Monday, August 31, 2015

Scavenger Hunt: August, 2015 ~ Nova Scotia, Canada

Can you believe it's almost fall,
or spring depending on where you live?

We Five:  Bertie (at the top), Barb, Donnie, Roy, and I

August means spending
time with my family
in Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia.

I love it when we are
all together again.

We always take a photo
of We Five!  Often many!

I hope that August has
been a happy month
for you too!

I can't wait to see
what each of you has found!

1.  Walk
Walking in Brier Island's Nature Preserve
My Sister Donnie and My Cousin Claire
Nature Conservancy Canada

An Amazing Place to Walk
My Brother Roy
Brier Island's Nature Preserve
Nature Conservancy Canada

2.  Horizontal
Horizontal Rows of Weathered Shingles

3.  Square
Square Window Panes Along the Waterfront


4.  Diversity

What Real Grass Looks Like

 A Diversity of Plants
Smith's Cove

5.  Rough
Rough Surfaces Line an Underground Passage
Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery

6.  Bow
The Bow of the Boat Is Looking Good
Annapolis Royal

7.  Joy
Pete and Bertie Making Dinner
for the Annual Family Gathering
at Pete's Pizzeria
I love the joy on my sister Bertie's face!

 Dining Alfresco at Pete's Pizzeria
a Joyful Time
Bertie and Pete's Home
aka Grammie's House, Smith's Cove

Joy Is Spotting My Sister Bertie's Book in a Shop!
"Oscar the Herring Gull" by Roberta Heembrock

8.  Forgotten
The Details of Their Lives May Be Forgotten, 
but Their Sacrifices Have Not
Local Soldiers Who Died in WWI:
Passchendaele, Somme, Vimy, LaJoux, Lens, Mount Sorrel
Admiral Digby Archives & Museum

Wounded Canadian Soldier
Battle of Passchendaele, November 1917
flickr:  Canada. Dept. of National Defence. Library and Archives Canada    license  

9.  Crowd
Sailboats Crowd Around a Buoy in a Race
Annapolis Basin Near Digby

Vegetation Crowds the Shore
Beautiful Cove, Freeport, Long Island

10.  Colorless
A Colorless Fog Moves Onshore I
Long Island

A Colorless Fog Moves Onshore II
Brier Island

11.  Friendly

A friendly greeting
met new immigrants
when they docked
in Halifax at Pier 21:
Welcome Home
to Canada

Between 1928 and 1971
over 1,000,000 people
entered Canada through Pier 21
in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Someone Wants a Friendly Game of Fetch

12.  Whatever You Want
This Storefront Brightened My Day
Annapolis Royal

Looking up Carmichael Street
Toward the Halifax Town Clock
on Citadel Hill

My Sister Donnie and Brother Roy 
Enjoy a Quiet Drink
by the Fire Pit as Evening Falls
Smith's Cove

Happy hunting in September! 

September's List:
Woven,  Repeating,  Greedy,  Flowers,  Curly,  Adventures,  Line,
Mesmerizing,  Triangle,  Dreamy,  Day,  Whatever you want

Thanks to Jill (Greenthumb) 
and her Made with Love blog 
for setting up the scavenger hunt.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: Heath Clinics and Party Plans

Sometimes when I look back a half century,
it feels like fifty years,
and at other times it feels like yesterday.

When you're ten, it's hard to imagine so much time,
but now the years collapse into a pile of pickup sticks,
and I can grasp century easier 
than I can pull a single year out of the pile.

This child was probably ten a century ago.
I hope the next century provides better lives for
the Aboriginal peoples than the last has delivered.

Indian child, Anishnaabe
(Mattagami First Nation, Northwestern Ontario, 1913)

My father was horrified when he and Uno
helped Mike Flaherty conduct the first clinic
at Uno's school on the Father's Island.

But he was hopeful that his own students would prove healthier 
at the clinic at his school on the mainland the following day.

Wednesday, October 26, 1960
My Father Wrote:

Hi There!
Some freeze-up - ha!!!
Today the temperature hovered between forty and fifty degrees,
and it was rainy and foggy all day. 

The ice has completely gone from the lake, 
and the frost has started to come out of the ground. 

The way things look today, we are good for 
a couple of weeks more before she freezes,
although the locals all assure me that things could change 
overnight, and she could be closed in two days.

We held the clinic today in my school, 
and the difference in the children was amazing.  
They were cleaner, better clothed, better nourished, 
and better smelling than Uno’s children.  

We examined about forty-seven children 
and only found one that was undernourished 
and two that were infested with lice.  

Quite a few of them though 
were in bad need of dental attention; 
but this is to be expected, considering 
the scarcity of milk in their diets and the fact 
that they only see a dentist once in a blue moon.

Women and Children, Anishnaabe
White Dog Reserve (Mattagami First Nation), Northwestern Ontario, 1951
Flickr:  Repository:  Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto    license  

Only one family had a history of TB, 
and they are apparently all cured, 
although four children in the family 
died with the disease before it was checked.

It was so funny to see some of the little children 
objecting to the examination.  

They would lie on the floor, 
kick and scream at the tops of their voices, 
and shout “Gawin, gawin,” which means “No, no.”

I discovered what the Indian word for pipe is today.  
It is Pogan.

Indian Camps on Shore of Nipigon Lake
Ojibwe (Lake Nipigon First Nations), Northwestern Ontario, 1906

Uno and I are going to hold a stag party 
in our cottage on Halloween.
All the white men are going to come:  
Bill Mitchell and Brian Booth from the H.B.C., 
Duncan MacRae and Milt MacMahon from the D.O.T., 
Mike Flaherty from the Nursing Station, 
and the Father and Brother are all going to be here.  

We are going to play bridge, and cribbage and chess, 
and have a good gabfest.
As you probably know, the male of the species 
can actually put the female to shame in the gossip department.
I will write and tell you all about our first real plunge 
into the social swim of Lansdowne House.

I spent most of tonight helping Uno 
with his correspondence course in English  
It is doing him a lot of good, 
and it sure helps me to brush up on my English.  

It might even help me with my spelling, though I doubt it.  
I am afraid that that is a lost cause.  

I am inclined to agree with Mother 
when she says that some people are just natural spellers, 
and I can assure you all 
that I am the world’s most unnatural speller.

The diet is coming
along satisfactorily.
I have come down
to below 220 pounds, 
and I hope to be below 
200 pounds before spring.

Dad with His Friend
Duncan MacRae
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue 
 All Rights Reserved

I weigh 219 pounds with all my clothes, 
except my suit coat on.  
That should put me at about 211 pounds stripped.
I will be extremely happy
if I can get below 190 pounds stripped.

I can’t think of anything more to write about tonight, 
so I guess I will sign off right now.
Bye now, 

I can feel my father's elation after his grim experiences
at the first health clinic the previous day:
his delight at the delay in freeze-up
the health of his Indians students,
the prospect of some much needed fun,
and his shrinking waistline.

I smile at the thought of Dad remembering his own children,
and how much we must have squawked at vaccinations,
delousing, deworming, and other indignities we endured
with medical treatments during our young lives.  

But I also can sense that paternalism
that tainted relationships between Indian and White.  

A lot of good-hearted and well-intentioned people
like my father, Father Ouimet, and others in Lansdowne House
worked hard to improve the lives of the native people,
but they worked under misguided policies.  

It was the same throughout the Canadian North.
Government and religious entities took a paternalistic approach 
to controlling and managing Indian affairs
without considering whether or not
the Aboriginals wanted to be assimilated
into the mainstream non-Aboriginal society.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Crossing Petit Passage to Tiverton
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


1.  TB  Tuberculosis

2.  H.B.C.  Hudson Bay Company

3.  D.O.T  Department of Transport

4.  40º to 50º F  =  44.4 to 10º C   

5.  Photos  Just a reminder that I often use photos that were taken of people (or in areas) similar
     to those in Lansdowne House because actual photos are rare and hard to find.

Continuing with Links to Previous Northern Posts:

HR8:  What My Father Didn't Tell My Mother
(one of my most visited posts ever) 

HR9:  Grounded in Nakina

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fundy Does the Movies: Thermopylae and the 300

Clicking through the free movies on cable
late in the evening is not a good choice.

You can scan the available movies 
over and over when you have oodles of time,
and nothing appeals.

But be dog-tired long past your bedtime,
and something positively irresistible shows up.

Last night that's exactly what happened.
Up came 300.


I missed this film in the theater
when it came out in 2007.

All I could remember 
was that I had wanted to see it 
and that it was an account 
of a battle in ancient Greece.

"Available only through the 25th,"
said my cable service.

I thought it was the 25th.
I bit.

I am paying the bleary-eyed price today, 
the real 25th.

300 hooked me from its eerie, bronzed beginning:
A man holds a naked baby
under a lightning-ripped sky,
above tumbled skulls, 
and against a chorus of thunder and voices.

The narrator, a Spartan soldier, Dilios, speaks: 
When the boy was born, 
like all Spartans,
he was inspected.
If he had been small or puny,
sickly or misshapen,
he would have been discarded.
From the time he could stand,
he was baptized in the fire of combat...

I knew then that 300 would be an unusual movie.
I was not disappointed.


Thermopylae  ~  wikipedia
I can still see the word 
on the pages of my history book
in my final year of high school.

That 300.

The storied 300
and their heroic last stand
against the invading armies 
of Xerxes of Persia.
Certain death in the name of freedom.

Before I recalled the details of the battle,
I was captured by the look of the film,
gritty, surreal, mythic.

Leonidas and Xerxes

Leonidas looked like 
he had stepped out of a painting
on an ancient terracotta amphora.

Achilles and Penthesileia by Exekias 
c. 540 BC, BM. London


At first I laughed at the odd way 
the actors spoke and moved 
against the dreamlike background.

And then I suddenly realized that this film was fantasy.
Not meant to look realistic.
So I sat back to experience the tragic tale
whose ending I already knew.

Even later last night I was online
finding out more about the movie.
It had mixed critical reviews,
but attained a cult following among some fans.

The movie is based on 
a five-part series of comic books
written and illustrated by Frank Miller
with painted colors by Lynn Varley.
These were collected and published 
as a hardcover graphic novel 300

The movie was filmed to replicate
the illustrations in the comic book series.

Film Version Over Comic Panel
Movie 300

The film was shot over a 60-day period
using bluescreens,
where the actors perform against a blue-colored screen
and the background is added to the film 
during post-production.
Of course, 
many special effects were used
to create the feel of the original comic book illustrations.

Filming 300 vs Finished Product

Do you ever watch a movie and see an actor
who reminds you of a character in another movie;
but you can't think of who or in what movie?

Well, Dilios, the voice over narrator of 300,
the Spartan soldier who tells the tale of
Leonides and the Battle of Thermopylae
was one such character.

Who is This Guy?
Not Just Dilios

It was driving me nuts trying to think of who he was;
and it wasn't until the end of the movie
when Dilios is speaking to the Spartan Council
that I realized he was Faramir from The Lord of the Rings.

Faramir, Dilios, Father Damien:  
David Wenham is one versatile actor!

No problem recognizing Queen Gorgo 
as Cersei Lannister though.
I enjoyed Lena Headey's stoic performance.
She portrays strong women well.

Gerard Butler as Leonidas 
and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes
compelled me to watch,
hero and villan;
both gave me shivers. 

It took me a while to get into 
the stylized dialogue and movement,
but I kept watching 
because the movie was visually gorgeous 
and unlike anything I had ever seen.
I was fascinated.

I loved its dark, brooding palette
illuminated by blood reds and wheaten gold.

Online I read that many critics 
panned the movie as violent, bombastic, 
and racist with one-dimensional characters.  

I'll grant them violent; 
but as for the rest,
Get Over It!

Sometimes you just have to let go
and go with the flow.

Get over historically inaccurate.
Get over unconventional.
Get over West versus East angst.

It's historical fantasy
It's a graphic novel brought to life.

Take Samuel Taylor Coleridge's suggestion
and suspend your disbelief.
The ride is a lot of fun when you do.

Caveat:  If violence disturbs you,
              then this movie is not for you!

              Personally I find violence difficult to watch,
              but the surreal and stylized images in 300
              made it more dreamlike than real;
              like reading a novel
              with your imagination racing. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: Assessing the Health of the Indian Children

I'm back!

With a new Northern post
after a summer of travel.

Thanks to my long time readers 
for your patience with my reposts 
while I was gone.

And to my newer readers, 
I'll put two links in each week, 
so you can catch up on the missing chronological posts 
should you choose to.

I appreciate each and every one of you!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I left off with my father's letter of Monday, October 24, 1960:
The Last Plane or ~ Not???   letter

© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  All Rights Reserved

He and the community of Lansdowne House 
were preparing for freeze-up, a period of uncertain length
when people would be unable to fly in or out
until Lake Attawapiskat froze enough to support a plane.

Everyone was writing last letters and waiting on the last plane
to bring a last load of supplies and mail.

And Mike Flaherty, the nurse at the nursing station 
next to my father's school, was organizing health clinics
to assess the health of the Indian children in the community.

Sunset on a Northern Ontario Lake

Tuesday, October 25, 1960 
My father wrote:

Hi There:
Our freeze-up turned out to be a fizzle, 
or maybe I should say drizzle.  

It got very warm during last night, 
and today the temperature was over 40 above, 
and it has  been raining all day.  

The ice is all gone from the bay and the lake, 
and the snow is nearly all gone from the ground.  
I guess we’ll be getting mail in and out as usual this weekend.  

Oh yes, while I think of it, 
quite frequently during the winter months, 
the mail plane is liable to be delayed by the weather, 
and my letter might not arrive on its usual day.  
If it fails to make its appearance when expected, 
you will know what has happened.

It’s back to the canoe for commuting for another spell for Donald.
I will be very glad when I can lay that thing up 
for the winter and walk over on the ice.

Well, we did the clinic of the Island children this afternoon, 
and I was horrified. 

We checked about fifty children of all ages 
from one month to sixteen years, 
and I believe, if I remember, 
that over forty of them were just crawling with lice.  

And dirty – I never saw anything like it in my whole life.  
I swear that you could scrape layers and layers 
of dirt off before you would come to flesh.  

I feel sure that my children are cleaner than Uno’s are, 
but, we shall know tomorrow for sure.

Uno's School
Roman Catholic Mission
Father's Island
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  All Rights Reserved

Oh yes, over half of the children were undernourished 
and about three quarters of them had very bad teeth.  

Additionally, ten of them were T.B. contacts, 
and of these, at least two were definite suspects.

You should have seen the sizes of some of the families.  
Twelve children isn’t unusual for the Indians on the Island.
I am more convinced than ever about what I said last night 
about teaching them to limit the sizes of their families, 
especially if they can’t afford to take care of them 
and feed them correctly.

The children may have been dirty, 
but the clothes that they were wearing were far dirtier.  
Honestly, I don’t think that some of the clothes 
had been washed since they were first put on, 
and some of these clothes were quite old.

I know that my children are cleaner than Uno’s.  
When you walk into his class, the smell of dirty bodies 
just hits your nostrils like spirits of ammonia, 
whereas, when you walk into my class, 
all you can smell is Indian, and clean Indian at that.  

Dad's Students
Anglican Day School
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  All Rights Reserved

I am not being prejudiced when I talk about Indian smell.  
The Indians actually do smell different than the white people.  
I can’t describe it, nor is it offensive, it is just Indian.  

The white man’s smell on the other hand, 
is just as distinctive to the Indian.

Well, I guess that this winds her up for tonight.  
If the mail is still going by Friday or Saturday, 
I will send this last half of the letter out on schedule.

Bye for now,

It's hard to read some of the things my father wrote,
especially when he compared the conditions
of the children on the island with the children on the mainland.
But he was reporting things as he saw them,
so I will share them as he wrote them.

One thing for sure is that he was horrified,
and his letters had a huge impact on me. 

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Crossing Petit Passage to Tiverton
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Links to Earlier Posts:

HR6: Maps, Arrggghhhh!!!!!

HR7:  Nakina


1.  Photo Links:  Sometimes I find photos that I'd like to use,
                        but I can't because they are copyrighted.
                        I've decided that I'm going to provide links
                        so you can see them, if you'd like to.

                        Click on the word Photo to see the photograph.
                        I am also adding a link to the original source
                       ( although you might have to scroll down a page to see the photo).

Photo         View of the Father's Island, showing the Roman Catholic Church,
                   Dad and Uno's shack (brown) and Father Ouimet's Residence.

                   Original Description:
                   Members of the Fort Hope Band watching a floatplane arrive at the dock
                   at Lansdowne House at Treaty Time, June, 1956
                   John Macfie Transparency Reference Code: C 330-14-0-0-95.
                   Archives of Ontario, I0012712  Original Source

2.  40º F = 4.4ºC

3.  Tuberculosis:  In Northern Ontario there was a high incidence of tuberculosis among the First Nations Peoples.  The federal Indian Department surveyed Treaty Indians with the help of the Ontario Government.  Monitoring and treating T.B. was a challenge because of the remoteness of some communities and because Treaty and Non-Treaty natives were handled differently.  Source 

The Indians at Lansdowne House belonged to the Fort Hope Band and had Treaty status.
The clinics that Mike Flaherty set up at the two schools to assess the health of the students
may have been associated with the federal and provincial efforts to monitor and treat T.B.

4.  T.B. Contacts:  A close contact is a person living in the same household or having frequent
     contact with someone who tested positive for TB with a sputum smear.  Source  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Special Time with a Four-Footed Friend in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lucky me!

Someone special recently led me along one of her favorite jaunts
in Point Pleasant Park at the tip of the Halifax Peninsula.

Come On Weesie, Let's Go!

Big brown eyes,
fetching blond highlights,
an engaging and enthusiastic guide:
Who could resist an invitation like that?

From the One and Only
Ms Sophie Doodle!

Lucky Me!

Her dads Jim and Ron came too!

And of course, Mr. Orangie!

One side of Point Pleasant Park lies along the shore
of Halifax's beautiful Northwest Arm.  Location

The Northwest Arm

Right off the bat, Sophie Doodle led us down to the shore.

Now if you are familiar with Ms Doodle,
you know she has her own blog and frequents another;
and you also know that she loves, loves, loves to swim.

And if you aren't familiar with Sophie,
then right now zip over to her blogs:
From Sophie's View   (her blog that Ron transcribes)
and Ocean Breezes   (where she often appears in Jim's photos)

And when she swims, Ms Sophie Doodle 
is forever chasing her good buddy Mr. Orangie:
the bright orange ball with blue circle stripes
and more reincarnations than the Dalai Lama.

Ron Flings Mr. Orangie into the Air
with Sophie Doodle Ready to Pounce

Sophie Doodle Never Misses

Mr. Orangie Is Safe, Yet Again 

This is the second summer I've gotten
to spend a day with sweet Sophie.

Pure Joy

Intense Focus on What Ron is Holding

Good Buds Waiting to Play

But every bit as wonderful as spending time with SD
is spending time with her two dads.

I met Ron in Grade 8 and reconnected with him decades later.
He was a great friend then and an even better friend now.

And with Ron comes Jim.
They've been together for a long, long time.

And for the past two years,
I've had a new wonderful friend.

As I said at the beginning:  Lucky Me!