Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
i. H74 TMJ liTIHHIOat MiMtfl People of the south By Chris Stewart Think young and you'll stay young THE VOICE OF ONE Of. Frank S. Mortw Her 84th birthday was whipped with the winter's worst blizzard but that didn't deter Mary Pharis from keeping her appointments. She .drove home from the hairdressers in the howling storm, had a 'bite to eat' and headed back over treacherous streets to teach her evening class at the YMCA. Busy until midnight with the career she loves, she hadn't had time for celebrating, but that didn't matter. "Why t wouldn't miss teaching those classes for she said. "Six pupils and another teacher turned up despite the weather. What if I hadn't been This tiny, cheerful, undaunted woman with the faintest hint of a Kansas drawl is a born teacher. She has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, is forever learning new crafts, gathering ideas, completing courses -and projects and writing and reading prolificly. Reputed to be the oldest person to graduate from a Canadian university she earned her B.Ed, in English from the U of L in 1970, has enough history credits for a major and two credits towards a BA degree. She was an honor student in 1968 and captured As in both English and Canadian History in '70 with her papers, "Mormonism on Trial" and "The Discovery and Exploration of the Hudson Bay V Two of her research papers are filed in the university library. She had wanted to attend university all her life and only recently had the chance. This modest woman is amazed to learn she's so widely known, that her accomplishments are viewed with surprise and that friends choose to honor her like the time the university faculty, staff and student's society feted her on her 80th birthday. But she's "grateful for the staff's encouragement and the student's friendship." She lorgets, of course, wide recognition is unavoidable for a person as active as she. Friends greeted her with, "Hello', Mrs. Pharis. How are you''" when she attended last week's performance of Finian's Rainbow Our interview was repeatedly interrupted by callers inviting her to tea or asking to see her crafts. She finally curtailed any further engagements until the following Monday morning, her schedule was so full. Her appointment as an English teacher to new Canadians has benefited her as much as the students, she claims. She has to feel useful. "When they asked for volunteers I responded she said. Last year she taught Wednesday mornings in North Lethbridge and now teaches at the "Y" Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The course provides students with 500 words of basic English on which to build their vocabulary. One pupil, completing a workbook per week, is already finishing her fourth. "They a re so eager to learn it is a joy to help them." Mrs. Pharis feels. One of her biggest thrills has been teaching a middle-aged Russian lady to write. There's the Japanese mother of two teen-age boys who "simply can't stay away" and the Dutch couple, new arrivals to Canada just 10 months ago. "We've had every nationality you can think of." she said. I first met Mrs. Pharis two years ago when she was taking copious notes at a writer's conference She had written in her younger days, she said, and was eager to continue, but her many involvements robbed her of writing time. This is understandable when one views her schedule. This teacher, scholar, writer, craftsman, farmer's champion and homemaker is busier than most octogenarians. She helped organize the Farmer's Union of Alberta and has served as director; prepared press and radio reports for Radio Farm Forum (frequently giving radio addresses is a charter member of the Magrath United Church Women and served on the session; belongs to the University Women's Club, the Bowman Weaving Club and the UCW of McKillop United Church. She earned a first class teacher's certificate from the Calgary Normal School in 1923 and learned to weave at the Olds School of Community Life in 1937. Her Persian tapestry, learned from an Austrian named Wagner (employed at the Magrath woollen mill) earned her a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts (she has covered three chairs and is presently completing her Her ceramics, needlepoint, afghans and cross-stitch pictures grace her home (one of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane hangs in the Magrath United Church in memory of her sons, George and Blaine lost in the Second World Her hand- woven luncheon cloth was judged "almost too perfect to be believed" at the Edmonton handicraft display sponsored by the Farm Women's Union with the judges even more surprised to learn the contributor was over 70. Each of her eight grandchildren have received a 45-inch woven linen tablecloth. She was one of 12 housewives in 1949 to present- a brief asking for the re- establishment of 1945 price levels to Hon. D. C. Abbot and the Hon. C. D. Howe and returned from Ottawa urging homemakers to join either the House wive's League or the Farmer's Union to make sure their voices were heard. "We were told in Ottawa that continued people-pressure would bring about the changes we she said. "Growing public concern is our only weapon." Mrs. Pharis is purposeful. Her sense of dedication demands it. She cherishes Canada and vigorously backs everything beneficial for Canadians but opposes measures she believes harmful. She was shocked and nonplussed to find she and a lady Salvation Army captain (new to the city) were the only dissenters at a public meeting called by the Liquor Commission to hear briefs on the question of local liquor outlets Those expected to back her didn't show up. She opposes abortion on demand and wonders why more ratepayers aren't protesting with her. "It's the crudest method of limiting a she said. She believes Christian women should have a strong voice in matters influencing standards and principles. She claims "being silent on these issues is to assent." To know Mary Pharis is as refreshing as a spring breeze. She'll never grow old as some do because she always thinks young Her young friends consider her one of their peers. I'm sure they're thinking as I do, "I hope I'm as vibrant and interesting at 84 as is Mrs. Pharis and as good an influence." She was born in Havana, Kansas, lost her mother when she was three and was raised by her grandparents. Her paternal ancestors came from Austria prior to the Revolutionary War (she has the family record dating back to the early 1600s) She moved with her father to Joseph Lake, Oregon when she was 10 and to Anatone, southeastern Washington when he remarried in 1899. Mary studied at Washington State College. Pullman and taught a year, before marrying principal Leslie E. Pharis of the Anatone high school in 1908. Mr Pharis joined Mary's father William V. Bowersock (meaning 'good farmer' and Anglicized from Bauersach) in a successful Anatone hardware store levelled by fire in 1910. When their attempt to re-establish the business failed due to over- extended credit they decided to trade their merchandise for a neglected half-section east of Barons. Mary's father (widowed her brother Bruce, and Mr. Pharis' brother Wilbur accompanied Leslie Pharis, north with their effects. Mary and three-year- old daughter Gwen arrived in Lethbridge by train on Good Friday, 1914 to meet the Anatone expedition. Granted Sunday travel permission from the RCMP they headed for Barons on Easter Sunday. Five horses were hitched to the machinery-stacked front wagon. Gwen, her mother and their black terrier Trixie rode ir. the trailing buggy with a milk cow bringing up the rear. When the cavalcade moved off from downtown Lethbridge the cow, likely excited by the commotion, broke loose. It took two RCMP officers assisting the Anatone men to capture the frightened animal whose noisy chase had wakened the neighborhood. When they finally reached the farm the tenants doubted their ownership and refused to move out so the newcomers were forced to share their quarters for a week until they were convinced of their identity. There was no water and no crop the first year but bumper crops in When news of Mr. Pharis' teaching credentials spread through the area he was asked to teach at the Buimer country school. They purchased two sections west of Magrath in 1917 but didn'T take up permanent residency until' 1931, the year without crops when wheat sold for merely 31 cents a bushel. Leslie Pharis taught the first grade 12 class at the Magrath high school (September served as Jared Mercer's vice-principal and worked his farm during summer vacations. He arid Mrs. Pharis taught at Spring Coulee for several years and lived in the teacherage. When they finally moved to their farm Mr. Pharis was appointed teacher at the little St. Mary's school edging their property. He completed his morning chores in time to teach grades one to 12 and successfully assigned each high school student a grade one protege. He received in salary in September and not another cent until the following July when some of his year's wages was met with horses and stock. Mary Pharis made ends meet by writing poetry and feature stories for The Lethbridge Herald, Calgary Herald and Country Guide, tended a large garden, cooked, baked bread and made repeated trips to Lethbridge for machinery parts, farm help and Radio Farm Forum assignments. When the depression eased in ,1936 they purchased two sections at Milk River for sons Blaine and George. The land was just ready to produce when the Second World War erupted and both boys enlisted. Blaine received his pilot officer's commission at Brandon, married a Chartottetown girl and was promoted to flying officer in England but was lost in a Sunderland flying boat along the northwest coast of Ireland in 1943. His controls had been damaged by an enemy U-boat. George, a gunner, dropped leaflets over France on D Day informing the Allies help was coming but went down in the Bay of St. Malo while on a bombing raid over the small German-occupied island of He d'Czembrey. His pilot officer's rank was awarded posthumously. Third son Bob, enlisted in Edmonton on his 18th birthday but was given compassionate leave upon receiving word of his brothers' deaths. He earned his MA in agriculture at the U of A, worked two years for the North Dakota government, served in the Department of Agriculture at Edmonton and as a high school science teacher in B.C. and was teaching at Simon Fraser University at the time of his death in 1970. Daughter Gwen, earned her BA at the University of Alberta and her MA in drama on a scholarship to the University of North Carolina. She served as receptionist and later assistant to Elizabeth Stirling Haynef, first drama instructor at the Banff School of Fine Arts and later married Dr. J. Brian Ringwood of Edmonton. Active in theatre in the Cariboo she was honored by the town of Williams Lake during B.C.'s centennial year when they named an outdoor theatre in her honor. Leslie and Mary Pharis sold their farm in, 1949 (theirs for 35 years and recognized as a showplace) and moved into Magrath. They remodelled their home and created a beautiful garden filled with flowers. Their golden wedding anniversary, in August, 19S8, was held on their lawn. They remained active in the Farmer's Union. (Mrs. Pharis had joined following the depression, believing united farmers could prevent subsequent economic Mr. Pharis was a member of the federal Agricultural Advisory Committee for 10 years prior to his death in 1961. Mrs. Pharis values the warm welcome afforded her family by Albertans when they settled in this country. "We learned to love Alberta, Canada and its people and have tried to play our part in community life as well as helping young people in school and she said. "1 appreciate our friends, many of whom are former pupils. It is good to know of their successes and I hope we have made some small contribution towards it." Southern Albertans would agree, "You certainly have, Mrs. Pharis." Her plans? She'll be taking additional university courses this summer. The sin of religious people Mrs. Mary Pharis Book review Up-to-date work on Irish troubles "A House Divided" by James Callaghan, (Collins, Callaghan is a good Irish name, but this writer is undoubtedly a very loyal Englishman. That sort of thing happens frequently in the British Isles. A contradiction? Certainly not! A paradox? Definitely. Mr. Callaghan was home secretary in the Wilson government from 1967 to 1970. During that time Derry city in northern Ireland exploded into violence. The year was 1968. This home secretary was -tliere shortly after the first shock waves In fact, he made it his business to be everywhere, to see everything, and to talk to everyone, especially those Irishmen in Belfast. Given the speed of our times, this book must be one of the most up-to-date productions by a responsible person on the problems related to northern Ireland. It, is also a cool, collected, objective work in which a past minister of home affairs lays the blame for revolution squarely on the door-steps of the Irish Unionist leaders O'Neill, Chichester Clark, Faulkner, Paisley and others. It is almost a day to day account of why and how the revolt in northern Ireland broke out. It is by no means a comprehensive book, nor necessarily a scholarly effort which would have to enclose 400 years of history and cover many different aspects. Mr. Callaghan's work talks of the practicalities and as such is limited. But it is very readable and in language which any layman can understand. For an ex-cabinet minister who is now a minister and who may yet again be an ex- minister soon, the book Itself is nothing short of an extraordinary political work. For an Irishman, like me, it is hard to imagine an Englishman, like him, writing such a book on a part of Ireland. A House Divided is essential reading for students of Ireland. Indeed, it is a work belonging to the study of the British Isles as a whole. LOUIS BURKE Books in brief "Follyfoot Farm" by Monica Dickeai (HelMmaa, ttt pages) This is really two books in one, based on an English television series created by the versatile writer Monica Dickens who now lives in the United States. The book is attractively illustrated with actual photographs of the young people and the horses who star in the series. The stories will appeal to all young horse lovers. ELSPETH WALKER Frederick Faber, the hymn writer, once observed, "Religious people are an unkind lot." He meant that strict observance of religious duiiw often made people hard.. Certainly some of the kindest people I have ever known were deeply religious people, while some of the unkindest were irreligious people. Nevertheless it is important to note that the bitterest words Jesus spoke were not addressed to the sinners, but to the deeply religious men, the Scribes and Pharisees. The church has never been free from those people whose faith has become congealed in cold and lifeless forms and who in the name ,of religion have persecuted new truth. Not only has the letter killed the spirit, but the most revolting cruelty has been justified in the pretext of protecting truth. Thus the cruelty of the rack, torture by every ingenious, fiendish device, burning at the stake, and .baptizing in boiling oil were justified by the Inquisition as a necessity to protect the faith. About the year 450 B.C. Ezra the Scribe led the Jews returning to Jerusalem in a national dedication to the recovery and observance of 'the law' in its minutest particulars. At first the Law had been the Ten Commandments, but this was expanded to mean the pentateuch, a further expansion included all the Old Testament, and then the development of the Scribal Law led to thousands of regulations which took 50 volumes to contain. Professor William Barclay in his commentaries on the Gospel according to St. Matthew has an excellent analysis of the countless, often ridiculous regulations of the law. For example, no work might be done on the Sabbath an excellent law. But what constituted a burden which a man might carry? The Scribal Law defined a burden as "food equal in weight to a dried fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, honey enough to put upon a wound, oil enough to annoint a small member, water enough to moisten an eye- salve, paper enough to write a customs house notice and so on endlessly. Jesus came up violently against the regulation that it was forbidden to heal on. the Sabbath. There was obviously among the Jewish people a strong revulsion represented in Jesus against the stupid, countless laws. There was also a revolt from the Pharisees Separated who had arisen as a separate sect after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes cf Syria when in 175 B C he tried to stamp out the Jewish faith. They were dedicated to its observance with the most scrupulous attention to ceremonial and law. The TaJmiMl lists seven kinds of Pharisees. The Shoulder Pharisee carried bis good deeds listed on Us ihoiUder. The Wait-a-Littlt Pharisee good deeds in the future. The Bruised or Bleeding Pharisees kept their eyes closed lest they look on a woman and collided with walls and street The Hump-Backed Pharisee shuffled along in bent fashion to ape humility. The Ever- Reckoning Pharisee was always trying to make a balance sheet of his good deeds to God. The Timid Pharisee went about in fear of the judgement. The God-fearing Pharisee truly loved God and delighted in His commandments. The bitterness of Jesus, which is poured out in the "Seven Woes" in the 23rd chapter of Matthew's Gospel, is directed against the first groups of Pharisees and the Scribes, whom he repeatedly describes as hypocrites. They had made religion weight instead of wings, an intolerable burden instead of a power to lift men. They had made it a repulsive, sad thing instead of a delight and ioy. They had made it narrow, exclusive, mean, and hating, instead of loving and kind. They had turned religion into an outward pretense instead of an inward spirit, regulations and rules' instead of a heart filled with the presence of God. It was a depressing, negative religion instead of a positive, vitalizing experience and expression Instead of love of man and God. it was love of the Law. Their kind of religion kept people out of the Kingdom of God. made religion an object of scorn and revulsion Now the Pharisees who were a small sect really, never numbering more than about had certain merits. They were brave, ready to die for their faith, and many of them if not all did die in the siege of Jerusalem. But they were bigots, and a bigot believes that in his little system of truth he has all truth, thus there is no enemy to growing truth as great as a bigot. Moreover the bigot substitutes right opinion for a heart right with God. This has been the curse of the Christian Church. Instead of the standard of love which Jesus maintained, the church has consistently asked, "Have you the right opinion about this credal To say a man is a Christian, but unkind, is a grotesque self- contradiction. A man who is a walking embodiment of the Ten Commandments, but is hard, censorious, and critical, despite his passion for righteousness, has failed in the fight of life The (Inivcrniiy of Lvth bridge APERTURE Takashi Ohki Pricing a public utility Takashi Ohki is an assistant profes- sor of economics at the University of Lethbridge. He was born in Tokyo in 1941 and received an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia in 1966. He joined the U of L faculty in 1969. Public utility services such as water, gas. electricity, and transportation are subject to various measures of price regulation. Some of these services are directly supplied by local governments, while others are indirectly controlled by public utility boards Why are these services not provided by private producers without any regulation? Regulation must exist because competition is impossible in public utility industries Competition requires the existence of many producers in each industry causing rivalry among producers which will reduce costs of services and serve the best interests of the consumers Public utility industries are characterized by large amounts of initial investment. Once the initial investment has been made, operating costs of wage and maintenance are relatively low. The average cost of providing services decreases continuously as the industry provides more and more services to consumers. There are economies of scale in public utility industries. Economies of scale can confer a cost advantage to producers who have started providing services earlier than others. Eventually competition breaks down and public utility industries will be dominated by- monopolies. Since monopolies are large enough to influence their markets, they will provide the amounts of service which will benefit their profits most, instead of the amounts which can benefit consumers most. If competition fails to serve the interest of consumers in public utility, how can we provide public utility service to the best interest of consumers? If price regulation of the right kind is used by local governments on the services they provide to consumers by themselves, the interest of consumers can still be best served in the absence of competition. Before we discuss what is the right price regulation, we have to decide what is meant by the interest of the consumers. Economists have long used two criteria to judge how well an industry can contribute to the benefit of consumers: one is efficiency, the other is income distribution. According to the efficiency criterion, the price is right when it is on par with the extra costs of providing one more unit of service to consumers. This is called marginal cost- pricing. As an example, let us consider a bus transit system. Once the initial investment has been made, marginal cost is the cost of providing a passenger one more ride on one route. If a bus lare is set higher th.in the marginal cost, it will discourage somi- passengers who ari1 willing to pay the cosi of this extra service of taking the bus. The scarce resources allocated to the bus transit system will be under-used. If the fare is lower than the marginal cost, the scarce resource will be over-used. Only when the lare is equal to the marginal cost, will the transit system be used the most wisely, from a social viewpoint. Marginal cost pricing is the most desirable kind from the efficiency viewpoint. But. unfortunately, this pricing will raise another problem in public utility industries. The economy of scale in public utility industries implies that marginal cost is lower than average cost. If price is set equal to marginal cost, this industry will fail to raise sufficient revenue to cover the total cost of providing its service to consumers. It must'find some other sources of revenue to cover its continuing losses. This does not mean, however, that this public utility service should not be provided to consumers at all. Society will benefit from receiving such service whenever total benefits exceed total costs. The question is to deride how society should distribute the burden of covering the losses among its consumers. We may generally use some forms of tax to finance the losses. Here we use the criterion of income distribution to decide the best distribution of the burden. If (he benefits out of the service are confined to a local community, we may use local taxes such as property tax as the source of revenue. By covering losses by the property tax, the local community can provide services of public utility at marginal cost. Since the losses are automatically covered by the tax. a local government should be careful in choosing what kinds of public services are most needed in its local community. It has been pointed out by economists that financing a public'utility out of taxes tends to lead to over investment in a public utility already existing in the community. On ihe use of words Affect and effect. Though they are almoal look-alikes and sound-alikes, affect and effect have quite different meanings. The verb affect means to influence or have a bearing upon, whereas the verb effect means to bring about, execute or accomplish. Here is a sentence that illustrate! the distinction between the two words: "If the administra- tion can effect a firm control on Inflation, it will affect the pocketbook of every cltiien." If you need a memonic device to remember the distinction, just keep in mind that the word beginning with an e effect has the meaning of another word beginning with an e eiecitt.