Storiies about Canadians
Andrew Bonar Law born at Rexton (Kingston), New-Brunswick, was the first and only Canadian to become Prime Minister of Great Britain. He is buried among renowned figures of British history in Westminster abbey.
The McIntosh apple tree: In 1796, John McIntosh planted an apple orchard in Dundas County, Upper Canada (Ontario). The seeds weren’t reliable and the resulting growth made this plain. Only one tree showed promise. But careful crossing and grafting from the single good tree brought the other trees along. Today, every McIntosh apple grown can be traced back to the seeds and grafts of the lone tree that John McIntosh nurtured to bring forth the world famous apple named after him.
Sir Henry P.P. Crease the first practising barrister in British Columbia, became in 1861 its first attorney-general – a post he held till 1870, when he became a B.C. supreme court judge.
Canadian greatest woman artist Emily Carr (1871-1945): born in Victoria, British Columbia, she studied painting in California and Europe. Then worked for years without recognition in Canada. Discouraged she quit painting for 15 years, but took up her brushes again after meeting members of the now famous Group of Seven. Today her paintings are represented in all major Canadian collections.
Tugboat Annie better known to movie fans as Marie Dressler, was born Leila Koerber at Cobourg, Ontario, in 1860. She won an Academy award and averaged a new picture every two months for four years – yet her movie career didn’t start until she was over 70 years of age.
A man named John Campbell was the first to pan gold along the shores of Halifax County. He and the hundreds of gold seekers who followed him never made fortunes. Yet Nova Scotia’s production per man and gold yield per ton was better than that of either California or Australia.
The Saskatchewan Giant Eduard Beaupre of Willow Bunch Saskatchewan wore size 25 shoes. At 2.48 metres he was too tall to ride horses – but he could pick one up with one hand.
Angus MacAskill, the Cape Breton Giant, stood almost 2,4 metres tall and weighed 225 kg. He smoked a mallet-sized pipe that held sixth of a pound of tobacco and drank rum from a wooden bowl that held equivalent of three full glasses.
C.B.C. announcer Earl Cameron, once, while reading the National radio news, found himself in darkness because a blown fuse had doused the lights. Unruffled as always, Cameron simply pulled out his cigarette lighter, flicked it on and continued to read.
The soldier who was a woman, Sarah Edmonson. Raised in York County, New Brunswick, Sarah enlisted in a regiment of the Union army using the alias Franklin Thompson. During the American civil war, she served for two years and closely escaped death many times. She was the first woman to receive a pension from the U.S. army and when she died she was buried in a military cemetery with full military honors.
Sir John A. Macdonald, the man who did more than any other to bring about Canadian Confederation. Had he lived in any other country. His birthday, January 11the, would be appropriately celebrated, but few Canadians know this is his birthday.
A boy hero: While strong men hesitated Joe Cracker of Herring Cove, Nova Scotia plunged into heavy seas to rescue survivors from H.M.S. La Tribune that foundered and was wrecked off Tribune Head, Nova Scotia 1n 1797. Joe Cracker was just 13-years old.
A young English immigrant named William Pratt joined a touring stage company in 1910 at Kamloops, British Columbia. He invented the name Boris Karloff for himself and went on to become famous as the Frankenstein Monster.
Daniel Harmon in 1811 started the first farm west of the Rocky Mountains. Near Fort St. James. Good yields of potatoes, turnips and barley were obtained.
Maureen Godson of Edmonton started learning how to fly in 1953, when she was 9 years old. By the time she was 10 she was a proficient flyer, Canada’s youngest pilot.
In 1846 Dr. Abraham Gesner at Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, developed a process for distilling Kerosene, as he called it, from a coal-like mineral, Albertite. Later it was to be popularly called coal-oil.
The padded baseball glove was invented by Arthur Irwin, a Toronto player, in 1884. He showed up one day with a makeshift pad in a glove. Despite the fact he was kidded as a sissy, it wasn’t long before everybody copied his idea. Irwin wasn’t really a sissy. He just couldn’t figure out another way to play nine innings with two broken fingers.
During the Early days of Northern Ontario’s Gold Rush (1909), Sandy McIntyre found what is now the famous mine bearing his name. He sold out for $25 in order to buy some liquor. Years later, he still passed his time crying in beverage rooms while the mine he discovered produced gold worth 230 million dolalrs.
The Honorable George Brown, the founder of the Globe (now Globe and Mail) newspaper was the political arch-enemy of the first Prime Minister Sir. John A. Macdonald, who sometimes over-indulged his habit of drinking. Whenever Macdonald had a bout with the bottle, Brown printed a “sick” notice in the Globe.
A plaque erected at St. Anthony, Newfoundland, by the great humanitarian Sir Wilfred Grenfell, after a harrowing experience on a drifting ice pan. Grenfell had to use their bloody fur for warmth until he was rescued: “To the memory of three noble dogs, Moody, Watch and Spy, whose lives were given for mine on the ice. April 21st 1903. Wilfred Grenfell, St. Anthony.