This morning (June 29), I attended my first Cowboy Church at the Ponoka Grandstand, in company with two of my grandsons, who are multilingual and carry a non-English’ name. It was an enjoyable and inspiring event.
Things went smoothly and enjoyably for most of the two hours we were in attendance, but for one embarrassing – even disgraceful – incident. It occurred when Rev. Grambo and his assistant (identified only as ‘Bill’) commented on the identity of the doctors who treated the reverend’s illnesses in Vancouver. His comment indicated that he had some question about the immigrant doctors who, presumably, saved his life. Bill’s unfortunate response: “Well, I’m glad you finally got an English doctor!” My young grandsons – nine and 13 years old- asked what he meant by that, since their father and his family are also immigrants with a “non-English” name.
I trust that such a blatantly racist remark does not represent the Cattleman’s Faith Association, or the Ponoka Stampede. But I, for one, would encourage the retirement of ‘Bill’ from such public events as this morning’s Cowboy Church. I’m sure a word of caution to Ken Grambo would allow him to alter his means of expression. I’m sure Grambo is sensitive to the immigrant issue, coming as he does, from a “non-English” Norwegian immigrant family.