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DestinationKnowlton received a letter from Morris Croghan, an active taxpayer and long-time resident of Brome Lake and we are happy to print it now without any edits that may take away from the gist of the sentiment.
"Carke foundation signs."
April 27 2009 - Letter to DestinationKnowlton.com from Morris Croghan.
"On the advice of our now “artful dodger” mayor, Richard Wisdom. I contacted the alleged perpetrator of the offensive uni lingual “Centre Lac Brome” sign on the community centre, the Carke Foundation Inc. Fund raisers and construction overseers, they freely admitted to composing and installing the “bilingual”signs.
Putting even the linguistic contortionists at TBL to shame, Carke volunteered the following exercise in verbal gymnastics, convoluted grammar and “ alice in wonderland” reasoning to prove their sign bilingual. QUOTE ( The sign itself is carefully designed to be simple and able to be read in two ways. “ Centre” sits on top with large periods either side of it while “Lac Brome” lies separately underneath. The sign can thus be read as Lac Brome Centre or Centre Lac Brome”. ) END QUOTE. Wow! If you read the sign from top to bottom “Centre Lac Brome” it’s French, but wait, cleverly, and on those occasions when we silly Anglos are inclined to read things from bottom to top, it reads “Lac Brome Centre” TBL English ! Simple, clever and bilingual!
An absolute insult to the intelligence of the English speaking community, “let them eat cake” gibberish, unworthy of the signature of any honourable Carke board member, disgraceful.
Another dubious Carke QUOTE ( “ It has always been our intention to display additional signs, in English and in French, listing the names of the organizations which provide services in the building.” ) END QUOTE.
Carke’s present additional sign, “Clinique Medicale”, doesn’t lend much credence to their espoused bilingual “intensions”. Will a rumoured huge, new, CLSC centre sign also be “intension” free and “English” free ?
Regardless of the Carke Foundation Inc.’s former philanthropic role. Why would the mayor still defer to a private, third party corporation, a citizen’s complaint concerning a civic building? Who is in charge in TBL ? Our bon vivant, dysfunctional mayor, our derelict, inept counsel, our non-resident, Anglophobic town manager, or indeed the painfully, politically correct Carke Inc. Is the town becoming a unilingual, confused, rudderless, smokestack ,company town, high on art and opera, wine and cheese ? Where did Knowlton go ? Where is TBL going ?
Wisdom arrogance and indifference towards the English community, allowed the CARKE unilingual signs and those of other “chosen ones”, to dispense with council approval. Never approved, all of these signs are non compliant with stringent TBL sign bi-laws. All must be removed and submitted to council for public scrutiny and approval in the normal democratic fashion. All should be rejected because of their offensive, unilingual nature.
Included in the above is the expensive, new, sign at the former Foster “Welcome centre”, now the “Relais d’ Information Touristique” erected in part by local merchants who apparently want no part of incoming Anglo dollars. As further brilliant marketing strategies, they utilize French only greetings to telephone inquiries and French only downtown signs. Business signs in Knowlton “sans anglais” will definitely be “sans” my Anglo dollars.
Mr Wisdom, more English, not less is what the town needs, an asset not many Quebec towns can still claim. Unilingual French towns are not rare in Quebec , not hard to find and not in demand. Why would you try to eliminate one of the features that make us unique ? Why did you come here, was the prevalence of English not a factor ? Slow your town hall onslaught against English, dissuade Anglophobic agenda pursuers, enshrine bilingualism on town signs as law, translate all meeting minutes, defy Mr Bourret and hire an occasional Anglo at city hall, encourage English on private commercial signs.
Knowlton is not a hinterland Francophone community where never a word of English was ever spoken. We Anglos are not new comers here, trying to force our foreign tongue on the resident population. We are the resident population; English is the resident language, the towns only 200 year old resident. We’re here to stay and we don’t intend to be berated, isolated, intimidated or assimilated any further.
WE WILL NEVER ALLOW THOSE AMOUNGST US WILLING TO GIVE UP THEIR RIGHTS, SPEAK FOR THOSE OF US WHO WILL NOT !
Privileged and proud to be a lifelong English speaker and armed with the power of the global treasure, that the English language is. I consider it an honour to do battle with the small minded, dim witted, Anglophobic forces of ignorance who would see my fabulous “ truly world class” language relegated to insignificant, here in it’s native Brome county. It’s not going to happen.
Ancestors, grand children, contemporaries and fellow English speakers from William Shakespeare to James Joyce, Mark Twain to Margret Atwood, demand no less of me.
Did they never speak to you Mr Wisdom ? Perhaps when addressing the “ Mairie ville de Lac Brome” they must “ parlons en Francais seulment”.
Morris Croghan Fulford
PS BILINGUAL SIGNS ARE COMING SOON."
Thanks to Morris for the letter that shoots straight from the hip!
What some folks find interesting is that apparently the Town of Brome Lake is actually managed and run by someone who doesn't even live or pay taxes in Brome Lake! Is this the case? It can't be? Is the Town Manager not even paying taxes in Brome Lake? It may explain why he seems rather non-plussed at council meetings when taxpayers of Brome Lake raise a stink about skyrocketing taxes!
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