THE SECRET WORLD OF DAVID JURE, by ‘Goyo de la Rosa’, November, 2006, reprinted from Island Catholic News

osecret0001

ASTONISHING WORD PLAY ON ‘A LIFE OF TRAGIC REVERSALS’

(PLUS PLACE NAMES)

The Patient English by David Jure

Word Works Publication, 60 pages

Victoria, 2006

David Jure, alias J. David Burke, the intrepid London England-born Fairfield Poet, Shakespearean actor, kaleidoscopic film-maker, Concerned Citizens’ Coalition municipal candidate and boulevardier, has just released his fifth chapbook, and fans of the multitalented artiste will not be disappointed.

In The Patient English, Jure has matured into a somewhat melancholic muse, returning to his familiar themes with more acceptance (or resignation) and less rancour, although the righteous anger at social injustice is still very much in evidence.

Themes include: family, friends, isolation, loneliness, angst, paranoia, addiction, psychiatry, incarceration, memory, music, travel, the Bard, Monty Python and other famous Europeans (including, of course, the mythical ‘007’), replete with numerous local characters and Canadian place name references and fun puns, which the poet seems to indulge just for the sake of it.

A VOICE SO UNIQUE

Jure’s voice is so unique, his obsessions so human and familiar, that it is virtually impossible not be impressed by his accomplishment.  Somehow, he makes his sophisticated literate anarchic world comprehensible to us, and this is nothing short of miraculous, considering the veil of tears he has been through, particularly his encounters with the provincial psychiatric drug system.

Can you say Haldol without thinking of Hitler?  Neither can he: ‘I will rule or I will die on half measures of psychiatric bungling in a locked ward on a drug invented by the Nazis,’ as he puts it in the poem ‘The Patricia Bay Series.’

Maddeningly, he sometimes resorts to the e.e. cummings trick of not capitalizing when he should.  Then at other times he capitalizes as a proper bourgeois poet.  This consistent inconsistency in style is in keeping with the dada absurdist tradition within which he works.

KEY ELEMENTS OF HIS GENIUS

Author of Merlin’s Millenium, Yellow Pyjamas, Dark and Dangerous Daze and Various Means of Escape, Jure’s new chapbook opens with an amusing ‘list  of essential one liners and maxims and sayings culled from a lifetime of tragic reversals and basic major disappointments’ that sets the tone for what follows: three prose pieces (including ‘The Mysterious Case of the Missing Golden Boy’ with references to yours truly), two one-act plays (‘Windsurfing to Port Angeles’ and ‘The Allies’), 26 poems, including five on Montreal, two about Patricia Bay, and two about Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, with two photocopied letters from famous politicians (Gordo and that good ol’ boy from Hope, Arkansas) thrown in for good measure as appendices.

As a bit of a parlour game, I have in the course of preparing this review taken a yellow highlighter pen and marked up my third or fourth copy of this book, looking primarily for local references, and startling lines, some of which I will now share.  Let’s start with the last of the 27 ‘essential one liners’ mentioned above: ’27 – one pill makes you larger and one pill make you small but I say dedication not medication.’

For local character and place references and his unique humour, one could do worse than read ‘The Mysterious Case of the Missing Golden Boy:’ City of Pardons, Rattenbury’s Revenge, the Causeway Piper, Paul’s Crown House, Villages (sic) 900, Sam’s Deli, Burke and Hartnell, David Anderson, Gordon Head, Gulf Islands, Premier Gideon Cromwell, the Ragig Grannies, David Arthur Johnston, the Crimes Communist, Colwood, etc.  ‘Burke and Hartnell ended up with the Raging Grannies in city cells for a night after trampling some prize tulips…’

LOCAL PLACE NAMES

In the same vein, ‘A Vague Piece About My Vanishing Victoria’ has these local place references: Turner’s sign at Fort and Richmond, Harry’s Flowers, Johnny’s Grocery, Willows Beach, the Old Charming Inn, the Church of Our Lord, the Fairmont Empress, the regrettable Cook Street bus service, the Kiwanis Pavillion at Willows, the Selkirk waterwa, Carnaby Street, long a bastion of Yates Street and Jimmy Chicken (the island, that is).

I could go on and I will.  Bear with me, out-of-town readers, this is not simply a book of interest to local Victoria readers.  The point I am making is that this poet, more than any other local living one that I can name, has consecrated the Joycian virtue of celebrating the universal in the local , and this, in my estimation, is one of the key elements of his genius.

Social historians of the future will no doubt study these references in schalarly tomes on the contemporary Victoria poetic scene, and Jure will be a key provider of information of what and who was here … now.

And certainly, no one I know can look at Victoria in quite the same light as our poet.  Bent through his reading of Shakespeare, Beckett, Joyce and Thomas, his obsession with the Pythons and Bond, Jure shows us a Victoria that is ever so slightly off-kilter.  We then have to ask ourselves, is this really what Victoria is like, or has Mr. Jure gone off his meds?

Read The Patient English and find out what a mania for justice looks when one subsists on the inadequate disabilities pension under the most corrupt provincial government ever.

CCC – ICN TRANSCULTURAL ARTS PROPAGANDA 2006 – 2008

2osecret0001

secret00021CCC – ICN – LA ROSA – 2006 – 2008 – 2009

 

 

Advertisements

LA ROSA N0. 2: Victoria’s New Transcultural Revue: BILL DIXON: CREATIVITY IN COMMUNITY; EASTER 1989: 32 scanned pages: Barbara J. Smith, Valentina Cambiazo, Virginia SmallFry, Jamie Jenkins, Martin Segger, Mark Madoff, Shawn Costello, Anna Mah, Miles Lowry, Saint Anne’s Academy

dixonlarosa20001
ABOVE: LA ROSA NO. 2, COVER PAGE ONE,

BILL DIXON, EASTER 1989

2dixonlarosa20001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 2: OVERSEAS TRADING CORPORATION

3dixonlarosa20001

LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 3: TABLE 

ANITA JESSOP, LA ROSA’S FIRST PRIZE-WINNER OF

‘BETWEEN THE WORLDS’ BY MILES LOWRY

4dixonlarosa20001

LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 4: COURIER DE LA ROSA

JOHN BREWIN, M. P., DOROTHY ROSS + MARK MADOFF

2larosa0500011ABOVE: LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 5: COURIER DE LA ROSA

MARK MADOFF + MARTIN SEGGER

2larosa060001

ABOVE: LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 6: COURIER DE LA ROSA: MARTIN SEGGER

2larosa070001ABOVE: LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 7: COURIER DE LA ROSA: MARTIN SEGGER

BELOW: LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 8: OPEN OPEN SPACE: CLINT HUTZULAK2larosa080001

2larosa090001LA ROSA NO. 2, PAGE 9: ADIEU, BARBARA

COLEGAS DE LA ROSA:

BARBARA SMITH, BILL DIXON,

VALENTINA CAMBIAZO + PATRICK MALONEY

2larosa100001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 10, BILL DIXON

CREATIVITY IN COMMUNITY

2larosa110001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 11: BILL DIXON

2larosa120001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 12, BILL DIXON

2larosa130001LA ROSA NO 2: PAGE 13: BILL DIXON

2larosa140001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 14: BILL DIXON

2larosa150001ABOVE:  LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 15: BILL DIXON

2larosa160001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 16: SAINT ANNE’S ACADEMY

NATIONAL TREASURE THREATENED

JAMIE JENKINS PHOTO

2larosa170001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 17: L’ACADEMIE SAINTE ANNE

JAMIE JENKINS PHOTO

2larosa180001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 18: VALENTINA CAMBIAZO

LA VIDA DE UN ESTUDIANTE EN GRANADA

2larosa190001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 19: VALENTINA CAMBIAZO: GRANADA

2larosa200001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 20: GRANADA : VALENTINA CAMBIAZO

2larosa210001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 21: VIRGINIA SMALLFRY

2larosa220001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 22: PATRICK MALONEY

2larosa230001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 23: PATRICK MALONEY: SOUVENIR GASPESIEN

2larosa240001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 24: FRIDA KAHLO + DIEGO RIVERA

2larosa250001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 25: FRIDA Y DIEGO II

2larosa260001ABOVE: LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 26:

R. I. P. SHAWN COSTELLO

DRAWING BY ANNA MAH

BELOW: LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 27:

PORTRAIT OF MILES LOWRY BY ANNA MAH

2larosa2700011

BELOW: PAGE 28 OF LA ROSA NO. 2 : LIFEARTS

2larosa280001LA ROSA 2: PAGE 28: DR. GUNTHER WEIL

2larosa290001LA ROSA 2: PAGE 20: LIFEARTS

2larosa300001LA ROSA 2: PAGE 3O: LIFEARTS

2larosa310001LA ROSA NO.  2: PAGE 31: PUBLICITE

2larosa320001LA ROSA NO. 2: PAGE 32: LA PALOMA Y LA ROSA

BELOW: CHRISTIAN STORY ART 

POSTER DESIGN BY BILL DIXONdixonposter0001

CCC HISTORY 2008: CORRUPT COPS, COURAGEOUS CAMPERS + CYNICAL CHARLATANS: T-C Sep. – Nov. 2008 front pages

tc20080001

CCC

DAVID ARTHUR JOHNSTON: ‘TOP NEWSMAKER’ OF 2008: VICTORIA NEWS: December 31, front cover + Keith Vass, page 2 article

dajvicnews0001

DAVID ARTHUR JOHNSTON IS SHOWN ON THE COVER OF TODAY’S VICTORIA NEWS

2dajvicnews0001

David Arthur Johnston, Kristen Woodruff and Tavis Dodds are expected to appear in Court this morning.

Let’s hope that wisdom, justice and mercy prevail.

– Gregory Hartnell, President

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition

Victoria Pacifica, December 31, 2008

orchard0001ORCHARD TREE WITH FALLEN APPLES,

SAINT ANNE’S ACADEMY, VICTORIA

BY ‘GOYO DE LA ROSA’

snowstanne0001

SAINT ANNE’S ACADEMY CIRCA 1989

BY ‘GOYO’ (GREGORY HARTNELL)

CCC TRANSCULTURAL PEACE PROPAGANDA 2008

TWO PLACES: 3 page excerpt from INVISIBLE CHARACTER, VOLUME ONE of MUTE AND ALIEN MUTANTS, by PATRICK JAMIESON, pages: 7 – 10, published by Samarhanor Press, typeset by Louise Beinhaur, Wordworks 2008

pjicndec0001I am thinking now of two places: One, that far-off land I mentioned, where people have been kept in a state of unblissful ignorance; not exactly a Third World nation, but one between the first two worlds.  More about that particular place later.

The second place is the night club I visited last evening at the prompting of an old pal.  He and his band were playing there, strictly throwbacks to the Sixties i. e.  classic Rock n’ Roll.  This was the same guy I may have mentioned who taught me every Bob Dylan song he knew, strumming out on the boardwalk at Cultus Lake after-hours.

I mention the prompting solely because there can be this special grace, I call it, when you visit such a location purely through the agency of the visitation of an invitation yourself.

And this unexpeceted invitation by such a close friend and fellow traveller (and artist who resembles the Cajun songster Doctor John), served the purpose of drawing me through the proverbial garden gate, through its thick stone wall, backwards in time, back into the growth of weeds and flowers of my own sweet twenties; when he and I and many others first became acquainted.

As we entered the club, his five-piece band was halfway through its first set; just one of two scheduled for them, as this was a new venue and this – even this – after all these years, served only as an audition to determine audience reaction – which was very good as it turned out.  Which was excellent actually.

Even so, our Doctor Dave, as can call him, and Kathy and Jeremy, the regulars, plus the two new band members, were surely in full thrust.  They filled that particular small stage in a way I have never seen them do at other venues for years and years now.  They always, before now, seemed to be playing the wrong location.

Even the Doctor’s eldest son was there to hear, with his wife, Jeanie and their friend Mack, both also of the military service.

“Coincidence,” I remarked to Marina, my companion of the evening, “that Jackson’s mother’s name is Jean as well;” and I wondered audibly what that meant.

I must admit I was in a rare mood, if not a rarified one.  It had been a ‘good day.’  Since early morning I had been moving boxes of books, gaining a sense of progress of clearing out of my place.  It was hard physical work for someone such as myself, a writer such as I.  Not that I am not getting myself into somewhat better physical shape, as evidence of even my increasing adhesion to the cult of sexual appeal.  But, by supper time I was ready for a lie-down.

After a small bath, a relaxing one, one that amply suited a certain set of purposes, I had what I call a great small sleep.  And so the dreams came.  I couldn’t tell you what the dreams were.  I rarely remember them these days.  But the effect was the same.  Wherever they took me, they opened my eyes to the view in that room.

The wonderful aspect for me was how the atmosphere became as though I had returned to this cave; dark, memory-associated, noise-filled yet not unpleasantly so; the cave where the tribalism of my own sweet years of youth resided.  The light, the heat of the motion and emotion, were only slightly lubricated by the conduits intermittently elicited at the bar; beverages, as Marina, my companion of the evening, my longtime friend, would amusingly and amusedly title the drinks.

She was easily being successful as I gazed her way, watching her profile while youth in thin clothing, leather fringes, wandered by her station, by my location, moving to their own rhythms and beat.

And it was true, the reach of their hair had returned to the length which is provocative of the sort of mutant alienation we sought then as a generation to be self-defining.  Somehow though the self-consciousness of the self-definition seemed definitively altered.

I imagined and could see its confirmation all about me, the vestigial remains of a time I had falsely assumed was now lost.  It all remained though obviously transmogrified through time.  These cute kids – who were me and mine from twenty-five years before – are the unconscious archivists of the music and its cultural effect from the last moments just prior to the deluge which absolutely swamped everything; and in the wash of process turned everything, entirely everything, upon its revolutionary head.

This evening I was the rediscovering celebrant of all I had been born to know; having been reborn once again in a foreign land this most recent spring.

I felt I was on the verge of the really real somehow.  This was my own virtual reality revisited; revisited and manifestly related through an ineffable, inaudible faith.

CCC –  ICN – SAMARHANOR PRESS TRANSCULTURAL ARTS PROPAGANDA 2008

icndec20080001P. A. JAMIESON IS THE EDITOR – FOUNDER OF

THE ISLAND CATHOLIC NEWS

CCC 

KRISTEN WOODRUFF: TWO PARABLES ABOUT ‘AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND TENT CITIES’

Here are a couple of  short parables about ‘affordable housing and tent cities’

that my friends David and Lisa inspired me to write:

kristen0007

SHORT PARABLE ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING

‘”The meat that you lock up is the meat of the hungry.

 The cloak that you lock up is the cloak of the naked.” – Desert Fathers

Imagine a household on a farm with many children.  The farm has really good harvests every year — amazingly good.  Only the parents, for fear of losing the harvest, keep all the food locked up in a barn to which the children have no access.  The children are perpetually hungry, and the parents, who are mysteriously fat, lament the situation and say: “well, I guess we need to grow more food.”

One of the children, let’s call her Lisa, decides to help her brothers and sisters by growing some vegetables — she is only permitted to grow food on a rocky and shady patch of land in an undesirable corner of the family’s large estate, and can only work there after she has finished workng all day on the family farm, and so her garden doesn’t yield much.  Yet the children do eat a little more as a result of her efforts, even though they are still hungry.  And the parents praise her good work, saying — “well, we still need to grown more food.”

Only they keep giving her that same piece of shady rock land to grow in, and keep compelling her to work long days on their farm, and after a few years, both the daughter and the little piece of land she works on are too tired to grow much food anymore.  Her brothers and sisters are dying, one by one.  The household farm keeps yielding more and more abundant harvests, and the more they have, the more the parents are afraid of losing what they have, so they build a few new barns in which they lock away more and more food.  And when the hungry children come to them after working in the fields all day, still the parents say — “well, we need to grow more food.”

One of Lisa’s brothers, let’s call him David, refuses to eat Lisa’s vegetables, and even chastises her efforts.  He says “we don’t need to grow more food, we need the  parents to open up the barn, and if they don’t open it, then I will starve to death and maybe then they will open it.”

I don’t think Sister Lisa is wrong to grow more food.  And I don’t think Brother David is wrong to refuse the food.  And I don’t even think the parents are wrong — they just really are scared of losing what they have.

So maybe the parents will have a change of heart, or maybe the children will just start breaking into the barn whenever they are hungry…

And we could continue the story, asking:

Where would this whole Tent City/right to sleep outside thing fit into all of this?

dorothyday0001

LONGER PARABLE ABOUT TENT CITY

‘Yes, we fail in love, we make our judgments

and we fail to see that we are all brothers,

we all are seeking love, seeking God, seeking the beatific vision.’ — Dorothy Day

Well, let’s just say this whole scenario with the farm and the parents and the children and the hunger and the locked up food had been going on for a long long time — like a thousand years, probably longer.  Generations have come and gone; hungry children grow up to be parents.  

Most of these children-become-parents remain hungry, and when their own children wonder where the food is the parents repeat what they learned from the parents: “well, we need to grown more food.”  And so the children go to work on the farm, as their parents did before them, working hard and seeing the farm’s abundant yields, but never getting enough to eat.  

Most people don’t question the matter; they just repeat, to themselves and to each other: “we need to grow more food.”

This thought strengthens them against the hunger pains that are their common lot, and no one really questions the matter.  There are vague rumours about the barn and the locked up food: sometimes someone even manages to break in and steal a few crumbs — we’ll talk about that later.  But mostly things go on like this, with a lot of rotten food and a lot of hungry people, generation after generation.

Now, some of these children — not many — by chance get keys to the barn when they grow up.  They take over the habit of locking up the food.  And so these children become the well-fed parents who keep most of the people on the farm hungry.  

They do this not out of any particular malice, but because that’s just the way things are.  Over time it has become common knowledge that if you happen to hold the keys to the barn, you must use them to lock up the food. Otherwise, there might not be enough.

You give out just enough food to keep people alive, to keep them working on the farm — you need them working on the farm, growing food, because otherwise there might not be enough.  And if anyone questions you about the locked up food, you never mention it — you always say, as your foremothers and fathers said before you: “We must grow more food.”

And so it continues, from one generation to the next, with great suffering, but largely without a hitch.  Sometimes it occurs to someone that things don’t seem right, but mostly everyone goes along with it, because that just how it is.  We must grow more food.  Otherwise, there might not be enough.

Every so often, a child is born who won’t believe his parents when they say: “we must grow more food.”  He asks them about the barn and the locked up food, and they pretend not to hear him or they call him crazy.  Usually this shuts him up, but sometimes not.  Sometimes the child persists in asking “what about the barn with the locked up food?”

And sometimes, not often, the child says: “fine, then don’t feed me, and don’t house me; I’ll live outside, maybe in a tent, and if I have to eat, I’ll eat your garbage.  I want to know about the food locked up in the barn.”  

Usually the child dies of hunger and exposure before the matter can go any further.  Occasionally not. 

In such cases, the child usually attracts some friends who agree with him that “things don’t seem right.”  The friends join him ‘outside the parentss’ house’, inspired in some cases by the memory of one child named Moses who once ordered a bunch of children outside, saying: “get thee out of the house of thy father and go to the land that I will show thee.’  (Of course Moses never made it to that ‘promised land’, but that is another story.)

Well, usually how it goes is that these renegade children live together ‘outside the parents’ house’ for awhile, laughing, dreaming, thinking, talking, and praying about how to break into the barn and take the food.  And because these children are almost always honourable and justice-loving, they talk about how they will redistribute this food to the hungry people.  Sometimes they even succeed, and are able to save a few lives.  But it usually doesn’t go very far.

Usually the parents who hold the keys to the barn get wind of these children and their plans.  They then try to talk the children out of their ‘crazy ideas’.  Failing that, they kill them.  Not out of any particular malice, but simply because that’s just the way things are done.  

The keyholders must protect the food, otherwise there might not be enough.  These renegade children are a threat to everyone.  And so they have to give up their ideas or die.  Is isn’t a pleasant situation, and it would be easier if the children would just pack up their tents, go home, and accept the fact that we must grow more food.  Otherwise there won’t be enough.  But if they won’t learn, you have to kill them. 

Sometimes the renegade children succeed not only in breaking into the barn, but in stealing the keys also.  This has maybe only happened once or twice, if at all.  In such cases, a strange thing seems to happen.  The once-renegade children, over time, acquire their parents’ habit of using the keys to lock up the food. It is as if the keys themselves whispered the age-old message: Lock up the food.  Otherwise there might not be enough. 

The situation may seem hopeless.  But just because there has been a standstill since our first parents started this weird farm eons ago, it doesn’t mean, necessarily, that there will be a standstill tomorrow.  In our midst already are some fo the strangest and most beautiful children the farm has ever seen.  They are almost invisible to the naked eye, but the heart can hear them.  When they speak it is as if the wind itself were saying:

Don’t believe any of it.  None of the rumours are true.  There is plenty.  More than enough.  There always has been.  There always will be.  Stay at your parents’ table.  Or if you prefer, go outside and join your friends.  It doesn’t matter. Whatever you do, don’t move.  Stay still.  Don’t even open your mouth.  It is all there already.  You have only to remember how to eat, and then, not even that…

CCC 

 

 

 

LANGFORD CHURCH MOVE RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS, by Patrick Jamieson, Island Catholic News, December 2008, Volume 22, No. 11

ourlady0001OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY CHURCH,

798 GOLDSTREAM AVENUE, LANGFORD, PHOTO BY DEBRA BRASH

The Times Colonist has focused on a land development story by the Diocese which seems to them slightly out of focus.  Reporter Bill Cleverley picked up on some seeming anomalies in the current story of Our Lady of the Rosary Langford parish application to [Langford] city council to build a new church building complex “on a remote acreage near the Westhills development.

Apparently the historic parish structure is now too small and outmoded, so an ambitious project for the region is in the works.  The process has reached the stage of applying to the Municipal council for licenses, so is relatively far along.

Coincidently Gregory Hartnell has prepared a closely reasoned critique of the Diocese’s attempt at final closure of the Lacey Land Saga, as it has come to be known.  Hartnell’s analysis follows on the next two pages.  He finds it manipulative and not at all forthcoming in useful details and just generally wanting in terms of treating the parishioners generally as mature adults and cognizant personalities.

It may well bear reflection in terms of the new land development at Langford.

2langfordmap0001

LANGFORD SITUATION

Two summers ago I had a casual conversation with Arnie Habetler (we have mutual friends) when I bumped into him at a coffee shop in Langford.  He had formerly been an administrator at the Cathedral.  At the coffee shop he indicated that he was somewhat worried about this planning development situation as the Diocese was still in its throes of the legal battle with Joseph C. Finley, the Lacey Land developer and former business partner of the Bishop of Victoria.

The Diocese at that point was trying to increase its coffers for the costs of the legal battle and the Langford parish was on prime real estate property in a booming part of Greater Victoria.  I had the distinct feeling he could feel the eyes of the Diocese covetously looking at the current parish land.  The interests of the local parish and the Diocese seemed to be in tension.

So when Times Colonist reporter left a phone message at Island Catholic News asking for background information on the situation, I made a call to a contact in the parish who wished to remain anonymous.  She said that she found Arnie to be a straight shooter and that he and his committee had done a great deal of good work.  She confirmed that the parish church building  seemed too small, requiring three Sunday Masses to fill the needs of teh five hundred registered parishioners.  With the shortage of priests it was proving a strain.

At the big feasts like Christmas and Easter they had to use the gym for the major liturgies.  On the important point of consulting the parishioners, this person said meeting had been held as well as a survey done.  For my associate, who I consider to be an unimpeachable source, everything was in order, at the grassroots level.

OTHER QUESTIONS, OTHER LEVELS

Give the history of the Di0cese with land deals, however, certain questions quickly spring to mind.  The bottom-up process of consulting the parishioners may well be in order, but the top down process of relating to the public and the parisiohers, as Gregory Hartnell illustrates in his article, leaves a lot to be desired.

Bill Cleverley’s article (attached) closes with the paragraph; “No one at the church of Habetler would comment further on the plans.”  This sounds like the approach of the Diocese.  Only explanations initiated from the top will be forthcoming.  This smacks of my experience of the Lacey Land troubles.  I called Habetler but received no reply to my message left.

One would think that this is a key moment to explain openly and honestly the whole project, answering the expected questions, such as : Who is purchasing or is expected to buy the valuable in-town property?  How was the remote acreage selected?

humpback0001 THERE ARE FEW ACCESS POINTS TO THE PROPERTY –

 BILL CLEVERLY, TIMES COLONIST, DEC. 10, 2008

What will be done about its almost impossible accessibility?  What are the exact results of the survey and consultation process?  It seems the Diocese was not prepared for this contingency.  Perhaps Cleverley caught them trying to quietly sneak the process through council with little or no publicity.

HISTORY AND INTEGRITY

My own mind goes to the reaction of the founder of the parish, now long gone to the grave, Father Willard O’Brien, who had little time for modern ways, even the Second Vatican Council.  The late Msgr. Michael O’Connell was a long time pastor, how would he view this ‘development’?

I think they would be concerned about the integrity of the parish.  Will it be left intact?  A huge maga-parish is being envisioned, one with a school, seniors’ housing, an eight hundred seating capacity.  As Gregory Hartnell points out in his piece, is such a development advisable financially at this crisis time on the global economy?

Will the neighbouring parish of Sooke be left intact?  These eight hundred people, to justify the project, need to come from somewhere.  Megachurches wipe out historic ones.  Is this not an effort to wipe out an old pattern and insert a new model?

It seems a foreign model for Vancouver Island.  It looks more like a lower mainland model, from where the current bishop came and where he managed such a mega-church in the Fraser Valley.  Whether the planners  realize it or not, such a radical model, rather than organic development on the existing site, will destroy the historic sense of the parish church.  This is a historic moment.  It needs to be carefully managed.  Not just for Langford but for the whole Diocese.  This could prove  the model for the future unless unchecked by historic considerations and balanced by Island sensibilities.  

Is the existing site being abandoned too quickly tot facilitate a land grab, or a cash grab by the Diocese?  Is the situation being manipulated from on high without any credible transparency or real local accountability?  Are Willard O’Brian and Michael O’Connell  turning over in their graves?  The whole model of church being proposed is foreign to Island soil.  Is it what the parishioners really want?

CUNNING LIKE FOXES

The people who run the finances at the Diocese are the same ones who manipulated the situation around the Lacey land fiasco which they are painting as a hard fought-for triumph of the Diocese.

All these people have land development backgrounds and would know how to play this situation like a fine instrument.  It is naive to think that fortunes are not made this way.  Don’t forget how all the so-called surplus land was let go at half price figures by this same committee.  It is not the poor of the earth who buy such properties; who take advantage of such ‘deals’.

At minimum, the buyers and sellers of the history of the properties to do with the Langford chruch need to be exposed fully.  Island Catholic News has learned through the Lacey Land saga to keep a sharp eye on these behind-the scene manipulations.  Let this be a warning call, that this Langford story is just the first we plan to run on the developments of the new saga.  But ICN will need help from its readers to stay on top of this story.  Keep us appraised of your knowledge, please.

And praise to Bill Cleverley for his sharp-eyed catching of the story at the municipal council level.  It is up to the rest of us to stay vigilant about the implications of the issues at hand.

ICN – CCC TRANSCULTURAL ARTS PROPAGANDA 2008

icndec20080002PATRICK JAMIESON IS THE FOUNDING EDITOR OF 

ISLAND CATHOLIC NEWS MONTHLY

CCC