Club Room

Welcome to the new Clan Wood Society Blog

Posted on Tuesday Nov 11 0:00:00 GMT 2008
       Hello and welcome to the Clan Wood Society Blog space. My name is Steve Wood and I am one of your elected Council Members. I will also be one of the Moderators for the Blog Space. From time to time, the Society will post here articles of interest to members. Some of these articles may be available in other parts of the Society website and some may not. The difference about this space is that you as a member can comment on the posts found here. You can also post informative items or questions of your own that are relevant to the Clan and the Society.  We would, however, like to ask you to remember that your posts are visible to members of many different age groups and backgrounds, so please help us to keep the Blog space family friendly. Posts will be monitored for content, and any inappropriate posts will be removed by moderators. Thank you for your assistance, and enjoy the Blog.   Tutus in Undis!

O Canada ( From a member there. )

Posted on

From Nick Wood (Secretary)
One of our Canadian colleagues has just sent in the following, asking me to circulate it to our Society members.  I do so with pleasure.  I am a huge admirer of his great and beautiful country.
*   *   *
From J Wood
A British  newspaper salutes  Canada . . . this is a good read.   It is funny how  it took someone in England to put it  into words...     Sunday  Telegraph  Article From today's UK wires:  
Salute to a brave and modest nation - Kevin Myers, 'The Sunday  Telegraph' , LONDON:
Until  the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that  Canadian troops are deployed in the  region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the  world, as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.  It seems that  Canada's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of  its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis  is over, to be well and truly  ignored.

Canada is the perpetual  wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she  risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing  resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she  once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the  United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.
For much of the 20th  century, Canada was torn in two different directions: it seemed to  be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and  that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the  gratitude it deserved.
Yet its surely voluntary  contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps  the greatest of any democracy.
  Almost 10% of  Canada's entire population of seven million people served in the  armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died.  The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian  troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle
Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, its unique contribution to  victory being absorbed into the  popular Memory as somehow or other the work of the 'British'.

The  Second World  War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began  the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the  Atlantic against U-boat attack.  More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during  which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada   finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth-largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had  the previous time.
Canadian participation in the war was  acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American  actor a part in a campaign in which  the United States had  clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness which,  of course,  Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of  a separate Canadian identity.

So  it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland,  Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg,  Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular  perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.
It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to  be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose,  or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover,  Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The  Canadians proudly say  of themselves - and are unheard by  anyone else - that  1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the  world's peacekeeping  forces.

Canadian  soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest  peacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from  Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet  the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in  which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali  infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace - a  uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the  Canadians received no international  credit.

So who today in the  United  States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan ?
Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac ,  Canada repeatedly does honourable things for  honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it  remains something of a figure of fun.   It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such  honour comes at a high cost. This past year more  grieving  Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Lest  we forget.  

 Please  pass  this on to any of your friends or relatives who served  in the Canadian Forces or anyone who is proud to be  Canadian; it is a wonderful tribute to those who  choose to  serve their country and the world in our quiet Canadian   way.  
*   *   *
From Wayne Wood
I don't know how to reply to the person that wrote this.But I wish I could.

I, like many millions of Americans, appreciate Canada today as well as in the past. Both for its proud citizens, soldiers and sailors and their great sacrifices. Unfortunately they should be mildly happy that they are under the radar in today's battles against Terrorism. The US's contributions seem to be only creating such a vast hatred that we are in danger and will be for a long time. We in the US even come under ridicule from the French for sending an aircraft carrier to help flood/tidal wave victims around the world. (They forget the over 100,000 soldiers buried on their soil so they aren't speaking German today) We had to explain that an aircraft carrier had 5000 men to help, a complete hospital, enough food to feed a small city for a month, clean water making ability to supply a small city, many helicopters to aid victims. So we understand Canada's problems. I truly wish we Americans had the distinction of having a visibility problem.
But mainly once again from all good Americans, Thank you.
*   *   *
From Steve Wood
     I would assure this Lady/Gentleman, that while the average American citizen may not be aware of Canada's involvement in wars that the U.S. has involved itself in, they don't really understand the involvement of their own country either. The high profile nature of the U.S. has brought it nothing but general disdain in many countries, and experiences like September 11 2001. I can also assure him that there are many American citizens who know of and appreciate Canada's undying dedication to the freedom of the North American Continent, her friendship with the U.S., and the sacrifices of her sons and daughters to this end. - Steve.
*   *   *
From Nick Wood
In the Netherlands town of Bergen op Zoom (major employer, Philip Morris) is a Canadian Cemetery where thousands of that country's nationals who led the Allied invasion assault along that sector of the Front lie buried.  There is no doubt whom the local population thank most for their liberation from Nazi enslavement.  The measure of any civilisation today is how well its minorities are regarded and its needy are cared for, and Canada consistently passes that acid test with flying colours!  Nick.