asks: From: Carl Stieren, Ottawa, Ontario
Introduction: This question was asked at the Launch party November 3rd, 2012 for Carl Stieren's board game 'It Happened in The 60s'. The event took place at HUB Ottawa as a fund-raiser for the production of a new game. See photos.
Carl is a writer, editor, former journalist, web content developer and trilingual communications specialist (English, French and German) with experience in government, business and NGOs. For some five years he worked as Co-ordinator of the Canadian Friends Service Committee and for eight years was Associate Editor of Federations magazine at the Forum of Federations. Recently, he was Communications Co-ordinator at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
To play Carl's game, you roll the dice and travel back to the 60s, visiting 31 states and 6 Canadian provinces — plus an offshore square, because what's a 60s game without the Beatles and the Rolling Stones? If you land on a Karma square or a Trickster square, your life could go sideways just like in the 60s.
To gain a flavour of the fascinating 1960s as I recall, I need to go back two decades earlier.
In the late 1940s when I was a high school student at the Saskatoon Technical Collegiate Institute (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), I often went to the Ukrainian Labour Temple where I took gymnastic lessons. On one of these evenings, the Temple hosted a special visitor — a young master banjo player and singer from the USA. We all gladly joined in singing peace and freedom songs. The musician was the famous Pete Seeger whose songs became popular in the 1960s.
In 1957, I attended the War Resisters International Triennial Conference in England just prior to going to the 6th World Festival of Peace and Students in Moscow, USSR. At the Society of Friends House in London, my roommate was Quaker Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr., A. Phillip Randolph (1889-1979), and A.J. Muste (1885-1967). Later, in 1963, Rustin organized King's March in Washington where the famous speech 'I have a dream' was presented.
In the early 1960s, I was one of the core organizers with Peter G. Makaroff (1894-1970) of three peace demonstrations on the Canadian prairies. We titled them: "A Manifestation for Peace." Peacemaker A.J. Muste from New York spoke at one of these gatherings in Suffield, Alberta, urging governments to cease research and production of chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Another gathering for peace was held at Orcadia, Saskatchewan. The following year, on June 27th, 1965, 1,500 people stood or sat in the rain for four hours in a bid for non-violent approach to peace. International peacemakers Mulford Q. Sibley (1912-1989) and Frank H. Epp (1929-1986) appeared at the Canadian Air Force Radar base, Dana, Saskatchewan, in a peace demonstration co-organized by Doukhobors, Mennonites, and Quakers with a common concern for the survival of the human race.
Singing was part of all of these memorable 60s events with many popular songs coming from Pete Seeger and friends. Such as 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'; 'Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream'; 'We Shall Overcome'; 'If I Had a Hammer'; 'May There Always Be Sunshine'. My ancestors, the Doukhobors, participated at Expo in Montreal in 1967. Since then Doukhobor choirs have appeared throughout Canada and the USA as well as the USSR at other expositions and festivals stressing the desire for harmony in human relations analogous to the harmony in their choral art.
Yes, the 1960s was a busy time. Hopefully we have all learned something from that era about the need for peace, equality, respect for nature, honesty and compassion in human relations. Indeed, let's accept the wisdom and 'Give Peace a Chance'! Otherwise, 'When Will We Ever Learn?'
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