Saturday, October 31, 2009

Canadian Government Doubles Quebec's Territory in 1912


How many people are aware that the Canadian Parliament in 1912 passed a law giving to the Province of Quebec, jurisdiction over de territory of Ungava thus more than doubling its territory as described in this "La Presse" map/collage of the province, of the 12th of May 1912. I had read about this but completely forgot about it until going over some old newspapers.

I am sure many Canadians/Quebecers will be surprised to learn about this.


......Fall Back...... put your clocks back tonight

Well it's that time of year again to put your clocks back 1 hour tonight ( Except you MaggieMck, & our other members from Saskatchewan....... I think we should do away with this ritual,as it really serves no purpose,but in anycase tonight's the night:




Have Fun & Remember Verdun

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oldest Veteran ........Thanks Btw: Buy Poppy if you can

Hold It High
by Adam Day

Jack Babcock passes the torch.
(Video Captures: Veterans Affairs Canada)

It is hard to say that a Remembrance Day ceremony could have a star, but this one did.

When Canada’s last remaining First World War veteran, Jack Babcock, popped up on the big screens surrounding the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, the crowd—some 25,000 strong—reacted with the kind of excited applause that just doesn’t normally happen at such a solemn ceremony.

They were overjoyed to see the old soldier. And the part Babcock played, of passing on the torch of remembrance, was as important as it was appreciated.

Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 2008, was a bitingly cold and cloudy day in the nation’s capital, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone too much. The veterans, young and old, seated closest to the memorial took turns struggling with the situation: they struggled to stand, they struggled to stay warm, they struggled to see, but they didn’t complain.

Veterans stand proudly during the ceremony.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Beyond the veterans were the ranks of Canadian Forces soldiers, Royal Military College cadets, diplomats, and the thousands who braved the crowds and the cold to take part.

Behind the crowds up on Parliament Hill, the big guns of the 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, kept going off, blasting noise and the smell of cordite across the open, windy square. Soon it started to snow, just a little.

The ceremony began right on time. After the last post, the lament and the moment of silence, Dominion President Wilf Edmond read the Act of Remembrance in English, followed by the Legion’s Honorary Grand President Charles Belzile, who read the act in French. Then a first: Canadian Aboriginal veteran Tom Eagle strode to the microphone and, after solemnly holding up a large feather, read a symbolic version of the act in an aboriginal language.

Just as Eagle finished, four grey CF-18 jets from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron thundered overhead in what seemed to be a perilously tight formation. Right above the memorial, one of the jets pulled up tightly and blasted into the clouds to complete the vaunted ‘missing-man formation.’ It was a brief, but astonishing performance.

Petty Officer First Class Brian Rainbow (front), Flight Sergeant Paras Satija (left) and Master Warrant Officer Shawn Claire.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Soon it was time for Babcock’s turn. The idea was that he would pass on a torch of remembrance through several generations of Canadian veterans in order that it be placed in the hands of a modern-day soldier.

When Babcock’s name and age were announced, a delighted murmur rippled around the crowd. And when he appeared on the huge screens encircling the war memorial the crowd erupted with applause, unmistakably happy to see Babcock looking hale and hearty in his Vimy 1917-2007 Birth of a Nation T-shirt and a Legion cardigan with a little Royal Canadian Regiment pin. "We must never forget our fallen comrades," he said in his deep voice. "I pass this torch of remembrance to my comrades."

The parade marches off.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

He held the torch, raised it, and said into the camera: "Hold it high."

Waiting at the base of the memorial to receive the torch were four men standing proudly in their respective uniforms. The first recipient of the torch was Second World War veteran George Dunlop, a Royal Canadian Hussar who landed just after D-Day and fought his way through France, before taking part in the liberation of Holland.

Dunlop turned and passed the torch to Korea Veterans Association of Canada national President Al Tobio, who served during the Korean War as a stretcher-bearer with 25 Field Ambulance. Without pause, Tobio turned and passed the torch to James O’Brien, a veteran of several deployments to the Golan Heights and Sinai Desert, who was representing the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP).

For the final handoff, O’Brien turned to Sergeant Randy Keirstead, a Royal Canadian Dragoon wearing the now-familiar desert tan combat fatigues the Canadian Forces use in Afghanistan. Keirstead carried the torch forward and placed it boldly in its stand, as if he were responding to the commandment to hold it high, as if he were answering the question of whether today’s modern veterans can carry the legacy of Canada’s military history and answering it with a resounding, ‘yes we can.’

The torch is passed from Al Tobio to James O’Brien.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

In 2006, Keirstead spent months on the very front lines of the war in Afghanistan. Arriving in October as a replacement, he took part in big and small operations alike, from the daily grind of defending little bases and strongpoints in Panjwai to big battle group endeavours like Operation Baaz Tsuka, Kierstead saw it all. And as he says, he couldn’t have been prouder to play such a pivotal role in this historic ceremony.

Also adding greatly to the ceremony were Brigadier-General, The Reverend David C. Kettle, Chaplain General to the Canadian Forces and Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka, Honorary Chaplain of Dominion Command.

Just after the conclusion of the prayers and the Ottawa Children’s Choir’s touching version of In Flanders Fields, the ceremony’s most important guests placed the first wreaths.

Sergeant Randy Keirstead deposits the torch.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Governor General Michaëlle Jean placed her wreath. Prime Minister Stephen Harper placed his. Chief of Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk placed his. And Silver Cross Mother Avril Stachnik placed hers on behalf of all Canadian mothers whose sons died in the service of their country. Placing a wreath on behalf of the Legion was Dominion President Wilf Edmond. Also placing a wreath was Ontario Command President George O’Dair.

Placing a wreath on behalf of Canadian youth were this year’s national senior winners of the Legion’s annual literary and poster contests. Silvia Alvarado, the colour poster winner from Ottawa; Monika Stahlstrom, the black-and-white poster winner from Surrey, B.C.; Katrina Elissa van Kessel, the essay winner from Elliot Lake, Ont., and Andrea Murray, poetry winner from Benalto, Alta.

Silver Cross Mother Avril Stachnik, Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Front and centre to help were the three recipients of the Legion Cadet of the Year awards. Sea cadet Petty Officer First Class Brian Rainbow from Ladner, B.C.; army cadet Master Warrant Officer Shawn Claire from Victoria, B.C., and air cadet Flight Sergeant Paras Satija from Campbellton, N.B.

On the Friday before Remembrance Day, Stachnik was introduced to Canadians as the Silver Cross Mother for 2008. The ceremony took place at the memorial centre inside Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery, which is where Sergeant Shane Stachnik is buried alongside many other CF members in the National War Cemetery.

Chief of Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk and Dominion President Wilf Edmond.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

The ceremony was short but well attended. General Natynczyk was there, as was Minister of Veterans Affairs Greg Thompson.

Legion Dominion President Wilf Edmond did the honour of introducing Stachnik to the assembled crowd and media. "Since 1919 the Silver Cross has been presented to mothers and widows who lost their loved ones," said Edmond. "And since the first national Remembrance Day ceremony in 1931, when The Royal Canadian Legion first conducted the ceremony, its mainstay has been the Silver Cross Mother. No other bond is more heartfelt than that of a mother and her lost child," Edmond continued. "So we choose the mother with great care, because we know it entails a great deal of courage and a great deal of commitment to fill the role."

Many veterans were moved to tears by the event.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Stachnik spoke about what this all meant to her. "I am honoured and overwhelmed to have been chosen as the Silver Cross Mother. From the first call I received in January I didn’t hesitate, and to make the announcement here where my son is buried makes it most significant. I know my son would be proud of me."

Stachnik then paused for a moment before continuing. "Yes, I will be thinking of my own son when I place the wreath, but I will also be thinking of those who died in our nation’s defence, because I know how it felt when the word came. It doesn’t matter how one feels about war, but you have to support our troops at home and abroad. They gave everything they had and deserve to be remembered as the heroes they are."

Afterwards, Stachnik and her daughter Deanna spent some time at Shane’s grave. He died on Sept. 3, 2006, during the first day of Operation Medusa. An engineer, Shane was at the front end of Charles Company’s ill-fated assault on a well-fortified enemy position and was killed instantly when a large-calibre weapon—probably an 82-mm recoilless rifle round—exploded on the turret of the light-armoured vehicle he was riding in.

Children place their poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

On the Monday before the ceremony, the Silver Cross Mother joined the cadets and students to tour the Parliament Buildings, the Canadian War Museum and at a special luncheon put on by the Legion in their honour.

During a visit to the Parliament Building’s Memorial Chamber, Stachnik stood silently and gazed at her son’s name, inscribed in a book of remembrance. In a brief ceremony conducted in the Memorial Chamber, House of Commons deputy Sergeant-at-Arms André Boivin presented Stachnik with a framed replication of the page with her son’s name inscribed.

Seated veterans converse before the ceremony.
Photo: Metropolis Studio

Meeting Jack Babcock

In early October, Legion Dominion Command President Wilf Edmond and Dominion Command administrator Danny Martin travelled to Spokane, Wash., to spend time with Jack Babcock and his wife, Dorothy.

Babcock is not only Canada’s only surviving First World War veteran, at 108-years-old and still cogent, he is a marvel. During the course of their visit, Babcock would recount all manner of stories from his war service, everything from getting in trouble for breaking important equipment to romancing a young Scottish girl to getting seasick and spending days without eating.

While Edmond and Martin had a practical goal to their mission—to videotape Babcock passing the torch for the national Remembrance Day ceremony—they were there to honour Babcock and show their respects on behalf of all Legion members.

Jack Babcock and Dominion President Wilf Edmond chat during the visit to Spokane, Wash.
Photo: Dominion Canada

In the bright little room of the house where Babcock lives, Edmond began the meeting with small ceremony. "It is a distinct pleasure to be here to meet you and greet you," Edmond said to Babcock, who was seated on the couch. "We are honoured as an organization for veterans to be able to present you with this distinguished honorary life membership award."

Edmond then produced a large plaque, heavily engraved and then made to hand it to Babcock before having second thoughts. "It’s kind of heavy," Edmond said.

"Just put it on my lap," replied Babcock.

Edmond gingerly reached down to place the plaque on Babcock’s knees.

"And here’s the card signifying that you are a life member, and a lapel pin as well," said Edmond.

"Oh thank you," replied Babcock, reaching up to take them.

Edmond then gave Babcock several hats, including one from Vimy, which matched the shirt Babcock was wearing. The presentation of gifts didn’t end there. He was presented with a crest, another lapel pin, poppy pin, the first specially minted 90th anniversary quarter, and the special Armistice silver dollar.

"Comrade, it is my pleasure, and I thank you for my freedom," said Edmond, reaching out to shake Babcock’s hand.

Soon the group, which included representatives from Veterans Affairs Canada, got down to the business of capturing Babcock on film. "We must never forget our fallen comrades," said Babcock. "I pass this torch of remembrance to my comrades. Hold it high."

With the business done, Babcock reminisced for a while about his memories of the war; and while still sharp, he does have some trouble remembering exact details of these events. He was 15—out chopping wood at his brother’s place—when the army recruiters came around. "There was a sergeant and a lieutenant who came. I don’t know whether the lieutenant came or not, but there was a sergeant who came and he told us about the charge of the light brigade."
"‘The cannons they volleyed and thundered,’" Babcock remembered the sergeant saying. "And they got to the Russians, they killed them with their sabres, some of them. But they lost a lot of men. I imagine they lost about two-thirds of their men."

Even now the story still holds power for Babcock, who became wistful, repeating the phrase "the cannons they volleyed and thundered," again.

Babcock said he decided then and there he would join. The next Monday he walked some 13 miles to the local depot in Sydenham, Ont. "Later we went to Kingston, Ont., and drilled in the armoury. Then we went to Val-Carter. Which the Frenchmen call Valcartier," he recalled with a hearty laugh.

Babcock remembers getting issued "the old Ross rifle," the infamously in­effective weapon the Canadians carried for a short time during the war. "It was a clumsy rifle," said Babcock, describing some of the problems with the rifle’s handling. "But it would shoot all right."

"I went overseas on the California (a ship), and I landed in Liverpool. I think we were about nine days going over…. I was seasick both times (there and back), and I laid up on (the) deck. I’m not a good sailor," he joked. "I just laid up there until I got over it. I hadn’t eaten for several days. And then when I finally got over it I went down to the mess hall and ate at least two men’s rations."

In England, Babcock was deemed too young for immediate deployment to France, so he was placed in a holding unit along with many other underage soldiers. "I didn’t do a damn bit of fighting. I signed up and I would have gone to France if I could have, but they put me in this young soldiers’ battalion and they drilled the hell out of us. They drilled us for eight hours a day and I mean drilled us."

To prove his point, Babcock sang an old marching song they’d taught him.

He also recalled his time in the bugle band. "I’m tone deaf. I never learned to blow the goddamn bugle. (Heavy laugh). We’d march around at the head of the thing and I would just put the bugle up to my face. I couldn’t blow the goddamn thing but I went through the motions."

A little later during the visit—with Babcock growing increasingly tired—Edmond and Martin moved to wrap it up, and let the old soldier get some rest. "Mr. Babcock, it’s been a real honour to be in your presence," said Martin, concluding the meeting. "It has been an honour to talk to someone that’s been in the First World War—the last surviving veteran."

Babcock was then handed a Legion hat which read in block letters the word VETERAN. Babcock struggled with it for a second but managed to slip it on and sat kind of happily, waiting to see what comes next. A more perfect hat would be hard to find.

SOURCE: Legion Magazine - January 1, 2009.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Church

Many small churches are turning up in Verdun such as this Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses Church at 1292 Lloyd George Street. We are fortunate to have one of our members (SHGV), Mario Parent who is making a university financed research (École des Sciences du Québec à Montréal) on all churches that exhisted in Verdun from the beginning of its foundation to today. He has turned up many photos, old and currant, of these churches wich I am adding to my photo album no. 32.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Montreal Turcot & NotreDame St projects in question ?

It seems the 'rats' are under the spotlight right now, So I would imagine the kickbacks will have to be scaled back a little, at least until the right payoffs to the right people are made ,to make this latest expose of graft & corruption amongst the builders & the politicians ,goes away: 

The Radio-Canada investigative show Enquête last week suggested the cost of roadwork in the Montreal region is artificially inflated by about 30 per cent due to collusion among construction companies. You can watch it online here.

That report and allegations construction companies are surreptitiously funding political parties and their leadership campaigns and giving kickbacks for contracts raises questions about two giant roadwork projects Quebec is planning for Montreal, both of which are mired in controversy.

The province plans to spend $1.5 billion rebuilding the Turcot interchange and another $1.5 billion rebuilding Notre Dame St. Let's see: 30 per cent of $3 billion is $900 million. That would buy a lot of public transit.

There's still time to rethink Notre Dame and Turcot. On the latter, Quebec is inexplicably keeping the report on public hearings into Turcot under wraps until after the election, despite calls for its immediate release by Projet Montréal (in this press release) and later Vision Montreal.

The scandals and the many questions raised about the two projects (critics say they’ll increase car traffic and plans don't do enough to boost public transit) may encourage Quebec to go back to the drawing board. (Environment Minister Line Beauchamp has until Nov. 11 to make public the Turcot report.)

Hoping the province will do just that, opponents to Turcot are planning a "symbolic action"/demo on Sunday, Nov. 8. They're encouraging protesters to "bring along an object depicting alternative transportation" – bikes, inline skates, skateboards, etc.

The protest is being organized by Mobilisation Turcot and its partners. To read why organizers are organizing the event, click here.

- Andy Riga

                 Hmmmmm  Business ,as usual, the Tremblay thieves ,have to protect themselves from the allegations from the 'would be ' Harel thieves,who would like to take power in Montreal ,so they can can scoop the deals............hahahaha   HF&RV

Guaranteed Pure Milk Bottle

The Guaranteed Pure Milk Bottle was finally completely repainted as described on the La Presse photo this morning. The text specifies that it is 10 metres high, weighs 6 tons and was built in 1930 and was painted as it was originally. Here is the comment:

"It is a small coat of paint but a large step for the Montreal heritage" 

This statement was made by  Dinu Bumbary, a great defender of  historical buildings and objects that have an historical value in the Montreal area.

Too bad he wasn't there to protect the "Pavillion" that was at the corner of Church and LaSalle where the founding of Verdun ocurred in 1876 and wich was demolished in 1954 to be replaced by a car wash next to a service station.


P.N. I am able to enlarge the photo by clicking on it but I have the Premium option. Can everybody enlarge the photo wich enables you to read the text ?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Verdun Flying Club

I brought this subject up before but I am still fascinated by this accomplishment by a Verdunite by the name of Albert Wm Quicke who was a plane builder and who built a glider that he flew in the VHs schoolyard in the 30s. I hope you can read the letter as it describes its operation of the car towed glider. I also posted the story on the "Messager" wich you can view at in the SOUVENIRS section and also in the english section in the TOP STORIES section.

I made a special binder for our archives (SHGV) with photos and correspondence.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Novemebr 11th Remembrance Day

If you have a Canadian $10 bill, look at the back right side of the bill.

  • You will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial.
  • His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last year, at the age of 90. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the   Second World War.
  • Born in England, he one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg.
  • He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. Enroute to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire.
  • Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk.
  • Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in north Africa and Italy.
  • Enroute his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck. 
  • In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel
  • Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital.
  • They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre. 
  • After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county.
     At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa. One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him.

     "He had no idea he would be on the bill," his daughter said.

And now you know the rest of the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.

Old Verdun Letterhead

This is the logo used on the City of Verdun letterheads, and other official documents prior to adapting their new Logo on February 12th 1952. A Beaver over a Maple Leaf, both used on our pennies and 5 cent money.

More interesting historical facts about Verdun from our archives (SHGV).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take a Tour of (almost anywhere) BUT HOW ABOUT VERDUN TO START WITH

Start with any address you like (or can remember ) and type it into the search window on Google,.then when you arrive there,click on 'street view' you may have to click on 'more' this will then show you a few options ,one is street view, then follow the arrows baby & your on a tour of Verdun like you wouldn't believe.........Big Brother is not only Watching , he's been watching for some time.............Cool stuff......

                                                   You will have fun with this one..........HF&RV

       Want to tour Wellington Street or the waterfront ........have at 'er baby ,this thing works great......................but forget about your civil liberties, cause if this is what they allow us to see,.then imagine what they already have........hahahahah    HFD&RV

New Movies

Well I finally got to watch Michael Moore's new film 'Capitalism, A Love Story'. This doc really needs to be watched by everyone, especially union men and women. He explains the financial crises so a pug like me can understand it. All I can say is keep an open mind. Don't allow your preconceived ideas sway you one way or the other. Take it all in and then decide what's what with Wall Street and your family. Remember if you will, Wall Street affects the world including Verdun.
Bill (Second Avenue)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Verdun Palace Theatre


I made a major discovery thanks to you. I discovered that the Palace theatre wich was situated at 3841 Wellington was converted and replaced by the Cinéma Verdun Odéon as you can see from the photos. I took the top photo on the 21st of April 2007. The same sign was modified by adding the Odeon sign on top of the canopy wich was later removed and a publicity window was built into the wall on the left. The front of the building on the left was renovated but my guess is that the orginal structure was kept as we all know how well these buildings were constructed in the good old days.I got this information from the Lovell directory 1974-75. The movie that appeared reads: Tremblement, 2 ième, Airport wich I believe was a sequal to the first movie in wich included Charlton Heston, Richard Windmark and many other top actors of the day many of wich are no longer with us. And look at that crowd, unbelievable don't you think, considering  it being the TV era. Reminds me of the days in the 40s and 50s when we would line up in front of the 4 Verdun theatres. I saw many serial and cowboy movies in that theatre in the 40s and for only .10.

Nobody seemed to be aware of the exhistance of the Odeon theatre specially since I have been doing research on the subject for the past 4 or 5 years, not even in our own society (SHGV). This is a major addition to our archives.


P.N. For those who don't know, The Palace was situated on the north side of Wellington between Church and Hickson.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Le Gros Bill #4 , Jean Beliveau (has some fans)

Check this out ,some fans carved a huge swath into their cornfield as a tribute to Jean Beliveau,,,,,,,,,,this thing is 600 feet in size.........that's a neat tribute to a true gentleman  :

 Here's the article which appears in today's online Gazette:

He's been looked up to by generations. But only when you look down on Jean Béliveau from an airplane, into a six-acre corn field in Florenceville-Bristol, N.B., can you grasp how much this Canadiens icon is larger than life.

This Jean Béliveau measures nearly 600 feet from head to stick blade - the length of three hockey rinks laid end to end - in a field on the farm of Chip and Tom Hunter.

He skates, sort of, in a design celebrating the centennial of the Canadiens, since childhood the favourite hockey team of the brothers who are fourth-generation farmers, for the past 32 years working soil that has been in the family since 1890.

Since Labour Day, visitors to their farm have walked roughly four kilometres of paths among nearly a quarter-million stalks of corn, with the Hunters' imagination and GPS technology having fashioned this remarkable maze of maize.

"I have seen statues of myself in bronze, wood and ice. But I have never been made of corn," Béliveau said yesterday.

"I'm sorry I was too busy to go for the opening."

The photo appearing here, taken in late August with the corn having grown to five of its 12 feet, is the first he has seen of the field.

Béliveau first learned of the project in a letter he received last month from Chip Hunter, a 1974 graduate of the Macdonald College agricultural program in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

The Canadiens Hall of Famer, cutting back on his legendary appearance schedule, phoned Hunter to express regrets that he couldn't visit.

"He must have thanked me five times for this great honour, as he called it," Hunter said. "But he was the one honouring me for even acknowledging my letter."

Florenceville-Bristol, global headquarters of McCain Foods Ltd., is designated the French Fry Capital of the World and is home to Potato World - the New Brunswick Potato Museum. Now the Hunters are putting the town of about 1,400 on the map for their remarkable annual maze.

Chip Hunter knew that this celebration of the Canadiens centennial - he hopes the club doesn't pursue him for unauthorized use of its logo - could feature only one superstar. A famous Béliveau portrait by late team photographer David Bier served as the model.

"It's the quintessential image - upright stance, fluid movement," Hunter said.

"I wanted an iconic symbol. I love Jean Béliveau. I grew up with him."

The Béliveau maze is the 12th in an annual project that began with small fields to attract visitors to the farm's public market.

But modest mazes and a simple labyrinth evolved when the Hunter brothers connected with engineer Trevor Welch, who works with the satellite-based Global Positioning System; GPS is a highly accurate tool for, among others, mapmakers and land surveyors.

Mazes began to feature important events in Canadian history, whimsical themes like Harry Potter and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat and, in 2003, Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy, pegged to local minor-hockey fundraising.

The Béliveau design took shape with a sketch, after which Welch set out into the field to map its enormous scale, plotting many points of the illustration in a tight timeframe around his other work and the capricious weather.

Feed corn was planted on June 25 and then the Hunters waited. When the stalks began to emerge, they sprayed marked areas to kill off strips that would become the paths.

And they'd make this more fun more than a simple maze. Ten bilingual, multiple-choice questions on Canadiens history would be scattered about, visitors given game cards and instructions that they'd need to navigate the entire maze to find them all.

On a lookout bridge, seen at Béliveau's lower glove, the curious can get above the stalks for an elevated look, "since they don't know whether they're walking in Jean's foot or head," said Hunter, who admits he's "not better at getting around this than anybody else."

There's a quiz on the bridge, too, asking visitors to match Canadiens players with their nicknames.

The devoted might spend 90 minutes searching for the challenging questions.

Hunter's brother-in-law, Kevin Rea, a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, scored a respect-able seven out of 10 on the quiz, and for that he was gently heckled.

"I told him: 'How ironic that you'd do so well on a quiz about the Canadiens,' " Hunter said, laughing. "I asked him: 'Do you study their statistics out of envy?' "

It's with a little trepidation that the creators take off in the Piper Cub of McCain pilot Bob West to inspect their work before it opens to the public, never sure until then how it's turned out. In a wing-dipped rapid descent, Hunter said, they can shoot a couple of good photos per fly-by.

It's never perfect. Hunter said that Béliveau's nose seems too thinly seeded and it "looks a little like his head is separated from his body." But the corn, and Béliveau features, have filled in since the photo was taken.

Hunter expects as many as 7,000 visitors will walk through Le Gros, Gros Bill by Nov. 1, when he said he won't be able to sell his post-Halloween pumpkins for a dime and will plow the corn into the field, thus not losing much fertility in the field.

Next year's maze is yet undecided, but it will meet the brothers' criteria of being Canadian, family friendly, topical and with an interesting graphic.

It's for these reasons the mazes lure teachers and kids, hockey being of special interest. Hunter said this year's Canadiens theme, featuring his hero Béliveau, might be the farm's most popular yet.

Of course, his brother-in-law expects equal time for the Leafs. "I told him it was being planned," Hunter said. "For 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the Leafs' most recent Stanley Cup."

See more of the mazes at

Friday, October 9, 2009

Verdun's Favorite Watering Holes

While in Verdun yesterday I took some photos of Verdun's 2 favorite watering holes across the De L'Église (Church) avenue bridge. To my surprise, the former tavern on the right as we cross the bridge is now, are you ready for this, BAR ISTANBUL, that's correct, BAR ISTANBUL. What's the world coming to.

Of course, to the left across the street it is now the brasserie named BRASSERIE CÔTE ST PAUL. As we all know, taverns are now called Brasserie and women are allowed. On my way back to my car, I photographed the Montreal skyscrapers from the De L'Église (Church) bridge. What a view.

My car was parked on Hickson at the corner of Cool and I noticed how shabby the houses looked. Garbage bags half opened and junk all over the place, in the yards and galleries. Next time I will take photos and send them to city hall and I will tell them to clean up their act.

I lived on Evangéline (formerly Bond) in my youth and I don't think it was that bad .


John Lennon

It's the birthday of John Lennon, born on this day in Liverpool (1940). His parents separated when he was one. His mother came in and out of his life, and he was raised by his aunt and uncle. But his mom taught him to play the banjo and they listened to rock 'n' roll records together.

Sixteen-year-old John started a band called the Quarrymen, and when they were playing at a church fundraiser, Paul McCartney heard them and came up to introduce himself. Soon, McCartney was part of the band, and the two teenagers started writing songs together. When John's mother died in a car crash a year later, he and Paul McCartney became even closer, because Paul's mother had died from cancer less than two years earlier.

In 1960, the group became the Silver Beatles, and soon, just the Beatles, but it wasn't until 1962 that they ended up with the four band members who would become the band as we know them: Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

The Beatles became a sensation; "Beatlemania" swept across Europe and the United States.
When his son Sean was born in 1975, Lennon retired from public life and spent five years staying home with his family. In November of 1980, he and his wife, Yoko, released an album called Double Fantasy, gave interviews, and considered touring again. But on December 8th, he was shot outside his apartment by a 25-year-old man named Mark David Chapman. Chapman was obsessed with J.D. Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye, and claimed that he thought of himself as Holden Caulfield, and that this would explain his actions — although he later admitted that Holden Caulfield would probably not have shot someone.

A few days after her husband's murder, Yoko Ono asked for 10 minutes of silence to honor him, and people all over the world observed the silence, including a crowd of more than 100,000 people in Central Park. The area of Central Park between 71st and 74th streets was designated "Strawberry Fields," a green space and peace garden in memory of John Lennon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Xanthie Chouliaris

Looking for Xanthie Chouliaris, went to Connault Elementary and the VHS in the mid 70s. Does anyone know her whereabouts?

Remember Verdun ? Sure You Do !

Remember discussing the attempts at crossing over the 4th avenue bridge.via the Arches.......  (I tried it and kept sliding back,it was a slippery little devil,) I never made it over but a lot of Verdun kids did,...................







.......Now I wonder if kids still try this trick ??  The photo is from a newspaper called the

          ..."Le Petit Journal "....   May 3rd ,1953......about 10 years before our group tried this..................    but I know some of you did it( at lesast I seem to recall a couple of you saying you did it,on the old MSN site)......This photo should bring back some memory's for you..................................Have Fun & Remember Verdun

     ps: Thanks to Coolopolis site ,where I found this article , a Very Good Montreal Blog site,which contains all kinds of interesting stuff......  Thanks Coolopolis

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Willibrord Park in Early 40s

Here is an old photo wich I found in our archives and wich is the Willibrord park as I knew it in the 40s. The new City Hall was not yet built and you can see 3 skating rinks, the snow from the front rink has not yet been rmoved. You can see the Willibrord school on the left and I think that is the Willibrord church to the right of the school in the background. There is only 1 car visible to the left on Willibrord street. You can also see the building where we would put on or remove our skates and of course warm up. Who knows, I may even be on the rink playing hockey in the photo !

This photo appeared on the front page of one of the first booklets "Les Argoulets" and wich was published in December 1995. Serge Durflinger, the author, was a member of the administration and one of the early members of our society (SHGV)

I have to go to Verdun this week and if I have time, I will drop by City Hall to get detailed information on the new park wich is planned including the artificial ice rink.


Old 1702 Map of Verdun and area

Here is an old hand drawn 1702 map of Verdun and general area wich I found in our archives at the SHGV yesterday wich I thought might interest you. Shown on the left are 2 forts, Fort Remy and fort Cueillerier wich were situated in Lachine and Ville LaSalle, Lachine Rapids wich were called Sault St Louis, Heron Island,Verdun and Les Argoulets wich became Verdun also and where the first habitants colonized the area (Atwater- Hickson-Church), Ile St Paul (Nun's Island) Côte St Paul, Lac St Pierre, also called Petit Lac St Pierre wich is today called Turcot yards and Lac à la Loutre, Rivière St Pierre wich reached  the St Lawrence river at the Verdun Pt St charles border (see my recent post). 

Hopefully you will be able to enlarge the map to better identify the area.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Bank Robberies

Remember when Montreal was the bank robbery capital of North America,,,,,Even during a big snowstorm once I remember 2 or 3 banks were robbed by noon of that day,and the crooks escaped on snowmobiles................hahahahah  Later on Vancouver earned the Bank Robbery capital of Canada ,.......mostly Quebecers were doing it.

  Here's a list of some Bank Robberies ,back in the old days.........