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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 2, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, November 2, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD People of the south Chris Stewart Job appeals to woman commissionaire THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. It would be easy to mistake tiny Elizabeth Fallis for a uniformed mannequin, or. a there, as she does, alone ?nd poised in front of the Municipal Hospital. You may have even taken her for a VON nurse or part of the ambulance corps unless, of course, she ordered you to use the parking lot rather than the yellow curb. It's then you would have suddenly realized this woman isn't there just to look pretty she's a commissionaire with a job to do. As it happens, she's the only female member in the 69-member corps. She's posted there to implement regulations and no one can dc it as sweetly and as firmly as she. It's probably her niceties which endeared her to hospital patrons. She displays a graciousness and refine- ment delightfully refreshing in today's rushed and brisk society and best of all, her method works. Some little old ladies grab her hand with, "Hurrah for women's lib! It's time we had a when they see her directing traffic dressed in her navy blue serge suit, pill-box hat and black shoes and tie. Others report to her on the progress or decline of their hospitalized friends and relatives, sure they'll receive a sympathetic hearing. The city's only woman com- missionaire has a variety of duties. Two nights a week, while on patrol at a local warehouse, she carries a heavy clock and walks many miles on her rounds. She attends -store promotions, keeping a watchful eye on customer's habits and has even spent the night guarding a local bank after a car knock- ed in the front window. I asked. "Not a she replies. "Perhaps it was a bit creaky and quiet the first night, but you get used to it and the loneliness doesn't bother you at all." She's expected to display integrity, dependability, dis- cipline, punctuality and courteousness attributes not always found in one in- dividual. She must stand erect and poised for hours on end, be eternally pleasant, gracious and interested in others. Sloppy dress and deportment won't do. The job calls for correctness. This is why it is mandatory that all commissionaires have either military or RCMP service. It is believed such exposure provides the training and dis- cipline the corps demands. Meeting the requirements was easy for Mrs. Fallis. An ex-member of the RCAF Women's Division in the Se- cond World War, (joining in Calgary in June, 1943, and receiving her basic training at Upland's Airbase, outside Ot- tawa) she drilled, marched and fell into rank so frequent- ly standing at attention became as natural to her as breathing. Trained as a wireless operator in Montreal she later served at Summer- side. P.E.I., St. John's, New- foundland and Torbay Flying station. Serving in a Southern Alberta corps is like coming back home to this native Albertan. She was born in the then bustling mining town of Diamond City which boasted a Drive It Yourself Livery and. two-storey brick school as early as 1911. Things looked bright in Diamond City for awhile, but bpfore long the superstitious began to believe the Indian's warning that the mine would never prosper since it had been built on the site of an old Indian burial ground. It closed in 1927. The daughter of the late steam engineer David Miller of Burnt Island. Scotland, and Elizabeth Rae of Leith. and granddaughter of early Commerce settler, Hugh Rae. Elizabeth graduated from LCI after attending grade school in nine districts between Kimberley and High River. Later her adventurous life as an officer's wife 4 she married Flight Lieutenant Donald Fallis in 19451 took her to Lon- don. Ontario; Fort Nelson. B.C.; Baden Baden, Germany 2nd Cold Lake, north of Ed- monton. Elizabeth was considering returning to inexpensive South African life (where she had lived for several years) when she decided to join the local commissionaires instead. The ad in The Herald, calling for male or female personnel, citing military service as a prerequisite, interested her. It would be a change from her usual desk routine, she figured, and probably called for the same public relations' expertise which had dis- tinguished both her military and business career. "It is people meeting she says, "and that technique doesn't change the world over." Working in a man's world doesn't bother her a bit. Her airforce exposure equipped her for her present role and besides she believes there are certain commissionaire postings ideally suited to women. "Take for instance, receptionist duties; informa- tion officers; travel assistants; telephone and switchboard operators and routine office she says. Sgt. Major Wally McMitchell, in charge of the Lethbridge corps, agrees with her. He hopes to hire another six women within the next year when he brings his staff of commissionaires up to approximately 80. An ad- ditional 40 will be needed at the upcoming Winter Games alone and he envisages an increasing demand as local businesses and warehouses increase. "After he says, "there is nothing like a uniformed commissionaire standing on watch to deter vandalism." This ex-piper with the Cameron Highlanders; ex, Navy-man, restaurant owner, hotel manager and Calgary policeman, took over the Lethbridge corps last April when the staff numbered merely 33 men and Elizabeth Fallis. Today he has 69. "Statistics prove that van- dalism is drastically reduced when a commissionaire is on he said. The commissionaires work closely with the local police department, phoning into headquarters hourly when they are on all-night duty. Rates for services vary7 from city to city. A considerable amount of corps work comes from both federal and provin- cial governments with the rest coming from private industry. The corps is entirely self sup- porting, but non profitable. Necessary administration .costs are taken care of as well as such fees as the Canada Pension Plan and unemploy- ment insurance with the rest going to the corps members. Each member purchases his own uniform. The service, which began in Lethbridge in 1935, was organized as early as 1859 by Captain Edward Walter, a retired army officer, who marched eight one-armed ex servicemen to Westminster Abbey to form the Corps of Commissionaires. In naming the corps. Capt. Walter im- ported the French word. Book review indicating men who could be trusted with messages, money or posts of duty. The idea caught on quickly and soon expanded to include all veterans, disabled or not, as long as they had an honorable discharge. Captain Walter believed the prevailing prejudice against employing "old soldiers" had to end if for no other reason than the fact they demonstrated the loyalty and discipline acquired in the service. He decided to solve the problem by forming an organization of veterans available to industry on a per- manent or temporary basis. In 1937 Canada formed its own corps. The idea spread quickly until ex-servicemen were being hired as guards, timekeepers, receptionists, watchmen, clerks and numerous other roles across the country. A group of promi- nent Calgarians set up both a local committee and a board of governors to super- vise corps activities south of Red Deer. The Governor General is patron in chief of the Canadian Corps run by a national board of governors in Ottawa. The country is divid- ed into 17 divisions, each with its own board of governors, comprised of volunteer professional men. All corps applicants are carefully screened and com- missionaires in private employment are checked regularly to make sure ser- vice is satisfactory. If an employer has any complaints, the commissionaire in ques- tion is immediately replaced. Although corps members come from all ranks of the armed services they must be honorably discharged to be accepted. "If there is any indication of any kind of misconduct we won't touch according to Commander Alan T. Love of Calgary (who. incidentally was in Elizabeth Fallis' LCI According to McMitchell no job is too small or none too large for local com- missionaires to fill. Arrangements for corps members to oversee a dance, wedding reception, social event or any public function as well as the routine jobs of checking parking meters, assisting with traffic, parades, guarding malls or even prisoners; shopping centres, home shows, patroll- ing the LCC or private' dwellings can be made by con- tacting the local police station or telephoning the sergeant- major at 328-9836. Elizabeth Fallis, whose hospital hours keep her busy from 4 to 8 p.m. and six hours daily on weekends, is hopeful Sgt. McMitchell's visions of a stepped up service is soon forthcoming. She knows from experience the security engendered when a com- missionaire walks by. Elizabeth Fallis Detailed account of Battle of Arnhem "A Bridge Too Far." by Cornelius Ryan, (Musson. 670 This book, which took the well-known American jour- nalist. Cornelius Ryan, seven years to research, is a detail- ed account of the mightiest airborne invasion of the Second World War. Ryan has amassed a moun- tain of detailed facts for this monumental work He lists more than 220 books, articles and reports in his bibliography. Besides he acknowledges the contribu- tions of approximately 1.200 individuals, the ma- jority of whom he personally interviewed, who were connected with the battle of Arnhem. The names of the British. American. Dutch. Polish and German soldiers and civilians he contacted fill a 35-page appendix. Ryan, who is ailing from cancer, is best known for his breathless- ly exciting account of the 1944 Normandy invasion. The Ixmgesl Day. which has sold millions of copies in 19 languages. A Bridge Too Far describes the events leading up to the ill- fated drop of some paratroopers on the Dutch countryside occupied by the Germans on Sunday. Sept 17, 1944 It was hoped that these airborne troops would hold five bridges over various branches of Iho lo-wer Rhine until Field n r s h a S-fcor1.' British Army could link up with them. The British tanks successfully pushed 58 miles through the German defensive positions to make contact with the paratroops at Eindhoven and Nijmegen but were haulted some six miles short of Arnhem. If only the Arnhem bridge could have been taken, experts still believe that The Second World War would have been finished some six months sooner. Arnhem would have given the allies an entry onto the German plain and the vital in- dustrial complex of the Ruhr. This brilliant scheme, under the code name of Operation Market Garden covering the airborne drop and "garden" the armoured was a tragic failure. A week and a day after it began. the few survivors of the First British Airborne Division retreated across the Lower Rhine. By then the Allies had lost 17.000 troops. What went wrong7 Unfor- tunately Ryan is not a historian He gives us thousands of trivial facts and is a good anecdolisi. The small absurdities of war develop into a grisly scenario. The weather delayed supply drops and much needed rein- forcements Radio com- munication broke down. The Allies did not pay enough attention to Dutch resistance loaders reports on German iroop Again, by r.'irrr min; two G.-'rr.rtTi -un- known to the Allied High Com- mand, were resting in the Arnhem area. It is ironic that Montgomery, the most cautious of generals, failed to take into consideration the facts that could have changed a defeat into a victory. Too much was left to chance. This book is extremely readable. However, the American bias of the author comes through strongly. 'War correspondent Ryan was at- tached to General Patton's army during the battle of Arnhem many miics to the south near Metz.) Genera! Eisenhower and Patton are his heroes while Montgomery is usually referred to as arrogant. Ryan is much better and less opinionated when he deals with the Germans. This account of one of the mcst controversial battles of the war is crammed with detail to the point of tedium, iiyan appears to feel he must men- lion even' trivial fart, even what make of type-writ ?j- then United Press Walter Cronkile used. He not diffcreniaic between the and (he significant. He ;eaves the K-icer to OV.M He li.'C.- weigh or evauate UK- st amount data he has collected. Many of the other hooks referred to in the bibliography give a clearer and more scholarly interpretation nf thr events nt-wspapcr reporter. It is a pity that he did not hand his lengthy manuscript to a good editor. The extravagant cruel- ty and bravery of human beings, the ultimate waste of war. fill the pages of this book. It is a shame that like so many writers of today Ryan cannot pick out the truly significant facts, or that he is too afraid to comment on the evidence he has collected. One ran hut wonder what a Julius f'.T.'sar or a Herodotus would hsw done with the facts of this battle, which has all the dements of a Greek tragedy. The maps are highly useful and the photographs well chosen. With all its short- comings. A Bridge Too Far is destined to become a best seller Winston Churchill, who is not mentioned by Ryan, s-miued up the affair thus: "Heavy risks were taken in the battle of Arnhem. but they wvn- justified by the great so nearlv within our In praise of moderation In these days of lost tempers and broken heads, it is refreshing to hear the urbane and self controlled, Mr. Roy Jenkins, declare that he would lead the moderates of the British Labor Party against the radical wing. With the Welsh and Scottish nationalists, the Irish civil war, and personalities like Mr. Wedgwood Benn, he'll need a lot of deter- mination, but it is healthy to remind people that moderation is a virtue. Life flourishes best in the temperate zone. Indeed Aristotle defined virtue as the golden mean wherein all virtue consisted in the controlled, harmonious functioning of rationalized impulses. Courage is the mean between cowardice and rashness and liberali- ty between stinginess and prodigality. The motto of the Greeks was "nothing in excess." The Greek word "praus" which the New Testament translates as "meek" meant for the Greeks controlled strength, the secret of serenity and the mean between anger and moral lethargy. The Stoics tried to cultivate emotional indifference and eliminate desire. Asked who was the wealthiest man, Socrates answered, "He who is content with least, for self sufficiency is nature's wealth." T. R. Glover said, "The Stoics made of the heart a desert and called it peace." In the jangled nerves and raw passions of modern life, when embittered fanatics and extremists shout epithets and hurl bombs, the words of Edmund Burke have much appeal: "Moderation, gentleness, a little indulgence to others, and a great deal of distrust for ourselves are not qualities of a mean spirit, as some may possibly think them, but virtues of a great and noble kind, and such as dignify our natures as they contribute to our repose and fortune." It was in this mood that Ronald Knox wrote his great work on "Enthusiasm" which he heartily distrusted leading as it did to many eccentricities, aberrations, and even horrors. He traces the history of enthusiasm from Paul's problem children in Corinth, through the heretics in the early church, the Mon- tanists and Donatists, through the Medieval underworld, the Anabaptists, the Jansenists, down through Wesley's revivalism to John Wesley's death. The madness which enthusiasm sometimes brings frightens Knox as in the fringe of the Wesleyan movement he found many accounts of such happenings as at Bristol where large numbers indulged in "Shriekings, Roarings, Groanings, Griashings, Veilings. Cursings, Blasphemies, and Despairings." Knox finds countless in- cidents of madness, some humorous, some sad, all regrettable. But were they more so than their persecutors, such men, for ex- ample, as Philip II of Spain who. having burn- ed to death thousands of heretics, said at the end of his life that his chief regret was that he had not burned more. Secretive, deceitful, suspicious, and skilled in dark treachery, he was a religious madman. But is enthusiasm always wrong? No greater enthusiast ever lived than St. Paul himself who said, "Let your moderation be known unto all men." You may not like Norman Vincent Peale, but his book "Enthusiasm Makes The Difference" carries much truth. He says that children are born with enthusiasm and when it is lost life loses all beauty and joy, everything withers, and people die without it. He is greatly concerned about people who have no real happiness in living, for whom "life stinks." and who have never had a real thrill out of life. The medical profession is indeed greatly concerned about boredom which one doctor calls "the most deadly of diseases." He says, "There is more real wretchedness, more torment driving men to folly, or to what ministers call sin, due to boredom, than there is to anything else. Men and women will do almost anything to escape it; they drink, drug themselves, prostitute their bodies and sell their souls; they will take up mad causes, organize ab- surd crusades, fling themselves into lost hopes and crazy ventures; they will torment themselves and torture other people to es- cape the misery of being bored." Mr. Jenkins and his fellow moderates must beware that they do not confuse mediocrity and dullness with moderation. With a dull Mr. Wilson leading the Labor Par- ty and a dull Mr. Heath the Tory Party, the danger is all too great that some pied piper will lead youth astray. Hitler stepped into such a vacuum. Controlled emotion rather than shallow, uncontrolled emotionalism is what the country needs. As Shakespeare ex- horted his players, "in the very torrent, tempest, and. as I may say. the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance." The country is full of young radicals who were filled with emotions that burned them up and then burned them out. SATURDAY TALK By Harry Bruce Death of a magazine A day or so after everyone who watched the late news had gone to bed in the sure knowledge that Saturday Night magazine had passed away, its editor Robert Fulford told me things were looking up. There was now perhaps a one-in-10 chance the magazine would rise from its slab, and live and breathe and fight again. Fulford was going to do everything he could to see the miracle happen, and he has done that before. He has done it during more loom- ing crises, moments of cliff-hanging, frantic searches for angels, desperate appeals to government, and fleetingly sunny- reorganizations than anyone cares to remember. Saturday Night was the heroine in the Cana- dian magazine industry's Perils of Pauline but. this time, nobody rode up to untie the ropes and the train kept on coming. The aching problems of the magazine had gradually dragged Fulford into the hard world of the businessman, of balance sheets and directors" meetings and troubled nights. Would the dollars ever come in fast enough to get out the next issue, and who among us has ever wanted to be the last editor of an ancient periodical? he told me one night earlier this month, "we couldn't meet the payroll." I remembered an old movie in which the hard- boiled, shirt-sleeved, garment manufacturer roars at some idealistic youth. "Yeah, well until you try to meet a payroll, sonny boy. you don't know Fulford didn't sound like that. He just sounded tired. He is a writer, an editor, a writers" editor, but somehow he had drifted into a businessman's purgatory. During all the years that he helped keep Saturday Night from toppling off its tightrope, the thing that hurt him most was the magazine's inability to pay freelance writers promptly. Occasionally, a Saturday Night cheque would bounce, and then his em- barrassment was excruciating. In the end. the good cheque always came. I phoned him a month before the end. One of Saturday Night's glories was that you could say things there that no one else would print, and. this time. I wanted to write a media column to gripe about Macleans' deteriorating treatment of Canadian freelancers. No. he said, Saturday Night was in no posi- tion to knock any other magazine's record with regard to paying writers. And now. of course, it's in no position to publish anything. A lot of things that cry out to be said will just not get said. People sometimes told me Fulford's Satur- day Night was too intellectual, too arty, too far removed from the mainstream of Canadians daily preoccupations. But the critics were usually editors of other magazines, and no one is more blithely confi- dent of his ability to detect the flaws in one magazine than the editor of another. I don't believe them. The modern history of American periodicals is a history of mass- circulation magazines going belly-up while "intellectual" and special interest magazines struggle along or even flourish. We really needed one briskly written general-interest forum for intelligent opinion, informed argument, crafted reporting, per- sonal essays, book and film reviews, and it had to respect its readers enough not to treat them like simpletons, and it had to be national. That's what Fulford's Saturday Night was. and there wasn't much point in its trying to be anything else. I think of the disappearance of The Star Weekly just as it became the most exciting weekly in the country. I think of the dis- appearance of the Globe weekly, which had a style, a voice, a readership of its own. I think of poor old Saturday Night, and a horrible suspicion simmers along in my mind. Is it possible there's some infinitely com- plex marriage of economic forces and cultural apathy in Canada, and that it ul- timately guarantees thai the move intelligent a national magazine becomes the mofe cer- tain its death will be1 ON THE USE OF WORDS Bv Theodore M Bernstein Cautiously speaking. Here's a locution thai mast of us don't give a second thought to. but Mrs. Kathleen White of Palm Bearh. Fla does. She observes that politicians and some others, when asked a question, often prefix the reply with. "I would think." or. "I would say." Do they mean. "1 would think if But they are being asked, she notes, so they don't need the would, do they1 they do not. But the guess here is that the intention is not to say. "I would think if bul rather. "I would think if 1 gave the matter deep thought, if 1 really dug into it." And that is a way of being cautious. 01 appearing conservative, of avoiding the im- pression of shooting one's mouth off thoughtlessly. So. althrmph unnecessary, the politinans think it serves a purpose, if ihey think about il a1 all Even the hesl of them can slip. Thank you very rrmrh Ben said, too quirklv. when the gunsmith ky !he mended and tested 22 on 1he counter That, helievt il or not. is by one of the most prensc flnri careful writers of our day. John Updike Kqually surprising is ibc fart that it is from a short story lhal appeared in The New Yorker whose proofreading is all but The present tense of the verb is. la> 'Now I lay me down Jr. sleep" arid the tense. rif '--.iirsc. is laid Thr runsi-nilh laid ine 22 on ;