THE RYAN FAMILY OF NEW EDINBURG AND THE GREAT WAR By Alan Bowker (Article)

     

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    Alan Bowker

    Introduction:

    Since 2014 I have been chronicling the lives of the men from MacKay United Church in New Edinburgh who fell in World War I. In all 140 men and one nursing sister from MacKay Presbyterian answered the call, and nineteen gave their lives. But telling the stories of the nineteen quickly morphed into a broader study of a church and a community at war, and it became increasingly apparent that the story was really about families – families that watched and waited, that bore the hardship of war, that experienced grief and loss, that sought to retain their faith that the war was a battle for freedom and civilization and their hope that victory would usher in a better world.

    This article tells the story of one such family, the Ryans of New Edinburgh. Its centrepiece is John Henry “Jack” Ryan, one of the greatest athletes of his day, who deserves to be better known. But it is also a story of the other members of the family, including the oldest brother who helped raise his younger siblings and then also perished in the war. Finally, it is a reminder that tragedy in this era did not only come from war, and that even from the darkest days can come new life and new hope. 

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    KLASSEN ON BOOKS - MARCH 2019 (Reviews)

     

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    John Klassen

     

    Olga Tokarczuk Tokarczuk (1962-)

    Tokarczuk is a Polish writer, activist, and public intellectual. She has been described as one of the most critically acclaimed and successful authors of her generation. The novel, Flights, brought her international recognition when it won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

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    SAUDI ARABIA: REFLECTIONS ON THE MAGIC KINGDOM By Tom Macdonald (Article)

     

    Tom MacDonald

    Tom Macdonald


    “I know the monster. I have lived in its entrails”. So said Cuban revolutionary and Guantanamero poet, Jose Marti, about the United States in the late nineteenth century. Marti was an outspoken critic of America’s imperialism, racism and rapacious capitalism. But his long-time residency there also leavened his views and afforded him greater perspective on both America’s virtues and its vices. Saudi Arabia is often depicted in monstrous terms by Western media, including Canada’s own Globe and Mail. And while there is undoubtedly a great deal to criticize about the country, much of the Western media coverage is woefully lacking in balance or nuance and is often penned by journalists who have never even visited the Kingdom. Some perspective from one who has “lived in the entrails of the monster” may therefore be of interest.

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