Category Archive: Interesting Things to Know

The Old Soldier – Regimental Sergeant-Major Thomas McKenzie remembered at Wolseley Barracks

September 2019 In London, Ontario, the historic Wolseley Barracks, has been a fixture in the city since 1884, when it was established as the home of “D” Company of the Infantry Corps School, on farmland in Middlesex County, owned by John Carling, son of the founder of the Carling Brewery. Although it is still an …

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Mob women – The rise and fall of Hamilton’s own Bessie Starkman-Perri

August 2019 Hamilton, Ontario, is known as “Steeltown” to locals and those who love the city. With two steel mills, Dafasco and Stelco, employers that have provided jobs to generations of Hamiltonians, it’s a natural nick-name. Hamilton also has another less-than-legal claim to fame as a base of operations for some of the Mafia bosses …

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Decorated WWII RCAF pilot’s post-war death recognized by Commonwealth War Graves Commission

August 2019 For almost 73 years, the grave of Byron “Barney” Rawson, in the Rawson family plot in Woodland Cemetery in Burlington, Ontario, was only adorned with a small granite marker bearing “Byron 1922-1945”. On 23 December 1945, Wing Commander Byron Rawson, a decorated WWII pilot, sat in his parents home on Robinson Street in …

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Lieutenant William Cooke – Canada’s connection to Custer’s Last Stand at Little Big Horn

August 2019 Most with even a basic knowledge of American history know about “Custer’s Last Stand”, battle between the 7th Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer, suffered a humiliating defeat against the combined forces of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes during the Great Sioux War of 1876. LCol Custer …

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A schoolhouse on rails

August 2019 Today, it’s quite common to see portable classrooms at schools across the country. They provide a cost-effective method for adding classroom space without having to build an addition to the existing school. From 1926 to 1965, Clinton, Ontario, natives Fred and Cela Sloman were part of a unique program that provided classroom space …

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The historic ruins of St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church

August 2019 St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church, a castle-like limestone church, has stood tall in rolling hills of Glengarry, Ontario, for 200 years. Built by Scottish immigrants between 1815 and 1821, the massive stone walls were once capped by a large timber roof that allowed it to be without interior columns, providing an unobstructed view …

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In Flanders Fields – Guelph memorializes its hometown hero

July 2019 “In Flanders fields the poppies blow           Between the crosses, row on row” Canadian physician and soldier Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, is one of Canada’s most famous soldiers from that terrible “War to end all wars.” LCol McCrae wrote the famous poem, “In Flanders Fields,” which is recited each year at Remembrance Day …

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Annual Base Borden ceremony remembers lives lost in long-ago munitions explosion

Alliston Herald, 23 March 2019 Springwater News, 4 April 2019 Canadian Military Family Magazine, 9 April 2019 At 1pm on Wednesday, March 20, a small contingent from the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot at Base Borden gathered at the cenotaph in the Village of Angus, just north of the base. Lead by Depot Commanding Officer Major …

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People Helping People – The legacy of Nils Johanson

January 2019 On 11 January 2019, Canada lost a veteran broadcaster and addictions counselor who went beyond what anyone would expect. He truly cared helping addicts find their way to recovery and preventing them from going down the path to destruction that should have killed him years before heart troubles and ultimately pneumonia finally took …

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Bells of Peace ceremony at Barrie’s Military Heritage Park closes out Remembrance Day 2018

November 2018 A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the city’s Military Heritage Park beside the South Shore Centre for the Bells of Peace ceremony. Across Canada, bells were set to toll at sunset, ringing from churches, ships and other ceremonies such as this, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World …

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