Monday, November 14, 2016

Canadian Week in Review 14 November 2016

I have come across the following Canadian genealogy, history and heritage websites, social media, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

This Week in Canadian History 

John McKenzie became the second Prime Minister of Canada

In 1873, John McKenzie became the second Prime Minister of Canada. He introduced the secret ballot, established the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston in 1874, created the Office of the Auditor General in 1878, and struggled to continue progress on the national railway. 

He was also in power during the economic depression that had grown out of the Panic of 1873 - The depression took place from 1873 until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The Panic was also known as the "Great Depression" until the depression in the late 1930s. 

For more information, go to 

Social Media 

(Video) An oral history of Sobeys' 'Star of Christmas' holiday commercial  

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was the Christmas TV jingle that was instantly recognizable to people across the Maritimes: 

Days of Christmas now are here
Everyone is full of cheer
It's the very best time of the year... 

Canadian Letters and Images Project captures first-person history of veterans 

The Canadian Letters and Images Project—an initiative begun by the Nanaimo University’s department of history—started in 2000 with the mission to create an online archive of soldiers’ letters and photographs, from any war, in order to give those brave souls a dimension often lost to the passages of time. 

Newspaper Articles 


Why Newfoundland and Labrador always remembers 

The First World War was deserving of its title as “The Great War.” This was the first time industrial warfare swept across a global scale. 

Prince Edward Island 

Green Gables Heritage Place redevelopment underway, says Parks Canada 

Phase one of a major redevelopment of Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish, P.E.I., has begun, with work taking place this fall and over the winter to support construction and on-site operations during the 2017 tourism season. 

Anglican church congregation takes down church upon closure 

After closing down its 175 year-old church, the congregation of 12 people at St. Mark's Anglican Church in South Rustico, P.E.I., made the decision to take down the building.  

Nova Scotia 

From whence we came: Learning from our history 

Any conversation with a Nova Scotian will eventually arrive at the ocean. We all carry beliefs and memories about our province’s oceanic nature, most of which are rooted in stories about stormy tragedies, majestic tall ships, or the exploitation of what seemed like an endless, bottomless resource. 


From the ashes of the Quebec City armoury fire to coin of honour 

Lt.-Col. Jonathan Chouinard was there the night the of the armoury fire on April 4, 2008, like so many other members of the Voltigeurs who heard the news and came to see it for themselves. 


Newmarket ready to designate three properties under Ontario Heritage Act 

Three more Newmarket properties may be given historical designation. 

On Monday, council is expected to designate three sites under the Ontario Heritage Act. The properties are 379 Botsford Drive, 411 Millard Avenue, and 17030 Yonge Street. 

Regional contribution to war 'way high' 

Historian Phil Miller, one of three padres at Branch 25, Royal Canadian Legion, said given the 4,000 in the First World War and 3,000 in the Second World War, “We’re way high”.  

Remember This? 'Bill' Merrifield, Northern Ontario's only Victoria Cross recipient  

One of Sault Ste. Marie’s greatest war heroes, William Merrifield, or “Bill” as he preferred to be called, was the recipient of six medals during the First World War, including the British Victoria Cross.  

Remembering a black soldier in a 'white man's war'  

Kathy Brooks doesn't have too many memories of her grandfather, but the ones she does have stand out. 

Henry Thomas Shepherd was a big, strong military man who took pride in his posture. "No slouching!", Brooks remembers him saying.

Nipissing creates museum exhibit using GIS mapping, 3D modelling 

A virtual exhibit developed in North Bay will be used to transport users back in time to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. 

History: Nov.7, 1900 – 3 Victoria Crosses for Canada 

One of Canada’s oldest regiments, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, has for it’s regimental badge, a South African springbok. 

It might seem strange for a Canadian military unit to have an African animal as its symbol, but it goes back to 1900 and an action that saw three Canadians awarded the Empire’s highest honour for valour, the Victoria Cross. 

A service of remembrance – a Canadian first at Ontario’s Gursikh Sabha Canada 

For the first time in Canadian history, a Canadian Armed Forces unit held their annual Remembrance Day exhibit at a Sikh place of worship – the Gurdwara. 

Air Canada swiftly reverses poppy stand after outcry from staff, union 

Air Canada has reversed an edict advising flight attendants against wearing poppies on their uniforms, hours after a company vice-president issued it. 

How Ontario’s Mennonite pacifists remember 

Most Mennonites in Ontario didn’t fight in the Second World War, but they helped build Canada in other ways. Here are the stories of one group of conscientious objectors 


Agriculture project receives heritage grant  

An essential record of Manitoba’s agricultural history is being organized through a project at Brandon University’s S.J. McKee Archives.

10 children to war: McCreary, Man., family believed to have sent more kids to war than any other  

The walls of the legion in McCreary, Man., like others across Canada, bear photos of the men and women who served our country and secured our freedom. 

But take a closer look and you'll find one wood-framed Second World War memorial with 10 photos that isn't like the rest. 


Alberta Main Street Seeks Stories on African American History  

The public is invited to an informational community meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave., to talk about the Alberta Main Street’s storytelling project.  

Film examines wartime sacrifice  

The docu-drama is inspired by the true events of Lt. George T. Davidson, a privileged and wealthy Medicine Hat lawyer who gave it all up to serve in the trenches during the First World War. 

British Columbia 

SOOKE HISTORY: Sooke Royal Canadian Legion, 1927 

The Remembrance Day parade always brings our servicemen and servicewomen and the Sooke Royal Canadian Legion to the forefront of our minds. 

New Westminster heritage homes stir up debate at council 

Two heritage homes, two different results. On Monday, city council considered heritage alteration permits for 215 Manitoba St. and 105 College Crt., ultimately voting four to two in favour of allowing the Manitoba Street home to be demolished and unanimously opposing demolition of the home on College Court.

Sikh Pioneers in BC Recognized In New Stop of Interest Sign 

Early Sikh pioneers in Golden were recognized today with a new Stop of Interest sign next to the viewpoint off Golden View Road in British Columbia. 

The sign recognizes the contributing role Sikhs have played in Golden’s History. 

Amateur WWI history database getting overhaul from UVic 

A massive amateur history project about the thousands of Canadians who took part in World War I is getting assistance from the University of Victoria this Remembrance Day. 

Canadian Stories this Week 

Hamilton Branch Loyalist Cemetery Plaquing Project 

Kudos to the people who have been placed a Loyalist plague at their ancestors grave sites in Ontario since 2009. 

The article entitled Hamilton Branch Loyalist Cemetery Plaquing Project on the United Empire Loyalists page at says that they “chose a plaque with two layers of polymer resin with white background and blue lettering. The armourial bearings are on the plaque painted with acrylic paint. We have a nice royal blue 2 inch metal post, 8 feet high with a cap on it, to which the plaque is attached”. 

So check the page to see if any people are your ancestor. And while you are there, go to the Loyalists Directory to see if your ancestor is there at 

Brock University Digitization Collection 

Have you ever visited Brock University Digitization Collection at the James A. Gibson Library? 

They have The Special Collections and Archives houses some of the more unique, rare and valuable collections in the Brock University Library. Primary collecting interests include The Niagara Collection, The Loyalists Collection, The Masonic Book Collection, and the War of 1812 Materials. 

This is a great resource, growing everyday, it seems. 

I needed to see the maps of the Welland Canal the other day, and I fell upon the site, and was impressed! 

They are very user-friendly, and there is a free tutorial to show how you should view the maps at 

Take a look at what's available, it may surprise you. 

And that was the week in Canadian news! 

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