It’s great to be a part of an Alberta blog. Kim is a great one to blog with, because he knows how to identify local issues and raise awareness. Mary knows how to keep him in line, and occasionally come to his defense. Terrific people.
My family history in Alberta goes back a long ways. My grandfather was fond of telling me how he was born in the NorthWest Territories in 1896. His records show he was born in Cardston, but he was actually born in Aetna, a few miles southwest of Cardston.
His mother was in the first group to enter the Cardston area and his dad in the second, back in 1887.
My grandfather served in WWI with the Fort Garry Horse, and was in some of the fiercest battles of the war.
I am proud of the history of my father and grandfather and their service in the army in both world wars. There is much that I have learned from them about war, and the reasons for going.
I have a proud Dutch heritage that I inherited from my mother and her family, who were immigrants from Holland in the early 1920’s. They eventually settled in Strathmore and resided there until 2003. They established a heritage that has spread across Western Canada.
My grandfather (on my mom’s side) was a finishing carpenter and worked on a number of the early buildings in downtown Calgary.
My grandmother ran the farm and was known for her generosity, especially during the dirty thirties, when men in need of a meal would knock on her door daily. No one was ever turned away and they always went away full.
I have fond memories of going to the farm, most particularly to raid her pantry.
My mom is a woman of unusual talents. She always was a great organizer and cook. Even in her advanced years, she has found the energy to put on large dinners for the Salvation Army and others. The only problem is, she moved to B.C. in 1984.
I was born in 1947, in the old General Hospital. Aside from a 5 year stint in B.C. between the ages of 3 and 8, and a mission to England for two years for my church, my life has been spent in Alberta, mainly Calgary.
In grades 3 and 4 I had a teacher whose roots were firmly grounded in Alberta. She was fond of telling us all the famous individuals her father knew. From her I learned to love the history of the RNWMP. I also learned about our native Indian heroes, as well as Father Lacombe and others. She gave an intense appreciation of Canadian history. We learned the maps of Canada, the U.S., and the world; we learned how to spell; we learned to appreciate music and poetry; we learned how to handle ourselves as ladies and gentlemen. In short, she taught us just about everything a teacher could teach. Her name was Christine McInnis.
I also attended Connaught Jr. High, and in high school, I went to Western Canada.
I have a great love for my country, but I have been more than greatly disappointed in the quality of leadership we have had in the last 40 years. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I am disappointed in Canadians and the type of leadership and governance we elect. (My focus has been mainly on a federal level, as opposed to provincial or local politics.)
This is a highly partisan statement, and I guess it reflects my bias and my research. I have always been a political animal, and interested in good government, and the pursuit of better government. That’s not to say that I have all, or any, of the answers but I know bad when I see it.
There you have me. I hope I can contribute, in a modest way, to Alberta Blog. At least I can ride the coat tails of Kim and Mary.