Our own lit­tle refuge

Stanstead Journal - - EDITORIALS • LETTERS • COLUMNS • COMMENTS • FORUM -

all know that John­son Taplin came to Stanstead in March of 1796, wife and chil­dren in tow. How­ever, we don’t know much about the man be­fore he came here with his fam­ily from Ver­mont.

Nor would we have learned any­thing about the fam­ily of Ad­bul­lah Kurdi if fate had not de­cided that he alone would sur­vive his ex­ile, his son Ay­lan be­com­ing the most fa­mous drowned three-year old of the last few years.

Both raise the same fun­da­men­tal ques­tion: Why risk one’s life and fam­ily to leave some­where for the un­known. Un­less trav­el­ling a cou­ple of hun­dred miles in the snow on old trails is not risky.

By the way, Ver­mont of­fi­cially joined the United States five years be­fore Taplin came here and the Syr­ian con­flict has been go­ing on for the same num­bers of years.

If there is one part of the Globe that should un­der­stand the plight of the mil­lions of refugees that are flee­ing the Mid­dleEast, it’s the Eastern Town­ships. Loy­al­ists were noth­ing less than po­lit­i­cal refugees, flee­ing a coun­try that they be­lieved was not right for them, even if they had been born there.

Let’s for­get for a mo­ment that to­day is the day that HRH Queen El­iz­a­beth be­comes the monarch to have led our coun­try the long­est; Pres­i­dent Harper’s™ gov­ern­ment will celebrate the event in its usual style, is­su­ing stamps and col­lectibles from the still Royal Cana­dian Mint. Soon, as we move to United States pol­i­tics, our only con­nec­tion to our past will be stamps and coins.

But Pres­i­dent Harper™ is so ob­sessed by his so-called con­ser­va­tive base, noth­ing less than the Cana­dian equiv­a­lent of the Trump booster in the USA, that even the most ba­sic de­cency seems to evade him. It’s no longer a po­lit­i­cal is­sue, it is a moral one. Canada is a land of im­mi­grants. Mr Harper should take the time to go and visit Grosse Île or, as it was for­mally known, the Grosse Île and the Ir­ish Me­mo­rial Na­tional His­toric Site of Canada. The ceme­tery would made an ex­cel­lent back­drop for his daily com­mer­cial on the virtue of his record.

The an­swer is not about bomb­ing some­one in Syria, it is bring­ing in as many of these refugees as we can ac­com­mo­date right now. Start­ing with those who have rel­a­tives here. Daesh is the prover­bial : “The house of a tyrant is a ruin.” Time and cut­ting off the money sup­ply will re­duce it to ru­ins. But then, one should look a bit deeper to see who prof­its from this war and who in the re­gion has the fi­nan­cial knowl­edge and in­ter­na­tional net­work to let Daesh profit from the sale of petrol and arche­o­log­i­cal ar­ti­facts. That Canada ac­cepted to be part of that cha­rade bog­gles the mind. Who re­moved the Cana­dian Blue Berets from the Golan Heights? That was giv­ing in­sight into Syria that we have com­pletely lost. Well, we have lost ev­ery­thing and it will take years and a cou­ple of bil­lions to re­build the com­pe­tency that the Cana­dian Forces had ac­quired as the world leader in peace keep­ing. By the way, it was wise eco­nom­i­cally too, by act­ing as fair, never im­par­tial as some say, in-be­tweens Cana­dian Busi­ness were also seen as fair. But then the con­ser­va­tives are more in­ter­ested in selling mil­i­tary trucks to Saudi Ara­bia than Que­bec built am­bu­lances… And on which side of the Daesh prob­lem are the Saudis?

Afull­day of mu­si­cal and dance en­ter­tain­ment for all ages has been lined up to de­light the thou­sands of spec­ta­tors an­tic­i­pated to come to the Brome fair­grounds for the 36th Town­ship­pers’ Day, Septem­ber 12, 2015.

The 2015 T-Day Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee, and hosts, the Town of Brome Lake, Brome Vil­lage and Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, are pleased to an­nounce the line-up which will ap­peal to a va­ri­ety of gen­res and tastes.

Per­for­mances at the fair­grounds stage open with the Knowl­ton Har­mony Band (9:30 am, 10:45 am), near­ing its 20th an­niver­sary with 28 tal­ented mu­si­cians. Fol­low­ing up with tra­di­tional, rock n’ roll coun­try rock and blues from Foster Grit (11 am). Then there’s the eclec­tic mix, in­clud­ing the Bea­tles' Swing­ing Six­ties, from Pot Pourri Lite Choir (12 pm), a branch of the pop­u­lar Pot Pourri Women's Choir. Déjà Two (1 pm), fea­tur­ing Ju­lia Rohan and France Lepitre, of­fers folk mu­sic with a uniquely Que­be­cois flavour, fol­lowed by coun­try rock from home­grown Sil­ver­ado (2 pm), with 28 years of per­for­mances un­der their belt. Lo­cal tal­ent Squeegie (3pm) presents pop mu­sic old and new on guitar and man­dolin, and lastly it’s Dave’s Cave (4 pm), a St Paul’s Angli­can Church band. Over at the dance stage visi­tors can en­joy per­for­mances by Jim Nay­lor and the Rain­bow Coun­try Clog­gers (11 am, 3 pm) and high­land dancers from the Cameron School of Dance (2 pm). The Brome Lake and Sut­ton First Re­spon­ders and Fire Depart­ment will host an ac­ci­dent sim­u­la­tion at the grand­stand (1 pm) and through­out the day, in ad­di­tion to more than 90 ar­ti­sans and ex­hibitors, visi­tors can en­joy an an­tique and clas­sic car show, and demon­stra­tions of sheep shear­ing, rug hook­ing and chain­saw wood carv­ing. T-Day 2015 will also fea­ture ac­tiv­i­ties for kids. Fun and games can be found at the mini-farm, and also a straw maze to solve and horse and wagon rides.

Hop on the shut­tle and get a free pass to the Brome County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mu­seum and Paul Hol­land Knowl­ton House, you might even win a prize - an overnight stay for two and one of three lo­cal inns - just for tak­ing a ride. While at the mu­seum, don’t miss per­for­mances by singer-song­writ­ers Keith Whit­tall and Gail Klinck (12 pm), Laura and Lucy’s kids’ choir (1:30 pm), Celtic fid­dle from Daniel Haché (2 pm), wrap­ping up the day are Dou­ble or Noth­ing (3 pm), coun­try rock duo Kylie Côte and Mike Pa­trick. Sup­port for this year’s Fes­ti­val comes from part­ners: the Depart­ment of Cana­dian Her­itage, CBC, the Sher­brooke Record, Cass fu­neral home/Coopéra­tive funéraire de l'Estrie, Brome Fair/Brome County Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety, Global Ex­cel Man­age­ment, the Stanstead Jour­nal, Star Café Knowl­ton, Deputy of Saint-François Guy Hardy, Ray­mond Chabot Grant Thorn­ton, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Bolton-Ouest and Tur­key Hill Su­gar­bush Ltd.

Don’t miss T-Day on Satur­day, Septem­ber 12, 2015, from 9 am – 5 pm at the Brome fair­grounds, 345 Stage­boach Road, Brome Vil­lage. Ad­mis­sion is free. Do­na­tions are ac­cepted for park­ing (a min­i­mum of $2 is sug­gested).

For all things T-Day, visit www.TDay.ca In its 36th year, T-Day has grown to be­come one of the largest an­nual events for the English-speak­ing com­mu­nity of Que­bec’s his­tor­i­cal Eastern Town­ships. A bilin­gual and fam­ily friendly fes­ti­val, T-Day cel­e­brates the cre­ativ­ity and vi­brancy of the re­gions English-speak­ing com­mu­nity through a cul­tural show­case of mu­sic and dance, ar­ti­sans and ex­hibitors, food and ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages to en­joy. Cu­ri­ous about host­ing the next Town­ship­pers’ Day in your town? Visit this year’s fes­ti­val in Brome to ex­pe­ri­ence it for your­self, then con­tact Town­ship­pers' As­so­ci­a­tion and we'll show you how you could make it hap­pen.

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