Part II - Bear Referendum
Chapter 12 - Prelude to 7 Symphonies
June 15, 1996, Saturday, mostly sunny
[08:04 @ the Tanner house in Qualicum]
We - Annette, Scott, Erica and I - came back from Nanaimo to the Tanner house around 23:00 last night. Around midnight, after Annette and Scott had retired, Erica and I shared a late snack together, during which we discussed what we have learned from our trials-and-errors thus far.
Being a by-invitation-only event, the Nanaimo presentation again attracted only about 20 people , though all anti-hunting, and all signed on. But a city the size of Nanaimo could have brought in many times more were the event pre-publicized. And no media coverage for the event itself either. This said, all the community AR leader were there. Eric and Diana, Dirk Becker and several very interesting women, one of whom being Laurel, an anti-hunting taxidermist - almost a contradiction in terms - and another woman named also Annette - a German immigrant who can’t vote, and therefore can’t serve as a registered volunteer canvasser, but will help with referring to us those who can.
One young man came to me and asked whether the names of the people who sign the petition would be in the public domain. The answer is “yes”. He then said that it would be dangerous since the adversaries have guns. I said it was up to him, but thought to myself, “He's scared to just sign the petition. What about the registered volunteers? What about Erica and me?”
An older couple left in mid-presentation because they couldn’t stand the slides any more, some of which are admittedly very graphic. But Erica intercepted them at the exit and they signed on. A woman sitting near the front had tears glistening in her eyes, who later also walked out of the room, although she didn’t leave the building, and she, too, signed up.
When we were saying “good night”, Dirk said to me, “You are incredibly focused and intense. You reminded me of being a laser rather than a light bulb.” I don’t know if this was meant to be a compliment or a criticism, because he also suggested that perhaps I could lighten things up somewhat so the faint-hearted don’t end up being overwhelmed. Also, he advised, I should get the audience involved in discussion sooner. Sounds reasonable.
I appreciate Erica’s presence at the meeting. She was excellent with people, better than me in some ways.
[09:35] Having a cup of coffee with Annette and Scott, who don’t mind me writing in their presence. No presentation today, whew! But a long day ahead to contact Victoria media. This evening Erica and I are going to Denman Island for an 11am presentation tomorrow morning.
I’ve been calling my parents once every 2-3 days. They’re always happy and excited to hear from me, and have been keeping up with my progress through the media. They sometimes surprise me. Often, they make mountains out of mole hills, but now that I’m faced with a mountain of Himalayan proportions, they say nothing except mother’s oft-repeated “May God bless you.” When she utters the word "God", I sometimes wonder which "god" she is referring to. Most likely the Catholic God, but she would not dare to offend any god she has ever encountered, including the Kitchen God in Chinese folk religion. Too bad she has no idea about Raminothna in my life. It is from her that I receive my divine, at least supra-terrestrial, blessings.
My brother Matthew has come down with the flu, as if having taken the flu-relay-baton from me. We exchanged well wishes.
[16:33] All of the calls to Victoria and local media have been made, often just a matter of leaving a message on their recording machines. They all called back, which, for activists experienced with media, is not to be taken for granted. They include:
1. a 1.5 minute taped phone-interview on CKCI-radio of Parksville with Andrew McGregor,
2. a half-hour live interview with Sherv Shragg of the same station to be conducted on Monday,
3. speaking with Bo Baker of The Paper (Qualicum) in the absence of Phillip Rigg, and arranging a Monday interview after the presentation at the Qualicum Civic Centre,
4. speaking with Dale Dymianiw of Victoria’s CFAX-radio,
5. arranging interview on the Terry Spruce Show,
6. arranging interview on the Allan Perry Show.
Media-wise so far, it has been a clean sweep. The potential of the media has been realized. The full power of the media has been unleashed. 100% success on the media front.
Speaking of media, we talk as if it’s a machine, but the way I have experienced it, it is very human. Every newspaper reporter, every radio talk show host, every TV personality, is sentient being with above average intelligence. And neutral though they are required to appear, each and every one of them have their own strong opinions, which you can read between the lines. When you sit face to face with them, it is impossible to treat them as “media”. With only one exception - and I have talked to dozens - I like each and every one of them as people, even some who hold the opposing point of view. There are even a few I regard as potential friends.
I estimate that the vast majority of the media people I have spoken to are non-hunters and anti-hunting. This is amazing blessing in itself, and in many immeasurable ways, such as tone, thrust, slant, expression. Some have even signed on as volunteers, which, in the journalists ilk, must be quite exceptional.
June 15, 1996, Sat.
The Parksville/Qualicum News
by Chris Beacom
Bear Referendum meeting Monday
An information meeting on banning bear hunting will be held Monday night, 7:30 p.m., at the Qaulicum Beach Civic Centre. Sponsored by the Mid-Island chapter of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Anthony Marr will present a slideshow and answer questions about the effects both legal and illegal hunting are having on Grizzly and Black bear populations in BC.
Marr and assistant Erica Denison are visiting every town in the province to drum up support for a petition to drive a referendum on banning bear hunting in BC.
“We’ve had tremendous support on the Island so far,” said Marr...
And in the media arena, there is one more entity to consider - Raminothna - who seems an above-it-all spectator, in all of the physical, emotional and spiritual senses. For one thing, no newspaper reporter or radio talkshow host would likely ever want to interview her or do a feature on her. Her name will never pass the lips of a TV anchor. But her words will be heard, not from above, but from the lips of a humble untrained animal rights activist. If you ask me which of the words attributed to me quoted in a newspaper article should be attributed to Raminothna, I couldn't tell you. I just say whatever comes to mind.
June 15, 1996, Saturday, mostly sunny.
[23:59 @ Tanner house]
Just back from Denman and Hornby Islands. Only 8 attended the Hornby meeting and only 5 at Denman, where I met the extraordinary Diane Radmore, alias Fireweed. 13 out of 13 signed up, which is far better than 5 out of 65 as in Port Alberni, although the fabulous article from Alberni will likely win hundreds in the long run.
Spent the afternoon at Erica’s aunt Alison’s estate. Another property full of personality, character, charm, even magic, with a completely self sufficient garden, brilliant patches of flowers, four bee hives, a wood workshop, and a modest yet spirited house decorated as if by a flower child, which Alison herself very much is. Her mate John sports a grey pony tail, and a mildly handsome face something along the lines of Anthony Quail.
Alison prepared for us a vegetarian lunch straight from her garden (other than tofu), then took me for a walk down a long flight of steep, cliff-hugging staircase down to a wide rocky beach, which in the height of the summer is supposed to be a nudist beach, although on all the beach was just me and Alison. She then led me along the beach to the neighbouring property, belonging to a grey breaded Chinese man named Wayne Ngan. Wayne is a potter and a sculptor, in his late 50s. Another house full of character, flowers, exotic plants, sculptures, even soul, and not least of all, a large artificial pond (even larger than George and Mary West’s) also festooned with water lilies, though no visible fish – “eaten up by otters,” according to Wayne. Beside the pond is one of his work shops, which sports a car-sized clay oven. The place is just filled from brim to brim with objects of art of his creation. As a Chinese person, I am proud of him. I wonder, as a Chinese person, what he thinks of me.
Like many others who have seen my presentations, my hosts on Denman and Hornby invited us back again for bigger and better organized events. Maybe this road tour is just the prelude of a much larger expedition some months, years, in the future. But while this one lasts, I must treat it as if it were the only one I will ever do. Only then will I give it my all.
Good night, Christopher.
(Anthony Marr's 2003-2004 CARE-1 rig)
Little does he know now in 1996, but on September 1, 2003, he will embark on an epic journey known as the Compassion for Animals Road Expedition, or CARE-tour, which will cover 44 U.S. states in the 7.5 months ending April 15, 2004. Eventually, this CARE-tour will be known as CARE-1, since there will be CARE-2 in 2005, CARE-3 in 2006... and the 40-states-in-7-months CARE-7 in 2010.
But, one tour at a time. This one, to be only 2 months long, will serve very well as a magnificent prelude to seven amazing symphonies.
The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)