After reading Hugh MacLennan’s Scotland’s fate, Canada’s lesson (October), it is abundantly clear that there are insufficient numbers of Canadians who have the backbone to say, “I love this country and it will remain mine.”
Canadians suffer from an inferiority complex which our leaders haven’t the courage to overcome. They have given us prosperity at the price of our own pride (just as Scotland).
The major loss of control of our own destiny has been during periods of Liberal administration ever since Confederation and the “great sellout” during the St. Laurent dynasty, but we don’t have the backbone to change that, do we?
C. S. WOODS, BURNABY, BC
I know very well what Hugh MacLennan is talking about when he describes the emigration from Scotland, as I have actually seen it happen. My father and his two brothers came from a small village in one of the highland glens, his parents’ self-denial and hard work sending all of them to university to become doctors. Not one of them stayed in Scotland.
They were proud of being Scots; they believed they had done well by making good livings elsewhere. They loved to go back for holidays but had not the slightest desire or intention to live in Scotland. Yet they would have been horrified to be classed as sellouts or deserters of their native land.
IAN M. MaCLENNAN, SWALWELL, ALTA.
According to Hugh MacLennan in his article on what we could learn from Scotland, Quebec voted overwhelmingly for Confederation in 1972. Que-
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bec voted Liberal. Does he mean that those who voted for Stanfield or Caouette were against Confederation? This was not the issue and there was no way indépendantistes could express their choice. This will be decided in a provincial election.
If Canada is Scotland to the U.S., is Quebec the Scotland of Canada? This is what we want to avoid at all costs. This is why one Québécois out of three, and three frogs out of eight vote for the Parti Québécois.
GERARD BRETON, MONTREAL
Questions of balance
I am a teen-ager from Virden, Manitoba, and I read Maggie Siggins article Sunshine, syrup and a silicone scare (October). The lines “ . . . and made even Miss Bare State (36-2536) look like an awkward teen-ager from Virden, Manitoba ...” offended me and other teen-agers here very much. We don’t consider any of our friends any more “awkward” than girls from Brandon, Winnipeg, Vancouver, or even Toronto! I am sure that if you took a percentage of “awkward” girls from other places you would find that we had no more “awkward” girls than any other place.
TERRY LYNNE COLE, VIRDEN, MAN.
After reading the article by Maggie Siggins on nude contestants and looking at the picture of Dee Dee Nolet, there just isn’t any other way to judge any beauty queen.
DORA CLARKE, NEVILLE, SASK.
Having watched the female population of Virden, Manitoba, grow and mature through school, Brownies, Sunday School, 4-H clubs, Girl Guides, sports, graduations, drama and music festivals, going steady, becoming engaged, moving to the city, coming back home, and finally be-
coming our “young marrieds” or successful career women — I have yet to see one to whom I would apply your Maggie Siggins’ adjective “awkward.” Furthermore, any one of them could have won the Miss Nude World Pageant 1973, although not one of the fine girls from this town would have bothered herself to enter such a distasteful event!
GRAYCE M. HEGION, VIRDEN, MAN.
Big, Biggar, best
You have heard of the “alienation of the West”? Discrimination in freight rates and all that; travelers from the east crossing the prairies at night if possible because there is “nothing” there; images of westerners as hicks in the sticks; lack of any recognition of any contribution made by the West to Canada’s economy and culture?
We endured the caricatures of us created by Jake And The Kid because there was humor and imagination in it, but if the excerpt from Grass Roots (October) is any criterion of Heather Robertson’s book, we protest. This is too much!
I hold no brief for Biggar in particular but I would like to strike a small blow for the grass roots. Ms. Robertson has a lot of nerve titling her book that, for she got nowhere near the roots, grass or whatever. (Maybe another kind of grass was meant.) She looked at Biggar and found it small, run-down and dull. The people she found old, or at best, middle-aged, shabby and dull, lethargic, uselessly busy, or slightly daft. She found no 4-H clubs, no drama clubs, book clubs or libraries, no worthwhile discussion groups, no music, no dancing, no “culture.”
Ms. Robertson has a facile pen but it has a nasty, negative point. She does make a very slight bow to a “vital and autonomous Canadian culture,” but if she has ever written anything to further the same, I missed it. She brags about being born in Winnipeg and staying there. Well, good for her, but for us the East begins at Winnipeg.
MARGARET MANN, BRANDON, MAN.
If the citizens of Biggar take Heather Robertson’s article on their town lying down, they are Biggar asses than she makes them out to be.
I take offense at Ms. Robertson’s description of Remembrance Day in Biggar. Surely all the veterans of Biggar don’t have to tie their rubbers on with string. Has no one anything to wear except long, flapping tweed overcoats? Are the veterans all wizened or are some of them in the
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prime of life, as they are in our town? Perhaps as they tramp through the drizzle, they are thinking of Ypres, the Somme, Normandy or Dieppe.
I would suggest that she stop and think. These 22 men died so that the Heather Robertsons of this land could be free to write articles about them.
P. BULLERWELL, ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NS
West Wind blows
I am writing in regard to an article written by Roy MacGregor, entitled The great Canoe Lake mystery in the September issue. I feel that MacGregor’s comments in the opening paragraphs about the town of Whitney are in very poor taste. To anyone who has not been to Whitney he gives the impression of it being a bleak, backward village inhabited only by those “unfortunate” enough to have been born there, but at the same time lucky not to have yet been killed in a super-torqued car.
I know that I am not alone in my thoughts of this article, and I strongly feel that MacGregor owes the people of Whitney an apology for his unkind words about our town.
SANDY JEFFREY, WHITNEY, ONT.
Roy MacGregor wrote well the legend of Canoe Lake in the September issue. Death is oftentimes an affair of shadows — which may explain his faint regard for Dr. Noble Sharpe.
Dr. Sharpe’s work and studies of that rudely disturbed skeleton from Canoe Lake were painstaking. He knew that a neat, half-inch diameter circular hole in the skull could not have been caused by a modern bullet nor yet by pathological process. He also knew that bullets never pop. They smash. He knew that when bullets exit from a skull they do not remove teeth as neatly does nature. He also knew how to use a measure as well as the fact that skeletons never shrink as they rest in their graves.
Looking over my shoulder are the two photographs that I made of that misplaced skull for Noble Sharpe. I write from factual knowledge, not conjecture. I write this letter because I believe that doubts ought not to exist when truth is known.
That the skull is not that of Tom Thomson need not lessen the mystery of his death. Most of what is known today of that event comes from the memories of people. It is well known that some memories fade as yet others flourish. For some people certain memories remain forever, like shadows flickering across the mind. Some-
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times a shadow, perhaps born of guilt, is cast so dark within as to create mortal fear of night without.
Tom Thomson died. Fact. He was not shot. Fact. Whether he fell or was pushed into the lake is never going to be known. It has always been obvious who pushed him. If he was pushed.
ROYSTON J. PACKARD, FORENSIC EXAMINER, BARRIE, ONT.
Just take it easy!
John Hofsess’ article How to survive middle age is undoubtedly well intentioned, but it is nevertheless a bit on the fatuous side, to say nothing of its inaccuracies. We all know hundreds of old people who have “survived” middle age who never in their life thought of exercising and ate whatever they wished. There is positively no evidence that there is a correlation between exercise and longevity.
DONALD W. DOBSON, HALIFAX
Right on, by gosh
As a first-time reader of your magazine, I must write my comments on your fantastic article By gosh, the price is right out of sight, by Grattan Gray (October).
All the stores listed showed an increase in their profits except Loblaw’s, which —frankly — I find very hard to believe. As a wife and mother who cooks from “scratch” to stretch the food budget, my only regret is that we don’t live in an area where there are any Loblaw stores.
HELEN WASYLCIW, MONTREAL
Fussy about futures
I congratulate you on Donald Creighton’s Is Canada more than we can hope for? (September). The questions raised are indeed of utmost importance. It increasingly appears that continued untrammeled economic growth and the “good life” are mutually incompatible. While still recognizing that we exist in an internally competitive world, we still believe that Canada may be able to exercise some choice over its future development — however, we must research alternative development paths in order to know which scenario a majority of Canadians will desire.
P. D. MCTAGGART-COWAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCIENCE COUNCIL OF CANADA, OTTAWA
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