This has reference to the article titled, “Former community celebrated,” which appeared in the Jan. 12 issue of The Charter about the expressed wish of the former residents and descendants of Argentia to see a memorial/plaque installed on the former Richard Healey property to commemorate the sacrifices of homes and community made by the people of Argentia, as support for the allied efforts in the war raging in Europe and as support of the cause of world peace.
I would like to note that the name of Anne McGrath, Old Settlement Hill, Freshwater, formerly from Argentia, seems to have been inadvertently omitted from the group photo of the people who visited Argentia to visit potential commemorative sites. I would like to point out that Anne McGrath was a very welcome presence on our group visit to Argentia, and she is standing to the right of me on the photo.
I would also like to add a few comments regarding the Editorial, Pg A4, written by the Editor in which she suggested that, ”If there is one thing the people of Argentia are good at, it is remembering their former home and trying to spread the word about the sacrifices of many people who once lived there.”
However, these hard working descendants from the former community of Argentia also make quite a valuable contribution to our municipality in the here and now, too. We have two members of council who are direct descendants of Argentia and potentially, there is a future mayor amongst them. We have a goodly number of businessmen and women in this area and away, several doctors, a large of number of educators, - teachers and working in the education field, we have wonderful artists and musicians and a goodly number of persons who work for the betterment of their community.
As was pointed out in a Letter to the Editor by Lee Everts (on that very same page) and I quote, “these stories and experiences, (as with treasures revealed by archaeologists), also serve as vital and essential pathways to the past.”
I would like to add that these forays of Argentia’s people into its past not only helps us to learn more about our past, but about who we are in the present, and helps to prepare us for the future.
I think knowledge about our past and our ancestors puts character on the very bones of our human flesh and gives us strength and a sense of what is important and, particularly, of what is right and fitting. We, the people of Argentia, believe that an acknowledgment of the contribution made by our ancestors in 1941 is very right and fitting. If the community of Placentia had been lost in this way in 1941, I would hope and feel certain that this same need would be felt in Placentia today.
I would go so far as to state that I think that it is highly unfortunate and a sad loss for our schoolchildren throughout the province that they have not been made aware of this important page in our provincial history, and for our local students in our own regional and local community, it is even a graver loss. For years, we have been encouraging the Department of Education to remedy this shortfall in the provincial school curriculum. How can we expect to know what great things we are capable of if we do not recognize and acknowledge what was accomplished by those in our own immediate past?
I would also like to comment on the recommendation from the Editor to visit the website of Mr. Bud Lake at www.argentia.org to learn more about Argentia. Surely the Editor is not recommending argentia.org as an unbiased, objective source of information on Argentia? On a regular basis, Mr. Lake, on his website, gives very subjective, angry treatment of the work of any person who researches and writes on Argentia.
I have not rebutted Mr. Lake’s critique of my work on argentia.org and I will not.
One very good reason I will not rebut to argentia.org is that on the opening page of Mr. Lake’s website, the same site on which he attacks others, he gives very respectful treatment to the Nazi flag, as he does to every other flag, including the Allies. I have a serious problem with this – with giving the Nazi flag a measure of esteem comparable with flags of the Allies. I have to question Mr. Lake’s judgment in so doing.
Having visited nations that fought against Nazism in WWII on Team Canada Trade Missions on which I signed up nine national museum partners for the International Museum of World Peace at Argentia, I know that no Allied powers ever accords such dignity to the Nazi flag. As an example, while in Russia, I noted that the only time the Nazi flag was exhibited, it was dragging on the ground, considered to be a position of total ignominy and defeat. It is inexpressibly upsetting to me to open Mr. Lake’s website to see the Nazi flag, right there, right next to the flags of Canada, America, British and Ireland! I think Mr. Lake should remove the Nazi flag if he wishes his website to be taken seriously.
However, I did write a seven-page rebuttal of Mr. Lake’s attack on my work, and it is available for anyone who would wish to read it. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to forward my rebuttal to you, personally. I am considering uploading my rebuttal of Mr. Lake’s attack on my work to an alternate website, as was done by another individual whose work on Argentia was also attacked by Mr. Lake on argentia.org. I do not believe that Mr. Lake’s website can be considered as containing anything other than subjective, angry treatment of others’ research and writing on Argentia.
Within a month or so, the website for the International Museum of World Peace at Argentia, which is a work in progress, will be available at www.internationalmusuemofworldpeace.com. This site has not been available for viewing since the Peace Museum project’s funding from government ceased in 2003, not long after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2002. You will find that the Peace Museum website is largely about Argentia, her history and connection to the international community. It is a very rich, well researched, objective history of Argentia and the United States Military Base. Much of the website’s content was available at the kiosk of “Argentia at War,” only at the Argentia Visitor Information Center for the past 17 years.
Thank you sincerely to the Editor at The Charter for this opportunity to rebut last week’s Editorial and correct the oversight in the article’s group photo.