"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

Sunday 25 October 2015


Ok Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "SOMETHING HAS CHANGED": 

That is funny. If you had a club like that now, someone would accuse you of being elitists or exclusionary. even the mens' clubs in England and that one golf tournament in the states are under siege.

Clubs, maybe in all of Europe,have a definite function. I mis-named George Bernard Shaw 's Club association. I went to Wikipedia and discovered the Fabian Society was his association. It dated from pre-world war 1 and  promoted political change by peaceful means rather than revolution as in France and Russia. 

It was a pre-cursor to the British Labour Party. Hardly an exclusive organization. 

Clubs in general , like pubs, were and are an important part of that society. Europeans don't entertain in their homes.They have never had enough space. 

It's the reason theatres, music halls, opera houses,coffee shops, patisseries and bistros are popular with the natives. Europeans live their lives in the community. 

In my time, even children didn't spend evenings at home unless it was raining or snowing. We gathered under the lamplight in the street. Games  like  hide and seek, bar-the-door and leave-all were organized. Every street had at least one wee  shop with a lighted window full of a  variety of  boxes of sweeties (candy) on display with a raised  shelf  at the back and a sentinel row of giant jars of hard pastilles ,lozenges,comfits or humbugs in every colour imaginable, wrapped or sugar-coated. 

 IT would give the initials of a sweet and whoever guessed right would have to beat IT in a race to the other side of the street and back in order to have a turn at being IT. 

There were circle games, hop-scotch, ball games, rope skipping and in winter ,when temperature dipped to freezing, a slide would be created in the middle of the street and twenty or twenty-five kids would line up to take a turn running and sliding over and over and over again.

When we were all in bed at last ,one or other  parent would come out and destroy the slide so that next  evening, it had to be created again. It was  closest we came to skating.  Oh yes and roller-skating as well. The games were countless and we had "the swings" as well. 

For everything there was a season and no shortage of kids to join. 

In industrial cities and towns  in England ,working men's clubs provided  a home away from home. Drinks were cheaper. Darts and cards  and words were games of choice. Continuing education was not unheard of either.

For young adults,"The dancin "  was a passion everywhere.  Second house at "The pictures" on Saturday  night was de rigeur as was  promenading through town streets on a Sunday night.Hundreds of young folk congregated from villages and smaller towns for  miles around. 

Shop doorways were the place to huddle tightly in the rain.Thought of staying home and missing the ritual would never have occurred. 

It was like that in my teen years ,my mother's, her mother's and untold generations before that.Those who did not participate were the excluded ones. I doubt very much their absence was noticed. 

I believe older residents of Aurora are familiar with what I have described. 

Nowadays, we have a youth co-ordinator on the town payroll to discover what it is  young people
want. Half a  million dollar annual dole-out for "Culture"  to entertain the  adults. And tonight Councilors are conducting a walk about to discover the "Cultural Precinct" in our town. 


Anonymous said...

They can keep on looking. It does not exist. Culture is a product of the entire town, not a bunch of buildings in a small area.

Anonymous said...

At one time, there was a great panic about not having enough room for Aurora's Town Hall staff.
Nothing was done about it and yet we continue to add bodies and even find space for the odd special group
to set up communications.

Anonymous said...

What happened to that European Club that met at least once in the town hall ? Maybe it was just in connection with
an election because I never heard anything more about it.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the new operation center is going to house a bunch of staff. I could be wrong

Anonymous said...

Stick a hotel anywhere thee is a good space, Over-nighters result in increased town visits,

Anonymous said...

I am so done with this "culture" thing.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

21:20 - Ok fine. I'm a philistine. I'm still done with it.

Anonymous said...

Municipal governments are left to provide "culture" and "youth services" because the residents want it. To those in the Town that don't want to pay for it, welcome to democracy.

Anonymous said...

I quite agree with you. The subject has been beaten to death. There will be time between now & the next budget to
to object to the amount of money & attention given to those who fail to contribute to the town reserves,

Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me what a CULTURAL PRECINCT is?

Is it like a precinct that contained a police station such as on Barney Miller? This was one of the greatest comedy shows ever to appear on television.

But police precincts can also be gritty, dirty and dangerous. There have been many tv shows and movies that have featured this variety.

So is our to be comedic or dirty and dangerous?

Anonymous said...

This should impress Mr Watts as it came from Wikipedia.... the sole place for information in the 21st Century.

"In a number of English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, a shopping centre may also be known as a precinct, which refers to an enclosed public space with shops or department stores. A pedestrianised street or area of a town is sometimes called a pedestrian precinct."

Anonymous said...

13:27, I really do hope that you're trying to be "comedic."

Anonymous said...

ah. 15:04, so we in little old Aurora are being pretentious again.......

Christopher Watts said...


As per the town's website: http://www.aurora.ca/culturalprecinct
The Cultural Precinct is a three-block area bounded by: Mosley Street, Larmont Street, Metcalfe/Church Street and Yonge Street.

For those that are interested on Sunday from 2 to 4 pm there was a community walk with about 30 in attendance, including 5 members of council (Mayor Dawe, Clrs Mrakas, Humfreys, Able, Kim) 2 x Town staff (Director of Planning, Director of Leisure Services) and 2 consultants.

There was no take-away or notice of what is planned for the "Community Culture Quest Aurora!" exercise.

Starting at Town Park in front of the former Wells St. School the group headed to the former Aurora Armoury. From there it cut back through the park, up Wells then west along Mosely to stop at the old Lions Hall. South on Victoria stopping at #54 Victoria. South to Metcalfe, east on Metcalfe to the Anglican rectory, then back west along Church to the Aurora Publick library parking lot.

The walk almost ended at the library without any consideration given to the west most boundary but then continued over to Yonge St.Up Yonge to Mosley, east to Victoria and south ending at the Church St. School.

Following the walk there were the usual uninspiring kiddie craft activities dragged out by consultants: an opportunity to pin words on a vision statement document, add paper cut-outs to blown up maps and use markers to write in on large paper wish-lists. It was this last activity I noticed the Mayor writing in his suggestions which I thought were reserved to capture community input.

The walk was led by Carl Bray of Bray Heritage, same consultant used for the both the failed Hillarious-Macintired Park concept ($25,000) and the failed South East Heritage Conservation District ($50,000+)During the walk Mr. Bray admitted that he did not feel the term "cultural precinct" was a good fit.

Anonymous said...

"...Hillarious-Macintired Park..."

What are you, 12?!

Anonymous said...

Macintired Park

Almost as good as the Self Centered Center.

Love it.

Anonymous said...

Culture-Smultcher. Anything to delay getting a wrecking crew going around the old library.

Anonymous said...

09:20, the Town's centenary project (the 1963 library building) should not be demolished!

Anonymous said...

8:25- Democracy? You actually think that if you ask a resident in Aurora, they would say they would want the Town to spend their tax $$’s on, “Culture” and “youth services”? Coooool Aid!

I'm Not Alone said...

You can ask this resident, 14:00, and the answer is "Yes."

Anonymous said...

Almost as juvenile, 05:30.

Anonymous said...


It takes intelligence to knock sarcasm out of the park like that.

Anonymous said...

Yup, we can just wait until it collapses. Or someone tumbles down stairs. There is not way it can or should be saved.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Democracy at its finest.

Anonymous said...

I think that you need to get a dictionary to see what sarcasm really is.

Anonymous said...

I think they did some survey about taxes and found the those involved did want to pay less for culture.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember just how many respondents there was for that survey, but I think the answer to one particular question was an acceptance of up to a 10% reduction in funding.