Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Great Courage, Chance Encounter

Carrying on where I left off with this exhibit on the Second World War, here we have a look at George Boyer, who served in the Canadian Navy through much of the war.

Here is his medal set.

Something else I found affecting, an artifact from a Londoner during the time of the Blitz.

Dunkirk is also examined. Canadian infantry were stationed in Britain at the time of the evacuation.

But Canadians were involved in what's been called the Miracle of Dunkirk. Here we have one of them.

Here we have a story of Gwendoline Green, an English war bride who met a Canadian airman. 

This is the suit she wore on their wedding day.

To close off today, a look ahead.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Forever Changed: Stories Of A War

 I paid a visit to the Canadian War Museum a few days ago, primarily to take in the special exhibit that's on at the moment, running into September. The Museum came to its present headquarters in 2005, and the building feels like a ship, a bomber, or a bunker, depending on which view you have of it. It is ideal for its subject matter, which is the story of Canada at war, both at home and abroad. I came on the day after I'd been vaccinated, and actually was feeling rather trashed, so I kept this visit short.

Forever Changed: Stories From The Second World War tells a personal narrative of the war, both at home and overseas, and in both theatres of war. I found it tremendously effective, and we're going to be spending a few posts looking at it.

There was the odd bit of military hardware in here, such as these anti-aircraft guns, but the emphasis of the exhibit leaned heavily on photographs, personal items, and mementos of those who lived through the times. Most of the stories are Canadian, but not all.

Imagine, for instance, being a mother and having eight sons all in the service.

Women at home were called into the workplace to replace men off to serve. Or perhaps were already there. This is one accomplished example.

This particular story drew my attention: twin brothers, dying a month apart.

This jacket belonged to one of them.

A panel here focused on women and the home front in terms of manufacturing for the war effort.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Sticky

 The first day of each day is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and for August that theme is Sticky. See how others are interpreting this theme right here

For me, the first thing that came to mind was the sort of weather conditions I dislike being out in, let alone photographing in: hot, humid weather. Such was the case one day early in July when I was out on Plaza Bridge over the Rideau Canal and photographed this view looking out over the Ottawa Locks, where the Rideau Canal descends towards the Ottawa River. Gatineau is on the far shore of the river, and off in the distance, the familiar rise of the Gatineau Hills was an indistinct blue.

I headed along the Chateau terrace towards Major's Hill Park. The Bytown Museum lies along the Canal; during the days of the Canal being built it was a commissary for the work crews.

A look back at the Chateau Laurier from within the park. For reference, this particular day was thirty degrees celsius. That's not counting the humidex.

There's a statue of Colonel John By, the British military engineer who led the building of the Canal, overlooking his achievement. The real By would have kept his coat off on a day like this during the building of the Canal, nearly two hundred years ago now. Remember that during the Tulip Festival the bed around and behind him was filled with tulips. They got replaced with annuals for the summer. This happens to be good timing, as tomorrow is the Civic Holiday. Locally it's called Colonel By Day.

The western path in the park gives views of the river below Parliament Hill. It was the sort of day you'd need water with you at all times. The view upstream was hazy.

On the Gatineau shore lies the Museum of History.

A look back towards the Chateau. What people were in the park were keeping to the shade.

The north end of the park found me looking at the National Gallery.

Notre Dame Basilica was here.

Not too far away I photographed this view looking upstream from a platform at the start of the Alexandra Bridge.

Two days later the temperatures had dropped by fifteen degrees. The humidity was gone. Contrast this last shot with my first one of the same view. The Gatineau Hills were strongly visible, with the various ridgelines defined to my view. This is the sort of weather I'd rather be photographing in.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

At The Supreme Court Of Canada

 A few days ago I decided to photograph the Supreme Court of Canada. This Art Deco masterpiece is the current headquarters of the Court, designed by Ernest Cormier, and neighbours Parliament Hill. Construction of the building began in 1939, with first cases heard in 1946.

On the grounds is a statue of a prime minister. Louis St. Laurent was a respected lawyer recruited by William Lyon Mackenzie King to serve as a justice minister in his cabinet, and succeeded King as PM. His statue's placement here is appropriate; had he not gone into politics he would have been an ideal fit for the Supreme Court.

The building did not appear open for visitation when I passed by, which may be a Covid thing. I hope to get inside sometime soon again. Two statues flank the stairs leading to the main entrance, both by the sculptor Walter Allward. It was Allward who created the monumental Vimy Ridge Memorial, and both statues bear his style.

Veritas, or Truth, is this one on the west side.

A look up the stairs.

And here we have Justitia, or Justice.

Canadians watching newscast reports featuring a Court case might often see Justice at this angle, with Parliament Hill in the background.

Heading behind the building brings us to an overlook of the Ottawa River below, with Gatineau on the far shore. A look west takes in the Portage Bridge.

A look forward gives us a view of the Alexandra Bridge in the background, with a glimpse of the Museum of History. The island in the river below has some hardy bushes that somehow manage being inundated in the spring. This time of year birds hang out on it.

And a last look for today to the east, with Parliament Hill.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Alongside The Mighty Chaudiere

Continuing on today, here we have views from the main viewing area of the Chaudiere Falls. And here is one of the videos I took during this visit.

I continued a little further on, towards the end of the pathway where I took more shots and the second of these videos of the falls. I have sat before in the chairs up here. The roar of the waterfalls has a lulling effect; on a pleasant day it would be all too easy to fall asleep while sitting.

On my way out I photographed the view upstream. The Ottawa River is wide here. The buildings in the background are at Tunney's Pasture on the Ottawa side of the river. A portion of the old railway bridge I mentioned the other day can be seen as well.

One last shot for this walk. I passed by the War Museum. Across the street is some parkland and I paused to photograph this. I'm guessing it's lavender, but I assume my gardening readers can confirm it readily. In that regard, I'm hopeless.