Red Sox, Terry Fox, and The Great Poppy Debate


Thursday, October 25th, 2007 — 8:09am PST
Comments 12

After being slightly disconnected yesterday, here’s a news and commentary roundup for your morning reading enjoyment.

  • Boston slams Colorado 13-1 in the opening game of the World Series. Despite the fact that the Rockies’ pitcher is local boy Jeff Francis from North Delta (and recently UBC), I’m sorry…. I’m still cheering for the Sox. Sure yes, they won it all in 2004 but they waited 86 years to do that, c’mon!

    Photo credit: RedSox.com
  • In Coquitlam, the Terry Fox Theatre, is the subject of debate and a bit of outrage from parents and students.

    Terry Fox Secondary students, parents and teachers have been upset over a recent move by the school board to severely restrict use of the school’s theatre in favour of rental revenue.

    Student Tess Speller attended the latest meeting, “They are going to try and get a third party. The third party can, like, see what’s happening without any some sort of, like, ties to parties or an emotional connection.”[CKNW]

    I’m not sure if this is the same deal that’s happening with Sullivan Heights‘ Bell Centre for the Performing Arts, or the Michael J Fox Theatre at Burnaby South. But I’m pretty sure the Massey Theatre at NWSS operates separately, or at least “at arms’ length” from the school. It would still be a shame to limit the students’ access to the venue. I went to schools whose stages were walled up in exchange for more classroom space, I can only imagine what our drama productions would have been like in a ‘real’ auditorium.

  • The annual Remembrance Day Poppy Campaign kicked off yesterday and despite all the political undertones and whether or not it should be a red or white poppy, if I have the chance I’ll still wear one because it does help me remember; my loved ones that I knew, those I didn’t, and the millions that have been affected by wars past and present.

    Photo credit: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr

    My grandfathers both fought in WWII, on opposing sides. I lost my great grandmother in The Blitz in London and several great uncles in Eastern Europe. This reminds me of a post of Matt’s that I linked to last year, “Lest We Not Profit” – here’s an excerpt:

    Despite the humility and reverence that we reserve for [Remembrance Day] each year, the truth is that the two great wars of the last century, three if you include the Cold War, did nothing to promote the peaceful coexistence of nations and peoples. If anything, despite the sacrifices made by those courageous enough to believe something better possible at the outcome of hostilities, the very principles and freedoms that those individuals fought to protect have been either endangered or altogether lost by the sheer magnitude of our perpetual love affair with destruction.

    Heck if someone wants to come up with a blue poppy that also means all this, I’ll wear it too, or maybe I should just get a tattoo… hmmm. At this point I don’t think we should be fighting over which colour of plastic (and slightly fuzzy) poppy we should be displaying on our lapels. But if you’d like to get something going in the comments, you’re more than welcome to discuss.

  • Current contests on Miss604.com

    12 comments

    1. Tyler Ingram says:

      I’ll always think of a poppy being red. Red is the color of the flower (Flounder’s field poem seems to jump into my mind). As for the Legion having exclusive rights to say that other colours are not to be used, does it really matter? Sure the flower is red, the Legion’s symbol is a red poppy, but to say a poppy cant be any other color is just silly. Besides we can dye a poppy a different color or even genetically alter them if we need to 😉

      But then a white poppy like they said represents peace. As long as people knew what the different colours meant I don’t see why there can’t be more than one. Look at the ribbons you can tie to your car,shirt etc? Pink is breast cancer, black is MADD (isnt it?) etc.

      And when did the poppy’s go from a green center to a black center? lol

    2. Miss604 says:

      I know eh – I just found this:

      “According to the Royal Canadian Legion, “The centre of the Lapel Poppy was black at one time and it was changed to green more than twenty years ago. There is no recorded reason why this was done. In 2002 the centre was changed to black to reflect the colours of the Poppies in Flanders – a red flower with a black centre.” [CanadianDesignResource]

    3. Ian Bell says:

      I always figured they switched from green back to black centres in order to catch cheapskates like me who recycle their poppies every year.

      Marketing. Guh.

    4. Miss604 says:

      Since the needles/pins always fall out or prick my finger I started putting one of those little rectangular canada flag pins (with a backing) through the centre. I guess I ruined everything

    5. Trevor says:

      Thank goodness Templeton School would sooner set their building on fire before they limited use of our drama stages.

    6. Raul says:

      When I first moved to Canada (August 1996) I wondered what the heck had the poppys have to do with anything. Eleven years later, I actually do feel enlightened by your post 😀 thanks so much Rebecca!

    7. Jenny says:

      I was watching the news in the UK when I was there a few weeks ago and they have stick-on poppies now! I want one of those , I can’t wear poppies now because I’m always tending to 3 small ones and once had a pin fall out and ended up finding it in my daughters coat (I guess from when I was buckling her in). Now I’m afraid of poking the kids. Some wise entrepreneur should get on the sticky ones.

    8. teflonjedi says:

      But I’m pretty sure the Massey Theatre at NWSS operates separately, or at least “at arms’ length” from the school.

      I think Massey has operated this way since before I attended NWSS, back in the 80s.

      Ahh, poppy time. Uniquely Canadian. Wistfully homesick (again)…even with all that poke-yourself-with-the-pin issues over the years.

    9. DaveO says:

      To help sort out your confusion about red and white poppies, you may wish to enjoy a series of podcasts i recorded last Remembrance day – White Poppies for Remembrance on Postcards from Gravelly Beach features essays in support of, and against, wearing a poppy – along with an electic assortment of music and a diverse variety of war and peace poetry.

    10. Miss604 says:

      i was so totally going to use your photo with the white poppy on your hat… but then i didnt… but i saw it anyway 😛

    11. Matthew Good said what?!

      Look. I’m all down with the idea that WWI was a pretty bizarre waste of life, but the second world war was fought so that fascist tyrants wouldn’t get to run roughshod over their neighbour nations, nor extinguish entire ethnic groups at whim.

      It takes a pretty narrow-minded form of pacifism to claim that the end result of that war wasn’t positive, especially given that it transformed Germany, Italy, and Japan from rogue actors on the international stage to some of the best-behaved nations on the planet.

      The dual message of Remembrance day is that war–any war–is a terrible thing with awful costs. Thus, we honour those who fought and died in wars, often with little choice in the matter (and given conscription, that has routinely included both the virtuous and the vicious sides).

      And yet, the second part is that there are wars worth fighting, wars where the cost of not sending out Canadians to die would have been many more people dead, many more oppressed, and quite possibly an even bigger war later on. Canada’s soliders have been at the forefront of a great many wars and “peace actions” and various other less specific battles, most of which have been a last resort against murderous aggressors, and many of which could fairly be said to have been thrust upon us.

      Even as ignominous an example as the Korean War (which essentially ended in a stalemate) at least served the noble cause of freeing half the country from a totalitarian terror, and that seems like it was a pretty good thing.

      As for Terry Fox theatre, it’s a lovely little venue that is physically part of the high school, but is in high demand from the community as well as the school. I know it well, as I used to serve as a board member for a (now-defunct) concert society that typically used the venue a couple of times a year to host chamber music concerts.

      I don’t know the details of what’s going on now, but I believe that it was always conceived as both a community venue and a space for the school itself.

      The phrase “rental revenue” sounds a tad cynical to me, hiding the fact that much of what goes on in these paid dates is stuff like community theatre, music performances (most often jazz, classical, or other reasonably esoteric stuff; I doubt it’s ever been used for a rock or pop concert), et cetera. The calendar of events offers a rather telling look at what constitutes a “for profit” booking. The About us also offers a pretty good history of this dual-use venue. In other words, it is attached to the school, but the community and city went a long ways to making it possible for that venue to exist.

      Note that during their current fundraising campaign, the community board has brought in $90,000 to upgrade the AV system. That ought to count for something.

    12. […] year I included a note about the great poppy debate in a blog post. I first heard about white poppies through a BBC article in 2006, and also from DaveO, who does an […]

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