There’s gonna be a time tonight

The Compass - - OPINION - Bill West­cott

HIf you wish to see the best in oth­ers, show the best of your­self.

– Chi­nese proverb Res­onat­ing up the shore... When sun­rays crown Thy pine clad hills And sum­mer spreads her hand When sil­vern voices tune thy rills We love thee smil­ing land.

ow’s she goin’ Clar? wad­dya at? Cel­e­bratin’ and singing Will me buddy.” Cel­e­bratin’ what Clar?” Our an­niver­sary. What an­niver­sary? Our 60th b’y! You heard about that didn’t you?

Go on Will, you and Trese are not mar­ried that long are ye?

Naw! New­found­land’s 60th boy! The prov­ince you know!!

60th? Sure New­found­land is 500 years old or more Clar me son.

I’m talk­ing about our 60th year as Cana­di­ans Will boy-don’t be so stunned.

Oh that! Never heard a thing about it at all Clar.

Danny and the boys into SinJan’s scuttled it all Will boy. I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke.

Yes I no­ticed that Clar, I saw it on Here & Now. Buddy wa­sis­name, Glenn Dier talked about it.

Geese Will, and to think I hur­ried back from Fort Mac ex­pect- ing a big tado-and found nut­tin’ - not even a dance down to the hall. I’m poi­soned with Danny.

What’s the prob­lem I won­der Clar me son? Danny mustn’t be able to af­ford it eh?

Danny Mil­lions? Give me a break Will. He could throw the thing him­self with all the Black Horse and Screech on the house. But he didn’t. Naw boy, not even a lousy pro­vin­cial hol­i­day was held!

Yes boy you’re right on there Clar. He poi­sons me some­times. Must be that he never wanted to in­vite Harper down for a few swal­lies and a feed of lob­ster or moose.

To be fair we can’t blame Danny there Will. Harper couldn’t care less about us - that was ob­vi­ous th­ese last few years. Moose? I wouldn’t waste pre­cious meat on the likes of him.

Shag ‘em all Clar. Let’s get a few bal­loons to put up and a cou­ple of dozen beers, some Screech and you and Trese and me and Flo get to­gether for a cou­ple of hours tonight. I’ll bring them CDs with Dick Nolan and the boys sin­gin’ them pop­u­lar New­found­land songs. And that Ron Hynes - what a job he does on them all. Proud New­found­lan­der him­self great guy! Singer of Sonny’s Dream - I love that song Clar.

Right on Will, good idea! I al­ready have the bal­loons up - didn’t you no­tice some of ‘em over the door? I got the old Union Jack up too along with our new New­found­land one along­side our Cana­dian Maple Leaf.

Just imag­ine not blow­ing ‘ere wide open eh Clar, and hav­ing a great time for our­selves right across her eh, from St. John’s to Port aux Basques.

They don’t have any ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Con­fed­er­a­tion Will. Mussen have or we’d be hav­ing a scoff and a few cold ones to­gether all week­end!

They should then, they damn well should cel­e­brate our 60th Clar. Grand­dad must be spin­nin’ in his grave.

My God Will-where in the hell would New­found­land be to­day without all the ben­e­fits we re­ceive from Con­fed­er­a­tion? Just ‘think - there’s MCP, EI, pen­sions, wel­fare, hos­pi­tals, schools, uni­ver­si­ties - the old CNR and our TCH and all that and more. Sure we’d be on our arse without it. Poor old Joey must also be rollin’ in his grave with the cur­rent re­ces­sion.

Yeah Clar, the fish­ery is gone; the pa­per mill is closed in Grand Falls, and thank God for oil or we’d all be packin’ it in and head­ing for Toronto. But then again, there are no jobs up there ei­ther they say. Sure The Tele­gram said last week­end that On­tario is now a have-not prov­ince. Can you be­lieve that?

The whole works would have to move away to the States or some­where Will boy. No sense goin’ to Al­berta, they’re hav­ing enough trou­ble now mak­ing ends meet. Could you ever dream that? I know be­cause I’m out there with the oil sands bunch eh Will.

We got to stick to­gether Clar. We got to liven up and wise up and tell Danny and the boys to stop all that bick­erin’ with Ste­vie and the boys. Ottawa got us by the short hairs eh Clar eh!

You got that right Will, and not the short hairs but by the b—-s too. You know what I mean don’t you? Got to have a laugh at it all Will boy!

Wouldn’t go that far Clar, but ha, yes boy you’re grabbed on to sompin’ dere (no pun in­tended).

The Wa­ter Street mer­chants, that’s the crowd who’d be run­ning our lives now Will, if we didn’t join Canada in ‘49, and the large fish pro­ces­sors too. I don’t think we could have joined a bet­ter coun­try Will, great­est in the world eh?

Glad it wasn’t Bri­tain. Sure they bankrupted us in the 30’s. We had all the money we wanted ‘till they started to con­trol us. We had sur­plus mil­lions in the New­found­land Sav­ings Bank right Clar? And the U.S. didn’t want eco­nomic union with us ei­ther.

It was a close vote though Will. Hard to be­lieve how close we came from turn­ing away from Con­fed­er­a­tion. Fifty-two per­cent were in fa­vor, and 48 per­cent op­posed. Sure Maj. Peter Cashin, Malcolm Hol­lett, Ches Cros­bie, Bill Keough and even Don Jamieson were all against join­ing Canada. They soon changed their tune months later though Will, when the big bucks started flow­ing in with those baby bonus cheques and old age pen­sions ev­ery month. Even to­day though some still say it was a con­spir­acy headed by Joey in col­lab­o­ra­tion with then Cana­dian P.M. Louis St. Lau­rent. But, who cares!

Sure the Cashins and the Cros­bies were multi-mil­lion­aires even back then. They never had to worry about fit­tin’ out the kids for school or where their next meal was com­ing from. No siree Will boy!

What makes me sick Clar my son is that crowd in St. John’s for­ever maw­ing about Canada screw­ing us. Sure back be­fore Con­fed­er­a­tion out-mi­gra­tion was ram­pant. All the men went away for work. Sure my old man had to ship off to Bos­ton to work in a boot fac­tory down there. He worked mak­ing mil­i­tary boots for the U.S. Army. And think about those poor min­ers on Bell Is­land eh? Treated well no doubt. What a ter­ri­ble blight on our his­tory hey Clar. DOSCO be shamed for- ever!

Yes boy! You got that right Will. I’d sec­ond that!

Some of the lads fur­ther up the shore say Danny don’t want to have a 60th cel­e­bra­tion be­cause of the re­cent he­li­copter tragedy. That’s fine and I re­spect that, but Will, think about it. New­found­land has ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand loads of tragedies in our 500-year his­tory. What about the S.S. New­found­land, the great seal­ing dis­as­ter of 1914 where 78 men were lost. What about the S.S. South­ern Cross and its 173 crewmem­bers? Then there was the Ocean Ranger tragedy with 84 lost and the hor­ri­ble K. of C. fire - it goes on and on. You can’t stop time. Danny and the New­found­land Gov­ern­ment could have rightly ded­i­cated the whole thing to those poor souls. I think the friends and fam­i­lies of those lost would like that Will boy.

Right on Clar! And to think we are a “have-not prov­ince” now.

Have-not be darned, we have not a 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion ei­ther and that’s a cry­ing shame Will.

So, shag it all -let’s for­get it, help fin­ish the dec­o­rat­ing and we’ll start the party. Right on Clar! Happy 60th an­niver­sary to dear New­found­land and Labrador.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.