FALL FEST 2011-IMPRESSIONS

VEQ’S FALL FEST 2011: AN ALL-AROUND SUCCESS, BUT WHERE WERE THE RECYCLING BINS?

I’ve just come back from Fall Fest 2011 at St. Patrick’s High School. Wow! What a success. Congratulations to all the planners and participants who made this recently re-born annual event a success.

I was intimately involved in helping out with the planning and staffing of two tables this year, and spent most of my time running around between both of them, pulling double duty. First was St. Patrick’s Church, the second was APPEAL, a local ESL conversation club.

I also had a chance to see some beautiful dancing from the members of the Philippino community, many of whom attend our church at St. Pat’s. It was wonderful to see them participate at this event, and their costumes are very colourful

I also had a chance to give two proof copies of my upcoming book, called ‘The Catholic Faith and the Social Construction of Religion: With Particular Attention to the Québec Experience’, which I co-authored with Father Allan Savage of St. Patrick’s Parish, to Andrew Greenfield of Anglo Store.

We should be coming out with a firm date for an official launch for the book sometime in October, once we get a supply of the final version of the book from Westbow Press. I met so many people I hadn’t seen in months, even years, it was great. Speaking of which, one person I hadn’t seen for quite sometime was Bob McBryde, my old theatre professor from St. Lawrence. It was great to touch base with him again, and to see that his concern for human rights, through his involvement with Amnesty International, and with ecological issues, through the recent ‘Eco-St. Lo’ program at the college, was just as strong as ever.

Which brings me to the heart of the matter. When it was time for lunch, I went outside and got a hot dog and a pop from the local food stand in the yard, which was raising money for a local youth initiative, all very worthy. When I finished eating and came to throw out my garbage, I looked for an ecologically-appropriate place to throw out my aluminum can. There was none to be found. I inquired. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

So with all of the time and effort that went into preparing Fall fest, nobody had the presence of mind to have blue bins of some sort to collect cans and plastic bottles. I also didn’t see any sort of recycling program in the school. Shouldn’t there be enough ecologically-minded students at St. Pat’s to get a recycling program going in the school, somewhat like Bob McBryde did at St. Lawrence?

Surely there’s a teacher at St. Pat’s who cares enough about the environment to get a group of students together and start something to recycle all the paper, plastic, glass, and metal, as well as ink cartridges, batteries, etc, and find out where they should go to be recycled?

Being someone who works just next door at St. Pat’s Church, I can’t help but be concerned that the school which until recently still officially represented the Irish Catholic population of Québec city, did not have the presence of the Spirit to be sufficiently good stewards of creation to be able to do their share towards making creation sustainable for all.

Just a thought. As I move forward towards another sunset in what was essentially a very blessed day, I can only say that if any St. Pat’s teacher, administrator or student wishes to start a recycling program at the school, I’m just next door, and I’ll lend you my support in any way I can.

Again, congratulations to all for an excellent Fall Fest, and I’m looking forward to next year when I can have the honour and pleasure of throwing out my pop can into a container which I know will end up sending its contents for reprocessing. Now that would be a Fest that I could really ‘Fall’ for!

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