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Sunday Newsletter 2001-22Su.

June 3, 2001.

The first item of business this week is to thank Sandra, Kristina and Mike for their wonderful e-mail messages. Thank-you! You are all inspiring. Following on from that note, I am beginning to receive quite a few messages each week. In addition to the kind praise from these three readers, these messages include requests, comments, and feedback on previously published material. I just want all of you to know that I do read each and every message. However, I do not always have the time to respond quickly, if at all. So, please rest assured that I am receiving your letters -- I am simply bound by time restraints.



= Question of the week
= Biography -- Edward "(Fast) Eddie" Giacomin
= Editorial
= Notes from the notable -- Gordon Allan Sinclair
= Giveaway pre-announcement announcement
= Place names -- Dildo, Newfoundland
= Music trivia
= Also born this week
= Other historical events this week
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



Because of its resemblance to the famous Swiss mountain, this Canadian mountain holds the cognomen (or nickname) "Canadian Matterhorn". What mountain is this?

The answer, believe it or not, is near the bottom of the newsletter.



Edward "(Fast) Eddie" Giacomin

One of the New York Rangers' all-time great goaltenders, who used the "butterfly" style of goaltending to great success, Giacomin was only the second Ranger to have his jersey retired after his playing days. While playing 11 of his 14 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the Rangers, he was able to re-write their record book. His career statistics, which are divided between the Rangers and his final three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, were 610 games played, 289 wins, 208 losses and 97 ties. He had an amazing 54 shutouts and recorded a goals-against average of 2.82 per game. His post-season record (he played in 65 games) does not reflect his net minding skills in the win/loss column, but his 2.81 goals against average was one point better than his lifetime, regular season record, leading one to believe that he did not receive much offensive help during his playoff years. He is the Rangers' all-time leader in wins (266) and shutouts (49) and second only to Montreal native Gump Worsley.

Giacomin was born in Sudbury, Ontario, on June 6, 1939. In the early part of his career he toiled for almost eight years, most of them with the American Hockey League's Providence Reds team, before being assigned to the Rangers at the not-so-tender age of 26. This denied him many youthful years in which he would have assuredly added to his impressive statistical record. However, these were the pre-expansion years of only six NHL teams, so Giacomin had to wait for his opening.

Giacomin played in five all-star games, won a Vezina Trophy for the league's outstanding goalkeeper in the 1970-1971 campaign (although he shared it that year with Gilles Villemure, his Ranger team mate and native of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec) and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987. After his playing days were over he coached high-school hockey for four years in the Detroit area. Later he was the Rangers' goaltending coach from 1986-1989. Now happy playing golf in his new home in Florida, USA, Giacomin turned down his most recent offer, which was to work with the St. Louis Blues and their younger goaltenders in 1995-1996.

There are a couple of interesting links in today's resources (linked to at the bottom of the page), to a great article from "The Detroit News" dated April 14, 1996, and a page with a nice picture from his pre-facemask days, a short biography, and his NHL statistics.



By Craig (craig@factscanada.ca)

Two weeks ago, in issue 2001-20Su, we published one of our longer jokes entitled "Indications that you may be Canadian". Despite the fact that there are 40 indications in the list, nine of which poke fun at Canadians themselves (by my subjective count), an about-to-be ex-subscriber took offence at the tenth indication: "You don't care about the fuss with Cuba -- it's a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans." Coincidentally, the complainant is an American herself... and it's not the first time she has taken her toys and gone home.

She said; "You know as an American living in Canada, I was insane and married a Canadian and if I ever get back there I won't ever come back here. I have to say my husband told me that Canadians liked Americans but after living here for a while I find that is not true. On your list of indication [sic] you might be Canadian I find #10 particularly offensive. You sleep quite safely at night due the American armed services being on watch. I am canceling my subscription to you [sic] newsletter."

Tut, tut. It seems that we touched a raw nerve there. This poor, "insane" (by her own admission) woman appears to be stuck in a loveless marriage with one of us nasty Canadians, and yet she paints all Canadians with the same broad brush she accuses us of using to paint Americans. Checking my "Gage Canadian Dictionary" I'm drawn to page 752 on which I find the word "hypocrite". The word "racist" also comes to mind, although it's probably technically incorrect to argue that Canadians and Americans are two different races in this day and age. There must be some sort of "-ist" word to describe her beliefs. Were we "provincialists" when we published a joke that poked fun at Albertans in issue 2000-08Su? Apparently nobody who has read that issue thought so, as we have yet to receive a complaint about it. What about charges of racism for the joke we published in issue 2001-06Su? Again, not a word of complaint.

Our unhappy ex-subscriber continues; "On top of the way the news media regards Americans and others around me I don't find your 'humor' [ex-subscriber's emphasis] funny. I know Americans aren't the only ones protecting nations on this planet [in response to John pointing out Canada's peacekeeping reputation] but they do protect Canada. Some jokes just aren't funny. I don't like ethnic jokes either. I thought your 'FactsCanada' would teach me something about Canada. I won't go into what it is teaching me."

Ah, perhaps that's because she wouldn't actually be able to assemble a coherent and factual basis for her bad feelings. It would appear she has a bee in her bonnet about the apparent lack of love we Canadians have for our American cousins. As with most people who have bees in their bonnets, she spends all of her waking hours looking for evidence of her beliefs. Apparently she has found an abundance of evidence in the FactsCanada.ca newsletters and the news media in general.

I'm not exactly sure what America is protecting Canada from these days. Perhaps it is Fidel Castro and his cigars, the latter holding a special place in recent American presidential history. There's no doubt that the Americans have a substantially larger defence budget than Canada, but it's easy to find people to argue for and against defence budgets in both countries so I won't even begin to touch on that issue. Of course, assuming you support the United Nations and its goals, one could criticize America's delinquency with respect to their lack of payment of their share of the dues required to keep that body in operation.

I live just south of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, in a city called Richmond. (My apologies to local subscribers who are intimately familiar with the geography.) This weekend I drove about 40 minutes south and crossed the border into the United States. When I crossed back I drove along Zero Avenue, which is right on the border. People who live on either side of that road (in the US on the south side and Canada on the north side) are literally neighbours -- there are no big fences, walls, search lights, armed soldiers with patrolling attack-dogs, or a demilitarized zone. I'm sure the people who live on either side of that road like or dislike each other for the same reasons that neighbours like or dislike each other all over the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world. They probably don't turn their noses up at each other based on the fact that "those guys on the other side of the road are Americans/Canadians".

I've strayed a bit from the final point I want to make, which comes back to this ex-subscriber's criticism of FactsCanada.ca. I have not rejected her criticism out of hand -- I did consider whether we had crossed a line, violated our own mission statement, or violated our own personal principles. My conclusion is that we have not. John and I strive for moderation in what we publish. By mutual agreement we have rejected for publication some jokes that are not moderate -- many of these have been gratuitous and usually sexual or ethnic in nature.

We are not prudes (as evidenced by this week's article on place names) and we are not attempting to influence our subscribers by not including certain content -- the last thing of which I ever want to be accused is "political correctness". However, we do realize that, in order to attract as wide a subscriber base as possible (including a teenage audience), we need to eliminate extremes from our writing. In attempting to strike a balance between "political correctness" and the simple elimination of extremes, we are guaranteed to step on some toes occasionally. While we find this regrettable and will wholeheartedly apologize when necessary, we will not issue "mea culpas" based solely on an injured party's lack of a sense of humour.

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry, and you cry alone."



Name: Gordon Allan Sinclair.

Vocations: Journalist, author, radio commentator and television panelist.

Birth date: June 3, 1900.

Died: May 17, 1984.

Birth place: Toronto, Ontario.

Some history:
- Joined the "Toronto Star" newspaper in 1922.
- Began his radio career on D-Day, June 6, 1944, broadcasting reports over CFRB Radio in Toronto.
- Had his own radio programs "Let's be Personal" and "Showbiz".
- Was an original panel member of the CBC's enduring show "Front Page Challenge".
- Gained worldwide attention for his 1973 radio broadcast entitled "The Americans". It became so popular that a recorded version was manufactured and he was revered by many Americans including John Wayne, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. A biography and links to the text and Real Player audio versions of this work can be found in today's resources.

Books written (selection): "Footloose in India", "Cannibal Quest" and "Will the Real Gordon Sinclair Please Stand Up?"



May I have your attention please? This is a pre-announcement announcement about our upcoming giveaway. We haven't yet decided how we will proceed with this giveaway from a logistical point of view, but you can rest assured that it will be FactsCanada.ca's largest giveaway to date. Yes, even bigger than our Christmas giveaway last year, when all you had to do was ask for a prize! This time we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the newsletter, which started when I sent a rag-tag collection of Canadian trivia to a few friends last Canada Day (July 1, 2000). Look for chances to win in the June 24th (2001-25Su) issue of this newsletter. So far we have lined up a couple of reference books, a map of Canada, Sarah McLachlan's book entitled "Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favorite Recipes" (see FactsCanada.ca issue 2001-04Su for more on Sarah and her book), an autographed copy of a book from a prominent Canadian author, and an autographed photograph of Jim Carrey. Stay tuned!



Dildo, Newfoundland

This week I feature the ten Newfoundland locations with this colourful word in their names. There are two populated, unincorporated areas in Newfoundland with the name Dildo -- both are located on the Avalon Peninsula on Trinity Bay. One is called Dildo and the other, some 20 kilometres south, is called South Dildo. There are also two bays (Dildo Arm and Dildo Cove), a mountain by the name of Dildo Head, an island (not surprisingly) called Dildo Island, two lakes, both with the name Dildo Pond, river rapids called Dildo Run, and the conservation area known as Dildo Run Provincial Park.

According to one resident, it "seems like the name of our fair town (Dildo) has attracted some attention, albeit of the condescending type but, hey, attention is attention." Also contrary to popular belief outside the area, the town of not full of perverts but rather is a picturesque, historic seaside town on the eastern shores of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, with a proud, seafaring history of fishing, whaling and sealing.

There seem to be several possible origins of the name: Dildo Island was recorded as "Dildoe" in 1711; the harbour (Dildo Arm) may have reminded someone of a cylinder, which was the old-English meaning of the name; a low shrub called the dildo tree, common among the vegetation in the area; or a Spanish mariner may have been reminded of a similar-looking landscape back home with a name similar to Dildo.

So, you can take your pick -- it doesn't really matter. The name has survived the passage of time, although some faint-of-heart residents in the region want the name to be changed as has been done in other places. The same resident I quote above is also quoted as saying, "I hope our namesake will endure. If it was good enough for our forefathers it shall be good enough for us."



Here is this year's third installment of music trivia from years gone by. In issue 2001-14Su I presented to you the music that reached number one in Canada in 1981. As promised, the third edition of this ongoing feature highlights the songs from 15 years ago in 1986.

The year began musically with the first five weeks being dominated by a song released in 1985, having already spent two weeks at number one that year. That song was "Live is Life" from one-hit-wonder, Austrian group Opus. Following Opus' reign, the songs below hit number one starting on February 10, 1986.

"Say you, Say Me", by Lionel Richie, formerly with the group The Commodores.
"That's What Friends are For", by Dionne (Warwick) and friends (which included Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder).
"Conga", by the Miami Sound Machine, later to be known by their lead singer's name, Gloria Estefan.
"How Will I Know", by Whitney Houston, who is a cousin of the above-mentioned Dionne Warwick.
"Nikita", by Elton John, whose birth name was Reginald Kenneth Dwight.
"Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)", by Canadian group Glass Tiger, who were based out of Newmarket, Ontario.
"Let's Go all the Way", by Sly Fox, an American dance duo.
"West End Girls", by The Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe).
"Live to Tell", by Madonna, whose full name is Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.
"Sledgehammer", by Peter Gabriel, former lead singer of the British group Genesis.
"Papa Don't Preach", by Madonna.
"Glory of Love", by Peter Cetera, formerly with the American group Chicago.
"Venus", by Bananarama, who got there name by combining the names of the children's show "The Banana Splits" and a song by Roxy Music entitled "Pyjamarama".
"Take my Breath Away", by Berlin. Their lead singer, Terry Nunn, was a teenage actress on television.
"Spirit in the Sky", by the one-hit-wonder Doctor and the Medics.
"True Colors", by Cyndi Lauper. She was born Cynthia Anne Stephanie Lauper.
"Amanda", by the American band Boston.
"Lady in Red", by Chris DeBurgh, who was born in Argentina with the name Christopher John Davidson.

Although "Lady in Red" spent a total of eight weeks at number one, only the first four weeks were in 1986. So, by a process of elimination, the song that stayed in the number one position the longest in 1986 was "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna, which enjoyed six consecutive weeks at number one.

Stay tuned for more music trivia when I visit the year 1991 in an upcoming newsletter.



Colleen Dewhurst, actress, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 3, 1926.

Harmon Jones, film director and editor, born on June 3, 1911. Birthplace in Canada unknown.

Dan Hill, singer, songwriter and Juno-Award winner, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 3, 1954.

Flora Isabel MacDonald, politician and Officer of the Order of Canada, born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia June 3, 1926.

Lloyd Percival, athlete and instructor, winner of the Coronation Medal from Queen Elizabeth II, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 3, 1913.

John Adaskin, musician, radio producer and administrator, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 4, 1908.

Sandra Post, golfer (Canada's first professional female golfer), winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy, born in Oakville, Ontario, June 4, 1948.

Arlene Stamp, painter, born in London, Ontario, June 4, 1938.

Charles Joseph "Joe" Clark, former prime minister, born in High River, Alberta, June 5, 1939.

John Sebastian Helmcken, surgeon, politician and first president of the British Columbia Medical Society, born in London, England, June 5, 1824.

William Bruce Hutchison, journalist, author and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Prescott, Ontario, June 5, 1901.

Gerald Mayer, film director, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 5, 1919.

Maxwell Charles Gordon Meighen, financier and son of prime minister Arthur Meighen, born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, June 5, 1908.

Gerard-Charles-Edouard Theriault, military officer and former Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, born in Gaspe, Quebec, June 5, 1932.

Maurice Galbraith Cullen, painter, born in St. John's, Newfoundland, June 6, 1866.

Joy Nozomi Kogawa, poet and novelist, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 6, 1935.

Anne Claire Poirier, film director and producer, born in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, June 6, 1932.

Frederick Seymour, colonial administrator and governor of British Columbia (1864-1865), born in Belfast, Ireland, September 6, 1820.

Jacques Cartier, navigator and explorer, born in St-Malo, France, between June 7 and December 23, 1491.

George Henry Murray, lawyer and premier of Nova Scotia (1896-1923, a Canadian record 27 consecutive years), born in Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia, June 7, 1861.

John Napier Turner, lawyer and prime minister (1984), born in Richmond, England, June 7, 1929.

Graham Coughtry, painter, born in St-Lambert, Quebec, June 8, 1931.

Alexis Smith (ne Gladys Smith), actress, born in Penticton, British Columbia, June 8, 1921.

Ralph Garvin Steinhauer, farmer, Indian leader, Companion of the Order of Canada, and first native person to serve as a lieutenant-governor, (Alberta, 1974-1979), born in Morley, Alberta, June 8, 1905.

John Seaman Bates, chemist, environmentalist and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Woodstock, Ontario, June 9, 1888.

Michael J. Fox (n Michael Andrew Fox [the "J" is fictitious] -- he changed his middle initial so that he would not be known as Michael "A Fox"), actor, born in Edmonton, Alberta, June 9, 1961.



June 3, 1844 -- The last known breeding pair of the bird known as the great auk were collected in Iceland. This extinct bird had a colony of over 1400 on Funk Island, Newfoundland, but was destroyed in 1800.

June 3, 1885 -- The Steele Narrows Battle at Loon Lake, Manitoba, was fought. It was one of the battles of the North West Rebellion, often referred to as the Loon Lake Battle.

June 4, 1940 -- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill uttered these famous words that were felt throughout the world:
"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
June 4, 1979 -- This was the last day of Prime Minister Trudeau's first reign and Joe Clark's first day in office as the prime minister. Falling one day before Clark's fortieth birthday, this made him the youngest Canadian prime minister ever.

June 5, 1813 -- On the night of June 5 and morning of June 6 the Battle of Stoney Creek in Upper Canada was fought during the war of 1812.

June 5, 1996 -- The RCMP announce the seizure of 400 kilograms of cocaine and subsequent details of the arrest of 19 people in three cities.

June 6, 1866 -- The official opening of the "centre block" of Canada's Parliament building structure.

June 6, 1919 -- Canadian National Railways was incorporated. Now they are simply called Canadian National.

June 6, 1944 -- World War Two's "D-Day", code named Operation Overlord began as Allied forces stormed five beaches (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) on France's Normandy coast. Most Canadians landed at Juno Beach.

June 6, 1961 -- The non-governmental organization known as CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas) was founded. They place highly skilled Canadians into two-year positions around the world.

June 6, 1998 -- Hockey agent and lawyer Alan Eagleson pleaded guilty to fraud in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He subsequently resigned his National Hockey League Hall of Fame status.

June 7, 1931 -- Fairweather Mountain, located on the border between British Columbia and Alaska, was first climbed by Americans Allen Carpe and Terris Moore. At 4663 metres, it is considered one of the world's highest "coastal" mountains.



Above, I posed the question: Because of its resemblance to the famous Swiss mountain, this Canadian mountain holds the cognomen (or nickname) "Canadian Matterhorn". What mountain is this?

Answer: Mount Assiniboine.

At 3618 metres, Mount Assiniboine has been nicknamed "The Matterhorn of the Rockies". Located in British Columbia's Mount Assiniboine Park, this mountain bears a noticeable likeness to its Swiss counterpart. (One of the Web sites in today's resources provides a visual comparison. Have a look and decide for yourself.) The park itself is bounded on the east by the border between British Columbia and Alberta, and joins Banff National Park in Alberta. The geologist George Dawson (who will be featured in a future FactsCanada.ca biography) named the mountain in 1884 after a variant of the name in the Siouan family of Aboriginal languages used by the Stoney Indian Tribe.



This Friday we will be publishing June's Friday Feature. Just in time for the Canadian Football League's spring training, guest-writer Gary Murray takes a detailed look at the CFL and its history.


I included a new article this week entitled "Other Historical Events This Week". If you have the time I would appreciate hearing back from you about how you liked or disliked this article. As with the article "Also Born This Week", this is only a small sampling of the information I could supply. However, we need to keep the research time and newsletter size manageable. I hope to provide at least one link to more information, for each listing for you in future editions, which should help those that are curious enough to find more information. I like the idea of including this as a regular feature of the Sunday Newsletter but, this is your newsletter, so I will let you decide. You can e-mail me, as always, at john@factscanada.ca.



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