Saturday, July 28, 2012

WOW ! - Opening Ceremony London Olympics was Wonderful !!

The Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics was absolutely, amazingly wonderful !!!
I watched it on NTV and then on NBC.  I will enjoy watching video clips on the Internet and repeat news coverage of the event.

7 young athletes light Olympic cauldron at lively opening ceremony
by Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 9:58 PM EDT, Fri July 27, 2012

Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony: madcap, surreal and moving
Inventive effort to tell a thousand small stories in event expected to be watched by 1 billion people worldwide
by Owen Gibson, Olympics editor,
Friday 27 July 2012 22.00 BST

Chinese journalist, as baffled overseas commentators digested Boyle's vision
by Alexandra Topping,
Friday 27 July 2012 23.24 BST

I am very happy for London and England/Britain.  I was born in 1953 and was a teenager during the 1960's.  All of the aspects of the English/British history, literature and music etc were familiar and heart-warming for me.  The special effects and technology were beautiful and amazing.  I also enjoyed watching the athletes from the various countries - their happy faces and styles of dress.

I am an English-speaking Canadian of English/Scottish heritage.  My mother, a Canadian nurse from Nova Scotia, worked in a hospital outside London during WWII.  While mom was in England, she visited relatives of her English mother who had been sent to Canada for adoption, along with her brother, as a child after their mother had died.  (Quite a few orphans and poor children were sent to Canada for adoption at that time.  Unlike many of the "home boys" & "home girls", my grandmother was adopted by wonderful people.  To honour them, my mom was given their surname -MacKay - as her middle name.)  My other relatives were from Scotland.
(NOTE:  bolding and red were added by me )
On 14 April 1826, an obscure police magistrate in London, England, Robert Chambers, told a committee of the British Parliament dealing with emigration: "I conceive that London has got too full of children." Chambers was alarmed at the number of youngsters, victims of east-end London's chronic poverty, who were begging in the streets and sleeping in the gutters. He had a recommendation which may well have been in the minds of others and which was to become reality several decades later in one of the most Draconian movements in the history of emigration. Chambers recommended that Britain's surplus children be sent to Canada as farm labour.

The children (most of whom were age 8 to 16 though there were many who came at 4 and 5 years of age) were almost always taken first to Ontario receiving homes in Belleville, Stratford, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto. Advertisements were usually placed in local papers announcing the arrival of another shipment of children and inviting farmers to visit the home for a prospective "home boy" or "home girl."

The child was only rarely adopted but was indentured, the farmer in return providing lodging, a modest allowance (to be placed in a bank account ostensibly in trust until the child reached maturity) and schooling. Very often, few of these obligations were met. There were, as might be expected, a great many cases of abuse of all kinds, physical, emotional and mental. Children were often returned to the home as being unsuitable - too small, too slow, too difficult.

For the remainder of the 1920s, only older teenagers came to Canada. Then as the economy of the country began its downturn, and the labour movement stepped up its longtime opposition to the programs, the number began to dwindle. In the end, while child emigration was questioned by men and women in Canada who saw its numerous flaws and its primitive attitude toward children, it was not enlightened understanding which drew the curtain upon this long career of Canadian history. It was the Great Depression.

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