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Today we remember those who fought in World War I.

Herbert Hodkin survived the war.  He was born in 1899.  He ran away from home at 15 and joined up.  Canada was so in love with Britain that the recruiters let him go.  He was at Vimy Ridge.  He was gassed, and lost his sight and memory.  He recouperated in a hospital in Britain, where primative plastic surgery was performed on his face, and his sight was restored.  After the war, he tried finding work in Canada, USA, and Australia.  His face was so scarred that no one would hire him.  He eventually threw his medals in a river.  In the USA he met and married Helen Portlow when she was 18 and he was 35.  They had a son and a daughter.  They immigrated to Canada (he repatriated) when Helen was 35.  Herbert Hodkin died at the age of 77 in 1977.  His daughter is my mother.

David Weir Goodwin did not survive the war.  He was born in 1888.  He also volunteered to go.  He was wounded at the front, sent to hospital, healed and returned to the front.  He was wounded again and sent to hospital again.  He was nearly ready to return to the front.  The man in the bunk below had also been wounded in his first stint at the front, and did not want to return to the front.  He attempted to shoot himself in the foot and instead killed the man in the bunk above him.  David Weir Goodwin died on 23 Sept 1917, one week before his 29 birthday.  He is buried in France.  He was my father's uncle.

My grandfather never talked about his experiences in the war, and he never wore poppies.  I was inculcated with the wearing of poppies by men who survived World War II and who were belligerant with arrogant entitled pride.  I now wear poppies ironically because these acts of rememberance are futile.  Uniformed men were killed or shattered and uniformed men continue to be killed and shattered, for land, for oil, for other commodities that they don't control and have no benefit from.

And now we get a day off with pay, and most of us spend it sleeping in - I did.
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Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design was granted university status in April of 2008, and became a university in September of 2008.  Yesterday Emily Carr University held its first convocation, and installed its first chancellor, first president and vice-chancellor (same person), and granted its first honorary degrees.  The Chancellor is John (Jake) C. Kerr.  The President and Vice-Chancellor is Dr. Ron Burnett.  The two honorary degree recipients are Peter Doig, painter, and William Gisbon, author.  A post-humous doctorate was also conferred on Emily Carr, because as they said, we can't change history, but we can honour the past. 

So.  Here are some photos.  I am a fan-girl of William Gibson, so that is why he is in all three pictures.  I was far away, so that is why they are fuzzy fan-girl pictures  :)

Under the Canadian flag is William Gibson.  To his left is Peter Doig.  To Peter Doig's left is Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), who drummed and sang and led the whole procession on the stage and off again.

William Gibson has been hooded by Renee Van Halm, Dean of Graduate Studies, and is about to shake the hand of the new Chancellor, Jake Kerr.  Behind and to the rear of William Gibson is the new President and Vice-Chancellor, Ron Burnett.  Behind and to the front of William Gibson is Renee Van Halm.

After receiving his honorary doctorate, William Gibson addressed the crowd.  He said that when he walks by Granville Island he is envious of the Fine Arts students at Emily Carr.  He was saying here that, as an alumnus of UBC's English department, he is never envious of the students in the English department when he walks by.  To William Gibson's right are Jake Kerr and Ron Burnett.  To William Gibson's left is His Honour, the Honorable Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

I have other photos of William Gibson, if you count half a head in a crowd, or the back of his head.  :)


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