. First they sang two comedy numbers, between which they said the nicest things about me and H4S. What a tribute, and when they sat down for the presentations, they received a jubilant standing ovation. Then I gave a little talk, including our meeting with a few of their students, and concluded with greetings from their counterparts at University of Toronto. Then the quartet sang two more songs, also to great applause and then came the presentation of the awards and the text book (they have a separate one for the audiology students). Polaris then sang two more songs, and invited Jack and me to join them in our theme songs, "We Sing That They Shall Speak" and "Keep The Whole World Singing", to a thundering standing applause for what seemed like five minutes. Then everyone proceeded to the lovely Atrium, where tables with red tablecloths and a wonderful buffet spread had been set up. First, I chatted with the faculty, one of whom works with the stuttering program at the attached hospital, and who thanked us profusely for the many years that H4S has helped with funding. Then I sat with the quartet, and they asked me to sing a number with them. Their young bass (he's great) was sitting beside me, and we sang "Sweet And Lovely" (we call it "Last Night Alone"), also to great applause (actually, their baritone exclaimed, and he can sing, too – I didn't miss a note). That also made spending 35,510 points well worth the trip. As I emailed last evening to Ann Sutton, their director: A RED – LETTER DAY and I literally flew home on a cloud. I also intend to send an email to the Ottawa Chapter President. The Ottawa Chapter is deserving to know how much the appearances of Polaris Quartet means to their chapter and to H4S, I'm proud to be a barbershopper? YOU BET! Incidentally, in the afternoon, Jack drove me to the War Memorial Museum that I have always wished to see. Being a World War II veteran, both of us got in free. Can't believe the size of the building and it would take you a day to see everything, so we concentrated on World War II displays. Mind-boggling!
Ann Sutton, Professor of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Ottawa commented that one of the members of Polaris Quartet referred to George Shields as the "Bruce Springsteen of Barbershop". 'Nuff said!

George presenting an H4S award to a student.
George presenting an award to one of the students

George and Jack singing our theme songs with Polaris Quartet

 

George with the speech-language pathology students

Polaris singing to an admirer and presenting a bouquet of flowers. You can see the rest of the pictures taken in Ottawa in the Media section of our website.