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Various Veins

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A man who lived in Tillsonburg changed the flow of history. He passed away not long ago, and his obituary was brief. The chain of events happened in the Industrial Arts shop in 1963 where I was the teacher. It was the night when parents came to see what their children had been doing through the year.

The Reverend R. Douglas MacDonald came in.

At that time a change was in progress that would send students from Straffordville to Aylmer District High School. At that time, too, I had a summer job with Hicks & Lawrence Aerial Crop Dusters. I earned more in one summer than I did in my first year teaching.

"You think you're smart," he said. "You should be working to get your BA. It's not one time, it pays month by month."

This opened my eyes and I went after the degree.

I raised the question of students from Straffordville being transferred to Aylmer. I preferred my kids to go to Tillsonburg. The Reverend MacDonald said the Tillsonburg board of which he was head was not intending to dispute this. He said that until the change was in effect he represented the affected students. My kids and any who opted to continue going to Tillsonburg from Straffordville were given that choice.

The unfolding of history changed that night. My own family would have met mates in East Elgin. None of the people who have been assisting me to change my address would have been born. My daughter Peg would not have served on the hospital board or worked for TDS.

There's no way to know how this would have been repeated in other families.

Many people believe that things are meant to happen, as if some puppet master were controlling the flow of history.

My conception of life is a sort of Brownian motion.

If you place a drop of water on a slide and look at through a good microscope you can observe this random dance of particles.

I am glad my life has unfolded as it has from that night in 1963.

This is a short column, but having given the Reverend R. Douglas MacDonald the exposure he deserves, I'll let the editor use the remaining space. 

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