Legion Lager is Important!

I recently read an article from a St Catharines Ontario newspaper report. It was reporting on the local Legion branch,”Merritton Legion. The president stated that if they lost their liquor license they might as well close the doors. They would no longer be able to help veterans or the community? It is a fact most branches today survive on monies from liquor and lotto machines. Most branch memberships are made up of civilians with perhaps a sprinkling of veterans. In todays legions, membership is open to all and sundry. To claim they need a liquor in order to remain open says very little about being an organization for veterans. What comes to mind for me is what veterans is she referring too? Could be members like Tom Eagles? or the many other highly legion decorated associate members?

Here is a selection of today legion veterans

Posted in Family and veterans, military | Leave a comment

Our Soil is Healthy ???NOT

After reading the letter to the editor dated 14thJune 2019 by Marion E MacCallum I need to respond. She cites the soil is healthy due to years of cattle on on the land. She states the soil is healthy because the island is lush green and covered in dandelions. She claims this is all due to the years of islands mixed farming? If I was reading this letter in 1969 I would whole heartily have agreed. PEI was indeed the Garden of Gulf. Alas this is 2019 and I remember the 1970s cries of “go big or go bust”.  I’m not a farmer, not even a gardener and have little knowledge of soils or its conditions. However, I believe I’m intelligent enough to disagree on these points. We may still have some limited mixed farming, but surely the largest product is potato’s. They are farmed by the Irving’s, and it’s hard to think of them as a family farm. As for the rich crops of dandelions! I look across the dessert like potato fields devoid of growth. No hedge rows, no weeds and certainly no dandelions. Sorry, but I disagree that our soil is healthy. Ask your self how many worms and other insects have survived in the vast acreage of pesticide sprayed soil.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island | 2 Comments

My Heart Attack.

8It is not my intention to look for sympathy by telling this story, it is rather my hope it might help someone else. It’s worth noting that most heart attacks do not happen the way they are shown in Hollywood movies. This is the story of my attack that began in late January 2011.  I walked regularly every day back then, used ski poles and was always accompanied by my dog.  In late January I was beginning to have shortness of breath returning back up the hill. I began having pain in my shoulders, but like most people do, I diagnosed myself. It must be the ski poles, maybe I’m leaning on them too much. On the next evening climbing the same hill I had to stop several times to catch my breath and rest for a few minutes. I was thankful to get home and sink into my chair. Nevertheless, I considered I was just not fit and needed more exercise. We had supper, watch some television then went to bed. Next morning I rose at the usual time, had breakfast, showered and dressed. I felt a bubbling sensation around my heart, but again in my self diagnoses, it was nothing. I settled down to watch the soccer game on the television, I was feeling rather odd and not sure quite why. I was mostly listening to the game with my eyes closed. I felt another bubbling sensation and put my hand over my heart. Linda had been watching me with concern for a while. She finally said, OK! we are going to emergency. No way, I’ll sit in there for hours and then they will send me home with a prescription. Besides I want to watch the end of the game. Linda agreed, but once the game is over we are going. I still was not taking it seriously, I stopped on my way out to pick up the garbage.  I can’t remember exactly what Linda said! but I did get into the car with more urgency and speed?  My wife is a lot wiser than me, she had googled my symptoms, pain in shoulders was an indication of a heart attack. I was completely surprised upon arriving at the hospital, I was immediately taken in, no waiting! Once in a johnny shirt I was hooked up to an ECG machine, blood taken etc. The doctor said he didn’t believe I’d had a heart attack ( I was about to say, see I told you) but was concerned enough to keep me in. There was a unusual enzyme showing up in my blood. I was sent to the constant care unit and connected to several monitors. My impression was, there was no immediate danger and thought I’d probably be sent home, then given appointment for dye test in Halifax later. During this time I felt ok, had lots of visitors, and lots of dietary advice. I was told they would probably put in a stent in Halifax and in no time I’d be back to my old self. I was finally rushed off in an ambulance on a very early Friday morning. Later that day I was rolled into the dye test place.  When I came around the doctor was standing over me. Hi doc, did you put a stent in? Afraid not, you need a lot more than a stent, you have four blockages. I was slated for open heart surgery, my main artery was over 90% blocked, plus three other arteries also seriously blocked. I was told I’d been very lucky, I could have dropped dead at any moment. The surgery went well and I was soon home again, with a huge variety of medications. I have fully recovered now, but will never be quite the same old me again. That was eight years ago, and here I’m still alive and kicking, oh yes and still watching soccer. I wanted to share my experience for others who might one day experience similar symptoms. Who might make the same stupid self diagnose as I did. Please treat them as serious, your body is telling you something is wrong, seek immediate medical attention. How often do we hear of someone dropping dead on the spot with no apparent reason. Was that caused by a serious blockage, the unfortunate victims will never know.   Please take heed, had it not been for my very sensible and smart wife Linda I would not be here to tell this story. You can see from the added photos I had a lot to lose.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island | Leave a comment

Shame at the Womens World Cup.

I started coaching girls soccer in 1975, a time before the present World cup women were not yet born or old enough to play. My girls team were always a joy to work with, they were polite and respectfully. They displayed a great sense of sportsmanship throughout their careers in the game. We won games and we lost games but we never lost our respect for other players or teams. We celebrated, hugged, cheered and jumped up and down, but never while humiliating others. We always had a code of conduct and we always followed it. In the recent world cup game between Thailand and the USA, I was appalled at the display of the US players. They have every right to celebrate when scoring a goal we all do. However, after 4 or 5 goals it becomes a romp and the opposing team at the very least feel bad enough. To then rub their noses in it is just so arrogant and rude.To continue to thirteen goals, each with an over the top celebration is just poor sportsmanship. Not only the players on the field but also those on the benches. What was the coach thinking, why did she not move to tone down the outlandish behaviour? I sad testament to the USA soccer association. I believe it will now set the tone for the rest of the tournament, everyone will be cheering on the opponents. Only US citizens will cheer the US team. A very unfortunate outcome in such an amazing sporting contest.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island, soccer | Leave a comment

Clear Cutting?

As I understand the regulations concerning clear cutting, there appears to be a very serious gap in the rules. If you are a member of the PEI Forestry Management there are strict rules on clear cutting. It is mandatory the cleared area is left in good condition, and the area is re-planted. However, those people not members of the forestry can cut and clear vast areas with no responsibility to repair or re-plant. Government must act to change this serious loop hole in regulations. I see huge forested areas cut for profit and the debris left to rot. These people care not about the future, just about making a quick buck. This is not an issue that requires debate or panels to study, it needs immediate action now. I plead with our new provincial government to act while we still have a forest left.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, politics, Prince Edward Island | Leave a comment


What is a PFD you might ask. Its a personal floatation device, more commonly known as a lifejacket. It is a very important life saving piece of equipment. Yet the fishers of Prince Edward Island will not wear them, why? Well they claim they are too bulky, too hard to work in and so on. Not to many months ago two Tignish fishers drown while a third managed to swim to shore. Just recently a young fisherman drown at the Eastern end of the island. These are just the two incidents I’m highlighting, but they have been so many more down the years. In both cases they were not wearing any form of floatation devices. I have trouble understanding the reasons behind these tragic accidents. It seem to me we had a great fuss and much protesting over wearing seat belts. Yet today the vast majority of motorist use the seat belts. Wearing a PFD has been demonstrated again and again as a valuable life saving tool. Is it because its not Macho to be seen wearing a PFD, or because the older fishers do not set the example? When anyone is on the water their vessel is their life support system, without it there are in grave danger. Fires, storms and sinking are all hazards at sea, if a crew member has to abandon his vessel it would seem wise to do it wearing a PFD. Finally the Dept of Health and Safety are looking into making wearing of PFDs mandatory. That’s long been required, but will not be the complete answer. At sea there is no one to see if you are wearing it or not, that is your personal decision. Its up to those individuals to make the sensible choices. I leave you with this thought, if wearing a PFD might save your life someday, why would you not wear one????
God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, Prince Edward Island | Leave a comment

Yard Art!!

I have just added my second attempt at what I call yard art? not sure if anyone would agree, but I like it. The Irish Guard on the right was my first older attempt, not sure if I’m improving??.  I cant do a lot these days and what I can do is done at an extremely slow pace. Nevertheless, I have managed to complete my sailor painting. Can’t claim its an original idea, I took it from the old cigarette packaging “Players Please”. I doubt the Players cigarette Company will sue me over copywrite issues, at least I hope not. Now I can look out my kitchen window and admire my work!!!while eating breakfast. I have plans for one more painting but its only in the planning stages at the moment. But Hey!!! something for my readers to look forward to eh?

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in Family and veterans, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges | 1 Comment

Memories of D Day.

My memories of D Day are much different from the brave soldiers that landed in Normandy. My beach was in Padstow in Cornwall. I arrived in Padstow in mid April 1944 the village was a restricted area. My sister and I need special permission to enter and once in were not allowed to leave. Her husband was part of the Victor Naval Commando Units training in preparation for June 6th. Of course, no one had any idea of this in the village. The beaches around the village were considered very similar to Normandy beaches. The commandos were practicing driving landing craft onto the beach at high speed. No one knew why, nor were the local fishermen particularly impressed. The commandos left the area shortly before D Day but my sister and I had to remain until late June before we could return home to London. When I say home to London, well we were in for a big surprise. The house we rented a flat in was gone. A victim to one of the first V1 flying bombs (doddlebugs) we lost everything. When going to Padstow we were only allowed one small suitcase between us. Still we didn’t have a lot to begin with so the lost was just part of the war. Many families were much worse off than we were. The most important fact was we were still alive, had we not been in Padstow I probably would’nt be here to write this story.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in Belfast Blitz, family, Family and veterans | Leave a comment

Does this Ring a Bell?

This Story Might Ring A Bell
Posted on June 2nd 2019
After Quasimodo’s death, the Bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer was urgently needed.The Bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally
and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process.

After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills over a long period, he decided to call it a day and to continue the interviewing process the following day.
Just then, an armless Frenchman approached him and announced that he
was there to apply for the bell ringer’s job. The Bishop was incredulous.
But, you have no arms, Monsieur !’
‘No matter,’ said the man. ‘Observe me, Excellency !’
And, pushing his way past the Bishop, he began striking the bells
with his ugly face, producing a most beautiful melody on the carillon.
The Bishop listened in astonishment convinced he had found a
sensational replacement for Quasimodo.
But, suddenly, as he rushed forward to strike the bells again in
encore, the armless Frenchman tripped over a mallet and plunged
headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street far below.
The stunned Bishop rushed down two hundred and ninety five church steps to reach the street.
A crowd had by now gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before.As they silently parted to let the Bishop through, one of them asked,
‘Bishop sir, who was this man ?’

‘I don’t know his name,’ the Bishop sadly replied……..
WAIT ! WAIT ! There’s more….
The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his
heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the
Bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Notre Dame.
The first man to approach him said, ‘Your Excellency, I am the
brother of the poor armless wretch who fell to his death from this
very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honour his life by allowing me
to replace him in this duty.’
The Bishop agreed to give the man an audition, but, as the armless
man’s brother stooped to pick up a heavy mallet to strike the first
bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled around, and died of
heart failure on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the Bishop’s cries of anguish at this second
shocking tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.
‘What has happened ? Who is this man?’ the first monk asked, breathlessly.
‘I don’t know his name,’ sighed the now distraught Bishop, ‘but…’

Posted in Just Fooling | 2 Comments

Tattoos Gone Wild!!!!

Tattoo’s A Wiser Decision of my Youth
Posted on 1st June 2019
by irishroverpei

In 1956 I joined HMS Cockade stationed in the Far East, I was just seventeen years old and a very new sailor. It was a natural progression in the Navy to torment and tease the new young sailors. My career was no exception and one of the things the older salts set their sights on was that I had no tattoos. I was taunted by many saying I was afraid of the needle. Others threatened to get me drunk and then have a tattoo done on my bum. Until arriving in Asia I had never seen a tattoo shop let alone entered one. I could see little sense in marking ones skin with such a permanent and often silly tattoos. I saw sailors with a variety of tattoos, one had hinges tattooed at his elbows, a sentry with rifle poised on the cheek of a bum saying “halt who goes there. One guy had ”I love Mary” on his arm, then Mary dumped him! He changed it to read”I love Mother”. A popular tattoo was a sailing ship on the forearm saying “Homeward Bound” and I confess if I were to have a tattoo that would have been my choice.. Fortunately I continued to resist and eventually was homeward bound with my skin unblemished. The tattoo shops in places like Hong Kong were less than sanitary and all new tattoos became infected requiring a treatment of penicillin. I never came to understand the desire of young sailors to mark their bodies with tattoos. I suppose in many cases it was to be like their older and not very wise shipmates. I wonder what some of those tattoos look like today as my shipmates age. Probably not the art they were once considered to be. Now in 2019 we have tattoo parlours everywhere, even here on tiny Prince Edward Island. We have young men and women walking our streets with the most outrageous skin art. That’s before they pierce their bodies with rings, studs and a strange array of other metals. Are we living in a world gone wild? do they really think they look good??? I watch the premiership soccer on a regular basis, and every second player seems to be covered in tattoos. The question here is this, have I lost touch with modern society or has it lost touch with me??? In July I might be off to Halifax to watch the International Tattoo!! now that is a sensible use of the word “tattoo”.
God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges | Leave a comment