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Parker’s Pen – February 2021

David Parker

Here we are still COVID-conscious after almost a year of forced lockdown in our personal as well as business lives. Who could have imagined not being able to have a beer with a buddy, never mind a permissible holiday in Hawaii?

Yet, we survive and have found new interests to keep us amused. One thing I’ve enjoyed is seeing inside the homes of TV reporters as they work remotely. I always get right up to the screen to try and see what books they have on their shelves. It’s not surprising that on American stations they have their latest trending political book facing the camera.

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Good to hear that so many people are back to reading books. Although public libraries have been closed, I’m delighted to see so many Little Free Libraries springing up across the city.

Promoted by a non-profit group to encourage neighbourhood book exchanges, some of the bookcases are creative design wonders. Maybe someone will try and capture images of the best as a tribute.

And speaking of books, I do hope we will be able browse at book fairs sometime later this year.

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This city must have one of the largest and most active consular corps in the country, made up of Consul Generals and honorary consuls.

Consul Generals are appointed to serve terms of three to four years, a period in which they are their government’s representatives in assisting citizens of their own country and facilitating others in travel and trade matters while promoting friendship between the two countries.

Later this year we will say goodbye to a very hard working and friendly UK Consul General Caroline Saunders who has completed an active term here. Calgary has a total of eight permanent missions -compared to Edmonton’s one – which is testimony to the importance of this city’s business community.

We also have 53 active honorary consuls in the corps, organized with the help of tireless Judith Romanchuk who has been serving Finland for the past 40 years. Congratulations to the longest serving honorary consul in Canada.

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It’s interesting to hear that some of the things we enjoyed years ago are making a comeback in this digital age.

Script is not dead if you look at the number of fancy notebooks on the shelves of stationary stores, and there has been a marked increase in the number of my friends who buy fountain pens as gifts.

Another is the appreciation of vinyl records.

Not that they ever went away according to Gareth Lukes, owner of Lukes Drug Mart in Bridgeland. The drugstore is celebrating its 70th year and Luke – third generation owner – says it has become a destination for lovers of contemporary music to browse their collection of thousands of vinyl records.

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Final Words: After the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.