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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

60 Years

Grandfather and Confederation
by John B. Davidge

I was almost three months shy of my fifteenth birthday when Newfoundland and Labrador became the tenth province of Canada and I remember that day and the days leading up to it as if it were only yesterday.

To say that my parents and grandparents were anti-confederates would be very much of an understatement, but it was my grandfather’s strong opposition to it that I remember most.

His words and actions are recorded here as I’m sure he would want them to be.

Lest we Forget.

April the first, nineteen forty-nine
Was a day that I’ll soon not forget.
The radio blared that the “terms” had been signed,
Filling Grandfather’s heart with regret.

I can still see his eyes filled with anger and hate
At this terrible thing they had done.
A true Newfoundlander he felt t’was too late,
And he mourned as if losing a son.

He first lit a candle then he pulled down the blinds,
And he placed some black crepe on the door.
He looked somber and sad in his black suit and hat,
And the black satin armbands he wore.

He was eighty years old but he climbed up the hill
To the church with it’s steeple and bell.
His eyes filled with tears as his hands gripped the rope,
And he softly tolled the death knell.

There wasn’t a coffin, a body or grave,
The dying was all in his mind.
This joining with Canada wasn’t for him,
A patriot true to his kind.

I was only a “gaffer” but I still recall how his voice rang with passion and pride.
“You have sold out your birthright,
You’ve let down the flag
That your forefathers fought for and died.

That up-along bunch will be down here in droves,
They’ll force you to flee from your home,
There’ll be taxes on this, there’ll be taxes on that,
And you won’t have a thing of your own.

They’ll tear up the countryside, take all the land,
They’ll catch all the fish in the bay.
You won’t be allowed to have horses and cows
Unless you are willing to pay.

They have filled you with promises, all of them lies,
They say there is nothing you’ll lack,
They’ll give you the Bonus, the Pension and such,
And with taxes they’ll take it all back.

They got you to thinking the skies will be blue,
And the sun won’t again fail to shine,
But you’ll have second thoughts when this land of your birth
Is alive with corruption and crime.

You’ll have a new anthem,you’ll have a new flag,
They’ll watch what you write, say and do.
T’will be everything Ottawa, nothing St. John’s.
Mark my words what I’m saying is true.

That Smallwood’s a traitor and you’ll see the day
When the people will stand up and shout
That he’s not worth the powder to blow him to hell,
And his friends will be kicking him out.

But nobody heeded what Grandfather said
And nobody heeded his tears.
They called him a babbling, senile old man
Who was exaggerating his fears.

They all went their way with a smile in their hearts,
Hoping only good fortune would fall.
But I wondered in time would they look back and say
“Wasn’t Grandfather right after all?”


Patriot said...

Yes, “Grandfather WAS right after all?”

Ussr said...

Well what a poem Patriot.Would anybody have believed that my very own grandfather wrote something very much like this.

At the time of confederation, my own family was laughed at,in the small import I grew up in.Now it is but a shadow, no not even a shadow of what it was.

I hope everyone relises what price we paid to become Canadain.A price I would never pay again, myself.

" Republic Of"

NL-ExPatriate said...

I just left this comment at CBC the CURRENT on an interview that was done with Senator George Baker, and former premiers Tobin and Peckford on NL's 60 years in confederation.



I enjoyed very much your show with Senator George Baker, former premiers Tobin and Peckford on NL's place in confederation 60 years on.

It was nice to hear an informed debate which didn't attack the messenger for delivering a message no one wants to hear. Myself included, that my country is systemically flawed and all of the national PROXY parties practise DEMOCRATIC DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MY HOME PROVINCE for partisan gain.

I ran as a NL-FIRST candidate in the last federal election because I wanted to give the people of NL a real choice from all of the national PROXY parties of the Upper/Lower canada majority tyranny, Mouseland.

No federal party can call a referendum, whether they be national in scope or nationalist.

You see it isn't the national PROXY parties we need to change it is our systemically flawed political system.

That is what the Meechlake and Charlottetown accords were about but because the systemically flawed political system works for the two principals ON/QU via their majority status of 66% of the population they don't want it to change and will never support any national party that endeavours to change it.

That is why Mr Harper nor any national political party will ever get a majority as long as he promotes a triple E senate.

Hope springs eternal in a democracy, unfortunately for NL with no equality and only per capita representation it is eternally hopeless.

The root cause of NL's woes in confederation is it's lack of equality all of the problems are only the symptoms.