A LONGTIME resident has penned a book of poetry about the people and institutions close to his heart.
Charlie Meek’s book, Remembrance and Gratitude: a Selection of Poems and Writings, includes tributes to military veterans, community-minded individuals and organizations in Terrace and Meek’s Scottish ancestry.
“It’s my way of paying tribute and dedications to the people mentioned,” he says.
He is known for officiating the Remembrance Day ceremonies every year at the Tillicum Twin Theatres and officiating funeral and memorial services.
He also runs Care and Respect Services, which transports those who die in car accidents or suspicious deaths to wherever the coroner asks, usually the morgue.
Meek, who has been writing poetry since 1995, says he had a folder full of his writings and two of his friends, Bill and Norma Young, encouraged him to do the book.
“She suggested to me that I should publish them,” said Meek about Norma.
“It’s an unusual book for sure and she thought it was something because most of the things in the book are about people from our community.”
In the book are poems about his wife, friends, Thornhill Fire Department and the Mills Memorial Hospital; the latter two to show his appreciation for all their help and service to the community.
“I think I can say I have a favourite, other than the one for my wife, is the tribute to fallen heroes, A Mother’s Son,” says Meek.
The poem is about soldiers in war and a mother waiting for her son to return home.
His first poem was a tribute to city freeman and community supporter Vesta Douglas 18 years ago.
At that time, the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra was here and he got Douglas to come see them, he says.
“She was so excited to come to the show and I had the orchestra play a particular song, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose,” he says.
“Vesta didn’t know I was doing it and I read it (the poem) out to her. What a wonderful day that was.”
Copies of the book have gone overseas already and down into the U.S. where Meek has friends.
Meek hopes to have enough poems in the future for a second book.