Too many heroes are still forgotten, even on Remembrance Day
Over the years, there have been numerous books and documentaries about the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, but at a time when there is such ongoing acknowledgement of Canada’s past historical wrongs, they remain forgotten at Remembrance Day ceremonies, ignored by Veterans’ Affairs. Even the Legion.
By Rod Mickleburgh
It’s been a while since I attended the main Remembrance Day ceremony at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver, opting instead for the quieter, less grand but no less meaningful remembrance at the Japanese Canadian War Memorial from World War One in Stanley Park. Surrounded by trees, their leaves tinged with autumn, there is a sense of peace that appeals to me, along with the reminder of the shameful internment of 23,000 Japanese Canadians during World War Two. But this year we bypassed both and went to Mountain View Cemetery for two very different commemorations that pinpointed individual veterans in a way large ceremonies cannot. We ...
Before we called it ‘the Beforetimes,’ we watched baseball — without worry
Column: A Long Day's Journey into COVID awareness
Last March, Ex-Press staffer Charles Gordon was in Dunedin, Florida when COVID-19 cancelled Spring Training, and forced his family on an angst-filled road trip northward. A year on into the pandemic, we look back at the moment when everything, and everyone, changed.
A memoir from March 21, 2020
By Charles Gordon
We had already decided to come home before the call came officially from our government. For one thing, a prescient friend had announced, on the Tuesday before, that he was leaving: he had a respiratory infection and the Coronavirus could be fatal to him. A bunch of us were at the Florida restaurant where he told us that and we made light of it on the way back to the hotel. “Should I go straight to the hospital?” I asked, to general chuckles, as we got into the car. Still, it made me think. Here I was, an older Canadian, pushing 80, and a long way from a decent health care system. For another thing, they cancelled ...
Touring small town journalism and finding the Koots
Journalism: The Decline of Local Newspapers
Big city papers are nowhere to be found in B.C.'s Kootenays, but you can still find a local weekly with birthday announcements, the lost and found, and reader mail damning CBC Radio for just about anything.
By Rod Mickleburgh
The first of two parts. (Be be still your beating heart.) I spent two rewarding weeks last month travelling the highways and communities of BC’s historic West Kootenays. As I always do when on the road, I looked for local newspapers to give me a sense of what was happening in the places where my squeaky sneakers touched down. At the same time, I still wanted to keep up with events in the rest of the province. Unfortunately, and I’m not sure I should have been surprised, I could not find a single, big-city daily east of the Okanagan. No Sun, no Province, no National Post (yay! oops….), no Globe and Mail.
I could not find a single, big-city daily east of the Okanagan. No Sun, no Province, no National ...
Launching a Rocket in the Living Room
DIY Column: The Apollo XIII Project
A New Year’s resolution to reuse, recycle or purge was already in progress, then the pandemic happened, and what started as a creative bid to turn garbage into art suddenly morphed into a personal Apollo XIII mission: Without access to Home Depot, can you find a way to repurpose what you already have?
Tell the Ones You Love, now more than ever
Column: The Balm of Poetry Part 6 - Dennis Lee’s Tell the Ones You Love
Tell the Ones You Love - A short, sweet poem about love. As we struggle to cope with the terrible sweep of this unforgiving virus, Rod Mickleburgh says he finds it particularly apt.
Frozen memories of Finland warm a chilled soul
Travel: Finding A Sense of Faith in Finland
So far, so bad... The New Year's promise of a fresh start turns sour, forcing an old scribe to seek spiritual sustenance from the past via memories of a visit to Scandinavia.
By Rod Mickleburgh
Well, here we are in yet another decade, And, like much of the previous 10 years, with a few exceptions, so far so bad. As the outside world turns increasingly partisan and dark, I found myself seeking some spiritual sustenance from the past. I fastened on a similar passing of time 30 years ago: the last days of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, a decade which proved pivotal in my life and career in a way I never thought possible. My reflections were likely heightened by the fact that it all took place in the country where my mother was born, Finland. I was lucky enough to be living in Paris that year, so it had seemed only natural to spend Christmas and New Year’s revisiting my ancestral roots. It was wonderful. Sparkling snow covered the ...
One, two, three strikes — and Canada is out!
History: The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, Part Two
The workers of Canada united behind strikers in Winnipeg, leading to the largest labour action in Canadian history and a class division that continues to create friction and distrust 100 years on.
Holy Fuck! I Just Turned 40
Pop Culture Decoder: Turning 40
Though society still tends to value youth and beauty over age and experience, culture writer Misty Harris discovered she was filled with as much optimism as dread at the thought of turning 40. ‘I feel like I’m finally where I need to be – and with the tribe I’m supposed to be with.’