GANDER, NL – The night was dark and cold, but the voices of John Walsh and Mike Aucoin warmed the living room as they performed “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve” by Ron Hynes.
Aucoin met Walsh in the early-80s through their children, who were about the same age and engaged in similar activities.
Their mutual interest in music brought their friendship closer as they started performing in different bands together. They are bandmates with Sixpack to this day.
The song by Hynes reminded Walsh of the times he spent Christmas away from home when he was in military service.
Having grown up in a large family, Christmas was a time when the Walsh family got together. Walsh recalled a particularly challenging Christmas when he was serving in Sarajevo.
“It was in the early-90s when it was not good over there. I called home on Christmas Eve and I was talking to my family and my mother-in-law was there. It was a hard night.
“It was a bad night,” Walsh said.
Aucoin shared similar stories of missing extended family events as distance, work and family commitments hindered those reunions.
As their work commitments have now changed, both Walsh and Aucoin feel privileged and blessed to reunite with their families this Christmas.
“Christmas is about family,” Aucoin said, “and I come from a large family and have always been connected to family, but if I was alone on Christmas, it would be pretty sad.”