Friday, October 19, 2007

Hastings Street, East Vancouver

This morning I was up early and off to tour the Vancouver Native Health Centre. A dear, old friend of mine is on the Board of Directors, and she pretty much insisted that I come and visit what has become her life work. The breakfast drop in program was underway, so I got out my guitar and played for everybody. I met many dedicated volunteers working to bring health and dignity to those in need. And I met some folks who may or may not be alive next time I come to town. I'm going to write more about this later. Volumes. Help is needed here. Nobody should be living and dying as they are on these mean streets. Nobody planned to end up here. The condition of this street speaks volumes for the health of our society in Canada- and comparisons to other cities, other countries, other cultures should be no excuse for low standards. We can make a difference. We will. The world is going to come and look at this place, soon enough.

A relative of mine, Isaac Matheson Maclean, was the first medical health officer for the City of Vancouver. He had made his home not far from here, at another Hastings St. address- now a vacant lot. So I suppose I have some thin, thread of a connection to this place and it's history. I played "Spadina Blues" here this morning, and the folks on Hastings were on the same page.

No comments: