HISTORY - Canada (General)
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It is hard to believe the remarkable life of Emily Chesley has been overlooked by historians and literary researchers. Long before H.G. Wells penned The War of the Worlds, Emily Chesley's prose was shattering Victorian assumptions and tweaking the nose of the class structure. An author, poet, social activast, explorer, aviatrix, and 92-year-old pole vaulter, Emily Chesley is one of Canada's most interesting - and neglected - writers. This literary travesty has finally been remedied by the Emily Chesley Reading Circle.
Following five years of exhaustive research, the Circle presents the first issue of its semi-annual Meanderings; this extraordinary collection contains an abridges excerpt from Emily's biography, Get Bent: Emily's Life of Speculation. The Circle also presents some of Emily's short stories and peotry- including a previously unpublished manuscript, "Thor's Blood"- and six award winning stories from their annual literary competition, The Tundra Prize.
I was four and half years old and living in Halifax with my seven siblings the day my city was devastated by an exploding ship in the harbour. It threw me to the floor as our windows collapsed. In the days, weeks, months and years that followed, this vivid, terrifying moment and the stories of altered lives dominated our daily thoughts and conversations. As CEO of the Northern Electric Company in Halifax, my father was heavily involved in the immediate demands. Years later I felt driven to record my family experiences and to study thoroughly the record of those awful days. As I wrote, I was struck by the overwhelming determination, heroism and cooperation that the unheralded citizens of Halifax demonstrated in the face of death, destruction and snowstorms.
For centuries women have known that when war came they would be needed for their sheets torn up for bandages, for clothing and for food. So, the women of Halifax met in August 1914 and made tentative plans should Halifax be attacked. Some don't believe it. Yet war was very frightening in a seaport city. And these Halifax ladies were the women who, two years before, gathered at city hall behind long tables with pen and paper to assist survivors of the Titanic to identify bodies gathered up from the sea and brought to Halifax on our own ships.
When the Explosion went off the wife of a judge met her friend and arrived at the city hall by 9:30 a.m. They swept up glass and plaster knowing that the women would be coming soon with everything they had mustered. At 11:30 a.m. one of the city councillors came downstairs and said to the women "Give everything to everybody who asks". Half-naked, blackened, bloodied people had been coming in all morning. The women were ready with "everything for everybody" because the ladies had planned for an attack.
El Sueño de Oro
is a day-by-day account of an expedition for gold in Alaska from August of 1897 to August of 1899. The "log" was created by the leader of the expedition, William Mills Coffee, then of Santa Cruz, California.
The log entries create a flowing story of the El Sueño expedition from San Francisco to the Bering Sea and up the Yukon River in Alaska. The El Sueño party searched for gold by dog sled, boat and on foot during the harsh winters of Alaska, where the temperatures were recorded as low as -80 degrees. During the two years there were mutinies, deaths, marriages, amputations, shipwrecks and various accounts of the Alaskan wilderness.
The book is an historical account of one man's search for gold, very well documented with photos, maps of probable gold locations and claims, and financial records of the expedition. The Master Carpenter Certificates of the two ships involved with the expedition, "Bessie K" and "El Sueño", are included.
This ... booklet exposes the 10-year administration of Jean Chretien for its failure to observe the basic rules of ethics. The ends seem to justify the means. After detailing all the pledges made in 1993 and subsequently broken, the author examines the various areas of government policy, or lack thereof. He is particularly revealing, and scathing, when discussing bilingualism, multiculturalism, national defence, Indian affairs, and so-called Canadian rights. He introduces a note of levity in his amusing 'interview' with Sheila Copps on Canadian heritage.
True tales of situations met and often endured while living a wandering life, the story describes the career of a Bell Canada employee through promising beginnings to humiliation, defeat and revival after his shock is mistakenly understood as his standing in the way of a plan to cover up a tragic act of negligence.
Work takes him on the road from day one, and the nature of travel as a condition of employment is demonstrated by a close look at the people met at work and in the town of the week.
To everyone who uses a telephone, its time to meet the people behind the service.
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Victoria: Where Dreams Come True is the fascinating and heartfelt memoir of Victoria-born entrepreneur Morris Kersey. Kersey, now in his late 80s, rose from near-poverty in a rural district outside of the city to becoming the owner of several successful businesses - from travel agencies to service stations to coffee shops to a peanut butter factory.
Along the way Morris Kersey has had the change to ride the Concorde, travel on the Orient Express and the QE2, and experience South Africa's Blue Train.
It's time for Oak Bay women's lives to be highlighted!
Oak Bay's 100th anniversary is to be celebrated in 2006. Tweed Curtain Pioneers tells the stories of some fascinating women who accomplished great things at a time when men were the celebrated achievers.
This book is about the gold rush which took place in the Fraser River and vicinity in 1858, which was within the British Possession and the Washington Territory, now called British Columbia and the State of Washington. This book covers the Fraser River Gold Rush from its infancy to what could be considered its conclusion, as viewed by the California newspapers. This book is somewhat unusual as it tells the chronological history of the gold rush as it unfolded and progressed, by using newspaper articles from that era. The news articles themselves were, in most cases, letters which had been written by many of the miners or correspondents who went to the area, either to dig for gold or report on what was happening. Many of the letters capture the experiences of the writer and his ordeal in trying to reach the gold fields, as well as the latest news of the day. Over 25% of the California miners would go to this place called the Fraser River, not believing in the perils and danger that awaited them until actually faced by them. As some would say, crossing the plains was nothing in comparison to trying to reach the gold fields of the Fraser River and vicinity. This book readily depicts their reason for saying so.
In the 1930's, when Hitler's Nazi party was growing in Germany, it also gained popularity in the Sudetenland, inhabited by a German-speaking population that had been added to Czechoslovakia in 1919. A minority group, the Social Democrats, became active in opposing that party. When Britain's Neville Chamberlain ceded the area to Germany in 1938 as the "Price for Peace," these people were in danger of incarceration or even execution. Of those who escaped, a number were able to immigrate to Canada.
Although none of them had any training or experience in agriculture, being office or factory workers in towns or cities of central Europe, they were admitted to Canada providing that they become farmers. A group of about 518 ranging in age from 1 month to 54 years were brought to Tupper, BC, in the Peace River District, under the supervision of the Canadian Colonization Association, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, to develop their own farms out of a virtual wilderness. This book is the story of their first five years there.
Fintry - Lives, Loves and Dreams chronicles the memorable people, the secret loves and the engaging history of the Shorts' Creek delta. Containing visitor maps, photographs and interesting anecdoates, this readable account covers Fintry from pre-history to the present. It follows a trail of dreams through Fintry's incarnations as an enigmatic millionaire's private estate and school for orphans, to the grand plans for an international resort.
Life is a journey. How many times have we been reminded of this truism? Perhaps by a well-meaning friend, or a passing bumper-sticker, only to forget a few moments later as the buzz of self-talk resumes and we focus on the immanency of the day. The human psyche is wired for survival... food, clothing and shelter are basic instincts, and of course if we can provide a little (or a lot) more, we can change survival into actual living. Priorities demand we ease the transition of our journey by doing all of those things we need to do to make life pleasant, rather than focusing on the journey itself. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when we are busy doing other things."
Louise Kennedy is one of those remarkable people who are able to examine (her) life's journey; face realistically the bad times, remembering them without resentment, rather than shutting them out or paving them over. Louise has focused on her fascinating journey, and recorded it for posterity in this amazing book.
When Louise and I met for the first time, with the goal of examining her manuscript, editing, proof-reading, and shaping it for publication, I was immediately charmed by her unassuming demeanor and engaging personality. As I read through her copious notes, I marveled at her tenacious writing skills, her excellent memory, and the fact that she has survived the abuse, sexual trauma, alcoholism and tragedy that have been her constant companions, to become a whole person.
She lost three of her children, two to accidental death and one to murder.
One frequently meets what I categorize as the walking wounded, especially in the world of writing. Many people suffered abuse during childhood, and (mistakenly) believe their story would make a best seller, particularly as a result of having been frequently prodded by friends and relatives, saying you should write a book. In truth very few do write that book for varying reasons, which is just as well, for very few would make it.
Louise's story is truly one of survival; she has suffered throughout her life.
It is an odyssey in which is encapsulated an extraordinary determination to exorcise the ghosts of her past, and indeed her present, despite countless disappointments and obstacles. We readers find ourselves rooting for her, but as the title suggests, she inexplicably continues to make the wrong choices.
We would be wrong to fall into the trap of her apparent inaction, the subterfuge that suggests she was the author of her own fate, and "why did she do this?' or "she could have easily walked away from that, so what's the matter with her?"
Who knows what role fate plays in the spirituality of our choices? For most life-changing decisions are made in that aura. Do we really make them single-handedly, or are they predetermined? I would rather make countless mistakes than fail to make a decision at all, thereby becoming a victim of inertia, for within each mistake there are a plethora of lessons to be learned.
Perhaps there is more to Lord Alfred Tennyson's, "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all" than meets the eye.
I suspect there are many readers who will identify with Louise, as they recognize themselves in her struggles. For those who don't, for those who had a life devoid of abuse, struggle and heartache, within these pages a story of an incredible woman awaits you.
January 16, 2003
You've heard about self-made men but you never met one like Louis Potvin.
A French-Canadian from an Alberta homestead, he learned radio technology to get into the RCAF during the Second World War, and his nimble fingers danced from the dit-dah of the Morse Code into the developing world of radio communications.
A salesman's salesman, he went to Japan after the war, and found markets in Latin America and Cuba for Canadian electronics, then gave it all up to transform a rugged wilderness acreage into a recreational community.
He still works the world by ham radio, call sign VE7CHN, from his idyll on Lillooet Lake, a little-known getaway in a bowl of snow-capped mountains near Pemberton, British Columbia.
Salmon canning in British Columbia began in 1870 on the Fraser River, and shortly after, in 1877, on the Skeena River. Over the next 100 years or so, some 175 canneries were built on the coast and as many as 95 operated in a given season. Many of these were on the Fraser River--B.C.'s (and Canada's) principal salmon producer.
But most were upcoast--the outlying plants--and these supported complete villages in every section of the coast. They were remote and isolated but vibrant, living communities. A few operated year-round, but most were seasonal operations geared towards salmon runs.
The cannery villages sustained a unique way of life that quickly grew, flourished, and then died, so that it no longer exists. The cannery sites, for the most part, are also gone, and the lives lived in them are now just memories.
This book traces the development of the industry with data on each of the outlying plants and records the memories of some of those who worked and lived there. It describes the ethnic and racial features of cannery life. It recalls the symbiotic relationship between the fishery operations and the steamboats--those amazing lifelines--that served them.
The memories of some of the old-timers are included as they tell their own stories and many of the industry leaders are highlighted. There are many pictures of the plants which were so familiar to generations of cannery families. The book is a refreshing and competent look at the history of an industrial phenomenon that was an essential part of British Columbia's coastal history.
Thomas George Wright has several hats in his wardrobe ; academic, consultant, company Chief Forester and private woodlot owner/manager. He has worn each one with enthusiasm, dedication and conviction.
Malcolm Knapp, a long-time member of the Department and Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and first Registrar of the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters (ABCPF)
He believes the first person in British Columbia to actually function as an 'industrial' forester in the modern sense was his UBC colleague Tom Wright, who was employed by Bloedel, Stewart & Welch Ltd. as a consulting forester in the summers of 1941, '42 and '43. Wright is careful to describe an industrial forester as a professional forester 'employed by industry rather than government who prescribes appropriate forest management practices to ensure sustained yield.' These included making forest inventories, devising appropriate fire protection schemes, calculating allowable annual cuts and planning for the reforestation of burnt or cutover lands.