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February 25, 2010

More History Notes in Perspective

Black History Month Event

February is Black History Month and the Nipissing University African Canadian Club will present an evening called Black History: From Past to Present. The event will be held in the Theatre at Nipissing on February 27 beginning at 6pm and will feature dance, music, poetry and fashion.

Earthquake Aftertalk

In my recent Northern Ontario Earthquake article I mention the 1989 Gord McCulloch article in the Nugget about the 1935 earthquake centered on Temiscaming, Quebec. I had an interesting talk with Gord’s wife Bertha, who lives in Temiscaming, after the article was published. She recalled being in the quake as a teenager and the school evacuations when there was an aftershock. Gord did great work as a Nugget reporter and author of the Pine Cones history column. Their daughter Liz worked for the Nugget for years and lives in Sudbury now with her husband Bruce Cowan the publisher of the Sudbury Star.

Amelia is Still Flying

I wrote about Amelia Earhart in October 2009 and about the movie on her life. It did not get wide distribution but I saw many copies in Blockbuster recently and rented one and enjoyed it. Copies should be available at your library or in stores soon.

The Beaver is Dead

Canada’s History Magazine – the Beaver- has lost its Beaver title after 90 years, and will now be called Canada’s History. I enjoy the 6 copies I get each year and presume they will remain the same high quality.

Beaver Magazine’s last issue with Beaver title

Redbridge Eccentric’s Book

Fran Morris who wrote dozens of refreshing articles in her unique style for Community Voices has published a limited edition of those articles. Most went to family and friends but I found one at the North Bay Library where she works. She has added several pages of photographs and the stories are still as fresh and funny as I remembered. Put your name on this waiting list.

Peace Guerilla book by Ben Hoffman

Peace Guerilla

I mentioned painter Arlie Hoffman in my recent article on the controversial Barnett Neuman painting. His brother Dr. Ben Hoffman has been an outstanding mediator and negotiator for 30 years and has told about his experiences in a new book Peace Guerilla. The cover was designed by Arlie’s son Kevin.

Ben spoke at the North Bay Canadian Club in November and his stories especially working for President Jimmy Carter in the Sudan are fascinating. Ben was profiled in a book called Stolen Angels which is being made into a movie called Soldier Girl. When I Googled Ben’s name there was an article suggesting that his role might be played by George Clooney. I bought a copy at Gullivers in North Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Louise de Kirilere Lawrence looking over Pimisi Bay in 1940’s L

Louise de Kirilene Lawrence Remembered

Louise de Kirilene Lawrence (1894-1992) the remarkable nurse,naturalist and author of 7 books and dozens of articles lived on Pimisi Bay on the Mattawa River in Calvin Township. I wrote about her here in May 2002 and I have read her books which are still in print. I also included a sidebar on Louise in my recent book on Dr. Monestime because Louise went through some of the same experiences as Dr. Monestime’s wife Zena when Louise lost her husband Lt. Greb de Kirilere in the Russian Revolution.

Amy Wallace who worked at the Callander Heritage Museum as a student and discovered Louise who was a lead nurse with the Quints in their early years and was profiled at the museum. Amy read The Loghouse Nest, one of Louise’ books, and began an in depth study of Louise’s life. The study carried over to Amy’s university work at the University of Western Ontario where she will graduate this spring with an Honors Specialization in in Visual Arts. She read Louise’s books, visited Louise’s Loghouse nest and visited the National Archives where she studied Louise’s archived material. She also produced a variety of unique art works reflecting her interest in Louise. These works were shown in London at Western in January and early February and are currently being shown at the W.K.P. Kennedy Gallery in the Capitol Centre North Bay until March 11.

Amy has also produced an authoritative and scholarly book on Louise – An Exploration of the Life and Works of Louise de Kirilene Lawrence. The book contains an essay by Amy and one by Christoper Regimbald, a former associate at the Kennedy and she included remarkable photographs of Louise from the National Archives. The book also shows Amy’s art work and serves as a catalogue for the exhibition. At $7.00 the book is a gem honouring Lawrence as a feminist icon and herself as a scholar and artist.

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