"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Big Ben and Ian Millar

I was in Perth last Saturday. The  town is two hundred years old. It was settled by veterans of the  War of 1812,

I have been there before for SARB hearings. The journey from place to place was a large part of the job with not much time between stops.

Long ago I realized Scottish stonemasons were in the habit of re-creating the places they'd left behind.

I  have seldom felt like a stranger in Ontario.

Around 1p.m. everything was bustling. It may have been the light or the fact I wasn't driving but the town presented exceedingly well.

Or it may have been the spectacular life-sized  bronze sculpture of a horse and rider stretched high over a jump on a street corner as we came into the town. WOW!

Had I been driving and not needing to be elsewhere at a certain time, I would have promptly turned around and returned to a spot where I could just sit still and gaze at that sculpture.

It was dark on the way back. I wanted Stephanie to take a picture so I could post it on the Blog. Or

But we missed it. A long drive was ahead of us and everybody doesn't share my obsession about
places to live and love.

I knew little about the town except what is there  to see. Fine buildings of a soft sand-colored stone cut with truly amazing precision as if done yesterday.  Or cast in a mold.

Large  store windows are fronted with wide sidewalks. Handsome residences of another age on
the main thoroughfare and clearly viewed on side streets.

I'm in the habit of making mental notes of places but in Perth I found myself yearning.

We were in the heart of a town that had a heart and we were on Highway 7.

I cruised the internet Sunday, thinking I might find a photograph of the sculpture. I did. in the  Farmers News . It would not copy.  In any case a picture doesn't do it justice.

I went to the Town  website and discovered Perth is County seat of Lanark. Population is less than
6,000. Varies by less than a hundred up or down ,year by year.They have a Mayor  and eight Councillors.

They have theatre.

The sculpture cost $250,000 and was crafted in Georgetown. The funds were raised by Perth District Chamber of Commerce.

The  River Tay forks into two. The town sits on an island between the two branches.

Perth was named prettiest town in Ontario by T.V.Ontario.

The horse is Big Ben, his  owner and rider Ian Millar whose farm is just outside Perth.

Umpteen awards ,prizes and  a million and a half dollars were won and earned by the two in competitions.

Big Ben was a Belgian warmblood. A huge heavy horse. Lived until he was twenty-three.

Jumpers are light horses.  But this heavy horse didn't know that and he wanted to jump.

And the people of Perth, loved him for that and honor his memory.


Anonymous said...

He was a super horse & his owner/rider is none too shabby either

Anonymous said...

It is great that you are taking advantage of the clear skies and roads. The days are already getting longer.

Anonymous said...

I looked it up. The siting is right on. Water always helps. Of course, if it were in Aurora there would be a group declaring the statue to be a danger to small children.

Anonymous said...

This is a glorious piece of writing.

Thank you.