Dominion Day was my favourite holiday as a child. My parents would load the family into the station wagon and we would drive off to watch the fireworks. That we were celebrating the founding of our nation didn’t factor into my jubilation. My joy was rooted in school being over for another year. That we were celebrating the founding of a nation that relied on a strategy of cultural genocide certainly didn’t cross my min Continue reading Celebrate Canada Day with perspective Remember our history when celebrating our nation
When thinking of historical houses, we usually imagine well-preserved old mansions where important people lived. But throughout our inner-city neighbourhoods are homes with histories that haven’t been uncovered yet.
For centuries throughout the Northern Hemisphere, May Day has been a traditional day of festivities celebrating the arrival of spring. Towns and villages throughout Europe would hold gatherings. With seeding mostly completed, farmers would often give their labourers a day off. To this day, May Day is a national public holiday in several countries, many of which refer to it as Labour Day or International Workers Day.
In the late 19th century, the Socialists and Communists of the Second International May Day chose International Workers Day to commemorate the Haymarket Affair that took place in Chicago in 1886. What began as a peaceful labour protest ended with bloodshed and became an international symbol for workers’ rights. Continue reading Recognizing the importance of workers’ rights International Workers Day history led to labour laws
Hollingworth’s Studio no longer exists, but photographer Hubert Alan Hollingworth left a legacy.
As a photographer, he documented life in Edmonton over three decades. As a volunteer at the City of Edmonton Archives, he also made huge contributions.
When Alberta Avenue Community League holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM), several dozen people attend. Its programs consistently attract volunteers and members.
That and the league’s location are a blessing, said Brendan Van Alstine, league president.
Growing up as a post-war baby boomer, I’ve often thought the Second World War cast a shadow over my childhood and youth. My father lived through occupied France between the ages of eight and 13. My close friend’s father was a veteran who had marched north up the Italian peninsula with the Canadian Army. My grandmother would speak sadly of her older brother, who was lost when his plane went down while serving in the air force. War left a strong impression on these people which took a long time to process, not only touching them but also those close to them.
In the photo where the men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting the war effort, the two ladies rolling up the awning in front of Smith Bakery are Selina Smith, Francis Smith’s wife, and Ruth Smith, his daughter. His daughter Ethel Smith and niece Edna Ore were also working in the bake shop.
Information provided by Francis Smith’s granddaughters Barbara and Frances.
Imagine moving to a new country. The stress of finding a new home, a new job, a new school for your kids, and new friends. Now imagine not being able to speak your new country’s language.
This 1942 photo of army recruits walking down 118 Avenue is a good representation of popular culture in Edmonton during the Second World War.
The Pearl Harbour attack had occurred on Dec. 7, 1941. Lesser known is the heavy loss of Canadian troops during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong beginning Dec. 8, 1941. The brief but disastrous Dieppe raid on Aug. 19, 1942, was devastating. Of the 4,963 Canadians who left England for the operation, only 2,210 returned, with several wounded.
Terry Protz is a lifelong resident of Norwood. Walking with me along Norwood Boulevard east of Norwood School, Protz provided fascinating details on local history.
Today these city blocks are victims of urban blight. “It used to be a good neighbourhood,” said Protz.
Norwood Boulevard was a lively mixed use area during the Second World War and the years following the war. This working class district contained several businesses, a church, and modest homes.