A memorable goodbye

Section: 
Editorial

Life is full of little surprises.

 

And so on Sunday, Aug. 3, Dana and I were among the 70 or so people to sit down at 2 p.m. to a full-course meal at the Kinloss Community Centre, featuring ham and scalped potatoes, and served by the Bervie Women’s Institute.

 

The dinner, the menu and service provided were part of the last will and testament of one Bryan Edden. After the meal, friends, relatives and neighbours were asked to give remembrances of Bryan.

 

When the talking was over, the best three speakers received an envelope. Each envelope contained $500.

It was a memorable goodbye to one of the Kincardine area’s true characters.

 

Bryan, a mechanic by trade, was also a writer. He had short stories published and for decades he sent letters to “Dear Ed” at this paper. Some of those letters were reprinted and placed on the tables for all to read at his goodbye meal.

 

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We had two four-year-olds around the house the last couple of weeks and they also met many a cousin of a similar age.

 

I’d forgotten that children that age like to run. Maybe that’s why none of them were overweight.

 

Who got the bright idea to send them to school everyday in a bus?

 

The other thing about four-year-olds is that they are always laughing. Too bad they lose that joie de vivre by the time they are adults.

 

**

 

Those four-year-olds who visited with us believe Kincardine to be a magical place - beaches, parks, the pipe band, the Bruce Power fireworks, giant games on the main street on a Sunday, Music in the Park.

They believe the party never ends.

 

**

 

I find the reaction to the disasters that strike us as rather odd.

 

An unmanned train pulling tankers of crude oil plows into Lac Megantic, Quebec and kills 47 people and everyone is saying we need more laws or regulations.

 

Two New Brunswick boys visiting at a friend’s place, above an “exotic” zoo are killed by an African Rock Python.

 

Again, there is a call for more laws.

 

This country doesn’t have a “law” problem; it has an enforcement problem.

 

You can have all the laws you want but if you never enforce them or follow up, they are useless.

 

It’s hard to believe there are no rules on the books that prevent an unmanned train with a dangerous cargo sitting for hours idling on a main line. Somebody wasn’t doing their job. But there will likely be no charges laid and we’ll likely have another study.

 

And the man who kept a python, large enough to easily kill an adult, in his exotic pet store never had a permit for it. That sounds like negligence by the python owner and the federal and provincial governments which suggests charges should be laid. And anyone who illegally keeps a dangerous animal or reptile should be held responsible if someone is hurt or killed.

 

Even in little Kincardine we have laws that are constantly ignored. Dogs are supposed to be leashed when taken for a walk, yet many are not. Parking signs are ignored with no consequence.

 

It’s the CEOs job to have the bylaws of the municipality enforced. If council doesn’t want the CEO to have the bylaws enforced, it should rescind them.

 

Other municipalities have similar problems as do the province and the federal government.

 

Canadians put flowers at the death scenes in Lac Megantic and Campbellton, New Brunswick, to express their sympathy. They should also be very angry.

 

There are accidents and then there is negligence. Too often negligence goes unpunished. That needs to change.