They say, “all good things must come to an end.” However sad, it’s true. On the front page of this morning’s Star Phoenix, an image of the smiling Mr. Hinitt appears with the headline, “Bob Hinitt Hangs up His Hammer. (story now removed)”
The announcement marks the end of what became a Saskatoon Christmas tradition. For the past 59 years, Bob Hinitt gave us all a gift that brought us joy year after year. Thousands have driven by his Adelaide Churchill area home to enjoy the fabulous Christmas displays which he has constructed on his front lawn faithfully since 1947. A Bug’s Life, 101 Dalmatians, The Lion King, Winnie the Pooh and 54 other magnificent displays of this man’s magical spirit of giving all brought a smile to our chilled faces as we stood and marveled at their brilliance; his brilliance.
According to the Star Phoenix, Mr. Hinitt, who is 80 this year, realized that he could no longer manage this challenging project following a knee replacement surgery this year. “I’m depressed and blue, because, to me, that’s what Christmas was” he is quoted as saying. “What I feel bad about is that (the organizations) won’t have that money this year. The animals need that. They need someone to fend for them.” Mr. Hinitt’s yard display always contained kettles for voluntary donations which were contributed to the Saskatoon Zoo and the SPCA. Last year, he managed to raise $3,000 for the two organizations; another year saw $12,000 land in the kettles.It occurred to me this evening that a donation to one or both of these fine causes would be a beautiful gift to Mr. Hinitt; kind of a fitting way to say “thank you for what you’ve given us.” Can you find a few dollars to give in Mr. Hinitt’s honour? I think I can.
Mr. Hinitt, thank you for all you’ve given this community. Merry Christmas sir!
Saskatoon Zoo Society
Royal LePage Vidorra