Re­spect­ing his­tory

The Compass - - OPINION -

His­tory should be ap­pre­ci­ated, not mis­treated. That goes the same for pieces of his­tory. It’s an im­por­tant thing to keep in mind fol­low­ing the dis­gust­ing act that oc­curred in the Con­cep­tion Bay North town of Western Bay last week.

A 138-year-old church, which was in the mid­dle of ren­o­va­tions, was burnt to the ground on Sept. 25, an ap­par­ent vic­tim of a cow­ardly form of van­dal­ism. Noth­ing was taken from the site, so it wasn’t theft. It would ap­pear that some­one, or group, de­cided in the wee hours of the morn­ing to dec­i­mate a piece of the town’s rich his­tory.

Not only that, it de­stroyed a piece of Methodist his­tory on the north shore. The church was one of the first Methodist es­tab­lish­ments in Con­cep­tion Bay.

Also lost in the blaze was a Bi­ble that some be­lieve to be one of the first in the church.

Not only does the fire point to the fur­ther seg­re­ga­tion of church and state, it also shows just how far his­tory has fallen in to­day’s so­ci­ety.

His­tory, while bor­ing to some, is an im­por­tant com­po­nent of to­day’s world. It helps guide peo­ple, re­minds them where they come from and in some in­stances, grounds them.

Maybe his­tory has fallen out of favour with the young peo­ple to­day be­cause of the shrink­ing of the world.

Maybe, it’s the ideal of you only live once that has caused his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments to shift from a po­si­tion of rev­er­ence to a po­si­tion of dis­dain. That’s what hap­pened here. Those re­spon­si­ble saw only an old church be­ing ren­o­vated, in­stead of a build­ing that rep­re­sented 138 years of his­tory.

His grand­par­ents were prob­a­bly taught in church at the time it was a school.

What pur­pose did it serve to light the fire in the first place? Was it some warped sense of pride that drove this crim­i­nal to spark the flame? He only hurt the community as a whole. What he thought would be funny or an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence turns the pride of oth­ers into dust. That’s the big thing in all of this. Pride. There is a dis­tinct lack of pride in to­day’s so­ci­ety. Whereas in the past, you took pride in wher­ever you lived. It’s not the case now.

With the shrink­ing of the world through tech­nol­ogy, pride in small town com­mu­ni­ties is fleet­ing.

Those who grew up in a world with­out cell­phones or Face­book main­tain a great pride in see­ing their community rise up.

The rest of them, don’t. Sure, there’s pride in one­self, it’s not hard to see. But, pride in community, nah, that doesn’t ex­ist among the younger gen­er­a­tion. Through this lack of pride, the in­ter­est in his­tory is lost. But, how can that be re­stored?

— Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter with The Com­pass

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.