Friday, December 24, 2010

Thanks Grampa!

Thanks Grampa!

I miss you. You taught me so much!

My grandfather was quite a man. Arthur Whelan was his name. He came to Canada when he was 17 years old to join his brothers, to get "his start" in life.

At first, he worked in Keene, Ontario, on a farm. Later he travelled north to work in the gold mines of Val D'or.

When I knew him: He was a World War II veteran (he never spoke of war, he served Canada in Malta and Italy), he was family man in the photography business. He was also a local politician for Thorold, Ontario. He was many things: an alderman, a reeve, and "all-around community" leader.

He spent a lot of time, walking the neighbourhood and "talking up a storm". He was also active in the local school board and, some Ontario Hydro committees to name two.

He was a tough, but fair man. He could talk to you, with a smile, and if you let him, would “talk forever”. I guessed he loved to share his knowledge with others.

We had some family issues that separated me from him, for a short time. Looking back, I wish Ontario had better family councelling programs. Better family values: communication seems to be a challenge? I digress.

My last encounter with him was “hard for me”. I was a "young man". I was ~15 and it was ~1985. He passed away a few years later. I always remember our last conversation. The more I think, the more his wisdom is revealed, to me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me! I love you!

He spoke to me, directly, like I was “a man”. He did not “speak of the reasons that kept us apart”. We sat in his home and talked. He spoke "just politics".

At the time I was “confused about what he was saying”. I wondered why he did not talk about “missing me or what the reasons were for his absence”. Lately this conversation has resonated with me. Remembering his “choice of topic”.

First, he told me to never "trust a politician". I found this confusing, since he was a politician! What? I guess he was telling me to do my "homework" before I support anyone. Smart!

Then, he told me that I should try to be active, in politics and community. As our talk ended, he told me to "follow the career" of “a young man” named Bob Rae, in the NDP. Grandpas “20/20” foresight? Yes, it was. His "message" is louder and clearer than ever!

He also helped, with the community, create: “Beaver Dams Park in downtown Thorold “ Plaque #31.

If you enjoy Womens and Indigenous history, in Canada, you should visit this park, sit and relax and think of my grandfather, Arthur!


Following their repulse at Stoney Creek the Americans sent a force from Fort George to destroy a British advanced post at Beaver Dams. Warned of their approach by an Indian scout and by Laura Secord, a force of Indians from Caughnawaga and the Grand River, led by Captains Dominique Ducharme and William Kerr, ambushed the attackers near here on 24 of June 1813, and compelled them to surrender to Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon of the regular British army. After this defeat the Americans did not again venture out in force, leaving the British in control of the area.

Après leur déconvenue à Stoney Creek, les Américains envoyèrent des troupes du fort George pour détruire l'avant-garde de Beaver Dams. Avertis par un éclaireur indien et Laura Secord, un groupe d'Indiens de Caughnawaga et de la rivière Grand, dirigé par les capitaines Dominique Ducharme et William Kerr, tandit une embuscade aux assaillants et les obligea à se rendre au lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, de l'armée britannique. Cette défaite du 24 juin 1813 mit un terme aux incursions américaines dans la région, qui est alors, restée aux mains des Britanniques.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


P.S. - the CPC still hounds Bob Rae. This is a "positive sign", for me of Bobs accomplishments.

P.S.S – Bob Rae started “Rae Days” which anyone that got a cheque from government, took 10 days unpaid vacation, a year, to reduce government costs. What a “COMMIE PINKO”!

P.S.S.S - Good luck with your Piano duel. Good thing you have Healthcare! Maybe you can get Angela Hewitt to play? Is music math? (warning! "artistic female nudity"!)

P.S.S.S.S - Are "green thumbs" genetic?

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