So he did it himself, stood for 6 hours and laid out his case. By days end he would be a hero and protector of the freedom of the press. The crown's case against him was tossed out the window, as should have been his accusers. The transcript of the trial makes for fascinating reading of the corruption he exposed.
For those south of the border, he would supply cannon fodder with a son fighting for the North during Civil War days. During the very days Joseph was serving as Premiere.
Jump forward now to this month. Whilst reflecting on the titled quote, news in days past have brought us stories from coast to coast to coast about the incredible importance of Black History Month in Canada. And of the efforts of those who dedicate so much to keep this heritage alive not only in February... but all through the year. As they... and we should!
Just days ago I saw a news piece about the Black Cultural Center of Nova Scotia and the wonderful work they do for the community, the province and the country.
Above at left is the building and at right are three of these posters. Note the image of William Hall, the first black man in the history of the Victoria Cross, to be so awarded. A man that came from not far away in that province.
Shown at top is the American activist Jesse Jackson, at center is fellow American Rosa Parks and below is our own former Lt Governor, The Right Honourable Michelle Jean.
But my message today is not about the many great things this organization and others like it are doing, it is what they are not. And believe me, they are not, in your wildest imagination, alone on this point.
This blog has been crying for three years, and I for MANY MANY MORE about the lack of public knowledge in this country about most if not all of our heroes that went south and earned a Medal of Honor.
The MOH is at the very very very top of ALL bravery awards in the United States. The Victoria Cross is in a like position in the entire British Commonwealth. Yet if you take 100 Canadian adults off any street in Canada, put them in a room and ask them about the MOH, a handful might have heard something about it. Yet at the same time most would, I hope, acknowledge hearing about the Victoria Cross.
Our politicians and national leaders and the press and even the military, and veterans groups can and ought to be spreading theses stories as fast as they can talk about them or write about them, but who does?
The above Cultural center is a case in point. And It is not their fault. But today they are in the fore.
Today, and for years I have been writing about Joseph Noil, a black MOH recipient, and about an incredible ceremony that will right so many wrongs lasting well over 100 years with the unveiling of a new marker soon. At the same time... in the very month set aside to celebrate these men and woman... I see a poster for William Hall. But where is the one for Joseph Noil ... who may very well have known Hall and grew up possible not all that far away from Hall.
Why do we Canadians have to rely on our American friends to honor Canadians? This is nothing short of a disgrace, regardless of who or what or why. Joseph Howe is probably turning in his grave today.
Joseph Noil as well!
There were 50,000 or more British North Americans fighting in the Civil War. There was ONE BLACK Medal of Honor recipient within this number. And he was from Nova Scotia and deserves to be properly and finally recognized in his own country.
I challenge each reader to contact the press about this failure. You can start by asking the reporter or news desk who William Hall was. Then ask who Joseph Noil is and see for yourself how your heritage is slipping away.
Last week I wrote to the cultural centre, the Nova Scotia Minister Responsible for Cultural Affairs, The United States Coast Guard, Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy at DC to tell of the ceremony for Noil in DC next month. The later two expressed interest in learning more, the first 3 have yet to get back to me.
Now if you are still with me, I would like to do a little follow up on an item I brought you most recently.
I just came across a story of the family of the these two brothers from Coutts Alberta. Clarence and Earl Betts, seen here at training before heading overseas. Earl of the left, was killed in action and is believe to be among the 44 buried in the unmarked grave noted in the recent blog. Brother Clarence came home with his younger brother's dog tag, and it is now on display at Lethbridge's Galt Museum.
Please visit the link...
to read about the story and the efforts to raise money to help do what Joseph Howe told us to do... recognize our fallen heroes.
Also visit this site to donate to this most worthwhile cause...
Moving on... this month and last, Canada Post issued several stamps in honour, once again to Black History in Canada. Contact Canada Post to get your copies while they are available.
Some good folks in Britain want to honour him. Next week I will tell you why!
See you then.