Hello Everyone! Summer has come and gone.
The World Youth Day events were quite successful
even though the bottom line shows a red figure to the tune of $30 million.
In fact all the youth gathered in Toronto for the week had an amazing impact
on the city. In particular the media warmed up to them. On the very first
day, reporters interviewed cab drivers, TTC drivers and bus and streetcar
drivers to see how they were gathering the hoards of youth on their vehicles.
One reaction that stands out for me was a woman streetcar driver who said,
"ordinarily when youth gather or move in clusters we face abusive language,
violence, drugs and general hostility. But with these groups of youth all
you encounter are happy, confident, smiling faces. I'll take this crop
of young people all year round". It seems the media never looked back.
At the end, readers were writing letters of complaint to the Toronto Star
accusing it of becoming "pro-Catholic," so upbeat were the reporters at
all the events. I collected some of the articles from the Toronto Star
and have put on-line at least two:
The other great event over the summer was the High School reunion that took place in Strasbourg, France in mid August. Although I had rough sailing at first because I thought I had an electronic ticket, only to discover there are no electronic tickets for oversees flights, once I arrived in Paris it was great. There were three of us from Toronto who made the trek and all in all we were twelve. We spent four days reminiscing, drinking and eating. We did manage to go on some walks to see the Cathedral of Strasbourg and some other very fine local churches. I was again reminded of the wealth of history under practically every stone and around every corner. Something we don't quite have in Toronto. Note some pictures at the bottom of this page.
We lost the senior member of our family. Ken Smith died of a heart attack at home, May 24th, 2002. I was glad I had a picture of Ken on this web page last time where I described him as the "wisest member of the family". As you can well imagine he challenged my description of him, but I think he did so with a little bit of fondness. We will certainly miss Ken and pray that Anne will know we hold her even more closely now. .
I have finished with the acting Rector responsibilities and so now I go back to my other duties full time. I do plan to go to Slovakia this year in April and should return to Toronto in late July. This year the Biblical meeting early August is taking place in Los Angeles, so I intend to go to Vancouver either before the meeting or afterward.
Regarding the family in Slovakia, I received a very fine letter from Susanna Hermanova (Monda and Andrej's daughter) with some fine pictures, so I include two of them below from their holiday in Croatia. I found out that as of March, Robert and Elvira Vajczik, both are medical doctors, have taken out a two year contract with a Hospital in Germany near the Dutch border, in a town called Klev (haven't heard of it). Hopefully they will enjoy their stay there eventually.
Take care, enjoy life, it is a blessing - All the best, Mike