Day: January 1, 2002

O Canada

Rolling Out The Russell

Thomas Russell poses behind the wheel during a display of Russell cars in the early 1900s. On a brisk February day in 1907, four brave men eased a brand new, slightly modifed automobile off solid ground and headed out onto the windswept ice of Lake Ontario. They were wearing the standard outdoor sporting attire of the day--black overcoats and bowler hats--and seated in an open vehicle lacking a roof, doors or even a windshield. The bitterly cold wind gusting across the lake made them continuously clasp their hats to their heads. That was fine because they were not ou...
Memoirs

Safe Conduct

by Michael Crossling   Every month when I visit my local pharmacist to pick up a supply of prescription drugs I am obliged to either sit or stand next to the dispensing counter that features a large display of condoms. The display is usually stocked with 27 varieties of what used to come in one package only. The present-day packages of these Protection For The Use Ofs defy imagination and bear no resemblance to the plain packages that were made available to members of the British armed forces in Germany during the 1950s. In the latter part of that...
Memoirs

Through A Child’s Eyes

by M.H. McKee   I was just a youngster when the Germans occupied the Netherlands in World War II. My family lived 25 miles southwest of Nijmegen, in a city called 's-Hertogenbosch. My father owned a seafood store and he would sometimes tease the German officers while they made their various purchases. Few of the Germans could speak or understand Dutch, and Dad could understand very little German. The German officer would usually begin his order by using the word "Bitte", which in German means "Please". But "Beete" in Dutch means beets, and so whenever D...
Memoirs

Sacred Places

by Dan Black Wally Smith stands next to the Danger Tree at Beaumont Hamel. From the road near the Belgian village of Passchendaele, you look across a recently ploughed field to find a row of young kilted reservists from the Nova Scotia Highlanders standing shoulder to shoulder along the crest of a gentle ridge. They appear to be stock-still against the clear morning sky, but as you get closer you notice how they all seem to be looking at the brown earth that surrounds the seven-tonne memorial a few metres to their left. Every one of these you...
Memoirs

Side By Side They Rest

by Dan Black Gordon McArthur clutches the Canadian flag while next to his son Ian at the funeral. They grew up in different worlds, but came from the same country. They knew different people and experienced separate joys and hardships, but went off to war sharing a common purpose and a similar fate. Indeed, no one could have guessed that privates Charlie Beaudry and George Barritt would die within a few feet of each other and that it would take more than half a century to discover their remains and give them a proper burial. But that's...
Remembrance

Guardians Of Remembrance

by Victoria Fulford Bombardier Adam Pankratz stands guard during the ceremony. An eerie fog blanketed Portage la Prairie, Man., on the morning of Nov. 11. It was a fog so thick that people and objects seemed to disappear. Some said it was fitting weather for Remembrance Day, considering the thousands of soldiers from across Canada who travelled to distant fields of battle never to return to their families. The people of Portage la Prairie are well aware of how quickly the weather can change in their part of the world. As has been the custom for the last few years now, the Remembrance Day ceremony was held indoors at the Portage Alliance Church. "In Manitoba you never know what the weather is going to be like," explained Marlene Nicholls, president of ...

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