Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1996-06-10 Field Journal #5 @ Qualicum Beach

From the field journal of Anthony Marr

June 10, 1996, Monday

[23:45 @ Scott and Annette Tanner’s]

Our presentation tonight was at the Courtenay Museum, after a vegetarian dinner at the Bar None Café, which obviously is the local hangout for the anti-hunting set. Not a large audience – about a dozen people - but thoroughly pre-enlightened. As with the Tofino crowd, I could be preaching to the converted except for that it is also an information session, about both the global bear parts trade and the BET’R Campaign, with neither of which are they particularly familiar.

In the audience was the famous and highly respected Ruth Masters – a lady in her seventies who has fought a life time of local environmental battles, and is nonetheless still a fire-brand. She is one of those women who disrupt legal bear hunts – her weapon of choice being a whistle, as featured in Fun Kill. And then, there were two younger local activists, both Susans – Holvenstot and McVittie – who invited me back to address a larger audience, saying that they couldn’t motivate their friends the way I motivated them both tonight. Most if not all in the audience signed up as volunteer canvassers. Henceforth, Courtenay, like Tofino, shall be to me the epitome of a green and friendly town.

A week has gone by, and except for the initial dual with Keith Urchuk in Campbell River, our fear of hunter harassment hasn’t quite materialized. It’s almost disappointing, considering that I’ve already expended the necessary energy to steel myself for the Big Confrontation. But I’m not complaining.

I can actually see storm clouds within our event horizon. So far, our presentations have been more or less by invitation only, but things will soon change. Maureen Sager of Port Alberni, which we shall visit on June 13, Thursday, informed us that she has pre-informed the Alberni Valley Times of the time and place of my presentation. The article will be in the paper on June 12, Wednesday. The first open invitation, first and foremost an invitation to trouble, I suspect.

An effect of the lack of a confronting external enemy thus far is the coming to the fore of the internal confrontation within our team. On the hour-long drive back from Courtenay to the Tanners’ in Qualicum, Erica and I finally “let it all hang out”, which took the physical form of a verbal tempest in the “tea-pot” of my car. But given our basic fondness for each other, it did serve to clear the air between us, and we hugged before going into the Tanner house.

The prospect of a Port Alberni confrontation did serve to keep us together. We approach it as David must have when approaching Goliath. But David had his slingshot. What do we have? With what do we vanquish such inhuman enemy, even just to keep ourselves from harm? Is it just our faith in the humaneness of those who revel in the joy of killing? I feel ill-equipped, even unequipped, to do the job.

No comments:

Post a Comment