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Joyce writes with passion, all the more so for having discovered that he is a descendant of one of those children. And he has the skill to make the story dramatic by using intimate close ups, focusing on individual histories, documenting the day to day struggles a number of these reluctant immigrant children had making a new life, most never to see their parents or siblings again. With a poet's eye, he often finds the exact image to make his story fly beneath the radar and nest in the ear and eye: "We are walking history. Like it or not Buy Converse Shoes Uk Online believe it or not we carry its burdens. As individuals or as a nation, we either lay the ghosts of family past to rest or remain haunted by them and pass them on to our children to deal with. The psychic dislocation of abandonment echoes down the generations like a gunshot, a bullet tearing through the heart."
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and encouraged by local and national politicians, but also it turned out to be a cash cow for the organizers, who stood to earn back their investment with interest. Does this mean that all such ventures and organizations Barnardo and Fairbridge Farm Schools should be dismissed as inherently evil and wrong headed, refuges for sociopaths and pedophiles? Joyce takes a slightly different view, blaming scale and giving credit where he feels it is due: "Hardly, I have little doubt that the volunteers who first went out into London's beleaguered East End in the 1860s to help with the devastating fallout of the cholera epidemics were sincere. You don't walk into an inferno like that unless you're powerfully motivated by some form of altruism."
Is there a ritual that will lay the ghosts of historical wrongs? This is a question that has been plaguing nations of late, at least since ethics claimed a place in the political arena.
"Social services departments everywhere have been eviscerated, their staff's role changed from one of helping the disadvantaged to policing them The classic blame the victim rationale. It's a particularly vicious mlange of Malthusian doctrine, social Darwinism, and monopoly capitalism on steroids. No nation nourished on such a bitter root can expect to do anything but repeat history and collapse in on itself."
Yet the lip service has not always resulted in changes of attitude or policy. This is a deeply moving story of how good intentions can pave the road to hell. He writes that the roundup consisted of British and Irish children some orphans, some from the workhouse, others taken from parents judged to be unfit, but mostly children of the poor given up by desperate parents under the false impression that their kids were destined for a better life, when, in fact, many of them would become indentured labourers in Canada's houses and farms, ill fed, subject to mistreatment, unhealthy conditions and, at times, sexual abuse.
by Sean Arthur Joyce
And he does not hesitate to point his finger at the culprits. In a summing up chapter, he turns his attention to a disturbing trend in society: "Since the 1980s, there has been a corporate driven movement away from the Commons and the social contract.
If we had enough people like Sean Arthur Joyce in government, resisting the new corporate agenda and the creeping national amnesia, refusing to let these travesties go unrecorded, we might do more than lay the Home Children's ghosts to rest. We might begin to recover what is being lost.
incarceration of Japanese Canadians during Second World War and the turning away of a shipload of Jews during the Holocaust. Playwright and SFU political science professor Herschel Hardin describes our condition aptly: "Creating a simulacrum of innocence is only a way colonials have of avoiding their condition."
Joyce's concern goes beyond opening our eyes and hearts to a historical travesty that Canadians should know and acknowledge. He is fully aware of the economics of this immigration scheme, the money the British government would save by washing its hands of what some saw as costly "gutter children." Not only was the scheme Converse Navy Women
Apologies have been belatedly and, I'd say, reluctantly forthcoming in Canada to various ill served groups, including the prime minister's official apology to First Nations.
We've hung onto Lester B. Pearson's coattails, considering ourselves a nation of peacemakers, the No. 1 destination for the destitute of the earth, and a cut or two above our neighbours to the south, forgetting the disappearance of the Beothuk Indians in Newfoundland, the Komagata Maru incident, the Chinese Head Tax, the Converse All Star High-top Sneakers For Toddlers
What can we learn from this history? While giving the nod to Hegel's view that people and nations learn nothing from history, Joyce's compassionate telling of the Home Children story belies this notion. He identifies emotionally with Pierre Trudeau's vision of a just society and Tommy Douglas's fight for universal health care: "Before we were forced to swallow the bitter pill of 'fiscal conservatism' we built a country that had actually learned from its history."
The Turks continue to deny the Armenian genocide, but are haunted by its ghosts. Spain rewrote its history to make it look as if Franco was the final manifestation of all that was good in their culture, but eventually had to revise the national narrative to accommodate the emergent left. And what about Canada, with its checkered past and mistreatment of First Nations?
Ghosts of politics past haunt Joyce's profound work
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