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Sunday Newsletter 2000-09Su.

August 27, 2000.

Wow, another week gone by so quickly. Before we know it, we will back into the fall again. Oh well, I am just going to try and enjoy what summer we have left. Speaking of summer, this year's Summer Olympics are starting later than I can ever remember, running from September 15 through October 1 in Sydney, Australia. You can look for a feature on some of the history of these games and how Canada has fared at previous meets in a future issue of this newsletter, but for now, onto this week's issue of the FactsCanada newsletter.



Look near the bottom for the answer to the question; Who was Elvis Presley's favourite female singer? Wondering if Elvis was Canadian? Of course not, but here's a hint for you; the person in the answer is!



Robertson Davies (born William Robertson Davies)

Mr. Davies was born on August 28, 1913, at Thamesville, Ontario. He was a journalist, a professor, an actor and a playwright. He may well be best remembered though as an outstanding essayist and brilliant novelist.

He participated in numerous stage productions as a child which helped cultivate his lifelong preoccupation with drama, literature, and the arts. From 1926-1932 he attended Upper Canada College in Toronto, which provided him a curriculum based on the liberal arts. He then went on to Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, until 1935, leaving then for England to extend his studies. At Balliol College, Oxford, he received his Bachelor of Literature in 1938. While in England, Mr. Davies pursued his acting interests by playing minor roles at the Old Victorian Repertory Company. There he received training in directing and stage management, also meeting his future wife, Brenda Mathews, who was working as stage manager for the theatre.

They married and in 1940 moved back to Canada where he became literary editor of the magazine "Saturday Night". Two years later he began his 23-year association with the Peterborough Examiner newspaper. Serving first as editor then publisher, these positions furnished him with an endless supply of material for many of the characters and situations which appeared in his plays and novels. During this time he wrote some 18 books, produced numerous plays inked by himself, and wrote hundreds of articles for various journals.

In 1960 Davies began teaching literature at Trinity College on the University of Toronto campus. He continued double duties with the Examiner and Trinity College for five years then concentrated upon his teaching until 1981. During this time Davies replaced his Freudian beliefs with that of Carl Jung's psychology, writing perhaps his best work -- the novel "Fifth Business". He continued this novel in two sequels ("The Manticore" and "World of Wonders") which, together with "Fifth Business" have since become known as "The Deptford Trilogy". This trilogy examines the intersecting lives of three men in the fictitious Canadian town of Deptford, and blend in Davies' moral concerns with bits of cryptic lore found in Jungian psychotherapy. Two other major trilogy works were written by Davies. The first is known as the "Salterton Trilogy". These comedies (of a sort) are set in a fictitious Canadian university. The second is the "Cornish Trilogy". These novels satirize the art world, opera, and other aspects of "high culture" in Canada.

Davies' also penned three humorous collections of essays under the pseudonym Samuel Marchbanks. In 1991, "Murther and Walking Spirits", written from the perspective of a dead man, was published. On December 2, 1995, Davies died at his Orangeville, Ontario, home. He was 82.

Some of the honours his life works garnered:

1948 -- The Dominion Drama Festival Award for best Canadian play ("Eros at Breakfast").
1954 -- The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour ("Leaven of Malice", part of the "Salterton Trilogy").
1961 -- The Lorne Pierce Medal for literary achievement ("A Voice from the Attic").
1963 -- Being named Master of Massey College.
1967 -- Becoming a member of the Royal Society of Canada -- the senior Canadian organisation for the promotion of learning and research.
1972 -- Winning the Governor General's Award for fiction ("The Manticore").

Davies was also a Companion of the Order of Canada and also received three British awards along with 23 honorary awards from Canadian and American universities. He was also the first Canadian to become an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.



The McIntosh Apple.

The most important fruit grown in Canada, in terms of crop value, is the apple. And, of all the types of apples that grow here, one of the most recognisable and distinctive is the McIntosh Red. The McIntosh resembles the first apples that were brought here from Normandy, France, to Port Royal in Nova Scotia. This happened around 1606 and marked the beginning of the cultivation of apples in Canada.

The McIntosh, well known all over North America, was discovered in 1811 by a new settler to Canada, John McIntosh (1777-1846), at Dundela, Dundas County, Ontario. It was there that McIntosh found a wild apple tree among the remnants of an abandoned farmhouse near his home and, since apples were scarce at the time, he uprooted the tree and moved it onto his own land. When the apples ripened he found that they were the best he had ever tasted, and his neighbours agreed. However, as the seeds of apples do not produce exactly the same variety of tree as the parent, he could not produce any more apples of that variety than that one tree could bear.

Legend has it that a hired hand, who knew the art of grafting, solved the problem. It was subsequently that John's son, Alan, set up a business travelling around the county selling branches of the original tree. In 1906 the original tree stopped bearing fruit but, by this time, the efforts of the son had firmly established the fruit and the McIntosh legend was well on its way to being written.



A newcomer to Vancouver arrives on a rainy day. She gets up the next day and it's raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. She goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and, out of despair, asks, "Hey, kid, does it ever stop raining around here?" The kid says, "How should I know? I'm only six."

Thanks to Pamela for another contribution.



SHOW ME THE MONEY! (Winnipeg Free Press) -- Clarence Dale, 46, was robbed of twelve dollars in Winnipeg, Canada. He had just made a purchase at a tobacco shop and had left the store before putting the change in his pocket. He then had the money grabbed out of his hand by a thief. But when the robber came to trial, Judge Charles Rubin interrupted the prosecutor's closing arguments to lecture the victim. "I wouldn't walk down that lane in the middle of the day, let alone in the middle of the night," the judge said. "It's like walking in the wolf enclosure at the city zoo with a pound of ground beef in your hand." He said the victim was "a very stupid civilian, who admits that he was stupid" for being in a bad part of town with his money out, as the area is "one of the most notorious" as a hangout for drug dealers. The lecture finished, Judge Rubin acquitted the defendant. "Basically, what he said is that the predators have the right to be predators, and us lambs ought to know better," Dale complained.

The victim obviously does better summations than the prosecutor.

Also earlier this year, Carman, Manitoba's Ed Balfour, who plays goal tender for the NHL team the Dallas Stars, was desperately trying to avoid a public intoxication arrest, offering two Texas patrolmen $100 000 to forget the whole thing. By the time they were set to haul him to the station, Balfour had vomited all over himself and upped the offer to $1 billion. Now I know sports celebrities are paid a lot of money, but even Bill Gates would probably miss a billion dollars!

This is more proof for the saying "having more money then sense".



Carman, Manitoba.

The 1996 census reports a population of 2704 in this town. It is situated about 80 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg on the Boyne River in the Pembina Triangle. The land here is one of Manitoba's most fertile and prosperous agricultural areas. First settled in the early 1870s, Carman was named by Premier Rodmond Roblin after the Methodist Episcopal bishop, Reverend Albert Carman. The bishop had built the first church in the community in 1882 and went on to serve as the general superintendent of the Methodist Church of Canada.



A simple recipe for barbecued halibut. Adding soy sauce and brown sugar lends it a special zip that is uncommonly delicious.


60 ml butter.
60 ml brown sugar.
4 cloves garlic, minced.
30 ml lemon juice.
20 ml soy sauce.
910 g halibut steak (1 kilogram is 1000 grams).


1) Combine butter, brown sugar, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce and pepper in a small saucepan. Stir ingredients over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

2) Coat the halibut with the warm mixture. Place the halibut on a grill that has been heated to medium high. Cook the halibut for 5 minutes and flip, basting the fish continually with the warmed mixture. Cook another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

This recipe has been scaled to yield 4 servings.



"Even when Canadian humour is awful, it just lies there being awful in its own fresh way." --Robert Thomas Allen, Canadian humorist and writer.



Elvis Presley's favourite female singer was none other then our Snowbird songstress, Anne Murray!


See you again next week. Thanks for all your support, and don't forget feel free to pass this e-mail on to anyone you feel would be interested.



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