Britannia Update

November 9, 2020

As many of you will know, the future of Britannia is still in flux after years of meetings and workshops. Today, I received the following:

The Britannia Board is meeting on November 22 to discuss and decide on the Society priorities for 2021. 

Your feedback and insights are extremely important. Please complete the following survey by Friday, November 13 at Noon.

Regards, Britannia Board Development Committee

Please let them have your feedback on this most important Grandview resource.

Image: Egg Playing With Cat

November 9, 2020

Grandview 9th November 1920

November 9, 2020
Vancouver Sun, 19201109, p.14

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings.

Poem: On Seeing A Photograph, For Remembrance

November 9, 2020


You were young men in the Guards

treading water in wretched trenches

swinging kitbags and rifles and broad silly grins


so young

that two billion volumes single-spaced wouldn’t be enough

to list all of life’s treasures

you haven’t experienced yet

and still you would die

right then

right there

doing right

or so you thought

as you lay where

no-one could tell where

mud ended and blood began


three and four generations removed,

we lay wreathes for your wraiths

on a hollow day in November

while the parades and the poppies


an annual landscape of memory


profound today, gone tomorrow


and for three or four days the flowers fade

and the greenery browns at your memorials

and then the work crews come


young men and women with guarded futures

treading water at minimum wage

swinging brooms and shovels and black plastic bags


and when the work trucks leave

your memory has turned once again

to cold undecorated stone

and nothing can ever change

the fact

that you died before you started living.




Remembering A Day of Infinite Possibilities

November 9, 2020

Thirty-one years ago today: It was 9th November 1989 and I was watching TV, watching the news from Berlin.  And soon a dozen people are hacking at the Wall from both sides and the party has begun and CNN’s cameras bring this extraordinary and historic wish-fulfillment into the living rooms of the world, and my living room in particular that November night.

And within moments, it seemed, there were thousands singing and candles blazing. And even though I was in Vancouver at the time, my heart was with them because at heart I was and remain a Londoner. And Berlin is VERY close to home to Londoners, especially to those who had spent decades watching people die as they tried to go over and under and around the Wall. And I wept openly and for days when the Wall came down.

It was a day of ultimate possibilities because here was an impossibility happening in front of our tear-misty TV-mediated eyes.