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Sunday Newsletter 2000-27Su.

December 31, 2000.

To welcome you to the real last day of the millennium, I bring you these immortal words from John Lennon:


[Happy Xmas Kyoko
Happy Xmas Julian]


So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Xmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Xmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Copyright (c) 1975 Lennon/Ono.

Although neither John Lennon nor Yoko Ono are Canadian, I could not resist including these lyrics for Happy Xmas (War is Over). It truly has a global message within its lyrics. Happy New Year to all -- "Let's hope it's a good one!" I have reduced the number of articles in today's newsletter to bring you a longer feature on the origins of the names of the provinces and territories.



= Question of the week
= Biography -- Florence Nightingale Graham (aka Elizabeth Arden)
= Quotes of the week
= Place names
= Pet peeve
= Joke of the week
= Answer to this week's question
= Links
= Legal and subscription information



There are two place names in Canada that reflect our transition from one year to the next. One is called New Year Lake and the other is New Years Lake. In which provinces can these be found?



Florence Nightingale Graham (aka Elizabeth Arden).

Born on December 31, 1884, the name "Elizabeth Arden" is merely the name of the corporate entity she set up. The fictitious Ms. Arden was actually born Florence Nightingale Graham in Woodbridge, Ontario.

Graham pursued the career of nurse in the early 1900s, while working various other odd jobs, before giving up and moving to New York City around 1907 or 1908. From here she eventually created a corporate empire involving cosmetics. She later moved onto the world stage by opening a line of shops across Europe, South America and Australia, as well as the USA and Canada.

In New York she began as an assistant to beauty specialist Eleanor Adair. By 1910 she was ready to venture out on her own and, with a $1000 investment, teamed with Elizabeth Hubbard in a beauty salon on New York's famous Fifth Avenue. Eventually this partnership broke up, and Graham decided to continue under her newly created corporate entity: "Elizabeth Arden".

In 1914 she hired chemists to produce a face cream and an astringent lotion that she could market under this new name. These became the first products in a cosmetic line that grew to include over 300 different items. As early as 1915 she began to market her line internationally, by selling wholesale to pharmacies and department stores abroad. In 1922 she opened her first Paris salon, and the world-wide acceptance of her products began. By the time she died there were over 100 Arden beauty salons throughout the world, offering everything from simple hairdressing to the more luxury oriented services of facial treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, and even exercise facilities and steam baths.

She is remembered today as being a pioneer in the advertising of beauty aids, as she stressed her products "lady-like" acceptability through a campaign of quality product declarations. This was in an age when beauty aids were supposedly used only by "lowly women" and Graham, along with rival Helena Rubinstein, changed the way women thought about and used beauty products. They convinced women that their products could be used by all women to enhance and accentuate the beauty that they already possessed.

From the tremendous wealth this corporate diva earned she became one of America's foremost racehorse owners, operating the Maine Chance Stables near Lexington, Kentucky, under the name of Elizabeth Graham. Her biggest feat in this venture was the stable's breeding of the horse "Jet Pilot", who won the 1947 Kentucky Derby. Because she bolstered her own image of ageless beauty by concealing her actual age, many thought Graham/Arden to be in her early forties at this time, when in reality she was 62. Her actual age was not revealed until her death at 81, on October 18, 1966, in New York City.



They are so good, so here are two quotations by Elizabeth Graham/Arden:

"I'm not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You're as old as you feel."

"Dear, never forget one little point: It's my business. You just work here." As said to her husband.



Here is a list of how the country and each of the provinces and territories were named.


One of the simpler and easiest to research names belongs to that of the district of Alberta, which was created in 1882. It was enlarged to become a province of Canada on September 1, 1905. The name was suggested by the Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883, in honour of his wife, HRH Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria.


Another fairly straightforward origin is that of British Columbia. At one time much of the mainland region was originally known as New Caledonia. However this name (duplicated in the South Pacific) was discarded in favour of "British Columbia". The designation appears to have originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858. Columbia (after the Columbia River which was named by the American Captain Robert Gray for his ship "Columbia") had previously been loosely applied to the southern portion of the colony.


Created as a province in 1870, the name was probably first assigned to Lake Manitoba. There are two theories of the origin of the name:

1. It is of Assiniboine origin, "mini" and "tobow" meaning "Lake of the Prairie" or, in French, "Lac des Prairies", the name used by French-Canadian explorer La Compagnie du Sieur de La Vrendrye.

2. The more probable source is the Cree word "maniotwapow", "the strait of the spirit (manitobau)". This refers to the roaring sound produced by pebbles on a beach on Manitoba Island in Lake Manitoba. The noise "gave rise to the superstition among the Indians that a 'manito' (spirit) beats a drum".


Originally the territory included in modern New Brunswick was part of Nova Scotia. The American Revolution from 1775 to 1783 resulted in a large influx of loyalist settlers, and a commotion arose demanding the creation of a new province. On September 10, 1784, the separation took place and the "name was chosen as a compliment to King George III who was descended from the House of Brunswick." Earlier proposals for naming the new province were: New Ireland (suggested by William Knox, Under-secretary of State, but rejected "because Ireland was out of royal favour"), and Pittsylvania, for William Pitt, the British prime minister at the time.


Although Newfoundland is one of the oldest place names on the eastern seaboard, it was Canada's tenth province, only entering confederation on March 31, 1949.

The evolution of its name is easily followed, as it was the "new founde isle" of John Cabot who sailed westward from Bristol, England, in 1497, although others, including the Norsemen (those people of medieval Scandinavia), had undoubtedly preceded him. By 1502 "New found launde" was being used in official English documents with the French version "Terre Neuve" appearing as early as 1510 -- clearly an indication of the acceptance of the designation.

There remains an element of uncertainty about the origin of "Labrador", the enormous mainland region of Newfoundland. However, most authorities credit Joo Fernades, a Portuguese explorer and "lavrador" (meaning "landholder" in Portuguese) from the Azores (a group of islands about 1450 kilometres west of mainland Portugal). It was probably first applied to a section of the coast of Greenland, and later transferred by cartographers to the northeastern coast of the North American continent.


Historically the term "northwest territories" was loosely applied to the vast lands north and west of Lake Superior up to the Rocky Mountains. Later it signified the administrative district which pre-dated Saskatchewan and Alberta. From January 1, 1920, it meant "that part of Northern Canada between the Yukon Territory and Hudson Bay, including Baffin Island, the islands in James Bay, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and the Arctic Archipelago". A large portion became Nunavut on April 1, 1999.


Although this province's name was first used on September 29, 1621, when Sir William Alexander received a grant of "the lands lying between New England and Newfoundland, henceforth to be known as Nova Scotia, or New Scotland", the name did not become fixed on the map until after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht (an entente between Great Britain and Spain) in 1713. Prior to this, the name Acadia was generally used by the French to denote the Maritime provinces along with adjacent portions of New England and Quebec.

The origin of the word "Acadia" is disputed. It is generally accepted to be from "Archadia", assigned by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, and suggested as the classical name for a land of rustic peace. The claim that it is of Micmac (the aboriginal peoples of eastern Canada) origin is probably coincidental. The Micmac word "Quoddy" or "Cady" (thus "Acadia") was rendered by the French as "cadie" and meant a piece of land or territory.


This new territory was created in 1993 and officially came into being on April 1, 1999. It consists of the administrative regions of Keratin, Baffin and Strikeout, which together comprise the former Northwest Territories district of Keratin, the northeastern part of the district of Franklin (except Banks and Prince Patrick Islands), parts of Victoria and Neville Islands, and some smaller islands. In Inuktitut, "Nunavut" means "our land".


The name was first applied to Lake Ontario in 1641, and is traceable to American Indian sources. It may be a distortion of "Onitariio", meaning "beautiful lake", or "Kanadario", variously translated as "sparkling" or "beautiful" waters. Later European settlers gave the name to the land along the lakeshore and then to an ever-extending area. "Old Ontario" was a term sometimes loosely applied to the southern portion of the province. The province entered Confederation as Ontario in 1867.


The island appears under the name le de Saint Jean in Champlain's narrative (1604) and on his map (1632). However, according to German historian William Francis Ganong, the name has a different origin. After its acquisition by the British in 1759 the island was known as St. John's Island until the name was changed in 1798 to honour Prince Edward, then in command of the British forces at Halifax, who was Duke of Kent and father of Queen Victoria. Separated from Nova Scotia in 1769, Prince Edward Island entered Confederation on July 1, 1873.


The name was applied first to the region of the modern city and the word is of undoubted Algonquin origin. Early spellings were "Quebecq" and "Kbec", but the current spelling "Quebec" is attributed to French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1613. Champlain wrote of the location in 1632.


This name is derived from that which was first applied to the Saskatchewan River. In the Cree language it was known as Kisiskatchewani Sipi, or "swift-flowing river". The explorer Anthony Henday's spelling was Keiskatchewan, with the modern rendering, Saskatchewan, being officially adopted in 1882 when a portion of the present-day province was designated a provisional district of the Northwest Territories. It achieved provincial status in 1905.


This territory was established on June 13, 1898. The name was first applied to the Yu-kun-ah (Yukon) River and means "great river" in the Loucheux language of the Kutchin tribe of Alaska. It was first noted in 1846 by John Bell, an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, "who called it by what he understood to be its Indian name".


Although time has indelibly imprinted "Canada" on the map of the northern half of the continent of North America, numerous other names were suggested for the proposed confederation in 1867. Among these were: Albertsland, Albionora, Borealia, Britannia, Cabotia, Colonia, Efisga (a combination of the first letters of England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Aboriginal lands), Hochelaga, Norland, Superior, Transatlantia, Tuponia (an acrostic for the United Provinces of North America), and Victorialand. The debate was placed in perspective by Thomas D'Arcy McGee (an Irish born orator, poet, visionary, dreamer and some say prophet) who declared on February 9, 1865, "I read in one newspaper not less than a dozen attempts to derive a new name. One individual chooses Tuponia and another Hochelaga as a suitable name for the new nationality. Now I ask any honourable member of this House how he would feel if he woke up some fine morning and found himself instead of a Canadian, a Tuponian or a Hochelagander." Fortunately for posterity, McGee's wit and reasoning, along with common sense, prevailed, and on July 1, 1867, "the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick" became "one Dominion under the name of Canada".

While the "Dictionary of Canadianisms" lists ten possible explanations for the word (ranging from Spanish "Acan Nada" to a form of "Canara" or "Canata", a place name in southern India), the generally accepted origin may be traced to the writings of Jacques Cartier in 1536. While sailing up the St. Lawrence River, Cartier noticed that the Indians referred to their settlements as "kanata" which, from its repetition, the French took to be the name of the entire country. Such it was destined to become in 1867.



One of our readers writes; "I don't know how exactly to communicate this to everyone, but here goes. One of my peeves, which seems to have manifested itself as the way things simply are in recent years, is this.

"Actually I will explain the situation, then add my comments. I went into my local 'department store' merely to pick up a nut, which was of a particular size, currently not stocked. They had ordered it for me a few weeks earlier, and I received a phone call from the branch of the store informing me that the item had indeed arrived. I went in the next morning and, of course, the sales clerk had no previous knowledge of my pre-order and pre-purchase. She had no idea who called me to inform me that my item had indeed arrived. Meanwhile their telephone rang and more customers stated to queue behind me.

"Now comes my real peeve. I was a customer who actually had the initiative to come down to the retail outlet to make a purchase. Why should my needs (which are displayed in person) be ignored by the sales staff in order to satisfy five or six incoming phone calls that all needed computer access, and a minute or two of the clerks' time? In other words I was there first (and in person), yet I had to wait behind those that only had questions, and who had called after my arrival and wanted to see if a product was available, I, on the other hand, had been summoned by the company, telling me my purchase was now available. I appeared in person only to get the run-around for 20 minutes, before another, more astute clerk recognised that the needs of the client in front of them would be fulfilled in the customer pick-up area.

"So, the main staff was tied up answering phone calls from individuals who would rather call than come in. Well, that is fine, but let them wait until after all the current 'in-person' customers are dealt with. Also, those lined up behind me in the cash register queue probably blame me for their delays, as they mostly wanted only one or two items and had to wait to turn over their money."

I (John) can relate to this exact scenario, as it happened to me at a Sears store on December 27. I wanted to purchase one item and was behind a regiment of phone calls and customer inquirers that where deemed "more important" by sales staff than by my actual appearance. In each case everything could have been resolved if communication channels were open to employees. There is nothing more frustrating than a "potential" customer who is there to spend money, having to wait for sales staff to finish "sales" calls with potential clients over the phone. I have gone to the trouble of actually coming in, and am ready to part with money for something I require. I will not be a pawn in the retail stock market to make my purchases. It is unfortunate that I must enlist the aid of American retailers to satisfy my needs in many circumstances.



Here is a joke submitted by one of our founding members.

Oil shortage -- an explanation... finally!

There are a lot of folks who can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in Canada. Well, there's a very simple answer: nobody bothered to check the oil! We just didn't know we were getting low. The reason for that is purely geographical.

All the oil is in Alberta.

All the dipsticks are in Ottawa.



New Year Lake is located in British Columbia. It is on the Queen Charlotte Islands around 13 kilometres from either Juskalta or Port Clements.

New Years Lake is in eastern Ontario, east of the Timmins area.


Since John didn't provide an official sign-off for this week's newsletter, I (Craig) thank you for being with us this year, and I wish you all the best in the new year, decade, century and millennium that starts tomorrow. If anyone wants to argue that point, feel free to e-mail me at craig@factscanada.ca.



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