Monday, August 4, 2014

Today Canada joined in the start of the First World War

The 4th Canadian Division in France, September 1918

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Canada joined Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth  Nations in sending our men and women overseas, and unfortunately 66,000 of them lost their lives. 

In part, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement - 

"Today, Canadians join the international community in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which engulfed Europe in conflict from 1914 to 1918 and killed at least ten million combatants and millions more civilians. 

“It is a time to remember and honour the sacrifices and tremendous achievements of the more than 650,000 brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders who left their families and the comfort of their homes to serve their King and country, as well as to preserve the universal values of freedom, peace and democracy that we hold most dear. 

“It is a time to remember the more than 66,000 of our selfless men and women who gave their lives during the First World War, and the estimated 172,000 more who were wounded. 

“It is a source of deep national pride that the bravery and courage of our service members helped ensure Allied victories in important battles at places like Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens. These efforts played a vital role in finally bringing about the negotiation and conclusion of the Armistice, which ended the First World War at precisely 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.

“The dedication, courage and determination demonstrated by our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded allies to fight for what they believed in, resulted in Canada emerging as a proud, victorious nation with new found standing in the world". 

Canadian Week in Review 04 August 2014

I have come across the following Canadian websites, social media websites, and newspaper articles this past week that were of interest to me, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.

History Week in Canada

In 1793, Gen. John Graves Simcoe, lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, began clearing the site for the city of York, which today is known as Toronto, the fourth-largest city in North America, and the capital of Ontario.

Previous to this, the capital had been in Newark (now known as Niagara), but Simcoe thought it was too close to the Americans, and fearing invasion, had it moved it to York.

To read more about Toronto, go to
On July 31, 1957, the Distant Early Warning Line defence system officially went into operation in northern Canada. 

It was set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide the early warning system of any sea-and-land invasion. 

To learn more about the system, go to 

Here is a list of DEW Line Sites at 
==================================================On July 24, 1947 a school principal is demoted over Daylight time dispute in Alberta. 

Social Media

Local links to The Great War (Video)
A cemetery, a stadium and a golf course - what is the link between these Regina landmarks and the First World War? Reporter and history buff Will Chabun talks about these strange connections in this video.

The CBC: Your Community Blog
How does your community commemorate the First World War? 

War monuments of southern Alberta are reminders of soldiers who didn’t come home (Video) 
Postmedia has done another great job in covering War Memorials in southern Alberta to soldiers who never came home. 


Former Newfoundland legislature gets $22M facelift
The building was opened in 1850, and now is being restored to its former glory as Newfoundland's former legislature. 

Nova Scotia

Shubenacadie band changes name to traditional Sipekne'katik 
The Shubenacadie band, Nova Scotia's second largest First Nations group, located in central part of the province, has restored the traditional spelling and pronunciation of its name and will now be known as Sipekne'katik.

New Brunswick

No news this week. 

Prince Edward Island 

Rare Summerside Bank note selling for $54,000
This bank note was issued by The Summerside Bank of Prince Edward Island in 1872. 

Celebrating our heritage farms 
The P.E.I. Agricultural Awareness Committee has teamed up with P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Company to recognize and celebrate farms that have been in operation at least 150 years. 


Little fanfare for Quebec Confederation parlay 
Sir John A. Macdonald and others also held the Quebec Conference in 1850 which built on the Charlottetown Conference a few weeks earlier. Could Quebec and Ontario be forged together within Canada as had the Maritime colonies been discussed in Charlottetown?


The Colonization of Canada and Anishnawbek History 
Clyde Moonias gives a revealing history of how colonization affected the Anishnawbek people of northwestern Ontario.

Viceregal wife impresses with song penned by husband David Onley 
Ruth Ann Onley, the wife of Ontario Lieutenant-Governor David Onley, sang the song penned by her husband, to a packed stadium at a First World War 100th anniversary celebration Thursday. 

Canadian History for Kids: Trans Canada Highway 
On July 31st, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker opened up the Trans Canada Highway – Canada’s national highway! 

The eager doomed: The story of Canada’s original WWI recruits 
The First World War put in historical context by historian Time Cook. 

‘What a sight it must have been to behold’: Memorial, re-enactment recalls Battle of Lundy’s Lane 
Two hundred years ago on July 25, 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane was fought between the American’s and the British, and it was remembered in a memorial re-enactment.

Beauty As Duty? That Really Happened 
The magazine the Worm has an article called Beauty as Duty. It was a propaganda campaign launched in 1939 and it aimed to make women believe that wearing makeup and looking polished was their patriotic duty! 


A new name for Civic Holiday? 
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger suggests other provinces may want to follow his lead and change the name of the August Civic Holiday to Terry Fox Day.

Pioneer church has history behind its beauty 
St. Michael's remains a centrepiece for city's Ukrainian Orthodox community


No news this week.


Saving Alberta’s farming icons 
Grain elevator enthusiasts promote history and preservation of historic structures 

Alberta Aviation Museum to honour WWI veterans 
A new exhibit at the Alberta Aviation Museum this weekend will shed light on the history of Albertans who served in the Royal Flying Corp

Heritage Festival gives offenders chance to repay their debt
Tom Wimbs is a probation officer with the community corrections and release program with the Solicitor General of Alberta, and his crew of adult offenders were on hand at the Heritage Festival Friday, helping set up event tents at Hawrelak Park.

British Columbia

Canadian documentary series features SFU professor 

Professor Rudy Reimer has just returned from Whitehorse in the Yukon, where he filmed Wild Archaeology, an exploration of the history of First Nations across Canada.

Story of the Week

Parliament Hill: Sound and Light Show

You still got time to see the Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill, and what a show it is – it is spectacular!

We went to see two years ago, and sat there in awe as the history of the county passed in front of our eyes, to be sitting there in the dusk of a summer’s evening on Parliament Hill was just breathtaking. 

If you have a chance to come to Ottawa this summer, the show is on until September the 6th, and it’s free. But be sure to get there in plenty of time because the seats fill up early. And talk to the people. They are there from everywhere – from right here in Ottawa, to places overseas. 

All of them had said that they had never seen anything like this before. 

And then as we left Parliament Hill, we stopped across the street to watch a fellow who was playing a set of drums made from plastic buckets, and learned that he travelled across the country playing the drums in the summer time.

A very enjoyable evening!

To check when the Sound and Light Show is held, go to or to the Facebook page at

Reminder: Check the Canadian Week in Review next Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in the country! 

The next post will be on August 11, 2014.