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Sunday Newsletter 2001-26Su.

July 1, 2001.

Canada Day -- our nation's 134th birthday. Oh yeah, and FactsCanada.ca's first! Check below to see if you were one of the winners of our grand and glorious giveaway. I should also let you know that I have decided to reduce the quantity of information in two recently-introduced, regular articles. They are "Also Born This Week", and "It Happened This Week in History". Due to some feedback (which has all been positive, I might add) and some discussions between Craig and I, we see no point in overkill with either of these sections. Therefore I am going to begin making these articles a little shorter by selecting fewer people or events. For the "Born This Week" article I will begin by giving precedence to historical and political figures, followed by those known for their worldwide contributions to art, science, technology and such. Then I will move onto the "pedestal-type" individuals like sports figures and those involved with the entertainment industry. This is not to say I won't feature a person who deserves recognition above and beyond these parameters -- for example, Wayne Gretzky and Shania Twain, who have both been included in our weekly biography. The goal is to keep the newsletter to a reasonable length, while saving some material for next year. That said, I am now going to present a bunch of Canadians in this week's biography, which is a first for us. I will only give you a few highlights of their respective lives, but their connection is they all share a birthday with our nation, July 1. So, on with the show.



\ Question of the week
\ Biography shorts
\ And the winners are...
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Awards
\ Place names -- Trenton, Ontario
\ Famous quotes
\ Geek report
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Preview
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information



This political figure from the past was once the mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was also born on Dominion Day, now referred to as Canada Day. Who was he? Hint: He was the mayor of Winnipeg for 20 years between 1957 and 1977.

The answer can be found, as usual, near the bottom of the newsletter.



The following nine Canadians were all born on Canada's birthday, July 1:
  • John Wilson McConnell, born in 1877.
  • The Winnipeg mayor I mention in my question of the week was born in 1914.
  • Rod Gilbert, born in 1941.
  • Genevieve Bujold, born in 1942.
  • Francoise Dompierre, born in 1943.
  • Dan Aykroyd and Steve Shutt, both born in 1952.
  • Michelle Wright, born in 1962.
  • Pamela Anderson, born in 1967.
Here is a snapshot of each of their lives.

JOHN WILSON MCCONNELL was born July 1, 1877, in Muskoka, Ontario, the son of a farmer. Farming, however, was not what he was destined to do with his life. He moved to Toronto at the age of 14 to look for work, and over the next decade or so amassed a fortune through shrewd business dealings and timing (knowing when to buy and when to sell). More than a mere businessman, McConnell was also a publisher -- he owned the largest English-language newspaper in Quebec, the "Montreal Star", and wielded a great deal of power from this holding. He was also one of Canada's first true philanthropists, giving away millions of dollars during his lifetime. These donations included over $15 million to McGill University, over $1 million to the United Church of Canada when it announced it needed to expand its facilities for housing elderly people, and almost $1.5 million underwriting the costs of new facilities for the boys and girls clubs in Montreal. Not a word of his generosity was ever published in his own newspaper, as he made it clear to his staff that his policy was to shun personal publicity. He died at the age of 86 in Montreal on November 6, 1963. Please read a quote about his life in our quotes article.

See my answer to the "Question of the Week" at the bottom of the newsletter for the biography of this famous, Winnipeg mayor.

RODRIGUE GABRIEL "ROD" GILBERT was born on July 1, 1941, in Montreal, Quebec. This right wing was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982. At the time of his retirement he trailed only Gordie Howe as the league's leading scorer from the right wing. All told, he played 18 consecutive seasons with one team -- the New York Rangers. His first two seasons, however, were played mostly in the minor leagues, as he appeared in only one National Hockey League game during each of the 1960-1961 and 1961-1962 seasons. He would have played a full season in 1961-1962 but missed it because of a back injury. After those two games he went on to appear in another 1063 games, scoring 406 goals and assisting 615 times for a total of 1021 points. Gilbert also appeared in 79 playoff games scoring an additional 67 points. In 1976 Gilbert was awarded the much-coveted Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

GENEVIEVE BUJOLD was born on July 1, 1942, in Montreal, Quebec. Appearing in 53 motion pictures since her debut in 1956, Bujold is probably best remembered portraying Anne Boleyn in the 1969 Hollywood feature "Anne of the Thousand Days". An interesting sidebar is that Bujold was originally cast to play the role of Captain Janeway in the "Star Trek Voyager" series which debuted in 1995. She quit after only one day of filming. (Kate Mulgrew went on to more than adequately fulfil this role.) Next up for Bujold is the drama film entitled "Finding Home" which is currently in post-production.

FRANCOISE DOMPIERRE was born on July 1, 1943. I could not find much on this gentleman other than his birth date and that he is a musical composer. He is quite prolific in the movie industry, mostly in French films or Canadian productions. He has also scored over two dozen music themes for National Film Board of Canada productions, has worked with director Denys Arcand, provided the music for the film "The Decline of the American Empire", and collaborated on the score for "Jesus of Montreal".

DANIEL EDWARD "DAN" AYKROYD was born on July 1, 1952, in Ontario. Probably Canada's most famous comedian prior to Jim Carrey's arrival, Aykroyd majored in criminology and sociology while studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. He left his studies, however, to pursue his acting and comedic skills. He first came into prominence with Toronto's Second City comedy troupe (SCTV), and was later cast as one of the original members of "Saturday Night Live". He has no producer or screenwriter credits. Aykroyd is the father of six children, three of them daughters (Danielle, Kingston and Stella) with his current wife of 18 years, actress Donna Dixon. They both appeared in "Twilight Zone, The Movie" and appeared to become a couple following it. He had been a bachelor since his divorce from his first wife, Maureen Lewis, with whom his other three children were born. Aykroyd was also once engaged to "Princess Leia Organa" of Star Wars fame -- none other than the real-life Carrie Fisher. Aykroyd is an avid blues-music fan and is host of the American radio show "House of Blues". His brother Peter is a "psychic researcher", leading one to speculate the origin of some of the ideas that resulted in the film "Ghostbusters" and its sequel. Aykroyd is a certified police buff -- probably a holdover from his criminology days at Carleton. He purchased and rides an official OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) motorcycle and collects police badges and whatever else he can get his hands on. Having appeared in over 70 pictures, Aykroyd is probably best known for his roles as Elwood Blues in the movie "The Blues Brothers" from 1980, Dr. Raymond Stantz in the 1984 production of the aforementioned "Ghostbusters", and host of the television series "Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal". My personal favourite was his role as Mother in the 1992 film entitled "Sneakers".

STEPHEN JOHN "STEVE" SHUTT, like Dan Aykroyd, was born on July 1, 1952, but that is just about the only similarity between them. Shutt was born in Toronto, Ontario, and pursued a career in hockey. One thing he did well was score goals and, although he had a fairly short NHL career (13 seasons, of which all but 59 games were with the Montreal Canadiens [those 59 being with the Los Angeles Kings at the end of his career]), he was still inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993. During the 1976-1977 season he scored a league-leading 60 times. Although he never achieved this lofty standing (for his era) again, he did score over 40 goals on three separate occasions and over 30 goals another five times. Shutt was a major factor in the five Stanley Cups Montreal earned while he played there. Altogether he scored 424 goals and assisted another 393 times for a total of 817 points during his 930 games played. During the playoffs he scored equally well, scoring 50 times and assisted on another 48 occasions in 99 games played.

MICHELLE WRIGHT was born on July 1, 1962. Wright is probably Canada's second best-known, female county star after Shania Twain -- although there are many opponents to Twain's style being classified as such, so perhaps I will place Wright in a category with Terri Clark and claim a victory for Wright. In any case, Wright heralds from Chatham, Ontario, although she grew up is Merlin, Ontario. Her early ambition was to become an Olympic athlete, probably involved in track and field... and it shows if you have ever seen one of her music videos -- she has a magnificent, sculptured body, and you can tell that she takes care of it and probably still does a lot of running. Getting back to her musical career, Wright debuted on the scene in 1988 with the recording "Do Right by Me" on Savannah Records. It took another two years to gain full recognition when her self-titled album "Michelle Wright" was released. Now Wright has over 30 major industry awards and seven number-one hits here in Canada. Wright enjoys exercise (volleyball, basketball and golf), gardening and cooking, has two cats and a dog, and enjoys listening to Garth Brooks, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston.

PAMELA DENISE ANDERSON was born on July 1, 1967, in Ladysmith, British Columbia. How was this lady discovered? Was it her superb acting abilities? I don't think so. As the story goes it was while she attended a British Columbia Lions football game that Lee was "discovered" in a most unusual way. Dressed in a Labatt Beer T-shirt, her image was transmitted on the stadium's wide-screen video monitor. Of course, the football fans cheered this beautiful girl, and she was brought down to centre field and introduced officially to the appreciative crowd. As a result, she was signed to a commercial contract with Labatt Beer and became the company's "Blue Zone" girl. The campaign was so popular that other commercials and advertising assignments for Anderson soon followed. Due to the recognition from these commercials she was soon approached to do her first cover for "Playboy" magazine. Pamela has since gone on to grace the cover an unprecedented five times, more than any other woman in the magazine's history. Next up was a move to Los Angeles and two seasons playing Lisa the "Tool Time Girl" on the popular "Home Improvements" show. From there she was cast as C.J. Parker on the "Baywatch" television program. I hate to break this to all of Pamela's fans but, although she is of Finnish decent, she is a natural brunette.



Wow, thanks to all of you who entered our first-anniversary giveaway. Once again we have irrefutable proof that FactsCanada.ca readers are the smartest out there, because they pointed out that one of our questions was ambiguous. Here are the three questions as they were originally worded:
  1. Where was David Suzuki born? You'll need to narrow it down to the city for your answer to qualify.
  2. Who was the first premier of Prince Edward Island? The full name (all three of them) is needed to qualify, and spelling counts.
  3. In what year did golfer Dave Barr amass over US$300 000 in earnings? Hint: It was way back in the 20th century.
As several entrants pointed out, we did not specify in question two that we meant after PEI joined Confederation. Therefore, anybody who answered giving the name of the first premier of what was a British colony was considered to have answered the question correctly. Here are the correct answers:
  1. Vancouver, British Columbia.
  2. James Colledge Pope (post-Confederation) or George Coles (pre-Confederation).
  3. 1994.
Oh, you want to know who won? Nobody... we're keeping these great prizes for ourselves! Did I hear the word "lynch"? OK, here are the winners, in the order the entries were received, and the prize that each won:
  1. Christina from Chalk River, Ontario, wins the director's cut of the movie "Spawn" on DVD.
  2. Mike from Richmond, BC, wins an 8" x 10", autographed, colour photo of Jim Carrey.
  3. Graham from Toronto, Ontario, wins the hardcover book "Trans Canada Trail: The 16 000 Kilometre Dream".
  4. Peter from Vancouver, BC, wins the hardcover, collector's edition of the book "20th Century Hockey Chronicle".
  5. Kristina from Lindsay, Ontario, wins a softcover book entitled "Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favorite Recipes", by the Canadian chanteuse herself.
  6. Jeff from Vancouver, BC, wins the hardcover book "Legend of Autumn: The Glory Years of Canadian Football", signed by both authors Denny Boyd and Brian Scrivner.
  7. Tracey from Ottawa, Ontario, wins the 1996, first edition, hardcover novel "Alias Grace", signed by its author, Margaret Atwood. (By the way, John paid about $150 for that!)
  8. Cynthia from... umm... we don't know yet, wins a laminated 28" x 40", political wall map of Canada.
  9. Gary from North Vancouver, BC, wins a softcover book on the making of the "X-Files" movie "Fight the Future".
There's way too much representation from BC and Ontario there. Some of you must have family and friends in other parts of Canada. Send them a copy of this newsletter to show them what they are missing, and get them to start their own subscription. It's not hard... really.

Congratulations to all our winners and thanks to all of you who entered. John will be contacting you shortly to arrange delivery of your prize.



Sir Charles Tupper, diplomat, founding father and prime minister of Canada (1896), born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, July 2, 1821, died in Bexleyheath, England, October 30, 1915, was married longer than any other prime minister (65 years).

Viscount Richard Bedford Bennett, lawyer and prime minister of Canada (1930-1935), born in Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick, July 3, 1870, died in Mickleham, England, June 26, 1947.

Donald Grant Devine, economist, teacher, farmer and premier of Saskatchewan (1982-1991), born in Regina, Saskatchewan, July 5, 1944.

Pierre-Marc Johnson, premier of Quebec (1985), born July 5, 1946, in Montreal, Quebec. Johnson was the premier in between Rene Levesque and Robert Bourassa, and is also the son of former Quebec premier (1966-1968) Daniel Johnson, and brother to another premier from the family Daniel Johnson "The Younger" (1994).

Jaime "Robbie" Robertson, singer and songwriter, born in Toronto, Ontario, July 5, 1944.

Patrick Burns, meat packer and rancher, born in Oshawa, Canada West, July 6, 1856, died in Calgary, Alberta, February 24, 1937. He started the business bearing his surname, "Burns Meats".

George Francis Gillman Stanley, historian, author, and lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (1982-1987), born in Calgary, Alberta, July 6, 1907. He proposed the basic design of Canada's flag in 1965, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976, and promoted to Companion in 1995.

Thane Alexander Campbell, chief justice and premier of Prince Edward Island (1936-1943), born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, July 7, 1895, died in Ottawa, Ontario, September 28, 1978.

Henry Joseph Clarke, premier of Manitoba (1872-1874), born in County Donegal, Ireland, July 7, 1883, died on a train near Medicine Hat, Alberta, September 13, 1889.

Harry Edwin Strom, farmer and premier of Alberta (1968-1971), born in Burdett, Alberta, July 7, 1914, died in Edmonton, Alberta, October 1, 1984.



July 2, 1972 -- The Eureka weather station on Ellesmere Island became a solely Canadian operation when the Americans withdrew their interest. The station was originally established April 7, 1947, by a small force of Canadians and Americans working out of a base in Greenland, who landed on the sea ice of the Slidre Fiord. From 1947 until 1972 the Canadian officer-in-charge had been appointed ex-officio customs and excise officer, immigration officer, game officer and postmaster (philatelists around the world enjoy the unique stamp cachets from these remote high-arctic post offices). During the last 19 years this officer's position has almost been like that of a prime minister of the area. Eureka is the last staging point for many adventurers travelling to the North Pole each spring.

July 2, 1880 -- Although opened on June 1, 1876, with 18 cadets, the Royal Military College of Canada, located in Kingston, Ontario, was originally founded in 1874. Queen Victoria conferred the royal title in 1878. The first class graduated on July 2, 1880.

July 2, 1974 -- Ralph Garvin Steinhauer, farmer and Indian leader, became the first native person to serve as lieutenant-governor of Alberta. He had been appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, and died September 19, 1987.

July 3, 1934 -- The Bank of Canada Act, creating the Bank Of Canada, came into being.

July 4, 1886 -- Port Moody, British Columbia, had previously (1879) been officially named the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). On this date the first passenger train to reach the Pacific from Montreal arrived, marking the first transcontinental crossing of a passenger train in Canada.

July 5, 1970 -- An Air Canada DC-8 made a heavy landing at Toronto, bounced and lost one starboard engine. In the pilot's attempt to take off and land again, the other starboard engine fell off and the aircraft crashed, killing all 109 people aboard.

July 7, 1982 -- Parliament enacted the Young Offenders Act.


\\ AWARDS //

The Order of Canada, centrepiece of the Canadian system of honours, was instituted on July 1, 1967, on the 100th anniversary of Confederation. Every Canadian is eligible for the Order, which is conferred in recognition of exemplary merit and achievement in all major fields of endeavour. Appointments are made by the governor general, based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council of the Order which meets twice a year under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Canada to consider nominations submitted by members of the public.

When it was created in 1967 there were two ranks; Companion and Medal of Service. There are now three levels of membership in which the number of appointments is limited: Companion (not to exceed 150 at any one time) for "outstanding achievement and merit of the highest degree"; Officer (46 appointments maximum in any year) for "achievement and merit of a high degree"; and Member (92 appointments maximum in any year) for "distinguished service in or to a particular locality, group or field of activity". Companions may be appointed only when a vacancy occurs. Recipients of the Officer or Member level may be promoted. The Order's badge is a stylized snowflake of six points and is worn at the neck by Companions and Officers and on the left breast by Members. Recipients are entitled to place after their names the letters representing the category in which each is appointed: CC, OC or CM (for Companion, Officer and Member, respectively), and all may wear a small replica of the badge on street clothes. The motto on the awards is "Desiderantes meliorem patriam", meaning "They desire a better country."



Trenton, Ontario

Trenton has a lot of history associated with Canada Day. It has a population of around 19 000, was incorporated as a village in 1853, a town on July 1, 1880, and a city on July 1, 1980. However on January 1, 1998, it became a part of the new city of Quinte West.

The first settlers arrived at the mouth of the Trent River in the 1790s. Known as the gateway to the Trent-Severn Waterway, the site was called first Trent Port, then Trentown, and finally Trenton.

As a benefit of the canals development, the area had a prominent lumber industry. The largest sawmill was owned by the Gilmour Company. This plant, after many years of prosperity, burned to the ground in 1910. During World War One the major industry was the munitions plant of the British Chemical Company, which was leveled by explosions in 1918. An attempt was made to turn the town into a film production centre in the 1920s, but only a handful of films were ever produced. Trenton was chosen as the centre for the Royal Canadian Air Force and functioned during World War Two as a training base for Commonwealth pilots. Canadian Forces Base Trenton remains an integral part of the economy.



"Although a rich man, he realizes that wealth is a responsibility and gives the possessor of it an opportunity of helping his fellow men and contributing to their happiness, as well as that of the nation of which they are citizens." --Attributed to a labour organization about the millionaire philanthropist John Wilson McConnell.



By Craig

I have reverted to delivering this the way I used to send the newsletters, as an upgrade to a new server has done something bad to my mailing lists. Hopefully I will have this figured out in time for this Friday's Feature, and hopefully I will also install proper mailing-list software on the new server in the near future so that I don't have to process our millions of subscription request by hand. Well, at least the millions I am expecting any day now. Another result of the server upgrade is that the FactsCanada.ca site search engine will be off-line for a little while as I select and install a much better search engine. My apologies to you for this inconvenience.

Thanks to those of you who responded to our national appeal for publicity this week. I know we were mentioned on at least one radio show in Red Deer, Alberta, but other than that I haven't heard anything else. I waited by the phone all day on Sunday for Peter Mansbridge to call, but all I got were telemarketers who wanted to tell me about what they were selling, not listen to what I had to say about Canada's best on-line source of Canadian facts. Ah well, we'll be a household name next Canada Day. I just know that some of you had FactsCanada.ca tattooed on your chest and displayed your new tattoo proudly. Let's see the photographic evidence! You get bonus points if you're female.

As I mentioned above, I believe we were mentioned on Big 105 FM in Red Deer, Alberta. Peter, who is a radio announcer with Big 105 and an avid FactsCanada.ca subscriber, contacted me and let me know that he and a couple of other announcers at the station use some of our material on air. Thanks Peter! Much appreciated. They don't have a site there at the moment, but you can listen to Big 105 FM on the Web.



Refreshing your memory after all the suspense surrounding our giveaway, I posed the following question at the top of this newsletter: This political figure from the past was once the mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was also born on Dominion Day, now referred to as Canada Day. Who was he? Hint: He was the mayor of Winnipeg for 20 years between 1957 and 1977.

The answer is Stephen Juba. Mr. Juba was born on July 1, 1914, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He received the Order of Canada in 1970. When Juba unexpectedly resigned after almost 21 years as mayor, the race for his office was thrown wide open. The two leading contenders were Bill Norrie and Robert Steen. The latter was the eventual winner but died in office two years later, and Norrie took over for the next 13 years. Stephen Juba died at Petersfield, Manitoba, on May 2, 1993, two months prior to his 79th birthday.



This Friday we are publishing our July Friday Feature. We were planning an article on local government but, for various reasons, we are probably going to have to change that. Stay tuned and you'll find out on Friday what we'll be writing about.


I keep telling Craig, I am going to be more concise and keep this newsletter to a more manageable size, and I will... soon... I promise. For now enjoy the longer read.



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