Saturday, 2 November 2013

Politician and Media Coverage

What is the outcome on our children?

Over the past few weeks headlines in the newspapers and lead stories on radio/television have been preoccupied with the alleged bad behaviour of politicians.
From Pamela Wallin in the Ontario Senate to Rob Ford Mayor of Toronto all you see and hear from the media is their alleged breach of public trust.
 The front page of the Saturday Toronto Star November 2, 2013 is a good example.  Immediately below the Star’s name banner in large bold black lettering is ‘The mayor headed down and visited the security desk alone with a half-empty bottle of brandy’.  

The next story under this and again in bold black lettering is ‘Fraud, breach of trust alleged in Wallin case’.
Does the public have a right to know when their elected officials violate the trust bestowed on them?   
Of course we do! 
Do politician have the right to due legal process - the assumption of innocence until they are found guilty at the end of a court process?  
Of course they do!

The challenge and tension lays in the balance.  More importantly, as a parent and grandparent, I want to know who is being held accountable for the affect this constant barrage of socially demoralizing information is having on our children!

To assume they are not being affected is to say they are not active players is the social fabric and as a society our preoccupation with juvenile justice says they are.

How can we as parents teach social accountability in the face of societies unending addiction to believing the worst of our politicians before they have been provided due legal process?

Do not misunderstand me.  We need to know that Wallin and Ford are under investigation.  We should know for what and beyond this  as citizens they have the same rights as you and I.  They have the right to a private legal process.  To inflict trial by media on them is just another form of vigilantly justice in my opinion.

What sparked this post was two conversations that I overheard today.  

The first conversation was a heated discussion between what I can only assume was a teenage boy and his parents.  The youth was challenging their authority to tell him drugs were wrong and would ruin his life when the mayor of Toronto uses and is successful.  

The second conversation was an older couple who were discussing how they could not trust the Trick-or-Treaters who were collecting for UNICEF.  They were of the opinion that the children would be “skimming a take off the top” and yes they referenced the senator.

In the first conversation the youth  aligned himself with reported bad behaviour of a politician to dismiss his parents worry and in the second all socially conscious children who collected for UNICEF were deemed to be deviant and the proof was reported bad behaviour of a politician.

On the first page of the Toronto Star was a third story that of Lonnie Bissonnette.  It was above the banner and lost in the noise of the other two stories.  Bissonnette is a young man paralyzed in a parachute jump who refused to give up on his dream, his future and parachuted in his wheelchair with the support of friends.  This life affirming story of courage and youth triumph was buried beyond the first section of the paper, unlike the other two which took up many pages.

I want to leave you with a metaphor.  Is societies addiction with gossip about our politicians flooding out the positive social values that we want our children to learn and emulate as adults, just as the Saugeen River flooded out the children playground yesterday.

What is the outcome for our children?  Who is considering the consequence on our children and society at large?

Grandma Snyder

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Child’s Halloween Story


It was a windy, rainy Halloween night in Ontario and despite the inclement weather it appears that a good time was had by all.

To help bring to a close Halloween 2013 Emily is sharing her Halloween Story with you.

Thank You Emily for sharing your story with us.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Delving into the past

In my last post "What's in a name" I mentioned a plate that I received from my Grandmother, Barbara Roth. She told me she wanted me to have the plate because she got it from her grandmother, who was also named Barbara. Being in my teens at the time I didn't ask further questions. And of course, now it is too late.

I work at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener and frequently have people coming into my office looking for the grave site of a relative. Our records are limited, but if someone is buried there I can usually find a location. I've also learned from these people about other on-line tools for finding ancestors.

This got me to thinking about my own great-great grandmother, about whom I knew only a first name. Could I find more?

I started at with a marvellous source, The Eby Book, now kept at the Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener.  This is a book written by Ezra Eby about 1895, listing the Mennonite family in and around Waterloo Region. From there I discovered, where Allan Detweiler has done an incredible job continuing the work Ezra started.

I did a search on this site and found my Grandma:

Then I searched both her parents, finding her mother Katie's mother, Barbara Erb:

So here is the original owner of my plate. I do wish I knew more about this woman who died in 1876, before my Grandma was even born! And about this plate, which doesn't seem very Amish to me. 

As Barbara Erb's parents were born in Europe (continuing my backward search), did they bring the plate to the New World? Or was it acquired here? This record doesn't say if Barbara was born in Wilmot Township, only that she died here. She was only in her forties when she died. With at least nine living children the youngest only two years old. How sad.

But as I clicked on various family members I discovered an interesting fact. Bishop John P Gascho remarried after his wife's death: to Barbara Erb - another one! 

Were the two Barbaras related? The second one didn't marry until her forties, never had children of her own, but took on a big family. And lived to be 96. Was this one the original owner of the plate?

Seems the more questions I get answered the more I have!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ten Thousand Villages 2013 Sale

Thursday October 31, 2013 to Saturday November 2, 2013
 Hanover Mennonite Church
172-5th Street
Hanover Ontario
By Marg Berg

Hanover Mennonite Church has been hosting an annual Ten Thousand Village Festival Sale in our church building at 172-5th Street for the past 10 years.

The sale taking place on Thurs., Oct 31 and Fri., Nov.1 from 9 a.m. to 9p.m. and Sat., Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be our 11th annual sale. 
 Volunteers gather to assemble shelves in the church sanctuary, meet the delivery truck, unpack and display the handcrafted items preparing for customers when doors open on the sale days. 
Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), is the oldest and largest Fair Trade Organization in North America.  Ten Thousand   Villages intentionally looks to work with artisans who are unemployed or underemployed (mostly women and disabled persons).   

They believe that men and women around the world have a simple dream - to earn an honest living, provide a home, food and education for their children and to be gainfully employed in a job that brings dignity and joy.    

Working directly with the artisans, a fair price for products is mutually agreed upon.  Artisans are paid 50 % in advance when an order is placed so that they can buy the raw materials and other necessary supplies.   

The balance is received when shipment is ready, before the product even reaches Canada or the U.S.A.  To this basic cost, shipping, importing, warehousing, marketing and administration costs are added to arrive at the price the consumer pays.  Through fair trade, artisans receive respect, dignity and hope from working hard and earning fair value for their work. 
Products sold by Ten Thousand Villages are often made in small group settings or in homes and because they are handcrafted, no two items are identical.   
Games, toys, jewellery, musical instruments, personal care and accessories, home decor items, books, CD's and many Christmas decorations are among the many beautiful handcrafted items.  

Many food items are also available - coffee, tea, chocolate, spices, sugar, olive oil to name a few. You travel the world when you visit a Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale.  

 Start your Christmas Shopping 

Thursday October 31, 2013 to Saturday November 2, 2013


Hanover Mennonite Church 

172-5th Street, Hanover Ontario 

Grandma Snyder


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