"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 7 November 2017


I wrote a post then re-wrote it several times over many, many hours. It was a rendering of opinion on various decisions of Council from the last meeting. Though harsh, it will simply not allow itself to be tempered and I'm not ready to delete it without a replacement.

Have I had an epiphany? Not likely. I know what I know I know.

Modern Newspapers Radio and T.V. stations seldom editorialize on municipal decisions.

Does it mean decisions are unfailingly exceedingly wise?

Unremarkably insignificant?

Readers are universally disinterested in municipal governance?

Whatever....Editorial opinion is rare as hen's teeth and can, at one and the same time, be enfolded and
smothered in the phrase... general consensus.

General consensus... the all-encompassing, clumping together of modern thought.  Or what passes for same.

Lethargy..somnambulance...inward-thinking... hard of hearing...dis-interested...disconnected...
detached....go away....closed for today and every day for lack of interest.

I drove past the Cenotaph in the gloaming last night. It's there. The ghostly presence of a sheathed white death machine on wheels...perched like the Monstrance on a reverential dais...

The realization of a dream.

Forty odd years ago, following Canada's Centennial, the government decided to dispose of surplus tanks. Probably never saw a battlefront, fresh off a production line, sitting in costly storage somewhere.

Municipalities are always the first dumping ground that come to mind.

Queen's York Rangers, originally a cavalry regiment, transformed into a tank regiment, similarly obsolescent had quarters in Aurora funded by the Feds.

In a small corner of the drill shed, in a corner of the town park, an officers' mess provided a home away from home for those who could not let go of the most exciting experience of their lives.

Uniforms, ribbons, pips and protocol; saluting, standing to attention, parading the colours, traditions, lesser ranks ....the entire scenario was reproduced for reliving the ever-loving Glory of War.

At that time, not long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the responsible world had agreed, war between nations could never, ever be contemplated again.

Nevertheless, the idea of a surplus tank placed in the War Memorial Park reached Council. I was not a Councillor that term but I wrote the story for The Era, making sure the Aurora Legion was quoted.

Members were veterans then. Their experience of war still fresh. Opposition to the tank display, was clear, firm and immediate.

As I write, I realize the War Memorial Board, representing Whitchurch, King and Aurora had complete authority. They would have known the War Memorial Act does not permit intrusions onto the site.

The idea of a tank at the War Memorial, "for kids to play on" never took root.

Fifty years later, courtesy of Aurora Council and a valuable town property, Queen's York Rangers cavalry-turned-tank regiment survives in a world where conventional war is a horrible memory.

Fort York Armoury in Toronto, was closed by the Federal government while a town department was evicted to make space for the regiment to survive.

Aurora Legion's remaining few veterans are in their mid-nineties. That they gave thumbs up to display a weapon of war alongside the Cenotaph is hardly credible. That they were asked, even less likely.


Anonymous said...

Have to love how you hang on to your altered version history and publish it as truth.

"...a town department to was evicted to make space for the regiment to survive. "

The Town determined that the building was surplus for it's use and it was offered up and eventually leased to DND for the QYR. There was no "eviction". That is hyperbole on your part that is false. The Hydro building was being used by a Town department to assemble picnic tables.

I will be honest. I do not agree that the LAV should be at the park as a monument for Afghanistan veterans. The Cenotaph is supposed to be a monument to the dead of all wars. It should memorialize all fallen soldiers of all conflicts and not make one conflict more important that an other. Having the LAV for Afghanistan singles out that conflict - which personally we should not have been involved in.

The proper place to have the LAV - if we are to have it - should be at the armouries. It is a monument to the QYR and their mission.

Anonymous said...

8:54. Bottom line is that the Town sold us out to some of their friends. Their lease is probably not even paying for the property taxes, that a business could have been paying, let alone all the maintenance fees that the Town is forking over to maintain the place.

Anonymous said...

Ah the good old days where the war survivors would retreat to the Armories Mess Hall and compare all manner of old war wounds ,scars, near misses and drown out those painful memories with the help of Captain Morgan and Johnny Walker , Ah yes , the Rangers made the best of it. Only those who have lived in Aurora for some 80 odd years would know these things Ev , so heaven forbid you express your altered version of history , these new comer's know better !

Anonymous said...

Obviously 20:35 is a complete knob for a comment about war veterans. He/she knows nothing about how war wounds - physical or not - can impact a person for the rest of their lives.

My Grandfather was wounded at the Calonne Trench Raid ( http://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol8/iss2/3/ ) in January 1917 and was never the same.

This commenter is a callous, ignorant blow hard that knows nothing about the "safe" environment that a mess (Men's, Sergeant's or Officer's) can provide those that did in fact survive the battles but have to live with the memories.

Anonymous said...

poor 13:43 has a difficult time with the truth ,anyone born and raised in this country in the 40s 50s or 60s can spin the same yarns tragic as they are and nothing can change the past. All who gave their lives for our freedom should never be forgotten or minimized , the point is , the armories was a drinking hole and if you have a problem with the truth there's not much this knob can do to sooth you , yes war is callous ,cruel and life altering no argument there , but that doesn't change the fact that the armories drowned many a sorrow, like it or not

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone who went to war came back the same. The families of those who went to war were never the same. Many worked through it, and some did not.

Anonymous said...

20:48 is equally a knob... if you really think the armouries is a drinking hole, then you have never stepped foot in one.

There are usually three messes Mens' for Corporals and lower, Sergeants' for senior NCOs and Officers' for .... Officers. Yes, they have bars. They also have chairs, dart boards, TVs and other things. But, they are open limited hours. They are far from being the reason to go into an Armoury.... perhaps you should look up the definition of Armoury.