Greg Perry's View

For Jan. 7, 2021

Dear Editor: By law, anti-lockdown demonstrators have a right to protest, but we also should have rights to avoid contact with them.

No mask, no admittance.

All these people should be made to sign to waive their rights to health care until the pandemic is declared over.

Annette Hughes, Kelowna

History column deserves to be celebrated

Dear Editor: I would like to compliment Bob Hayes, the Okanagan Historical Society (Kelowna Branch) and The Daily Courier on 27 years, and the 300th column in Bob’s Okanagan History series.

Bob has an amazing depth of knowledge of the people who preceded us in this beautiful valley; he creates an eye-opening appreciation and context for what we know have and enjoy; a good reminder that we have roots. 

As a relative newcomer to Kelowna I have personally enjoyed his knowledgeable and often humorous Pioneer Cemetery Tours; another rich look into the lives of those who built before us.  The Jan. 5 column was particularly poignant as Bob featured and celebrated six pioneer women, each of whom had an Indigenous mother. 

Thank you, Bob, for bringing the names, stories and memories of these 12 women to light; a very helpful and healthy balancing of the record.  

Jim Burkinshaw, Kelowna

No better time for a return to the golden age

Dear editor: Much that bound earlier generations together has been lost: family, meaningful romantic attachments, children, craftsmanship at work — all are being undone.

They are replaced by nothing of real value, by passing thrills, grandiose gestures of speech by celebrities, by radio and TV presenters that we all know are only a passing flash. There are so many words that I‘d rather not hear, but you cannot escape them. The computer is now means working from home — in chronic isolation.

Each Christmas, we lament for the joys of the pastoral, closely knit, family. Why can we no longer find joy in the ordinary things of life? Humility is the best point of departure for 2021. Are we lost in the cosmos? Is not Covid-19 preparing the way for a return to faith, to a simpler life, to a rediscovery of what is happening to our human soul?

Ingmar Bergman, the famous Swedish film director, in “Cries and Whispers” (a shocking movie) treats of his own self disgust and his envy of those who have faith. Anna, a housemaid in a dysfunctional family of three women, lights a candle at night, then kneels before a picture of her dead daughter and asks God to love her.

Then she blows out the candle and enjoys an apple. Bergman is trying to lance the wound of his personal suffering. Anna moves silently in the background as the family eats at its own soul. Some deep wound has scarred the sisters. The emotions it portrays and evokes stand for the inexplicable way that life can bless or punish us.

My ideal in theory now, in the face of the pandemic, is to have the heart of a child to return to childhood — to live with astonishment, mystery and simple things.

I would like to be illiterate again and escape from modern culture. Do you feel a bit suffocated? Do you have this nostalgia for a golden age, when there was a deep meaning in people, choices and experiences. As one great Italian film director, Michelangelo Antonioni, said of nostalgia for a golden age: “300 drums on our streets during Holy week will follow me wherever I go.”

Fr. Harry Clarke. Penticton

Leaders want status quo for Canadians

Dear Editor: We are constantly being told we are a democracy, while millions of Americans insist they are a Republic.

Interesting points, when we consider why and how our electoral systems were designed to produce successive majority governments to be able to rule colonies. 

Our government leaders want a two-party system that will continue to give them absolute control over Parliament, just like Harper and Trudeau have managed to refine and entrench during the last decade.

They adopted party discipline to control how our elected MPs act and vote, and lying and cheating has become the new normal.

That’s not democracy.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna

Care homes need to deliver quality of life

Dear Editor: As a senior living alone in my own home, I feel very grateful for the freedom I have compared to others living in care homes.

I have no relatives near by (one son in Calgary and one son in London, UK) but I am able to get out and walk every day and take care of myself with some help.

I feel that care homes are far too large and this has been the problem all along. There are staffing difficulties with care workers being over-worked and underpaid. As a result, residents are being neglected or confined to one room.

Others are in rooms for two or more persons. And now with the COVID infection — no visitors or entertainment.

My mother was in a small care home in England for a few years before she died. There were only eight or 10 residents. It was owned and well run by a registered nurse, with a staff of two other RNs, a housekeeper and cook, all of whom lived in. It had been two houses made into one attractive house, with all necessary facilities; a real home-like atmosphere. It had a small garden at the back with easy access for wheelchairs and walkers.

To me, this is the only way that seniors, unable to care for themselves, should be able to end their lives.

Pixie Marriott, Summerland