Today was the annual Fredericton Rotary Club TV Auction at the Sheraton. This year a computer system ran auction. Instead of having, large boards for the bidding, the operators put the bids into the computer and they were displayed on large 36″ TV’s. My job was to bring up the information on the TV behind one of the auctioneer.
Because I was in class during the time, the June Callwood was speaking in the Ted Daigle Auditorium at St. Thomas University I was originally not going to bother with this assignment. When I went to class, I started hearing all the other stories on this particular guest speaker I decided to do it anyway.
On the evening of November 1st, I sat down and listened to the rebroadcast lecture on the program “Ideas” on CBC Radio One. I turned on the radio to listen but there was very poor reception on my little cheap radio. After spending about five minutes trying to clear up the reception I gave up. Then later I had an insight that I could pick up the signal on CBC Radio One’s web broadcast so after missing fifteen minutes of the broadcast I began listening. Once I first heard the words coming out I became intrigued. I started to take notes but shortly stopped in awe of the remarkable voice of inspiration and experience. I cannot recall anything in part that she said but the words all appeared well-chosen and magical.
Today I did not feel like getting up after spending last night at class lounge playing the game of Risk until late in wee hours of the morning. Looking at my watch in bed it reads, “08:26,” and rolling through my head goes why in the world I signed up for an 8:30 in the morning class.
Tonight I was filming a hockey game at the Aitken Centre. One thing I noticed is that people will stash their trash into any hole or crevice. Next to the press box, there is a hole in the cement for us to use to feed our camera cables and audio snake through. When I opened the trap door to feed the cables, a pile of trash fell out, enough to fill up two large garbage bags. There were cups from all the big restaurants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tim Horton’s. There were napkins, 6-month-old decomposing food, and several other decomposing goods.
It is a typical Friday morning in Uptown Saint John. There are a few people sitting around casually chatting to one another. The big issues on peoples minds are focused on what cuts the Mayor and City Council are going to make in their budget, that the one time great Saint John Flames hockey team are having their season opener later tonight, or that tomorrow is the first day of the long-awaited Thanksgiving Day long weekend. In all there is not much thought being given to the fact that in a small city an hour and a half to the north the queen is arriving.
Earlier as I waited what seemed to be an eternity for the bank to open, an elderly man slowly entered and joined me in the wait. Casually I asked him what was his thoughts about the queen. “She is not of great concern,” he said gasping for air, “There are worse ways for the government to waste money, but I like things the way they are, and I would miss it if it was gone. She (the queen) is a magnificent person.”
After leaving my table in Market Square, I took a stroll out on to the board walk. Out there I ran into two nice and polite women, who I later found out were Americans from the southern state of Texas. Apparently they had just arrived on the cruse ship, Royal Princess, that was docked down the street at the Pugsly Terminal. “Oh God!, I don’t know about these things but,” the older one said, ‘the current queen is nice, although I don’t know about her successors.”
When I approached a friendly, middle-aged man on my way down Prince William Street to my old high school he said, “It is not costing us anything, why change it?”
Questioning the high school students at Saint John High School on a smoke break went no where, many of them following my questions with, “What is a monarch?,” and, “What is a head of State?” This from a school that when I went there was renowned for being the intellectually advanced school in the city. I was puzzled is this going to be another generation of people who don’t really care, who cares is it comes or goes.
One student that understood the question felt that the queen should be replaced by Jean ChrÃ©tien after he retires in the winter of 2004 because, “He’s done a lot for Canada.”
Later on I ran into another man who felt that like most of the people who it does not really matter if the royalty came or went. He felt that before getting rid of the monarch they should get rid of the Senate. “They both don’t do anything but the queen does not cost a fortune like the Senate does.”
According to the Monarchist League of Canada the queen does not really cost us anything because we would have to pay for a President anyway if we got rid of her. According to the Parliament of Canada Website the Monarch costs about $1.02 per Canadian where the Senate costs about $6.73 per Canadian.
I have a plant decaying on my desk. It has been there since I moved here in September. It has probably been about three to four weeks since it has last watered. I should water it now but I have too much to do and there is not much point since it looks like it is gone for good. Note: The plant has long since passed on
Tonight at the Students’ Union meeting, the Vice President of Finance presented the University’s Budget. Although somewhat informative, it really lacked much detail. After an hour and forty minutes when I had to leave, it turned into a debate on buying the old Lieutenant-Governor’s house, and trying to find out the large corporations that donated money to the University or the companies the University invests its Endowment Funds in to see if they all have good human rights records.
Today I rearranged my dorm room. Now I have my computer next to my bed so I do not have to see my annoying roommate.