Change of Attitude in Quebec
ONE of Jehovah’s witnesses who attended the “Everlasting Good News” Assembly at Trois-Rivières (Three Rivers), Quebec, Canada, related this experience: “I met a man over seventy years of age at the assembly. He had white hair and a kind, yet authoritative face. He had been a policeman, and in 1949 he was very active in driving a police car in Montreal and taking many of Jehovah’s witnesses to the police station. I started to tell some of my experiences with the police at that time. He hung his head, and looking at the floor, he said, ‘I was so ignorant then.’ He loves the truths of God’s Word now and wanted to sit where he could hear every word. He was taking notes so as to look up the scriptures after he returned home. He said he was not baptized yet but hoped to be.”
A change in attitude was also manifested by the radio and television stations and the newspapers, which have not generally been friendly in the past. For the first time there was an interview with Jehovah’s witnesses on CBF, French Radio-Canada, the program being heard in all cities of the province, as well as all the French network in Canada. English CBC in Montreal ran an interview of eight minutes. Montreal radio CKLM gave an interview, and two radio stations in Trois-Rivières commented on the assembly each day of the assembly week. The interviewers on the various stations especially wanted to discuss the beliefs of Jehovah’s witnesses. Also granting an interview was the Quebec City television station, even though the assembly was held seventy-five miles away. The French newspaper of Trois-Rivières, Le Nouvelliste, which had not been favorable in the past, gave more than 100 column inches to the assembly. The larger newspapers of Montreal and Quebec City also covered the assembly, with the weekly Montreal newspaper, Le Nouveau Samedi, giving a report of four pages with many photographs. The report, published in its issue of October 5, 1963, said, among other things:
“What is a witness of Jehovah? Doubtless, many are asking this question. Who are these ‘wicked persons’ about whom we heard in the past, these hell-hounds of Satan, that we heard spoken about as darker than the Devil himself? They are good people, like you and me, family heads, humble workers, professional people, men from all ranks living according to the teachings of the Bible. Each Witness must walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and demonstrate his faith by preaching and teaching . . . as did Jesus and his apostles.”
All together, there were over a thousand column inches given in the newspapers to the assembly and the work of the Witnesses. This has no doubt aided in changing the attitudes of many other persons, causing them to be favorably disposed to the message of God’s kingdom.
A householder who rented a room to Jehovah’s witnesses during this assembly at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, telephoned after the assembly to say: “I did not want to miss the opportunity to thank you for the privilege we had to lodge some of your delegates. We have lodged many other people before but never had such kind and distinguished people as your people. We thought that your people were really going to force your religion upon us, but they didn’t. We were the ones that asked questions, and we have learned so much from them.”