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Month: March 1999

O Canada

A Viceregal Kettle Of Fish

Tourists visiting the New Richmond area in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula may come upon Stanley House, a spacious summer residence nestled among the trees just west of the village. Located near the mouth of the Grande-Cascapédia–a premier salmon fishing river renowned for its annual run of large fish–Stanley House is a reminder of a time over a century ago when successive governors general enjoyed free fishing privileges in the river’s famous pools. In 1879, the Canadian government granted the fishing rights to His Excellency, the Marquess of Lorne–the Duke of Argyll–who occupied the viceregal position from 1878 to 1883. According to Stewart McNutt, one of Lord Lorne’s biographers, "his patronage and that of his successors, established the reputation of the stre...

Tour De Force

by Mac Johnston The many faces of our world never cease to amaze. Imagine that you’re in the Middle East in December with a troupe to entertain Canadian peacekeepers. In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, your bus approaches North Camp at El Gorah. The entrance is like nothing you’ve ever seen back home. Both sides of the road are lined with 45-gallon drums filled with poured concrete and linked by a sturdy cable. There are also concrete obstacles in the centre, forcing vehicles to zigzag their way through the maze. You also pass over a steel plate that conceals a retracted steel barrier. What you have here are basic security measures. It matters not that the Sinai is quiet these days. The Middle East is not only the cradle of civilization, it is also the cocoon of conflict. Other parts ...
O Canada

Choosing Confederation

There is no end to the What Ifs? that determined the shape and texture of this country. What if Champlain had no appetite for privation and retreated to France? What if Wolfe had not found his path up the slope? What if so many Americans had not been loyal? What if there had been no champagne at Charlottetown? Here’s another one: What if 54 years ago a stubborn little man from Gambo, Nfld., had not had an epiphany during breakfast in a Montreal hotel and decided that Newfoundland and Labrador would be better off as a province of Canada than as an independent country? On that morning, Joseph Roberts Smallwood, 45, reporter, broadcaster, historian, socialist, pig farmer, was in Montreal on a stopover after meetings in Toronto with grain suppliers for his Gander piggery. He picked u...
War Art

Charles Goldhamer

With calmness and precision, Charles Goldhamer created lasting impressions of life in the air force, including sketches and paintings of airmen who had suffered severe burns. From top to bottom: Servicing Aero Engine, Burnt Airman and Captain Herbert W. Reeves. War artist Charles Goldhamer’s sketches and watercolours are loaded with detail. He was a precise draughtsman and WW II airman who used his talent to calmly record the daily grind of air force life, including some of the horrific injuries suffered by airmen. Born in Philadelphia in 1903, Goldhamer came with his family to Canada in 1904. He studied in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art where he also taught before moving on to Central Technical School. Goldhamer joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 and was commiss...
Defence Today

The Canada Forces Today: Part 3 of 4 – An Air Force In Transition

by Ray Dick In Part 1 of this series on the Canadian Forces Today we explained how the Department of National Defence is addressing the challenge of maintaining a combat-ready force while cutting costs. In Part 2, we took a look at the army and the various challenges it faces. This time around, we focus on the air force and explain how it is coping with shrinking budgets. Despite successive budget cuts, downsizing and some serious hits to morale, Canada’s air force is heading into the new millennium as a leaner, but strong air arm of the Canadian Forces. "In the last 10 years we have lost 45 per cent of our strength (personnel) and 30 per cent of our budget," says Major-General Peter Gartenburg, assistant chief of air staff. "We’re still struggling with downsizing, still ...

The Approach To Verrières Ridge: Army, Part 25

As Canada’s chief army historian between 1945-59, Colonel C.P. Stacey rarely employed emotional language in his writing about WW II, but when it came to describing the July 1944 battles for Verrières Ridge, he included the following: "Three miles or so south of Caen the present-day tourist, driving down the arrow-straight road that leads to Falaise, sees immediately to his right a rounded hill crowned by farm buildings. If the traveller be Canadian, he would do well to stay the wheels at this point and cast his mind back to the events of 1944; for this apparently insignificant eminence is Verrières Ridge. Well may the wheat and sugar beet grow green and lush upon its gentle slopes, for in that now half-forgotten summer the best blood of Canada was freely poured out upon them."In the first ...

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