All posts tagged: memorial

In Flanders Fields – Canadians in World War One

Canadians in WWI, 1914 to 1918 When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, Canada, as a member of the British Empire, was automatically at war. Canada’s troops were called the Canadian Corps and they fought on the Western Front in trenches that stretched from the Belgium coast, through France, to the frontiers of Switzerland. 65,000 Canadian military personnel lost their lives when they ventured beyond the trenches and into No Man’s Land. One of those men was my Grandfather’s brother, Henry William. It is said Henry joined the military because a woman approached him on the street and presented him with a White Feather, signifying she thought he was a coward. He was only 17 years old, too young to enlist, but he wasn’t about to be called a coward.  He lied about his age, and signed his Attestation Papers for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on September 8, 1915. Henry arrived on the front in France on March 26, 1916. He was wounded in  June and again in September of that year. …

A Poet’s Eye

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft star-shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. – Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) – Post 235

The Many Faces of Women’s Equality in Canada

Equality means many things to many people. In Canada, we take for granted equalities that are being fought for in other countries. These include being equal before the law, and having equal access to education, political participation, human rights, and free expression. Which made me think about my grandmother, pictured here on her horse in the early 1900’s, likely on the family farm in Saskatchewan. I don’t know how much education she got, but Saskatchewan was responding to massive immigration by building schools as quickly as possible, with the goal of educating children until they were age 14. It was likely in one of those schools that my grandmother learned to read and write. Unlike many immigrants to Saskatchewan, my grandmother’s family were already English speaking. This would have insulated them from the discrimination other ethnic groups experienced. When she married in 1909, she would have had the  same legal capacity as men under the Married Women’s Property Act of 1907. But she would not get the right to vote in provincial elections there until 1916. Her career opportunities …