Long live the Liberals

Now, traditionally I’m still a Liberal, as were my parents, and I don’t see any reason to change at this late stage. The Liberals have run the government mostly to my satisfaction for most of the past century—and looked after us very well since the Second World War ended and we took off our uniforms.
The Liberals sent a great number of us through college after the war, paying for our keep as well as tuition, and constantly alert to our every need ever since!
If I was completely broke right now, I’m sure the Department of Veterans Affairs need only to be told of my situation, or that of any other veterans still alive, and they would still stand by with sufficient relief.
We have been indebted to the Liberals for assistance of all kinds right along. If I itemized all the DVA aid I’ve been offered and received, it would make quite a list. Almost daily yet, I have been told about so many services available to veterans, I continue to be astonished.
And I don’t believe for a moment that the DVA helps us merely for political gain, either. Somehow, the Liberals have produced a formula that makes me proud to be a Canadian.
While I’m at it, I don’t intend to know any opposing parties because I am aware they all have their own good sides or they could not exist.
What set me off here, though, is a TV commercial planted by the NDP which may cost the socialists the veterans’ votes. It started by announcing some $10 billion are being bestowed by the Liberals as tax relief for corporations.
Those companies need all the help possible to keep going in most cases, considering the threat to industry across all Canada today, with reduced manufacturing of cars down east and paper-making all around us up here, for example, and undoubtedly troubles in running factories everywhere nowadays.
I can’t agree with that NDP message which asks what ordinary citizens are getting while corporations receive billions of government dollars. That answer is merely the picture of a big boot.
We all know that is a crazy statement from any responsible party.
• • •
I think of the Yukon when I start into this because poet Robert Service’s characters would have enjoyed Mine Centre, where we had mines named the Golden Star, Foley, and Paccito’s Orilia, where my dad worked for two years in the ’30s. Also the Lucky Coon and Manhattan.
At the latter pair, Russell Cone Sr. became almost a legend and started his son, Russell Jr., into a mining career eventually across the United States.
Prospectors included two named Jimmy, one being Rathwell and the other became a fatality I’ll never forget after he died at the Mine Centre hotel.
Arthur Stone, Doc Smiley, and Angelo Paccito all drowned—the first pair in Shoal Lake near the Foley and Paccito on Bad Vermilion, where he started his own mine that I remember well.
Stone befriended me as a youngster and came to our one-room log cabin regularly. He thought I might become a miner also, and gave me a sack full of ore samples that related to gold and also their values.
He was a college geologist, I believe.
Paccito came from Kirkland Lake, Ont., a well-known mining town. He had worked in a Porcupine mine.
All of the above, if they knew about the current Mine Centre excitement over gold, would be feeling rewarded for their own long-ago efforts because they always claimed that area could become much more famous with the proper mining companies in charge.
I’m still waiting to find out.
• • •
Something I will suggest for this election to keep us content in this corner of Canada: The federal government has to consider purchasing our international bridge right here and now!
This should not be considered any provincial matter!
It’s the right time to suggest that, possibly through town council, which should not go broke backing only doctors!
• • •
Sister-in-law Gail Madill of Winnipeg notified me that her cousin, Beulah Arason (Caldwell), has died. She was the wife of Walter Arason, who last I heard continued his great railroading career in Alberta.
• • •
Mrs. Bert (Margaret) Smeeth knew she was rich in grandchildren and all 13 came together for her recent birthday.
• • •
One of the biggest best-known and most active families in town are the popular Cousineaus and, after knowing only the eldest while attending high school, I obtained the full list from the youngest, Bernard.
Bob, Leon, Roy and Jim all went to war as fliers, the first named pair in the RCAF, and the others for the U.S. airforce.
As well, as two sisters, Joan and Rose-Marie, both gone now, there is also Louis, well-known local insurance agent, and Ray.
• • •
Coincidences keep surfacing in my career.
For instance, no sooner had I recalled the sad LaBelle fire story, where 18 members of that family lost their lives at Dance, north of Devlin, in 1938, then I met a young lady I mentioned as having been away from home, attending school at Emo, when that disaster occurred.
Now, Nell (Kennett) LaBelle, who recognized me, is residing in my apartment building, Aspen House. I had recalled her taking my late wife, Emily, and I to her home near the fire site.
Bruce Murray recalls it occurred on Thanksgiving Day. Since then, Nell married and mothered seven children.
• • • 
Vern Jones, who gave us Rainy Lake Airways, a rival to Rusty Myers on this side of the border, died the other day after suffering an infected cat scratch I’m told. Such scratches are know to be poisonous.
Vern had invested in the Holiday Inn in International Falls after settling his flying business. He was 82 and visiting Phoenix, Ariz. at the time of his passing.
• • •
A very Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers!
I’m away to Iowa until Dec. 27—maybe to see son-in-law, Dave Allison, win a hockey game.

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