Brockville Columnists | Brockville Recorder & Times
Considering nicknames in the world of sport
Last week in this space we discussed nicknames and terms of endearment in everyday life. This week we turn out attention to the wacky world of fun and games where just about everyone ever to play a sport has picked up a colourful nickname at some point in his or her athletic career.
Triple Jeopardy – COVID fatigue, lockdown release and rising variants of concern
February is over but spring has not sprung. COVID fatigue is moving into exhaustion. We want to escape the cold and isolation, to return to some normal social life. While release from lockdown provincially and return to green status locally may imply safety – if we social distance, wear masks etc., there is this looming threat from the Variants of Concern (VOC)…. What does this all mean? Can we stay safe and sane?
Story of Picton still unfolding
In 1987, the year of Picton’s sesquicentennial, a soft cover book titled Picton Remembered was published in commemoration of this milestone event. Internationally recognized photographer Lloyd E. Thompson and Alan R. Capon, author and local historian, commissioned by the town’s Sesquicentennial Committee, produced the story of a town, through a series of “then and now” captioned pictures dating to the early 1900’s. Street scenes throughout the town were shown in vintage photographs, along with their contemporary counterparts.
Beyond the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The world is currently fixated on two major threats. The first is the coronavirus pandemic, which in the immediate future will threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The second is climate change, which in the longer term will have even more devastating consequences if unchecked. Both are thoroughly deserving of the attention they are getting. In the midst of these preoccupations, however, there is one other threat that is being largely overlooked. That is the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The use of those weapons by any one country could precipitate a chain reaction that would drive our planet back to the stone age, with levels of death and destruction that could make the COVID-19 pandemic look like a Sunday picnic by comparison.
'I still love what I'm doing,' hockey lifer Ferguson says
A half-century ago, teenager Bob Ferguson left his hometown to make his mark in hockey, just like his dad, Lorne, before him had done. That wasn’t the easiest career path for someone whose pop played in 422 National Hockey League games and left, figuratively speaking, big skates to fill.
Just visiting by way of modern technology
It’s a recurring theme that things have changed. We view the world differently now and little things have become big issues. What used to be routine is no longer that. How to get goods and services without going into a store for example. How to stay connected with friends without seeing them in person.
No time to tan for the housewives of Hill Street
In 1952, new neighbours moved to Hill Street, bringing with them a touch of big city glamour. The Johnsons had not been drawn to the county because of its beaches a wineries, but instead for reasons of employment. Major reconstruction was taking place at the Picton water purification plant and Stan Johnson, a young Toronto engineer, had been hired to oversee the project. Preferring not to rent accommodations while in Picton, he and his wife, Doreen (Doe), bought a vacant waterfront lot from my father for $200. then had a pre-fabricated cottage placed on it. Almost overnight, we had next-door neighbours.
Abdollah Vakily: From Islamophobia, to Islam
In my March 16, 2013, column, Islam turns (some) enemies into friends, I related the stories of several people who had the courage and honesty to accept Islam when they came face to face with the fact their perception of Islam was based on ignorance and misinformation.
Downtown DocFest is presenting must-see documentaries virtually
We know many DocFest fans will miss attending the film festival in-person this year. But the festival organizers are celebrating DocFest’s 10th Annual in style with a virtual presentation of an incredible line-up of documentaries rolling out over 10 days from March 5-14. While the 2021 festival can’t be in-person, it promises to be terrific. Belleville Public Library is proud to have partnered with DocFest right from its very first year. We will miss the throngs of filmgoers coming to view docs screening at the library, but we’re happy people can view DocFest’s films celebrating life and human dignity around the world and right here at home on-line from the safety and comfort of their living rooms. The films can be viewed anywhere in Ontario and people will have three days to “unlock” a film and 24 hours to finish watching after they start viewing it. Festival viewers will be able to watch all the films and events, including the Gala music doc and the following music performance on a variety of platforms and devises including personal computers, Android tablets using Chrome, IPADS using Safari, Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. DocFest’s popular Gala will be happening Friday, March 5 at 7 p.m. It includes the new film, Meeting the Beatles in India, by two-time Canadian Emmy Award-winning film and television producer-director, Paul Saltzman. A special virtual concert by Mark Rashotte and Andy Forgie of selections from The White Album will round out the Gala. Mark and Andy are recognized internationally, from England to Belgium, throughout The USA and right here in their hometown, Belleville. With over 50 films screening, there is lots to choose from. As the voluntary Chair of the DocFest Organizing Committee, I have the great pleasure of helping to select films for the festival and want to share a few of my favorites. I am also a librarian who of course loves books, so I highly recommend the engaging film The Booksellers. It takes viewers inside a small but fascinating world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers. The film features interviews with some of the most important dealers in the business, as well as prominent collectors, auctioneers, and writers such as Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Kevin Young and Gay Talese and it was executive produced by Parker Posey. Music documentaries often give us a deeper connection or understanding of musicians or a genre of music we love. The Great Green Wall is a hard film to categorize; it features the music of renowned Malian singer Inna Modja and is an inspiring environmental film. The Great Green Wall is an African-led initiative to establish an 8000 km wall of trees spanning the width of the continent at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The aim is to revitalize ecosystems and restore economies in order to provide food security, jobs and a reason for millions to stay in the region. The film takes us on a music-driven journey of hope, hardship, and perseverance. It won the prestigious Dauphin d’Or for Best Documentary, Art, Music & Culture. And because I enjoy a good mystery another recommended film is Assassins. This one is an intriguing story that feels like a spy thriller as much as a captivating work of non-fiction. It provides an account of two women convicted of assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam. The film follows the women’s trials in an attempt to understand whether they are trained killers or simply pawns. We know DocFest is going to leave you wanting more, so remember the library has great on-line services where you can catch award-winning docs on Kanopy and Hoopla. Or if you want to learn more about the subject of a DocFest film, look no further than the library’s vast collection. Check out all the festival films and the schedule on DocFest’s Virtual Festival page at https://downtowndocfest.ca/2021-virtual-festival/ All-Access Festival Passes include admission to all films including the Opening Gala. Single tickets and ticket packs are also available. Holly Dewar is the Manager of Public Service at the Belleville Public Library (bellevillelibrary.ca) and the Belleville Downtown DocFest Committee Chair (volunteer position).