Images of Apartheid

I went to the Humans Rights Museum to see the new Nelson Mandela exhibit.  There are images there you won’t easily forget. This wall of signs illustrated how whites and blacks were segregated in everyday life in South Africa. This public notice about relationships between whites and non-whites reminded me of Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime.  Noah grew up in South Africa. He and his black mother had to walk on the opposite side of the street from his white father when their family was going somewhere so no would suspect his parents had a relationship with one another. This armoured truck was used by the South African government in the 1980s to stop apartheid protesters.These are the coffins for some of the victims of the Sharpville Massacre. In March of 1960 thousands of people protesting apartheid practices went to a police station in Sharpville, South Africa. The police fired into the crowd killing 69 people and injuring nearly 300 more including some thirty children. Today March 21 is a public holiday in South Africa to commemorate this massacre. 

I felt so proud of Canada as I watched this video.  Stephen Lewis, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations in 1988 describes a ground breaking speech Brian Mulroney, Canada’s prime minister made to the United Nations that year. Mulroney declared that his country would impose tough economic sanctions on South Africa unless they changed their apartheid policy.  The United Nations assembly rose to its feet to applaud Mulroney at the end of his speech. Of course the exhibit tells visitors all about the important role Nelson Mandela played in ending apartheid in South Africa and includes his famous 1962 quote……”I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Other posts………

Born a Crime

Racism Pure and Simple

Bear Witness

 

 

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A Rude Awakening

fire truckThe fire alarm in our building went off just before 7 am yesterday morning.  Dave was away on a golf trip so I threw on my bathrobe, slipped into my moccasins , grabbed my keys and headed to the front door via five flights of stairs.   I went outside to be greeted by just a few of the residents from our building’s one hundred suites. Slowly more people trickled out as the alarm kept up its insistent ringing.  Everyone except me however seemed to have taken time to get fully dressed and grab their purses and phones and wallets and dogs and coffee and newspapers and study notes and books and muffins and………  

The only other folks in their night wear besides me were children. Soon four huge fire trucks and various emergency vehicles arrived.  The firefighters went inside and ten minutes or so later told us it was safe to go back to our homes.  I suspect less than half of the residents were outside by that time.  The rest had all stayed in their suites confident it was a false alarm.  I’m not sure why you’d take that chance.  Would you?

After that rude awakening my day could only get better and it did. I spent time researching for upcoming art gallery tours, enjoyed a great bike ride, went on a long walk with my brother,  had lunch with him in Assiniboine Park and welcomed my husband home in the evening.  

Other posts………

A Fire Changed Her Life

Earth, Air, Water and Fire

Two Artists- Me and My Grandson

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Centre Stage in Oklahoma

oklahoma clipA feature about the composers Rodgers and Hammerstein on the CBS show Sunday Morning had me remembering my performance in the musical Oklahoma when I was in grade twelve.  I played the female lead Laurey.  Check me out center stage  in an old newspaper clipping from the local paper The Carillon . When I look at it I think ……………

  • Tickets to the musical were only $1.00.  My how times have changed since 1971. 
  • Highschool musicals in Steinbach were big deals.  The newspaper reports that weekend performances were sold out!
  • How lucky I was to have an amazing mother who sewed that dress for me.  I kept it long after the musical was over I loved it so much. 
  • How lucky I was to have hard working teachers willing to go the extra mile to stage musicals with their students.  I believe Mr. Elbert Toews our Glee Club conductor directed this one.
  • How I can still remember the words to some of the songs from that musical like O What A Beautiful Morning.
  •  How forward thinking some of the lyrics to those songs were. In this photo I am singing Many a New Day and when I bring the lyrics to mind I think they were pretty liberating for a woman to be singing in 1942 when the musical was written. 
    Why should a woman who is healthy and strong
    Blubber like a baby if her man goes away
    A weeping and a wailing how he’s done her wrong?
    That’s one thing you’ll never hear me say
    Never gonna think that the man I lose
    Is the only man among men
    I’ll snap my fingers to show I don’t care
    I’ll buy me a brand new dress to wear
    I’ll scrub my neck and I’ll brush my hair
    And start all over again.
  • My leading man in the musical who played the role of Curly was a guy named Eddie Unger.  I wonder where he is now? 

Other posts…………

Sleeping Under the Eaves

The Song My Paddle Sings

Lessons From Leonard

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Filed under Education, Music

Pop Up Toilet

I had read about the new pop up toilet on Graham Avenue in the Winnipeg Free Press so I wasn’t exactly surprised when I came upon it while walking to work the other day. Access to washrooms is a problem in the Winnipeg downtown.  Not all businesses want people who aren’t customers to use their washrooms and so people have been answering the call to nature in public spaces much to the consternation of folks who own property, walk, work and shop in  the downtown.  As a possible solution to this concern Down Town Winnipeg Biz decided to build a pop up toilet in an old shipping container and set it up in four different locations in Winnipeg over the summer. The goal is to offer a clean, accessible place to ‘use the facilities.’

The pop up toilet is managed by attendants who are there twelve hours a day.  The washrooms are closed when they aren’t there which means the toilets can’t be used twenty-four hours a day, which is unfortunate. I talked with the young man who was on duty the day I walked by and I chatted with him about the project.  The kiosk beside the pop up toilet sells water bottles, cards and even T- shirts and all proceeds go to the work of Siloam Mission which offers beds, food and support to Winnipeg’s homeless citizens.  I asked the attendant if I could just make a donation to Siloam Mission but he insisted I take a package of  art cards when I gave him some cash.  

The sign in the kiosk said that the pop up toilet was created especially with the elderly, disabled, women and children and those with care attendants in mind, since they may struggle to find accessible toilets in the downtown.  Downtown Biz is hoping to lead by example with this temporary facility so there will be public support for secure, well-maintained public permanent washrooms. Working at the pop up toilet creates employment for people from Siloam Mission who want to gain work experience to help them transition out of homelessness and poverty.  

One of the reasons I like living and working in downtown Winnipeg is you never know what interesting things will pop up as you go about your day.  It might even be a toilet!

Other posts………

Gender Neutral Washrooms

The Eaton’s Catalogue- Toilet Paper and Shin Pads

An Evening at the Forks

 

 

 

 

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Music Will Be My Light

Earth Song by Frank Ticheli

Sing, Be, Live, See
This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Through darkness and pain and strife
I’ll sing, I’ll be, live, see

Peace

I attended the Garden City Collegiate choir concert on Wednesday night.  My talented daughter-in-law is a music teacher at Garden City and I always enjoy watching her inspire and conduct so many different groups of student singers. The concert was great.  Hearing all that marvelous music made by young people who were so obviously loving what they were doing, gave me such a sense of hope and optimism for the future of our world.  

One of the pieces the chamber choir sang was Earth Song by Frank Techeli.  The words which I have included above are powerful. Yes there are lots of things wrong with our world but we can sing in spite of it, live in spite of it, and envision a peaceful future full of light and strength and song.  It makes me so happy to know that our future generation is being motivated by hope- filled ideas like that. 

Other posts……….

Music to Soothe the Soul

Musicians Photographed World Wide

A Musical Mural

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A Photo That Brings Back Memories

I found this photo in my parents’ collection.  I must be only three or four years old.  The truck behind me is my grandfather’s grain truck.  I loved riding in that truck.  I can remember going to the grain elevator with my Grandpa and sitting in the cab  while the truck was hoisted way up high in the elevator, and the back of the truck tilted back to dump the grain in the bin way below. 

grandpa's truckI remember my mother telling me that this photo was taken one time when Grandpa had come into Winnipeg and I was driving back to my grandparents home in Gnadenthal with him to spend a few days on my grandparents’ farm.  I don’t have lots of memories of being on the farm when I was as small as I am in the photo but I can remember stays there when I was a bit older

and Grandma taught me how to embroider

and I helped her wash dishes at the sink in the low counter especially built to accommodate my grandmother’s short stature

and trying to work the pedal on Grandma’s old sewing machine

and combing Grandma’s nearly waist length hair

and Grandma showing me how split pea pods open with my fingernail

and my Grandma cutting my Grandfather’s food up for him before he ate

and the clock on the sideboard that chimed every hour

and my Grandpa telling me stories about their life in Ukraine before the revolution

and praying Segne Vater before we ate

and listening to funeral announcements with Grandma on the local radio station

and Grandpa putting gravy on his cake before eating it

and walking down the dirt path in the village to the store with Grandma

and going gopher shooting with Grandpa

and the smell of the slop pail for the pigs under Grandma’s sink

and the clean tea towel Grandma draped over the cream separator

and the fawn Grandpa once found beside its dead mother and brought home to the barn

and the outdoor biffy

and the stray cats

and the wind in the Russian olive trees around the front yard

and the colorful flowers Grandma planted around her house

A picture is worth a thousand memories.

Other posts………

Family Picture

I Held You Before Your Mother Did

My Grandmother’s Childhood

 

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Make New Friends But Keep the Old

I went along with my husband Dave yesterday to watch him play in a ball tournament in Steinbach.  I hadn’t really planned to go but Dave said the team was having a meal after the tournament at one of the player’s homes and partners were invited.  He said he’d really like me to come.  So I changed my plans and went along.  I was so glad I did. 

My friend Marge came to the tournament to watch her husband play ball too.  Dave and I have been friends with Marge and her husband Fran since 1976 when we were their neighbours in Landmark for a year. Marge and I hadn’t seen each other since January.  We had been in Europe for two months and they had been on a trip to Europe as well and so the first order of business was to catch up on our travel experiences. Then we moved on to talk about our children and grandchildren and siblings and friends and hobbies and volunteer work and books and a little bit of politics and church and our childhoods and summer plans and………….. suffice it to say our husbands’ expertise on the ball diamond did not garner our full attention. 

I love making new friends but there is something lovely about spending time with old friends who already know all about you and your past, someone with whom you have so many shared experiences. No matter how long you have been apart you can just pick up talking with one another and feel like the last time you were together was the day before. 

I learned a round song when I was a child that went………… Make new friends but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold. 

Other posts……….

Are Men and Women’s Friendships Different? 

My Mom’s Friends

A Reunion With Old Friends in Portugal

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Filed under People, Sports