Opinion

Building or tearing down — the choice is yours

Last weekend, somebody vandalized  the lion statues in Stanley Park. It was certainly a senseless act, but in today’s society when there is little or no punishment for smashing things, spraying graffiti, or stealing stuff, who cares if you tear things down?

In a related story, one of the engineers who cast the original large lions on the Lions Gate Bridge lives here in Langley City. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bill Kent two years ago when he was 104 years old for The Times. Today, he is now a spry 106.

When he was born, the doctor told his mother not to bother registering the birth, as he was unlikely to survive the week. The changes he has seen in technology and society are astounding.

His first job as an engineer was working on the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge, and that brings us back to the lions. He spoke at length and in detail about constructing the casts and molds for the project.

“ A lot of people think those two lions are identical,” Bill shared,” but they are not. If you look closely at them, the tail of each of them is on the road side so the cast for the back end of the second lion had to be reversed. We had to take care when we placed them that they were on the right side.”

He spoke of pride in his work and realizing that people would be seeing the results of his work for years to come. Being small in stature, he had learned early in life to always do his best to prove his worth. He was a builder.

The following poem is registered as “Author Unknown,” but we all know the people he was writing about . We have to go back to teaching right and wrong. At least that’s what McGregor says.

 

Something To Think About

 

I saw them tearing a building down,

A gang of men in a busy town;

With a ho heave ho and a lusty yell,

A steel ball swung and a side wall fell.

 

I asked the foreman,” Are your men as skilled

As those you  would hire if you had to build?”

“Why no,” he laughed

“My men can wreck in a day or two

What it takes builders years to do.”

 

So I ask myself as I go my way,

Which of these roles do I choose to play?

A man who stalks with a sneer or frown

Bent on the labour of tearing down,

Or do I walk with a rule and square,

A builder measuring  life with care.

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