A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Bilingual Signs Are Coming Soon?
Read the full story here.

Brome Lake Center. When the fundraising was going on the sign seemed to refelect our two cultures but once cuilt the community center seemed to have signs all in French?As many regular readers of the letters to the editor in the "Brome County Snooze" have likely noticed the brouhaha over Town of Brome Lake officials has gotten under the skin of many long-time residents who are disappointed that elected officials choose to ignore feelings that bilingual signs may be justified on the Brome Lake Center and Medical Clinic since the majority of local funding apparently came from English donors and that Knowlton has a long history of English and French living together; accordingly, many people feel that the current administration has a hidden agenda operating under the pressure of a silent-majority to stamp out English and the heritage that built Knowlton.

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.


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



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!

If anyone has comments feel free to add them below or email the editor at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous ? Mr, Mrs, It, courage challenged, whoever, whatever you are . While I don't usually bother to address irrelevant comments from secret little letter writers such as yourself. No more than I would attempt to engage in dialog with a buzzing flypaper ensnarled housefly , for this one time I will respond and try to address your loosely related points one by one. Firstly I will never consider my English Speaking Community a lost cause. Perhaps I should have said our English Community but alas who knows what you are ? Accused of both losing myself in history and trivializing history at the same time. I would suggest you change your blog time beverage to coffee or perhaps warm milk. As to your expressed admiration for that autoroute blight, monument to bad taste and commercial excess, Bromont. Why do you not simply relocate there, you may do well there. Obviously not a big fan of Knowlton's " too English " history, the environment you aspire to is not far away ! Crass, shallow, unilingual, ignorant and in possession of a historical memory that goes all the way back to the pioneers of the ski hill in 1960. Ask someone for directions to West Shefford. Your community centre comments about people pulling together are ludicrous. Some people who pulled together and funded a large portion of the center were promptly forgotten when all the cash was in. As testament to the low regard in which city hall holds it's founding peoples language, English was omitted from the buildings signs. You ask (confident the answer is yes) would the deal have gone through had English speakers been aware of the fate of their language on the building ? My answer No. No deal with that devious gang of disrespectful politicos and their ego stroking hacker fans like you. Your naive, patronizing, defense of the worst administration ever inflicted on our 200 year old noble town might be comical, a joke , were it not so embarrassingly childishly and painfully ignorant. Wake up to the way things are here in TBL or VLB. If you are indeed an Anglo, give yourself an education in reality, go get a job at city hall, the Bourret and Wisdom team await you. Morris Croghan Fulford

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My goodness...you should start a Blog sir! You certainly have many things to teach us all and you will likely make many new friends along the way!

Your understanding of the workings of History and the Province show a lack of education bordering on distasteful lunacy and combining this with that fact that you seem to hold the government of 1809 in such high esteem shows that you are living in a bubble of your own narrow mindedness.

If you think that your views and attitudes towards people will be a help to anyone in this community then you I'd like to see you start something that introduces people to the potential this town has instead of just spewing vile stupidity.

I happen to enjoy DestinationKnowlton.com and find that it is often funny and well written. You seem to take everything soooooo seriousely Mr. Morris that you must be too busy being angry and feeling sorry for your lost glory days of 1809!

By the way Morris....you wrote the letter in the blog! So you are the "courage challenged little fly"! Either that or you just have the attention span of a gnat!

Monday, October 19, 2009 9:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does Morris know so well about how the town was run 200 years ago! What a know-it-all!

Why doesn't he run for town office...probably because he would get only two votes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:33:00 AM  

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