Following is a copy of a letter addressed to the mayor and council for the City of Duncan:
I was tickled to see our valley’s intrepid, world-class town crier Ben Buss at work in Major Charles Hoey Park June 2 merrily trumpeting the Queen’s Platinum Anniversary and greeting folks.
Colourfully buoyant Buss did his cry – seen on the Cowichan Valley Citizen’s front page June 9 – despite being wrongly and unceremoniously sacked by city council last year.
Many folks were disappointed and shocked by council’s sadly misguided decision. That ruling was based on Buss’ traditional and historically correct red coat and uniform which council claims reflects the barbaric ‘colonialism’ that ushered Canada’s obscene treatment of our First Nations folks.
How silly and contrived.
On June 2, Buss is reported to have been ironically chatting and posing for photos with visiting Cree and Assiniboine folks.
Apparently, they found no disrespect in Buss’ outfit, nor his message about Queen Elizabeth II. I wonder if Cowichan Tribes and other local First Nations leaders took official umbrage with Buss’ uniform before council fired him in favour of a new Cowichan Ambassador?
Why not have both a town crier and an ambassador?
It seems our well-meaning council indeed threw the baby out with the bathwater.
Yours in equality and free speech,
Peter W. Rusland,