Very few people know that the man who took down the Berlin wall was a Canadian farmer and politician, not a Hollywood actor that peddled Chesterfield cigarettes.
His name was Eugene Whelan and he died this past Tuesday February 19, 2013 at the age of 88. When he was a school boy the teacher moved his desk close to his own so he could whack him with a stick without getting up. He lived through the the great depression, they lost the family farm and he was a drop out. Eventually, at the age of 21, he won an election and went on to be a highly respected individual at every level.
After he was finally made Agriculture Minister, a position he coveted for many years, he had a meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev. Mr. Whelan showed him around to many farms and related industries. Gorbachev was stunned at how the farmers and their hands got up in the morning on their own without a state official going door to door or using sirens to wake the workforce. Apparently, in the former Soviet Union, people who worked the state farms, loathed their work days and tried to avoid it at great costs to the nation.
A witness to the epiphany, said it was at that time Gorbachev realized communism can't and didn't work and that is the real reason, when on his return to the Soviet Union he worked to dismantle it. Not because some old guy behind a podium demanded it on television pumping his fist. Eugene Whelan and Mikhail Gorbachev became great friends after that incident.
The real men who brought down the Berlin Wall!
Eugene Whelan with then, largely-unknown Mikhail Gorbachev during his May 20 1983 visit to Essex-Windsor when both men were agriculture ministers.(Windsor Star files)
Not this guy, who used it as a political ploy for his legacy.
No safety goggles! That's against the law, punishable up to $100,000 in Ontario.