To the Editor:
The United Way Port Perry would like to thank all the local businesses, for their support in donating items for our Silent Auction. Your contributions, during this period of the campaign, are helping build a better community for all! We successfully raised over $3,400.00 to help those less fortunate, by supporting a broad range of services, in assisting families, seniors, and children alike. We are forever grateful and thank you tremendously.
United Way Port Perryit.
Last week I shared about the origins of some of the components of 'Christmas time', which you and I celebrate, in this “Season of Giving'. As with most things we are not as original as we would like to think. We borrow from our past. For instance, if nobody had invented the car you wouldn't be driving a vehicle now, so no matter how young or how old we are, we need to see that we owe many things to those who've gone before.There are many influences that have collaborated for us to arrive at the way we all celebrate Christmas. Of course there are variations, but the majority enter into the common experience of the 'Christmas season', and despite what some may believe, it is not the commercialized aspect that I'm referring to.
For instance in our home we start the celebration of the 'Season of Giving' in early October for 'Thanksgiving'. That's when we turn on our lights, hydro bills be 'dashed', this is more important, it's a 'giving thing', to the world around. We believe that those who gave their lives, in much the same way as our Saviour “Christ”, in order to procure peace and good will for those whom they love, and for all who will enjoy these benefits afterward, should not be denied a thorough acknowledgement. One day is not enough. From those who gave there lives discovering our land, to those who have fought to secure it continually, a recognition of there unique nature, a mix of boldness seeking to secure the liberty of the quaint, should be celebrated by encouraging our whole culture to live a life of giving of themselves. This starts with commemorative celebrations like Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day (very similar to Veterans Day in the US), continuing on through Christmas, all merged into a 'Season of Giving'. This is what we have, if you take a look, and it's a good thing.
For those who do the Santa thing at Christmas, ours is the Hungarian version on the night of December 5th, being the eve on which Szent Mikulás (or Miklós), their version of Saint Nicholas, traditionally is thought to visit the homes of Hungarian children. By the way, did you know that the real Saint Nicholas was a Turkish monk and a firm believer in our Saviour. As my wife is Hungarian on her father's side, we start our Christmas celebrations very early in December. Then there is the Standard, Dec 24th and 25th,Western placement of Christmas, in order to incorporate all of the good aspects of previous celebrations at this time of year (see last weeks editorial on the pre-Christ, Greek and Roman celebrations). But in our family, to challenge the cold of the winter, and all things being equal, so as not to give the cold attitude of the 'Humbug spirit' any place, we celebrate the Ukrainian time of Christmas as well, as that is the cultural heritage on my fathers side. This is placed exactly twelve days after our Western one.
Humm..., 'Twelve days', that reminds me of a Christmas song. Happy Giving Tide.
I have always respected our police forces and even more so after the events the other day. Three or four officers acted with confidence and professionalism under difficult circumstances.
Lee Bowerham and Anne Thompson
For three or four weeks now, since the onset of the colder changes in the weather, I have been hearing the humbug spirit trying to push its way into the most wonderful commemorative holiday of our calendar. Well I say, “Humbug to the Humbug spirit!”. If we are to look over a quick history of things that have brought us to the “Season” of giving, than it can help us to understand, what we as a culture celebrate this time of year. From Thanks Giving through Veterans day to Christmas through to New Years there is an undeniable desire to show appreciation for the kindnesses we have inherited, with a drive to sharing that with others.
In a time when electricity did not exist, when the sun had gone down for the day, and darkness had cast its blanket everywhere, it was very dark. So much that people feared to even go out in that darkness, which further added to their feelings of isolation and vulnerability. Today, we lose touch with how deep that darkness can get, with ready available light surrounding us, produced by man. However, if any of you readers have grown up on a farm, far away from the ambient street lights, signs and automobile headlights along the roads at night, then you may have experienced this kind of darkness in part, but still not to the degree these people would have. The darkness and cold, in the then known world, engulfed their lives for an entire season, each year. The limited light in this length of time would leave its effect in their hearts and minds as well, casting doubt on whether things would ever change. This is a spiritual darkness that many experience today in this season. So, to seek to affect that change, the people, of Greece in Hellenistic style worship, and then finally the Romans in theirs, would seek the intervention of their deities.
In the Hellenistic period, at this time of year, there was a celebration for their deity (Kronos), who, according to their convictions, was responsible for the effective sowing of their eventual harvest, and therefore for their security over the many shortening days and dark months of winter. Alone, cold and in the dark, it was easy to succumb to starvation.
So, out of thanks-giving in part, but more for a reason which would push people out of their cloistered existence, they celebrated what the conquering Romans called 'Saturnalia', around their deity (Saturn), which they embraced for many of the same reasons. This celebration was characterized by; the worship of their deity, feasts with friends and family; and in order of priority, the exchanging of gifts of provision like candles, statuettes and pottery.
I can't help but notice similarities in our celebration of Christmas today. We get together with friends and family, the obvious need of 'Thigmotaxis' (see Geoff Carpentier's column in this same issue-Walk Softly); we exchange gifts, many of which are figurines or trinkets, and practical things like pots and pans; all around a tree covered with light, just like the candles exchanged. The candles were a measure of defiance against the physical darkness and cold, the food shared was in defiance of the threat of starvation, the statuettes were a reminder of beauty and worship, and the pottery was an accommodation of the practical, the fact that, even more than today, things are temporary and need to be renewed, back then it was mostly due to breakage, today it is mostly due to our disposable lifestyle.
We treat things more casually today, but the things of the past have a way of holding on, even when we don't intend them to. To paraphrase from Socrates, this is kind of an axiom of mine “The un-examined life is the un-lived life and the un-lived life is accomplishing nothing.”
But hey, did I forget to mention the worship factor in Christmas? Well we'll have to dig into to that at a later date, to do it justice. Sufficeth to say, Christmas is not just a commercial holiday, if you pay attention to what it truly is, you will see a flow of cultural influence, in your life, reaching back farther than you knew. There is something to being in the moment, but if you miss it's true content, than you've missed the moment altogether
So this year, why don't your enter in, and spend time on your gifts, so they will be a true provision for a need in someones life, reflect on and treasure the time that will come with family and friends as an opportunity to bring the security of touching each others lives, assurance through provision, and reminders of what life is about. Then, during this season of diminished light, colder weather and sometimes colder people, and concern for provision because of fickle job security, you may see better, the purpose of Christmas time being “the season of giving”.
To the Editor
I am proud to be part of Operation Legacy, in which members and graduates of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program pass on the Remembrance message to the younger generation. As Remembrance Day is fast approaching, I would like to pay special tribute to all men and women who have served in Canada’s military, and especially to those who lost a limb or limbs in war.
I was born with an amputation affecting both my arms and have learned to overcome this challenge, thanks to programs put in place by amputee veterans of The War Amps.
War amputee veterans that founded The War Amps changed the futures for all amputees. I consistently strive to push myself more and more, because I know war amputee veterans never let their amputation stop them from achieving their goals, of creating opportunity for amputees young and old.
On Remembrance Day, please take a moment to remember those who have, and continue to serve. We commemorate their lives and share their stories, so that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Samuel Giberson, 23, Ottawa
Editor’s response to Tim’s Letter to the Editor
Thank you for your well thought out response to our article on the main-streaming of electric cars. Your personal experience has clearly been a good one. The path by which you came to purchased your electric vehicle and the fact that the rebate was a compensation which actually balanced out the cost factor, and didn't just take the sting off the edge of the price, is definitely compelling. Not to mention what you shared about the low maintenance costs and the benefits of home charging for you, and manageability for the grid.
Probably attrition is going to be the method by which these cars become centre stage in our countries auto usage. But, your perspective on the simple need for a little pre-planning is a valid one that would also benefit those who use fossil fuel driven cars now. So this is more a matter of maturity in general car use, that will keep overall costs down, to us personally and to our environment, isn't it.
I'm sure, as these cars become centre market, in order to entice buyers to their specific models, the simple forces of competition in a free market system will 'drive' car manufacturers to produce electric cars which can go even further on a single charge. So this will further reduce the resistance of the naysayers.
Thank you for the time you put into this feedback. Have a clean day!
Editor, the Standard Newspaper.
To the Editor
Since I moved to Port Perry in 2008, I have been going to Flieler North End Service Station on Simcoe.
It is a throw back to the old days, when service stations actually had mechanics and technicians to service all their customer requirements.
I have always been impressed with their customer service, but what I saw today was above and beyond. Paul Fieler was working the till while I was paying for the service on my car, when he said, excuse me for a minute, and asked Kam Fieler to take over. Paul went running out to the pumps, ignoring the cold and rain and started filling up the customers car.
It turns out she is an older lady with very bad arthritis who has extreme difficulty pumping gas herself. Paul and Kam have been taking care of her for years, and it is just an example of the over the top service that the company provides.
Something for all of us to strive towards.
To the Editor
Care and Share Garden would like to thank all those who attended our Tulip Planting Ceremony on October 19th.
Thank you to the students and teachers of the Montessori school, for their help planting 300 tulips on a beautiful fall day.
Special thanks goes to Margaret Taylor-Sevier, President of the Fairboard, and to Councillor Jennifer Back, for helping to make our event a success.
We invite everyone to join us in Spring 2017, to celebrate the blooming of 1,000 red and white tulips!
Pam McFarlane, Volunteer,
Port Perry Care & Share Community Permaculture Garden.
Last week, people across the province were rocked by the news that a long-term care facility nurse, Elizabeth Wettlaufer, was charged with eight murders of senior residents.
It is alleged that she gave each victim, from long term care facilities in Woodstock and London, a fatal dose of medication. While none of the charges have yet been proved in court, this case has shone a light on the need for nursing home reform in the province.
For one thing, nursing homes need to do more in depth background checks on the nurses or other members of staff they hire to care for loved ones. A recent report uncovered by CTV found Wettlaufer had worked in as many as five other nursing homes other than the two mentioned in the murder allegations.
Past reports have found she was let go by some of the nursing homes, so how is it she was still able to find another job afterwards? How is it her alleged unusual behavior was not noticed or reported, and how did the other nursing homes not find out about her alleged character when she applied? There may also need to be more of a psychological test implemented for those who wish to work at a long term care home.
Durham Region Council has already asked the province for background checks of residents in these homes, so maybe the time is right for a full reform of the way things are done.
As well, it may need to become commonplace to do autopsies, or, to at least, investigate the deaths of loved ones in long-term care homes.
These were eight people who’s deaths may not have been investigated if police had not received the tip by CAMH. It is also unknown whether there are any other victims.
People expect when they put their loved one in long term care, that they will receive the best care possible, and that they will be safe. Let’s make it clear though; a lot of nursing homes employ a lot of caring staff and are safe environments. This editorial is mearly stating that something needs to happen in the wake of these tragedies, standards need to be raised across the board, to ensure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.
Also, as previously stated, the case has yet to hit the courts, Ms. Wettlauffer is innocent until proven guilty. We are not stating any opinion on whether or not she committed the crimes in question, but are just stating the evidence proves a need for more reform.
It is sad for the families of the victims that were allegedly murdered. Hopefully this leads to big changes and greater safety for all seniors.