Friday, June 13, 2008

Good Knight, Children...

The Hospital for Sick Children has programs designed to elevate their patients' well being and emotional health through almost daily presentations donated by individuals or organizations such as Mickey Mouse and Mini Mouse from Disney Land, local magicians, clowns, comedy troupes, etc.. David M. Cvet, of the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts or AEMMA, and 1st Vice President of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, delivered a presentation on the arms and armour of a 14th century "knight", followed by a talk and presentation on the origins and history of heraldry on Thursday morning, June 12th. The kids were very engaged, and listened with great anticipation to every word uttered, never before seeing a "real live knight in person". The hospital also setup some new equipment for the first time, to televise the presentation to the rooms of many kids who couldn't leave their beds. Other kids, numbering about 15 arrived at the theatre room to witness the presentation directly, in their wheel-chairs, and pulling banks of bags of fluids and monitoring equipment. One little boy, Tony, played the role of a reporter during the televised presentation, and asked pertinent questions about the armour, its weight, where it might've been made, and what the coat of arms meant. Another little girl, Emily, perhaps 8 years old, was very charming and who appeared to be recovering from major surgery, and asked questions, and was very intent on drawing her own coat of arms. Other kids, in similar situations, of various stages of recovery were present and focused on creating their own arms.

At the end of the little dissertation on arms and armour and what it was like being a knight in the 14th century, the staff had prepared many photocopies of blank shields, and supplied markers and pages of stickies (horses, balls, geometric shapes, etc.) that the kids used to create their own arms. The kids who were restricted to their rooms, watched the activity via the TV network they have setup in the hospital, and also received their own copies of shields, markers and stickies.

The hospital staff were very pleased and excited about the presentation, and discussion pursued about repeating this presentation sometime in the fall. The children were fantastic and all were very satisfied and grateful with the presentation, and left with big smiles on their faces.

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