Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 16, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
48 THE LHHBRIDGE HERALD Wednoidoy, August 16, 1972 lly KAY ISAIM'U-iTT SUN" CITY CKNTUE. Fin. (AD Golf carLs rollir.g through the .streets of this tiny Florida town shortly iifter eight each morning. "Drive carefully, grand- parents cit ;i the golf course advises. Sim City is oni1 of several new communities in the United .Slates thai old age- has crenicd. It has a population of and an annual death title one [HT cent. The birUi rate in Sun Cily is Unlike mo.i communities LI; America, this retirement centre relies on the newly-re- tired, nol the newborn, to main- tain population growth. Pleasant pastimes 'and deatli are the preoccuinLions of most Sun Citj-ites. Almost cv- cry one in this tov.n '25 miles south of Tampa is involved in a .sport, recreation or social ac- tivity. Many visit the golf course even' day. And fully 75 per cent have visited the funeral home in the neighboring community of Rus- kin to make arrangements of one kinrl or another. DOX'T DREAD DEATH But the superannuated citi- zens of Sun City do not dread death, just lingering, painful ill- ness Since the retirement town opened in the early about a dozen persons have died while square dancing, golfing or gardening. The sight of all old pciplc and no children did take some adjustment for most Sun Ci- "They did look old when we first got says Mrs, Ar- thur Jacob son. "That was their first appear- ance before their personalities came through. Now they look younger." Sun City Centre is a return to a slow-paced world of 30 years ago. There Is no crime to speak of, the houses arc paid for, the vote is 9.1 per cent Republican, the speed limit is 30 miles an hour and people say hello to to- tal strangers market anil wave at strange cars. There are no hhicks, a hand- ful of Jewish families and lots of people who belonged to the country club set back home. Clmrch 'attendance is high. When the wife is ill, prepared food arrives at the donr. When it's the husband, the wife is looked aflor. NO DRUGS Words like pollution, crime, overcrowding, narcotics, unem- ployment, ghettoes are news- paper words here. They rcaci about such things, talk about them, but the closest contact is by long distance. One grand- mother, Louise Hull, was told by her sots that statistically two of her 12 grandchildren would run into drug problems. ''Tin glad I raised my chil- dren when I she can they be so unhappy (o turn lo drugs." Cocktail parties arc a nightly fixture, with one resident guessing that a door-by-door survey on any given would turn np JO to 20 in prog- ress. They start promptly at iirttO and end just as promptly at as though someone rang a bell. Socializing in Sun Lily I? complicated by the fact thai women live longer than men. The female-male ratio here is 3 (o 1, and Ethel Little is aware of this statistic. Mrs. Little, past president ol the Singleton's, a social clul for single persons, says "the nu mber o f women is over- whelming." Men are afraid lo come to the club because they arc out numbered. "Still, the club ful- fils a Mrs. Little says. 1'INDERS, KEEPERS STEVENSON, Wash. feet of solid con- crete in the heart of London, a faded score card recalls (he interne human drama of the Battle of Britain. "Sept. 15, 19-10: Germany- downed IBS, probable -12, dam- aged reads the yellowing card up in the official map room where score was kept of Itrltisti air victories against (he Luflwnffc. Here, under the ornate gov- ernment buildings in Storey's Gate, near Whitehall and only a few hundred yards from Wcstminstcr, more than 150 rooms open off a mile of cor- ridors. In this intricate network of chambers, some little larger than a clothes closet, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and hL> wartime cabinet laid the broad strategy for Brit- ain's part in (he defeat of the Axis. To the 300 people who worked in these cellars, part of the vast underground of caverns and tunnels be- neath London, it was simply "the hole." But lo Churchill, it was "this secret place." VOWKD TO .STAY It was here that tlic British leader said in May, 1910: "If invasion comes, this is where I shall sit." His chair still stands at the head c-f the cabi- net table. "I shall sit here until cither the Germans arc driven back or they carry me out dead." The knife and revolver which' remain in bis desk drawer in- dicate Churchill meant what he said. From his bed-sitter in I hose rooms, the British leader made his historic radio broad- casts and from a liny room he held his telephone conversa- ions with President Franklin D, Roosevelt in Washington. Much of (he space now has converted into store- rooms or .sealed off, but six of he chambers have been pre- served as a memorial. They ore open to visitors on a re- stricted basis and they usually require security clearance. The rectangular cabinet tahie, covered with a holt of blue cloth which had been in- .ended for police uniforms, still holds the faded place cards: Ernest Bcvin, Clement Attlee, Lord Beaverbrook. MANNRI) AT MUNICH Tho hole was first manned during the Munich crisis of, ]Q3it but when Prime Minister Neville relumed with a promise of peace, it was abandoned until near tho outbreak of war in 1939. The Germans never it ex- isted. Churchill arrived in Iiis se- cret place without warning soon after assuming office in May, 1940. lie swept through the rooms, then asked the shortest route to No. 10 ing Street, his official resi- dence. When be slcpjKMl from Ihe darkness into an Krifjlish May morning, a small group of Londoners gathered and as Churchill headed across the street, his walking slick tap- ping out a furious staccato, they broke into an impromptu cheer. "They trust me and T can give them not lung but disaster for quite a long said the prime minister then. The main part of the under- ground complex is in two rooms: The map room and tiie cabinet chamber. The map room charted the cour.se of the war in each the- atre and on a huge world map it traced the of battle by Ihe hour. Perhaps ils mo- ments of gicnto-.xt drama were during the decisive naval en- counters with the Graf and Ihe liismarck and the hunting of the Kcharnhorst and the Gncisenau. JHWATKD STIIATKGY Meanwhile, in the cabinet rooms, Churchill and his min- isters would mgage in furious debate over and strat- egy. On his left, at Canadian- born Lord Hcavcrbrook, red- haired Jlrondan Bracken and one of the prime minister's closest advisers, "The Prof. F. K. Lindcmann, later Lord Cherwcll, The discussion' inevitably turned into raucous snouting matches wilh Churchill lustily intoning jKirlinmontary phrases. The n oi se flowed through the adjoining cham- "If 'itler could 'car 'im, 'c'd bt-It up and said one startled floyal Marine guard. The ceilings of the room arc linrd with ginnt limlxsr and iron supporting (bo v.'isl weight of tho roncrcto .sfab above, which experts .say would not havn withstood a di- rect hit by a bomb. The atmosphere now resem- bles that of a hospital base- ment or the bowels of a targe ship. Air is u m p o (I in through large duels ami gas masks and rifles hang from the walls, left there in 1JH5. But the map room, with its two long tables covered with yellowing papers and docu- ments and its banks of tele- phones, was at lite eye of the hurricane. FACICI) TANKS It was here that the British cabinet followed the hopeless surge of the Polish lancers against German tanks and self-propelled cannon in 1939, Red-topiMxl pins, representing the Poles, we re m oved for- ward on the maps. Then, as Ihe Polish Army collapsed, the red-topped pins were swept from the walls and replaced by ones symbolizing (he powerful German Wchrmacht. The chamber set aside for Churchill himself combined an office, reception area and bed a space about two- thirds the size of a modem hotel room. Here, the British leader managed on five hours sleep a night and one during the day, escaping at every opportunity to his house outside. Once, during a particularly heavy bombing raid on London, an aide elicited the prime minis- ter's reluctant agreement lo return to his subterranean room. Churchill, clad In his drag- on-design bathrobe, rushed down into the tunnels and just as quickly returned upstairs. "I agreed to go downstairs to the Ixxlroom; I have been downstairs to the he announced. Another key room was Ihe bathroom-sized chamber with a scrambler telephone where Churchill made his calls lo Itoosevclt at virtually any hour of the night. A card reading "speak in a normal voice" still lies beside the tel- ephone, a reminder to Church- ill to avoid shouting at the president. When the conversations ended, Churchill would throw open tho door, his new cigar reduced lo n thick stub, while )illows of smoke erupted into Ihe corridors. DKSK HEM A INS The scene which holds a vis- itor's attention longest, how- ever, is that, of Churchill's plain, flat-topped desk where he made his eloquent broad- casts. The first was May 19, 1940, when he foresaw the coming Baltic of Britain. "Arm your- he said, "arid be ye men of valor." A month later as Britain tensed for the blow, hs said: "Let us therefore brace our- selves to our duties and so bear ourselves that if the Brit- ish Empire and its Common- wealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: This their finest hour." In this secret place, war IjRgan at II a.m., Sept. 3, when a cavalry colonel announced quietly: "Gentle- men, we at war with Cier- jnany." It ended just as undramali- cally en 30, lain, when the officers, one by one, walked away from their desks. Almost 20 years later, Jan. 30, J9fi5, the funeral proces- sion cf Sir Winston Spencer Churchill wound through Lon- don, marking the end of an era. But part of he spirit he represented lingers strongly under London's busy streets. CLAIM BREAD RECORD FURNES, Belgium (Kcutcr) Baker Gabriel van Hau- wermcircn and nine of Ills col- leagues are claiming a world record Tor the biggest loaf of bread ever baked. Their loaf weighed 28C pounds and meas- ured 12 feet long by four feet wide. Van Hauwermerien said tho previous world record was held by a Turkish baker who produced a 198-pound loaf two years ago. HORSE'S AGE Few horses liva beyond tha age of 30. CINNAMON CINDER CANDLE SHOP CENTRE VILLAGE MALL Bummer CLEARANCE to Specially Marked Items Pillars Dinner Tapers Holders Giftware "Seo Us For All Your Candle and Giftware Needs"