BOOM & BEGORRAH! A day to remember!

May 30, 2022 | 2 comments

General Nyel Surveys His Troops, May 30, 2022 – Photo by Michael Mathers

What a wonderful Memorial Day!  Our house was full of love and laughter — Barbara and John Canney from Cohasset, Massachusetts, and Owen, Willie, Randal, and Susan Waters-Bays from just up the way in Olympia.  And don;’t you just love it when your friends who have never met one another get along like a house afire and maybe even have more in common with one another than they do with you!  We had such fun!

The Honorary Oysterville Militia, May 30, 2022 – Photo by Barbara Canney

And then there was The Honorary Oysterville Militia gathering at high noon — to pay tribute to their friends, loved ones, and fellow-militia-members who have gone on to their final reward. It wasn’t a large gathering, but it was spectacular.  Among those assembled was Marian Lee, a really-0, truly-o veteran of WWII — a WAVE in the U.S. Navy.  Marian will be 100 on September 4th, and we asked if THOM could fire the cannon in her honor that day.  “If I’m still here,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.  We’re counting on it!

Bays Family Irish Band – Photo by Barbara Canney

Before the formal part of the program began, the Bays Family Irish Band played a tribute to General Nyel — a tune called, “Nyel, the Cannoneer” which is one of the original fiddle tunes recorded by Randal to accompany tthe book “The Hmours of Cascadia.”  (To purchase copies of the book, visit  And, Photographer Barbara Canney took a group picture — with the cannon, of course!

And then began the serious business of the day. First a reading by Chaplain Pat McKibbin of  the THOM members “lost in the line of duty.”  Then an anouncement by General Stevens of new commissions to Private Eugene Businius, to Lieutenant Ruth Maloney, and to Lieutenant Steven Kovach.  Only Lt. Kovach was present to claim his certificate of enlistment (suitable for framing) and his cap declaring his rank in The Honorary Oysterville Militia.

BOOM! May 30, 2022 – Photo by Barbara Canney

And finally… the big BOOM.  Doing the honors for the firing were Ron Biggs, Tucker Wachsmuth, and Sturges Dorrance.  It went off perfectly and was probably heard all the way to South Bend!  Laughing and clapping all around following by an unexpected treat of chocolate chip cookies straight from Michael and Petra Mathers’ Astoria oven and passed out by the baker, herself!  A sweet first for a militia gathering!

All-in-all it was a Memorial Day to remember!


  1. Kristina Jones

    It is wonderful to read about this magnificent event! Thank you, Dear Heart! Deep Love from beautiful Sacramento where it was 90degrees today and good for swimming. On the whole, I would rather have been in Oystervill! Love, KK

  2. Barb & john

    It was such a joy to be a part of the Memorial Day festivities!!! To be with our dear friends once again meant so much to John and I. ???barb & john canney


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *