Promotion Night #2 – Mahonys UBC 30 Sept 2008 – Feedback

The Ireland Monument Committee was delighted to host our 2nd Promotion Night at Mahonys Public House UBC Vancouver on Sept 30th 2008.  Thanks to Chris Mahony and his staff for their assistance.

We cordially invite comments from those who attended. Comments will be posted with writers names on this page. We kindly ask that comments be brief and to the point. All comments should be addressed to irelandmonumentvancouver@hotmail.com

Good evening everyone. My name is Kate Hammett-Vaughan. I’m a jazz vocalist and music educator here in Vancouver. I want to thank Brendan Flynn for inviting me to speak to you tonight. I am here to tell you a little bit about my father, Garth Vaughan, and his good friend David Preston Smith, a couple of great Nova Scotia-based artists, both of whom have made huge contributions to the Ireland Monument.My dad is one of those people who never stops learning or working. All through my childhood in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and through my first decade in Vancouver, he had a busy career as a surgeon and GP. From childhood he was obsessed with art, painting and drawing, and produced an amazing body of visual art while he was busy with his medical career. When he retired from medicine in 1990, his five children all imagined that he would settle into his artistic life with his artist wife Lauren, and just slow down a little. Instead, he surprised us all by becoming an avid hockey historian. And not just a guy who collected info about old teams and old jerseys. My father helped to rewrite the history of hockey, proving that the game originated in Nova Scotia. He founded and developed the birthplaceofhockey.com website and published a best-selling book on the subject called The Puck Starts Here.  Along the way, he uncovered a lot of information about great Irish athletes and organizers who made immeasurable contributions to our great national game, and thus to Canada.When the wonderful illustrator David Preston Smith, who is also a hockey history fan, heard about my father’s work, he travelled to Windsor to meet him. The story of these two impassioned men meeting and talking for the first time is very funny. David has a hearing problem and raises his voice to hear himself. Dad had to raise his voice to be heard.  Eventually Lauren had to come and see of there was a fight going on. She found these two older men standing around the dining room table, which was littered with photographs, drawings, and hockey stories, yelling at each other with huge smiles on their faces. They were both so excited about art and hockey! That was the beginning of their friendship and artistic collaboration. David illustrated Dad’s children’s book, Tommy’s New Block Skates, and they have plans for future projects.David Preston Smith, who has contributed the artwork for the Ireland Monument, is an internationally recognized artist and illustrator. He launched his career with NASA as a concept illustrator, and has worked as the official sports artist for many of Canada’s premier sporting events, including the Canada Cup Hockey Series and the Olympic Games. David is also a renowned wildlife illustrator. His recent work includes the moose image for the Canadian five dollar stamp and coin released in 2004 by Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint.—————————————————————

The Ireland Monument – Unveiling – September 30th, 2008

Good evening Members of the Ireland Monument Committee, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.

My name is Perviz Madon and I am here to share my thoughts and experiences with the wonderful people of Ireland I’ve come to know and respect over the past 23 years.  For those of you that remember the bombing of the Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland in 1985 – well on that fateful day, I lost my husband Sam Madon who at the age of 41 became a victim of this senseless act of terrorism.  It has been known as one of the worst disasters in the history of aviation and 329 men, women and children were killed in this horrendous crash.  After a very disturbing verdict of NOT GUILTY in 2005 by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, for the 2 accused, we lobbied for a public inquiry as well as memorials in the major cities where most of the victims of this crime resided, which were Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.  It was especially important for us to have one here in Vancouver as the crime was planned and executed in our very city.   We had the opening of this Air India Memorial in Stanley Park at Cepperley Park near 2nd beach, in July 2007.

So coming back to my experiences with the Irish people –  I am at a loss to express my gratitude for all that these lovely people did for us in 1985 and are still doing for families that visit the Air India Memorial at Dunmanus Bay at Ahakista in the county of Cork.  This memorial was erected on June 23rd 1986 on the first anniversary of the crash and was a joint venture of Canadian, Indian and Irish Governments.

From the time of search and rescue, which later turned to recovery of the bodies from the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, the help, guidance, care and respect they showed us, the victims’ families will forever be etched in our hearts.  To the people who lived in the proximity where most of the debris eventually washed ashore, it became their tragedy and they mourned for the people they had never met  The citizens of the small town of Bantry had to go through the trauma of this horrendous crash and now 23 years later they still tend to the memorial site keeping it clean and tidy and shower the family members who return to pay homage to their loved ones lost at sea, with their “Irish” hospitality and the wonderful generosity of their spirit.  Their lives have forever been altered and affected by this tragedy.

It would be very fitting to have the Ireland Monument in close proximity of the Air India Memorial in Stanley Park.  I have often said to myself that if my darling husband had to die anywhere, I am glad he died in Ireland. What an honour to have the two memorials side by side and how befitting for all the victims of the Air India flight 182 to share this beautiful space in our prestigious Stanley Park.  This is no co-incidence that the two memorials would be planned so very close together – I think it is meant to be.

 I would like to take this opportunity and thank Mr. Brendan Flynn and his committee for inviting me here today and would also like to publicly thank the people of Ireland especially the doctors, nurses, search and rescue personnel, Irish Garda as well as the general public, of the County of Cork, for all that they did in 1985 and for the years of love and friendship they have extended us the victims’ families of the Air India flight 182 and I assure you our children and our grandchildren will forever be in your debt.

In closing, I would like to use the quote from the Irish as well as the Vancouver memorials which goes as follows:

“Time flies, Suns rise and shadows fall, let it pass by, love reigns forever over all”.

Thank you.