Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 13, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Juno 13, 1970 THE LETHBRIDGC HERALD 5 Knilders Of The Sonlli 7 'Lmkknrsl buccess "I'VE tad sucli nn interesting 1 'and successful life it's go- ing to be difficult to condense it into a few Ar- thur George Baalim, warned re- cently during an inlerviow. "In fact, I'm nol too sure you'll even have room to cover the highlights! After all, one does a lot of living in SO years." As a denial of his years how- ever, Mr. Baalim's ability to re- call events and (laics was ex- cellent, and as one anecdote re- minded him of another, some of the early history of Alberta unfolded. "I was born on the Isle of Wight in he began, "where my father was a doc- tor and my mother a nurse. Unfortunately, my father died When I was seven, and mother had to work to try to keep the family together. From time to time in the next few years my schooling was interrupted by ill-health, so when I was 12, mother thought the Canadian climate would be more agree- able. We contacted friends in Ontario who encouraged us to join them and eventually we did, near Blenheim. Mother con- tinued to work and my sister and I attended school." It was important for young men to get out and look after themselves in those days. Mr. Baalim recalled, so when he was in his mid-teens he went to work on a farm. "The hours were long and (he work pi'elly hard." he reflected, "but 1 Rot to be a pretty gcud hand. 1 won a corn husking contest when I was 16 or so. My boss gave me and two days holi- day. I didn't quite know what to do with either, but I finally went to Windsor where I bought as many bananas as I could eat. I also bought myself a navy blue serge suit why I don't know. I thought I was pretty slick in it too. However, about the first lime T wore it. I got caught in a rainstorm. 'Hie suit shrank so much I could hardly get the thing off." JJL Later Mr. Baalim went to work in a flour mill in Blen- heim where he apprenticed as a miller. However, his health again was not at its best, and at the suggestion of Robert Rutherford, a family friend, and brother of A. C. Ruther- ford, (later premier of Alberta) he accepted the job of a su- pervising the transportation of seven carloads of dogies to Ed- monton. "You know what dogies Mr. Baalim asked. "Yes? Well, you will know that seven car- loads of them on a railway line that washed-out at unexpected places, can be an exciting ad- venture. A number of dogies died between the Hat and Cal- gary and at Carstai rs I thought; they'd all starve.be- cause there was no feed. How- ever, we finally reached Ed- monton, after weeks of travel. That was in 1899, I was about 19." Edmonton, when Mr. Baalim first saw it, was nothing but a town surrounded by bush. "The railway only went as far as Strathcona, then we had to cross the river from there to the town of Edmonton. It was beautiful, wild countryside, and I knew the first lime I saw it that I would never go back east." The first thing young Mr. Baalim decided he roust do was to get himself a business. He had a letter of introduction to A. C. Rutherford, who was then practising law in the town. "I wanted to buy out a bakery and confectionary that looked good to he recalled, "so he kindly backed my note at the bank. I bought an exti'a piece of land next to the building, fix- ed it all up a bit and became a self-employed man. S i n r e that time I've never worked for anybody but I guess." Mr. Baalim was joined by his mother and sister who assisted him in his shop. "It was pretty he grinned, "and I worked hard to get things peo- ple wanted. For instance, I'd go into the Okanagan and buy up carloads of apples, plums and other fruit, then peddle them around town. The busi- ness just naturally went ahead." -A- .In 1905, Albeita became a province and A. C. Rutherford was colled upon to form a gov- ernment. Ho had previously served as legislative member for the Northwest Territories. "I acted as Rutherford's agcn'." Mr. Baalim said, "you call them campaign managers now. 1 got a good lasle of poli- tics at time when the west was really opening up. Albeita was swamped with settlers and towns like Edmonton and Cal- gary were booming ahead." In Mr. Baalim had nn opportunity to sell his lillle business at a good profit and he did so. and moved farther afield to Calgary. "I was look- ing around for something to sink my profits into and it was a Mini! when Fort George was opening up. By chance 1 met a Is Taking Opportunity In Hand fellow who was in real estate and he told me of the tre- mendous land boom in the new northern area around I'ort George. He invited me to go into partnership with Him, Just like that! Did we make money! were nights when 1 made S3 000 com mission without hardly doing a lap of work. Peo- ple were begging for land in that place. Before long I was worth a lot of money, out 1 m nol going to tell you how One of Mr. Baalim's duties as agent to Hon. A. C. Rutherford was to organize a banquet for Lord Stralhcona, who it was hoped, would donate 000 o the new University of Alberta at Edmonton. "It was a good banquet, but we didn't get a nickel from the man. However, we became pretty good friends and he asked me to visit him in London. I decided I would. I to'ik a four month vacation, vent back to my home in the Isle of Wight, visited the con- tinent and spent time with Strathcona in London. He gave a fancy party foi' me where thev served champagne. 1 guess I went a little overboard on it for I was sick as a dog for three days." In 1913 Mr. Baalim married his sweetheart, the former Gladvs Gait, adopted daughter of Mr and Mrs. H. A. Holman Vancouver. "Every thing seemed to be going my way there for a he recalled, "business was good, we had a nice little boy, then suddenly, the First World War was de- clared. To most Canadians, it came almost out of the blue. Conditions suddenly were ter- rible the bottom fell out of the real estate market, and even people with some money put by suddenly found it wasn't worth anvlhin? My partnership broke ,jp' of course, awl I went to wm-k with John McKarlann balding elevators all over' the province. In 1910 I read an ad- vertisement offering agencies for a new car coming on the market, the Chevrolet. I was determined to become western distributor, and when I saw that one of the company's officials was coming to Canada I ar- I'anged to get on the same tram as he at Moose Jaw. By the time we got to Calgary I hao the agency for all of southern Alberta. "I didn't know a thing about the automobile Mr. Baalim grinned, "and while I told him I had money, all I really had was a lot of real es- tate with taxes owing on it. However, a man can do any- thing, it seems, if he sets his mind to it. I did get nd of some of the property, and 1 paid back taxes of some 000 to Calgary. Then I moved, my family lo Lethbridge where 1 set up my first car1 dealer- ship in the old Whitney livery stable on 3rd Ave. I negotiated with the Royal Bank to get some financing and once more, was in business." Mr. Baalim was in business all right, but there was still trouble ahead. "In the depres- sion following the war, and in the dirty thirties, farmers couldn't pay for their he explained. "The whole world was influenced by the depres- sion and on top of this, the western farmers were strug- gling with drought. Young men couldn't get jobs and business- men like myself either lost their businesses or came so close to being broke they might as well have. However, I al- ways seemed able to hang on, and for reasons which may have been a combination of luck and good faith, I some- how survived." Regard less of fluctuating conditions however, cities and towns in Alberta, if they had any economic base at all, moved ahead. "In most in- Mr. Baalim stated, "a community grows only as fast as people are willing to work for it. Lethbridge to me, when we first moved here, had about everything to offer for good family living. Of coiu'se I want- ed to see it develop and I was prepared along with other pi- oneers of my day, to spend time and money to achieve this goal. I can't remember all the things I've done or all the peo- ple I've worked with. But I'll tell you. if you are willing to work, and to spend a b'ttle mon- ey in the community and lo give some leadership, you get tremendous support." As good as his word, Mr. Baalim served the community in so many capacities over" the years that (he list seems end- less. "Oh. don't go into detail on all the committees I've worked with or all t h e boards I've served on." he protested. "Of course 1 was president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary and the Community Chest, but we all took our turn doing things like that. And per- haps I was on tho Board of Di- rectors of Canada Western Gas for 35 years or so, I don't think I've counted the years. If I have to pick out a couple of things I'm especially pleased to have been active in, the first would hi! (he Victory Loan (1 rive s of both world wars, f headed them up and for rea- sons I can't explain, Lelli- bridge, for cilies of its size, al- ways "went over the top" first in Canada. We used to have inquiries from other cities ask- ing us how we did if, and for the life of me I couldn't give them an answer. People were just glad to have the chance to support the country, I guess." Ill recognition for the work he did in this direction, Mr. Baalim was cited by the King and awarded a Member of the British Empire medal. This was presented by Govenioi' General Viscount Alexander at a special investiture in Gait Gardens, July I, 1946. "Another project several of us worked on was the establish- ment of the Peace Garden at Watertcn Lake. This project, in an area 1 particularly love, was designed to symbolize the bond of continuing peace, re- spect and friendship between the American and Canadian peoples." "A third thing I'm happy to have had a hand in was the purchase of the land for the Civic Centre. We needed a swimming pool and a Centre so badly in this town! There were four blocks available that were just ideal, where the old RCMP barracks stood, and with a little push from my dear friend Senator Buchanan along an offer of we made a deal with the government and got the land. And I didn't ex- actly steal the building that is now Uie Naval cadets' quarters; 1 did give the government a lit- tle for it, and we both did all right. Oh, there are many oth- er things I would like to tell that some of the old folks like me did to get the community going, but it would fill a book. Just say I tried to do my best with whst I had. Now it's up to young people like my cliildrcn and grandchildren to take over." Mr. Baalim, alter an active life sometimes finds it hard taking things easy. "My wife is gone he said sadly, "and so are many of my friends. I can't do a lot of the things I liked to do, like ilshing. But I keep busy with my family, and 1 get a special joy out of giving my grandchildren a trip to Eu- rope before they start Univer- sity. It's things like that, hav- ing a litlle put by givos one some measure of satisfaclion. Otherwise, what goal is About Alberta Mr. Baalim has this to say. "1 suppose the excitement of seeing a part of the country develop and watch- ing its yearly progress for more than 70 years has in- fluenced me to believe that Al- berta has only begun to tap its potential. There is still all kinds cf development ahead of it in mineral resources, oil and yes, even in agriculture when they get the sin-plus problem all straightened out. And people with faith in the country will come along to do the work, just as we did so long ago." ARTHUR G. BAALIM Wilson Photo Book Revietvs A Childhood Remembered A Bird In The House: Margaret Laurence: (McClel- land and Stewart: 207 pps. TX> SAY merely that Mar- garet Laurence is one of Canada's foremost novelists is to do her a disservice. She has acquired somewhat belatedly, an established international reputation with the publication of This Side Jordan. The Stone Angel, A Jest of God (which became UK film Rachel, and the Fire Dwellers. After a long period of residence in Somaliland, Ghana, and London, she has returned to Canada where she is now writer-in-residence at the Uni- versity of Toronto. Her newest book is a series of reminiscences, memories of her childhood in Manawaka, a name she has given to Neep- awa, Manitoba where she lived during the Depression years. Each chapter captures an epi- sode in her family life, and the whole is interwoven with subtle- ty into a clear, movingly simply outline cf the influences which impinged upon her and shaped her personality. It is a measure of her own inner strength of character, coupled with her mother's devotion, understand- ing and plain common sense, that Margaret grew up un- daunted in spirit, her rich ima- gination proliferating, in a household where tragedy and frustration bore down with heavy pressure on the adults who surrounded her in those tender formation years. Her father, a gentle consci- entious country doctor, died during the flu epidemic. Van- essa, this is the fictional name which Mrs. Laurence has chosen (or herself writes vi the impact of his departure, and of the episodes surrounding his death, from the roinl of view cf a child, as if she had in reality returned to I hat impres- sionable time of life. A few weeks before his death, she re- lates, a sparrow became trap- ped in (he houfc. Vanessa's friend, a girl given lo consult- ing tile ouija board, and pre- dicting the future, remarked that "a bird in the house means a death in the house." And so it was. Vanessa, her mother and baby brother were forced to go to live with her mother's parents, Grandfather and Grandmother Connor in the Brick House. It was an exper- ience which could well have de- stroyed the spirit if a less re- sourceful child. Grandfather Connor domin- ated the household by force of will and (lie fact that he held the purse strings. He was a fire and brimstone, self righteous, rude and wilful old tyrant, fear- ed and secretly detested by Vanessa's mother and her maiden aunt, Edna. They tried in small ways to defy the old man, but they were helpless to change the course of their lives. With ruthless disregard for their happiness, stubbornly clinging to his rigid principles of right and wrong, he imposed his will on the family a Vic- torian patriarch who worship- ped the Lord in the narrow- minded fashion of his ilk. The women raged in (he back- ground, particularly maverick Aunt Edna who never lost her sense of humor even under the ordeal of Life With Father. Very early in childhood Va- nessa started to write. Her happiest hours were spent in in some hideaway, dreaming dreams of the tales she would one day put in to words. She was urged on by Aunt Edna's interest, by her distracted lone- ly mother's encouragement, and protected as far as possi- ble by both of them from the temperamental outbursts of Grandfather Connor. The whole collection is a kind of succcss- thrcugh-adverstty story, mitten with direct simplicity, enrich- ing the commonplace with the faultless skill of the intuitive artist. All this is not to say that A Bird In The House is every reader's pigeon. After all, evo- cation of childhood days in the rigid atmosphere cf a small. Manitoba town of the dirty thirties, is a subject thai will not attract the cynical or the sophisticated even when done with Laurence expertise. But to me, it is an unpretentious ac- count of the child Vanessa, among her elders, tender, hum- orous and sad never sentimen- tal. JANE HUCKVALE. Gardening Without Tears The Wise Garden Encyclo- pedia: edited by E. L. Seymour B.S.A. George J. McLcod: 13SO pps. 811.115. p.REEN tliumber or bim- gling amateur, gardener by choice or necessity this book is almost as essential to success as the spade or the rake. It tells you what you must do. when '.o do it and how. It covers every aspect of garden- ing, materials, means, methods and background. Here you will find which plants should go into the fh.idy spots, which nnc.s thrive in the heat: what trees or shrubs are best to put in the space you have for them. The kinds of fertilizer you used et- cetera ad infiritum. Need to know how lo delect early on- slaught of bugs or plant dis- ease? Consult the encyclopedia. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE A Heresy Or Two WHEN one criticizes a system, I am told, one must be constructive. While I realize that most people distinguish be- tween constructive and destructive criti- cism in terms of whether they happen to like it or not, I realize also that if you criMcize, you have to be prepared for soneone to stand up and say "Okay, wise guy, what would you do about So be it. Having implied that the present edu- cational system is unduly expensive, by saying it is high time a more economical one is devised, I presume the rules of the game require that I advance a modest suggestion or two. Well, I just happen to have a couple. So, with malice toward none, but no charity either, let me start by offending almost everybody in the educational game by asserting that tremendous savings could be effected without loss of essential edu- cational values, by employing more ma- chinery and fewer people, especially ad- ministrators. First, about machinery. We hear a lot about educational television. There seem to be committees all over the place diligently working on this, there are a few channels and studios scattered around the country, and probably quite a number of class- rooms in which a television set is used for particular programs. Great idea edu- cate the masses in their homes, and use a television set in the school as sort of super-film-strip. Have you heard of any serious inquiry as to whether more use of television could reduce the number of teachers? I haven't, and I don't expect to. And yet, an airateur (like you or me) would" think that if the kind of junk ad- vertisers peddle on TV can reach and in- fluence millions, it should be possible to get a few educational ideas across with the same equipment. By using taped lectures, one would Chink, the best teaching on a particular subject could be presented as often as necessary, in as many class- rooms as yon cared lo make tapes for. at a tew dollars a copy. Conceding without argument that all subjects cannot be treated this way, and that probably even the best of one-way communictkm would have to be supplemented by session in which dialogue and discussion could take place, is still hard to believe that every single lesson has to be delivered by a living, breathing lecturer, in the flesh. So the lectures would be "canned." Well, The same goes for gardeners who want to improve the soil, make a compost heap, grow greener grass, finer vegetables or prize roses. The weighty volume is so comprehensive it is hard to think of any aspect of garden- ing it does not touch on, in its I38D pages, ten thousand articles and over 1500 illustra- tions and photographs. Besides all this it is meticulously in- dexed. You can find the an- swer to your problem in sec- onds, and if you follow '.lie de- tailed directions, you can hard- ly go wrong. It's not garden- ing made easy, but it ought to be gardening without tears. Simply leafing through this "pardoners' Bible" will encour- age (Ire reluctant and inspire the enthusiastic. JANE HUCKVALE how are Iwoks and prepared paper any better, when you gel right dawn to it? H libraries and textbooks arc necessary and no one in iiis right mind would deny _ obviously some proportion of re- quired educational material can be re- duced to writing or tape or some other means of communicating without the phy- sical presence of its producer. Well, pre- cisely what proportion? Isn't that worth looking into, or are we prepared lo assume that someone found the perfect formula winch we still ase ages ago? (And speaking of canned lectures I've heard of a few in my time with the "can" right there on the podium.) I also used to hear quite a lot about teaching machines. I realize the very men- tion of these scandalous gadgets is offen- sive to tho more human variety, but I would feel just a little belter if some agen- cy, wilh no axe to grind, were lo seriously undertake a truly objective tcsl program, to see whether they might fit in some- where. A lot of people in industry think they work. Getting off teaching for a bit, I believe someone should take a long look at the re- markable proliferation of so-called admin- istrators that every school system yes, right up through the universities seems unable to control. Time was when a teach- er taught, a principal ran the school (and taught his class, too) and the superinten- dent superintended with the aid of a steno- grapher. At universities, the president and most of the deans had secretaries, larger departments had a clerk or some sort of a Girl-Friday, and the only real administra- tors were the registrar and the bursar, each of whom had a couple of clerks and bookkeepers to help them. And somehow or another people managed to get edu- cated including a surprisingly number of those who are now running our school systems and universities. Now, every second educator you meet has a title of some sort co-oridnator, supervisor, director, advisor, assistant-tliia or deputy-thai. And if you tlu'nk I am ex- aggerating, count the classrooms in your particular school division, and then count the number of teachers employed by that system. Or do it another way divide the total number of pupils by the total number of teachers, and then compare the result with the number of kids you find in the average classroom. Either way, the figures should be revealing. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Man Of The Century want new words for our said Paul Tillich, and he prayed pas- sionately that the Holy Spirit might send them. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin came bringing a whole new vocabulary, speaking to our time of the retroactive relationship of reason and faith, philosophy and reli- gion, nature and supernature, and creating a dialogue between communism and Chris- tianity and science and religion. A mm of profound faith, member of the Society of Jesus, even the agnostic Julian Huxley hails him as one of the greatest scientists of our era and his fame became equally high in the East, especially in China, as well as in the West, especially in France. Claude Cue- not, entranced by his dynamic personality, called him "a great awakener of souls like Socrates." Henri de Monfreid gave him a higher station: "How many unhappy peo- ple, discouraged, embittered and disgusted by 'the blind hostility of the crowd, by in- justice and misunderstanding have been reassured and rescued by this man who looked at you so directly and who could give life to dead minds as Jesus raised Lazarus from the De Chardin speaks to our time as Earth and Brunner cannot. Indeed he may achieve the rescue of theology from its Teutonic cap- tivity Unlike the German theologians, De Chardin relates faith to the whole of life, does not leave it set apart by itself, but sets up a dialogue between theology and every aspect of existence. This is far ir.ore palatable to the modern temper which re- jects a divine revelation which is irrele- vant to the total process of life. His philosophy of procession, howe v e r, does not mean pantheism. De Chardin be- lieves that the essence of Christianity con- sists of the unification of the world by God through the Incarnation, but he caref u 11 y spells out Divine transcendence as well as immanence. Ho also strongly rebukes those who hold to the "old Darwinian hypothesis" or to revolution as only "transformism. Life has a purpose, a direction, advancing to a nervous system and "the greatest cerebral- ization" and "hominis a t i o n" (a favorite from the Biosphere to the No-osphere impelled by the Divine mind. The scientist, Sir Arthur Eddington, had also said, "the idea of a universal mind or Logos would be a fairly plausible inference from the pres- ent state of scientific theory." So Had Bert- holf and Jeans. But de Chardin found the ground plan for his scientific faith set out with astounding precision in Paul's letters to the Colossians and Ephesians. Christ a the omega point, the origin and end of exis- tence, the motive of creation for whom and by whom all things in heaven and earth were made, toward whom all creation tends and in whom all things consist. Lover of the world that he is, so that he accepts lha word "pan Christism" to describe his emotion, he sees the independent action of God, also the world Lover, who gives His Son, creating a synthesis of Christ and tha universe, and "the Christian's dearest belief is that Christ envelops him in his grace and makes him participate in his divine life." De Chardin thus rejects the pantheism ol the East toward which he once was strong- ly drawn because they rob him of faith in the world, faith in progress, and hence of "the only springboard from which I could rise up to the expectation of a divine im- Communism also appealed to him in holding that man should live to serve humanity, but this misses the vital fact about man that he is a becoming, and the chief purpose of his life is not even he does, but what he becomes. To be fully ourselves we must unite with others: "The true ego grows in inverse proportion to egoism." His eloquence in his pasage "Love as is profoundly moving: "Man- kind, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, and of unity with multitude all these are called Utopian and yet they are biologi- cally necessary." No writer of these times makes God so necessary, so real, or Jesus Christ so exalted and altogether lovely. How Did }.ou Guess? By Doug JOHN Steinbeck, in his novel The Win- ter of Our Discontent, told a classic feminine story about two women who en- gaged in the following conversation upon encountering each other: "What have you done with your hair? It looks like a wig.' "II is a wig.'' "Well, you'd never know it." Women's wigs arc so good today that it is a guessing game to knoiv wheu they Walker are being worn. Our friend Jeanne ap- parently doesn't believe in people guessing. When Jeanne got her new wig she dressed up and went to visit a new neigh- bor, wearing her latest acquisition of course. Upon arriving home and taking tho wig off she discovered that the price tag was still dangling at the back!