Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A nice visit with my friends, Anneliese and George

Tonight is a big meeting here in the building and I suggested that they come down as it will affect them. We had a very enjoyable meal at Toby's in the mall and then we went to the Farmer's Market for them to look around and see the different changes. They used to live in Ancaster before but moved to be near their daughter and grandchildren in Kingston. They own property in this building and as a result, they will return for the meeting tonight, as I felt they would benefit from being there. We have been friends since we met and I keep them appraised of what goes on in this building. The internet is so wonderful for that!

Tonight, I am unable to attend the meeting as I am participating in a Mother/Daughter event at St. John's and need to be there.

They will let me know what happens, as will other people here.

All in all, a lovely visit and I really like them more and more each time we get together.

Anneliese's family had 15 minutes to leave their home in Czechoslovakia and her Dad was a prisoner of the Russians during the war. Her Mom had four small children and Anneliese is the oldest and she has started to write about this time. I offered to help her if she wants, as it is a story of survival in spite of everything stacked against them.

I learned something new about George today which I found interesting. Just before the Iran/Iraq war began in earnest, he was sent by his construction company to work in Iraq. They asked him to stay on but he said no, unless his family could come over. They were not able to accommodate that, so he went back to Canada. Shortly after that, the place where he was working was bombed and several of his fellow workers were killed. As a construction person, he and his family moved from city to city and have lived in many different Canadian cities over the period of time while he was working. He is an British man and both are about my age. It is most interesting that she is a German and he is a Britisher as there was much hatred between the two peoples during the war. It is interesting to note that love can triumph over hate.

Like another family I know who were German but lived in other countries in Europe in German speaking areas, Annelies family were forced to flee Czechoslovakia with only 15 minutes notice. They became refugees. St. John's has many such people with stories which should be told.

I remember speaking to Germans in Montreal when I went to the German church in St. Laurent. Many of them were long time residents of Canada and had become citizens. During the war, they had to report to the authorities once a week but, according to one lady, they were treated very well.

The Canadians of Japanese descent, were not so well treated though. In my view, it is a shame on Canada.

Although we in North America had shortages of goods etc. we were fortunate that the war did not come to our soil. There were two sisters who had a house on our street and one of the sister's had a baby out of wedlock. The sisters raised this child and I remember my mother talking admiringly about how well they did it. I myself am an adopted child and perhaps this is the story of my beginnings as well. So many things happened during the war, conventions were left behind, and families were separated from loved ones serving overseas. I was raised by a good family who adopted me when I was but 6 weeks old.

I remember my Dad going to Camp Border for his Reserve training during the war and bringing back white margarine with a patch of colour that we would mix into it. We could not get margarine in Quebec at all in that time. That sticks in my memory as it was so different from regular butter that we were used to eating.

On another note altogether, while we three were at the Farmer's Market, we passed Maria's stall and George remembered buying some of her homemade Portugese sauce. He bought some more. Maria remarked on my silver and peridot Swarovski set and admired it.

On yet another note, I am so tired right now as I did not sleep even a wink last night but I am participating in the programme tonight so I must go.

Oh, bye the way, my "Floating" poem has been accepted for publication by Tower Poetry which is nice.

Other than that, nothing else new.

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