Punk Rock Politics, Green Activism, Occupy Together, Freedom, Liberation, Peace, Horses, Hockey!

United for Global Change blog from Canada

Punk rock music, political activism, classic punk pioneers, United for #globalchange, NHL hockey, green movement. Global popular uprisings, liberation protests, exoplanets, Chinese politics, freedom and justice, democracy and social progress, Toronto Maple Leafs news, solar architecture, sustainable buildings, global intelligence, green power investing, harness racing, futuristic architecture, Occupy Toronto, clean technology funds, future of China, Gaia in the 21st Century.

Flag of Earth

Flag of Earth
Earth Flag, designed by James Cadle, modified by insertion of our planet

Search Joe College Blog; Punk rock, democracy, human rights, Chinese politics, Mideast uprising+++

Find Wael Ghonim info, democracy protests, punk rock, DOA photos, Egypt Revolution+

Joe College Blog Popular Posts

Joe College circa 1979 / 1980:

Joe College circa 1979 / 1980:
Joe College and The Rulers 45 RPM Single

Livewire - Amnesty International blogging for human rights

Yuya Joe College's Facebook Wall

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Final Days of Duke Trainor

Our dog Duke was born at K-9s near Newmarket, Ontario, and first came to my attention because the breeder was the aunt of our daughter B’s close friend. An American Bulldog puppy born with one eye, my wife had already been convinced of the solidity of the idea before I was approached by her and our daughter. Though at first hesitant, when I saw the pics of the father, Hero, and his mother Diva, I fell in love with the lil guy before even seeing him. Oh and what a little darling he was!

We arrived at the farm, nervous and excited, made the arrangements and soon we were travelling home with a one foot long pup sticking his head out of a cardboard box we put him in for the ride home. Boy would he grow!!! To say he brought a lot of healing and joy into our family would be an understatement in the extreme, for over the past four years he has become  our warmth and comfort, a beautiful creature who helped keep the home activity levels up as the offspring moved out on their own, one by one. We’re down to one of four adult kids still living at our house, and we hope our son stays for many more years.

As I have been editing and proofreading Automata over the past month, Duke has been terribly sick, probably with pancreatitis, possibly with kidney failure, definitely with signs of CDS (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome). We don’t know if he is gonna make it. As severe pancreatitis can cause a body-wide infection, he has just finished up a regimen of antibiotics, and he is being weaned off of steroids right now, and to be fully honest, he is not responding well. People have been using the word ‘decision” and it’s been pissing me off, however I do understand that the moment may not be far off. There may be one more drug we can try, for the CDS, to see if that helps him regain his vigour. If not, we have to try and make things as comfortable as we can for him. My concern is that if we lose him, I and my family members may not take it well. I am leary of what could happen, and have already decided that I MUST NOT return to drinking alcohol, and also not allow my grief to cause a gulf to emerge between my wife and I. In addition, I must be conscious not to let my emotions cause me to get angry with my sons and daughters, or with friends, co-workers and others I encounter in my daily runnings. I do not know yet how this Foreword will end, though you will, very shortly. Duke’s crying now, I must go.

Okay I’m back. Duke’s resting and panting on the couch beside me. We have to find a way to get his functionality back, or his days on Earth may be nearing an end. I’ll call the vet now. Our particular vet is off until Wednesday (today is Saturday and Monday is a statuatory holiday, Family Day, here in Ontario), but the receptionist was able to give me a price for Anipryl, which is the drug that a lot of dogs with CDS have responded well to. On Wednesday the vet should be able to let us know if he can try that… if he can hold in until then. See, CDS usually occurs in older dogs, so with Duke there is likely at least one other factor / illness, so even if the Anipryl helps him recover mobility, it may be just to make his final weeks or months more joyful and less painful. He is my first dog, and I will admit there’s no way I could have comprehended the full bonds that can develop without experiencing them myself. When we first brought him home, I used to think that because he was born with one eye, he may not be fully healthy or live a long life. He turned into such a robust, friendly, loving and vital animal that I completely forgot about any potential limitations, and assumed Duke would live a normal American Bulldog lifespan, generally around nine to ten years.  I may be in a bit of shock as I write this, for the coming days seem filled with dread.

I keep telling Duke that Spring is coming, we’re gonna go see Callie (my Dad’s dog, who is like a momma or older sister to Dukie), we’re gonna go to the dog park, we’re gonna go “vroom-vroom” (drive somewhere in the van) as I want him to envision getting better, or at least have the sound of my voice soothe him as he lays his head to rest for the night.

It’s now very early Monday morning, I got up at 5am to check on Dukie and he had peed and pooed in his bed. I stuffed the bedspread in a cardboard box, put some newspaper over the wet spot and spread a couple of towels over half of the bed, and the tried to go back to sleep. Good luck with that. I didn’t even look at this book the whole weekend; robots and the future are not the same as a beloved in the here and now.

Yesterday was Family Day here in Ontario (February 18, Presidents Day in the USA), and daughter Bex paid us a surprise visit, bearing homemade cupcakes. She also took the time to give Duke a bath in our bathtub, something he had not experienced since he was a puppy, for he had grown too strong for that and for years we had to wash him outside. It took three towels to dry him off, and even after that, he was still a bit damp in places as he lay in our bed with me, half-covered in my big comforter, gently breathing as I stroked hi newly-soft fur. He’s lost all of his fat and some of his muscle too, dropping from 110 pounds a year ago, to 99 pound a month ago, to 91 pounds two weeks ago, and I would estimate he is now down to the mid 80s or lower, especially after this recent three-day bout of diahrrea. We love you Duke.


It’s Friday night, and Duke had two seizures within a few minutes this afternoon. We called the vet and she said to step up his steroid intake, back to half a pill per day rather than every second day. Why am I telling this canine tale at the beginning of a robot book? Well, it’s because of you, and some of those thoughts you’ve been having. You think that a robot will become your best friend, you feel betrayed by humanity…

I will agree that a dog is a man’s best friend, however humankind’s best friend may in fact be the humble bee. From candle wax she brings us Light, and with honey she provides Sweetness. Propolis and Royal Jelly are respectively, nature’s most powerful antibiotic, and a wondrous balm, together giving us Healing.
So, dogs and bees and horses and cats are real and true friends, and other people are the most crucial relationships of all. Robots, meh. So let me share the memory of Duke and then we’ll get on with the bots.

It's now Tuesday March 5, and yesterday Duke's hind legs were not working very well, I had to lift him onto the bed and the couch more than a few times. He is also losing control of his bladder, as he peed on the couch for the first time (he has been peeing and pooing in the house for weeks, however he usually goes into the hallway or onto the newspapers first. Things are not looking good. I have scheduled a family meeting for tonight, and a vet appointment for 11.30am tomorrow morning. We are hoping she will try him on a new medicine, however we do accept that it may be his last visit to the vet, if she tells us that there is very little to no hope for recovery. Even if he recovers physically, if the brain damage cannot heal, then he may be a danger to himself and possibly others if he regains greater strength, so we are reluctant to boost his steroids intake again. Last time we did that he got a bit better but got too strong for my wife to handle, as he gets stuck in a corner or a closet every few minutes... it's very tiring but I love this dog so much, I am willing to continue nurturing him back to health if he shows any signs of healing, or stability even. Unfortunately, he seems to be going the other way, so it is likely that he has days to weeks left. I am dull with sadness, and have cried enough these past couple of months. I am coming to terms with the severity and finality of the situation, and if the vet says to let him go, I think I will be strong enough to agree. I do not want him to suffer needlessly, so if he cannot recover, then dog heaven will soon have to be where Duke romps playfully.

It is 2:15AM and we have a vet appointment for 11.30AM. Duke has been losing strength in his hind legs, making it difficult to poo, and even to stand up sometimes, especially if he is in an awkward position. I tell myself that it’s 50/50 whether he comes back from the vet with us, however I am a born optimist and the odds are not looking good. Three of our offspring will be there with us including our daughter who first arranged to buy this beautiful one-eyed American Bulldog puppy.
Duke hasn’t wagged his tail in two months, and he barked only twice, on the same day about a month ago. The most likely illness affecting him is pancreatitis / encephalitis, the latter caused by the former. Essentially, the pancreatic illness had progressed too far before we knew what was going on, and as the pancreas was unable to digest food, Duke was living off his own fat, and his body eventually auto-digested the fat on his spinal cord and/or brain lining, causing brain injuries that cause him to walk in circles and get caught in every corner and under every table. I had hoped for warmer weather and two months of Spring healing, but he is losing more control over his movements day by day.
                                                          In better times...

Tonight I phoned my father Ralph and his wife Alexis, for they each played a part in the raising and loving of Duke, and their dog Callie was at first like a mother to Duke, and later like a big sister, the two of them adoring each other’s company. They each had a chance to listen to Duke’s breathing as he lay asleep beside me and I held the phone up to him, and they each said a few words to him, just hours before his flight to puppy heaven.

                                                             Final pic of Duke and I...
A face on the flat said something about life being about living, and Duke had two glorious years of puppydom, followed by two very happy adult years, and then these past couple of months which were like an instant, infirm old age. Still, even an aged dog wags his tail with happiness now and then, and Duke’s inability to do even that has been difficult to endure. I love this guy more than I ever knew it was possible for a human to love a canine, and now I understand fully why these creatures are treated like babies and children. They deserve it.
It’s two-thirty in the morning, I gotta be at work at nine and then go pick up B by ten, then back home to get Duke and the fam, then up to the vet in Stoudfville for what may be the last time in a long time.
I am terrified.

It’s three in the morning and I am too busy thinking and crying to sleep. As we have nearly lost him a couple of times in recent weeks, with the pain and the circles and the seizure last week, the tearful episodes have been separated by periods where he seemed to stabilize before regressing further, rarely showing any actual healing. The disease appears to have progressed to the point of permanent physical and brain damage, and it may still be progressing.
I know I am worried about my emotional stability after Duke passes, and I am also concerned for my wife and our adult kids who also love this pet dearly. These past few weeks have been a compression of what it must be like to live with a very old, often sick dog. Duke has rarely moved at medium speed lately, as the body demanded he move slow and deliberate. He lost a lot more weight, my guess he is probably down to the low to mid 70s, from 112 pounds a year and a half ago, to 99 pounds two months ago, to 90 pounds one month ago. He definitely seems to have gotten lighter since then. The last few days with his hind legs not doing well, I have had to lift him on top of the bed to watch hockey games with me. He loves it up there, and slept in that bed with Heather and I up until about five weeks ago, when he began wetting himself and more during the night. We then set him up in our daughter’s old bunk bed, a room I had been using mostly to store records, and we are now going to have to throw that mattress out; regardless of what happens in nine hours, it has to be changed or maybe it’s time to take the bunk beds down and put a nice writing desk in there. And an easel, for it's a light-filled room, a great spot to create paintings.
Duke is sleeping like a baby in there now. Every day I put newspapers on the mattress, then place the clean bedspread on top of those, and tuck it under the sides. We flipped it twice already and it has served its purpose.
I had planned to go into the office for an hour in the morning then go pick up my daughter, however now I think that will not happen, I will have to miss work which is okay because I am employed by a great company and we are doing well, quite busy however anything I have outstanding can wait a day or three. I will call my boss, and also check my work email from home.

If I wasn’t here typing I’d be trying to sleep and end up crying again, so let me just say right here loud and clear. Duke T lived a wondrous, sublime, passionate and joy-filled life including two years of puppydom, two years of doggylife, and a brutal past few months. He was likely in varying degrees of discomfort and/or pain in late November and certainly by mid-December, it’s difficult to say because he had brief illnesses and injuries before and always rebounded robustly, healing on his own without any vet assistance. I think it was sometime in early to mid-January when we brought him to the vet, and if we had brought him when symptoms first showed (in hindsight), we may have caught the pancreatitis at an earlier stage, before it progressed to the encephalitis. 

I hear noises upstairs. I will check on that, and maybe try to sleep a bit. Not sure if I will have the energy and will to add to this after what transpires at the vet, but I will have my family with me and for that I am extremely grateful. I also thank my family for Duke, who came from an idea inspired by the love and creativity and compassion of our daughter. Duke came from my family and for my family, and they were all here for him. If anybody has ever had a great dog, they will deeply understand this blessing. My wish is for others to experience at least once and hopefully more, the love and companionship of a friendly, intelligent dog.
The noises have subsided, I think it was one of our sons, I’ll go check anyway. Goodnight for now.

It wasn't Duke, for at that time he was sleeping like a baby, on his side the way a dog sleeps when he's really dozing. So I went to bed. Then when I was laying there, I heard the tags on Duke's collar, and then I heard them again. I went to his room and found him stuck in the corner by the door, so I freed him and then went to get his water bowl and brought that upstairs. I placed it on some newspapers and D had a hearty if clumsy drink, then promptly put his front foot in the bowl, par for the course these days.

Not sure what's gonna happen in a few hours (it's four-forty-one in the morning right now), hoping the vet will prescribe Anipryl or some other "miracle" drug, though I've been known to be delusionally hopeful before. Like many men, I get confused between vision and fantasy, as many of my dreams are also my hopes and plans. Gotta get to PEI again, hopefully this August, and then take the fam on a Western Canada trip to Banff, Alberta, to Vancouver, BC and Vancouver Island (where I have great friends from high school, and awesome relatives from the McCooey side of my family) next summer.
Duke is gone. It’s 10:24PM and the triplets have been here since this morning. We had bagels and coffee and B brought some plaster cast sets so we made casts of Duke’s paws before taking him to the vet. I thought we were going to discuss options however when the five of us walked in with Duke, a lady presented my daughter with papers to sign authorizing “the procedure.”
It was a touching moment with all 5 of his pack together holding him ‘til the end, and as he had been on 24-hour watch for over a month and was deteriorating in an accelerating manner, it was time to let him go to where dogs run free. I have to finish proofreading the final three chapters of Automata so must go now, however if you are reading this, then you know I finished the book and that Duke is very proud of me. I thank my family for beloved Duke.

It is 6:20AM… house is cold. I had hoped that because I couldn’t sleep before Dukey’s vet appointment, that would mean I would be able to make it through this night. I drifted off about midnight, so I did get six hours, but the pain is still here. I am trying to relativize it, accepting that I am blessed to have a strong family to make it through this together, and appreciating that to a senior citizen living alone, the loss of a canine friend could be world-shattering. As for me, I am leaning on the old axiom “time heals” and also trying to accept the very real fact that the happy dog we knew had already left the building, weeks earlier. Yesterday’s events were the tied ribbon on a beautiful, lively and incredibly loving life.

I am thinking of taking my homemade dog food recipe (beef, vegetables) and adding some spice (lotsa pepper but no salt; Ital) and simmer and coming up with a Dukey’s Fave Beef Stew. I also need to start walking more again, as the bitterly cold winter of 2012-2013, plus D’s illness, have made my routine more passive, and that’s gotta change. Smoke less, walk more, eat better. The next few days and weeks will be a struggle, as I was so looking forward to enjoying the warmer weather with Duke, however we have so many memories of the good times, I know that if I focus on those, everything else will flow positively from there.
You want to read about robots? Fine, coming right up. Just know that it was important to me that you read the story of Duke first, for the depth of love, emotion and delightful passion he brought to our lives was a wonderful joy to behold. Wherever you are my big bruiser of a teddy bear, you are always loved.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Viletones and the Foundations of Punk Rock

Steve Leckie and Viletones - Reckless rock'n'roll revisited

by Yuya Joe College (excerpt from forthcoming book "The Vile Ones - Bad Boys of Punk")

When gauging the socio-political impact of pioneering Canadian punk rock band Viletones, it is first necessary to understand their context within the nihilist / reckless camp which includes Dead Boys, Sex Pistols, Richard Hell, Subhumans, The Damned, The Exploited and other bands whose primary purpose was to destroy everything in their paths. These were foundational punk groups that mostly emphasized personal politics, alienation, thwarted ambitions, and danger; diehard bands living and breathing anarchy, with anger and pain bleeding through their sometimes discordant, always raw music.

Sex Pistols live

Most people know of Steven Leckie via his public image, the sneering, arm-slashing punk pioneer threatening everything in his way, including the social mores of the time. Naming ones' stage character Nazi Dog was a recipe for being barred from the industry, yet the aura of being an outsider rebel breaking doors down was exactly what he had crafted... and from the beginning I saw a different side of him.

Growing up in a family with Hollywood glitter on his mother's side and ad agency hucksterism via his father, Steve was well-positioned for the rock'n'roll circus he plunged headlong into, and Toronto was just not ready for the lyrical iconoclast and stage chameleon.

My bass player in JC and The Rulers was Menachem Begin (aka Russell Bethune), a strong 6'3” gentleman of Jamaican-Canadian heritage, and he knew Steven before I did. A couple of years earlier, Steve had asked Russ to “beat somebody up” for him, though Russell politely declined the opportunity. When we were working on preparations for the Rock Against Radiation protest concert in July 1980 at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, I witnessed a hungover Steven in his Grosvenor Street apartment inquiring if I “had any pills”, so from the foundational days of punk I have always seen Mr. Leckie's more vulnerable, offstage personality as the real man.

Steven Leckie with the inestimable Garth Hudson (The Band)

During Toronto's early punk years, Steven Leckie invented a stage persona that was as repulsive as anything punk rock had to offer. Many were repelled that he would have done this, however, confusing the character with the creator remains offensive even today. Leckie and Viletones paid the price commercially as they were pretty much blacklisted from radio and the Canadian music industry in general ... yet as artful music, Viletones songs stand the test of time.

Joe Strummer of The Clash
On early Vilteones recordings they sound a LOT like Joe Strummer and The Clash (BIG compliment!), however there is little to none of the social activism concerns of Strummer, son of a UK diplomat. When he was performing on stage as “Nazi Dog”, Leckie was only seventeen, eighteen years old and that contrived image succeeded in shocking the vast majority of those who came across it, either live or through the media. Though it took decades for Steven to live down the negativity associated with that particularly evil stage character he had created (filmmakers and novelists rarely suffer this sort of prejudice), Viletones lyrics were not about white power or anything resembling fascism, as they were songs of personal frustration and anger and unfulfilled “possibilities”, along the nihilistic/individualistic lines of The Dead Boys and The Sex Pistols, lacking the social politics of more collectivist bands such as The Clash and DOA.

You're seeing the world through cynical eyes
I'm seeing the world through the eyes of somebody new

Oh there's a hope left
There's a dream still in my heart
Look past the answers
There's a chance that there's no rule book for this love

All possibilities
Are landing at my feet
There's nothing I can see
But possibilities

from Possibilities - Viletones

Viletones at Rock Against Radiation, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Hamilton punk band The Forgotten Rebels had a lead singer named Mickey deSadist and wrote songs about bombing Iran (have times really changed???) and sometimes (ridiculously) gave a Seig Heil type salute in their stage show, yet they barely caused a ripple as pretty much everyone except the ultra-obtuse and socially constipated were aware it was a parody of fascism. With Viletones, people weren't sure, as their intensity made everything seem very real, and the lines between their stage show and personal lives remained blurred for a long time. Even if Viletones were also perceived as satire, Canada and the mostly branch-plant music suits employed therein were not ready for anything appearing to be so extreme and offensive. Real anarchy scared the money men away.

Steven Leckie and Malcolm Mclaren

Where Steve could have made a lot of cash by selling out, the opposite was true for Frankie Venom and Teenage Head. The Head were already safe enough that they did not need to listen to the industry reps, and releasing Something On My Mind as an acoustic softie cost them much of their fan base and killed their careers. Just imagine if they had recorded that song in typical Ramones / Teenage Head style; it would have been a big hit and the upward trajectory on the band's success would have been maintained.

Viletones at Rock Against Radiation

By contrast, Steven and his Viletones were more untouchable than the Sex Pistols ever were, for they had the misfortune of being born into the abode of the Victorian moralists, Toronto the Good. Here people did not always perceive punk as entertainment, but as a threat to the very fabric of Canadian lives. Viletones were feared and hated and despised and cast out into the wilderness, and with little to no record industry support, the band rarely reared its head after 1983/84.

Other early Toronto “punk” bands were not always true punks in the hardcore sense, but rather rock'n'roll (Battered Wives), New Wave (Martha and the Muffins) and pop punk (eg Diodes) musicians, so Viletones really only had The Demics as local competition for quite a long time. Still, competition creates a scene whereas isolation leads to loneliness and withering, and without a strong, vibrant and industry-supported growing local punk scene, what action there was ended up being mostly underground, small club shows, rent parties and benefits. The only hope for Viletones would have been to move to the USA...

Early DOA: Joey, Chuck, Randy (Chuck was about 15 at the time this pic was taken)

The social / political camp of punk rock pioneers included the likes of The Clash, Billy Bragg, DOA, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains and eventually Green Day. My late 70s Vancouver band The Reactors were in this camp, as was my Toronto group Joe College and The Rulers, though both were minor players in their respective scenes. The beauty and vitality of punk was that it was all about the music and the lifestyle, and bands from all three political “ideologies” (or lack of same) regularly shared bills and toured together. If it was hard, fast, angry and fun, it was punk!

Iggy and The Stooges were formidable punk pioneers.

The third wing of punk rock's founding years comprised excellent Fun / Hedonist bands such as Ramones, Stooges, Teenage Head, New York Dolls, The Diodes etc, all awesome live acts who stood for youthful rebellion and wanton partying whether there was a cause or not. They promoted anti-authoritarianism in general, worshipped youthfulness and fast-living, and repped the joyfulness punk brought to teenagers everywhere.

Stiv Bators (Dead Boys) with friend Steven Leckie

In summary, though they never achieved commercial success, Viletones placed Toronto on the punk map and helped kickstart a global revolution in music that saw the longhaired double-LP airy fairy concept album replaced with the heavy pounding guitar and rhythms of the 2-3 minute songs of teenage angst and rebellion, and the mosh pit was born to celebrate OUR music. The likes of Green Day, Linkin Park and Billy Talent all owe a tremendous debt to first generation punk rocker Steven Leckie, pioneering singer, writer and frontman for Viletones, Canada's first punk rock band.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Saint Patrick of Toronto; Disciple for the Ages

Saint Patrick Morgan Arthurs

November 11, 1939 - September 30, 2012

This past Friday I went to a funeral for an old friend, a Rastafari prophet who was 72 years old, a fine and loving man named Saint Patrick Arthurs. Though saddened by the loss of such a great man, about 120 people showed up for the ceremony, and there was lots of drumming and singing and memories to be shared by all.

First off I would like to thank Lisa and Neville and Tsepo and Lishy and Jah Paul and everyone who worked on making Brother Patrick's funeral a wondrous and enthralling memorial, and i am suggesting we arrange both a musical tribute for Patrick's birthday this November, and then an annual remembrance get-together.

It was also very much appreciated to see so many friendly faces at the event, including Shem and Lishy, Sista Lisa, Sista Loyce, Sista Shirley Lox, Trevor Jones, Denham Jolly, Michael Arthurs, Craig Arthurs, Lorenzo and everyone who came out to honour Patrick and support the family.

Patrick Arthurs, who was better known in Rasta and Reggae circles as Saint Patrick, was a good friend and mentor to me for the past few decades. He was both a big brother and a father figure, and a person one could trust for insight and advice.

After a standout career as a an athletics star in the pole vault, Patrick moved from Jamaica to attend University in Arkanas in the late 1950s, travelling on to Canada in the 1960s. Since his arrival in our fair city, he has been a positive and inspirational influence on three generations of Toronto musicians.

In 1975 Patrick published his first book, Soul Revolution, the Diary of a Rastaman on the Freedom Road, and it is a musical and spiritual tour de force that resonates with truths and rights and justice and overstanding, even unto this day.  

I first met Brother Patrick in 1980, when he moved into the 63 Indian Road house that my band Joe College and The Rulers rehearsed and lived at, and the house then transitioned from Punk rock to Reggae music. I became good friends with Patrick and his wife Lisa, and through our wider circle of musical friends, I met my wife Heather at a party at 48 Abell St, just off Queen West. Brother Tsepo lived at 48 Abell for a time, as did Sister Loyce and our late Brethren Dave Hamilton.

In 1982 I was honoured to deliver a letter from Rita Marley to Saint Patrick, and I was enthralled to be helping re-unite and re-connect two crucial spiritual families. It may seem a small thing to some, however at the time it was momentous for me.

A few years later my son David and I were able to spend a memorable Mother's Day at 48 Abell with Cedella Booker, the warm and wonderful mother of Robert Nesta Marley, on her first visit here. It was the 10th Mother's Day since Bob's Passing, and Cedella shared many beautiful hours with us, and told us that Bob spoke often of Toronto and would say “Mom, you have to go visit there, it is a very special place.”

Cedella went on: "For the past year or so I have had problems with the veins in my legs, making it difficult to stand or walk, and I have been in severe pain for many months. I would like to tell you all that, being here with you today, I feel no pain. My legs are pain-free and I am happy and joyful to be sharing this day together."

Bob's Mom then spent several minutes speaking personally with each and every one of us, and while I was conversing with her, she was bouncing my son David on her knee and hugging and kissing him. It meant a lot to me then and still does now.

I became good friends with St Patrick and Saint Lisa and watched their family grow up strong and righteous. Over the years I had hundreds of conversations with Patrick and watching how he loved and respected his own children provided me a good example and a strong foundation for when I was to become a Dad myself.

Brother Patrick was a formidable influence on my life, and his knowledge of and love for music was inspiring and contagious. He was a good friend of Seeco Patterson, of Judy Mowatt, and of Rita and Bob. I remember Patrick telling me about the last time he saw Bob Marley in this life, he had been backstage at Maple Leaf Gardens with Seeco and other Wailers, and he was able to present Brother Bob with a very old, large Bible, which Bob was pleased to receive. His final glimpse of Bob Marley on this Earth was seeing Bob walk up the steps onto the Babylon By Bus tour bus, and he had that Bible in his hands as he bade farewell to Toronto.

When we were organizing the two-day Toronto memorial for Haile Sellassie I's reburial in the year 2000, Patrick was fully supportive and along with Samuel Ferenje, Jahn Hoy's former speechwriter and travelling companion, Pat was a keynote speaker on both nights and his heartfelt and divinely insightful words were much appreciated by all.

My belief is that Saint Patrick will be remembered as a fervent disciple of Haile Sellassie I, Jah Ras Tafari, and that his writings will stand the tests of truth and time. Some years ago the title Ras Haile Tafari was received for Bro Patrick, and though I wrote of it I don't believe I mentioned it to him or that he ever utilized it, however he lived every day as a man worthy of such a lofty handle.

I Give Thanks for the blessings of knowing him and his family. May Patrick Morgan Arthurs Rest In Peace, and Rest In Power, and may his legacy be one of music and creativity that lasts for generations.

In Pat's honour I hope to work with Saint P's family and friends to create a Saint Patrick Rastaration Celebration - 1st Annual Gathering, in November 2013. The enormitude of the past twenty-four hours makes one believe our dear subject is also most worthy of a film about our friend Saint Patrick, for here is a disciple of both Sellassie I and of Nesta, a Rasta prophet shouting in the wilderness, laying a solid groundation for future generations

When many books are written about how Bob Marley saved Planet Earth, Saint Patrick will be a character of merit in all the best of them. For forty years Patrick was a mainstay of the local Rasta and Reggae scene, a genuine patriarch in our midst, and he will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by many.

For those who were unable to attend the funeral, here below I shall relate some impressions from the day of honouring Patrick Arthurs, a Torontonian whose musical knowledge is rivalled by only one other person I know of in this city, Howard Matthews, husband of Salome Bey. When I mentioned Howard when speaking with Patrick, he would often say "Howard is a music man like myself," and I make no apologies for inserting my own remembrances, for if there is anything P taught the collective bunch of us, it is to write things down as you see them and express yourself as forcefully and imaginatively as necessary.

Funeral of Saint Patrick Morgan Arthurs, October 5th, 2012

Tadias Mon Ami, Shalom, Namaste, Inshallah

Drumming (Ras Tsepo, Ras JahPaul, Empress Deb), chanting, and singing welcomed those entering the chapel, as the room slowly filled and then overflowed with those arriving to honour Saint Patrick, the Westmoreland-born Jamaican-Canadian writer and theologian who inspired three generations of Torontonians with his life and teachings.

Longtime friend Simba was a loving and graceful host and mc for the proceedings, and every person who spoke did so with humbleness and respect for Patrick Morgan Arthurs, his family, and his friends.

First Cousin Tsepo Anthony St John Fletcher waxed eloquently about early family days in Grange Hill and Negril, and his cousin Patrick's years of holding the pole vaulting record in Jamaica. Patrick's brother Neville, Michael's father, was also a star athlete in Jamaica, excelling at cricket and soccer and other sports. He spoke about Saint P's life before Rasta, and then as a Rastaman on the Freedom Road. Ras Tsepo mentioned the names of Patrick's seven offspring: Melanie, Craig, Daniel, Shem, Elisha, Nathan and Hannah. He mentioned June Palmer, the mother of Melanie and Craig and then moving along to Rasta days with Lisa and their family in Toronto, he shared some Biblical lines or quotes that Patrick liked to say, including:

It's not what goes into your mouth that is unclean, but what comes out of it.

He elaborated on this one by mentioning that, when asked about dietary restrictions of various religions, Pat would say "I don't believe I can eat my way to salvation" so why worry about it?

Bro Tsepo honoured our man Patrick with respectful anecdotes and pointed insights about how Pat challenged us all to know our shit, and to recognize the shytstem's trappings everywhere, recalling Patrick saying "That's why they call them trappings, these possessions trap them."

Sista Loyce spoke and sang of P's love for Jazz and Reggae and all expressive music, and spoke passionately about the WriteJustUs righteousness of Patrick's revolutionary, liberation- marinated zeal, and you knew she was honouring a profound, impactful patriarch.

Soulful tributes were provided by Franklins Ford, Al Peabody and Jay Douglas. Patrick has dear friends that have known him since he first arrived in Toronto and we heard stories stretching back to the 1960s and 1970s. Danielle and Lena sang and shared stories of recent decades. Two gentlemen from the barber shop including Frank relayed tales from five decades of loyalty, insight and friendship.

Nephew Michael, whom Pat was very proud to see grow up to be an acclaimed professional musician and a solid man, said some tender words and then played some evocative music on his saxophone, ending the instrumental with the sprightly yet sorrowful When the Saints Go Marching In.

Brother Daniel expressed emotional memories and thanked Alfonso for introducing Patrick so long before, and remembered fondly the day he brought his own father Alejandro to meet Pat, and you could feel and know that Daniel would always cherish the crystal memory of his Dad and Patrick getting along famously.

My friend and Pat and Lisa's longtime buddy Lorenzo shared some teary memories, and he was one of those who remained by P's side until the last weeks and days, as family and friends came from afar to pay final respects. Lorenzo please keep in touch with all of us who are close friends of Patrick, and let's ensure his renown is known for only being grown.

Four of Patrick's children spoke, including Hannah (Hannah with an "H"!), Craig, Shem and Elisha. Many relatives stepped to the podium to pay tribute to a great man who lived a momentous life. A parade of friends also told tales of Patrick, and it was certain that a unique human being had left our plane, yet would stay forever, one whose legacy would build.

Patrick's offspring flow from the waters of honesty and the seed of Africa.

Daughter Hannah spoke of being the child of a Rastafarian prophet who always encouraged her to be creative and to write. He inspired her to be a fighter for justice, and you could see it in the fire in her eyes and the pure clarity of her voice. She read a touching poem that was the last piece she had written for her loving Dad, and Hannah also had one of her creations included in the written program:

So inspirational to all around
Tough a fighter and never backs down

Proud of culture, family of the mission
Always high hopes, there's always a vision
Trying in a world where not many do
Reading and writing the words of the truth
In any situation seeing the Light.
Caring about the future
Knowing what's right.

Son Craig, looking like a young version of Patrick, talked about the time his separated Dad (Patrick was living in Toronto and Craig was with his mother and sister in New York) came to his school to get him to spend the day with 'Bob." He let us know that at the time his sister, Patrick's first beautiful daughter Melanie of Calfornia, was pissed about it and I can imagine she would be, for I have two daughters and two sons and you always want to bring them all yet cannot always make it happen. Craig did not yet know who Bob was, but he sure liked the idea of getting out of school. They spent the afternoon in Central Park with Bob Marley and good friends, and it is a foundational day for Craig. He has his father's steely determination and belief in justice and equity, and seems determined to carry on the work of Robert Nesta Marley, and of Saint Patrick.

(As an aside, though I am a generation older than Craig, I had a similar if less momentous experience in my own childhood. Believe, I am not comparing a hockey player with a messiah, however as a kid, the experiences at the time would feel similar. My dad called my school to get them to send me home so I could be ready to get picked up to do some modelling for CCM hockey equipment, on a shoot with Bobby Hull. The teacher announced it in front of the whole class... two shoots later the pictures of me and Bobby Hull were in every sports magazine and sports equipment store in Canada and much of North America, and that experience was a fun highlight of my own childhood.)

Son Shem mentioned that as Patrick used to be the first person up in the mornings, Shem would try to get up earlier than him, and consider it an accomplishment if he could do it. "Until I became a teenager..." followed, and he got a really big laugh with that. He was overcome with deep and rooted emotion yet what shone through was a son loved dearly honouring the greatest man many of us will ever know, and I am confident he made his Dad proud and his brother Nathan feel he had spoken for them both.

Daughter Elisha spoke with fire and clear tongue, of humankind in the diaspora and of good roots living. Our Lady Lish carries the torch for St Patrick and Saint Lisa, for Ras Tafari, for Bob Marley, for Reggae, for creativity, and she always makes both of her parents very proud, as she is a synthesis of their divine devotion. Her expressions of thanks were close to the heart, and you could feel her Father's powerful presence in her tone, and in the magnitude of her thought. 

Ras JahPaul and Empress Elisha are to be thanked for hosting the tribute reception, Much Respect. Each and every one of Us must do his or her part towards building a beautiful, loving family, driving Rasta into the 21st Century and providing a Toronto base and a global heart for seekers of Truth and Inity.

Now I would like to finish my tribute with a poem I originally wrote for Berhane Sellassie, our Robert Nesta Marley, as the sentiments are both timeless and fitting for Saint Patrick's memory and tribute.

May He Grace You

May Jah grace ye with the Holy Spirit
With all His rewards may He delight you
May he grace you with overseeing
With the holy spirit and loving-kindness

With an eternal covenant may He grace you,
Causing you to greatly rejoice
As He graced you with righteous judgement
That you not stumble

May He look graciously upon all your works
May He grace you with eternal truth
May He look graciously upon all your youth
May He guide and protect Rasta people

I have heard the words of this people
They are right in all they have spoken
Heed the words of Jah Prophet
Speaking of goodness in My name

Jah Ras Tafari sees clearly
Hears utterances of the Word
Knows the knowledge of the Most High
Still today with one eye open

Jahn Hoy observed Your word,
And kept Your covenant
His people burn incense before You
and sing songs of joyful praise

They will praise Him for His grace
Saying Arise, Jah Ras Tafari
Your name is my deliverance
My rock, my fortress, my deliverer

Jah, You renew my heart
Turn to me and be gracious to me
Give of Your strength to Your servant
Show me a good omen

I, Your anointed one, have understanding,
and I will tell others about You,
For You have given me knowledge
You have endowed me with great insight

Let all of us loved and touched by the fire of Saint Patrick remain as one family, and please let I and I work together in the months, years and decades ahead to remember Brother Pat daily and honour him annually in Toronto, and to continue his work in bringing the music and teachings of Robert Nesta Marley and Haile Sellassie I to the people of the nations.

Let us honour Patrick and his life and together begin work on Spiritual Celebrations in Toronto, commencing with Bob's 70th Birthday in 2015, and continuing with Ras Tafari's 125th, in 2017.


Brother Joseph

Search Green Energy Companies Stocks Database

Custom Search

Red Cross Talks

21st Century Architecture

Chitika's Cool Stuff!

Joe College 2009

Joe College 2009
Joe College and The New Rulers recording an album in 2010

Twitter / bencnn

Geotherma.info Geothermal Energy Investing

Occupied Palestine | Safety | First Aid | Health | Protests [ will be continously updated! ]

Best Green Stocks Investing Blog

Common Man News


the egypt blog

GJ581g.Info: Zarmina's World Images Links

Wind Power Stocks to Watch

Rare Earth Stocks Research

Punk History; Green Energy Stocks, Travel Canada

Solar-Intelligence.com Blog - CLEAN ENERGY BRINGS PEACE: Solar, Wind, Biofuels, Music

BeesTreesFrogsElephants.com - Nature and Ecology Blog

PV Intell Photovoltaic Solar Stocks Investing

Green Mutual Fund Investing Info