An art form

Section: 
Editorial

Obituaries in some large newspapers are an art form. They tell stories of interesting individuals and give you a look at recent history.

 

Indeed, even in the smallest newspapers, obituary pages are often the first read part of the paper.

 

Last week we ran an obituary on Ken Petrie that gave the essentials of his life. But Ken deserves a little more.

 

Ken ran a heating and electrical business in Kincardine from the late 1950s almost until his death. He died March 25 in his 82nd year.

 

Peter Kelly, who worked for Ken for 30 years, says Ken didn’t mind doing different things. The company also did air conditioning, tin bending and other things.

 

Ken and Peter did a lot of work for me when I lived on the south side. A good Baptist, Ken was a laid back, trusting soul who often took six months to a year to get his bills sent out.

 

Anybody who knew Ken knew that he loved to talk. He spent many years on the Kincardine planning board and I often heard a lot about the subject. I remember him being particularly upset a few years ago when, because of amalgamation, they changed a number of street names in the south end of Kincardine. The street naming and numbering system had been set up, he said, so that house numbers on parallel streets would be in the same block.

 

During the restoration of the pavilion, Ken donated countless hours of his time and likely some of the materials that he used.

 

Back in the early 1960s, he was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Quite simply, Ken was a good citizen who never sought the lime light. May he rest in peace.

 

**

 

I’m getting a kick out of the national leaders as they fly from one end of the country to the other for one photo op after another.

 

For a successful day, their handlers need a good clip for the nightly news. Last week, for example, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was swinging a cricket bat one day and pouring draft beer at a Nova Scotia bar the next. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was touring a day care.

 

The Toronto Star had a story Friday saying that Harper would only answer five questions per day during the campaign – two in English, two in French and one from a local reporter. One of his handlers said to the reporters: “You guys reporting the news or making it?”

 

Now that takes nerve. If the press didn’t ask any questions, Harper would likely blow a gasket, ruining his perfect hairdo.

 

The newspaper and television chains should boycott all the leaders and stay away until they have something positive and intelligent to say.

 

**

 

The province’s “sunshine list” of public sector workers making $100,000 plus per year continues to grow.

The Bluewater District School Board has 76 on the list while the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board has 28. Most are principals, vice-principals and superintendents although there are a few teachers on the Catholic board list.

 

The Hydro One and OPG list has 214 pages of names. At 50 names per page, that’s more than 10,000. Crown agencies had a 60-page list.

 

Hospitals and boards of public health had 138-page list of those making more than $100,000. There were only four names from the South Bruce Grey Health Centre. Top earner was the president and CEO with a salary of $212,998.70. There were four from the health unit, with the medical officer of health heading the list with a salary of $290,140.62.

 

Kincardine has one name on the municipal list – the CAO makes $116, 494.59. No employee of the Township of Huron-Kinloss made the list.

 

If you want to peruse the hundreds of pages of names, google sunshine list.