Ellis, thanks for your thoughtful opinion; it makes for good dialogue.
Rev: I am still unwilling to cast Canada as a third world country during the 20th century.

LGK: Keep in mind, I did not grow up in Canada. As a student, I migrated to Canada in 1947. I came from NL, which was then an incorporated colony, which had been driven into poverty by the greedy and rich few known as the merchant class--many of them were white-collar criminals.

Furthermore, let me clarify: I don't think I said that Canada is, or was, a third-world country. But keep in mind that the poor there were not much better off than those in NL.

I said that I grew up in a mining town www.bellisland.net nine miles from St. John's, NL.

St. John's was ruled by the rich merchant class, the have-it-alls at the expense of the many. The vast majority of the people, including the working poor, in St. John's, belonged to the-have-not's. It was a recipe for the kind of troubles the ruling-class Brits were already having--and would continue to have right up to recent history--in Ireland.

WW 2 was good for NL and Canada,including the working class. In the employ of the Americans and the Canadians, many NL'ers, including older members of my family, helped build the air, army and navy bases for the troops. Others worked the mines and the forests to provide the much-needed materials; some older friends of mine, served gallantly, in the armed forces, but especially the navy.

interestingly, one of the first people killed in WW 2 was a Royal Navy sailor from Bell Island, related to our family. In October, 1939, I saw him join the British battle ship, Royal Oak, when it landed at the pier not far from our house. It was destined for Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

On the night of 14 October 1939, the German submarine U-47 found a way through the sunken blockships intended to seal off the narrow eastern approaches to Scapa Flow. It torpedoed HMS Royal Oak, at anchor in Scapa Bay,and made good its escape.

That night he was one of the 833 members of the Royal Oak's crew who were killed.

HMS Royal Oak remains on the floor of Scapa Flow as a war grave, and diving it is not permitted.

Another irony is that more Bell Islanders died in mine accidents than died in battle.

And did I tell you that enemy subs attacked Bell Island, twice, in the summer of 1942 (I was twelve)? The story is on the link. The subs torpedoed our pier and sank four iron-ore carriers. Early one morning, my brother's wife--who helped raise my sister and I--found two German rifles (bolts missing) in a ditch next to our house. Close. NL'ers helped win the Battle of the Atlantic.

In my opinion, the role played by NL'ers in WW 2, gave us, especially our youth a new kind of confidence in ourselves. We had demonstrated that, put to work, we could help the allies win a major WW-2 battle--one that lasted the whole war. If we could do this, surely we had the right to all the education of which we were capable and to be put to work to build a just and brighter future for ourselves. Some, a hard-core few--grumbled about the need to rebel against the have-it-alls--even to the point of IRA-like terrorism.

Catholic clergy and leading merchants--fearful of left-wing rebellion--especially in St. John's, spoke of how wonderful it would be to have an independent nation of Newfoundland. Maybe the bishop of NL dreamed of being a cardinal. smile

Others spoke of the possibility of, like the Alaskans, joining our American Cousins. The Americans were good to, and for, NL. Or, even the Canadians. Within short order, a serious commission was formed to explore all possibilities. Confederation became a serious contender.

The King family (UC members), and many friends and neighbours, especially those connected with the protestant churches in the out ports, became proud members of the confederation-with-Canada movement, which was led by Joseph R. Smallwood, a broadcaster and journalist (a member of the United Church of Canada). NL students in Canada, of which I was one, as of 1947, supported JRS.

In 1949, as a junior at http://www.mta.ca I met JRS. He spoke, eloquently, and was hailed as the victor for confederation-with-Canada movement. Regardless of the fact that, later, he made several policy mistakes, and held on to power too long, this was a great moment for the great leader. BTW, when I shook his hand, he named several members of the King and Kelloway family. He was, like Ronald Regan, a great communicator.


From 1934-1949, NL was run by six rich and powerful people (three Brits and three Newfs) chaired by a British governor. BTW and IMO, on the whole, the COG did lay the foundation for a good future later.


For example, as a child, I never owned a baseball, a bat, a soccer ball, basket ball, or a new pair of skates--once, someone gave me a used pair. I played hockey--at which I was quite good-- without any kind of equipment, including pads, or hockey gloves.
I also played soccer. The whole team had one ball. The Scout soft ball team had a couple of bats, a couple of balls and a catcher's mask. I played catcher. I do not remember if we had good pads. As a Scout, my uniform was a used hat, and a belt. Bikes were only for members of the merchant class and the Company Staff. It was the same with the tennis court.

Ellis, you say: "Let us look at some facts. You (and your mother?) survived your birth...."

LGK: Here are the facts: I was born in a shed of a house--no insulation, no running water--the community well was in the middle of the road some distance from where we lived. And did I tell you: On more than one occasion, when I went to get water. I saw drowned cats/dogs pulled out of that well. There was no bathroom, or indoor toilet, in our "shed".

The "house" was simply a shingled and un-painted shack--I still haave a picture of it--was owned by The Company (DOSCO--Dominion Steel and Coal). It was one-half--a neighbour lived in the other half--of a larger shed, and for which we paid rent. There was no basement for a furnace, or a place for any kind of storage. All our heat, for cooking et al, came from coal-fed stoves. We had two.

You mentioned my mother, and my birth, which, as my older siblings told me, took place on a bitterly cold January 14, 1930.

Here are the facts: No doctor attended my birth. Doctors cost money. I am not angry at the doctor, Dr. Lynch--a good pious Catholic. His job, as the Company doctor, was not an easy one. He was responsible, at times of full employment, for 2,100 iron ore miners--who, by the way, paid a medical premium out of their small wages. The ambulance, which looked like a milk wagon, was horse-drawn. I could tell you a tragic story about this. But another time.

With depression on it's way, because of lay offs, frequently, many had to go without any cash income. Fishing, hunting, even young gulls, and gardening helped us feed ourselves. We also built our own boats, cut each other's hair and mend things--nets, shoes, clothes, etc.

The nearest hospital was in St. John's. To get there, one had to cross three miles of water--often too stormy and cold to navigate in winter. Sometimes, especially in the cold, cold springs it was blocked with drift-ice from the north (Yes, there were often seals, which the miners hunted)--and, prior to modern time, nine miles of un-paved roads, often blocked with drifting snows; it was not an easy trip, much of the year, but especially in winter.

Keep in mind, by the time I was two and one-half, mother lost her oldest son, my brother at 25; her oldest daughter and husband and their two children--all with TB. There was little or no medical help. I was 5 when she died (50) of TB.

Ellis, You say, "Many in the third world are not so lucky."

I am sure you can see that your comment doesn't quite fit the story above, does it?

Then you add: "As I type this somewhere in the world a young teenage girl will be labouring to give birth ... " then you describe the awful poverty, today, in the third-world.

LGK: I agree with you, Ellis: It is awful. More importantly, we need to ask: Is it necessary? Was it necessary for the working class of NL to be poor in the 1930's?
BTW, I feel I have some positive answers to these questions, and I am willing to share them with anyone, anytime. It worked for me.

Is it necessary, today, for the thousands of Canadian First Nations people, our aboriginals, who still live in abject poverty and third-world conditions, even in a rich Canada?

IMO, poverty in a rich country is worse, and probably is more painful, than poverty in a poor country. I wonder if the rich and powerful feel any responsibility for allowing this to happen? If not they should.

Ellis, thanks for, "...I do acknowledge your pride in your achievements Rev, but your life's journey was set against a background of possibilities and opportunities that are not available in the other two thirds of the world.

We should not forget how fortunate we are."

(Once again this is just my opinion.)

BTW, RedE accuses me of flattering myself:
Come on, Rev! What you are saying rings of self-adulation ...
I will only plead guilty of loving myself--a good Biblical teaching. And so should everyone love themselves. This is the first step we need to take if we are to overcome failure and poverty.

But I will not accept that I "lack of compassion". No one who knows me would even suspect this.

Edited by Revlgking (07/18/08 10:36 PM)
Edit Reason: Needed it!
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org