Posts filed under ‘history’

Notre Dame Fire and Holy Week

 

Whatever happened to cause the fire may be accidental, and that it happened in Holy Week, is unusual indeed. I saw a posting on Facebook today with  a link regarding the cross still being present in the midst of that black hole of burnt-out rubble and think that in itself is a miracle. I think we needed to see that miracle.

That the cross still matters and all that goes with it.

I’ve never been to Paris, have never seen that spire except in photos, and so many more photos this week as people recall a previous visit there (photo credit). That the building still stands after some 850 years is remarkable, and that people were still working on keeping the building strong is also worthy. It is after all, a building. And sometimes those edifices cannot be restored, though it looks as if this one will be.

The edifice represents a significant piece of history. To people of faith, it points upwards as a position of guidance, a place to worship, and a touch point in their lives when life gets messy, as in the wars, our human condition, when we’re not sure where to turn, and I hope also in times of celebration.

I may never see the structure in real life, but I’ll most likely hear of restoration efforts once the embers cool. My hope is that more people will come to know what this season is about, and what the cross means as a symbol of Christianity.

If there’s anything else to celebrate in the midst of this circumstance is that the fire, at some point, was contained and didn’t spread to the structures or the homes and buildings around it. And many will laud the firefighters for their work at containing the blaze as best they could and that artifacts and artwork within the building were saved. It would have been a challenge to consider entering that building to rescue those pieces, nevertheless, they are saved.

In the end, what is important is that human lives were not lost in that fire, though some likely risked their lives by going in. And that the promise of restoration will happen in that historic place, a historic symbol of France’s long history.

Patti Arbon

Photo credit© Patti Arbon, by permission

 

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April 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

Kawartha Settlers’ Village

 

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Search page given to our granddaughters on paying the entry fee

On one of our days away, we went with our host family to Kawartha Settlers’ Village that’s located just outside of Bobcaygeon.

According to the tour booklet for the village,

In 1990, the dream of establishing a museum to preserve history and the development of the area became a reality when a small group of people calling themselves the Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society convinced the village of Bobcaygeon to lease them the land to establish the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.

 

Follow along with me on our tour of some of the buildings. Here’s the map that’s in the program booklet. It’s an easy walk through for visitors of any age.

http://www.settlersvillage.org/tour-the-village

The receptionist at the main building gave each of our granddaughters a card showing pictures of things to look for in the village and a crayon to mark off items as they found them. It became a game for all of us to help them find the items.

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Quilters meet regularly in the Wray House to learn their craft. There were many interesting quilts hanging in this home.

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A rather colourful and picturesque quilt

 

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A child’s room in another home

Our granddaughters interest was limited in some areas due to their ages of 6 and 8, although the adults could have spent more time. Another time perhaps. The girls did enjoy wandering through the village and checking off the items on their card. They awaited a prize at the end.

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The firehall housed an old engine and hoses and hats. The building is a replica of the original Bobcaycaygeon Fire Company station.

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The Fairbairn Church

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a wooden offering plate

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Inside the classroom, one modelling the dunce hat and one drawing on the chalkboard

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What’s inside this desk?

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Outside the trapper’s cabin

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A warm rug inside.

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If the printer needed a graphic for a newspaper or flyers, he’d have these images…

 

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or even these images. Not simply drawings but carvings that someone had made.

 

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And a bit of fun at the end of the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.

The girls showed their cards at the admission centre and got their little prize and could keep the cards to remember the visit.

If you’re in the area this summer, go to the village and take the self-guided tour. It was well worth the time and price of admission, which was quite reasonable.

July 28, 2018 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

Christmas Eve Day

We’re nearly there, at a day we celebrate every year. Presents bought and wrapped, cards sent and received, a tree in our living room. Often a Christmas party or two as well.  And the creche on the window ledge.

 

 

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the stone creche after our story time

 

I asked my granddaughters who are 4,6 to help me set it up. They were  here for the first two days of the school holiday.

“What’s a creche, Grandma?”

“You’ll see.”
I got out the box and invited them to help me unwrap the figures, but first we took out the stable, and I began to tell the story of a man and woman travelling a long way to a place called Bethlehem.

We unwrapped the other characters and I named the items— the angel, shepherds, Mary the mother and Joseph the father, and of course the baby Jesus. There were shepherds and sheep to unwrap too, but not wise men for they didn’t come to the stable. Also a donkey for travelling and a cow for the stable.

I moved the white stone pieces around as I told about Mary and Joseph travelling a long long way, then how there was no room in the inn, because so many people had come there, but the inn owner said they could stay in the stable out back where they’d be protected from the wind.

I told the girls about the shepherds in the field watching their sheep and how an angel came to tell them the good news of the new special baby, then more angels appeared in the sky and sang to them and about a special star in the sky. It was not an everyday occurrence to see an angel so the shepherds were afraid at first. But then they were excited to see the baby, so some of them went to find the stable while the others watched the sheep.

“What do you think a shepherd would take as a gift for the baby?”

“A toy?” said the six-year-old.

“Might they bring a baby sheep? They can get the wool cut off and make a blanket for the baby.”

They nod their heads.

“The shepherds were really excited about this special baby and they went and told other people before they went back to the fields.”

 

I stop there and let them ponder this much of the story. Better in smaller parts. Besides they’ll learn more later. I let them play with the figures and move them around.  And the photo is the way they ended up. It’s fitting they’re all there together at the end of the story. Think I’ll leave it as it is for now.

 

 

December 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

Beyond our resources

This morning I posted to The Word Guild professional blog, Canadian Authors who are Christian, as I do once a month.

Today, being Remembrance Day, I wonder how many of the returning or wounded soldiers relied on resources beyond them to get through active duty. It certainly would not be an easy place to be, despite claims of heroism and passion to serve one’s country.

To appreciate their effort and sacrifice, I dedicate my blog piece today to all members of the Canadian military in whatever role they played, whether front line or behind the scenes, such as mechanics and chaplains.

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Here’s the opening to that post:

It’s rare that I go to the movies or even watch one on television, but recently I went to see one at the theatre with a friend, 3-D glasses, giant screen—the whole deal, except for the popcorn.

The Martian opens with a group of astronauts on the planet of Mars. The captain decides to abort the mission when a sandstorm comes up, and the team is in agreement—except that one of the six was hit with flying debris, and they believe him to be dead. The remaining crew members leave the planet without him.

On their return to Earth, the chief scientist at NASA announces sombrely that the crew has returned from the mission to Sol except for the sixth member, Watney (played by Mark Damon). They hold a funeral service for him back home and the other members of the crew go back to their duties. Sometime later, as NASA explores the planet by satellite, they discover movement at Sol and discover that Watney is very much alive, proven when he begins sending messages back to Earth.

Read more here.

Photos on this blog are copyright to C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

November 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

One more post for Lang Village

The day at Lang Pioneer Village included a lot of stops. Our next one was the cider mill where people brought apples to be sorted, pressed and made into cider. The girls know about apple picking and they’ve tasted sweet apple cider, but this was interesting.

 

 

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DSCF9137We saw a big apple peeler and lots of barrels

 

DSCF9138We walked through an old barn where many piece of equipment were on display. It was a good place to stop and sit for a few minutes.

 

DSCF9140And a wagon without a horse. The girls climbed  up and had their picture taken.

 

DSCF9142We walked down the lane and across the bridge to reach the flour mill

 

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Here we are inside the mill with the guide showing us how the wheat is ground into flour. I was impressed how the young man there showed the girls the process on a level they could understand. He talked about and showed how the flour was ground, what flour was more valuable, and about all the equipment and what it did. We went up to the top floor of this large stone structure, looked at all the hoppers and tools, and looked out the window at the water below, then back down all those stairs and outdoors again.

We enjoyed the day and the girls were very interested in many aspects of this place. I’m sure we’ll be back again another year.

Thank you so much to all the guides and volunteers for telling us about the village and the people who lived in these places and worked at these jobs. Thank you for taking special interest in the way children understand might view the place and time. You made it a special day for them and us.

 

August 13, 2015 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Back to holidays–Lang Pioneer Village

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This year when we toured Lang Pioneer Village, we were there with our daughter and her two young children. Seen and experienced from an almost-4 to a nearly-6 year-old’s perspective, we would understandably travel through the village at a different pace than we did a year ago.

We started our tour with the animal pen next to the Milburn House, where pigs were snuffling in their pen and coming to see who was looking in at them.

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Next we went to the Hastie Carpenter Shop where the volunteer said they made things of wood, and especially wheels for the buggies and wagons. Then the tinsmith shop to see what was there.

 

Outside of the Fife cabin (shown above) was  a guide using a single spindle to get her yarn ready for knitting. A fire was going in the pit nearby where she would cook her meal or dye her yarn. We looked inside the cabin. It was quite dark compared to other buildings. The bed was a box on the floor with blankets in it and a fireplace at the end for warmth and cooking. The girls were interested to see how things looked there.
We crossed the road to the Fitzpatrick House where the guide told us about the family gathering in the main room. They would eat there and sit around the table for it was the only heated space in the house. We trudged up the narrow winding steps,  holding on to the handrail, to the upstairs to see where the family slept. Here they had beds and a quilt rack was set against a wall showing a project the mother might be working on. The beds were much different than the girls were used to and I wondered what they were thinking about it.

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See the dried herbs hanging above the fireplace. Those were often the medicines that the parents used to treat illness because the doctor lived a long distance away.

 

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On to the Register where the two young men told us about what they do. They showed us how they printed things, including newspaper, for the businesses in the village. It took a lot longer than with our computers and fast printing presses.

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It would take a long time to produce a newspaper with these pieces of equipment

 

We stopped at the Keene Hotel where a guide told us a little bit about the family who lived there and provided meals and a bed for travellers. We took our own tour of the building, but I did get to say hello to Sophie who gave us our tour last year and served tea and cookies. I thought we might come back for tea and cookies this time, but we didn’t.

 

On to the Menie General Store. It’s a bit like our stores that sell all kinds of things under one roof.

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The girls were interested in the toys on the counter and the little books.

 

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Here’s their Papa talking to one of the guides in the store.

 

DSCF9103Ana thought the lady’s blouse was pretty. Or was it the necklace and the hat she was commenting on? Anyway, there were many pretty things there for a lady or little girl at the time.

 

DSCF9105People gathered outside the Fitzpatrick  house, and we stopped along the way to see what was happening. There was a young woman doing laundry. She invited the girls to give it a try on the washboard. Ana wanted to try it so the guide helped her push up her sleeves so they wouldn’t get wet, and then showed her how to put the soap on the board first…

DSCF9107and then get both hands working on scrubbing a piece of clothing so it would be nice and clean. Different than Mommy and Daddy’s washing machine.

On our way to the car for our picnic lunch they stopped off to see the pigs again and then the Centennial commemoration rock out front.

 

I was impressed with how the guides geared their talks to include our youngsters. Thank you, all.

 

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Off to get our picnic lunch. Taking a break until tomorrow when we’ll continue our tour of the village

August 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Black History Month Celebration

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display of books, artifacts and head dress relating to  African heritage

(S. Fletcher)

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the program

(S. Fletcher)

A week ago, members of St Philip Lutheran and the Black community in Waterloo region attended the Black History Month celebration hosted by Maranatha Lutheran congregation. As their home is at St. Philip, that’s where the events were held.

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(S. Fletcher)

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Beginning with a service of celebration, we gathered in the sanctuary, with members of the Starlite Steel Band providing the music.

(S. Fletcher)

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Such enthusiasm and life in their music.

(C. Wilker)

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And the altar flanked by beautiful flowers

(S. Fletcher)

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Emmanuel George, rep from Faith Life Financial, greets Pastor Claudine Carlson, guest preacher for the service.

(C. Wilker)

Peter Braid, MP for the Kitchener area, shared a few words of celebration as well. He spoke of having been among the Canadian delegation to go to South Africa to attend the funeral service of Nelson Mandela.  In 1995, the first official Black History month was celebrated and January was the first month to  officially celebrate Lincoln Alexander, who has provided a good deal of leadership to Canadians.

Pastor Claudine spoke of humanity’s  quest to reach perfection, and how we humans want to be like God. We want power and “do not succumb easily to God’s power.” God wants none of his people to be enslaved and his call is to liberate those who have been enslaved.  How easy it is for us to despair, yet “in Christ we are all one” and Jesus promises never to leave us.

We can celebrate the tremendous strides that have been made regarding injustice, yet we still have a long way to go. Our call is to pray, work and write letters. Pastor Claudine reminded us of the definition of God’s grace: “that you cannot do anything to make God love you more and you cannot do anything to make God love you less.”

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The service included communion.

(S. Fletcher)

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Hugs for Sharon, Maranatha Council Chair, on the way out of the service

(S. Fletcher)

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The ladies, ready to serve the lunch

(C. Wilker)

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Serving the lunch

(S. Fletcher)

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Three long tables and only a couple of empty chairs. Well attended and the food was yummy.

(S. Fletcher)

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A few colourful hats

(S. Fletcher)

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(Photo: S. Fletcher)

Then after the tasty lunch, a speaker, Rosemary Sadlier, representing Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), who spoke on the History of the Black people in Canada. She is a recipient of the Order of Ontario for her work promoting Black History. She is the author of six books on Black History.

“Canada was the promised land. Canada was Canaan and the North Star.”

According to the OBHS website, on the Black people’s contribution to Canada:

As a people, with roots dating back to 1603, African-Canadians have defended, cleared, built and farmed this country; our presence is well established, but not well-known.

Rosemary created more of a dialogue with people in attendance, and answered questions with grace. It was a most interesting presentation .

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(Photo: S. Fletcher)

Indeed there is much to celebrate, such as our past Governor General Michaelle Jean, and of course the achievements of Lincoln Alexander, the first Black Canadian elected to the House of Commons and who was also a Governor General.

In all it was a good celebration of important milestones of our fellow Canadians.

Appreciation to S. Fletcher of Link Picnic Festival, for graciously sharing her photos. The others are my own.

March 1, 2015 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

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