Sunday, May 16, 2010

Notes from Sunday cleaning

I was in the act of cleaning out the cupboard under the TV this afternoon, which is what rainy Sundays are for, and came across a collection of Newfoundland Quarterly magazines.

It was like getting them again, for the first time.

One of my most prized Quarterlies is a Special Issue from the spring of 1978: Canadian Unity: from a Newfoundland perspective.

I’m going to read it again later tonight. Can't wait.

I’ll report back tomorrow on the interesting bits.

I flicked through the pages (I have a bad habit of underlining paragraphs), and came across a poem on the back page by Percy Janes, who penned one of my all-time favourite Newfoundland books: House of Hate.

Poems are made for inside Sundays.


From East to West the execution squads are clattering
toward a central fort, to blast one holdout waiting there.
“Conform to Partypower” their slogans read, “or to the Majesty
of Moneypower. This, or die.” And deep in that stockade
time’s last non-partisan guru delves in his mind for hope
that his long, staggered dream of freedom is not perishing too.

And now both enemies are wheeling through the gate; bullets are scorching him,
but he outreaches pain and grasps a certainty that turns the blank of death
into continuance: he knows that he has left the seed-bed of his thought
for other minds to nurse, love labor that may draw a host of seekers to this fort
where they in peace will walk the last lie-drafted soldier down and clear a path
for temples to the Unknown Dissident who died for truth wider than guns or greed.

Pretty deep.

Moving on ... I came across an anniversary magazine: Brian Tobin, 20 years in Public Service.

It was published in 2000, although Tobin’s no more than 30 in the cover picture, sporting a pencil mustache.

About the width of a turbot fingernail, I imagine.

It's impossible not to tease the mustache.

The magazine’s back cover has a picture of Brian and his wife, Jodean, below the Liberal brand, and the slogan Our Choices. Our Future. Our time.

The page is sponsored by Cable Atlantic, which back in 2000 was still owned by our own Danny Williams.

Small world.

And an interesting one — Tory Danny buying advertising in a Liberal magazine.

But then the two were said to be friends.

There’s a picture inside of teenage Brian from Spectrum, his 1972 school year book from Robert Leckie High School in Goose Bay.

The caption reads:

Brian was born in Stephenville on Oct. 21, 1954. His activities include the Student Council, Hockey, Soccer, Youth Parliament, Debating and Jodean. Brian is not exactly sure what he wants to do after graduation.

It didn’t take him long to figure it out.

Tobin was elected to the House of Commons 8 years later in 1980.

I also see an old Newfoundland Lifestyle magazine from 1986 with a young and handsome Brian Peckford on the cover.

Solid as a Rock — for Newfoundland,” reads the captain.

Twenty four years later and he’s Solid as a Rock — for British Columbia.

Enough of the lollygagging.

To the drawers …

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