Category Archives: History

Honouring family and Remembrance Day My Father’s Cello brings popular wartime poem to life

One cello was destined to become a canvas when a 63-year-old musician with two cellos and an artist fresh out of high school regularly volunteered together at The Carrot. After all, Bernadette Alseth could not play both cellos simultaneously. During one of their conversations, Alseth asked the artist, Ariel Casapao Jr., to read John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields.

Some people question the lasting importance of the poem. Those questioners may not know that Nov. 11, while honouring veterans of all wars, is really about the First World War. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. The armistice took effect on the 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour, and 11th minute of 1918. Continue reading Honouring family and Remembrance Day My Father’s Cello brings popular wartime poem to life

Local historical home gets a facelift Achieving historical designation is giving the house new life

Knocking on the front door of the house 11425 95A St was tricky. The porch was being renovated, resulting in piles of broken concrete and earth. A deep pit was in front of the door. It would have taken the legs of an athlete to vault over the pit and knock. Walking to the back entrance gave me an opportunity to take in the historic exterior and find co-owner Sara Melli. Continue reading Local historical home gets a facelift Achieving historical designation is giving the house new life

Celebrate Canada Day with perspective Remember our history when celebrating our nation

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

Discover the history of your old house Workshop offers opportunity to learn research skills

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.

Continue reading Discover the history of your old house Workshop offers opportunity to learn research skills

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