The Rendezvous Restaurant was rockin’ on Saturday, November 24 for a night of festive celebration and a farewell for the Brackenreed family — Doc Nolan, Ada, Aggie and Hammy. The event was advertised as a night to celebrate the festive season and was ‘hopefully’ a surprise for Nolan. Surprise or not, Nolan had to be there as he is part of the band that was performing that night — “Presently Nameless”.
The music got going about 8:00 p.m. with a beautifully haunting rendition of “Black Velvet” featuring Regie Villaneuva’s amazing vocals. Other band members include Doc Nolan, Mark Davis, Brayden Davis, Carson Davis and new member Nikki Noel. To jazz things up a little the band was joined by some brass — Nick Schoonbaert on sax, James Raes on trombone, Ada Brackenreed on trumpet and Carrie Schoonbaert also on trumpet.
Following the first set, Mark Davis revealed the two-fold reason for the evening. “We tried to keep this a surprise for Doc – as a night to give the Brackenreed’s a send-off. You will be missed and we wish you the best.”
Grace McKinnon came forward to offer best wishes from the Deloraine Health Centre staff. The following is her presentation:
“It’s 16:00, and the nursing day staff has just finished their report to the evening staff. We hear some clicking shoes coming down the hall, and into the report room comes a sharply-dressed doctor with thick dark hair pulled into a bun. The evening nurse starts giving updates, reporting all the needed orders for the patients, but the doctor is distracted--sitting on the table are Alice Bugg's famous cinnamon buns. We watch as the fashionable, clicking shoes detour to the service room and come back with a plate. Only then, with a bun in hand, is Dr. Nolan Brackenreed all ears.
I started working in Deloraine in 2012, and only a couple of months after I started, Dr Brackenreed joined us. I got to know him quickly, between the hospital and the cancer care unit, and it didn’t take long to realize the new doctor was familiar with life outside the perimeter. He knew the difference between canola and soy beans; that a 60 bushel wheat crop could lower someone’s blood pressure as well as any medication: staff and clients alike appreciated his down to earth knowledge of rural life. Though he has his faults: an addiction to pastries, and being a fan of the Green Bay packers.
Dr Brackenreed is always up to date on research, confident, and efficient in his practice. He is a calm, supportive member of his medical team in times of crisis. From day one, our nursing staff has appreciated the backing he is always prepared to provide us.
He is a good teaching doctor to his patients and to the staff. A visiting med student said he makes the hospital a fun place to learn in. He is the type of mentor many young physicians seek out, but only a lucky few ever get to actually meet. He taught, he didn’t judge, or put you on the spot. I loved working with him.
We're going to miss Dr Brackenreed, and his family just as much: the enthusiastic little kickers soccer coaches; Ada's involvement on the daycare board, her music, artistry, and pharmacy; then Aggie, Hammy and Kyle, at so many community events.
Hammy, Aggie, Ada and Nolan--we will miss you greatly, and not just for your health care but your numberless contributions to our community. We wish you all the best in your new practice and home.”
Bill Morningstar spoke on behalf of the med-Friends – the group that brought Nolan to Deloraine in the first place — the committee members include Keith Dickie, Dave and Jan Gervin, Mike Dillabough, Ron and Verna Keeler and Judy and Bill Morningstar. “We will be forever grateful to a gutsy young doctor who came to practice in Deloraine when there were no other doctors for support. We also are grateful to everyone that supported the Med-Friend program and made it possible. Nolan not only fulfilled his four-year commitment, he stayed another two and a half years, and we are ever grateful to him and his family. We are grateful to Ada as a pharmacist, artist, musician, member of the daycare board and all around community member. We will all miss you,” concluded Morningstar.
Gord Weidenhamer, Head of Council spoke on behalf of the Municipality of Deloraine-Winchester. “The municipality is sorry to see Dr. Brackenreed and family leaving, but I think we all understand the pull to be close to family. We thank you for your years of service, especially the extra two and a half years past your commitment. We wish you all the best and enjoy your new home,” he concluded.
The music and festivities continued with a few more sets. The Rendezvous offered some great appetizer and drink specials for the night.