A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS STORY

Not your usual Christmas story, but my heart goes out to all who are suffering this season...

I am back in Hamilton, Ontario for Christmas, and reminded of the role that this city played in the eradication of "The Great White Plague" of Tuberculosis. The Cross of Lorraine, although saddled with a long, and at times controversial history has been the symbol of the Canadian and American Lung Associations and their Christmas Seal Campaigns to fund research into prevention and treatment of TB for over a century. 

Although largely under control in this country, TB still kills a million people around the globe. The Canadian (and American) Lung Associations continue to fund research into lung disease, and the Christmas Seal Campaign continues today. 

I wrote "Cross of Lorraine" to honour the patients and staff of Chedoke Continuing Care Centre, where I worked as a psychologist for over a decade. During my tenure, the hospital was a long term rehabilitation centre for adults with a wide range of neurological disorders. 

Although now gone, "The Brow", as it was known, had been the largest TB Sanitarium in what was then the British Empire when built at the turn of the 20th century.

CROSS OF LORRAINE (Words and Music © Ken Dunn, 2000)

 

High above Dundas Valley she stands 

Our lady of the mountain, watching over this land 

See her red light shining on the valley below 

Hear the wings of an angel that nobody knows 

 

A friend to the soldiers in the medical wars 

The children, the Innu, the people next door 

See her red light shining from the valley below 

Hear the wings of an angel that nobody knows 

 

It’s a crying shame ya ya ya  

It’s a crying shame, this white plague 

But she’s a Cross of Lorraine, a Cross of Lorraine 

 

And you know that she never forgets a tear 

That face in the lamplight through the years 

See her red light shining on the valley below 

Hear the wings of an angel that nobody knows

 

It’s a crying shame ya ya ya   

It’s a crying shame, this white plague  

But she’s a Cross of Lorraine, a Cross of Lorraine 

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