small flourish

MAX BASKIN SPEAKS AT GRAVE SIDE

Writes Poem Eulogizing Peter Lordly, Late Veri- gin, as Leader

[ Verigin lying in state at Brilliant.  Notice the careful arrangement of the scene., Campbell Studio, Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Castlegar, BC B-203 ]

The only address at the graveside of Peter Verigin, late leader of the Doukhobors, yesterday, was made by Max Baskin, his friend and business associate. Mr. Baskin had also writ- ten a poem on the death of the pres- ident and spiritual leader of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, a copy of which was attached to the flowers he sent.

In his address Mr. Baskin said in part:

"Verigin died, but his work will never die. His memory will live in your hearts and your deeds. Remembering his ideal, you will go forward in the ray of progress on the well-made path which he has left you to follow. 'Toil and peaceful life' was the motto of a ceaseless worker. Until the last moment he worked ceaselessly for the welfare of his people. He died like a plowman behind his plow.

Courage of a Lion

"With the courage of a lion, the vision of an eagle, and the tender heart of a doe, he combined in himself everything to be an ideal leader. Having a strong will, he marked out one route, which he followed, and led you with him.

"He was the bright star of progress, and no obstacles could stop him. His great devotion he showed you by advising you to emigrate to Canada from Russia, foreseeing the great revolution, the terrors of which you did not suffer. Like a good shepherd, he looked ahead and saved you from much hardship. Under his good leadership the brotherhood progressed, steadily, just as the promised land according to the promise of God.

"He took a personal interest not only in you and your families, but in every tree and in every grass that you cultivated. With his great knowledge and experience he not only showed you how to work, but how to live to find favor in the eyes of the Creator. How can I with mere words describe your terrific loss? Could a pen describe or write what the heart of the people feels when it weeps over the untimely death of their leader? No. A sincere grief can only be helped by God alone, and the tears of the toilers are asking him to take their leader under his wing. But still from the heights your leader will inspire you and lead you to go on the path of truth and goodliness. The great work which the great father has left unfinished should not be left by you, and you should follow in the path of your master as taught you while he was here."

The Poem

Mr. Baskin's poem translated from the Russian in which he wrote it, goes as follows:

"There were no drums at the funeral procession when we carried our leader: There were no rifle shots when we let his body down, into the earth; But with sincere prayers and with humility in our hearts, We gathered today to give back to the earth your body, dear to us, And to bow before you low. We leave you here alone with honor which will never die.

For your great work God has given you a bloody wreath of thorns; The honors were sincere which we have given you, and we dug the grave ourselves; Around you were all your children, and your nearest closed your eyes. You have died, our leader, but your spark has left a strong flame; Your people will lift lovingly your great brotherly standard."

A Russian Elegy

Attached to the flowers Mrs. Baskin sent was a card bearing one of the short poems of Nadson, a young Russian poet, who died at the age of 21, about a quarter of a century ago, whose poetry is a great favorite with the Russians, particularly the Doukhobors. This elegy, translated, runs:

"Don't tell me that he is dead. He lives. Though the altar is broken, The fire is still flaming; Though the rose is plucked, She still is blooming; Let the heart be broken, The chord is still sobbing."

Source: "Max Baskin Speaks at Grave Site," Nelson Daily News, November 4, 1924.

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