From The HeartThursday, March 11, 2010
From the moment that I can remember being an individual I can remember my mother opening a heavy but small jewel box and showing me the heart of diamonds. Of all the jewels (purchased in Paris) that my grandfather Tirso de Irureta Goyena had showered on his bride and wife my grandmother Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena the only one that was left was the little quartz heart studded with diamonds. The rest of the jewels had been pawned off or sold to finance the divorces of my uncles and aunt.
When Alexandra Elizabeth (our first daughter was born in 1968) my mother told me that it was her will that the heart would be used to finance Alexandra’s university education. “I want her to have all the opportunities she deserves,” she told me.
Both Ale and Hilary managed to graduate from university here in Vancouver. Ale went to UBC and Hilary to Simon Fraser. What is to happen to that little heart of diamonds? I would think that my mother’s will, would transfer to our eldest granddaughter. We shall see and keep the little heart in its box.
Fulfilling the wills and desires of someone who is dead is something that most of us take most seriously.
I never thought that I would have to do this for someone else.
It was this past July that my friend Abraham Rogatnick shocked me with a statement that I first took lightly. He said, “If there is anything I want to do before I die is to go public on my stance that the Vancouver Art Gallery should stay put.” He wrote up his reasons and went to visit Vision Councellor Heather Deal. Deal read the “manifesto” and said something like, “Let’s wait and see.” Rogatnick told me, “I lost it and I yelled at her, what do you mean you are going to wait and see?”
I told Rogatnick to give me his manifesto and that I would try to see if anybody was interested. By mid August Rogatnick was ailing and I told him I had been unsuccessful in my efforts to get the radio, TV, web based magazines and our local newspapers interested. Rogatnick simply told me, “You tried.”
This past Monday I can say now that thanks to the intersession of the Vancouver Sun’s city columnist, Miro Cernetig, Rogatnick’s manifesto is up in today’s Vancouver Sun editorial page.
Rogatnick did not believe he was going anywhere when he died at the end of August of last year. I felt I had let the man down.
But Rogatnick was always pragmatic and he would probably agree with me that his manifesto might be that much more effective coming from the grave than when he was alive. My thanks to Miro Cernetig for keeping Rogatnick’s vision alive.