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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta IVurxloy, Jun. 1972 THE lETHBRIDGf HERALD 5 John Burns Canadian students' impression of China cups of tea ser- ved in tlie reception room of Peking's No. 31 middle school, a group of 20 high school students Irora Hamilton yesterday heard one of the most remarkable liistorles of Canada lhat a Canadian abroad is ever likely to hear. The amateur historian, a 15- year-old Red Guard named Hou King, told his listeners that while Canada and China have different social systems today, they share a common past of Imperialist exploitation. Answering a Hamilton sludent who asked whether Chinese stu- dents studied other social sys- tems than their own, Hou said he had learned how British im- perialists had carried out "ex- ploitation and oppression" in Canada during the days of colo- nial rule. "1 learned, too, how after many years of suffering the Ca- nadian people fought with the American people against British Imperialism, overthrowing their masters and winning Ihcir inde- he said. Even before the interpreter had completed his synopsis of the remarks the Hamilton stu- dents were murmuring among themselves, apparently eager to set the Chinese hoy straight with a short runlhrough of Ca- nadian history from the days of the Loyalist settlers in Upper Canada to the Statute of West- minster. In the event, however, the topic changed before any of them spoke out and the session wore on (o a close without a challenge being offered. Later, some of the students were kicking themselves for saying nothing, while others, told that Hou had picked up his understanding of Canadian his- tory from his sparelimc read- ing, felt it was just as well lhat rtobody had embarrassed him [or what could have been an honest confusion between Amer- ican and Canadian history. Confusion or not, II was ob- vious that the students found Ihe remarks troubling, and to Judge from the chatter about tho incident later It is a fair bet that it will be one of the heller remembered experiences that the students will have during their three weeks In China. Now approaching the midway point of the tour, Ihc studcnls visited Ihc Boulhcm port city of Canton, the huge Industrial centre of Wuhan on the middle reaches of the Yanglse, and Shihchiachuang, silo of a memo- rial to Norman Bethune, before reaching Peking. From here they go on to Tientsin, a porl city east of Ihe capital, and Shanghai, before beginning their journey home. Already Ihe students have seen a good cross-section of Chinese life- They have visited factories and communes, loured every kind of educational insti- tution from kindergarten lo uni- versity, and been lo hospitals to see major surgery performed Book Reviews with acupunclural anesthesia. They have allcnded revolution- ary operas, ballets and concerts and toured some of China's out- standing historical landmarks. It is not, however, the itiner- ary that is remarkable so much as Ihe students, The first high school group ever lo visit China from North America since Com- munist rule was established and one of only a small number of lecn-agc groups from anywhere in the world ever to he granted visas, the Hamilton youngsters are clearly guinea pigs and a success or failure of their visit may well decide whether the ex- periment is repealed. If the tour is a venture for Peking it is no less of one for Ottawa, which provided a grant of towards (he cost. To- gether with a provincial grant of the federal contribution lowered the cost to each sludent tn air fares and hotels in- cluded. Whatever Ottawa may havo had in mind in making the grant, there can be no mystery about Peking's purposes in al- lowing the visit. It is their es- tablished policy to grant visas King Arthur reduced to reality "Arthur's Britain" by Les- lie Alcock (Allen Lane The Penguin I'rcss, 510, 415 pages, distributed by Long- man Canada A NYONE who wants to cling to the romantic King Ar- thur of Camelot fame is well advised nol to read this book. "The name, and the very con- cept of Camclot, are inventions of Ihe French medieval says Leslie Alcock. "The whole concept of the Round Table is a medieval he adds. Although Alcock does not doubt that Arthur was an his- torical person, as some do, he is very much aware of Ihe paucity of evidence supporting his belief. "No contemporary inscription to Arthur is known, 'nor Is there any contemporary literary reference to his prin- ciple seat. Moreover, there is no archaeological site which can he irrefutably associated w i I h Arthur In a personal sense." There are three documents with an historical flavor in which Arthur is mentioned: a s i x t h century history by a monk named Gildas (Bede in the early eighth century made- large use of Gildas' history in writing his Ecclesiastical His- tory of the English a British hlslorical miscellany collected about Ihe lenlh cen- tury; and Easter Annals wliich gave the date of Easter each year with an accompanying significant event of the year. When these are carefully ex- amined fusing some of tha tecliniqucs of Bible study such as source criticism and form criticism) only a single entry In the Welsh Easter Annals sur- vives as historical fact "Strife of Camlann in which Arthur and Modred perished." Arthur lived in the late fifth century. He was not a king. He was the leader of the combined forces of the small kingdoms inlo which sub-Roman Britain had dissolved. He fought against the English invaders (Saxons, Angles and His major victory was in about 190 at Mount Badon, most prob- ably a hill outside Bath. He achieved little so far as stop- ping the English invaders which makes the growth of leg- end about him seem surprising. The decline of British culture during Arthur's time, resulting in reliance on oral transmis- sion, permitted Ihe develop- ment of fiction. The bulk of the book con- sists of a thorough examination of what can be known about B r i t a i n in Ihe Arthurian pe- riod. Leslie Alcock is Reader in Archaeology at Universily College, Cardiff. He directed excavations at Cadbury Castle, traditional site of Camelot. While the cost of this book may seem excessive to the cas- ual reader, its worlh will be recognised in the scholarly community. The detail is im- pressive even though the au- thor expresses regret in the preface about the compression that was necessary. There are references forward and back throughout the text; 32 pages of photographs are included as well as 33 drawings and 11 maps: at the back there are 51 pages of bibliography and ref- erences plus an extensive in- dex. DOUG WALKER. Books in brief "Curious Punishments of Hvgone Days" by Alice Morse Earlc (Charles K. Tul- llc Company, 149 distributed by M. Ilurtig Ltd.) 'IAHE author has hit upon a gold mine of an idea for a hook but unfortunately has fail- ed to follow the idea through to the- mother lode. Dealing mainly with England snd New England during Iho 16th to 18th centuries, the au- Ihor has indeed discovered some interesting tidbits in old newspaper files but it seems all she did was re copy what Ihe newspapers said without really adding much to it. This book probably could have been researched and writ- ten in less than a month by anyone who had access to old newspaper and court records. However, it did pique my curiosity. I'm wondering how many people will be unfortun- ate enough lo hand over two dollars to purchase a copy. RON CALDWELL. Melchers has an for beauty WA and a reputation for qualify Melchets VERY-MILD Melchers 1 RHUM H1TEL'ABEI'I Melchers Melchers Distilleries Limited, Montreal, Quebec RON. CABANA SUPERIOR to target groups, each in (heir own way influential with a sec- tor of the public back home, and the public they are aiming at in this case is a critical one to the future of their relations with North third or more of the population that is under 21. In the case of the Hamilton students they do not appear to have misjudged. Selected from the best of the city's Grade 11s and 12s, the students have been enormously' impressed, almost to the point of euphoria. They report' finding a happy and united people, distinguished by a remarkable devotion to their leaders and an uncommon de- termination to make China over into a modern socialist show- case. In conversation they mention the things that strike all visitors to China. They cite the clean steels, the well-stocked shops, the miracles of acupuncture and the keenness of (he students in the schools, and it is these things that they talk about when contacted by radio stations at home. What they will not talk about, in the case of at least one open- line show lhat is calling them on Friday night, is the things that have troubled them. Jim Forrester, supervisor of geogra- phy for the Hamilton board of education who conceived the trip and pushed it through to approval, has told them that they must restrict themselves to "positive comments" when talk- ing to the hot line men. Thus, for example, the listen- ers in Hamilton will not hear one of the students' most com- mon worries, which is Chinese students' apparent ignorance of some basic facts about the world outside. Poor Hou may have been one example of this. Irene a 19-year-old from Delta second- ary school, gave another when recalling the students' visit to the university of Wuhan. Miss Wojlow said that students at the university were very chatty about familiar things such as their family life but had little (o say when the subject turned to things more remote. "They had no idea who Napo- leon was, or even she said. "I talked lo one girl about Paris and she had to ask me where that was-" Andy Sweck, 17, from Scott Park secondary school, reported a similar experience while visit- ing the No. 26 middle school in Schihchiachuang. D u r i n g the tour the conversation turned to philosophy, "but when I men. lioned Rousseau and Locks their faces went Mr. Sweck recalled. In the retelling the Hamilton student quotes himsell as tick- ing the Chinese students off: "I told them that they con- stantly talk about the need for them as good Marxists, to have a proper spirit of internation- alism, hut when it comes to phi- losophers the only ones they'd ever heard of were Marx, Lenin and Mao Tse-tung. 1 told them that wasn't consistent with true internationalism." After a visit to a Peking kin- dergarten a number of students who had been impressed by the .keenness they had seen in schools and universities ex- pressed reservations about seeing the same- thing among tots of three and Jour. Beth McMillan, 17, of Sher- wood secondary school, said that it was unsettling to see children who were at once so regimented, so well-rehearsed and so perfectly behaved. "I mean they were not like our kids at all. They were really perfect." And what news for the mem- ber of the Hamilton board of education who publicly doubted the good sense of sending stu- dents to a Communist country lest they be weaned away from (he free enterprise system that bred them? Apparently he may rest easy, for white all of the students who were asked felt that communism was right for China none of them expressed (lie slightest sympathy (or it in Canada. "I'm convinced now thai the government here is right for China and is right in what it's trying to do for the said Miss McMillan. "But equally I'm more than ever con- vinced lhat our government is right for us." Chris Dlackwood, 15, of Sir John A, Macdonald secondary school, was similarly impressed with communism as it works in China. More than lhat, he feels that communism has a lesson for Canada but the lesson seems, if anything, lo have pushed Mr. Black-well further lo the right lhan to the left. "In China the government doesn't have to worry about riots and strikes like it does in Canada. If our government had more power it could deal with problems like that and it could put people xvho are on welfare, and shouldn't be, back to work." Feting Bureau) In defence of village life By Eva lircwstcr ISN'T there anything lo be said in favor of village asked a visitor who, like us, had Ihe choice of living in city or country. "H sounds dull enough listening to reporters and people in small communities to frighten off anybody who might wise try and reverse the trend of mass- migration into cities." Bom and brought up in one of the great capitals of Europe, I too thought at one time I would die of boredom if I ever had to leave the city. Now it is the other way round. We have lived in villages all over the world and while character, outlook on life and kindness to strangers varies with different nations, the basic life style does not. A farmer is a farmer anywhere with problems that are basically the same and so are most of the people who make up the population of a small country town; even the migrating geese bonking across the sky over your head and I would not miss them for the world are the same in Eur- ope or North America. However, any community has its fascin- ating, unusual characters like those staid citizens, for instance, who were once very actively engaged in the illict whisky trade whether they were running the border in high-powered cars in Canada or the seas in high-powered boals in Scotland. The beauty about a small place is that everybody you see has a familiar name and face. You get to know friend and foe better than they know themselves. The juicy gos- sip lhat seems to waft in through crackd in windows and doors with the smoke from your neighbor's garbage can concerns peo- ple you care about, if not yourself. It de- pends, of course, on your sense of humor you deal with village rumors but whichever way you respond, life is never boring. "You are not really an a kind neighbor asked me once. While I don't touch the stuff for no reason other than that I don't like alcohol it was am. intriguing question and one that could be answered fairly and squarely. A litlle more embarrassing mighl be Ihosc one cannot answer on the spur of the moment. In a crowded church, for example, during a talk on prophecies a dear old lady got up and said: "I am sure Mrs. Brewster could us how many Jews there are in the worldi today." I can't quite remember how subject arose but, with all eyes on me, all I could Ihink of replying was: "1 have not counted them lately but. and then ven- tured an inspired guess which proved more or less correct. Such individual quest for information seldom denotes personal ani- mosity against the newcomer. It might bt just an outward sign of interest. So far, village we ever lived in had its share of real life drama, success stories as well as petty crime. Yet, the fact thalj you could always leave your door unlocked, walk on dark streets safely and unmolested seems to me more worth mentioning than, the fact that little Jim or Harry went round the village recently deflating car tires and pulting out valves or that some of the only slightly older kids vanish into a vacand garage, park, hills or woods at weekends to get drunk for want of something better ta do. They are the exception to the rule for, without the ready-made entertainments of the city which require more money than most kids can easily find these days, there is not the same temptation to get involved in crime. It is no mere coincidence that the school bands, community produced musicals and plays are often the best in the land. This excellence applies also to individual crafts, hobbies and sports. Lack of artificial dis- tractions provides a stimulus to better forms of home entertainment and occupa- tions. Village life is certainly not dull. There is always an undercurrent of excitement you can only feel and appreciate living there. !t provides the observer with an intimate knowledge of human nature, seldom ac- quired in the anonymity of city life, which helps to solve many problems much more effectively than any social counselling could achieve in Ihe more complicated life of a city. Even if there was nothing else, given ttis choice, I would still opt for the country W, bring up children. Bright city lights might attract them sooner or later but they will never forget or cease longing for the free- dom to roam fields and forests, on foot or horseback, without fear of man-made dan- gers, influenced onJy by the quiet rhythm of the seasons, sun and wind, rain and snow, stars and the wide-open sky. On the use of words Theodora Bernstein IN V BRTED C OMM A. People un accus- tomed to writing sometimes tend to drop in an apostrophe at tho drop of a hat. Mrs. J. W. M. of Shreveport, La., sends in a group of clippings of newspaper ads that demonstrate the tendency. One ad touts azalea's, another speaks of a closeout of diamond's and still another says it is time to select your sandle's {by which is sup- posedly meant In each instance the apostrophe is not only superfluous, but also wrong. The apostrophe is used for three purposes: to indicate the omis- sion of one or more letters (can't, don't) or figures (the spirit of to indicate the possessive case (Tom's dog) and to indi- cate the plurals of letters (there are tw'o m's in ation with the police. Another said that agitators had learned that trashing tends to turn people off. Trashing means vandal- ism, and it has a verb form, to trash, which, of course, means to vandalize. To turn someone off hardly a recent ex- pression means to bore him or leave him indifferent. Are you turned off? Like for. If a gentleman says, "I would like for you please to shut he is nol only rude, but crude. When the for, etc. is Ihe object of a verb, as it is in lhat sen- tence, the construction may be fairly com- mon, but it is nonetheless not good usapie. (There is no objection to having the for, etc. modify a noun, as in "There is no re- quirement for drivers lo lake a literacy The like for construction seems to be prevalent in some regions, but careful writers tend to avoid it. Word oddities. Ten years and more ago the man who shot and wounded Governor Wallace would have been called an assas- sin. The word xvas defined then as mean- ing one who treacherously kills or attempts to kill another person, especially a figure. All tho new dictionaries, however, have dropped that alternative of attempt- ing to kill, presumably because in popular usage assassin means only one person who succeeds in killing. The word has an interesting background. It derives from the Arabic hashshashin, meaning per- sons addicted to hashish. Originally they were members of a Mohammedan sect who, under the influence of hashish, secret- ly murdered Christians during the Cru- sades. Those, of course, were the bygone days of violence. Non-earth-shaking question. A questioner wants to know which is proper usage: one and a half miles or one and a half mile. His point is that one mile does not equal miles nor does a half mile equal miles, therefore why should one and a half of them equal miles? The way in which he puts the question betrays that he knows which Is proper usage, or at least common visage; ha is questioning the customary. The easy explanation would be lo set down the common usage as idiom, which is roughly what Idiom is. But there is a logf- cal answer, too. When you are speaking of one of those, measures of distance the word to use obviously is mile. But as SOOD as you exceed one of them you are ing of more than one and more than one cannot be mile, it has to be miles. In ths same way we speak of one and a half dollars or ora and a half times (a n amount) or one and a half pounds. Of course, if you can't swallow tliis explana- tion you are always at liberty to say a. mile and a half. Youth-yak. The recent student agitation at Columbia Universily brought out a few samples of youth-yak, some new and some not so new. A bust, as everyone in the know knows, is a police raid. But one stu- dent counselled against taking the busl, meaning be was against a bloody confront- oddities. Many people have dif- ficulty differentiating principal from princi- ple, and a rescue operation is about lo begin. Let's slart out by noting that the two words come from Ihe same Latin root: princeps, meaning the first or chief. As a noun principal denotes a leader or a top man (or As an adjective it de- notes foremost or chief or highest ranking. The general idea in both noun and adjec- tive is topmost, first-rate, Al. Hold in mind that AI designation because that's how you're going to remember Ihe proper spell- ing. The word principal ends in al and in print or typewriting al looks like Al. Got it? The other word, principle, tracing back to that Latin root meaning first, refers to the first or foundation expression r' tiling, a fundamental troth, an c guide. Even if you have trouble ing principle, how could you ever forget thai the principal is not only a pal but also an Al fellow? (The New York Times) CHORTLY after my revelation that I lead an almost pie-less existence I encountered Nina Kloppcnborg at a band concert at LCI. "My heart bled for you when I read how your wife treats said Nina. "I very nearly baked a pia specially for you." The reason By Doug Walker It is probably a good thing she didn't. Elspeth has her reasons for not feeding me pic. She says that a long time ago she read that if a wife wants to keep her hus- band from early death she should NOT give, him pie. ;