NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: October 2009


Health File

Studying Successful Aging What image do you have of old age? Do you see independent people in their 80s and 90s actively participating in community life? Or a group of increasingly dependent people whose physical and mental abilities decline with every passing year? What biological processes, life events or social actions lead some to one group and some to the other? It’s a question of keen interest to individuals who want to remain robust as they age, and the public health and social systems girding up to handle the looming bulge of retiring baby boomers. Over the next 20 years the newly-launched $30-million Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) will provide many answers. In one of the most comprehensive studies on aging in the world, researchers will follow 50,000 Canadian...
Air Force

The Forest Watchers: Air Force, Part 35

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s interwar role in “aid to the civil power” is most often associated with aerial photography and mapping. There was, however, another task that preoccupied the air force between the first and second world wars: forestry protection. The potential use of aircraft in fire patrols was in fact discussed even before the conclusion of the First World War, but it was a civilian firm—Laurentide Paper—that first used HS2L flying boats, based at Grand-Mère, Que., for forestry survey and fire spotting in 1919. That was the same year Parliament passed the Air Board Act, creating a body that controlled both civil and military aviation. After acquiring the necessary aircraft, the Air Board set out to determine the extent to which aerial fire ranging could be carried...

The Cruellest Months: Navy, Part 35

The fall of 1941 was perhaps the toughest period of the war for the Royal Canadian Navy. It is hard to think of a time when the gap between the capability of the fleet and the demands placed on it was so large. Indeed, the RCN would have been stretched to the limit to meet its new obligation to escort slow convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland even if the weather and the enemy had co-operated. Winter weather closed in on the northern convoy routes in the fall. With it came short days of thin, watery sunlight followed by long, bitterly cold nights. Lashing gales and mountainous seas rolled across the northern latitudes with impunity. The climate alone meant a brutal operational cycle, as ships and men fought their way across the dark ocean. Longer passages meant less time in p...

Retiring Dominion Secretary Has Seen The Legion Return To Its Roots

Duane Daly retired from the position of Dominion Secretary on Sept. 14, 2009. Daly served for 33 years in the military. During his 14 years as Dominion Secretary he worked to define The Royal Canadian Legion as an ex-services organization, a place for our military to come and feel the camaraderie that they did in the forces. Daly, like his father before him, is a military man. He spent his career in the Air Force and retired with the rank of brigadier-general. In 1995, he was hired by the Legion as Dominion Secretary. During those years as chief administrator of Dominion Command he served on the Advisory Committee of the Canadian War Museum, as a member of the Board of Directors of The Friends of the War Museum, as a vice-president of the Valiants Foundations, and as a director of th...

Bad Weather, Tough Resistance: Army, Part 84

The battle for the town of Rimini and the San Fortunato Ridge, the last mountain barrier before the plains of northern Italy, ended on Sept. 21, 1944. With Canadian infantry established across the Marecchia River and the Greek Mountain Brigade clearing the last rearguards in the ruined streets of Rimini, Operation Olive, the most difficult and costly operation carried out by 8th Army in Italy, was finally over. The Greeks asked for a Canadian flag to fly alongside theirs in the Rimini town square and a red ensign, borrowed from auxiliary services, was supplied. Messages of congratulation, friendship and mutual respect were exchanged and 1st Canadian Division moved into reserve for some much needed rest and relaxation. The price of 8th Army’s achievement in Operation Olive was...

Portraits From Normandy: Seven Days With Seven Veterans

The 65th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy Campaign is a significant anniversary. It has been decades since the troops fought their way ashore and this may be the last chance for the world to stand beside the veterans of that campaign and remember. On June 6, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Barack Obama, Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy came together, overlooking the rows of crosses at Omaha Beach, to say thank you. Yet even the skilled speeches from that stellar collection cannot compare with the simple recollections of seven veterans as they return to France as part of the official Veterans Affairs Canada delegation. A dilemma for any pilgrimage of remembrance must be to record for posterity not only the c...

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