Monday, August 7, 2017

Hope And Looking Ahead

Picking up where I left off yesterday in the Museum's Canada History Hall, this photograph was on the wall. It was originally taken during the Constitution negotiations in 1981; Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is at the left in the shot, while at the right is the premier of Quebec at the time, Rene Levesque. The latter was rarely seen without a cigarette dangling from his lips- he might well have slept with a cigarette in his mouth.

This large photograph dates back 50 years, taken on July 1st, 1967 during the centennial celebrations in front of Centre Block. The photographer of the original? The landscape photographer Malak Karsh.

A display panel nearby goes into detail on Terry Fox, the young amputee marathon runner who lost a leg to cancer at 18 and set out to run across Canada from east to west to raise money for cancer research. Starting in St. John's Newfoundland in April 1980, his marathon a day journey caught the imagination of the country, ending near Thunder Bay in Ontario when the cancer had returned. He died in 1981, but his example has continued to inspire others, and each year, runs in his name are held in Canada and beyond to raise money for cancer research. One of his T-shirts is on display.

The relationship between Canada and the United States is examined here as well, including the Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas comedy characters Bob and Doug Mckenzie. Other panels include quotations from Pierre Trudeau and American president John F. Kennedy about the relationship between the countries. With the last of these shots, both national flags are at half mast in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a shot taken in Gander, Newfoundland, where numerous international flights bound for the United States were taken in on that day.

This is the second copy of a stained glass window that has been placed in Centre Block on Parliament Hill in recent years. Metis artist Christi Belcourt designed this window titled Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead) as part of efforts to recognize residential school survivors and their families among the ongoing efforts at reconciliation with First Nations peoples. Its counterpart is placed above the west entrance into Centre Block.

This ceremonial headdress is on an extended loan to the Museum from its owner. Phil Fontaine is a former National Chief of the Assembly Of First Nations, serving in that role from 1997-2009, and a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation of Manitoba. 

I neglected to photograph the details on this, but this ceremonial attire is also of First Nations origins. 


  1. Lots of interesting history!

  2. History teaches us many things. Have a great new week!

  3. Truly, Terry Fox was an inspiration to us all.


  4. Interesting and inspiring person that Terry Fox.

  5. that is too funny ...the hubby and I were googling those radio hosts just the other day ... i had never heard of them and the hubby talking about how funny they were ... so we were listening to them ... great humor! ( ;

  6. Hello, interesting bits of history. Terry Fox is inspiring. I love the stained glass windows. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

  7. Great photograph by Malak Karsh...
    Love the stained glass window too.

    Happy Monday Wishes

    All the best Jan

  8. I like these vignettes of life in Canada. :)

  9. I love the stained glass window and the ceremonial headdress.

  10. @Kay: there is no shortage of it here!

    @Nancy: thank you.

    @Janis: definitely.

    @Jan: he was.

    @Tom: certainly.

    @Francisco: thanks.

    @Beth: Bob and Doug are an institution.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Jan: thanks!

    @Halcyon: me too.

    @Karl: both are distinctive.

  11. You show a tremendous variety in this post. Every exhibit is new and surprising.

  12. Wow, that ceremonial attire is something special to see.

  13. Great post, William. And I love the Royal Canadian Air Farce!!! :)

  14. What a wide representation here of Canadian history! The stained glass window is so beautiful & in a completely different way, so is the First Nation head dress & tunic.

  15. @Red: I was impressed by the museum.

    @Sharon: it certainly is.

    @Linda: thank you!

    @Red: and more of that tomorrow.

    @Christine: thanks!

  16. Thanks for an interesting post, William.

  17. Fascinating post William. Terry Fox was an inspiration, a courageous man. I also will never forget the kindness and generosity of spirit of the people of Newfoundland on 9/11.

  18. I remember reading and hearing about Terry Fox. He still is an inspiring story of courage. Some great moments of Canadian history. A fantastic post William, thanks!

  19. The US is lucky in her choice of neighbor.

  20. Hello William, we are just home from being away for 2 weeks and I enjiyed this post and the previous one. Thanks for yiur comments on our ore-scheduled posts. We managed to catch up and read all of them.

  21. Always love to see old photographs William. The First Nation ceremonial headdress and robes are wonderful.

  22. Today's photos bring back some memories.

  23. This is like a snapshot of Canadian history. I love the green and orange combination on the boots in the last photo.

  24. I especially love the two flags flying side by side. I wonder how long that unity will last with the Great Orange Idiot currently occupying the White House.

  25. I know history of Canada better and better thanks to you.

  26. @Marleen: you're welcome.

    @Denise: thank you.

    @Bill: he was an extraordinary young man.

    @Cloudia: definitely.

    @Beatrice: thanks!

  27. @Grace: they are.

    @Jack: I can see that.

    @Eve: me too.

    @Norma: we know there are plenty of Americans who disagree with the Great Orange Idiot.

    @Klara: thanks!