Sunday, December 16, 2018

Final Viewpoints

Picking up where I left off yesterday, here we have another view of the Hall of Honour from Confederation Hall.

Turning around gives us a view down the stairs towards the main doors. During my visit, the exterior doors on the east side were shut, while the west side doors were open.

Turning around again gives us views of carvings, with Confederation Hall still in the background.

I stepped back outside, photographing details above the door.

Here we have the east doors. An inscription above the door is translated into French over the west side doors.

The carvings continue around the arches at the base of the Peace Tower. While I'm done with this series, I'm not done with this spot- my Christmas series kicks off with last year's visit to Confederation Hall, and I'll be featuring the winter lights on the Hill late in the month. I'm also planning on getting back up to the observation deck soon on a clear day for some proper, non-foggy views, and that'll show up early in the New Year.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Confederation Hall

Confederation Hall is the axis point of Centre Block. It is a grand entrance hall set behind the main entrance of the building, with corridors leading off from here to the House of Commons, the Senate, and the Library of Parliament. It is exquisitely carved with classical features and Canadian symbols. This time of year it is decorated for Christmas.

Here we have a view looking down the Hall of Honour towards the Library of Parliament.

The central pillar is wrapped in Christmas decor at present.

A straight on view of the Hall of Honour.

The views looking up are just as dramatic. I will be concluding this series tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Usual Suspects

Leaving the Memorial Chamber, I paused to photograph the other lion carved into the wall here.

The nearby window also caught my eye, as did another of the nearby carvings.

I also took a chance to photograph down into Confederation Hall, as that was where I was going.

Coming down a flight of stairs, I paused to photograph down the hall that leads to the Commons foyer. Portraits of the prime ministers line both walls, and the last members of a tour group were headed that way. Portraits are generally done when a prime minister has left office. The previous PM, Stephen Harper, has not yet had his done. I suspect if he does, it might be a sort of Dorian Gray situation where he stops aging and the portrait captures his inner monster as time progresses, hence the delay. :)

I showed you a couple of the portraits earlier in the series, and I've got four more of them here, hence the post title. John Turner succeeded Pierre Trudeau as Liberal leader and Prime Minister of the country in 1984, spending merely eleven weeks in the job before being turfed out in the election he called.

The man who defeated him was the Conservative leader Brian Mulroney, who would occupy the office from 1984-1993.

The Liberals retook the reins of power that fall, and Jean Chretien won elections as leader on three occasions, serving as prime minister from 1993-2003.

His finance minister and party rival Paul Martin succeeded him in office, becoming Liberal leader and Prime Minister when Chretien retired. In the election that followed, Martin's Liberals lost majority status in Parliament, holding on as a minority government until 2006 when the tables turned. The newly reconstituted Conservatives came back to power, and the dread age of darkness that is otherwise known as the Rule of Stephen Harper, Dark Lord of the Sith, began.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Quiet Sanctuary

It was time for a change in the seasonal header image, and so I switched it last evening, selecting a winter shot of Parliament Hill, taken from Major's Hill Park on New Year's Day this year.

Carrying on where I left off, I took another shot of the grand stained glass in the Memorial Chamber. This place feels very much like a sanctuary. It brings out a mix of feelings- beauty, power, and deep sorrow.

Here are more inscriptions on the walls- campaigns and battles for Canadians in the Second World War.

Another case contains a book of remembrance for the Korean War.

An inscription on the nearby wall features both that war and international operations Canadians have been involved in.

The heart of the room is this book of remembrance for the dead of the First World War on top of this elaborately carved centrepiece.

Today I finish with a look up at the exit of the Memorial Chamber. The glass above does not have an exterior view, and so is lit from the other side.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

In Perpetual Memory

In the upper spaces of the Memorial Chamber, stained glass windows of commemoration give colour to the space inside.

Here we have another of the books of remembrance. Newfoundland and Labrador only came into the Canadian Confederation in 1949, and so for the two World Wars, most Newfoundlanders fought directly under British command, while some were seconded to Canadian units. Hence their names are inscribed in a book of their own. 

A close look at the pages says a lot. Common names as seen in the first two, John Joseph Carew, are accompanied by numbers designating them as separate soldiers (this would be typical of other common names, for instance John Smith). Both men were from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, both died on the same day- July 1st, 1916. That date can be seen on other names on these two pages. They fought and died at Beaumont-Hamel as part of the larger Battle of The Somme- a date in which the Newfoundlanders suffered horrendous losses in battle, nearly wiped out entirely in the space of a morning.

This is an inscribed passage in the wall nearby by Alfred Earle Birney titled On Going To The Wars.

More inscriptions can be found, including a passage from Psalm 139 that is very appropriate for such a place of military remembrance.

The chest beneath it contains the book for dead of the Second World War.

Nearby another case contains a book of remembrance for the Merchant Navy, sailors who risked life and limb bringing much needed equipment and supplies across the ocean to the battlefields of Europe, particularly in the Second World War. Many of them died at the hands of enemy submarines and surface ships.

The floor is inscribed with the names of a number of World War One battles where Canadians fought, bled, and died. Passchendaele, a particularly vicious and costly victory, is one of them.

Another case contains the names of those who have died in service over time from after the Korean War, either in combat, in peacekeeping duties, or by accident. The pages when I visited were open to names from 1991.