Tuesday, 10 November 2015

To Remember, a poem in honour of my grandfather and his brothers.

As years pass by
And memories fade
We sometimes forget
The sacrifices made
The “Greatest Generation”
As they were called 
Gave so much of themselves
To benefit us all
World War One, World War Two
Korea, to name a few
So many brave men & women
Bid their families adieu
In battlefields they rallied
Put up such a fight
So that the oppressed
Could again see day’s light
Their courage would not falter
But sadly we must say
That many brave soldiers
Saw not the light of day
Their sacrifice was mighty
Their cause absolute
So today we must pause
And reflect in tribute
It takes but a moment
To stop and reflect
It’s a moment in time
Some shall never forget

This post was inspired by my dear late grandfather, Neil Alexander McInnes.  My grandpa was a decorated veteran of World War Two, having enlisted along with his brothers and my great uncles, James and Russell.  My uncle Jimmy and my grandpa returned from Europe, but sadly Russell did not.  My grandpa was very proud of his service driving a munitions truck through the battlefields, but was forever changed by the experience.  For many years as a little boy and up until his passing in 1992, I would watch or assist him in polishing his medals for Decoration Day and other events.  He was ever so proud of those medals, but I could always get a sense of profound sadness from him at the same time.  If only folks knew how war affected those who experienced it first hand, perhaps they might rethink their actions.  If only .......

Monday, 9 November 2015

Our Collingwood, our hometown .......

A vision from high
Of days gone by
This photo took
Of our storied nook
This special place
Beside the Bay
From rugged shoreline
To mountain’s way
 Railways and shipbuilding
Gave it a start
Our forefather’s hopes and dreams
Gave it heart
Their toils and struggles
Guided the way
Building the town
We call home today
The obstacles were many
The challenges great
Through Depression and war
Their path remained straight
Building a future
Paving the way
Creating a vision
That endures till this day
Things may have changed 
As industry strayed
Vacation and leisure
Is the hand we’re now played
Change is inevitable
Such is life some may say
But the passion of our ancestors
Remains to this day

The photo that inspired my poem also roused my curious nature.  Aerial photography, especially in 1919, was very rare indeed.  The photo was credited as being from the Bishop Barker Company Limited of Toronto.  With thanks to both Siri and Google, I quickly discovered that the source of this marvellous image was a co-operative venture between two decorated World War One Flying Aces.  

Many folks will have no doubt heard of William "Billy" Bishop as there are quite a number of airports named after him.  Billy Barker was also a prominent World war One flying ace, and for a brief period after the war, these two enterprising gentlemen parlayed their skills by flying wealthy Muskokan's and also taking aerial photographs.  Although their venture was short lived, it did produce many wonderful shots such as my most recent acquisition here.  I have included a link to a wonderful biography of William Bishop as well.  I hope you enjoy it and my post!

William "Billy" Bishop