Friday, 16 July 2004

July 16, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   This past week I took a trip back in history as I read through some old papers that belonged to my paternal grandfather. 

   The collection included rough drafts of letters he sent, replies from government officials, receipts, invoices, newspaper clippings, and more.  There was even a copy of the special supplement of the Swift Current Herald, dated November 11, 1918 (time: 7:30 pm) announcing that “Detailed Armistice Terms As Accepted.”  There were catalogues and flyers from the 1040s.  All in all, the dates ranged from the early 1910s to the 1980s.

   It was an interesting experience going through the papers and such, reading about events that shaped the lives of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and dad - events that have only been textbook history to me.

   Some of the issues that were mentioned in the correspondence (particularly from the 1920s and 1930s) included homesteading (there were apparently underground noises that had to be investigated on Grandpa’s Saskatchewan homestead, these could not be resolved, so he took out a homestead in the Crow’s Nest Pass), relief (the requests for and rejections) and the difficulty in finding work during that period, minimum wage (the corruption of the Minimum Wage Act in the lumber mills) and the injustice of criminals roaming around free, while the innocent man is targeted if he dares to say anything. 

   It was fascinating to see the income tax forms from the early 1940s.  Very simple to fill out...put down how much you made from your job, find that amount in the chart, go across to your status (single, married, dependents) and then submit the amount in the column.  Piece of cake!
   Some of the items raised more questions than they answered, but it was all a fascinating glimpse of a time past...not necessary a better time or easier time, but a different was of  life for those who lived on the Prairies.
 
Beth

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Friday, 2 July 2004

July 2, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I have the opportunity to attend a very special, and emotional, graduation ceremony last Friday.  While there were 11 grads on the stage, one in particular was singled out for a little extra special treatment.

   Donna Peterson is retiring from Alix MAC after numerous years of teaching.  To honour her contributions to the staff and students, they held a ‘graduation’ ceremony as she ‘graduates’ from school to a new life.

   While I graduated from MACC (that is not a typo, there were 2 C’s when I went to school there), I did not have the opportunity to be taught by Donna.  I do remember seeing her in the school, and at school functions, where, more often than not, she played the piano when we sang “O Canada.”

   I was impressed, not only by the ceremony itself, but by the love and affection that the staff and students have for Donna.  It was a treat to see her son, Jeff, demonstrate some of her unique Mom-isms!  Surrounded by her family (including her father) and friends, Donna was centre stage as we paid tribute to her many contributions through the years.

   All of us impact those around us everyday, but it is often a teacher who has the most profound and lasting impact on a youngster’s life.

   Donna, while you may never know exactly what it was that you said or did that was the defining moment in one of your former student’s lives, please know that you did have a positive impact on many, both in your class and outside.  Thank you for the memories! 

Beth

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