Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 16, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
People of the south 24 Margaret Luckhurst Saturday, October 1971 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID 5 A student of the land and its history ALEXANDER JOHNSTON, for many years range ecologist with the Lethbridge Research Station, grew up in close association'with the land which probably accounts for the profession he chose to fol- low. He was born near Webb, Sas- katchewan where his father (a plumber by trade) homeslead- ed in 1909. Like most rural chil- dren of the day young Alex at- tended a little country school for his elementary education, later graduating from nearbv Webb High School. And, most rural children, he worked on farms during the summer months and had the experience of witnessing the dying years of the old steamers, then used mostly to power threshing out- fits. In his late teens, when the drought was drying up prairie land like a thirsty sponge, he saw the effect this disaster had on the. morale of farmers. "The country became a dust- Mr. Johnston recalled during an interview recently, "and when people couldn't take it any more they moved else- where. The depression had a long-lasting effect on the people of Saskatchewan and it was years before they began to make a good In 1937 Alex Johnston enter- ed the University of Saskatch- ewan, receiving his BS'A degree In 1941, majoring in Field Hus- bandry and Botany. During this part of his education he work- ed as a summer student at the Experimental Station in Swift Current and at Eastend, Sask., in charge of experiment plots. "In 1941 I met R. W. Pcake of Lethbridge at the University of Saskatchewan where lie was completing his MSc. I returned with him to the Experimental Station in Lethbridge since renamed the Research Station, where I was involved in studies of regrassing of abandoned lands with crested wheatgrass and other drought-tolerant spe- cies. In 1943 I joined the army and served in Canada and then England, returning in Mr. Johnston recalled. Following.his war service Mr. Johnston once again became involved in regrassing work in Alberta, tb'is time doing a graz- ing study of cattle ont crested wheatgrass pasture at Cess- ford, north of Brooks. A year or two later, in answer to requests from tlie Western Stock Grow- ers' Association, a grazing sub- station was established in the Porcupine Hills, 15 miles west of Stavely. Grazing experiments were started and have con- tinued to the present. At the substation, work has been con- cerned with management of Fescue Grassland range under grazing by cattle, growth be- havior of native range species, infiltration rates under various rates of grazing and the effect of grazing upon soils of the re- gion and other related matters. In 1954 Mr. Johnston received his MS degree from the Univer- sity of Montana, specializing in Range Management. What Mr. Johnston doesn't know about his specialty boggles the mind of a reporter who scarcely knows a dandelion from creep- now where it needs a pro- i-..! fessional touch. The city is in the process of hiring a curator and this will relieve the volun- teers who have done wonder- fully well but must be feeling the strain. I would like to point out that the historical society is interested in retaining a close relationship with the museum but is quite prepared to give up active management. The com- munity interest has been well established and we perhaps will now turn our attention to other matters." One of tire items on the his- torical society's agenda is the centenary of the North West Mounted P o 1 i c e in 1874. "We will work along with the his- torical society in Fort Macleod to attract interest to this event. I'm one of those persons who is convinced that the most impor- tant event lo happen in western Canada was not the completion of the CPR as so many think but the arrival of the Mountics, up in the Yukon, assessing the pasture polential there in and around the Whitehorse Ilaines Junction area. But the agricul- tural future in the Yukon is lim- ited because of tlie short grow- ing year, and trying to expand agricultural development doesn't make much sense. It would cost a fortune, and it's cheaper to take food in." Over the years Mr. Johnston has written dozens of technical papers. "Research programs are naturally based on projects which are followed up with pa- pers- They make dull reading to everyone except other research people." But Mr. Johnston hasn't con- fined his writing or his in- terests lo his particular profes- sional field. Always keenly in- terested in the history of south- ern Alberta he has published The Battle at Belly River, Boats and Barges on the Belly, and the History of the Porcu- pine Hills. This doesn't include innumerable essays and talks he's given to groups and or- ganizations throughout Alberta on the Black foot Tribe, the coming of the Mounties, and other facets of early Alberta life. An untiring member of Hie Lethbridge Historical Society he has been its president since 1963 and an executive member since 1955. "The Society has had had its ups and downs since it was formed away back in the 1880s by e a r 1 y he said. "It died out for some rea- son, then was brought back to life in the 20s under the in- fluence of Mr. A. B. Hogg and a few others. But this interest didn't last and tlie (society faded out again to be resurrect- ed in the mid-fifties by John Button, the librarian. Since that time it has been pretty active and really very busy. We have a mailing list about 250 mem- bers with a nucleus of about 30 or 40 who really do a lot of hard work to keep the commun- ity aware of the importance of our early history. As you know, so much of any country's his- tory is lost when r e c or d s, di- aries, letters and that sort of thing are destroyed, and of course this has happened in and around Lethbridge. Many old-limers who could have given us an accurate account- ing of those early times are now gone and the stories they could relate have gone with them." The major project of the his- torical society was the devel- opment of the Sir Alexander Gait Museum. The museum, started in 1964 in three rooms of the Bowman Arts Centre. "We were delighted wilh the support we received for this project and before long we moved to the upper floors of the old Gait Hospital building where the museum occupies some 30 rooms. We have a fas- cinating collection of items on display and a considerable amount of stuff slill in storage in the Mr- Johnston explained. "The volunteers in- volved have done a tremendous job of cataloguing and display- ing the artifacts but we're at the the Conservation of Archaeol- ogical and Historical Resources and he is a member of the Board of Governors of the Glen- bow Institute. How Mr. Johnston has any spare time to write the news- letter for the local historical so- ciety, attend to his many speak- ing engagements and keep an eye out for early editions of Ca- nadian books makes one weary just to contemplate. But he seems quite able to cope. "Oh, I guess I'm he admitted, "but I still have time lo read pud do some research, both in my work and in the historical field- I never miss an oppor- tunity to pick up a rare book which might give a new look at Fort Whoop-Up and the early days around here. In fact I'm interested in Canadian history generally and will often pay a pretty price to get my hands on some old book which may be out of print. Sometimes you find interesting facts which have been distorted over the years or may even be com- pletely unknown." Mr. Johnston's contribution to his profession has not gone un- recognized. In 19C7 he received a Centennial Medal from Ui- tawa for "valuable service to the and he has also been recently awarded a Cer- tificate ol Merit from the Am- erican Society of Range Man- agement. "I don't know why I got those he said mod- estly, "I was just doing my job." AlEXANDER JOHNSTON by Walter Kerber Book Reviews U.S. neocolonialism excoriated ing bent, but it impressed the Food and Agriculture Organi- zation of the United Nations who chose him from a number of applicants for an assignment with them in West Pakistan back hi "I was a year over there as Agriculture Officer detailed to work with the government of Pakistan in a range survey to see what improvements could be m a d e and what the future potential was. I received a briefing session from the UN's office in Rome, then went on to spend a year in and out of Karachi, Pakistan." How did he find conditions generally in that part of the globe? "Well, I could see immediate- ly that there was five times as much livestock as the range could carry which makes it dif- ficult for any substantial devel- opment. The country is very crowded and living conditions pretty nigged, and the same applies of com'se to India. They are trying all the time to make changes but progress is very slow." Why, when there is so much starvation do the Hindus still let their cows wander around all over the place they are sacred to them, we know, but what about human life? "Most of those cows are pret- ty Mr. Johnston ob- served, "bul al one lime the philosophy of Ihe 'sacred cow' made sense. The Hindus milk- ed Ihcir cows which provided basic nutrition for a longer po- riotl of time than if they had butchered them." In Hie 60s Mr. Johnston spent two weeks in Newfoundland as- sessing the pasture potential for beef cattle production. He visilcd oilier provinces nnd many slates surveying the grasslands, and, particularly in the northern stales, observing watershed research projects. "I spent a couplo of weeks "Tlic Enemy: Notes on Im- perialism and Revolution by e i i x Greene (Jonathan Cape, 341 pages, S9.60, dis- tributed by Cla-.-kc, Irwin and Ltd.; also Vintage paperback edition, 391 pages, S2.35, distributed by Random House of Canada A much better and more convincing book could have been written on the sub- ject of neo-colonialism than this one. There is validity in the contention that the essence of colonialism today is economic exploitation with or without the buttressing of military and political domination. And with- out doubt the United States provides "the main strength and sustaining force of this kind of imperialism every- where. Felix Greene, however, gives tile case away by indulg- ing in rhetoric when he should have let the facts speak. Sympathetic as I am to the thesis of this book, I was put off by such statements as that aid given to underdeveloped countries was never intended to help them. I believe that those responsible for voting aid generally acted in good faith and have been dismayed by the The crime syndicate for without, law and order in this part of the country it would never have attracted settlers." With this in mind, a commit- tee of which Mr. Johnston is chairman, lias been set up to bring a NWMP conference lo the University of Lelhbridgc in 1974. "This should involve a large number of people re- tired Mountics, those now in the service, authorities on Hie back- ground of the force, guest speakers and so forth. 1 think it should prove to be a popular as well as an informative occa- sion." Mr. Johnston's interests are many. He belongs lo about a dozen scientific societies, the Archaeological Society of Albe-- la, the American Association for Slale and Ixieal History nnd the Royal Canadian Legion. He is also on many committees, mostly fo do with Alberta his- tory and Canadiann in general, which includes the Historic Silcs Advisory Committee, tte Public Advisory Committee on "Lansky" by Hank Mcs- sick (Longman Canada Ltd.. 277 pages, MESSICK, a long- time student of American organized crime, has compiled a mass of detailed evidence pointing to Meyer Lansky as "the chairman of the tlic heal of the National Crime Syndicate. W i I h admirable thorough- ness, Messick charts Lansky's career from the early days of the Bugs and Meyer Mob in the '920's to Lansky's present- day position as a shadowy but powerful figure in the world of crime. He obviously has put in montlis, if not years, compiling bits and pieces of the inside story of what hap- pened at secret conventions of the Syndicate, the real story behind such well-known fig- ures as Al Capone and Dutch Schullz. It must have been ledious, painstaking work. The result is fascinating reading. This is tlw type of story that has pro- vided Ihe material for counl- loss movies, novels and televi- sion shows. Mcssick's telling is nol only interesting, it has the ring of truth about it. Mora important than tha tales of underworld adventure is Messick's contention that the National Crime Syndicate is the real controlling body behind American crime. The Mafia, despite its publicity, plays second fiddle. Messick repeatedly pounds home the point that the Mafia home the point that the Mafia merely acts as a "lightening rod." attracting public atten- tion away from the real un- derworld leaders in the syndi- cate. While the Mafia grabs the headlines (which Lansky nnd his cohorts are quite content they the Syndicate quielly goes about its work. Messick goes so far as lo say lire FBI and the American government have only recently Ixjcomc aware of the Syndi- cate's power and even tlicn de- rided lo go after the Mafia in- stead because it could he more easily sold to Hie American public as a target for investi- gation, The Syndicate, mean- while, goes on, becoming in- creasingly more respectable through involvement in legiti- mate business and politics. A fascinating Ixxik. One won- ders if the Syndicate has branc> offices in Canada. HERB JOHNSON, way developed nations gained more than the developing ones. Tlie way in which aid pro- grams backfired by feeding the voracious consumer economies of the developed world instead of lifting tlie standard of living in tlie underdeveloped nations could have been detailed with telling effect on Hie capitalism. It would have been useful, too, to have shown the extent of foreign ownership in the third world; the degree to which it is concentrated in the extractive industries; and how restrictive trade practices have worked to the advantage of the "have" nations. Mr. Greene seems lo think tlie socialist nations have clean ncses when it comes to eco- nomic colonialism. He owes it to bis readers to explain the na- ture of the extensive economic activity of the Soviet Union and China in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. It is hard to believe that none of it is tainted with self interest. While he is at it. be might also explain why writers and artists in capitalist countries "envy" those who arc working in so- cialist land. Not many of them, in my judgment, would want to trade places with those in Czechoslovakia. There are too many unsup- ported statements in the book. Why should the reader believe, just because Mr. Greene says so, that the supreme aim of the allies was lo manoeuvre Hitler into a war with Hie Soviet Union? What, one might justifi- ably ask, is Ihe evidence that Lincoln merely echoed the de- mand fnr cheap labor on the part of northern inrlmlrialista when calling (or the end of slavery? Perhaps most people will not get far enough into the Iwok lo encounter these statements. The first. 40 pages, with their shovellcd-logclhcr appearance, is enough lo deter all but dedicated revolutionaries nnd conscientious reviewers. DOUG WALKER. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE "Superior" A CCOIID1NG to the philosophically in- clined, the list of certainties in this life is a short one; many claim that there are only two entries, death and taxes. This map well be the case insofar as the gen- eral public is concerned, but I think that if one were preparing a special list for educationists, there should be at least one addition. The third entry would be the certainty that no academic session will pass without the iniquities of the univer- sity being roundly damned in a tub-thump- ing speech by a college president. (So far Uiis year we have had two, if you employ the score-keeping system used by newspa- pers; one and a half if you use mine.) These speeches are something like foot- ball games; players and plays vary from game to game but the essentials stay the same. This can be demonstrated quite easily. Just take any such speeches, ex- cise the purpler passages, and what re- mains is constant. It consists of the asser- tion that colleges are better places to send your Mds than universities, because col- leges really have the interest of their stu- dents at heart, they teach far better than the universities do or can, and are admin- istered so efficiently that they do their su- perior job at a fraction of the cost. Well, more power to them. Although it is not my privilege to work at a college, I don't resent these claims and I don't feel especially called to refute them. I am just a bit curious, however, on a couple of points. As an example, take this business of teaching. Ever since I have been interest- ed in the matter of teaching at the post- secondary level, I have had it dinned into my ears by people who work at col- leges that college instructors are far better teachers than their university coun- terparts, and I never have understood why this should be so. It isn't a matter of sal- ary, if icy information is correct; I hear teaching? from (he same impeccable sources that university teachers arc paid far more than those at colleges. Nor does it appear to be a matter of credentials. The stan- dard qualification at colleges is the mas- ter's degree and at the university it is the doctorate, ar.d while I would he the last lo insist that the extra degree would necessarily make a better teacher, I am worse an damned if I can see how it could worse one. Nor do 1 give much weight to the fact that college teachers spend a high- er proportion of Iheir tone teadu'ng than do university professors; that would be an argument only if you happen to believe that quantity automatically results in qual- ity. So, if it hasn't much lo do with Indi- vidual attainments or activities, perhap we should look at support facilities. But here again it's hard to sec where the col- lege man gets a big advantage. I don't think the most captious among us would claim that teaching gets worse as the li- brary gets larger and educational media resources more extensive. And even one as contrary-minded as I am about the existing system of education can see that the research component encouraged in fact required at the university must have a favorable impact on teaching, if current knowledge of the subject is of any importance. So, not being prepared to believe that lower salaries attract better teachers, or that higher degrees impair teaching abil- ity, or that teaching is inhibited by belter library and other support facilities, I find it very difficult to account for the belief that leaching at the college level is su- perior to that which occurs at universi- ties. I encountra- no such difficulty, how- ever, in figuring out why this notion should be fostered by college administrators, nor do I have much trouble evaluating tiheir other contentions. They're financed on the body-count basis, too. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY Hypocrisy ALL of us today are caught in a net- work of hypocrisy. The smut ot it is on all our hearts. Listen to Avcry Bnind- age, head of the International Olympic Committee, orating, "There is always the hope that the ideals of Olympic sport and the philosophy of amateurism, fair play, and good sportsmanship will eventually be adopted in the more important fields of commerce, industry, and politics." He claims that his committee "has kept the Olympics clean, pure, and giving an example to the rest of the world in good sportsmanship. Either Brundage is a very stupid man, naive, or hypocritical. The word hypocrite means an actor, one who plays a part, puts on an exlcmal show to disguise his true attitudes and beliefs. Brundage must know, for example, that in the Iron Curtain countries there is no such tiling as amateur sport but that the ath- letes are employed on a year round basis, some serving in the nominal posts of ath- letic directors, or in some other capacity that improves their skill. Athletes in this country have freedom once their period of sport is over, but in Russia they are under state control for twelve months of the year. As for the Olympics being "clean, pure, and honest" this is a romance of cloud- cuckoo-land. Hypocrisy, however, is a way of life everywhere. Just a few years ago Mr. George Bush stated that "H Red China should be admitted to the UN, then the UN is hopeless and we should withdraw." Now as Ambassador to the United Na- tions, Bush declares that he feels "Con> plelely comfortable about the President's policy" and lobbies in the corridors for votes that would make Red China a mem ber of the UN. Mr. John Connally recently expressed his complete opposition to a wage and price freeze, but now he states in a radical change of mind that he en- tirely agrees with the President's decision to impose such controls! These men may be sincere and there is nothing wrong in changing one's mind, but the circum- stances of the change of mind smack ot expediency and conditioning to the job. President Nixon claims that tire United States has generously given since the last war one hundred and fifty billion dollars to foreign aid. He does not add that this foreign aid was given very largely in mili- tary supplies to totalitarian governments where the United States could find military support and that ninety-four per cent at least of the foreign aid was given with strings attached by which it had lo be spent in the United Stales, a vast assist- ance to mass production. As for the sur- lax, it is good for big business and for nobody else. Modem "art" is steeped in hypocrisy. In the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York there is a painting that is completely black. In Ihe Toronto Gallery there is a painting fhat is completely red. In the National Gallery in Ottawa Hicre is a pile of carpet shavings against the wall for which Ihe gallery paid thousands of dollars. In the Talc Gallery in London there is some scrap iron called Asking officals in tlic gallery wiry it was called "woman" end not I got no explanation. As Mrs. Helen Slade, a form- er art teacher and now a full-time artist, says, "There is a lot of garbage in art galleries." She decribes it as "gimmicky rubbish" and challenges it's integrity. It is a fraud reminiscent of the story of the Emperors New Clothes. Mr. Henry Sleele Commager describes many advertisements as deception and hypocrisy when stars of tlie film, television, radio, and sports world lend their names for money to the en- dorsement of foods they do not eat, cig- arettes they don't smoke, whiskey they don't drink, and a variety of other things they do not use.) Watching a play on television it startling lo see the murderers of a woman in a Greek village cross themselves first Archbishop Gardiner in the name of Christ applied the rack lo poor creatures in tha Tower. Queen Mary and Torquenada would burned thousands alive making the sign of the cross first. When one sees the prolif- eration of magnificent churches throughout West Germany built by taxes imposed on the German people, one can understand the withdrawal of German youth from the Church. The architecture is insincere, tile money unwillingly given, and Hie rift be- tween the spiritual and secular life star- tling. It is exactly this kind of hypocrisy that brings a savage denunciation by Jesus in the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel ac- cording to Saint Matthew. He declaims against outward observances, pretentious public payers, meticulous observance of the laws regarding Sabbath observance, rules observed by the Scribes and Pharisees and (heir utler failure lo cam- faith into life or to practice humility and love. They were actors who under their masks of ela- borate religious rules and rites concealed the lust and godlessncss of Ihcir hearts. One of the constant themes of Jesus was his criticism of hypocrisy. He held up to scorn the Priest anil Lcvilc went from (he temple down the hill where they re- fused help to the wounded traveller and left liinr to the Good Samarian, the refusal to heal a man on the Sabhatli day, or the stoning of a woman taken in adultry their own hearts were adulterous. He told Item they were like white-washed tombs which looked beautiful on the out- side but inside were full of death nnd conniption. No man, not oven Ihe youngest, ifr free from hypocrisy. We rationalize, find good reasons for bad deeds, make our minds our accomplice rather than our guide. Ono foe.s this hypocrisy in tlio struggle of black nnd white, in Quebec and the rest of Can- ada, in Northern and Southern Ireland, and in the conflicl of Democracy and Commu- nism. Democracy was seen kicked out the window. The Inst world war was fought for the four freedoms find they have been pretty well eliminated. There isn't enough sincerity in Intel-national politics lo salt an cpg. But the words of Jesus come back In haunt us, "Let lu'm who is without sin among you cast the first stone."