DUSTY CORNERS: Allegiance to queen and country

Opinion Oct 10, 2012 Hamilton Mountain News

On a jaunt about the neighbouring countryside last fall, I paused a while to absorb the magnificent colours and the stillness at the Mill Pond above Albion Falls.

The Red Hill Creek at its height raced below me as I stood on what my partner Linda and I once romantically called "Shadow Bridge." At a certain time of the day, when the sun was in the western sky, our shadows were cast across the breadth of the wooden plank bridge.

We laughed as we waved and played with our lifelong companions, that complied with each command. To the west, water rushed around a ridge in the limestone which created a curious rushing, bubbly  sound as it raced under our lofty perch.

Being a great animal lover, Linda would have loved to take one or more of the harmless garter snakes home that lazed there in the hot afternoon sun. Fortunately we had nothing to carry them in!

Standing alone this time, I looked about the site of what was once a grand, marshy Mill Pond that chanelled water to Davis's Grist Mill in the Albion Gorge. The beautiful marshy pond today is nothing but a smelly cesspool devoid of any form of life but bugs.

I had no sooner thought about what a mess it had become when I was startled by a flight of large birds that might be our familiar Canada geese.

Once landed, I learned to my great surprise that they were not geese at all but drab feathered wild turkeys with scrawny long necks and bright red flopping, fleshy "crops" atop their heads.

Chortelling and gobbling as turkeys do, they started pecking at objects of interest in the grass along side the pond. In all my life, I have never seen wild turkeys around the east Mountain. Somehow the ancient birds have recovered the onslaught of civilization and returned to their native breeding grounds.

The wily coyotes, as well, have returned to Albion, keeping the huge fan-tailed males on constant alert.

What a wonderful place for all of us to reflect on our freedoms and how it all came about. This is the glorious land of plenty that our forefathers fought and died for. What a legacy of peace and harmony after two centuries of wars has been left for us to cherish.

With the bicentennial of the Battle of Stoney Creek coming up next summer, it is time for all of us to reflect on how much we owe Great Britain initially for saving us from the rebellious republic to the south of us.

Surging across our borders, the slave-holding generals of the American army sought to tear us away from our British roots. Had it not been for the blood of thousands of loyal British soldiers and British settlers being spilled along our borders, there would be no Canada.

The late Charles Roach, lawyer and advocate of changing the oath to the Queen for citizenship, died recently, still denied Canadian citizenship. By insulting her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and being disloyal, he is certainly no friend of mine. Being a black man from Trinidad, he owes his freedom to Britain outlawing slavery in 1792. The crumpled maple leaf flag in the Spec picture behind him tells it all. He was not fit to be a Canadian.

Mountain historian Colwyn Beynon can be reached at crsw389@sympatico.ca.

DUSTY CORNERS: Allegiance to queen and country

Opinion Oct 10, 2012 Hamilton Mountain News

On a jaunt about the neighbouring countryside last fall, I paused a while to absorb the magnificent colours and the stillness at the Mill Pond above Albion Falls.

The Red Hill Creek at its height raced below me as I stood on what my partner Linda and I once romantically called "Shadow Bridge." At a certain time of the day, when the sun was in the western sky, our shadows were cast across the breadth of the wooden plank bridge.

We laughed as we waved and played with our lifelong companions, that complied with each command. To the west, water rushed around a ridge in the limestone which created a curious rushing, bubbly  sound as it raced under our lofty perch.

Being a great animal lover, Linda would have loved to take one or more of the harmless garter snakes home that lazed there in the hot afternoon sun. Fortunately we had nothing to carry them in!

Standing alone this time, I looked about the site of what was once a grand, marshy Mill Pond that chanelled water to Davis's Grist Mill in the Albion Gorge. The beautiful marshy pond today is nothing but a smelly cesspool devoid of any form of life but bugs.

I had no sooner thought about what a mess it had become when I was startled by a flight of large birds that might be our familiar Canada geese.

Once landed, I learned to my great surprise that they were not geese at all but drab feathered wild turkeys with scrawny long necks and bright red flopping, fleshy "crops" atop their heads.

Chortelling and gobbling as turkeys do, they started pecking at objects of interest in the grass along side the pond. In all my life, I have never seen wild turkeys around the east Mountain. Somehow the ancient birds have recovered the onslaught of civilization and returned to their native breeding grounds.

The wily coyotes, as well, have returned to Albion, keeping the huge fan-tailed males on constant alert.

What a wonderful place for all of us to reflect on our freedoms and how it all came about. This is the glorious land of plenty that our forefathers fought and died for. What a legacy of peace and harmony after two centuries of wars has been left for us to cherish.

With the bicentennial of the Battle of Stoney Creek coming up next summer, it is time for all of us to reflect on how much we owe Great Britain initially for saving us from the rebellious republic to the south of us.

Surging across our borders, the slave-holding generals of the American army sought to tear us away from our British roots. Had it not been for the blood of thousands of loyal British soldiers and British settlers being spilled along our borders, there would be no Canada.

The late Charles Roach, lawyer and advocate of changing the oath to the Queen for citizenship, died recently, still denied Canadian citizenship. By insulting her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and being disloyal, he is certainly no friend of mine. Being a black man from Trinidad, he owes his freedom to Britain outlawing slavery in 1792. The crumpled maple leaf flag in the Spec picture behind him tells it all. He was not fit to be a Canadian.

Mountain historian Colwyn Beynon can be reached at crsw389@sympatico.ca.

DUSTY CORNERS: Allegiance to queen and country

Opinion Oct 10, 2012 Hamilton Mountain News

On a jaunt about the neighbouring countryside last fall, I paused a while to absorb the magnificent colours and the stillness at the Mill Pond above Albion Falls.

The Red Hill Creek at its height raced below me as I stood on what my partner Linda and I once romantically called "Shadow Bridge." At a certain time of the day, when the sun was in the western sky, our shadows were cast across the breadth of the wooden plank bridge.

We laughed as we waved and played with our lifelong companions, that complied with each command. To the west, water rushed around a ridge in the limestone which created a curious rushing, bubbly  sound as it raced under our lofty perch.

Being a great animal lover, Linda would have loved to take one or more of the harmless garter snakes home that lazed there in the hot afternoon sun. Fortunately we had nothing to carry them in!

Standing alone this time, I looked about the site of what was once a grand, marshy Mill Pond that chanelled water to Davis's Grist Mill in the Albion Gorge. The beautiful marshy pond today is nothing but a smelly cesspool devoid of any form of life but bugs.

I had no sooner thought about what a mess it had become when I was startled by a flight of large birds that might be our familiar Canada geese.

Once landed, I learned to my great surprise that they were not geese at all but drab feathered wild turkeys with scrawny long necks and bright red flopping, fleshy "crops" atop their heads.

Chortelling and gobbling as turkeys do, they started pecking at objects of interest in the grass along side the pond. In all my life, I have never seen wild turkeys around the east Mountain. Somehow the ancient birds have recovered the onslaught of civilization and returned to their native breeding grounds.

The wily coyotes, as well, have returned to Albion, keeping the huge fan-tailed males on constant alert.

What a wonderful place for all of us to reflect on our freedoms and how it all came about. This is the glorious land of plenty that our forefathers fought and died for. What a legacy of peace and harmony after two centuries of wars has been left for us to cherish.

With the bicentennial of the Battle of Stoney Creek coming up next summer, it is time for all of us to reflect on how much we owe Great Britain initially for saving us from the rebellious republic to the south of us.

Surging across our borders, the slave-holding generals of the American army sought to tear us away from our British roots. Had it not been for the blood of thousands of loyal British soldiers and British settlers being spilled along our borders, there would be no Canada.

The late Charles Roach, lawyer and advocate of changing the oath to the Queen for citizenship, died recently, still denied Canadian citizenship. By insulting her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and being disloyal, he is certainly no friend of mine. Being a black man from Trinidad, he owes his freedom to Britain outlawing slavery in 1792. The crumpled maple leaf flag in the Spec picture behind him tells it all. He was not fit to be a Canadian.

Mountain historian Colwyn Beynon can be reached at crsw389@sympatico.ca.