It wasn’t that many years ago that many of us will remember as children going to elementary school in the early grades, where the first thing we did each morning was to recite the Lord’s prayer together in our classroom. In those days, that special tradition was as common as getting our annual immunization shots from the community nurse, learning the three R’s, or going out for recess, but for some reason, of which many are not sure, the age-old and cherished prayer is no longer being said in many of our schools, events and other locations.
Of course, in our great nation, everyone is allowed their choice and freedom of religion, as well as the right to pray on our own or with chosen friends and family. Whatever our course of life, our goals and our beliefs may be, we can be sure that faith will always find a will and a way to help us succeed and to get our special message across. Here is a delightful little true story concerning the spirit and determination of the students of the Eastern Shore District High School in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia.
The Big Sneeze
They walked in tandem, each of the 92 students filing into the already crowded auditorium for their graduation ceremony. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps in place, they looked almost as grown up as they felt. Their dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles and their moms freely brushed away the tears.
This class would not pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court order prohibiting it. The principal and several students were very careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the new direction. They presented excellent inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families. The speeches were very nice, but they were quite routine until the final speech would result in an overwhelming standing ovation.
A solitary student walked proudly up to the microphone, where he stood still and silent for just a moment, and then it happened. All 92 students, every single one of them suddenly sneezed… The student on the stage simply looked out at the audience and uttered “God bless you” and then quietly walked off the stage. The huge audience suddenly exploded into applause, and this vibrant graduating class had found a unique and wonderful way to invoke God’s blessing on their future, with or without the court’s approval.
They also had drugs in the good old days
We all know very well that in today’s fast-paced world, we have countless drugs and magic cures for absolutely everything that might ail us, or may promise to help us to be more ‘peppy’ and spry no matter what our age might be. Although unfortunately some of these so-called ‘fixes’ are now being abused in many areas, I found an interesting article the other day explaining that while there were also all sorts of drugs and elixirs available in the ‘good old days’, they were used strictly for ‘medicinal’ purposes’ and here indeed are some of those early natural and completely legal cure-alls.
● Cocaine drops. An instantaneous 1885 cure available for 15 cents a bottle. Popular with children because it relieved the pain and made them very happy.
● Opium for newborns. Stickney and Poor’s Pure Paregoric is 46 per cent alcohol. Recommended dosage is 5 drops for five day olds, 25 drops for 5 years and over, and one teaspoonful for adults.
● Try Dragees’ Menthol Antiseptic Cocaine Tablets. Great for actors, singers, teachers and preachers for maximum performance and a ‘smooth’ voice.
● Metcalfe’s Coca Wine for fatigue of mind or body; guaranteed as an everyday pleasant tonic and a great invigorator.
● For those strong coughs and colds, try Farbenbriken heroin.
This is likely why our grandparents were so much happier and relaxed than we are, and always love to share the many fond memories of their youth.
After the magnificent and successful celebration of Ponoka’s first Festival of Trees last week, everyone should now really be into the jolly Christmas spirit. Some of the festive events coming in the next couple of weeks will include: The Ponoka Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Town Hall, followed by the ‘Almost Midnight Madness’ shopping spree around town from 6 until 11 p.m.; and then the annual visit of the glitzy CPR Holiday Train on Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at 50 Street and 47 Avenue.
Please don’t forget to help fill the annual collection boxes in the stores in support of Santa’s Anonymous and the Ponoka Food Bank, dress warm, and have a great week, all of you.