Connecting with the past

The stories and people of the past can inspire and educate us.

I’ve always been interested in history, and I’m sure I am not alone.

The stories of those who came before us can be so interesting — they’re full of triumph, sorrow, bravery, sacrifice, love … all the elements of a good novel or movie, but that much better because they are true. They happened to real people just like you and me.

They can serve to educate us and inspire us, and they’re very much worth telling.

On Sunday, one of my assignments was covering the Joseph Mairs Memorial.

The Joseph Mairs Memorial Committee has been holding this event for 10 years now, and it’s neat to see a group take the time and effort to get together to honour someone they feel has had a big impact.

Mairs was a trade unionist and a coal miner who died a month short of his 22nd birthday. He was in prison after being arrested during the two-year-long strike coal miners on Vancouver Island waged for the eight-hour work day, among other issues, and he became ill while in prison and died Jan. 14, 1914.

The group honours him as a “martyr for a noble cause.”

Events like this and so many others that focus on other themes help connect us to the past  and to those who shaped our community and remind us where we come from.

With everything moving so fast these days, it’s easy to feel very far removed from things that happened even just 30 or 50 years ago, and it’s nice to see people will take the time to make sure we do remember some of the stories and the people from the past.


— Lindsay Chung