NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: March 2001

O Canada

The Harvesters

size="2"> For almost 40 years, harvest excursions were organized in Eastern Canada to assist prairie farmers with the grain harvest. Thousands of men and women were recruited, no experience necessary, and transported out west to work in the fields, to ensure that Canada maintained its reputation as the breadbasket of the world. The excursions were a huge undertaking and were absolutely critical for a successful harvest.First conceived by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1890, the annual harvest excursion quickly became a popular tradition, a tradition that contributed in no small way to the significance of the wheat economy to the western prairies and to the country at large. Harvest of the wheat crop wa...

Policing The Wilds

by Andrew F. Maksymchuk I was raised in British Columbia and spent a year in southern Ontario before joining the Ontario Provincial Police in 1964. My wife, Myra, is from Prince Edward Island and she began her career as a registered nurse in Kenora, Ont., the location of my first posting with the OPP. I had been on the job three years when my yearning for adventure led me to seek the position of officer-in-charge at Central Patricia, the force's most northerly detachment. Central Patricia is at the end of Highway 599, more than 300 kilometres north of the town of Ignace on the Trans-Canada Highway. The detachment was designated as a three-man operation, but one of its members had been selected to as...

Haven Was A Vacant Lot

by Captain Fred Doucette Sarajevo was a dangerous place in 1995, but there were locations within the heavily damaged city where people felt safe. One such spot was a vacant lot next to a house shared by five members of our United Nations Military Observer team. As UNMOs we belonged to teams consisting of eight to 10 personnel from different countries, including my home country of Canada. Our team's accommodation was split between the rented house and an apartment block. The house, which was owned by a retired university professor, was tucked away on a narrow street in the once beautiful part of the old city. I visited the house often because it had a working gene...

Courage To Return

by Tom MacGregor Sai Wan Hill offers a spectacular view. When you get away from the concrete and skyscrapers in the bustling city of Hong Kong, you find areas of lush forest growth, even with winter coming on. In one of four buses carrying a delegation of Canadians marking the 55th anniversary of the release of the Hong Kong prisoners of war, someone asked veteran Harry Atkinson how they ever fought in such thick jungle. "You have to remember it wasn't like this in 1941. The hills were all bare. The people had cut down all the trees, even taken up their roots for firewood," explained Atkinson, the national president of the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada. "The Japanese had cut off the suppl...
O Canada

Land Of Lady’s Slippers

Showy Lady's Slipper orchids add light and beauty to the Purdon Conservation Area near Ottawa. You have to wonder what Joe Purdon would have thought as a hot pink tour bus comes crunching in off Concession Road 8 in Lanark, Ont., shattering the morning quiet of the old woodlot. The emerging visitors--some two dozen garden club members toting cameras, hats and bug spray--chat enthusiastically as they head for the wooden hut that houses a humble one-seater. Welcome to Purdon Conservation Area, 25 hectares of former farmland and swampy woods located 75 kilometres southwest of Ottawa. A posted sign implores: "Please stay on the boardwalk trail" and "Do not pick the flowers," referring to a vast co...
War Art

Albert Cloutier

Canadian war artist Albert Cloutier was born at Leominster, Mass., in 1902. His Canadian parents returned to Montreal when he was still a child. As a young man growing up in Montreal, Cloutier studied under several well-known teachers, including A.Y. Jackson and Edwin H. Holgate. Cloutier supported himself as a freelance artist for about 10 years before becoming supervisor of war poster production for the federal government from 1940 to 1944. In March 1944, he enlisted and was appointed an official war artist for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Cloutier, who rose to the rank of flight lieutenant, was one of a few war artists who had established himself as a successful artist and designer prior to war service. After an initial posting at Kingston, Ont., Cloutier was sent to Newfound...

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