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Rachel Garber Par Rachel Garber

Mercredi, 2 novembre 2016


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I was amazed to see that the Eaton Corner Museum's play of William Stone's Leg in January 2014 had a role to play in the Alberta version of the ongoing dispute about the Kinder Morgan pipeline. When a journalist emailed me to ask "How was Mr. Hancock's performance?", I replied "Neal did a fine job. 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."

I thought others in the Haut-Saint-François might be interested in the far reach of William Stone's Leg. Now I have received a pile of rancor and even threats from persons who felt my comments were derogatory to Neal. I am not going to repeat the insults I received, but reading them made me almost despair at achieving understanding between those who rely on fossil fuels for their livelihood and those who fear for the future of our planet.

I stand by my expressed appreciation of Neal's contributions to our community during his time as a student at Bishop's University. I am sorry if my light-hearted comments about the mugs, and the Eaton Corner Museum getting a cut, were felt to be unkind. They were not meant to be so. The other comments were not my own, but simply quotations from other writers, clearly attributed.

Writing that column, I was on the point of leaving for three weeks in a silent retreat, an occasion to investigate my true nature. Now I am back and surer than ever that we are all playing various roles in life. So when I used the phrase "playing the role," I was in no way questioning Neal Bernard's authenticity as an oil rig worker. I acknowledge that right now I am playing the modest role of a writer in a small regional newspaper.

If you want my understanding, please stop the name-calling.

Neal, I received one email from someone I would say is your true friend. Mel wrote, "I just wanted to add, and apologize ahead of time, (because I saw some facebook comments) that I would assume there are a lot of passionate people hiding behind their screens who may also be emailing you. Don't take any personal attacks to heart. They're all bark no bite. If anyone calls you names, they aren't true. Ignore the ugly and vulgar emails. Constructive criticism is one thing, attacks are another. You are a fine writer, and though people may disagree with what you wrote about Neal, it is not reason for personal attack. I just wanted to send this quick note because I'm not sure how many emails you are receiving, but I'm sure it can get discouraging if they're all ugly ... so ignore the ugly! With love, Mel."

Thank you, Mel.

Really, the topic is about understanding a person who is going through the process of Alzheimer's disease. "Better Understand to Intervene Better" is the title of a talk by Camille Dolbec. His career in nursing included setting up the Alzheimer's unit at the Argyle Institute, and he is now associate professor at the University of Sherbrooke.
His talk will be of interest to anyone who knows or accompanies someone who has Alzheimer's or a related disease. What to do? How to act? Understanding the disease can help you understand the person, and how to intervene.

Dolbec is offering two information sessions on Wednesday, November 9, in Cookshire. One is in French at 1:30 p.m., and the other is in English at 7 p.m. Both sessions are at the Manoir de l'Eau vive, 210 Principale East. They are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please register. Contact Diane Grenier at the Centre d'action bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (CAB), at 819-560-8540, option 9, or

Added value! Celebrating the National Caregivers' Week, several partnering organizations will offer useful written information about their services. Besides the CAB, they are: Aide à domicile (home support for seniors), l'APPUI pour les proches aidants d'ainés Estrie (Support for caregivers of seniors), Azheimer's Society Estrie, Table de concertation des personnes ainées du Haut-Saint-François (collaborative table for seniors in the Haut-Saint-François), and the Cookshire CLSC. These services - some of them new - could be of great interest to anybody caring for an ill or fragile family member, or who finds that maintaining their home is more difficult than before.

Halloween past, we quickly launch into Christmas preparations, right? Newport offers a Little Christmas Market at 1452 Route 212, and the Lawrence Community Centre Flea Market at 449 Lawrence Road, both on Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They promise good shopping for Christmas gifts and they offer lunch, to boot, at the Community Centre. For $6, you can get lasagna, shepherd's pie, desserts, tea, coffee and juice. Welcome to all, says Newport.

Our federal deputy for Compton-Stanstead and minister of immigration, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, will be at the Ramana Hotel, 18 Principale North, in Sawyerville, for a meet-and-greet information session on Thursday, November 10, at 4-6 p.m. All are invited.

On a lighter note, the Dave Bassant Band concerts continue Saturday evenings, coming up November 5 and 12. Darts are every Wednesday evening. Yoga and meditation are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting at 9:15 a.m., open to all. Info: Jean-Sébastien Bachand, 819-889-2967.

United: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Thanksgiving Sunday, October 9: Holy Communion at both churches. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

Anglican: Services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury, and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. Info: 819-887-6802.

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.

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by November 7 for publication November 16 or by November 21 for November 30.

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