Friday, December 26, 2008
He built a business out of blood, sweat and hard work. Alphonsus married a great woman and had four sons.
When the time was right Alphonsus became the farmer he was meant to be. He went down his own path in life, living by the creed, never one to back down and with Alphonsus there was no such word as can't.
He was a proud New Zealander in the country he chose to make his life, but if there is one thing you learn, being the son of an Irishman, you can never take the Irish out of an Irishman.
Our dad was born a Tyrone man and he died a Tyrone man.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I have deliberately chosen in this past year to wrap myself in a cocoon, to muffle myself from the outside world. During this time, I have discovered that people who say their your friend...aren't and that those say you are their friends...really are!
I appreciate my family, my friendships that have stood the test of time. I acknowledge that I have neglected my friends who have deserved my time and attention when others haven't. I have been dazzled by words spoken that weren't true...that hurt, but I hope I've learned to hold back and wait...let the words line up with actions.
My true friends aren't all glam and sizzle, in fact, they are worker bees, working hard for their families, sacrificing themselves for their loved ones and others. They put themselves last in their desire to serve others. Yet, expect no applause, no appreciation, they see the work that needs done and just do it. They walk the walk with minimal talk...
We can't all be Bono or Nelson Mandela...but we can be within the community we find ourselves...tonight, I was reminded by that.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
If the church doesn't hurry up and figure out who it is...how can it expect to have any relevance in this day and age of fleeting fads and traditions. I believe there is a huge mass of people searching for depth and substance...is this to much to hope and pray for?
Friday, July 11, 2008
It has been sooo long since I have written on here...doesn't seem much point lately and I feel the weight of keeping silent, yet I take comfort in trusting that all things lead to their own resolution.
Somehow, one would arrive with a coffee exactly on the day when I needed a friend most or simply a quick hello or another drives all the way out from the city to give me a small calender to help me keep track of all my appointments.
I find myself thinking about friendships lost...some thru death others thru rash decisions of my youth and others thru disappointments and betrayal. With that, it makes me appreciate the friends that I do have. Friends who have been there for me throughout the years...through good times and bad...who have my back...they are rare and to be cherished.
I will always ache and grieve the friendships lost...each friend touches your life in such a special way...good and bad. I feel badly for those I have hurt in the past and I hope that it makes me a better friend today to those who count me as their friend.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
But I'm walkin' just the same
Skies turn to the usual grey
When you turn to face the day
And love don't show up in the pavement cracks
All my water colours fade to black
I'm goin' nowhere and I'm ten steps back
All my dreams have fallen flat
(Love don't show in the pavement cracks
There will be no turning back)
Time and space will pass us by and by
When we don't see eye to eye
I would have done anything
For happiness to bring ...
But it don't show up in the pavement cracks
I can't even cover up my tracks
I'm goin' nowhere and I'm light years back
Ooh I wish you well
I'm still waiting for the change?
I still say
Give me strength to live?
Where is my comfort zone?
A simple place to call my own
'Cause everything I wanna be
Comes crashing down on me
And it don't show up in the pavement cracks
I can't even recognise my tracks
You and I can't turn the whole thing back
Ooh I wish you well
[ www.azlyrics.com ]
Friday, June 13, 2008
I watched with surprising emotion the proceedings in our nation's Parliament building the other day. I watched as Prime Minister Stephen Harpur stood and apologized over and over for the multitude of sins placed on the heart and soul of our aboriginal people. This included the barbaric removal of children from their families and placing them in Indian residential schools.
The two main objectives of the residential schools were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. Can you imagine the horror of having your child removed from your home, your care, your arms, because the dominant culture deemed you inferior & unequal???
Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, "to kill the Indian in the child."
I remember travelling to Thompson, Manitoba years ago on business and watching as they locked the doors at night to keep the "natives" out of their hotel because of the problems with alcohol and drugs. I also witnessed the palpable tension between the two communities...it was uncomfortable and I was in agony listening to how easily people dismissed the Native community. They lived in homes that were barren and cold. I felt their pain and it profoundly affected and changed me. I had never tasted such open discrimination towards a group of people.
Please let us learn from this painful period in our Canadian history. Let us join hands and hearts and work towards healing, respect and love for the true natives of this land.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
My participation in the boycott of Nestle is not because I am against baby formula, what I am opposed to is the sly marketing practices used by Nestle. How they provide free formula in third world countries until the mother's breast milk has dried up and the mother then has to struggle to pay for formula and provide clean, sanitary water to mix the formula with.
Below is the email I received today.
We need your help to stop Nestlé's plans to give a wine and dine infant feeding talk (June 12, 2008) to health professionals in Burnaby, B.C. As many of you know, Nestlé attempted a similar event in Burnaby last year, but after our letter-writing campaign, it was cancelled. Apparently they think they can get away with it this year.
The main speaker at the event is Owennie Lee, a registered dietitian. This event violates both the International Code and the College of Dietitians of British Columbia’s code of ethics.
B.C. has a 95 per cent breastfeeding rate because health workers there work hard to protect breastfeeding from the commercial pressures to artificially feed. We are asking that concerned people throughout B.C., Canada and internationally email Nestle to let them know we will not put up with marketing that violates the WHO Code.
Please email Oweenie Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Catherine O’Brien at Corporate Affairs at Nestlé (Catherine.Obrien@ca.nestle.com). See INFACT Canada’s letter below or write your own.
You can also email the College of Dietitians of British Columbia at mailto:email@example.com. See INFACT’s letter below.
Please CC Renee Hefti-Graham, who started this campaign, so she can measure the momentum. (Renee Hefti firstname.lastname@example.org)
If the talk is not cancelled, a demonstration is planned on June 12, 2008.
Your email will make a difference!
To: Owennie Lee, registered dietitian
Cc: Catherine O’Brien, Nestlé Corporate affairs
Dear Ms. Lee,
I’m writing to you about the upcoming Nestlé event in Burnaby called “the Infant Feeding Maze.” As you may be aware, because this is a violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The International Code was created in 1981 by the WHO and UNICEF to protect infant health and breastfeeding, and violating it can put infants and young children at risk.
Article 7.3 of the Code states: “No financial or material inducements to promote [infant feeding products] should be offered by manufacturers or distributors to health workers”. An expensive dinner at a downtown hotel could certainly be construed as a material inducement to win the favour of health professionals.
Resolution 49.15 of the World Health Assembly, which carries the same weight as the Code, states companies like Nestlé have a responsibility “to ensure that the financial support for professionals working in infant and young child health does not create conflicts of interest”. Clearly the sponsorship of nutrition conferences by a formula company creates a conflict of interest for health workers who attend.
This event is also a violation of the College of Dietitians of British Columbia’s Code of Ethics, which states that dietitians must “avoid bias,” “remain professionally objective”, and “refrain from real or perceived conflict of interest.” The WHO, Health Canada, and the Dietitians of Canada all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life as the optimal way to feed infants. Clearly, a dietitian partnering with a formula company inhibits her ability to promote breastfeeding and creates a clear conflict of interest.
Nestlé attempted to stage a similar conference in Burnaby last year, but was obliged to cancel it after letters of protest were written by health professionals and concerned citizens across the country. That the company is so persistent in attempting to violate the Code is discouraging. I respectfully request that you abide by the International Code and the CDBC’s Code of Ethics and cancel this event.
Our contacts in Burnaby have expressed their willingness to demonstrate at the event should it go ahead, as well as to contact local media. I hope that, as happened last year, Nestlé will realize the folly of events like this and consider abiding by the Code in the future.
To: Melanie Journoud and
College of Dietitians of British Columbia
Dear College of Dietitians of British Columbia,
I’m writing to you regarding the upcoming event in Burnaby on June 12 entitled “The Infant Feeding Maze”, being hosted by Nestlé Nutrition. Local health workers have been invited to the event, and the evening’s speaker is Owennie Lee, a registered dietitian.
This talk is being staged by Nestlé, the world’s largest infant formula company, and it is aimed at professionals who work with mothers and babies. It is unreasonable to expect that it will be purely informational, and not promotional in nature.
The WHO, Health Canada, and the Dietitians of Canada all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life as the optimal way to feed infants. Nestlé has a vested interest in discouraging breastfeeding and promoting infant formula. Therefore participation in events like this present health workers with a conflict of interest, and are in violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
The International Code was created in 1981 by the WHO and UNICEF to protect infant health and breastfeeding, and violating it can put infants and young children at risk. Article 7.3 of the Code states: “No financial or material inducements to promote [infant feeding products] should be offered by manufacturers or distributors to health workers”. The event in question includes an expensive dinner at a downtown hotel, which could certainly be construed as a material inducement to win the favour of health professionals.
Resolution 49.15 of the World Health Assembly, which carries the same weight as the Code, states companies like Nestlé have a responsibility “to ensure that the financial support for professionals working in infant and young child health does not create conflicts of interest”. Clearly the sponsorship of nutrition conferences by a formula company creates a conflict of interest for health workers who attend, and compromises their ability to promote breastfeeding.
The CDBC’s own Code of Ethics states that BC dietitians must “avoid bias” and “remain professionally objective.” How can a dietitian who is being paid by a formula company effectively convey what’s best for babies, namely the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks associated with artificial formula? The Code of Ethics also states that dietitians must “refrain from real or perceived conflict of interest” and “advocate for the client at all times.” If she’s speaking at an event sponsored by Nestlé, how can a dietitian claim she’s advocating for anyone but the company? This can surely be perceived as a conflict of interest.
While I am aware that CDBC is understands the importance of breastfeeding, that an accredited member of your organization would participate in an event like this is discouraging. It appears at least some of your members are not fully aware of their responsibilities under the Code, or the negative effect that formula promotion has on infant health. I respectfully ask that you affirm your support for the Code and infant health, and consider letting Owennie Lee and Nestlé know that the College of Dietitians views her participation in this event as a breach of CDBC’s Code of Ethics.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
There is so much suffering going on in the world right now. From earthquakes in China, to cyclones in Burma, a growing food shortage that is affecting people in over 28 countries, wars, floods, Darfur, etc... What is the average person to do? I could blog about it, encourage you to give to the Red Cross or World Vision two charities I support...but in reality, talk is cheap and being a laptop do-gooder costs me nothing and makes it look like I'm actually doing something.
For those who actually work on the front lines...your in my thoughts and prayers...your really making a difference! At this time in my life, all I can offer you is my money and prayers. I'm not sure where the church is in times like this. The only message I hear from the church is disagreement on who has the "right" theology, who is cooler, hipper and more cutting edge, hippy~esque, too judgemental, not judgemental enough! Turn on the tv or blog-land and so called do gooders have their hands out wanting you to support their efforts via money to maintain their image of doing something when I truly question that they do anything!
I'm definitely dis-illusioned.
-- Kahlil Gibran
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
"God catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness."
"The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are worthless."
1 Corinthians 3: 18-20
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By T.S. Kerrigan
American Reporter Correspondent
Los Angeles, California
LOS ANGELES — Just when you thought the Celtic Tiger economy had done it worst, there’s news that the Irish Government - in the name of progress, of course - is implementing a plan to build the M3 freeway through the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of the high kings of Ireland.
This would seem to be the worst news to befall that lovely site since medieval times, when Irish ecclesiastics, locked in a struggle with the lay authority of the times, put a curse on the place and destroyed all secular power in the land of saints and sages until the coming of Brian Boru.
‘What’s next, a shopping center connecting the Lakes of Killarney? A strip mall in Dingle? Unprincipled people seem to be in charge of Ireland’s cultural future… .’
Will romantic Ireland be “dead and gone,” as poet W.B. Yeats contended, when that location is straddled with a four-lane toll road and a 50-acre interchange? Will this obvious playing to the whims of the Irish motorist result in yet another desecration of the values of the past?
Work has, unfortunately, already begun despite an outcry which has spread beyond the borders of the country. William Harding, Professor of Archeology at Edinburgh University, has claimed that “it is an act of cultural vandalism as flagrant as ripping a knife through a Rembrandt painting.” Government owned forests in Rath Lugh are being systematically decimated as part of the project.
Poorly supervised digging at nearby Baronstown has produced bones in various and random parts of that area, with no attempt to mark or number these finds. At Roestown, a complex of beehive souterrains (Bronze Age condominiums) has been removed by workers, promptinmg its nomination by the respected World Monuments Fund to the lost of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
One of these ancient dwelling spaces in Roestown has been removed to build a superhighway across the revered Hill of Tara, and this one is to be moved.
Photo: Tara Watch
Destruction is also taking place at Collierstown, even before the Public-Private Partnership has entered into a contract to build the M3 Highway. The bureaucrats of the nation seem to be in a great hurry to complete the planned highway before public opposition grows too strong.
The insensitivity of the government to the beauties of the west of Ireland has been apparent before in places like Bantry Bay and Bellanboy, but this surely is its most momentous outrage in recent years. What’s next, a shopping center connecting the Lakes of Killarney? A strip mall in Dingle? The possibilities are only limited by the imaginations of the unprincipled people who seem to be in charge of the country’s cultural future.
These Collierstown sites may have held Ireland’s earliest Christians, dating to 400 A.D.
Those who are not indifferent to the destruction of Irish culture are being advised to write to the Taioseach, Bertie Ahern, to Dick Roche, the Minister for the Environment, and Sean Haughey, Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Irish Dail.
Tourism being one of Ireland’s major industries, those who oppose the project want to enlist the voices of people conscious of their Irish heritage in places like the United States and Australia.
It has also been recommended for dissenters to this project write to the major Irish newspapers. Further information is available through the Global Arts Collective and a useful blog, Tara Watch. A quick response is needed if these geographical treasures of Ireland are to be preserved.
You can reach AR Correspondent T.S. Kerrigan at email@example.com
Check out this blog for more information...Tara Watch
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I plan to use this as a mantra of sorts...especially when I think I am doing a "good thing"
Monday, March 17, 2008
This prayer is often called "St. Patrick's Breastplate" because of those parts of it which seek God's protection. The first time I read it, it affected me greatly.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I belive in the importance of vaccines, I always have. However, I never felt comfortable trusting the blanket program beginning often within hours of birth! Now that the CDC has finally acknowledged that some children, may have an underlying condition that causes autism like symptoms, I hope more research is done to find a low cost, reliable test that will screen out children at risk. However, at this time, there is no such test...we need one!
US to award vaccine damage payment
By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent
Campaigners hail decision as ‘unprecedented’
A DECISION by the US government to award compensation under its vaccine
damage programme to a child diagnosed with symptoms of autism has been
hailed as "unprecedented" by campaigners.
The claim is one of nearly 5000 cases currently pending in the American
vaccine "court", which allege that mercury-containing vaccines resulted in
Washington-based attorney Jim Moody, one of the lawyers involved in the
cases, told the Sunday Herald the case was scheduled to go to trial in May,
but "to everyone's surprise" the government conceded liability.
"It is also significant they conceded it was causing autism, they could have
just said vaccines caused injury or been vague," he said. "Never before has
our government linked vaccines to autism."
According to court papers, the girl was developing normally during the first
18 months of her life. But the officials agreed to pay compensation after it
was demonstrated that five vaccinations she received on one day
significantly aggravated an underlying type of genetic disorder, leading to
a condition which had "features" of autism.
A press conference is planned for Atlanta tomorrow, where the girl's parents
are expected to talk about the case.
Visit link for full story
Monday, March 03, 2008
Below is a letter from ProWomanProLife detailing how you can help by calling the office of the Governor General. Please take a moment to call...it will only take a moment to leave a voice message, and it might make a difference!
Right now, there is a campaign to nominate Henry Morgentaler for the Order of Canada.
Please take action - and help prevent our country from honouring the killing of unborn children and the harming of women and families.
All it takes is a free phone call!
Rest of Canada: 1-800-465-6890
From Ottawa: 613-993-8200
You will get a receptionist.
Ask to speak to Madeleine Proulx (pronounced "Prew"), who deals with the Order of Canada.
You will probably get voicemail.
State your name and that you want to register your objection to Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada.
State the reason why (ie. Morgentaler has not improved the status of women as he proclaims; abortion on demand has decayed our respect for human dignity; his values do not represent a large number of Canadians, etc.)
Please try to be neutral in your tone.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Christians must consciously process the truths that they receive from God as they are involved in the circumstances of their walk with Christ. We might be walking with Christ, and He is there walking beside us, but we do not see Him. This can happen if we fail to identify the circumstances that we are experiencing in our lives with Him. The spiritual, not perceived with the five senses, is often overlooked!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
So, this morning, she comes downstairs with her two dolls in hand and tells me to turn on her Aladdin movie so that she can climb inside the tv and join them! I explain to her that she can't because it was a dream she had. She informs me very matter of factly that God will let her do it and I don't need to worry. She will climb back when she is done having fun!
I'm scrambling to explain to her that no...God wouldn't want her to do that...that is why he gives us beautiful magical dreams like hers, so that she can explore places that normally we can't visit in the daytime. But, she informed me once again that our house is magical and God will allow her to do this...
I finally had to tell her that mummy didn't want her going and God would not let her since I would miss her. Anyone have any better suggestions??
Monday, February 04, 2008
I see my kids changing...and like most parents, my dream for them is to find their passion or calling early on and persue it. I am a facilitator, motivator and their biggest fans! But I also realize that children are hard work! I remember when we had Ben...Andy had just graduated, we were in debt up to our eyeballs, and I was working in a field that I loved! But, the minute I had Ben I became distracted and unable to focus on two things that I loved!
Obviously, Ben won out in the end...but only because we became pregnant nine months later with Sam. It was only then that Andy conceded there wasn't much point to working if all you did was work to pay babysitters. We chose to go into debt for our kids and I don't regret a moment of it as I was born to be a mother,their mother!
It has meant sacrifice...but that is what parenting is no matter what your style. I have discovered so many things about myself during the past 15 years that I never could have had I continued working. We would have been better off financially, but for our little family, we could never have been so close.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
When I used to interview candidates for the ministry in Halton Presbytery I let other committee members probe the students' social skills and marital history and career plans. Instead I always concentrated on what the students knew of God's truth, doctrine. When I was told eventually that this was none of my business I resigned from the committee, for then I could no longer protect congregations who would be endangered a year or two later. The danger, after all, is not slight. Jesus himself speaks of those who address a congregation all the while appearing to be warm, affectionate sheep when in fact they are ravenous wolves. They aren't ravenous wolves because they are nasty or cruel; they turn out to be ravenous wolves -- lethal, deadly -- just because they are false prophets (even if, perchance, sincere) who have substituted false teaching for God's truth
For this reason the apostle Jude fulminates against false teachers in his one-chapter book. In the most scorching language Jude tells us that false teachers are "waterless clouds": they promise lifegiving rain but they never produce a drop for spiritually parched people. They are "barren fruit trees": they yield nothing that is of any help to anyone. They are like "wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame": not only are they as destructive as a typhoon, their own lives are shameful. Finally, says Jude, they are like "wandering stars"; today we should say "shooting stars" which fall out of the sky and fizzle out into the darkness. Jude's language, scorching as it is, is no more severe than our Lord's when he says that false teachers appear to be cuddly sheep when in fact they are lethal wolves.
Jude has more to say about false teachers in his tiny letter than any other NT writer. "Recognize them and avoid them", he tells us. They use fancy language, he insists, they are intellectual snobs, they are slick manipulators, and they claim to have the Holy Spirit extraordinarily when all the while they behave shamefully. Recognize them and avoid them.
Whenever I think about my grasp of sound doctrine I recall the word of the apostle James. James, together with all prophets and apostles, knows that sound doctrine is utterly essential to the calling and equipping and strengthening of God's people. Then should every Christian aspire to be a teacher, an expositor of sound doctrine? Not at all, says James, for those who teach are going to be judged with greater strictness.
Since I am going to be judged with greater strictness why don't you do me the favour of judging me now, thereby sparing me something worse later? "What counts is the shape of a person's life." Don't leave me in any ghastly illusion concerning myself one day longer. For I know that the psalmist is correct when he insists that the upright, and only the upright, are going to behold the face of God. (Psalm 11:7)
Victor A. Shepherd January, 1993
Friday, January 18, 2008
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. ~Winston Churchill
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Small N.B. city in disbelief after 8 killed in crash
'A tragedy of this proportion — it's unspeakable,' school superintendent says
A close-knit city in northern New Brunswick is in mourning after seven high school basketball players and a teacher died early Saturday when the van carrying them slammed into a transport truck on an icy road.
The Bathurst High School boys' basketball team, the Phantoms, was returning from a game in Moncton, about 220 kilometres to the south, when the van fish-tailed on a slippery highway and collided with a truck driving in the opposite lane, police said.
The entire passenger side of the van was ripped off during a collision with a tractor-trailer.
The accident happened around midnight local time on Highway 8 just 500 metres from the Bathurst exit, about five minutes away from their hometown.
Of the 12 in the vehicle, four survived, including the team's coach and his daughter. The seven boys killed in the crash ranged from 15 to 18 years old. The coach's wife, a teacher at another school, also died. Weather was a factor, police said.
Police said the entire passenger side of the van was ripped off during the collision and most of the passengers ejected. "There was nothing we could do," RCMP Sgt. Derek Strong told reporters. "The force of the impact was so great that the benches they were sitting on were also ejected from the vehicle, so this was a very, very major impact."
At the time of the crash, the road was slippery from snow, freezing rain and ice pellets.
"The road had snow and slush. We had a light snowstorm [Friday] that started in the afternoon," said RCMP Cpl. Daniel Melanson.
Three people were still in hospital late Saturday, while the fourth had been treated for injuries and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. The driver of the transport truck was not injured, police said.
Grief counselling offered at school
The community of 13,000 was in shock after hearing news of the crash.
Students mourn the deaths of seven basketball players from Bathurst High School.
As early as 4 a.m., students, parents and community members began trickling in to the school where a grief counselling centre was opened for much of the day.
"There is such disbelief," said school district superintendent John McLaughlin. "A tragedy of this proportion — it's unspeakable."
He described the seven teammates as "your typical all-Canadian boys" who were positive, athletic and popular at the school of some 800 students.
Bathurst Mayor Stephen Brunet, who once taught at the school, noted that it is not only the small city that is trying to cope with the tragedy, but the whole region.
"Bathurst is a feeder school that has students coming in from around the region … so this affects a lot of young people," he said.
Families want a public funeral
The parents of Nathan Cleland, one of the boys killed, said they spoke to their son minutes before the crash when he called to tell them he was on his way home.
In the background, they could hear the boys "whooping and hollering … and having a good time."
The parents said their 17-year-old son died alongside some of his closest friends.
"They played as a team, they rolled as a team and they went out as a team. So what better way possible than to be with your friends under circumstances like this," his father said.
Families of the victims have said they want a public funeral to be held at the city's sports arena so the entire community can gather to grieve.
An 'unthinkable' accident, PM says
Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a letter of condolence to high school principal Coleen Ramsay.
"The sudden loss of eight people in this unthinkable accident shocked the nation, and all Canadians join you in mourning their passing," he wrote.
Harper said that as a father, he sympathizes with the parents of the teenage boys killed in the crash.
New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, speaking from Ottawa where he is attending a first ministers' meeting, also expressed his condolences to the victims' families.
"I just want to extend sympathies to the affected families," he said. "This is a tragic situation for the community of Bathurst and our province."
With files from the Canadian Press
Saturday, January 05, 2008
a wound that won't heal.
thoughts that bleed.
pain that won't cease.
thoughts that don't ease.
forgive me my bitterness,
it comforts me in my aloneness, disappointment and grief.