Archive for Ontario

A Band of Brothers Like No Other

Posted in People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Jordan

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…

Henry V – Act 4, Scene 3

These words from King Henry to his men before heading into battle in Shakespeare’s Henry V epitomize the bond that few occupations posses.  Firefighters are among these few.

Today, my home town of Listowel laid two of its finest firefighters to rest after they gave the town their lives while responding to a massive downtown fire on March 17, 2011. The joint funerals of Ken Rae and Ray Walter at Listowel Memorial Arena not only celebrated the lives of these two remarkable men but accentuated the unique brotherhood that all firefighters share.  Thousands of fireman from across the continent congregated in the tiny community to pay their respects to their fallen comrades. They created a sea of black that snaked for several kilometers down Main Street as they filed behind the hearses destined for the arena.

As I watched the funeral procession and service online today, I was overwhelmed with feelings of both sadness and pride. The feelings of sadness are obvious but the pride that filled my chest as I watched thousands of men and women in black uniforms flank the streets of Listowel was incredible.  I was proud because nameless firefighters reached out to a shaken community in a time of need. I was proud because I knew this overwhelming support helped the people of Listowel stand on their feet during a time when many wanted to lie down. I was proud to see the international firefighting community stand together and pay their respects to their fallen brothers.  And finally, I was proud to know that their are literally thousands of men and women that are willing to put it all on the line to protect their communities the same way Ken and Ray did should the fateful call arise.

The risks firefighters face on a daily basis are often mitigated and overlooked by their remarkable skills; however, the events in Listowel on March 17, 2011 are a humbling reminded of these risks.  Firefighters stand together, succeed together and grieve together.  They truly are a remarkable band of brothers.

The Whole Ball of Wax: Behind The Blogging

Posted in People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2011 by Jordan

After 9 months of blogging, The Whole Ball of Wax’s has reached a significant milestone with the publication of its 100th post.  The Editor and Chief of The Whole Ball of Wax (Jordan) could use this opportunity to write something profound, but if The Simpson’s has taught Jordan anything it’s that when you reach a milestone you take that opportunity to reflect on your production to date.  Jordan also learned that the milestone episodes of The Simpson’s are traditionally the worst ones. Consequently, he apologizes in advance if this milestone post is a snoozer.

 

The Whole Ball of Wax was a lingering brainchild in the back of Jordan’s mind for a long time but never amounted to anything tangible until his pure hatred for the show Friends served as a starting point for the type of blogs he wanted to produce.  As a result, on April 2, 2010 the first article for The Whole Ball of Wax was published called Friends? Still?

 

Over the next month Jordan dabbled in as many topics as he possibly could in an effort to fulfill The Whole Ball of Wax’s mandate to be an all-encompassing source of information.  Jordan provided commentary on the Tiger Woods scandal; he showed his serious and historical side by addressing the anniversary of The Battle of Vimy Ridge, and produced the first of many “Grind My Gears” topics about how the saying, “it is what it is” really bothers him.  Despite the popularity of all these posts, it was his post called, “Battle of the Butts” that gave The Whole Ball of Wax and Jordan real notoriety.  This post about a dancing fart exploited the public’s perception on the topic and redefined the direction of The Whole Ball of Wax.

 

It became apparent to Jordan that he could try as hard as he wanted to educate his readers about historical and political events but what his readers really wanted to read were posts about farts, poops, and other low brow topics.  Consequently, The Whole Ball of Wax began publishing numerous posts about B.O., puke, and Jordan’s pooping habits.  These posts were received with unanimous approval; however, Jordan knew that he needed to get more out of his posts to satisfy his personal need to write about meaningful topics.

 

By the time Jordan realized The Whole Ball of Wax was no longer heading in the direction he wanted it was mid-November.  By this point Jordan was over-worked, exhausted, and in no position to change the direction of The Whole Ball of Wax.  To make matters worse, Jordan started abusing Fun Dip and Swedish Berries… His life was spiraling out of control.

 

By mid-December it had been a month since The Whole Ball of Wax had published an article. Luckily for Jordan and The Whole Ball of Wax, the LC got Jordan out of his hostile environment and took him to Ontario to spend Christmas with his family.  During the holidays, Jordan remembered why he started The Whole Ball of Wax in the first place and published a State of the Union article vowing to get things back on track and committed to publishing more articles.  It was on this day that Jordan shook the Fun Dip for good and switched from Swedish Berries to sugar free Big Feet.

 

Jordan is back in Halifax healthier than ever and Fun Deep free.  The Whole Ball of Wax has slowly regained the prowess it maintained in the early fall of 2010 and is showing signs of taking its posts to the next level.

 

Terry Fox – The Greatest Canadian

Posted in History, People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by Jordan

On September 2, 1980, Terry Fox was forced to end his courageous Marathon of Hope just outside of Thunder Bay, ON after running for 143 days and covering 5, 373 kilometers across Canada.  Terry’s campaign to raise cancer awareness and overcome the disease came to an end when he died nine months later on June 28, 1981.

Terry’s Marathon of Hope began with little fan fair when he dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s Nfld on April 12, 1980.  By the time he reached the Ontario boarder Terry had reached rock star status as thousands of Ontarian’s lined the streets in support of his efforts.   Among the supporters was Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr who presented Terry with a personal cheque for $25, 000.  Terry considered meeting the great Bruins defenceman as the highlight of his journey of hope.  By the time Terry’s cancer had spread to his lungs and was forced to abandon his efforts, his Marathon of Hope had raised $1.7 million.  One week later CTV held a telethon that raised another $10.5 million in support of Terry and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Terry’s influence around the world was so prominent that as his health worsened and his fait became imminent Pope John Paul II sent Terry a telegram informing Terry he was praying for him.  When Terry died, the Government of Canada ordered all flags across the country lowered to half mast and Prime Minister Trudeau addressed the House of Commons stating, “It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death….We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”

Since Terry’s death, the annual Terry Fox Run has become the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research while raising more than $500 million.  Tomorrow is the 30th running of the Terry Fox Run, which coincides with the T.V. premier of Into the Wind on TSN 2 co-directed by British Columbian and NBA star Steve Nash.   This film celebrates the life of Terry Fox while addressing his state of mind and thoughts and reflections throughout his Marathon of Hope.

In 2004 Terry Fox finished second to Tommy Douglas in CBC’s campaign to determine The Greatest Canadian.  With respect to the great efforts of Tommy Douglas and his creation of universal public health care, Terry Fox should have been declared The Greatest Canadian. Terry was everything a good Canadian should be.  Intelligent, driven, dedicated, passionate, humble and inspiring are only a handful of adjectives that consummate the person that was Terry Fox.  His legacy must not and will not ever die for he is The Greatest Canadian.

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