Change of heart

Dear editor,

No paper this last week, as far as I know – at least none arrived in our Rural Route Mailbox this Christmas week. I have always appreciated the Christmas story printed on the Editorial page from the Gospel of Luke.

Some other things that “sort of bothered” me lately in the Times, was the “uproar” of the name “Colonization Road.”

I still remember when we arrived here in the Rainy River District almost 60 years ago. At that time, what’s called “Colonization Road West” was one of the worst stretches all around – full of potholes. Even driving carefully (I had a pick-up load of milk – still in old milk cans then) it would be very hard to miss them. There were so many. Anyhow, we also probably “colonized” here, when buying the farm of the Lowe Brothers. These two bachelors were quite industrious. Besides their farm they also operated a Dairy here in town, which later became the Clover Valley Dairy, where they manufactured the well-known cheddar and gouda cheese. (Our milk went to the Flinders Dairy, where they manufactured the famous Flinders Ice Cream.)

We were soon able to connect with the local community and also with many First Nations people, which came to our farm to buy fresh eggs and potatoes and also veggies in the summer season. Mostly all of them good folks came to us driving this “Colonization Road” and all these many years (nearly 60) we have not heard even one negative complaint – rather the contrary, appreciation.

We were able to build good relationships with many of our good First Nations friends. Many, many loads of school buses, loaded with First Nations children, would visit our farm and were delighted when we showed them our cows, pigs and chickens – never mind the smell often going along with them.

All I would like to share in this letter here is – I do not believe that the name change on a road sign would make such a difference. We all need a “heart change” to build good relationships. Just as we read in the good old book:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Good wishes to all, especially in times like these.

Mark Gerber

Editor’s Note: It’s true we didn’t print a newspaper last week. We felt our carriers deserved a break, and extra time to spend with their families.