Come and Sit With Me

Memorial bench at the Airborne Memorial, Oosterbeek, Netherlands. (P. Ferguson image, September 2009)

Memorial bench at the Airborne Memorial, Oosterbeek, Netherlands. (P. Ferguson image, September 2009)

The Roar and the Whisper

So many lives to remember. Those who did not return and those who survived. Those who walk each day with the reminders of someone. These reminders not shadows, but real events, real lives, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, parents, family, friends and lovers. We see their faces every day, feel their warmth and hear their voice, the roar and whisper of love.

Bench at Mt. St. Eloi crater, south of Ieper (Ypres). (P. Ferguson image, September 2017)

Bench at Mt. St. Eloi crater, south of Ieper (Ypres). (P. Ferguson image, September 2017)

Recently I was reminded again that some people spend their whole lives together, For June…1917 – 1992…From Joseph who always sat beside her and it made me think…two lives…of an age…one born during the Great War – that war to end all wars. Was her father a soldier? Was her mother a nurse? Did June and Joseph meet during the Second World War? What did they endure…what did they share? Yet the best memory that we can carry, for a couple we do not know, is to learn they sat side by side.

Memorial bench at Hedgerow Cemetery, Belgium. (P. Ferguson image, September 2017)

Bench at Hedgerow Cemetery, Belgium. (P. Ferguson image, September 2017)

I see these benches overseas set upon a landscape that lets one reflect, lets one rest. They call…not to our names but to our desire…to sit…to watch…to reflect…to learn…to understand. And it is here that we come to terms with …not everyone gets to spend their whole lives together.

Memorial bench at the Oak Bay War Memorial, VIctoria, B.C. "In Loving Memory of Frederick Sydney Button CSR [Canadian Scottish Regiment] 1922 - 1944 / Sarah Charlotte Button 1883 - 1977 / 1994". (P. Ferguson image, June 2017)

Memorial bench at the Oak Bay War Memorial, VIctoria, B.C. “In Loving Memory of Frederick Sydney Button CSR [Canadian Scottish Regiment] 1922 – 1944 / Sarah Charlotte Button 1883 – 1977 / 1994″. (P. Ferguson image, June 2017)

It is in our power to remember, to appreciate an elder generation, our generation, this generation. Those who have gone before their time, those who carry the roar and the whisper…and yes we will remember them each day…our own way…for our time…and theirs.


About The Author

pferguson
In April 2007 Paul met Casey and Ian Williams of the Paradigm Motion Picture Company in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul has worked with Paradigm since 2009 as Producer and Historian. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was amazed by films such as David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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