Month: January 1998

O Canada

Trampled In The Rush

The Yukon Territory is widely known as the Home of the Klondike, the centre of one of the most frantic and exciting gold rushes in modern history. However, while the Klondike gold rush was an important event, its romantic record often overshadows a far more important development that continues today. In the early days of European contact in the Yukon, white newcomers generally mingled easily and freely with First Nation people. However, this relationship was set aside during the first half of the 20th century when Yukon society condensed into racially divided pieces. The Yukon was one of the last places on earth where these two cultures had met, but it was also where important negotiations began for a cultural relationship between Europeans and aboriginals. ...
Memoirs

Burial In Belgium

by Mac Johnston On Nov. 10, 1997, in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, a nurse from Chilliwack, B.C., went to the funeral of an uncle she had never met. As a tribute, Maureen Thom wore on her coat the WW II wings of Pilot Officer Wilbur Bentz who died four years before she was born. Wib Bentz was a pilot in 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire, England. His plane, Halifax bomber LW682, M for Mother, was part of a 120-bomber raid on the railway yards in German-held Louvain, Belgium. On the flight home, LW682 was shot down at about 1 a.m. May 13, 1944, by a German night fighter. The bomber crashed in a bog and the Germans recovered and buried the bodies of five members of the eight-man crew. Canadian authorities later declared ...
O Canada

Our Winter Wonderland

Wrapped in woollies, nibbling Beavertail pastries or sipping steaming cups of cocoa, we make our merry way to winter carnivals from coast to coast. Whether it’s Nova Scotia’s Springhill Chilly Willy winter carnival, Ottawa’s Winterlude or Winnipeg’s Le Festival du Voyageur, carnivals offer communities a chance to actually celebrate snow and ditch post-Christmas psychological and retail blues. This year, more than two million men, women, children–and even pets–will gather for frolics in the snow. We thrill with the chills of carnivals because they really do have physical, social and emotional benefits to fight midwinter melancholy, says one psychological counsellor. "Winter often brings with it an increase of clientele exhibiting symptoms of depression. People are often less active p...
War Art

Maurice Galbraith Cullen

Cullen's war art includes from top to bottom: Bombing Area, Seaford; Domart, 1918; Cite Ste. Catherine. Maurice Cullen painted with a gentle and very Canadian love of nature. At first glance it seems as though his WW I scenes of the front in France could have been painted in rural Quebec. He was born on June 6, 1866, in St. John’s, Nfld. His family moved to Montreal when he was a boy. An inheritance from his mother gave him the means to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. While there he was elected an associate of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Art in the company of artists like Edgard Degas and James Whistler. Cullen returned to Canada in 1895 and began applying his French-learned impressionism to the Canadian landscape. It was not a move that endeared him to t...
Defence Today

Windsor’s Table Of Honor

by Tom MacGregor A bitter chill blew off the Detroit River as Legionnaires prepared to march to the Essex County War Memorial for the annual ceremony of remembrance in Windsor, Ont. The place where the Legionnaires gathered was Dieppe Gardens, a narrow waterfront park in the city’s downtown, across from the Detroit skyline. "Dieppe means a lot to Windsor," says Ontario Command’s Zone A-1 Commander Bill Smith while driving between various remembrance events in the zone. "It was our boys who got the worst of it." The reference is to the Essex Scottish, the Windsor-area militia unit now known as the Essex and Kent Scottish. The unit was assigned to Red Beach, the eastern flank of the disastrous 1942 raid by mostly Canadian forces on the main beach of the French town. Twenty min...
Army

Battle Exhaustion In WW II: Army, Part 19

When 1st Canadian Division veterans recall the Italian campaign, memories of Ortona and the winter that followed are never far from the surface. The battles of December 1943 produced casualties on a scale that reminded men of the western front in 1916. One month of combat cost 1st Div. 176 officers and 2,163 other ranks killed, wounded or missing. A further 1,617 all ranks were admitted to hospitals as sick, including more than 500 men diagnosed as suffering from battle exhaustion. These losses were concentrated in the rifle companies of the nine infantry battalions and as 1944 began most companies operated at half-strength.There was little that Major-General Chris Vokes and his staff could do about the physically sick or wounded men in the care of the Royal Cdn. Army Medical Corps. And al...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.