"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where Did My Ancestors Come From?

from Eastman's Online - Dick Eastman

Myron Phillips wrote to tell about a mapping site that contains information about the origins of many Europeans. The map gives history and a timeline up to modern day. It is primarily European maps, but touches on Asia.

If you have had your DNA tested, you already know where your earliest ancestors originated. Now you can see where they originated on a map. You can also see migration patterns and also see a timeline of those migrations. The European History Interactive Map at Worldology.com shows the origins of nations and ethnogroups. It optionally can also show ancient and modern political boundaries.

You can find the Worldology interactive maps at http://www.worldology.com/Europe/europe_history_lg.htm

...read the full story at Eastman's Online

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Canadian Government Supports 100th Anniversary of Norquay, Saskatchewan

photo credit: Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists

NORQUAY, Saskatchewan, December 20, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Citizens of the town of Norquay will be able to celebrate their community's 100th anniversary, thanks in part to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament (Yorkton-Melville), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The three-day event is being organized by the Norquay Recreational Board Centennial Committee and will take place from July 27 to 29, 2012. It will include performances by local musicians, singers, and Ukrainian and Aboriginal dancers; an art show featuring local painters, sculptors, and craftspeople; and a display chronicled by an on-site historian. A sculpture and mural created by local artists will also be unveiled during the event. Before the celebration gets underway, heritage signage will be installed on the store fronts of Main Street.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to celebrate important milestones like the centennial of Norquay," said Minister Moore. "By supporting these anniversaries, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our communities and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"Norquay's Centennial Celebration will be filled with exciting activities to commemorate this significant event in our history," said Mr. Breitkreuz. "Congratulations to all of those who have worked so hard to make this event a reality."

"We hope everyone who has been a part of our last hundred years will come to help us celebrate this momentous occasion," said Tricia Challoner, President of the Norquay Recreational Board Centennial Committee. "We are excited to be able to showcase our local artists, performers, and artisans as we honour our past and look forward to our future. The funding from the Government of Canada, along with the support of the community and many volunteers, will ensure that our centennial is marked by a great event-filled weekend and will help us leave a lasting legacy with murals and sculptures."

The town of Norquay is a small community located in east-central Saskatchewan, between the northern edges of Saskatchewan's Parkland region and the northern wilderness area.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $36,080 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Dramatic Stories of New Brunswickers in Wartime at the Canadian War Museum

OTTAWA, December 14, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Explore the profound impact of the two World Wars on ordinary people of New Brunswick in New Brunswickers in Wartime, 1914-1946, the new exhibition opening today at the Canadian War Museum.

New Brunswickers in Wartime, 1914-1946 features the personal stories of individuals who served in uniform or in wartime industries, and those who supported the war from home. It also examines the people's readjustment to civilian life at war's end. Organized and first presented by the New Brunswick Museum, the exhibition was adapted by the War Museum for its presentation in Ottawa.

"We are very pleased to work in partnership with the New Brunswick Museum to bring this important exhibition to Canada's capital," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, which operates the Canadian War Museum. "The unique experiences of citizens of New Brunswick also shed light on the experiences of all Canadians in wartime."

Share the experiences of New Brunswickers such as the five Carty brothers, who all served in the air force; Medric Leblanc of Rogersville, a member of the First Special Service Force; Margaret Pictou Labillois from Eel River Bar First Nation; and Alice Murdoch, who entertained troops during the Second World War. These captivating stories—heroic, amusing, brave, sad, celebratory and moving—will bring to life ordinary people and these extraordinary times.

"We are proud to share the stories of the citizens of New Brunswick," said Minister Trevor Holder, New Brunswick Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport and Tourism and Parks.

"We hope that it will be as appreciated by visitors to the Canadian War Museum as it was by all those who viewed it in New Brunswick," said Jane Fullerton, CEO of the New Brunswick Museum.

New Brunswickers in Wartime, 1914-1946 features more than 300 outstanding artifacts and archival items from 45 lenders. Adaptations by the War Museum include the addition of original works of art from the War Museum's Beaverbrook War Art Collection and a closer look at some of the personal stories highlighted in the exhibition.

The New Brunswick Museum originally organized the exhibition in 2005 to commemorate the Year of the Veteran and the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. It has been well received by museum audiences in Saint John, Moncton and Edmundston. This will be its first presentation outside New Brunswick. The exhibition will run in Ottawa until April 9, 2012, Vimy Ridge Day.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100 Years Ago Today: Roald Amundsen Stands On The South Pole

One of Scotts party/Public Domain

fromTreeHuger.com Science / Natural Sciences
by Lloyd Alter December 14, 2011

One hundred years ago today, Roald Amundsen arrived at the South Pole and planted the Norwegian flag on the spot. Anyone who has read Roland Huntford's 1979 book Scott and Amundsen: The Race to the South Pole is pretty much convinced that Amundsen was an exploring genius, learning from the Inuit how to dress, how to eat, how to use dogs and travel in comfort and style, and that Scott was a fool who used horses and automobiles unsuited for the campaign, and had nobody to blame but himself for his death. The Sunday Telegraph review said "In death, Scott became immortal. Now his reputation and character are torn to shreds." In the Spectator, they wrote "the plaster saint has been smashed forever!"

Now, on the hundredth anniversary of Amundsen's victory, Scott's reputation is on the rise again. He was interested in science and research; he was actually slowed down on his trip by scientific equipment. Amundsen was all about speed and efficiency. On Discovery News they write about how Scott even dragged rocks around on their sleds:

As Scott and four of his men were returning from the South Pole to their base at Cape Evans, 800 miles away, they stopped to pick up some unusual rocks at Mount Buckley, along the Beardmore Glacier.

The rocks later turned out to be fossils of Glyssopteris, an extinct fern that had also been found in India, South America, Africa and Australia. Scott's find later proved that that Antarctica was once part of a giant super-continent that broke up 160 million years ago. The fossils were found inside a tent alongside the frozen bodies of Scott and his men.

Huntford would say that Scott had rocks in his head instead of his sled, carrying all that extra weight; For Scott, the science mattered. His team did important meteorological work and studies of marine life. Apsley Cherry-Garrard complained that he almost died collecting some birds eggs that in the end sat in a drawer at a British Museum for thirty years without being looked at.

Now, a remarkable new book has been published that shows another side of Scott: He was a photographer too. David Wilson's The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott is a stunning book, if only because of the surprise that such a collection of photographs could kick around, essentially lost in a basement for almost a hundred years. I wonder, if Huntford had seen these photographs, if he could have been so dismissive of Scott; they show a serious and determined man, on a heartbreaking and backbreaking struggle.

Amundsen went to the South Pole the way the Americans went to the moon: design a trip to take as little as possible and throw everything you don't need anymore away when you are done. In space, it was the lunar module; for Amundsen, is was the dogs. You get there fast, but you don't leave much of a legacy. Scott was there, literally, for the long haul.

December 14, 1911: Roald Amundsen, the brilliant explorer and discoverer of the Northwest Passage, becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. He then sat down and had a cigar and a shot of schnapps; not a bad plan at all.

...read the fully story at TreeHugger.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shakespeare in the Parlor

Shakespeare's works were quite popular within the United States from the time of the early colonies, but the first illustrated version of the bard's works did not appear until the 1840s. Between 1844 and 1847 Gulian C. Verplanck's "Shakespeare Plays" was published, complete with elaborate illustrations.

This digital collection from the American Antiquarian Society brings together a range of illustrations of Shakespeare's works from a literary annual and gift books in the nineteenth century.

The materials here are divided into different themes, including "Imagining the Man", "Comedies", "Women", and "Re-using Shakespeare". Visitors can click through each theme to learn about these various illustrations, which include depictions of Miranda, Juliet, and scenes from The Merry Wives.

The exhibit is rounded out by a bibliography and an "About" area.

Visit Shakespeare in the Parlor

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Finally, the Christmas Charts Get Some Xmas Factor!

LONDON, November 29, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - My Favourite Time of Year by The Florin Street Band is being hailed as the first classic Christmas song in decades. The ambitious Victorian-themed project features dozens of musicians including The English Chamber Choir who were recorded at Trevor Horn's studios in London. The accompanying period music video attracted the skills of top American cinematographer, John Perez, and sees an entire Victorian town covered in snow, with a cast and crew of over 100 people. This was all achieved without record company backing because of one man's sheer determination. After three years of trying to persuade the major record companies to compete with The X Factor, British composer Leigh Haggerwood decided to make it happen himself by gathering his musician friends and using his life savings to fund the project.


Disappointed by the demise of the Christmas charts, Leigh Haggerwood set about writing an authentic, traditional style song that would include all the elements of true Christmas classics.

"I grew up in the 70's and 80's at a time when everyone looked forward to the charts on Christmas day, but the magic has gone because nobody seems to be writing new Christmas songs anymore and the music industry is now geared towards albums, not singles. Writing a song that could match the standard of the songs we know and love was a massive challenge for me, but as My Favourite Time of Year evolved, it felt like it was meant to be. I imagined the music video as a Victorian winter wonderland setting as I was writing the lyrics, but an idea like that costs money, and I couldn't find anyone to back me. When the Facebook campaign made number one at Christmas 2009 I was quite encouraged - it was clear that people really do care about the Christmas charts, so I took the decision to gather together my musician friends and form a collective which I called 'The Florin Street Band'."

Victorian Video

Video production companies would not entertain such a grand production idea with such a small budget, and this was the next barrier. But Leigh was fortunate enough to discover a talented director called Nick Bartleet and his company Pixelloft.

"I was blown away by the quality of his work. He loved the song and totally got my vision of snow-filled streets, lanterns, and a magical feel. Budget was a big issue; we squeezed every possibility out of what I could afford and asked friends and family to help. Meanwhile, a legendary American cinematographer called John Perez heard about the project and loved the idea of the quaint English Victorian town so he offered his services as Director of Photography, and with his incredible CV which includes videos by Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Coldplay, this was a major scoop. We chose Blists Hill Victorian Town at Ironbridge in Shropshire as our location. It's a wonderful place, very authentic and quaint and the result is a beautiful video that really captures the spirit of Christmas."

Website: www.florinstreet.com

Christmas 2010

My Favourite Time of Year is a heart-warming Christmas song with strong melodies and a style that echoes classic Christmas carols. It heralds the start of a new era in Christmas song writing and could also be the biggest wake-up call that the British music industry has had for years, not least because this was all achieved without them! Released December 6th 2010 - UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, Australia.

You can follow the Florin Street Band on the following social media channels:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/florinstreet

YouTube: www.youtube.com/florinstreet

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Florin-Street-Band/166206620064177?ref=ts

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee: A Canadian Celebration

Government of Canada Unveils Plans for Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

OTTAWA, December 6, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Harper Government today unveiled plans for the celebrations of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee—the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the throne as Queen of Canada. The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, made the announcement today at an event at the Royal Canadian Mint, where he joined His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston at a ceremony for the striking of the first Diamond Jubilee medal.

"Our Government received a strong mandate to support and celebrate important milestones for Canada, like the Diamond Jubilee," said Minister Moore. "The only other time Canada celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of a reigning sovereign was for Queen Victoria in 1897. By supporting this most historic and significant anniversary, our Government is delivering on its commitment to reinforce our heritage through active celebration of our institutions that define who we are as Canadians."

Canadians from coast to coast to coast will celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee by organizing and delivering a series of activities at the local level that best reflect the communities in which they live. Such events could be held on key dates throughout the year, including the anniversary of the 1952 accession on February 6, Commonwealth Day on March 12, Victoria Day on May 21, Canada Day on July 1, Thanksgiving, and Remembrance Day.

"For 60 years, Her Majesty has exemplified the true meaning of public service," said Minister Moore. "Today, I invite Canadians to start planning for the Diamond Jubilee. This is an opportunity to celebrate the past 60 years under Her Majesty's reign, her dedicated service to our country, and the important role of the Canadian Crown."

Including the Diamond Jubilee medal program announced in February 2011 by the Governor General and the Prime Minister, the Government will invest $ 7.5 million to increase awareness about this national milestone and encourage Canadians to actively celebrate it in ways that are most meaningful to them.

This includes support for the following:

...community group funding to develop unique, grassroots Diamond Jubilee celebrations

...promotional materials for teachers, youth leaders, and local organizations to promote Diamond Jubilee and strengthen Canadians' awareness of our institutions

...a Diamond Jubilee Week, which will be the week beginning February 6 to coincide with Her Majesty's accession to the throne in 1952

...education tools, including an update of A Crown of Maples—a publication that explains the role of the Crown in Canada and our constitutional monarchy

The Diamond Jubilee is just one of many anniversaries that are bringing Canadians together as the country moves closer to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. Other key anniversaries include the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup in 2012, the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald and the 50th of the National Flag in 2015, and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 2017.

For more information, visit the Diamond Jubilee website at www.diamondjubilee.pch.gc.ca. For details on the medal program, please refer to www.gg.ca

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee: A Canadian Celebration

In 2012, Canada will mark the 60th anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty The Queen as Queen of Canada. To celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, a special program is being implemented to honour The Queen's reign, her service and her dedication to this country, as well as to celebrate Canadian achievements of the last 60 years.

To date, there has only been one Diamond Jubilee celebrated in Canada—that of Queen Victoria in 1897. This anniversary therefore provides a unique opportunity to celebrate our traditions, history, symbols, values and institutions, particularly about the role of the Crown in Canada.

The elements of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations include the following:

...Diamond Jubilee medals: Some 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals—to match the 60 years of service of Her Majesty—will be given to Canadians throughout the year. This is a legacy activity that honours Her Majesty and recognizes the service of Canadians from all walks of life and backgrounds who have made significant contributions to their communities and helped create the Canada of today. The achievements of younger Canadians who are actively contributing to our future will also be a focus.

...Community-based funding initiative: Funding is being provided to support local activities that celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is available to associations, communities, educational institutions, and First Nations groups. This grassroots approach gives ownership to communities and allows citizens to decide how best to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in ways most appropriate to them.

...Website and social media: The Diamond Jubilee website is an important source of information for Canadians, providing a single window to all Jubilee activities. It includes a special calendar feature—updated as the Diamond Jubilee year progresses—that provides information about events happening across the country. Canadians will also find links to interesting photo and video sources that feature Her Majesty and key milestones in Canada's history. Educational materials, notably an updated edition of A Crown of Maples (a booklet that explains the role of the Crown in Canada and our constitutional monarchy) will be accessible on the site. Canadians will also be able to order promotional items. There is also a section where Canadians can send greetings to Her Majesty. The website is www.diamondjubilee.pch.gc.ca.

...Promotional items: Promotional items for the Diamond Jubilee include paper hand flags, lapel pins, and posters. These are available to Canadians who are organizing an event and also to teachers and youth leaders to complement their learning materials.

...Youth: Initiatives to engage youth and foster greater awareness and understanding of the Monarchy's role in Canada, our system of government, and our collective sense of identity are included in all the Diamond Jubilee pillars.

The year will be launched with Diamond Jubilee Week, from February 6 to 12. A number of activities, including medal ceremonies, will be held across the country during this period. February 6, 1952, was the day Her Majesty The Queen acceded the Throne as Queen of Canada.

Federal departments and agencies have also developed initiatives, such as issuing commemorative coins and stamps, and holding special citizenship ceremonies. Other activities will be announced in lead-up to the Diamond Jubilee year. The Government has also partnered with provinces and territories and non-governmental organizations on celebrations that will take place across Canada.