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Thirty members and guests participated and The Ottawa Branch Club raised approx $500 for the foundation at this first ever Night at the Races.
The Branch and Club names were on the cover of the evening’s program and the track tote board welcomed the members of the Ottawa Branch of the RMC Club of Canada. Attendees were photographed with the winner of the RMC Club Foundation FEATURE RACE !!
The meal was outstanding and inexpensive. The wine for all guests was provided by me following a $1775.00 win on the slots while I was waiting for the Club members and guests to arrive ($18.00 investment). The race track provided a reduced cost to allow for a reasonable gift to the Club Foundation
ALL MEMBERS AND GUESTS WERE H I G H L Y COMPLIMENTARY of the meal (lobster seafood + regular buffet), entertainment, races, venue and evening in general. We will do this again next year and when the news gets out about what a great time we had, we’ll have standing room only.
Club and Foundation staff will be invited to participate again next year and we hope you will join us.
Cheers eh !!!
5276 J. R. Digger MacDougall
Just a shorter newsletter, attached, mostly re the earthquake over here.
3101 Austen E. Cambon, (RMC ’54)
China Earthquake News from an Ex Cadet
Newsletters from China #3 – May 15, 2008: My thanks to so many who checked in with me as to my safety, given the disastrous earthquake here in China a few days ago. Thankfully, I am far away from the quake region which is in North-West China and I am in the South, a 3-hour plane ride away. When the quake struck, I was on the 4th floor in a massive building here and we felt nothing although the tremours from this 7.9 event were felt over an area as large as the USA. Buildings rocked in Beijing but the spin doctors were quick to announce that there would be no danger to visitors coming to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games! This disaster is huge and we are now getting a lot of live TV coverage of the rescue efforts. The Chinese government’s response has been very swift. China’s Premier flew to the region immediately and took command of operations. Some 30,000-50,000 troops and armed police have been deployed and are making their way over difficult terrain to reach the epi-centre area. Roads and bridges have been destroyed so waterways are being used for access and the troops are marching long distances to their destination. Several airborne units were to have parachuted into the region but the dreadful weather (heavy rain and high winds) prevented them from being dropped. Many sad stories are featured on TV, including about the 1,000 high school kids and their teachers who died in the collapse of their six-storey school. At least two other schools met the same fate with high loss of life. The rescue scenes include the sound of a lot of fireworks that are set off when a body is discovered, evidently to help send the victim’s spirit off to its new life. It is somewhat ironic perhaps that the last major quake in China (at Tangshan, near Beijing) was in 1976 … the year of the Montreal Summer Olympic Games. Are the Greek gods sending a message? That was also the year that Chairman Mao died. Back then China was very secretive about the scale of that disaster, the admission of the loss of 240,000 lives being “a matter of national shame”. This time they are being very open and they are welcoming aid from all international sources, but they have said that they do not need additional rescue workers. They have many well-trained ones of their own who attend a lot of coal-mine disasters! It is now much more difficult to hide news here given the extensive use of the Internet, cell phones, and Blackberry devices. A university student in Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan Province) filmed the quake on his cell phone just one minute after the quake began. It’s an incredibly scary film clip. A great many communication towers were felled by this quake and the cell phone networks eventually collapsed because of overloading with so many people trying to call home. It will be weeks or months before the true scale of this calamity will be known. As many as 100,000 may have perished. Heard a discussion by geologists tonight saying that the Indian plate collided with the Eurasia plate causing this particular earthquake. The quake has been the major story in the news here but the Olympic Torch relay also continues to be given a lot of airtime. The run occurred in our community of Xiamen several days ago. Huge crowds, massive traffic jambs, and smaller classes to teach as many of my students went to Xiamen to participate in the event. Two of the torch-bearers were Jimei University student-athletes. I was able to watch a live one-hour-long telecast of the torch run up to the summit of Mount Everest, a very impressive show indeed. The theatrics continue. However much some people dislike China for its human rights record or for whatever other reasons, one has to give them some credit for this massive promotional campaign that has certainly united a great number of Chinese in support of the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games. And a lot of other Asians are on board, too. Whatever we do or see over here continuously reminds us of the massive number of people there are here. Most of us in the Western world, at least, cannot readily connect with numbers such as 1.3 Billion people. What size jar would be needed to hold that many jelly beans? Heard, too, that there will be 180,000 Chinese students studying abroad this year. That news report also noted that Canada will now allow students to stay in Canada for three years of work experience after obtaining a degree from a certified university. It is fascinating to see that virtually all the cars here are new cars and their owners certainly keep them really clean. In Beijing, there are 1,000 new cars sold every day and 500 used cars each day, too, so there are used cars in that major city. Is China becoming too Western? The signs are now up at a prime corner in Jimei: “McDonald’s – Coming Soon – You’ll Love It!”. It will be a gold mine for the franchisee given the thousands of university and college kids here.
Back to work: The students I teach here are very different from any I have ever experienced, whether in Canada, the USA, the Middle East, or even here in China when I taught at Ningbo University for a year eight years ago. I have in my classes the products of China’s “one-child policy”: the “little emperors”. More next time. Austen