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The Health Inspector Man
Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:42pm

Way back in 1956 a great little poem “The Health Inspector Man” was published in a very early issue of our association journal. Recently the poem was reprinted in our 2013 calendar but the name of the author has been missing since 1956 along with all our early journals. Last week I found the lost issues uncatalogued and stored in the basement of the Provincial Legislative Building in Victoria. In looking through these old issues I found this poem and its author in the December 1956 journal. It was written by W.E. Luna of the Dallas City Health Department. “Luna was moved to poetry after overhearing his 8-year-old daughter explain to her neighborhood friends how her daddy made his living.”

The Health Inspector Man
There are times when I get weary of this day-in-day-out grind.
There are times when I’m disgusted and think I’ll lose my mind.
Then there are times when money’s scarce and these times become more frequent.
My account’s overdrawn, my savings shrunk, and my bills are all delinquent.
Now I’ve a little girl named Sue. She’s about the age of eight.
She has a lot of playmates and in my yard they congregate.
The other day I overheard quite a lengthy conversation
On the merits of different fathers, primarily occupation.
There were bankers, welders, airplane drivers, doctors, lawyers, deep-sea divers.
Then silence fell as Sue began. “My dad’s a health inspector man.”
The other girls grew open-eyed and silent as a cat.
Then Sandra spoke the mind of all. “Just what in the world is that?”
“Well, without my dad you couldn’t eat a solitary bite,
Unless you took the chance of being very sick all night.
You couldn’t drink a glass of milk, or eat a piece of pie,
Cause if you did you might get sick, and maybe even die.
And you couldn’t go in swimming. Who’d see if the water was nice?
You couldn’t have an ice cream cone, or eat a piece of ice.
The streets and alleys would be a mess with garbage everywhere,
And things would be real smelly if my daddy wasn’t there.”
“Course I might be exaggerating. Things might not be that bad,
But they certainly could happen if it weren’t for men like my dad.
Oh, there’s lots and lots of other things my daddy has to do.
But it takes too long to tell them, so I’ve only named these few.”
I looked down at my shirt cuffs. There were frayed just like my collar.
I looked around at the furniture. It was worthless as a dollar.
Our car out in the driveway - it’s completely second-hand.
But I have my badge of honour. I’m a health inspector man.
For if our kids live longer in the world that we safeguard,
That’s worth more than money and will be enough reward.
So now I stand up straighter with my shoulders squared away.
My step is sure, my eyes are bright as I go out to face the day.
And if you really care to - step up and shake the hand
Of a guy that’s really proud to be a health inspector man.
Published in the December, 1956 The Newsletter