“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Friday, February 26, 2016


Former Alberta Premier Don Getty has passed away. I was fond of him. I remember back in the late 1980s, I had the first home-office in the federal government. I wanted to showcase this disability employment option (in my new wheelchair accessible home). I was so proud of it!
I sent out invitations to various disability groups, organizations and government to come to an open house. Premier Getty and his minister overseeing disability issues accepted the invitation to come see the new idea of work and residential accessibility. (It seems so silly speaking about a government home office today, but it really was novel back in the 1980s). At the time, I also chaired a national disability advisory committee to the federal Deputy Minister of Employment and this was an illustration of employment and residential options for Canadians with disabilities. 

For some inexplicable reason, which I still don't understand, senior management in the Edmonton Regional headquarters of the federal Employment Commission put a kibosh on the idea and ordered me to cancel the open house. Alberta’s Premier Getty (provincial government not federal where I worked) sent his regrets at the cancellation and said he found the idea interesting for disability employment, and also LaRee's and my approach to wheelchair accessible housing.

Was I ordered to cancel the event because they did not want some junior level bureaucrat hob-nobbing with the Alberta Premier about a federal initiative? I'll never know. They are all gone. 

My Governor General's
medal for community
It is ironic that after my own forced medical retirement, the same Commission nominated me for a Governor Generals medal for community service.[1] After I received the medal, one senior bureaucrat for the federal Commission said, "Mark always looked outside the organization to build community relationships. He helped us work more cooperatively with public organizations. He was dedicated to the community."[2] 

Odd, very odd. But is all so old and I've been medically retired for over 20 years. Back to my original point: It was sad to hear of Don Getty's death. He was a good and decent man of integrity and compassion.


[1] The Governor General is Queen Elizabeth's official representative to Canada.
[2] Steven Gallagher, "A medal for making a difference" Edmonton Journal, 29 June 1995, B-1.

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