See you in the early morning
Archives for April 28, 2018
Anthony von Mandl, OC, OBC
An acclaimed business leader and entrepreneur, Anthony von Mandl has made it his life’s work to produce world-class wines in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Born in Vancouver, Von Mandl created his first venture—a wine importing business—at age 22 before playing a pioneering role in establishing the Okanagan’s wine industry in 1981 with his founding of Mission Hill Family Estate. The winery has grown to become one of the region’s largest and best-known, most recently being named Canadian Winery of the Year in 2016 for the sixth time. Von Mandl was a recipient of the Order of British Columbia in 2006 and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2016. Von Mandl owns Checkmate Artisanal Winery in Oliver.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is the president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. He has taken an active role in the defence of Aboriginal Title and Rights by supporting First Nations communities in need, and has been involved in numerous protests and lobbying movements at provincial and national levels. In October 2006, the Okanagan Nation, led by the Elders of the Penticton Indian Band, acknowledged his lifetime commitment to the defence of Indigenous Peoples’ Title and Rights by bestowing on him and his family the rare honour of the title of Grand Chief.
Sweat equity, not such a pleasant expression but it means to improve the quality and appearance of ones home by personal effort. This past couple of weeks, if the amount of perspiration lost is really of importance, I have doubled the value of our yard. I started with the relatively easy jobs of pruning and removing all the dead growth from last years’ shrubs and perennials. Next came a few days of weeding and general clean up, then came the nasty job that could be put of no longer… the garden pond.
Seventeen years ago our property was an old peach orchard, poorly kept trees that were truly past their best, two hundred of them in fact. Over the years that we owned the BelAirMotel, Dave had cut down about fifty of these old trees but we still had about one hundred and fifty left. Once the decision was made to subdivide the peach orchard from the rest of the property, a very long and expensive process, we had a backhoe come in and remove most of the trees. I wanted to keep some of them for our own pleasure but the majority were in very poor shape.
As the old trees were removed I replanted shade trees in some of the spaces, about fifty new trees over a space of three years. Seventeen years later these trees are wonderful and I love them, though Dave tells me they spoil his view of mount Baldy, (too bad, the trees stay). Over these same years the rest of the peach trees died off and had to be removed, now we have to buy peaches.
While the backhoe driver was working on tree removal I had him dig a pond. Visions of splashing water and glimpses of goldfish, surrounded by shady ferns seemed to me to be idyllic. The reality is a constant battle to remove leaves and branches that fall off the overhead willow and surrounding shrubs. The fish get eaten by some predator just as soon as I put them in but, in spring we enjoy the singing of the frogs that live there. On warm spring evenings the sound of the frogs makes me feel that we do indeed live in the heart of the country. I love my pond but every couple of years it needs a good clean-out.
Monday I decided it was the day. Dave changed the pump from splashing into the water to discharging it into the rest of the yard. When the water level was down to about eighteen inches, I bit the bullet and climbed in, YUK! I am not sure why this job is always assigned to me but Dave swiftly reminds me that it was my idea to have a pond, so I do the deed. Standing in the horrible, oozy bottom of the pond I scoop out all sorts of dead roots and other slimy nastiness and put them in a bucket. Dave empties the bucket into a wheelbarrow and returns it to me.
Over the space of a couple of hours we filled three big wheelbarrow loads of the gunk, which went onto the compost heap. While I was digging around in the murk I found several garden ornaments that had fallen in and loads of rocks that had tumbled in from the surrounding sides of the structure. A further hour with the pump and the pond was almost empty. I hacked back some of the water iris and rearranged the baskets of water lilies and Dave refilled the pond. After filtering through the pump all night the result was a lovely clear view of the baskets at the bottom on the pond, however, will not take long to get murky enough so they will not be seen.
I am tempted to buy more fish but I think that they would eat the frogspawn, so maybe we will just enjoy watching my fake mallard float around and the sound of the frogs instead. The act of clearing out the pond is truly a labour of love but it is so worth the effort to see the water sparkling and free of debris. After a hosing down of my shoes, socks garden gloves and my legs, it was into the shower to remove all traces of sweat equity. I may not have improved the value of my home but I have sure improved the feeling of a job well done and that is very satisfying.
To have cred, as they say on the street, is to have credibility, almost authority, certainly believability. How does one get some? Consistent behaviour brings credibility as it provides examples that give testimony. Those testimonials, over time, build personal character credit, just like a history of financial stewardship can build a financial credit line. If I have cred people will back me up, support me.
A credential is a recognition of having attained/learned an ability, usually confirmed with testing of some kind. Credentials bring the image of papers with signatures and maybe official stamps etc. Those papers are issued by the testing agent. Getting a credential can take a long time. Getting your papers, some call it, is often a rite of passage into a profession. The credential is proof that you belong there.
To be credible is to be many positive things. To be incredible… wait, isn’t that supposed to be good too? If I say incapable that means not capable, but incredible means over the top, amazing, unbelievable and may not refer to credibility at all. Is the English language incredibly strange or what? I could be incredibly irresponsible. That does not sound good like Mr Incredible and the whole Incredible family.
I can gain credits by shopping at certain stores. Those, if I collect enough of them, give me credit toward future purchases in that store. Can I gain credit, become more credible from/with another person? If you feel that I am credible you might lend me your bicycle. If not, you probably wouldn’t. Politicians have a big challenge with credibility. Their credibility seems to go up and down. Inconsistency equals low credibility.
To be discredited is to undo credibility, to be stricken from the rolls of the membership and to be denied privileges. It takes a long time to become creditable and even longer to regain credibility if lost. Being credible is to be trustworthy. If I have at some time been discredited, even if the accusation is not true, it can be very hard to receive the trust of others again. Well, I think you are credible. Just saying.
Child of the King
Many have dreamed of being part of a royal family. They imagine how fantastically great that would be. Now the talk has been about the line-up for the throne in England. The current queen, in spite of many challenges and not being faultless, has been a positive example of what a committed monarch should be like. Singing “God Save the Queen” may well have significant meaning. Although the media may convey a picture of delight for royalty, this sentiment isn’t always the reality.
Harriett Buell was walking home from a Sunday morning church service one day when kings must have been mentioned. Thoughts about life in a royal family must have been running through her mind. What would that be like? Then she realized that she already was in an even better royal family. As part of the family of God she already was a child of the king! She was so taken by the thought that upon reaching home she wrote a poem that included these words.
My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holds the wealth of the world in His hands.
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold. His coffers are full – He has riches untold.
A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They’re building a palace for me over there!
Though exiled from home, yet still I may sing: All glory to God, I’m a child of the King!
It’s even brighter up ahead.