The wife's reply
It is always enlightening to listen to people talking about their jobs and especially judges, as we may one day depend on their intelligence, integrity and tact. The McGill News's recent piece (Judgement Day, Winter'96) proves the point. Most cases involved important questionsthe right to asylum, the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
One of the judges, however, contents himself with telling a rather banal story of a mistress claiming some part du gâteau at her married lover's decease, p.13. His few lines give us insights into the presumptions contributing to his decision (which was to grant her a piece of the pie). Mr. "Z," he argues, led a public and a private life, which is true. Both these lives, however, Mr. "Z" shared with his wife. He had an extra-marital affair, and a long one, granted, but not only did he never "live" with his mistress, he also restricted that relationship to lunch hour visits or had her occasionally join him while he attended conferences abroad or while his wife was out of town.He kept the affair a secret for 19 years and his spouse, during their rich and interesting private life together, never knew until her husband's last breath that he had a mistress.
This shows the husband's priorities. Judge Tingley was hasty in calling this "leading two lives." He also did not mention that the photocopy of the cheque the mistress presented in court was declared to be a forgery by experts.
How do I know all this? I am the wife.
It is ironic to use the word "priority" in reference to the Twenty-First Century Fund's $11.98 million contribution to libraries (Winter'96). The amount was less than half that raised for the new athletics complex ($28 million). It is possible to be physically fit without fancy facilities and equipment but it is not possible to be on the cutting edge of scholarship and research with out-dated, ill-equipped, unsafe libraries. For instance, McLennan-Redpath, the library for all arts programs, offers services from only 12-4 pm on Sundays, and has safety warning signs posted in the women's washrooms. Except for "Equipment and Renewed Spaces" ($9.76 million), libraries received the least amount of any priority, despite the fact that libraries are the fundamental element of a university.
Chandra Wohleber, BA'97
I read the article, "Une histoire sociale des idées au Québec de 1760 à 1960" (Winter'96). It brought new insight and perspective to my "Quebec view." Translating it in a later issue would extend the value of its content to a broader audience.
John Kittredge, BSc'65
Editor's note: Mr. Kittredge was not the only one who suggested the value of an English translation of this article. We will provide English translations for future French-language articles.
The article on the new statue of James McGill was interesting (Fall'96, p. 2) but left out one critical piece of informationwhere on campus is it located?
Mariam S. Pal, BA'82, MA'86
Editor's note: Good point. Just walk through the Roddick Gates, stroll a little further up the path, and James McGill cannot be missed! The striking statue was funded by the McGill Associates, a group of non-alumni businesspeople in Montreal, chaired by Alex Kalil.
Mac on the move
The article "Academic Moves" (Winter'96) helped readers understand decisions faculty make in response to Quebec politics. But you make no reference to what happened on the Macdonald campus over the past 30 years as a result of Quebec separatism. I was a member of the Faculty of Agriculture until the summer of 1967 when Charles de Gaulle made his "free Quebec" speech. But I had already made my decision to leave the province because Quebec politics were discouraging students in the Atlantic provinces from entering Macdonald College. Both Dean Dion and retired Dean Brittain encouraged me to return to the Nova Scotia Agriculture College (NSAC) and to help maintain the flow of students from NSAC to Mac.
The educational objectives that Sir William Macdonald and Principal James Robertson had when they established the Mac campus for the benefit of eastern Canada are now being met by three separate colleges controlled by three separate provinces. It would help meet the objectives of the founders of Macdonald College if the campuses in Montreal, Truro and Charlottetown could be brought under one administration.
John S. Bubar, BSc(Agr)'52, PhD'57
This page was modified on February 10, 2010; a letter was removed at the request of the letter writer.
You can e-mail: Janicep@martlet1.lan.mcgill.ca