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Sunday Newsletter 2001-19Su.

May 13, 2001.

Well, we've a bunch to apologize for this week, not the least of which is the new record we've set for tardiness. This seems appropriate considering the section on Canadian records in this issue. Ah, one day we'll look back at all of this and laugh our faces off. The other thing is that I entitled the piece on Mother's Day under the assumption that I would write just "a (short) bit", then I went and consumed nearly a third of the newsletter with that article. Oh well, I feel that it's justified. To all of you mother's out there, Craig and I hope that you had a very happy Mother's Day.



= Question of the week
= Biography -- Tom Cochrane
= Notes from the notable -- Marie Chouinard
= Also born this week
= Connection to a mystery -- The "Mary Celeste"
= Place names -- Disraeli, Quebec
= Awards -- The Bessies Awards
= Pet peeves
= Some Canadian records
= A bit on Mother's Day
= Geek report
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



What is the name of the world's largest island located in a fresh water lake or, another way of putting it, what is the name of the world's largest inland island?

The answer can be found near the end of the newsletter.



Tom Cochrane

This singer and songwriter was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, on May 14, 1953. Tom is one of three children born to bush pilot Tuck Cochrane and his wife Violet. The family later relocated to Acton, Ontario, when Cochrane was four-years-old and eventually settled in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Cochrane sold a toy train set at age 11 to raise money for his first guitar. Following early struggles as a solo artist (the album "Hang on to Your Resistance", 1974) and soundtrack composer ("My Pleasure is my Business", 1976), he joined the southern-Ontario band Red Rider in 1977. The group released seven increasingly popular albums between 1980 and 1989, achieving American radio success with the 1993 release of the album "Neruda", which was inspired in part by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. From this album they also scored a Canadian hit with the song "Human Race". Subsequently the 1986 album "Tom Cochrane and Red Rider" produced the hit "Boy Inside the Man", and the 1988 album "Victory Day" by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider produced the hit of the same name as the album.

Cochrane ended his relationship with Red Rider after the album "Symphony Sessions", a 1989 live recording with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He achieved significant international success under his own name with the 1992 release of "Mad Mad World" -- led by the international top-ten single "Life is a Highway," the album sold more than two million copies worldwide, earning Cochrane a Grammy Award nomination and a sweep of major trophies at the 1992 Juno Awards. Follow-up albums ("Ragged Ass Road" in 1995 and "X-Ray Sierra" in 1998) failed to duplicate that success, but both albums solidified Cochrane's reputation as an intelligent songwriter.

My favourite from the Red Rider days is the album "Don't Fight It", and from his solo albums "Mad Mad World".



Name: Marie Chouinard.

Vocation: Dancer, choreographer and director.

Birth date: May 14, 1955.

Birth place: Quebec City, Quebec.

Nickname: Queen of the avant-garde.

Claim to fame: As a soloist, Chouinard ranks among the world's best experimental artists.

Early career: Chouinard began as a performance artist with a series of brief dance vignettes such as "Danse pour un homme habille de noir et qui porte un revolver" ("Dance for a Man Dressed in Black and Carrying a Revolver") in 1979. Her early reputation was highly sensational -- she flirted with scandal in works like the 1981 "Danseuse-performeuse cherche amoreux ou amoreuse pour la nuit du 1er juin" ("Dancer-performer Seeks Male or Female Lover for the Night of June 1"), in which she auctioned herself off. "Petite danse sans nom" from 1980 caused her to be banned from the Art Gallery of Ontario because of a urination scene, and "Marie Chien Noir" in 1982 involved a masturbation scene.

Ideals: Chouinard is an iconoclast who is fascinated by ritual. For her, dance is a sacred art, and the body is a special medium with a spiritual force that should be celebrated. Much of her work involves extraordinary muscle control, as evidenced in the guttural sounds she emitted from her stomach while portraying mythical beasts in "Drive in the Dragon" and "S.T.A.B." ("Space, Time and Beyond") in 1986, and "L'Aprs-midi d'un faun" in 1987.

Recent History: In 1990 she formed La Compagnie Marie Chouinard in order to create "Les Trous du ciel", which featured "throat singing" by a fictitious clan of "primitives". This was followed by "Le Sacre du printemps" in 1993, which was Chouinard's first work to a musical score (Stravinsky). Both of these works have toured widely in France, Belgium, Holland, the United States and throughout Canada. "Le Sacre du printemps" made its debut with a full orchestra in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1994. It was also performed with the National Arts Centre orchestra in Ottawa in 1996. "L'Amande et le diamant" ("The Almond and the Diamond"), Chouinard's third group piece, showed five couples in various stages of carnal ecstasy. Controversial less for its imagery than for being longwinded, it premiered at the 1996 Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa to an original score by Chouinard's long-time collaborator, Rober Racine. By the time a slightly reworked version appeared in Montreal a few months later, it had new music by Luciano Berio. Chouinard revived all three company works for "Trois Fois Marie Chouinard", which was given a three-week run early in 1998. To show her work further, the choreographer adopted the same extended performance format for "Les Solos 1978-1998", a chronological presentation of her most intimate solos plus two new pieces, all danced by members of her company. Despite its three-hour length, "Les Solos" was a popular success and was extended by ten performances.

Honours: Chouinard's honours include the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize in 1986, the Jean A. Chalmers Award for choreography in 1987, and Glasgow's Paper Boat prize in 1994. She was the first person chosen to use the Quebec government's studio for artists in New York in 1981. She has also travelled and studied in Asia and Europe. Film and television credits include an excerpted presentation of "Les Trous du ciel" in 1992.



Patricia Beatty, dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 1936.

Alfred Earle "Earl" Birney, poet, born in Calgary, Alberta, May 13, 1904.

Cecile Henry "Babe" Dye, hockey player and Hockey Hall of Fame member, born in Hamilton, Ontario, May 13, 1898.

William John Patterson, premier of Saskatchewan (1935-1944), born in Grenfell, Saskatchewan, May 13, 1886.

Sir Frederick William Borden, physician and politician, born in Upper Canard, Nova Scotia, May 14, 1847. (Canadian Forces Base [CFB] Borden was named after him.)

Jean Leloup (n Jean Leclerc), singer and songwriter, born in Quebec City, Quebec, May 14, 1961.

Catherine McKinnon, singer and actress, born in Saint John, New Brunswick, May 14, 1944.

Frank Miller, premier of Ontario (1985), born in Toronto, Ontario, May 14, 1927.

Walter "Turk" Broda, hockey goaltender and Hall of Fame member, born in Brandon, Manitoba, May 15, 1914.

John Angus MacLean, farmer, premier of Prince Edward Island (1979-1981), born in Lewes, Prince Edward Island, May 15, 1914.

Clermont Pepin, composer, pianist and teacher, born in St-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec, May 15, 1926.

Paul Chamberland, poet, born in Longueuil, Quebec, May 16, 1939.

Charles Melville Hays, railway president, born in Rock Island, Illinois, USA, May 16, 1856. (Was an executive in Canada from 1896 but died in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.)

Alfred Pellan, painter, officer of the Ordre national du Quebec, born in Quebec City, Quebec, May 16, 1906. (Was the first Canadian to have a solo exhibition of his works displayed at the Musee national d'art moderne in Paris, France, in 1955.)

Robert Austin Scott, painter, born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, May 16, 1941.

Alfred Joseph Casson, painter, joined the famed Group of Seven Painters in 1926, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 17, 1898.

Yves Hebert (also went by the pen name Yves Sauvageau), actor and playwright, born in Waterloo, Quebec, May 17, 1946.

Sir Adams George Archibald, lawyer and lieutenant governor of Manitoba (which included the Northwest Territories at that time, 1870-1872) and Nova Scotia (1873-1883), born in Truro, Nova Scotia, May 18, 1814.

Roger Matton, composer, ethnomusicologist and Officer of the Order of Canada (1984), born in Granby, Quebec, May 18, 1929.

Jean-Louis Roux, theatre director, writer and actor, born in Montreal, Quebec, May 18, 1923.

Sharon Adele Wood, mountaineer and guide, first woman from the western hemisphere to conquer Mount Everest, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 18, 1957.

John Alexander Mathieson, lawyer, judge and premier of Prince Edward Island (1911-1917), born in Harrington, Prince Edward Island, May 19, 1863.

Percy Alfred Williams, athlete, runner and Olympic gold medalist, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 19, 1908.



The "Mary Celeste"

Many of us know about this cargo ship which was found sailing, on course, in December 1872 in the Atlantic. You may also remember that the ship was boarded and was found to have no crew, no "riders"... nobody at all. It was abandoned and totally devoid of life.

The Canadian connection to this story is the "Mary Celeste" mystery began in Nova Scotia -- it was built here in Canada, or what was to become Canada, in the 1860s under the name of the "Amazon". A group of pioneers built the ship on Spencer's Island in Nova Scotia, and the ship sailed for six years without a problem until 1867 when it ran aground at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The ship was salvaged then resold to a New York firm who refurbished it and renamed it the "Mary Celeste".

In 1872 the now-famous trip began as a routine voyage to take a shipment of alcohol across the ocean. The captain, a man by the name of Briggs, must have thought the danger to be minimal as he took his wife and daughter with him. He was wrong, and the captain, his family and crew were never seen again.

The crew who discovered the ship adrift in 1872 were with the vessel the "Del Gratia", and they testified in court that when they found the "Mary Celeste" its sails were torn and the ship was rolling out of control on the waves. When no one answered their calls, the sailors from the "Del Gratia" went on board, but found nobody and no clues about their departure.

This is a worldwide mystery with a Canadian beginning. Please look at today's resources, linked to at the end of the newsletter, for more information.



Disraeli, Quebec

Located in the regional County of L'Amiante, just south of Thetford Mines, this municipality and parish was incorporated in 1904. Initial known as D'Israeli, its spelling was modified in 1953 with the incorporation of the municipality. It has also is designated as a town since 1969. The original parish municipality was created in 1882 and named after Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield and prime minister of Great Britain (1874-1880). The current population is around 3000 for the municipality and 1100 for the parish of Disraeli.


== AWARDS ==

The Bessies Awards

Although there are a few awards ceremonies claiming this moniker, the Canadian one to which I refer is the one presented by the Television Bureau of Canada. The focus of the awards is to recognize the best creative television advertising in the Canadian market. This year's awards take place on May 24 in Toronto. Please see today's resources for more information.



I am writing this brief note to inspire our every-growing subscriber base (that would be you) into telling me about one of your pet peeves. This week I simply deal with the telephone cord (not all of us own wireless phones) and how it becomes a tangled mess every week or two. It seems as if I actually lose a call twice a month after dropping the phone while I attempt to unravel this cord so that I can carry on a normal conversation.

Please send your pet peeves to me at john@factscanada.ca . I will only mention your first name and general location if I decide to use you contribution -- please see our privacy policy for more information. So click on my e-mail address and send your frustrations away.



This is the first week for this feature, so I won't get too involved and hopefully you will take these few records and research them further on your own.

Longest marriage on record: Canadian hunter Joseph Henry Jarvis, born June 15, 1899, is married to his wife Annie who was born in October 10, 1904. They wed on July 15, 1921, and their almost 80 years is a record for living couples. They were married in Mooshide, Yukon Territory, and have twelve children.

The oldest person to ski to the North Pole is Canadian Jack MacKenzie who, at the age of 77, joined a ski expedition to the North Pole as part of a celebration of the International Year of Older Persons. They reached the pole on April 28, 1999.

In September 1999, Des Sawa Junior of Tobermory, Ontario, made a maple-wood golf tee that was seven feet four inches long. It had a head with a width of 18.5 inches and a shaft of 7.9 inches. This was the largest golf tee ever made in the world.

On July 23, 1999, Aashrita Furman of the United States successfully "pogo sticked" up the 1899 steps of the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario. He accomplished this feat in just under an hour (57:51) for a world record in this odd event.



The evolution of Mother's Day, as with most special days celebrated throughout the year, has roots of varying origins. The following are the three generally accepted philosophies behind the beginnings of Mother's Day. As with other special days throughout the year Canada tends to follow the same rituals as the United States, but practices in both countries, as you will see, have roots in ancient England, Greece and Italy.

Some historians claim that the precursor of the modern Mother's Day celebration was the ancient spring festival dedicated to mother goddesses. In the ancient Greek empire the spring festival honoured Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the gods and goddesses. In Rome the most noteworthy Mother's Day festival was dedicated to the worship of Cybele, another mother goddess. Ceremonies in her honour began hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. This Roman religious celebration, known as "Hilaria", lasted for three days!

Moving ahead another 1500 years we find the evolved British recognition to be more like the modern celebration of Mother's Day. England's "Mothering Sunday", also called Mid-Lent Sunday, is observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Some say the ceremonies in honour of Cybele were adopted by the early church to venerate Mary, the Mother of Christ. Others believe the Mother Church was substituted for mother goddesses and custom began to dictate that a person visit the church of their baptism on this day. People attended the mother church of their particular parish, laden with various offerings. During the 17th century in England, young men and women who were apprentices or servants returned home on Mothering Sunday, bringing to their mothers small gifts like trinkets or a "mothering cake". Sometimes frumenty (or furmenty, hulled wheat boiled in milk and flavoured with sugar and spices) was served. In some northern parts of England and in Scotland, the preferred refreshments were called "carlings" (a recipe for which can be found in today's resources). As a matter of fact, in some locations this day was called Carling Sunday. Another kind of "mothering cake" was the "simnel cake", a very rich fruit cake, eaten at mid-Lent, Easter and Christmas.

Once again moving along in time to the 19th century we find Julia Ward Howe of the United States suggesting the idea of a Mother's Day in 1872. Howe, who also wrote the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", saw Mother's Day as being dedicated to peace. In fact she wrote a Mother's Day proclamation in the form of the following poem:

"Mother's Day Proclamation 1870"

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then... women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonour,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God --
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Now that we have covered the first two stages of the evolution of modern-day Mother's Day, the third goes like this: Anna M. Jarvis (born in 1864 and living a full life before dying at 84 in 1948) is also credited with originating our Mother's Day holiday. She never married and was always extremely attached to her mother, Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis. The elder Mrs. Jarvis was a minister's daughter who, for 20 years, taught Sunday School in the Andrews Methodist Church of Grafton, West Virginia, USA. Anna Reese Jarvis graduated from the Female Seminary in Wheeling, West Virginia, then taught school in Grafton before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she died in May 1905. She left the still-unmarried younger Anna Jarvis alone with her blind sister, Elsinore.

Anna missed her mother greatly. Two years after her mother's death Anna M. Jarvis and her friends began a letter-writing campaign to gain the support of influential ministers, businessmen and congressmen for the declaration of a national Mother's Day holiday. She felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive, and she hoped that Mother's Day would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds.

So it was that the first Mother's Day observance was a church service honouring Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis, held at Anna Jarvis' request in Grafton, West Virginia, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1908. Carnations were her mother's favourite flowers, and were supplied at that first service by Miss Jarvis. White carnations were chosen because they represented the sweetness, purity and endurance of a mother's love. (Later, red carnations became the symbol of a living mother -- white ones now signify that one's mother has died.)

The first Mother's Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia in 1910. Oklahoma celebrated Mother's Day that year as well. By 1911 almost every American state, as well as countries such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and some in South America and Africa, had their own observances. The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day. The United States Congress passed a joint resolution on May 8, 1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, and since then most other areas and countries have observed the same.

As an unfortunate aside, Jarvis' accomplishment soon turned bitter for her. Enraged by the commercialization of the holiday, she filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother's Day festival and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers' convention where women sold white carnations (her symbol for mothers) to raise money. "This is not what I intended," Jarvis said. "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit!" When she died in 1948 Jarvis had become a woman of great ironies. Never a mother herself, her maternal fortune dissipated by her efforts to stop the commercialization of the holiday she had founded, Jarvis told a reporter shortly before her death that she was sorry she had ever started Mother's Day. She spoke those words in a nursing home where, every Mother's Day, her room had been filled with cards from all over the world.

So what should we do, since the "official" instigator of this special day finally turned against it? Well, if your mother is still alive, take care to shower her with special attention this Mother's Day. Visit her, phone her, send her a card (even an "e-card" would be appreciated in this day and age of hustle and bustle), give her flowers, get her gourmet chocolates, or buy her something you know she's been wanting. Just don't wait until after her funeral to let her know how much you've appreciated her! Wear your red carnation proudly while you can.



By Craig

It's completely my fault that the newsletter is so late this week. I returned home from being away for almost a month and have been a little overwhelmed by the amount of catching up I have had to do.

Next week I hope to resume my "Words of the Week", as long as John leaves me enough space. I always think that our Sunday Newsletters have become a bit too long, but the feedback that John receives suggests that you think otherwise. Maybe it's just that I have the attention span of a gnat.

Some of you may have noticed that I have also neglected a couple of our "webfeeds" (the weekly picture and map) and that the resources associated with each newsletter have been a little sparse. I will be resuming the webfeeds today, and this week I will also flesh out the resources for the last few weeks. The main reason these fell by the wayside while I was away, besides the fact that I was supposed to be on holiday and not cooped up in a hotel room with my computer, is that I had to spend a small fortune on Internet access -- think in terms of the equivalent of about 18 months worth of high-speed access back here. Ouch!

Happy Mother's Day Mum.



In this week's question I asked; "What is the name of the world's largest island located in a fresh water lake or, another way of putting it, what is the name of the world's largest inland island?"

Of course, the answer is an island found in Canada, and it is Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes. The name of the island refers to the Algonquian word "manitou", meaning "spirit", which is believed to dwell on the island.

This 2765-square-kilometre island lies entirely in Canada, although it sits right next to the border between Ontario and Michigan State. The area has had a varied past but since the 1920s the island has become a popular outdoor recreation area, with tourism and agriculture being its principal activities. The community of Little Current, with a population of around 1600, is the main population centre of the island and is located in the northeast sector of the island. On the south part of the island you can take a ferry from South Baymouth to the Bruce Peninsula, which is host to Ontario's "cottage country", including Sauble Beach, Wiarton and Owen Sound.



Next Sunday, hopefully on time, I profile Raymond Burr and Savage Cove, Newfoundland, list a few more Canadian records, update you on an article from a previous issue on the Donner Prize, and list the winners of the National Forest Stewardship Recognition Program Awards.


That's it for another week... well, almost another week considering how late this is being released. We are only seven weeks away from the first anniversary of the first newsletter I sent out to a few friends and colleagues. That, as many of you know, turned into FactsCanada.ca. So, I may convince Craig of a change or two in the format of the newsletter to commemorate this feat. Until next week, let's not forget Mother!



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