Month: March 2003

O Canada

The Alberni Tsunami

Buildings, docks and other structures were damaged beyond repair in the 1964 Tsunami. Cars were scattered like toys. Shortly after midnight, 17-year-old Linda King was getting ready for bed when she heard the sound of water outside her bedroom window at 189 River Road in Alberni, B.C. The Somass River had risen sharply and had seeped under the front door before retreating down its banks. Linda woke her mother, Ethel, and 14-year-old brother Colin, and while mopping up from four centimetres of water that had washed over the floor of their Vancouver Island home they heard o...
Memoirs

The Ex Files

by Gerald W. Sigrist From top: HMS/M Explorer enters Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1960; HMS/M Excalibur performs a high-speed run in 1959; HMS/M Excalibur arrives at Cambelltown Harbour, Scotland; Submariners at work in the motor room of one of two experimental submarines fuelled by high-test peroxide. From 1954 to 1966, the Royal Navy provided submarines that deployed from Halifax to train Canada's anti-submarine navy. The Royal Canadian Navy reciprocated by sending personnel to the United Kingdom to replace the RN crew members assigned ...
Memoirs

A Front-line Soldier

by Arthur Ament I joined the war effort in February 1916 while working in Tavistock, a small town located in southwestern Ontario between New Hamburg and Stratford. Myself and 11 other young men travelled to Woodstock, and I have a picture postcard of the group. It is titled Tavistock's First Dozen. My mother had not heard from me for several weeks and so she sent someone from our home in Linwood to Tavistock to ask about my whereabouts. She was quite surprised to learn that I had enlisted. For a while we were stationed at the armouries in Woodstock. Our first march was a full-p...
O Canada

Landing The Big One

Mexico's Juan de Dios de la Torre and fisherman Dick LeBlanc celebrate after landing a 655-pound tuna in September 1957. The bluefin tuna is one of the giants of the deep sea. Very active and strikingly colourful, it can sprint at a speed of 80 kilometres an hour. Most spectacular is the way it hops straight out of the water, startling seamen and inspiring legends of the deep, some of which got started in the tiny Acadian fishing village of Wedgeport, N.S. For several decades in the middle of the last century, Wedgeport--located roughly 30 kilometres southeas...
War Art

Arthur Nantel

Arthur Nantel's war art captures life as a PoW during World War I. Christmas Eve in Geissen Camp. Arthur Nantel began his career as a commercial artist in his home town of Montreal, and although he had no formal training he spent a lifetime earning a living in the arts. This talent helped him make it through the dark years of World War I. In August 1914, at age 41, he enlisted with the 14th Royal Montreal Battalion. He first saw action at Ypres, Belgium, in April 1915, during the Battle of St. Julien. He was captured there and spent the remainder of the war at Giessen, a German prisoner of war camp. For the first few years, Nantel's captors saw him as a valuable commodity, exploiting him at every opportunity. He and a few other talented PoWs were given a small hut that they ...
Defence Today

Leaving The Air Force Up In The Air

by David J. Bercuson The Royal Canadian Air Force first obtained its Hercules aircraft in the 1960s and has continued to upgrade them to meet new requirements such as air-to-air refuelling of CF-18 fighters on long flights. Towards the end of 2002 it became clear that no public review of either defence or foreign policy would be forthcoming for at least another year. No doubt those reviews will take place only after the next prime minister settles into office in early 2004, the consequence being that there will be no new defence white p...

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