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Rachel Garber Par Rachel Garber

Mercredi, 5 octobre 2016

Bernard the Roughneck

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I got an email last week from David Climenhaga, author of the blog. "I have been following the story, quite big here in Alberta, of Neal Hancock, the rig worker who appeared as ‘Bernard the Roughneck' for a news conference in Ottawa last Wednesday," he wrote. He had read about Neal's leading role in the play, William Stone's Leg, in an article I wrote in this newspaper on January 14, 2014. The photo and article are now living online at

"How was Mr. Hancock's performance?" he emailed. "Neal did a fine job," I replied. "Like all the other cast members, he was an amateur and volunteer, contributing his time and skills in support of a non-profit organization, the Eaton Corner Museum."
Now my photo of Neal and Bethany Rothney in Sharron Rothney's living room fills the screen on Yup, comparing the photos of Bernard the Roughneck and Neal Hancock, you can quickly see that they are both of the one and the same Neal Bernard Hancock.

But in Alberta, Bernard was playing the role of an oil rig worker, wearing his work clothes to the National Energy Board hearings in Vancouver, and urging the government to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Climenhaga's blog says he's been appearing in his work coveralls on the "far-right video blog founded by self-styled ‘Rebel Commandante' Ezra Levant." Climenhaga wrote that a Rebel interview with Hancock last February, "is still running under the now-slightly-embarrassing headline, ‘No he's not an actor: Bernard, the outspoken roughneck has a new message for anti-pipeline protesters'."
Now headlines "It can't help the oil-well drillers' campaign that ‘Bernard the Roughneck' appeared in 2014 theatrical production." Climenhaga goes on to describe "William Stone's Leg, written by Eastern Townships playwright Marlene Lowry."

His article elicited a heap of comments from readers. One was just on the edge of obscenity, playing on the word "stone." It seems "Bernard the Roughneck" mugs and T-shirts are even being marketed. Maybe Lowry and the Eaton Corner Museum should ask for a cut?

The Sawyerville United Stewards are making apple pies for sale. They come unbaked and frozen, with cooking instructions, at $9 each. To order: Janice Hartwell, 819-889-2498, or Theda Lowry, 819-889-2734.

A 500 Card Party is at the Bulwer Community Center on Jordan Hill Road, Thursday, October 13, at 1:30 p.m. After the card game will be prizes and a light lunch. Admission fee. Info: Serena Wintle, 819-875-5210.

Last call to join the Newport municipality's annual group outing aboard The Orford Express, on Saturday, October 15, for a 3 ½-hour train ride with a meal. Cost: $85. Register now. Info: Lyne Maisonneuve, 819-889-1340; Anne-Marie Dubeau, 819-875-5227; Newport Municipality, 819-560-8565.

The grand finale of both Denis Palmer's art exhibition and the 2016 season at the Eaton Corner Museum is on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. Entrance is free to the Museum's exhibition in the Congregational church, as well as the art exhibit in the Foss House. That's at the Eaton Corner Museum, 374 Route 253, Eaton Corner.

This fall's series of health information sessions on various topics, Health Link, is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, starting October 19. The Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre is presenting the series in partnership with Townshippers' Association and the CSSS du Haut-Saint-François. They're free of charge, in English, and all are welcome. Info: Kim Fessenden, 819-872-3771.

Montreal-based singer/songwriter Jim Robinson will bring his unique contemporary folk music to the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale W., for a benefit concert on October 23, at 2 p.m. Look for his guitar, listen for his harmonica. Tickets are $13 at the door. Info: Don Parsons, 819-875-3796.

Some 125 people attended the Ramana Hotel's inauguration of its Salle André Crête mid-September, and now the hotel in Sawyerville is lining up a stream of activities over the coming months. Darts are every Wednesday evening. Yoga and meditation are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting at 9:15 a.m., open to all. And Saturday evening concerts with the Dave Bassant Band on October 29, November 5 and 26, and nine other dates this winter. Info: Jean-Sébastien Bachand, 819-889-2967.

Jewelry-maker Sonia Zalesak is organizing an artisan market at the Bulwer Community Center, 254 Jordan Hill Road, on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wide variety of crafts, refreshments, good cheer. If you'd like to rent a table, contact Sonia quickly: 819-875-1026.

Viactive groups offer exercises, for people age 50 or over. They're fun, free, and easy on the knees. Three bilingual groups are led by trained volunteers, all on Wednesdays. All are welcome! In Cookshire, Serena Wintle and Lyne Maisonneuve lead a group from 10 to 11 a.m., at the Manoir de l'Eau vive, 210 Principale East. Info: 819-875-5210. In Newport, Ruth Shipman and Christiane Côté invite you to the Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212, in Island Brook, at 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Info: 819-889-1340 or 819-560-8565. In Sawyerville, Denise and Gérard Nault welcome you to the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street, at 10 to 11 a.m. Info: 819-889-2630.

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

United: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. On Thanksgiving Sunday, October 9, Holy Communion will be part of the worship. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

Anglican: October 9th services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury, and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (Service of the Word). On October 16, the same places and hours, but it's a Holy Eucharist with The Venerable Edward Simonton. Info: 819-887-6802.

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by October 24 for publication
November 2.

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