EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Friday, June 12, 2015

'Chapleau Boys Go To War' presented to Cranbrook Public Library

Terry Burgess, Ron McFarland, MJM, Ursula Brigl, Bill Nightingale (Joel Vinge photo)
The Chapleau Boys Go To War now has a place in the Cranbrook Public Library following  presentation of a copy to chief librarian Ursula Brigl.

Accompanied by  Ron McFarland a World War II veteran who served in the Royal Canadian Navy,  and Bill Nightingale who served 33 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force,

I presented a copy to Ursula,on behalf of my co-author Michael K McMullen and myself,

To have Ron and Bill take time to attend the presentation, made it especially meaningful, even though they are not "Chapleau Boys", officially, they represented all of them, and all who have served Canada in our nation's armed forces. Thank you so much!

Terry Burgess, treasurer of the Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library, made the arrangements for the presentation, and Ursula Boy, president of friends of the library also attended. Thanks Terry and Ursula.
Bill, Ursula Boy, MJM, Ron, Terrry (Joel Vinge photo)

Thanks to Joel Vinge for being the official photographer.

On a personal note, I have lived in Cranbrook just on 26 years now, and am so delighted that the library agreed to add The Chapleau Boys Go To War to its collection. I often visit Rotary Park here and spend time looking at the names on the Wall of Honour and the Cenotaph from Cranbrook and area who served in the armed forces. Every time is a visit home to Chapleau too.

I am reminded that it is so important to focus on those things bringing us together in this nation, rather than those dividing us. Thanks Ron and Bill.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

'Chapleau Boys Go To War' official launch planned for Chapleau

Chapleau Boys Go To War to be officially launched in Chapleau, co-author Michael McMullen announces in email.

Here is Michael's email:

"As many of you know, Michael Morris and I have been working on a book about Chapleau’s contributions and sacrifices during WW1 and WW2 with an emphasis on those who died in these two wars. The Chapleau Boys Go To War has just been published and we plan to go to Chapleau on the weekend of July 3-5, 2015 to launch the book. 

"Butch and Brigitte Pellow, who held a fantastic party in Toronto in 21014, are hoping to come to Chapleau for this weekend event. It will be a reunion back home this time if they can make it.

"Arrangements have been made to have the following events to meet the authors:

               Friday, July 3         2-4 pm                              Chapleau Public Library
                                              5-7 pm                              Chapleau Legion Hall

               Saturday, July 4      From 5 pm                        Hongers Redwood Restaurant

"Not only has Jim Hong offered his restaurant for a signing event on Saturday, but he will provide a buffet (reasonable cost) for those who want to stay for dinner.

"For those of you who will be in Chapleau and those of you who may be considering a visit to Chapleau this summer, we hope you will be able to join us on Saturday evening at Hongers Redwood (I still call it the Boston).  Please give Jim a heads-up if you can make it for dinner.

"The book is available on Amazon.com at $18.95 plus shipping (USD) and in Canada at $22.95 plus shipping (CAD) from Michael Morris in Cranbrook (mj.morris@live.ca), myself in Ottawa (mkmcmullen@rogers.com) and at Chapleau Village Shops after the July 4th weekend.  

Best wishes to all,

Mike McMullen"


My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Long Hard Road to Reconciliation: A Canadian Problem

By Rev Yme Woensdregt, Incumbent, Christ Church Anglican, Cranbrook BC

This has been an historic week in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its report after 6 years of hard work. They listened to the heart–breaking stories of survivors of residential schools as they recounted how their families had been torn apart, as children were removed from their homes and sent to residential schools, as they suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse. They were painful and horrific stories about a systematic attempt to “beat the Indian out of us” and “make us into little copies of white people.”
Justice Murray Sinclair, the Chair of the TRC, described this shameful episode in Canadian history as “cultural genocide”. He noted that any who would engage in these horrific activities today would be subject to prosecution at the World Court.
The goal of the Commission is to repair the relationship between aboriginal people and the rest of Canada. This is not an aboriginal problem. It is a Canadian problem, and the TRC noted that Canada needs to move from “apology to action” if reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples is to succeed.
The final report of the TRC includes 94 recommendations for change in policies, programs and the “way we talk to, and about, each other.” In a brief video about what he means by reconciliation, Justice Sinclair notes, “Seven generations of children went through the residential schools, and each of the children in those generations were told that their lives were not as good as the lives of the non–aboriginal people of this country. They were told that their languages, their cultures were irrelevant, that their ancestors and their people were heathen and uncivilized and they were told that they needed to give up that way of life and come to a different way of living. Non–aboriginal children were being told the same thing about the aboriginal people.
“We need to change that. It was the educational system that contributed to this problem in this country, and it is the educational system that’s going to help us get away from this. We need to look at the way that we educate children; we need to look at the way we educate ourselves; we need to look at what our textbooks say about aboriginal people; we need to look at what it is that aboriginal people are allowed to say within the educational system about their own histories.”
It will take lots of time and lots of work. The road to reconciliation is long and painful, and fraught with difficulties.
The recommendations include the creation of a National Centre and Council for Truth and Reconciliation, as well as asking the government to draft new and revised legislation for child welfare, education, health care, and aboriginal languages (including an Aboriginal Languages Act which will preserve and promote aboriginal languages).
Representatives of the churches who ran the state–sponsored schools were present. They include the Anglican Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church of Canada and the Jesuits of English Canada.
In their response, they noted that “Indian Residential Schools, in policy and in practice, were an assault on Indigenous families, culture, language and spiritual traditions, and that great harm was done. We continue to acknowledge and regret our part in that legacy. Those harmed were children, vulnerable, far from their families and communities. The sexual, physical, and emotional abuse they suffered is well-documented.”
The churches have made a public commitment to pursue reconciliation. “We are committed to respect Indigenous spiritual traditions in their own right. As individual churches and in shared interfaith and ecumenical initiatives—for example through Kairos, through interfaith groups, and
through the Canadian Council of Churches—we will continue to foster learning about and awareness of the reality and legacy of the residential schools, the negative impact of such past teachings as the Doctrine of Discovery, and the new ways forward found in places, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We will continue our commitment to financial support for community-controlled initiatives in healing, language and cultural revitalization, education and relationship-building, and self–determination.
My hope and prayer is that we can begin to foster some of these actions here in Cranbrook. This is a Canadian issue. This is an issue for Cranbrook.
In the closing words of the prayer “Remembering the Children” written in 2008 as the TRC began its work, “Great Creator God who desires that all creation live in harmony and peace, Remembering the Children we dare to dream of a Path of Reconciliation where apology from the heart leads to healing of the heart and the chance of restoring the circle, where justice walks with all, where respect leads to true partnership, where the power to change comes from each heart. Hear our prayer of hope, and guide this country of Canada on a new and different path.
May it be so.

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE