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           I “officially” retired in Ontario, Canada in 1990 and moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia.

 Three years later some former colleagues back east persuaded me to represent them and their

principals in this province. After mulling it over for a while I picked on the name DataSpan

Resources as being particularly apt to what I was trying to do and duly registered the firm

 with the B.C. Registrar of Companies on Nov 29, 1993.. My good friend Rob Barrett designed

the logo that you see and Joyce has now added the pinkish background to it. The short-lived

business endeavour was never a money maker and the name soon became a refuge for my mostly

 personal, freebie or charitable work. Recently it became the haven for the creation of our own internet domain www.dataspan.ca approved by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

 (CIRA) on 2005-01-21.


            Families were large a hundred years ago and few of them survived World War I without at least one member being killed or wounded in action.  The handsome, single Frederick Sidney Horn was a keen member of the St. John's Ambulance and naturally moved on to the Royal Army Medical Corps.  My father, one of Fred's older brothers, named me after him. I'm proud of that.  The marble plaque is mounted on the wall at the end of the then family pew in St. Michaels Church, in the quiet village of Hernhill in Kent, England. Fred's mother and father, my grandparents, are buried in the churchyard. At the other end of the village green is the 16th century "Red Lion" offering the very best in pub food, drink and hospitality.


 MEMORIES of UNCLE JOE - September 2005

              I keep in touch with the family of my late wife Roni (nee Veronica Matusheskie) through the “big talkers” - her sister Cathy, brother Joe and  nephew Jeremy.  A chat with either of them is usually a one hour phone call.  Of course they took care to tell me that Uncle Joe had passed away in August.  It was no surprise.  Just one of those things you figured might happen a long time ago.  But what memories he brings back. 

            I remember one time we went to the “Steam Fair” in Pembroke.  Joe loved those old machines puffing, snorting, snarling and ticking away.  He understood how they all worked and watched every moving part like a hawk.

            I remember driving around the back roads of Renfrew County again and again.  Joe had a story to tell about each and every place we passed and the folks that had lived there years ago. Many were first and second generation Polish pioneer families.          

            I remember how he loved to pick cranberries and the time I took him down to Combermere with my canoe and electric motor.  We went out on the marsh for about an hour.  I had all the berries I needed.  Joe had other ideas. He said: ‘You go for a “drive” up the river and come back in an hour.’  So I did, explored the York River and came back as instructed.  No Joe!  Then I see him half a mile away slowly sloshing toward me through the marsh with his sacks full.  When he gets closer I see he is barefoot, the rubber boots tied round his neck - both of them full to the brim with berries. Thank goodness for that electric motor.  The canoe was just full of cranberries.

            I remember getting the phone call that Joe had a broken neck.  That he had driven home in the truck over some mighty rough road from the farm and had survived.  I recall having a business trip to Ottawa, from Mississauga, and being able to visit Joe in hospital wearing the “crown of steel” on his head.  Then with Roni we drove to Barry’s Bay for the long weekend and took Joe’s wife Agnes, son Michael and his wife Donna to the hospital to see the patient.  He wasn’t there!  Discharged they said.  Finally we caught up with him and then we had to take him home in our compact Chevrolet hatchback.  With me and Joe in the front seats the other four somehow survived the trip all on top of each other in the back seat!  And I can see it now as we got Joe out of the car and the dog came slowly and gently towards him.  Snoopy understood.  No pulling, no tugging, no pushing, no jumping up.  This was a man who lived with a “sore neck” for the rest of his life.

            I remember visiting the pioneer farm in the fall.  Joe sat by the wood stove keeping warm and talking up a storm  The oven door was open and covered with slices of apple drying slowly as they filled the kitchen with their aroma.

          I remember so many times, especially after Sunday dinner, when Joe brought out the old accordion and stomped away as he played “golden oldies” from years gone by, some traditional Polish, some North American.

            I remember that he really “joyed” life.  Sure he could be cranky, but he was a good buddy to me.  He welcomed me, helped me, taught me.  I miss him and give thanks for all the good times I spent with my friend Joseph Pecarskie.  It doesn’t matter that he’s not around to read this.  He couldn’t read or write anyway, but he was one of the smartest guys I ever met.  He was 95 or 96 years old.  For at least 25 years he said the crows were coming to get him.  Finally they did.

Fred Horn in Nanaimo BC      


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