Preserved Stories Blog

Howard Hight has passed along some comments from Classmates.com

Howard Hight, who is on Classmates.com and is working with Diana Redden in development of the MCHS Sixties Reunion database, has shared the following messages from Classmates.com:

Dale Gwilliam
Sorry won’t be able to attend! Have a great time!
June 18, 2014

Brian Tapp
I am thinking about it. It is a long way from Kelowna and everyone says Reunions are not fun. I will wait to see if anyone I remember decides to go.
June 15, 2014

Marilyn Chadnick
Hi. Im Marilyn fialkow chadnick msw takin radio and tv in Stockton cali. On fb. Not thin anymore and hair is light. Want to go but live very very far. Class of 67′
June 15, 2014

Charles (Chuck) MacKenzie
Sorry I will not be able to attend.
My prayers are for you all to have a great time together.
June 14, 2014

In other news updates, Scott Munro has provided new, improved 1962-63 MCHS yearbook photos for the biographies for Scott Munro and Jaan Pill.

Please send us your biographies

As you may have noticed, Scott Munro’s biography is a bit longer than 200 words. Thus if you have found it difficult to reduce your life story to 200 words, please know that you can go a bit longer and still get it posted. We look forward to reading your biography.

 

Posted in Malcolm Campbell High School, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

The case against asbestos: Accidental exposure, entirely preventable – July 20, 2014 Globe and Mail

A July 20, 2014 Globe and Mail article is entitled “The case against asbestos: Accidental exposure, entirely preventable.”

The article notes that asbestos is “still regularly found in older schools and universities across Canada, wrapped around pipes, above ceilings and behind walls.”

North York

The story reminds me of my own experiences. When I worked as a teacher at a school in North York in the early 1980s, I learned that the water pipes in the hallways were covered in asbestos. There were tears in the coverings over the asbestos, meaning that it was easy to pick it out and hold it in your fingers. When I spoke with the school administration, I was informed that asbestos is like cigarette smoke.

I was told (and this is a paraphrase): “If you stop being exposed to it, then over the years the potential for asbestos to cause you harm will disappear.” I knew this was not true, having read about the topic. Once asbestos fibres are in your lungs, that’s it. In 30 or 40 years, in many cases, depending on the exposure, cancer is inevitable. If I recall correctly, the asbestos was safely removed, or else it was covered up, so as not to be immediately accessible.

Mississauga

Years later, in the late 1990s, I worked at a school in Mississauga. There had been some asbestos on the basement water pipes in the house, built in 1945, that we had purchased in Long Branch in south Etobicoke. We had arranged for a specialist company to come in, with all the required equipment, and safely remove the asbestos.

I noticed, when I happened to look at the water pipes under the sink in my classroom in Mississauga, where I was working, that there was what appeared to be asbestos on the pipes. I spoke to the school administration, and was informed that matter would be looked into. Nothing was done.

I arranged to have a small amount of the material tested. It turned out to be asbestos, as I had assumed. I then arranged for the same company, that had removed the asbestos from our house in Etobicoke, to come in during a time when the school was closed, and remove the asbestos from my classroom.

“Are you an expert on asbestos?”

Some time later, I spoke with a school board official who was responsible for building maintenance. I told him there was asbestos in the school. He asked, “Are you an expert on asbestos?” I informed him that I had arranged for testing of the asbestos in my classroom, and that the test had come back positive. I also said that I had arranged for the safe removal of the asbestos at my personal expense. It didn’t cost much, as I recall.

The official informed me that it was against the rules and regulations of the board to bring in any outside contractor. I left it for the official to deal with that fact as he wished. I did not, however, hear back further about this topic.

I later read up on the board’s rules and regulations as they pertain to asbestos. I was able to arrange for water pipes, in all of the classrooms in the school, to be checked for asbestos by competent authorities, and to have it removed. In cases where there was asbestos in ceilings, that asbestos was left in place, on the assumption that it was safe to do so.

As the July 20, 2014 Globe and Mail article notes, however, the best policy would be to remove asbestos entirely from schools. That is a point that I had not thought about, until I read the article.

 

Posted in Construction, Historiography, Mississauga, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Virtual Unreality: Just Because the Internet Told You, How Do You Know It’s True? (2014)

A July 18, 2014 CBC Radio The Current podcast is entitled: “Virtual Unreality: Author Charles Seife navigates truth and lies on the internet.”

A blurb for the book, which addresses the topic of scams and scamming, at the Toronto Public Library website reads:

  • The bestselling author of Proofiness and Zero explains how to separate fact from fantasy in the digital world Digital information is a powerful tool that spreads unbelievably rapidly, infects all corners of society, and is all but impossible to control – even when that information is actually a lie. In Virtual Unreality, Charles Seife uses the skepticism, wit, and sharp facility for analysis that captivated readers in Proofiness and Zero to take us deep into the Internet information jungle and cut a path through the trickery, fakery, and cyber skullduggery that the online world enables. Taking on everything from breaking news coverage and online dating to program trading and that eccentric and unreliable source that is Wikipedia, Seife arms his readers with actual tools – or weapons – for discerning truth from fiction online.

 

Posted in Communications, Historiography, Newsletter, Scams and scamming, Toronto | Leave a comment

Displacing Desire (2006) and The Ethics of Sightseeing (2011)

I enjoy reading about reality tourism, as it’s called, and which I don’t think needs to be restricted to visits by affluent tourists to impoverished slums. Why should slums have a monopoly over reality? It doesn’t make sense.

Any visit that a person makes to any place at all can be defined, I would argue, as a form of reality tourism.

I generally indulge in reality tourism, as I define the term, by taking walks in Lakeview and Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey).

Occasionally I travel further afield and visit New Toronto and Mimico.

At times I travel outside of Canada.

Mimico

Home-brewed coffee. Jaan Pill photo

I enjoy visiting Mimico because I can stop at the Birds and Beans Cafe, where I have the opportunity to buy date-stamped coffee beans.

I also like how Mimico, a community with a contested eastern boundary, has been shaped into a triangle as a result of the configuration of Lake Ontario in that part of Toronto. It makes for interesting street patterns, which makes for interesting streets, which in turn makes for an interesting – interesting in the sense of delightful and enriching – local ambience. In Long Branch, the street patterns are similarly influenced by the configuration of the shoreline of Lake Ontario. It’s remarkable what a powerful impact the shoreline of a body of water can have upon us.

Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey)

In Long Branch, the roadways tend more toward perpendicular intersections, particularly at Lake Shore Blvd. West, than is the case in Mimico. These are the kinds of things that I like to think about, as I travel in the south Etobicoke (Toronto) and Lakeview (Mississauga) communities on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. As is noted at the link that you can access at the previous sentence, the City of Toronto and the City of Mississauga have developed decidedly different policies regarding the building of tall condominiums on the Lake Ontario shoreline. In Mississauga, the policy is: No tall towers on the waterfront. In Toronto, the policy is evident to any person who cares to observe the shoreline.

Freshly roasted coffee beans

At Birds and Beans in Mimico, which I travel to by car, I can buy the coffee beans and know, by reading the labels – which I assume are accurate – when the beans were roasted. In order to brew a good quality cup of coffee, as I’ve learned from extensive reading, it’s best to start with a freshly roasted supply of beans.

As a reality tourist, I also enjoy reading about the ethics and anthropology of tourism. That involves, among other things, a study of brands and branding, and the world history of tourism and travel. It also entails an understanding of my own role and motivations as a  tourist. Two studies related to this topic are entitled Displacing Desire (2006) and The Ethics of Sightseeing (2011). A third study that interests me is entitled Canadian Battlefields 1915-1918: A Visitor’s Guide (2011).

Displacing Desire: Travel and Popular Culture in China (2006)

The blurb for Displacing Desire (2006) at the Toronto Public Library website reads:

  • In a half-dozen penetrating chapters, anthropologist Notar (Trinity College, CT) examines the relationship between cultural representations and physical transformation in this superb ethnography of place – specifically, the town and district of Dali in southwest China. Dali can be conceptualized as an exoticized borderland, a “site of desire” that in myriad complex ways has been reconfigured to satisfy the experiential needs of a sequence of visitors. It first attracted Western backpackers seeking off-the-beaten-track authenticity, followed by a much larger wave of metropolitan Chinese tourists attracted to Dali as the setting of an old Cultural Revolution movie and the chance to engage in ethnic cross-dressing. Most recently, the whole district has been radically altered to fit the plot of a totally imaginary martial arts novel. In 2004, the new model Dali hosted almost a half-million visitors, more than three times the population of town and hinterland. While younger townspeople in particular have welcomed many of these changes, Notar discusses a growing tendency to “talk back” and subvert official justifications for development. Besides the valuable contributions that this book makes to the literature on representation, popular culture, and tourism, it offers fascinating insights on a growing Chinese consumer society. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. O. Pi-Sunyer University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

[End of text]

The Ethics of Sightseeing (2011)

The blurb for The Ethics of Sightseeing (2011) at the Toronto Public Library website reads:

  • Is travel inherently beneficial to human character? Does it automatically educate and enlighten while also promoting tolerance, peace, and understanding? In this challenging book, Dean MacCannell identifies and overcomes common obstacles to ethical sightseeing. Through his unique combination of personal observation and in-depth scholarship, MacCannell ventures into specific tourist destinations and attractions: “picturesque” rural and natural landscapes, “hip” urban scenes, historic locations of tragic events, Disney theme parks, beaches, and travel poster ideals. He shows how strategies intended to attract tourists carry unintended consequences when they migrate to other domains of life and reappear as “staged authenticity.” Demonstrating each act of sightseeing as an ethical test, the book shows how tourists can realize the productive potential of their travel desires, penetrate the collective unconscious, and gain character, insight, and connection to the world.

[End of text]

Canadian Battlefields 1915-1918: A Visitor’s Guide (2011)

Blurbs, and brands and branding, appear to involve the same means of communications:

The future of the book is the blurb, McLuhan said

Blurbs define us and tell us who we are

An additional blurb, from the Toronto Public Library website, comes to mind – from Canadian Battlefields 1915-1918: A Visitor’s Guide (2011):

  • Most of the world remembers the First World War as a time when, as historian Samuel Hynes put it, “innocent young men, their heads full of high abstractions like Honour, Glory, and England … were slaughtered in stupid battles planned by stupid Generals.” English-speaking Canadians have for the most part accepted this view and supplemented it with an imaginative version of a war in which their soldiers won great victories and forged a new national identity. Both approaches have served to promote literary, political, and cultural agendas of such power that empirical studies of actual wartime events have had little impact on the historiography. A new generation of scholars has challenged those approaches, however, insisting that the reality of the war and the society that produced it are worthy of study.
  • This guide to the Canadian battlefields in France and Belgium offers a brief critical history of the war and of Canada’s contribution, drawing attention to the best recent books on the subject. It focuses on the Ypres Salient, Passchendaele, Vimy, and the “Hundred Day”s battles and considers lesser-known battlefields as well. Battle maps, contemporary maps, photographs, war art, and tourist information enhance the reader experience.

 

Posted in Communications, Historiography, Military history, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Message from Peter Milczyn, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore

The following message, to which I have added some headings, for ease in reading online, is from Peter Milczyn, the MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore:

 

Dear Neighbours,

This is my first e-news to you as your Member of Provincial Parliament. While I am still settling in to this new role there is in fact a great deal of business being done at Queen’s Park.

The Legislature was recalled on July 2, 2014 and the 41-st Parliament of Ontario began sitting. This day was the official swearing-in ceremony of the 107 MPP’s elected across the Province.

Throne Speech

On July 3 Lieutenant Governor David Onley read the Throne Speech.  The Throne Speech represents the Government’s plan for the coming session of Parliament.  You can read the text of the Throne Speech here:  http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2014/07/building-ontario-up-speech-from-the-throne.html

The four key priorities of the Government in the Throne Speech are: a plan to build on the talent and skills of Ontario’s workforce, a plan to build the modern infrastructure Ontario needs, a plan to support a dynamic business climate, and a poverty reduction strategy.  The Throne Speech was approved by the Legislature after several days of debate on July 11, 2014.

Ontario Budget

On July 14 Ontario Finance Minister the Honourable Charles Sousa, introduced the 2014-15 Budget which is the same proposal as was tabled prior to the June 12 election. A $133 Billion dollar spending plan, focussed on ensuring strong healthcare, education, jobs training, and continued investments in infrastructure across the province. The budget document can be found here: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/

Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Brad Duguid

I also have been busy with hiring staff, setting up my constituency and Queen’s Park offices, undergoing orientation on the rules and procedures of the Ontario Legislature and the Ontario Government. Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed me to serve as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure with my specific responsibility being Infrastructure. In this role I will be assisting with issues such as the co-ordination of $130 Billion of infrastructure spending, the Provincial Growth Plan, and Waterfront Toronto among others.

Meetings with Constituents

I have also been meeting with Constituents on both their personal matters but also on issues such as funding for the Stonegate Community Health Centre, and the Kipling Mobility Hub. In the coming weeks I will be meeting with various residents and groups to continue the work of representing the people of our area as I had done on City Council for many years.

In the coming weeks and years I will update you on my work for you at Queen’s Park, in the riding, as well as various important local issues and events.

New office information

My new office information is:

Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
Tanya Kuzman, Legislative Assistant
8th Floor, Hearst Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2E1
416-325-7815

Constituency

Adam Feldman, Constituency Assistant
Unit 100B
700 Kipling Avenue
Etobicoke, Ontario M8Z 5G3
Tel: 416-259-2249
Fax: 416-259-3704

E-mail Address pmilczyn.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Toronto City Council

On July 7 Toronto City Council held a Special Council Meeting to consider the appointment of interim Councillors in Wards 5 and 20, to sit for the balance of this term of Council until November 30, 2014. Nineteen individuals put their names forward for the Ward 5 appointment. City Council appointed Ward 5 resident and lawyer James Maloney as my replacement.

The minutes of the City Council Meeting may be found at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2014.CC53.3

I have known Councillor Maloney for many years, and I have already met with him to discuss the upcoming local issues that will be before City Council at the final meeting in August and to extend my assistance to him. My former Ward 5 staff have remained in the office so as to ensure continuity of service to Ward 5 residents. He may be reached at;

Councillor James Maloney, Ward 5 Etobicoke Lakeshore
councillor_maloney@toronto.ca
Telephone 416-392-4040
Fax 416-392-4127

Executive Assistant –  Kathy Micucci  kmicucc@toronto.ca
416-392-4041

Executive Assistant – Sheila Henderson shender@toronto.ca
416-392-4041

Administrative Assistant – Amber Morley amorley@toronto.ca
416-338-5340

I look forward to continuing to work for you and please feel free to contact either one of my offices with your questions, concerns or comments.

Ministry

Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
8th Floor, Hearst Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2E1

416-325-7815

Constituency

Unit 100B
700 Kipling Avenue
Etobicoke, Ontario M8Z 5G3

Tel: 416-259-2249
Fax: 416-259-3704

Email pmilczyn.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

STAY CONNECTED

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

 

Posted in Communications, Editorial, Historiography, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

What issues matter most to you? Message from George Takach. Aug. 20, 2014 event at LAMP

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m a member of the Liberal Party of Ontario and the Liberal Party of Canada. I support the candidacy of George Takach as the Liberal Part of Canada nominee for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

In that regard, I’m pleased to share with you the following message from George Takach, which you can access here.

Among other things, I wish to bring you attention to this event, which I will be attending in my role as a George Takach supporter and as a videographer:

Wednesday August 20, 7 pm – 9 pm
Canada and the World Forum
LAMP, 185 Fifth Street, Etobicoke, ON M8V 2Z5 (New Toronto)

I look forward to meeting you at the above-mentioned event. As residents of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, we have the opportunity to engage in conversations that have relevance for the future of Canada.

 

Posted in Editorial, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment will visit Small Arms in Lakeview on Sept. 7, 2014

The following text, to which I’ve added headings, is from the Summer 2014 newsletter of the Small Arms Society

You can access the newsletter, which includes a focus on military history, here:

Arms2Arts newsletter- Summer 2014

 

Canada’s First-into-Battle WWI Regiment is Coming to Small Arms

On September 7, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry will be marching into Mississauga.

They’re arriving here as part of a nation-wide ceremony to honour the regiment’s 100th anniversary; and Mississauga was an important part of the regiment’s storied history.

The regiment was called to service on Aug. 10, 1914

The “Princess Pats” was formed immediately after World War I began, when a Montreal textiles merchant, Andrew Hamilton Gault approached the government of Canada with an offer of $100,000 (about $2.5 million today) to raise a battalion to be the first Canadian unit to serve in the battlefield.

The regiment was named in honour of Princess Patricia, the daughter of the Duke of Connaught, who was then Governor General of Canada. Although based in Western Canada today, the regiment continues to draw soldiers from all parts of the country.

A Memorial Baton will be carried by soldiers of the PPCLI from Edmonton to Ottawa between August 10 (the date of the regiment’s call to service) and September 18, when it was formed in Ottawa.

Frezenberg, Belgium: The regiment commenced with 547 soldiers; 154 survived

The Memorial Baton Relay will end in Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The Memorial Baton will then be taken to Frezenberg, Belgium for a ceremony on May 8, 2015 to rededicate a memorial there honouring the PPCLI. The regiment played a critical role in stopping a German offensive here that threatened to overrun allied lines. The regiment commenced the battle with 547 soldiers. Only 154 survived.

Ceremonies in Port Credit and Lakeview will take place on Sept. 7, 2014

The Memorial Baton Relay will pass through the following communities, between August 10 and September 18:

Alberta: Edmonton, Camrose, Wainwright, Calgary, Suffield and Medicine Hat

Saskatchewan: Regina and Moosomin

Manitoba: Brandon, Shilo and Winnipeg

Ontario: Thunder Bay, Elk Lake, Espanola, London, Toronto, Highway of Heroes, Trenton, Kingston and Ottawa. The ceremonies in Port Credit and Lakeview will be on September 7.

Quebec: Montreal and Mont St-Hilaire

The Memorial Baton contains the Roll of Honour of the regiment, symbolizing the national character of the Princess Pats. The passing of the torch represents the enduring character of the regiment from generation to generation. The Roll of Honour is a list of the 1,600 soldiers of the PPCLI killed in action since World War I.

Baton relay stops on Sept. 7, 2014 in Mississauga

September 7 will be a special day in Mississauga for the baton relay. The first Canadian commander of the PPCLI was Agar Adamson, whose home still stands at the south end of Enola Avenue. Adamson’s wife, Mable Cawthra served as a nurse.

At 11 a.m., a plaque will be unveiled at the Adamson family crypt at Trinity Anglican Church at 26 Stavebank Road North in Port Credit by Adrienne Clarkson. The former Governor General of Canada is the colonel-in-chief of the PPCLI; carrying on the tradition from the first days of Princess Patricia, that a woman will always be the honorary commander of this honoured regiment.

Agar Adamson commanded the regiment from June 1916 until May 1918

Adamson commanded the regiment from June 1916 until May 1918, and led the troops in several battles including Canada’s historic victory at Vimy Ridge. Agar’s ashes, and those of his wife, are interred in the family crypt.

Adamson Estate

After the plaque dedication, the Memorial Baton Relay will head to the Adamson Estate, 850 Enola Avenue, where a second plaque will be unveiled. The relay will continue to the Small Arms building, arriving at about 11:30 a.m., where the Centennial Display Team will showcase the regiment’s history.

This showcase includes a 25-foot light armoured vehicle, a flying kitchen, a 50-foot tractor trailer mobile museum and a Kiddie Commando Camp with obstacle course, bouncy castle and camouflage face painting. There will also be a Bren gun carrier. Brens were made at Small Arms building after WWII. Ron Baldwin of Wounded Warriors will have a display, as will Army, Navy and Air Force, Lakeview #262.

Hope you can join us for this family-friendly event.

[End of text from Arms2Arts newsletter]

Further reading

The Patricias: A Century of Service (2013)

A blurb at the Toronto Public Library for the latter study reads:

  • Formed in peacetime, forged in wartime, and formidable at all times, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2014.
  • In The Patricias: A Century of Service, the Regiment’s remarkable record of being “first in the field” of every war that Canada has fought in from the First World War to Afghanistan is gloriously documented in absorbing detail. Featuring engaging text that graphically describes the history of the Regiment from its founding in the summer of 1914 through to the spring of 2014 and augmented with hundreds of rare photographs from the battlefields to the barracks, detailed maps and memorabilia, and informative sidebars featuring testimonials from the soldiers in their own words, The Patricias: A Century of Service grippingly recounts the story and glory of this legendary unit that has served and protected this country both within Canada’s own borders and around the world with resounding pride and courage.
  • Written by renowned historian Dr. David Bercuson and assembled by a team of experts including acclaimed archivist Donald B. Smith and retired PPCLI Major-General Robert Stewart, The Patricias: A Century of Servicehonours the bravery of those men whose commitment to serving and saving Canada has made us the nation we are today. The book comes complete with a DVD that features photographs and captions, CBC news broadcasts from Sicily, Northwest Europe, and Korea, a selection of maps, historic newsreels, and film footage, the regiment’s “Roll of Honour,” regimental music, and materials related to the regiment’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

[End of text]

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Revised Second Edition (1972)

Letters of Agar Adamson, 1914 to 1919: Lieutenant Colonel, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1997)

The Fighting Canadians: Our Regimental History from New France to Afghanistan (2008)

Additional resources can be accessed at the Toronto Public Library website.

First World War

Overviews of the First World War, with a focus on the front line experiences of soldiers, is available from many studies including:

The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: An Illustrated Panorama (2013)

A blurb at the Toronto Public Library website notes:

  • A 24-foot-long black-and-white drawing printed on heavyweight accordian-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe hardcover slipcase. The set also includes a 16-page booklet featuring an essay about the first day of the Battle of the Somme by Adam Hochschild and original annotations to the drawing by Sacco himself.

 

Posted in Historiography, Military history, Mississauga, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Silk Road wasn’t a single “road”

I’ve recently had the occasion to acquaint myself with the history of the Silk Road.

It’s a topic that is of interest to me – among other things, because the Silk Road has a relationship to the history of mindfulness meditation, which I’ve been practising as a beginner student of mindfulness, for 10 years.

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction (2013)

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction (2013) by James A. Millward is a useful reference, with regard to the historiography – of the Silk Road.

I read with interest Millward’s comment (p. 7) that instead of thinking of a silk road connecting China and Rome as a single east-west route, it’s more useful to picture a network of routes.

He adds (pp. 18-19) that the term “silk road” refers to more than the trade in silk between Rome and China for a few centuries. It also stands for the exchange of things and ideas, both intended and accidental, “that intensified integration of the Afro-Eurasian continent from Neolithic through modern times.”

The concluding paragraph in the first chapter of the book sums up the story:

  • The silk road had no such clearly identifiable point of departure, and was more in the nature of a growing acquaintanceship than a sudden encounter. But its effects on world history are no less profound for that. By understanding the biological, technological, and cultural commonalities shared across the continent, we see that much of what we consider the intellectual, religious, political, or economic patrimony of “the West” or “the East”- or Christendom or Islam or Europe or Africa or Asia – are actually varied expressions of what was, on a fundamental level, an Afro-Eurasian joint venture.

[End of excerpt]

Renaissances: The One or the Many”? (2010)

The discussion brings to mind Jack Goody’s study, Renaissances: The One or the Many? (2010). A blurb at the Toronto Public Library website notes:

  • One of the most distinguished social scientists in the world addresses one of the central historical questions of the past millennium: does the European Renaissance deserve its unique status at the very heart of our notions of modernity? Jack Goody scrutinises the European model in relation to parallel renaissances that have taken place in other cultural areas, primarily Islam and China, and emphasises what Europe owed to non-European influences. Renaissances continues that strand of historical analysis critical of Eurocentrism that Goody has developed in recent works like The East in the West (1996) or The Theft of History (2006). This book is wide-ranging, powerful, deftly argued, and draws upon the author’s long experience of working in Africa and elsewhere. Not since Toynbee in The Study of History has anybody attempted quite what Jack Goody is undertaking in Renaissances, and the result is as accessible as it is ambitious.

[End of excerpt; in this excerpt I have corrected the name of a book - The East in the West, not The East and the West - by James Goody]

Millward’s overview also brings to mind ongoing debates regarding orientalism.

Journeys on the Silk Road (2011)

Journeys on the Silk Road (2011) by Joyce Morgan offers a different – that is, a journalistic  as contrasted to a scholarly – narrative concerning what the term “silk road” entails.

A passage I enjoy in the latter study concerns a comment (pp. 251-253) by Robert Thurman concerning a Buddhist text that Morgan’s narrative focuses on. According to Thurman, the essential part of the teachings that the text in question refers to is the “relativity of everything. People get excited about the idea of emptiness, and they think that’s something very, very deep and the world must disappear.”

The latter observation is a direct quotation, by Morgan, of Thurman.

“It doesn’t,” Joyce Morgan comments in turn.

“Rather, it means that contrary to our everyday assumptions, everything in our lives, including ourselves, constantly changes.”

Joyce Morgan thereupon proceeds with the following direct quotation from Robert Thurman:

“People think there’s something in me that is really me, that is always unchanging. They think it was there when I was sixteen and it will be there when I’ m sixty or seventy. They have this sense of a solid being there.  But we’re empty of that thing. That  doesn’t mean we don’t exist. It doesn’t mean we are empty of existence. We exist, but we don’t exist in a non-relational  way that we feel that we feel that we do.”

The overview by Joyce Morgan of Robert Thurman’s comments continues (p. 253)

  • He  cautions against equating emptiness with nihilism and a view that life is meaningless. This is a misunderstanding many Westerners make, he says. “The word emptiness is not  wrong, voidness is also not wrong. But a more interesting one for us in a modern time would be the word ‘freedom.’ We are not frightened of that word because we hear politicians rattling on about it,” he says. “When you say sugar-free or salt-free or trouble-free, you mean lacking those things.”
  • Thurman, who shares [Paul] Harrison’s concern over the adequacy of English translations of Buddhist texts, says our habit of see­ing the world and ourselves as unchanging has unfortunate con­sequences. “It leads to an exaggerated sense of self-importance. This brings one into terrible conflict  with the  world,  because the world will not agree that one’s self is so important,” he says. People get frustrated  because they think others are getting more than their share, and then become mired in aggression, fear, and greed. “Everything is stressful when one is unrealistic about one’s relationship  to things.”

 [End of excerpt]

Buddhist Practice on Western Ground (2004)

The foregoing discussion, which I find of interest, brings to mind Harvey B. Aronson’s Buddhist Practice on Western Ground (2004), which notes that the Buddhist precept that the self is illusory is readily subject to misinterpretation. Aronson highlights how easily concepts from Buddhism such as no-self can get lost in translation from East to West.

As Aronson explains (p. 69), “The ontological self we presume ourselves to have is understood as a fiction. This is not ontological loss; it is seeing through a misconception.” He adds that in everyday language, self and ego each has “(1) a technical use, (2) a meaning associated with pride, and (3) a usage referring to ‘I.’” He underlines that Buddhism, in referring to the absence of self, is not negating self or ego in the technical psychological sense.

 

Posted in Communications, Historiography, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Doors Open event at Small Arms building at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East – Sept. 27, 2014 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The following text is from the Summer 2014 newsletter of the Small Arms Society

You can access the newsletter here:

Arms2Arts newsletter- Summer 2014

 

The former inspection building of Small Arms Limited will be open Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Small Arms Society is excited to once again be participating in Doors Open Mississauga. This year we are looking forward to building on the success of the past two years where we hosted approximately 4,000 visitors. Our mission is to promote arts, heritage, culture and science.

This is a unique opportunity to visit an Ontario heritage-designated building and discover its history and future. Come out and enjoy a fun day of activities, including tours of the historic building, art exhibition and sale with 30 local artists, lots of live entertainment  and refreshments, Hits of the Blitz performances, and local performers from Frog in Hand.

Frog in Hand was founded by two sisters, Noelle Hamlyn and Colleen Snell, in 1990 with a backyard performance featuring a frog circus. The artists of Frog in Hand, which includes dancers, musicians, actors, textile and visual artists, believe that art is a lived experience and can be found in the most humble places.

The Frog in Hand company members  have national  and international  professional  experience in Canada, US, Japan, China, Korea, Ireland, Israel, Australia and UK.

Honorary Colonel Gerald Haddon

Doors Open will also include a presentation by Honorary Colonel Gerald Haddon, who is the grandson of John A. D. McCurdy. In 1909, McCurdy became the first Canadian to fly a plane. He was later hired as manager of Canada’s first flight training school, which was located on the Rifle Ranges in Lakeview.

Heritage Mississauga will also be joining us at the Small Arms plant for Doors Open 2014. They’ll be here to distribute their latest heritage- themed comic book. The hot-off- the-presses second edition will be about the World War One flying aces that trained at a flight school at the Lakeview Rifle Ranges.

There will also be displays by the Lorne Scots, Wounded Warriors, Lakeview Waterfront Connection, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation Authority and Inspiration Lakeview. There will also be a display on the Hanlan Feedermain project. And don’t miss the biplane flyover!

The Small Arms building is located at 1352 Lakeshore Road East, at the foot Dixie Road. It’s just a short walk west of the Long Branch Go Station. There will be parking at the rear of building .

[End of text from Arms2Arts newsletter] 

Below is a post from last year’s Doors Open event at the Small Arms building:

M4 Sherman Tank draws crowds at Sept. 28, 2013 Small Arms Doors Open event in Mississauga

An August 2013 interview with Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey provides additional background:

August 11, 2013 interview with Jim Tovey, Ward 1 Councillor in Mississauga, regarding Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

 

Posted in Historiography, Long Branch, Military history, Mississauga, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Fort York hopes music fests and fun events garner love of history – Toronto Star, July 14, 2014

I enjoy visiting Fort York and learning about its history. Earlier posts about the site include, by way of example:

Citizenship Ceremony at Fort York, April 26, 2013 featured sharing of thoughts about what it means to be a Canadian

What can we learn about evidence-based practice when we read about Tecumseh?

December 2013 Friends of Fort York newsletter available here in 12-pt Times New Roman

A number of interesting digital mapping projects are connected with Fort York and the history of Toronto as noted in an earlier Jane’s Walk post.

July 14,2014 Toronto Star

With regard to these topics related to the history of the Fort York site, which I much enjoy reading about, I also enjoyed a July 14, 2014 Toronto Star article entitled: “Fort York hopes music fests and fun events garner love of history.”

The subhead reads: “The downtown national historic site is bringing in food tasting events, movie screenings and multi-day music festivals in an effort to get on the radar.”

July 14, 2014 Metro News

A July 14, 2014 Metro News (Toronto) article, derived from the Toronto Star article, summarizes the narrative as follows:

  • While O’Hara said he’s happy to bring in more music, he emphasized that Fort York isn’t turning into a concert venue. The management of the historic site want to complement the fort’s museum and historical offerings with events that can lend a fun, family-friendly festive atmosphere. With that in mind, the fort is also hosting food events and movie screenings, alongside hip hop shows and multi-day music festivals like TURF and Field Trip.
  • “We’re being careful about the events that we have down there,” O’Hara said. “We want to make sure we’re working with producers and promoters that respect the site.”
  • So far, representatives of residents’ associations in the area say they aren’t aware of any complaints about the event space. Joan Prowse of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association said she feels that it’s actually being welcomed by many who live around the fort.
  • “When I moved down here 20 years ago, there wasn’t a lot to do. It was kind of a no man’s land,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to walk up the hill and go to things like this.”

[End of excerpt]

A delightful feature of Metro News articles is that they function as blurbs, which at times are easier to assimilate than the longer articles on which they are based. At other times, I would add, I thoroughly enjoy longreads and book-length studies of relevant topics.

May 29, 2014 Globe and Mail

The article brings to mind a May 29, 2014 Globe and Mail article regarding the Fort York branch of the Toronto Public Library.

Comment

I’m impressed with the work that is being done to ensure that the site is put to good use, for everybody’s enjoyment. The work underlines the value of the concept of “social entrepreneurship,” in the event a person wants to speak in those terms, and the value of strategic planning and collaboration in the ongoing development of a historic site such as Fort York.

 

Posted in Historiography, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment