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Ruby McBeth: Witnesses to War

The years of the Second World War in Germany are a tragic but also baffling time in history.
Sergeant-at-Arms Mike King salutes during a moment of silence at Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Fort St. John, Nov. 11, 2021.

The years of the Second World War in Germany are a tragic but also baffling time in history. One wonders how a man like Hitler could take control in an otherwise civilized country. Two autobiographies, Night by Eli Wiesel and On Hitler’s Mountain by Irmgard Hunt, give us an inside view of those times. 

Eli grew up in Romania and was deported to Auschwitz, Germany, at the age of 15. His experiences, which he gives in all their horrid detail, did not lead him to give up on life. In fact, Eli won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, “for his tireless efforts and speaking out against violence, repression and racism.”

Irmgard grew up in Berchtesgarden near Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. Her “normal” childhood included being indoctrinated by Nazi propaganda. She was, in fact, quite content to be a member of the Hitler Youth. She portrays it as being something like Girl Guides. Irmgard narrates calmly her story of life though the war years. It was only when the war ended that she learned of the atrocities the Nazis had committed. 

Each of these writers struggled as young adults to come to terms with what had happened in the war. Each of the stories make fascinating reading. They could help us to avoid being complacent when we hear unsettling stories about events in our own world.

COVID boosters

When you receive your invitation to get your third shot (a booster if you are over 70), you can go to the Public Health Building on 110th to their drop-in clinic. It is open Wednesdays from 12 noon to 8 p.m. and other week days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Nor’ Pioneer WI

The Cecil Lake WI (Nor’ Pioneer) had their annual general meeting on Zoom on Oct. 19. Their new executive are Maya Wenger (president), Jill Copes (secretary), Dawn Bellamy (vice-president), and Gail Pugh, Sigrid Tobler, and Judy Roste (directors). The Nor’ Pioneer WI sponsors the Cecil Lake Emergency Fund. It helps out people who have medical needs or struggle in other ways. They usually do a community supper fundraiser, but with COVID restrictions they need to get creative. Good luck ladies – you have a good cause there.

More farewells

Our area has lost two men who were brought up in the North Peace. Malcolm Lucas who died recently in Selkirk, Manitoba, was raised in the Two Rivers area while Roger Hadland, who passed away in Vernon, grew up in Baldonnel. Each leave behind family in our area.

Country Drive

At the end of October, Lorne and I drove up the Alaska Highway and turned in on the Aiken Creek Road. We wanted to see where the small communities of Evergreen Acres and Hilltop Ranch were located. While many of the original settlers have left for town jobs, the land map retains the names of those original communities.

We drove past around six miles of timbered land. After crossing the Blueberry River there was a stark contrast. The land was gently rolling with fields, ranch buildings, and cows. It reminded me of driving through the Chilcotin – ranch land separate from the world of commerce. This cultivated land continued all the way through to the Beatton River Airport Road near Buick.

Seniors Club News

Wendy Clayson tells me that Rob Trobak is the new treasurer for the Seniors Club. The’ Club is still meeting for social times regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Learning the Lingo

Our term of the week is ‘email address’. Your email address is like a mailbox on the internet, similar to a physical post office box. It is made of two parts: the first part is your username (like the mailbox number) and the second part is the domain name (like the address of the post office).

Pun of the Week

Norwegian ships have bar codes so you can scan da navy in.

Ruby McBeth lives and writes in Fort St. John.

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