The gentleman whose photograph sits at the top of this post is Steve Nicklen. Steven is married to my niece Susanne Lebrun and they have two married children: Jacob (Jocelyn Evans), an engineer, and Jessica (Dustin Smart), an artist and a photographer. They live in British Columbia‘s Fraser Valley (Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, etc.) and in Vancouver. My family moved to British Columbia when I was a High School student. I have a sister, a widowed brother-in-law, and five nieces who live in British Columbia, where I studied and married. I cannot afford to go back to the West Coast.
Steve Nicklen repairs old bicycles and gives them to migrant workers who would otherwise have to walk several kilometers to get their groceries. My nephew met Dr Roger Page who “spends his evenings visiting farm workers and writing their needs.” (See “Under the Helmet” below).
These migrant workers are excellent people, but they must travel a long distance, dangerously, to earn a meagre living. They are at times separated from their families for a long time. My nephew fears for the safety of these workers and wishes for them to be part of the community. The Migrant Workers remind me of the voyageurs. In fact, Steve is a Nicklen (Scandinavian) and a Dicaire (French-Canadian). There were Dicaires among the voyageurs. When these men lacked a waterway, they carried the fur, their supplies, and their canoes on their back. They hated portages (carrying) and jumped the rapids to avoid them.
Steve studied computer science and worked for nearly three decades in this area. Sensing the approach of a burnout, he discussed matters with his family and they agreed that his resigning was not unrealistic. It hasn’t been. He loves his new life. He works for the Coquitlam Public Library, but his main occupation is restoring bikes and providing migrant farm workers with a means of transportation.
Other volunteers, in Calgary (Canada), the United States, the United Kingdom, also collect bikes for workers elsewhere, but Steven specializes in repairing bikes. Moreover, Fraser Valley migrant farm workers are provided with a helmet, reflectors and “needs written” in Dr Page’s notebook.
I am not providing several links to Steven. The links I have provided lead to other links that tell the whole story. Steven has both a public and a private life. In fact, I barely use social medias. I have been the victim of an international group of hackers. The bank saved me locking my account. It is still locked. It was a devastating and paralyzing experience. So, I am now afraid of using the internet. Besides, remembering passwords is difficult. There are so many.
These are difficult times. Russia has attacked Ukraine and Vladimir Putin will not negotiate. European countries need Russian oil: that is dangerous. The price of everything is rising everywhere. We must try to stay away from the unrelenting soap opera featuring members of Britain’s Royal family. Finally, Liberal members of parliament are trying to help Quebec’s anglophones. Canada is a bilingual country.
I will go to Magog and create passwords. Sadly, John must leave his lovely apartment. He was renting. He cannot come here unless I move to a larger apartment that has a basement garage space. There was only one per apartment. Mine was sold. John suffers from Ménière’s disease. He drives short distances and very slowly. His car must be inside, not outside, so driving is not a source of stress. I still have a valid driver’s licence. Don’t worry. John is a very good friend. I will make sure he has a home, privacy, care, and a warm place for his car.
Virtue is in very short supply.
Be good my friends. Love 💕
© Micheline Walker
14 December 2022