Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy St. David's Day!

Saint David is the patron saint of Wales.  St. David's Day goes by here with barely a mention, but in Wales it is still celebrated.  The Welsh celebrate by wearing a leak on their collar and wishing all they meet good fortune.   The wearing of the leek comes from a story where the Welsh warriors were fighting for their independence in a fierce battle with the English.  To identify the Welsh warriors from their opponents, they pinned a leek (related to an onion) to their collars. 

My Dad's family have been in Wales for many generations.  They settled around the town of Ruabon in North Wales, which is near the famous town of Llanggollen where the renowned Eisteddfod music festival is held. 

I still have many relatives in that area.  We (my family and I) emigrated from Wales to Canada many years ago, when I was a baby.  We're 99% Canadian now, but we still keep a little Welsh with us.  My Grandchildren call me Taid (pronounced "tah eed"), which means Grandpa in North Wales.  We still make leek soup (very occasionally) and we have visited Wales a couple of times.

When visiting Wales, you'll notice that most signs are bilingual in English and Welsh.  I think everyone speaks English and a bit of Welsh.  The Welsh have their own National Assembly in Cardiff, but still are a proud part of the United Kingdom.  There might be a lesson there for us Canadians!

Happy St. David's Day!

Clarifications on the Fire Engine

In my last blog about the problems with our fire engine, I'd indicated that we had problems keeping the engine's water pump warm during our winter months.

You will recall that our truck originally came from the southern United States, where freezing temperatures like ours are unheard of.  When the truck arrived here, our Fire Department set forth to address the problem of protecting the water pump from freezing.

After a while, a solution to the problem was designed and installed.  I am told now that the water pump NEVER froze, and functioned as it should every time.   But like everything, the pump just "wore out!"

I have also avoided mentioning exact figures for the repair of our truck, or its replacement, because we don't have those figures available yet.  Council is in the process of getting more information on the repairs and more accurate costs of another used fire engine.  After all that is in, we than need to decide what to do.

We will have three choices;
  • Fix our existing truck and hold on to it until 2020 when the Village's finances and provincial and federal grant money may make it possible to replace it.
  • Get rid of the existing truck and purchase another used, surplus truck.
  • Continue to rent a fire truck until Village finances and grants may make it possible to replace it. 
It is highly unlikely that the Village of Beiseker could ever afford to purchase a brand new fire truck!  We have a small population and a debt load of that size would be unmanageable, in my opinion.