Posted in Uncategorized, tagged annapolis county, boston, Boston Common Tree Lighting Event, boston marathon, Bruce Nunn, Buddy the Bluenose Reindeer, canada online, christmas tree, Frank Corbett, Geoffrey Agombar, halifax explosion, hospital, Jordan Bay, menino, nova scotia, postaday, Shelburne County, susan munroe, the spectator on November 29, 2012 |
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I learned something new about gratitude today.
It seems that years ago the people of Boston sent emergency aid to Nova Scotia, and now every November, Nova Scotia sends Boston a Christmas tree.
Geoffrey Agombar writes in Canada’s Annapolis County Spectator, “All Nova Scotians are familiar with the legend of Boston’s speedy and heroic support when just week’s before Christmas 1917 two ships collided in Halifax Harbour leaving 2000 dead, thousands injured, and flattening surrounding buildings. Every year since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent a big thank you card to the city in the form of a 12-16 metre tall Christmas Tree.” More.
Canada Online has a story by Susan Munroe: “For more than 40 years it’s been a Christmas tradition for the province of Nova Scotia to ship one of its biggest and best Christmas trees to Boston to thank the people of Boston for the emergency assistance they provided after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Relief from Boston was the first to arrive the day after the horrendous explosion which killed 1,900 people and wounded another 9,000. The New Englanders were also the last to leave.
“The 2012 Christmas tree is a 70-year-old, 15-metre (50-foot) white spruce donated by Paul and Jan Hicks from Jordan Bay, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. On November 13, hundreds of children from local elementary schools attended the Christmas tree cutting ceremony, where Nova Scotia storyteller Bruce Nunn read from his book Buddy the Bluenose Reindeer and the Boston Christmas Tree Adventure.
“The tree was loaded onto a flatbed truck and made its way to Boston. It arrived on November 16, and was escorted by the Boston Police Department to the Boston Common where it is being installed. The Christmas tree will be the focal point of the annual Boston Common Tree Lighting Event on November 29. The ceremony will be televised and is expected to draw a live crowd of about 30,000. The ceremony will feature two performances from the Nova Scotian percussion ensemble Squid, and remarks from [a representative of the ailing] Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia, Frank Corbett. The RCMP and Santa Claus will be on hand, and there will be fireworks too.”
Update 4/20/13 — After the Boston Marathon tragedy, Nova Scotia is making a $50,000 donation to Massachusetts General Hospital. Read.
Photograph: The Spectator
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged art, Elizabeth Kolligs, georgette seabrooke, harlem, hospital, Karsten Moran, mural, pogrebin, restoration, Robin Pogrebin, Vertis Hayes, wpa on September 26, 2012 |
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I’m happy to see some long-neglected murals being restored in Harlem. Robin Pogrebin has the story in the NY Times:
“When the Works Progress Administration [WPA] commissioned murals for Harlem Hospital Center in 1936, it easily approved the sketches submitted by seven artists, which depicted black people at work and at play throughout history. The hospital, however, objected, saying four of the sketches focused too much on ‘Negro’ subject matter … .
“Protesters rallied around the art, though, lodging complaints as high as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the murals ultimately prevailed.
“Over the years, those wall paintings deteriorated or were obscured by plaster. Now they have been restored and brought front and center as part of a new, $325 million patient pavilion for the hospital, on Lenox Avenue at 135th Street that will be unveiled on Sept. 27. …
“The artists — the last of whom, Georgette Seabrooke, died last year — were not well known and their murals portrayed ordinary people going about their daily lives. Vertis Hayes’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ panel traces the African diaspora from 18th-century African village life to slavery in America to 20th-century freedom; from agrarian struggles in the South to professional success in the industrialized North.” More.
The WPA cost money, but it put a lot of people to work. And look at all the great things that were created! I especially love the idea that unemployed people were paid to paint murals, write and produce plays, interview ordinary Americans for the National Archives, and record folk music. I know it was a stressful time, but thinking about the art makes me almost nostalgic.
Photograph: Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Elizabeth Kolligs works on restoring Vertis Hayes’s “Pursuit of Happiness” at Harlem Hospital.
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In the hospital waiting room, the Family Liaison is handing out a toy packet (feather included) to a two-year-old with sparkles on her shoes.
The toddler’s father is saying, “Why is my pocket all wet? Oh, it’s the water bottle. I thought my water broke.”
There’s a tank for tropical fish provided for our entertainment by Something Fishy Inc. The Family Liaison shows a little boy where Nemo the Clownfish is hiding and points out his cousin, the Tomato Clownfish.
I wish I had video because the tank is full of waving creatures that look like plants but aren’t. Coral? Anemone? If you know what they might be, please leave a comment.
A children’s playroom is in the works. Not sure if Wolf Blitzer on the television is educator-approved, but the nautical theme works nicely with the fish tank.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged architecture, contagion, doctor, haiti, health care, hospital, human right, jobs, low-income, mass design, medical, medicine, mountains beyond mountains, partners in health, paul farmer, physician, poor, poverty, rwanda, tracy kidder, ventilation on September 6, 2011 |
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Dr. Paul Farmer, the subject of a great Tracy Kidder book called Mountains Beyond Mountains, has spent many years delivering medical care — and working to alleviate poverty — in remote areas of Haiti. His nonprofit organization, Partners in Health, takes the word “partners” seriously. The teams do not tell the locals what is good for them but makes a point of learning from them and helping them get what they need.
In recent years, Farmer has been in demand in other countries, too. One focus area has been Rwanda. I liked a recent Boston Globe article on the approach to building a Partners in Health hospital there.
“The designers quickly realized that the challenge was not simply to draw up plans, as they had first thought, but rather to understand the spread of airborne disease and design a building that would combat — and in some cases sidestep — the unhealthy conditions common to so many hospitals.
“Learning from health care workers that hospital hallways were known sites of contagion, poorly ventilated, and clogged with patients and visitors, MASS Design decided that the best solution would be to get rid of the hallways. Taking advantage of Rwanda’s temperate climate, they placed the circulation outdoors, designing open verandas running the lengths of the buildings. …
“When it came to building, MASS Design looked at the Partners in Health model of involving local poor communities in health care, and realized that they could apply the same ideas to the construction process. The hospital was built entirely using local labor, providing food and health care for the workers. Unskilled workers received training that would help them get more work; and skilled laborers, notably the Rwandan masons who built the hospital’s exterior from carefully fitted together local volcanic stone, refined their craft and found themselves in demand all over the country. The construction process also beefed up local infrastructure — new roads and a hydroelectric dam — creating more jobs and literally paving the way for future projects.”
To paraphrase what Farmer often says, the biggest challenge to health is poverty. Read more.
Update on the designers from the June 19, 2012, Boston Globe.
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