The Highest of Mountains and the Longest of Memories

May 29, 2015

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the first successful climbing of Mount Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.  News of the success arrived in England the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and I remember my father, who was very excited by the news, telling me all about it.  For years thereafter Edmund Hillary was the greatest hero of my young imagination.

I have one or two memories about my brother and me that pre-date May 1953, but Hillary on Everest is the earliest I can recall anything outside the family.  I know from photographs that there were massive street parties I attended to celebrate the new Queen: I remember none of that.  But Hillary on Everest has stuck with me all these years.

The picture is of Tensing Norgay taken by Hillary.  There are no pictures of Hillary on the summit because Tensing didn’t know how to work the camera and, as Hillary said, the summit of Everest was no place to start teaching him!


Britannia AGM 2015

May 28, 2015

I went to the Britannia AGM last night, held in Gym D.  I was rather disappointed in the turn-out — at the start of the meeting there were sixty or so people in the room.  Quite a few of that sixty were Board members, Britannia staff, candidates for the Board, and student volunteers.  Maybe thirty or so “community members”, I would guess.

And that is a shame because Britannia really is the beating heart of our community. It is highly used and highly prized. I only wish more people would understand the need to come out and support the organization that provides all this for us.  If there is something about Britannia you think could be improved, this is the way to do it.

This is especially true now that the dam that has held back the flow of money needed to upgrade Britannia seems to have cracked.  It is vital that the community stay on top of this project.

It was a rather pedestrian affair, to be honest, with very brief reports from the President, the Treasurer, the Exec Director, and the Planning & Development Committee. It might be good to have a guest speaker each year to atrract a crowd and liven up the evening.

The only excitement of the evening came when Scott Clark, a member of the Board, criticised the Board fiercely for lack of attention to the inclusion of aboriginal youth. Members of the Board stoutly defended their actions. Frankly it was difficult for those us not directly involved to follow what is obviously a closely held internecine battle within the Board.

Nine people stood for election to seven spots on the Board and gave smart little speeches.  I suspect a lot of people left as soon as they had voted.  After a beautiful presented sandwich, salad and dessert buffet, the remainder of the crowd heard that Brendan Boylan, Ye Chu, Susanne Dahlin, Aaron Giesbrecht, Heather Hay, Freya Kristensen, and Tracy Tyrus had been elected (or re-elected).   This is a very young-skewing Board.

I congratulate them for running and I hope that the Board this year is strong enough to face the challenges that a re-development will present.


Night Music: Marley Sings Zimbabwe

May 28, 2015

Image: Curved Bench and Spittoons

May 27, 2015

curved bench and spittoons

Night Music: Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

May 26, 2015

Happy 20th Birthday to VPL

May 26, 2015

Library Exterior V copy

Our glorious Central Library was opened twenty years ago today!  It has been a joy to view and visit ever since.

[thanks to Eve Lazarus for the reminder]

Image: Capsicum Chaos

May 25, 2015

Capsicum Chaos