Category Archives: History

Recognizing the importance of workers’ rights International Workers Day history led to labour laws

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

A labour of love for the benefit of all Hubert Hollingworth is part of our local history

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.

Continue reading A labour of love for the benefit of all Hubert Hollingworth is part of our local history

Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

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.

Continue reading Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

Letter Re: Army recruits photo in August issue

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.

What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

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.

Continue reading What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

Tales of a wartime photo: what happened here Men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting of the war effort

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.

Continue reading Tales of a wartime photo: what happened here Men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting of the war effort

Enjoy local history by taking a walk East Norwood Boulevard is an untapped historical resource

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.

Continue reading Enjoy local history by taking a walk East Norwood Boulevard is an untapped historical resource

Discovering Little Poland

On May 7, Wesley Andreas hosted a Jane’s Walk through Spruce Avenue. He discussed the neighbourhood’s general history and the strong Polish presence.

Southwest of Alberta Avenue are several Polish businesses and community hubs. Polish settlers have been in Alberta for over a century, but plenty of immigration occurred after the Second World War. The Polish suffered much hardship during the Nazi occupation. Poland developed a strong resistance movement and brought that spirit here.

Continue reading Discovering Little Poland

No diversity in women’s day article Letter to the editor

I love reading the Rat Creek Press. In general, I find the paper to be inclusive and community-minded.

I want to bring to your attention an omission in the March 2016 edition. The article “Celebrating Women” includes a timeline on women’s right to vote. I was dismayed to see that this timeline does not inform readers that Aboriginal women did not have the right to vote until 1960.

I also noticed that the overwhelming majority of the trailblazers are white women.

I was disappointed by the racial bias in this piece. International Women’s Day is for all women and this article did not communicate that.

Kimberly Mccall