[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-31Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-31Su.

August 5, 2001.

[John] When your survival is at stake, sometimes it's the most simple defence that proves to be the best in the end. Last week I heard of an incident in the Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve in Nunavut that proves this point. Four campers were asleep in their tent in this park on Baffin Island when they were suddenly awakened by a polar bear trying to gain access to there humble abode. What was their defence? No less than a pocket knife. After what seemed to be a brief encounter (the bear was probably as frightened as the campers), two of the campers ran to the local RCMP detachment where help was attained. The other two the campers were flown the 100 kilometres to a hospital in Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital, where they were expected to recover fully from their ordeal. Nunavut's Department of Sustainable Development ordered the park closed until further notice, and nearby residents of Kimmirut were warned not to wander outside their community. Wildlife officers said it was very unusual for a polar bear to be as far inland as it was, especially in late July. I guess it's a good thing for the bear that they didn't pull out the can opener!



\ Question of the week
\ Biography -- John By
\ Notes from the notable -- Carole Champagne
\ Place names -- Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland
\ Awards and medals
\ Canadian trivia
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Joke of the week
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Preview
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information



What was the Grosse Ile Quarantine Station? The answer, as usual, can be found near the bottom of the newsletter.



John By

John By was neither born in nor died in Canada, but his marvels of engineering and the legacy of Bytown survive to this day. Born in Lambeth, England, and baptized on August 10, 1779, John By first came to what was to become Canada in 1802, where he worked until 1810 on the locks on the St. Lawrence River and on the fortifications of Quebec City. Soon after his return to England he was appointed engineer officer for the Royal Gunpowder Mills, promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and in 1826 he was recalled to Canada to build the Rideau Canal.

The Rideau Canal was originally built because the British feared a possible invasion from the newly formed and quickly growing United States of America to the south, and they needed to be able to link the Ottawa Valley with Kingston thereby having an uninterrupted waterway between Montreal and Kingston through Ottawa. John By, then 47-years-old, was chosen to orchestrate this feat. Over the next six summer working seasons, he and thousands of workers forged the 200-kilometre route from its starting point, which became known as the village of Bytown with its incorporation the year after work began. A technological feat at the time, By devised the scheme of building some 50 dams and masonry locks along the route and by 1832 the canal was completed. Returning home expecting to be rewarded for his achievement, he was criticized for over expenditure and died a broken man in 1836.

Bytown was later incorporated as a town in 1847. Growing and thriving during this time was another community which also had its start as a result of By's efforts, as it sprang up around Bytown to supply material for the canal. This community became the City of Ottawa with its incorporation on December 18, 1854. The name was chosen to honour the 200th anniversary of the first flotilla of furs brought from the western shores of Lake Michigan by the Ottawa Band and other aboriginals to trade with the French. Upper and Lower Canada merged to become one and in 1858 Bytown was absorbed into Ottawa -- which had become the capital of Canada in 1857 when selected by Queen Victoria. Ten years later the Dominion of Canada was formed and Ottawa remained its political centre.

I encourage everyone to read another very interesting article on John By and the building of the canal. It goes into more detail than I have space for here. Please see the link below.

Virtual tour of Bytown



Stage name: Carole Laure and sometimes Carole Lord.

Birth name: Carole Champagne.

Birth place: Near Montreal, Quebec.

Date of birth: August 5.

Year of birth: Sources conflict, but she seems to have been born between 1948 and 1951.

Vocation: Actress (stage and screen), singer and concert pianist.

Claim to fame: After surviving the trauma of her mother's madness and eventual suicide, and her father's disappearance, Champagne rebounded with a career as a concert pianist. She was then discovered by French-Canadian film director Gilles Carle, who was captivated by her beauty and cast her in six of his films. She has also released several musical collections with songs arranged by her husband, composer and film director Lewis Furey.

Most notable films: "La Tete de Normande St-Onge", "Maria Chapdelaine" and "Fantastica" (she also contributed to this soundtrack) in French, "Heartbreakers" and "Night Magic" in English, and "Sweet Country" in Greek.



Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland

Actually located in Labrador's portion of Newfoundland, the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is the result of the 1974 amalgamation of the two towns of Happy Valley and Goose Bay. With a current population of around 9000, the town is located near the western end of Hamilton Inlet in eastern Labrador.

The existence of both towns and their subsequent merger was a direct result of World War Two. Residents of Otter Creek were relocated to the newly created residential community of Refugee Cove in 1941, allowing the Government of Canada to build an airport at Goose Bay (basically Otter Creek's land) which would provide a shorter trans-Atlantic link with the British Isles. By the summer of 1943, Goose Bay was home to the world's largest airport, used by the United States Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army. Of course, Goose Bay needed a substantial number of civilians living close by in order to service it. Therefore the community of Refugee Cove became Happy Valley, employing over 3000 workers at the air base.

After the war the government kept the airfield active, and today 5 Wing Goose Bay provides administrative, strategic and logistical service to Canada, England, Germany and the Netherlands. More than 7000 military training sorties are performed here each year by the combined air forces of these countries. While most of the civilian population that assists in the operation of Goose Bay lives on or near the base, the remaining support network live and work out of Happy Valley.

FactsCanada.ca map of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland



Thomas W. Eadie Medal

The Thomas W. Eadie Medal is awarded to recognise major contributions to engineering or applied science, with preference given to those having an impact on communications, in deference to the increasingly important role of applied science in the quality of life in Canada. The award is funded by Bell Canada and is named after Thomas Wardrope Eadie, a past chairperson of the board at Bell. The award consists of a bronze medal and a cash award of $1500, and is offered annually if there is a suitable candidate.

This year's winner was Gregor Bochmann, FRSC (Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry), working at the University of Ottawa.

The selection committee for the award is chaired by the director of the Applied Science and Engineering Division of the Academy of Science, and includes one member from the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Division, one from the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division (each appointed by their respective divisions for three-year terms), and one representative from Bell Canada.

This is a Royal Society of Canada award. The above-mentioned committee is comprised of members of the Society.

Royal Society of Canada



Eric William Leaver, who was born in Langham, England, on August 11, 1915, moved to Saskatchewan as a child and became an electronics engineer and inventor. One of his inventions was the automatic landing system used in aircraft.



Campbell Mellis Douglas, surgeon, inventor, canoe racer, soldier, Victoria Cross recipient, writer, and son of George Douglas (who was superintendent of the Grosse Ile Quarantine Station [1836-1864]), born in Grosse Ile, Quebec, August 5, 1840.

Paul Theodore Hellyer, politician and journalist, minister of National Defence, creator of the Canadian Action Party (1997), born in Waterford, Ontario, August 6, 1923.

John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, Ninth Duke of Argyll, governor general of Canada (1878-1883), writer, poet, founder of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (now the National Gallery of Canada) in 1880 and the Royal Society of Canada (1882), born in London, England, August 6, 1845.

Gordon Sidney Harrington, lawyer and premier of Nova Scotia (1930-1933), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 7, 1883.

Dorothy Louise Walton (ne McKenzie), athlete and badminton champion, born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, August 7, 1909. Walton was acclaimed world champion after winning the All England Badminton Championship in 1939, the first and only Canadian to ever do so.

Kenneth Wayne "Ken" Dryden, NHL Hockey Hall of Fame member, lawyer and author, born in Hamilton, Ontario, August 8, 1947.

Jacques Hetu, musical composer, teacher and member of the Royal Society of Canada (1989), born in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, August 8, 1938.

Alfred Bessette (better known as Brother Andre), faith healer and religious counsellor, born in St-Gregoire-d'Iberville, Canada East, August 9, 1845. He and his followers built a small oratory on the slopes of Mount Royal, Quebec, in 1904, which is still visited by more than 500 000 people annually. Brother Andre was declared "venerable" in 1978 and formally beatified on May 23, 1982. He died at the age of 91 on January 6, 1937.

Henry Percival Biggar, historian, author and archivist, born in Carrying Place, Ontario, August 9, 1872. Biggar was the premier historian of New France (Canada) of his day. He translated and edited the writings of both explorers Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain.

Jacques Parizeau, economist and politician, born in Montreal, Quebec, August 9, 1930.

Angus Lewis Macdonald, lawyer, professor and premier of Nova Scotia (1945-1954), born in Dunvegan, Nova Scotia, August 10, 1890.

James Wilson Morrice, painter, born in Montreal, Quebec, August 10, 1865.

Charles James Stewart Bethune, clergyman, entomologist and professor, born in West Flamborough Township, Upper Canada, August 11, 1838.

Mavis Leslie Gallant (ne Young), author, journalist, Officer (1981) and Companion (1992) of the Order of Canada, born in Montreal, Quebec, August 11, 1922.

Alexa McDonough, social worker, federal NDP leader and teacher, born in Ottawa, Ontario, August 11, 1944.

Canadian Action Party
Biography of John Campbell
National Gallery of Canada
Badminton Canada
Blessed Brother Andre of Saint Joseph



August 5, 1960 -- Arthur Meighen, former prime minister of Canada, dies in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 86.

August 5, 1682 -- In July 1608, explorer Samuel de Champlain put up a building on the shore of the St. Lawrence River, thereby creating the colonial post of Quebec City. Other buildings were added which established the village of the lower town, and for more than 70 years the place was a busy centre of activity. On August 5, 1682, a raging fire destroyed most of this village and its public square, but it was rebuilt. The square then took on the name of Place Royale. Today Place Royale is a major cultural attraction, the significance of which has helped to place Quebec City on UNESCO's selective list of world heritage sites.

August 5, 1940 -- During his third elected term as mayor of Montreal, Quebec, Camillien Houde, had his mayoralty suspended after calling for the defiance of registration for military service. Houde was arrested at city hall by the RCMP and interned for four years.

August 6, 1945 -- The world was changed forever when the first atomic bomb used in aggression was exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, at 08:15 local time, during the final stages of World War Two.

August 6, 1913 -- American barnstormer John M. Bryant has the distinction of being the first person killed in an aviation crash in Canada. His death occurred in Victoria, British Columbia, when his Curtiss seaplane crashed.

August 7, 1930 -- Viscount Richard Bedford Bennett began his term as prime minister of Canada.

August 10, 1816 -- While researching another article, I came upon this date as that of the earliest rowing regatta recorded in Canada in St. John's harbour in Newfoundland. The St. John's Regatta, perhaps the oldest continuous sporting event in North America, commenced two years later in 1818.

August 10, 1949 -- The C-102 Avro Jetliner, North America's first jet airliner, flew for the first time, exceeding 800 kilometres per hour. This became the first flight of a jet transport in North America and second in the world, being beaten out by two weeks by the de Havilland Comet which flew on July 27 of the same year at Hatfield Airfield in England. The Avro was designed in Canada by James Floyd.

August 11, 1954 -- The Canadian Football League's British Columbia Lions played their first league game.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
War Times Journal on Hiroshima
Glenn Curtiss, builder of the Curtiss seaplane
Avro C.102 Jetliner
"The Future, Passed"
De Havilland Comet First Flight Experiences
De Havilland Comet



Canadian Winter

An elderly woman lived on a small farm in Canada, just steps away from the North Dakota border. Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for years. The widowed woman lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren. One day her son came into her room holding a letter.

"I just got some news, Mom," he said. "The government has come to an agreement with the people in North Dakota. They've decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?"

"What do I think!?" his mother said. "Sign it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don't think I can stand another Canadian winter!"

Thanks to Liz, a subscriber from the very beginning, for sending this joke in. Have any good, clean, Canadian-oriented jokes that you want to share? Send them to me at john@factscanada.ca . Thanks.



The question I posed above was: "What was the Grosse Ile Quarantine Station?"

Answer: The station was on the island of La Grosse. Nicknamed Ile de Quarantine, this un-colonized island in the St. Lawrence River was transformed into a quarantine station in 1832 where, for over 100 years, it served as a facility for medical and other officials to house mostly Irish and English immigrants while they determined if they were a disease carrier. These efforts were only partially effective, as first cholera then typhus killed thousands in Quebec City, Montreal and other areas. Still thousands more died on the island awaiting examination and entry into Canada after enduring two to three months at sea under horrendous conditions. In 1947 the quarantine station was closed down, secret bacterial research began, and public access was denied for many years. By 1984 the entire island had been declared a national historic site and is open to visitors. A detailed synopsis is provided by Parks Canada at the link below. I encourage everyone to read it.

Grosse Ile and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site



On Friday Craig will be writing a Friday Feature on the Silver Dart.


[Craig] I had today's newsletter ready on time. Honest! However, Telus ADSL went down across British Columbia on Sunday evening and didn't come back up until Monday afternoon. There's a whole bunch of things I need to do before I can hit the send button, such as double check the links that John gives me, enter those links into a database on the FactsCanada.ca Web site, find a cool picture for our Canadian Picture of the Week, and upload all of the updated Web files to the site. Anyway, we're back up now and my withdrawal symptoms are slowly disappearing.



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