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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 31, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta I - THf IITHMIDOIHHAID - Wrinaiday, Mirth 91,1971 Parents refuse to have children inoculated STILL ALIVE AFTER 8 STOREY FALL - Gary O'Neill, 21-monHH-old, is In hospital in Toronto suffering from severe Internal Injuries after falling from an eight-storey window In his apartment In Toronto. Arrow points to window from which he fell. SAVE Tuo 60% ON MUFFLER REPLACEMENTS WI HAVE: A $9.93 MUFFLER FOR MOST CARS FREE INSTALLATION 10 MINUTE INSTALLATION LIFETIME GUARANTEED MUFFLERS FREE INSPECTION AND ESTIMATES All AT IIUUTB 509 6th Avenue South INSTALLATIONS Phone 328-8134 Why polio killed in a puritan village Gets 10 years in rape case EDMONTON (OP) -Richard Killips, 20, of Ardrossan, was sentenced to 10 years on two charges of rape. He also pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful detention with intent to have illicit sexual intercourse, three of unlawful confinement, two of pointing a firearm and one of carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to one year concurrent on each. The charges were laid after two teen-age girls were abducted in separate incidents last September. By SUE MASTERMAN London Observer Service THE HAGUE - More than 90 children are polio victims in a minor epidemic in Holland which should never have happened. They were infected because their parents, members of the isolated strict Calvinist community in and around Staphorst, refused to have their children inoculated. Inoculation, according to the local preacher, the Reverend Pieter Dorsman, is interfering with a healthy body and anticipating the Will of God. The Bible says that a sick man needs a doctor, but not a healthy man, and thus the majority of the children in Stap-horst were not inoculated on February 28 when the local health authorities diagnosed three cases of polio. Four thousand of the 4,400 children in the area have now been inoculated against polio, but in the meantime three children have died and at least 16 of the young victims will be paralysed for the rest of their lives. The polio virus which caused this particular epidemic is one of the most dangerous types known to the medical world. Staphorst, where the inhabitants still wear traditional Puritan costume, is a legend even within Holland. It is a "must" on the tourist programme, but the inhabitants flee from the busloads of camera - clicking foreigners who invade the village every summer. The Reverend Pieter Dorsman rules his flock with a rod of iron and the fear of the Devil. Radio and television are forbidden, as is such frivolity as dancing and sport. The centuries old Dutch country custom of courting a girl by climbing through her bedroom window at night and marrying her only when she is pregnant is still followed faithfully. What use is a farmer's wife who cannot produce healthy sons and daughters to lend a hand down on the farm, reasoned their agricultural forefathers. Until a few years ago Staphorst even took justice into its own hands. Those who offended against the strict moral laws governing the community were brought before a Volksgerechta local tribunal. The punishment for those who waited to marry other than the g i r 1 they had courted, or for adultery, was often a ride through the village in the dung cart. Those who were unwilling to comply with unwritten village laws and customs were worked over by the village gang, a risk still run by visitors who are too curious. The village council put a stop to the Volksgerecht officially five years ago, after its treatment of an eternal triangle relationship hit both national and international h e a d lines. "It's a pity," said a member of the village council this month. "It was a simple form of justice which the villagers understood, and once the 'sentence had been carried out and they promised to respect the rules of the community it was all over and forgotten. I found it very democratic." The polio epidemic has shaken the faith of Staphorst's Calvinist inhabitants. In the Netherlands between 90 and 95 per cent of the inhabitants are inoculated against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough and smallpox. The small uninocu-lated percentage is concentrated in a dozen communities near Staphorst in the north or in Zeeland on tte isolated islands of the south, where the local Church leaders still hold fast to rules laid down hundreds of years ago. In Holland inoculation against polio takes place by injection with dead Salk vaccine. Once the polio epidemic in Staphorst broke out the local health authorities offered the inhabitants the live Sabin vaccine, as used in Britain, which can be taken on a sugar lump or in milk. Since this is a less "medical" treatment, hundreds of villagers brought their children. But 400 have still been held back by their parents. In some of the large families - birth control is also frowned upon' - three or four children have been infected. Since the villagers' religious objections also stretch to insurance - "the Lord will take care of His own" - and Holland has no national health service, many of these small farmers will be bankrupted by the cost of their children's illness and will be unable to afford many of (be expensive extras necessary for the rehabilitation of a handicapped child. In the small communities like Staphorst even old-age pension contributions and automobile insurance are taboo. The Government has allowed the villagers to put together their own fund for these necessities, and have consequently lowered the taxes which they pay. PRICE TOO HIGH But the price of three children's lives is too high for those outside this isolated community. The Dutch cabinet is seriously considering making inoculation compulsory, on the grounds that those who do not comply are endangering the lives of others. They are also concerned about the number of parents with no objections who have become too casual and nave simply forgotten to get their children inoculated. Several groups, including humanists, have tried to have the pastor, Mr. Dorsman, brought to trial for murder, manslaughter or causing grievous bodily harm. The local magistrate has ruled that he cannot be prose- Choir picketed LONDON (AP) - About 500 demonstrators with banners demanding freedom for Soviet Jews picketed a concert Monday night of the Soviet Union's Red Army choir. Some demonstrators wore faded pajamas reminiscent, of Nazi concentration camps. Police reported no inci- cuted because he personally has done nothing whatever to the sick children. Mr. Dorsman belongs to a splinter group of the Dutch Reformed Church known as the "Reformed Bond." There was also criticism of the central Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands, which refused to interfere for three weeks. Only when the 34th ambulance had raced through the village on March 21 carrying a child to the well-equipped hospitals in a nearby dty did it issue a statement begging the inhabitants of Staphorst to accept inoculation and to "make use, now and in the future, of the medical facilities which we may thankfully receive from the hand of God." MOST UPSET The statement says the Synod members are "most upset by the suffering brought upon these young people and their families especially since it was humanly possible to avoid it. It asked Staphorst Church Council to state publicly once and for all that inoculation is not forbidden by the Bible "so that you will not be guilty of the deaths or lifelong paralysis of more inhabitants of Staphorst." This statement comes at a time when the health authorities think that they have the epidemic in the village more or less under control. Only the 400 uninoculated children remain in danger. But in the other dozen "Staphorsts" in the country the panic has already broken out. Some secondary schools have been closed temporarily, parents are keeping their children at home, and at some schools CANADA'S IMMIGRATION POLICY - THE SHAMEFUL HOAX - Back horns in hit native country, Josef V. was an experienced electrician. Lured to Canada by advertisement! and reassuring words at the immigration office, he new finds himself In trouble. He can't work as an electrician. Maybe a low-paying factory |ob is available to him - or maybe he'll go on welfare. Why was Josef a skilled tradesman at home but not here? And why do we trap immigrants this way? The shameful hoax Is exposed this Saturday. IN YOUR LETHBRIDGE HERALD WEEKEND MAGAZINE children have been told not to touch one another - all measures which are relatively useless compared with the simple remedy which they will not accept. Serve up v the pancakes Pouron the Rogers'! ROGERS' PANCAKE SYRUP with the golden flavor of cane-sugar syrup! And also take home ROGERS' GOLDEN SYRUP In the tin or handy plastic container. For a free ROGERS' RECIPE BOOK, write: B.C. Sugar Refining Co. Ltd* Rogers Street, Vancouver, B.C. r- e- 'd s- 5- :k i- k * i-s, d le L-MART STORE LOCATIONS 2025 MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE "COLLEGE MALL" 324 MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE 420 6th STREET SOUTH ART L-MART STORE HOURS Open Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thurs. and Fri. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. REALLY SAVE at L-MART THIS WEEK! TH;S!J,Y T0 SATURDAY APRIL 1 TO 3.1971 SHOP FOR A TREMENDOUS SELECTION GROCERIES - MEATS - PRODUCE! ORIGINATED IN ALBERTA FOR ALBERTA FAMILIES ;