One of the most noticeable successes of the campaign to halt the development of an intrusive and massive tower at Commercial & Venables has been the large number of lawn signs that are festooned across the neighbourhood — a clear indication of the community’s support.
Unfortunately, another continuing feature of the campaign has been the number of lawn signs that get stolen. Who knows who by? Though presumably it is someone who doesn’t want to see the campaign succeed. Over the last year we have lost about a hundred signs; the sign outside my own place has been stolen or damaged three times.
We had hoped that this juvenile behaviour — anti-democratic and anti-free speech at its heart — would pass like a phase in an adolescent’s growth. But it seems the perpetrators are still determined to expose their childish sides. I received an email this morning from a correspondent just one block east of the Drive:
“for the 7th time, all the signs on our block were stolen last night sometime between 7pm and 11pm. Perhaps it is a reflection of the Tower Proponents way of operating – repeated THEFT OF SIGNS, THEFT OF THE COMMUNITY’S VOICE, then finally THEFT OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.”
It is hard to disagree with those sentiments.
Today is the 63rd 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!