Archive for the 'Interesting' Category

Montreal (Westmount) and the 1953 Coronation

Last night I woke myself to watch on the Internet some of the live coverage of the ceremony that was taking place in Westminster Abbey. I find the press’ interest in the nuptials to be boring, but what was on my mind was a similar, and for me a memorable, event that took place in the Abbey when I was almost 10 years old.

I am recalling that in 1953 my Mom rented the Green Room at the Avenue (movie) Theatre in Westmount to invite our neighbourhood’s kids to see the film of the Queen’s Coronation. What made the event remarkable was that the film arrived by air the day after the event — amazing for the early 1950s.

One of the things that made this special for us kids was that in Quebec children under 16 were not allowed to go to theatres. Some years earlier there’d been a fire where children were trampled (before panic-bars I guess), so a stupid law was passed. For some special movies (e.g. Disney), some theatres were occasionally allowed to admit children. The Avenue Theatre was one of those.

The Green Room was an alcove in the back wall of the theatre. Chairs and sofas were set up like a living room. There was a glass partition between us and the rest of the audience. It was a good idea to have our group of young people separated from the main theatre. We could talk, walk around, and crawl over the furniture.

I do remember the Coronation (which took place in the same venue as this wedding). I have retained some of the images… and I recall that the Coronation proceeded at a snail’s pace. It was boring, but very colourful. And grand. I guess I sensed that it was historic. The event took place on Tuesday, 1953 June 2. So, I’m guessing that we saw the film on Wednesday or Thursday. That was about a month before my 10th birthday.

Oh, this is interesting, from Wikipedia:

The coronation of the Queen was the first ever to be televised (although the BBC Television Service had covered part of the procession from Westminster Abbey after her father’s coronation in 1937, and was also the world’s first major international event to be broadcast on television. There had been considerable debate within the British Cabinet on the subject, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill against the idea; but, Elizabeth refused her British prime minister’s advice on this matter and insisted the event take place before television cameras, as well as those filming with experimental 3-D technology. Millions across Britain watched the coronation live, while, to make sure Canadians could see it on the same day, English Electric Canberras flew film of the ceremony across the Atlantic Ocean to be broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the first non-stop flights between the United Kingdom and the Canadian mainland. In Goose Bay, Newfoundland, the film was transferred to a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-100 jet fighter for the further trip to Montreal. In all, three such voyages were made as the coronation proceeded.

In 1953 I don’t think I knew anyone with a television. The ‘pedia didn’t mention the full colour theatre movie presentation. I did know about the film being flown over… but I thought it was only for the theatres. Video tape did not exist in those days, so I am speculating that the film print we viewed might have been the original that was brought to Canada for the CBC.

Yes, I know this has nothing to do with the Salish Sea… but it has occurred to me that this blog article may be the only public record of that event in Westmount.

Tim Clark & Lady Windermere

Lady Windermere's Brass Fantabulous - cover artwork

click picture for Lady Windermere's Brass Fantabulous

It has been 11 long months since Tom Lopez published his last podcast. They are free, click this link.

The reason that I am delighted by this is that most of the podcast is the latest music from Tim Clark. What has this to do with me or the Salish Sea? Well, very little, except that I’ve known Tim — and his wonderful music — for a very long time. When you hear that the early collaboration between Tom and Tim included Tim’s work at the McLaughlin Planetarium, that was in the studio I built there. And Tim taught me to make this pizza, one of the most requested articles on this blog. But, who needs a reason… enjoy the music.

An iMac workstation should be a bit different

27" iMac and a custom built workstation

When a member of the family recently acquired a new iMac with a 27″ screen, it seemed uncomfortable to use on a normal table or desk. The keyboard should be just above the lap, and the top of the screen should not make me look up, I was told. So we designed this for comfort. The materials are construction 2x4s and the work surfaces are standard shelving. It had to be easy and fast to build.

Marine shipping traffic in the Salish Sea

Have you ever wondered about that ship that you see anchored out there, or where that tanker that is leaving is bound, or what is the name of that tow (tug) boat? The picture below is a link to an amazing live map of the Salish Sea with all of that information and more.

Link to dynamic map of Salish Sea Shipping

Click image to Link to dynamic map of Salish Sea Shipping

The dynamic (live) map has all of the usual Google Map controls… so you can zoom out and back in to see the shipping at every major port in the world. I suggest that you make your browser as large as your screen will allow. Use refresh to start over looking at the Salish Sea. That link takes you to a separate web page that I created at one of my sites because wordpress does not allow me to embed this software from

My first legacy blog – Halley’s Comet

Comet Halley 1910

Comet Halley 1910

This is my first attempt at a true Legacy Blog. I believe I created the concept, and researched it with the post, An experiment in time travel. That article (seemingly posted in 1988), and the correspondence with WordPress (included in the comments below that post) showed that blog articles can be dated at any time in history after 1970.

For two years  in the mid-80s I wrote a weekly astronomy column for the Winnipeg Free Press. I began with my reports about the approach of Comet Halley. Those articles are now nowhere on the Internet. The newspaper informed me that we own joint copyright to that material. So, my plan is to gradually post those articles as if I was blogging at the time. They will be date stamped with the actual date of publication. You can find them at The Return of Comet Halley.

Wilderness Tourism Assoc. writes about Fish Farms to the Hon. Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA) says,

The regulations, as they currently exist in BC, are woefully inadequate to protect wild salmon as they do not address the impacts that open net cage salmon farming has on the wild salmon stocks.

The WTA has sent an open letter to the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada on January 25. The full text of the letter is here. << PDF format, 3 pages.

The WTA principles and position papers are available at their web site:

Salish Sea, and Twitter, chosen Names of the Year

Salish Sea was chosen Name of the Year by the American Name Society at its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on January 9, 2010.

To download the MS Word media release from the ANS, click: 2009 Name of the Year

If you don’t want to download the document, I’ve reproduced it in the next pane of this article…

Continue reading ‘Salish Sea, and Twitter, chosen Names of the Year’

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