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Sunday Newsletter 2001-20Su.
May 20, 2001.
Welcome, everyone, to another edition of the FactsCanada.ca Sunday Newsletter. Once again our apologies for being so late this week, but the two of us do the best we can and in the end you get a quality edition. Speaking of quality, I hope the following meets with your approval.
== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==
= Question of the week
= Biography -- Raymond Burr
= Did you know?
= Humour for the week
= Dumb quote of the week
= Some more Canadian records
= Place names -- Savage Cove, Newfoundland
= Recognition awards
= Also born this week
= Words of the week
= Answer to this week's question
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information
== QUESTION OF THE WEEK ==
Which highway, opened in 1979, was the first Canadian highway to cross the Arctic Circle and be open year-round? The answer can be found near the bottom.
== BIOGRAPHY ==
Burr was born Raymond William Stacey Burr on May 21, 1917, in New Westminster, British Columbia. Although one of the most recognizable faces in both Hollywood and television, Burr kept his private life very private, even inventing a couple of marriages to help conceal his then-frowned-upon choice of "relationship partners" and later his 31-year liaison with his companion Robert Benevides.
He spent most of his younger life travelling with his family, and while still quite young Raymond and his two younger siblings moved to China with his mother, Minerva, and his father, William, where William Burr worked as a trade agent. At the insistence of Minerva they returned home to New Westminster, but it was too late for his parents' marriage and they were divorced shortly afterwards. With grandparents in California and Minerva's desire to pursue a musical career, they moved to Vallejo, California, where Raymond was brought up by his mother and grandparents. As a young man Burr attended San Rafael Military Academy, but things were not working out financially for the clan at home during these depression years so Burr withdrew from the academy and sought almost any sort of work that would bring income to the family. He worked as a cattle and sheep rancher in Rosewell, New Mexico, a deputy sheriff for a time, and as a photo salesman.
Due to his mother's musical talent, Burr was raised with a taste for the arts and he even began singing for money in night clubs. It was these performances that led to encouragement by all for Burr to pursue an acting career, and in the late 1930s he joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, to further develop his skills. In 1940 he made his theatrical debut in the Broadway play "Crazy with the Heat". World War Two interrupted his progress though, and he found himself serving in the navy. When his tour lead him to Okinawa, he was shot in the stomach and was subsequently sent home to recover. By 1944 he was well enough to try the stage again and his performance in the drama "Duke in Darkness" caught the attention of a Hollywood talent scout, who set Burr up with a screen test with RKO Pictures.
The studio executives saw much promise in this stout-framed, magnetic-voiced and sad-eyed character, and cast him almost immediately on the role of a villain. Although a comedy, in 1946 he filmed "Without Reservations" (later titled "Thank's God, I'll Take it From Here") with Claudette Colbert and John Wayne. It was released after the picture he made next, which was called "San Quentin". Burr then enjoyed a steady stream of roles in various "films noir", often playing a sadist villain. These included the 1947 picture "Desperate", which was billed as having "MURDER at any moment! SUSPENSE... in every step!!!" and the 1948 film "Raw Deal" which was billed as "visually striking." After making nearly 20 films, Burr found himself playing the relentless prosecuting attorney in the 1951 production of "A Place in the Sun" opposite Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Another dozen movies later Alfred Hitchcock was looking for the perfect "would-be villain" for his 1954 classic film "Rear Window" with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Hitchcock's search ended when he saw Burr perform.
Burr eventually found his niche in television when author Erle Stanley Gardner handpicked him to play the fictional defence attorney Perry Mason. From 1957-1966, Burr starred in the title role of the courtroom drama, of which 271 episodes were filmed, and it quickly gained a loyal following of viewers. During the nine seasons of its production, Burr earned two Emmy Awards for Best Actor. Later, in 1967, he created his second signature title role with another successful television drama -- "Ironside", in which he played the paraplegic detective Robert Ironside, from 1967-1975.
During the next decade Burr appeared in many more movies and made guest appearances in the television series "It Takes a Thief", "The Andy Williams Show" and "The Love Boat". Among his movies during this time he repeated his role of Steve Martin in the 1984 version of "The Return of Godzilla" -- he originally appeared in "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" 28 years earlier in 1956. In 1985 Burr returned to play his Perry Mason character in 26 episodes of television movies and worked right up until his death of kidney cancer on September 12, 1993, completing "The Case of the Killer Kiss".
Actor Errol Flynn once told Burr that if he died with ten dollars in his pocket, he hadn't done a good job. Thus started his philanthropist ventures which included giving away the entire monetary part of estate to friends and those in need, including over 20 foster children worldwide. He also threw elaborate parties for friends where he showed off his culinary skills. When he died, his companion (make-up artist Robert Benevides) inherited only his properties -- he had maintained homes in Los Angeles, California (where he grew orchids and produced hybrids, one of which he developed and named the "Barbara Hale Orchid" after the actress who played opposite him as his secretary, Della Street), 3000 acres of land northeast of Suva in the Fiji Islands (where he ran a copra plantation called Naitamba), and his vineyards in Sonoma County, California, adjacent to his 40-acre ranch.
Burr did actually marry Isabella Ward in 1947, but the marriage was annulled three months later. Fictitious wives named Laura Andrine Morgan and Annette Sutherland were apparently invented to help hide his supposed homosexuality.
Burr is interred at Fraser Cemetery in New Westminster, British Columbia. The old Columbia Theatre in New Westminster was renamed the Burr Theatre in his honour.
== DID YOU KNOW? ==
Actor William Katt who played Paul Drake Junior in the "Perry Mason" series (Paul Drake was Perry's original detective) is actually the real-life son of actress Barbara Hale (Della Street in the "Perry Mason" series) and actor Bill Williams!
== HUMOUR FOR THE WEEK ==
Indications that you may be Canadian.
1. You stand in "line-ups" at the movie, not lines.
2. You're not offended by the term "homo milk".
3. You understand this question and statement: "Could you please pass me a serviette? I just spilled my poutine."
4. You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.
5. You drink pop, not soda.
6. This doesn't bother you at all.
7. You know what it means to be on "pogey".
8. You can drink legally while still a teen.
9. You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.
10. You don't care about the fuss with Cuba -- it's a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans.
11. You get milk in bags as well as cartons and plastic jugs.
12. Pike is a type of fish, not some part of a highway.
13. You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
14. You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.
15. You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.
16. And you know that Canadian Tire on any Saturday is busier than the toy stores at Christmas.
17. You know that Mounties don't always look like that.
18. You know that the Friendly Giant isn't a vegetable product line.
19. You know that Casey and Finnegan are not a Celtic musical group.
20. You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
21. You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram.
22. You were mad when "The Beachcombers" were taken off the air.
23. You know what a toque is.
24. You admit Rich Little is Canadian and you're glad Jerry Lewis is not.
25. You know Toronto is not a province.
26. You never miss "Coach's Corner".
27. You know all the words to "If I had a Million Dollars".
28. You know who Ernie Coombs is.
29. You wonder why there isn't a five-dollar coin yet, because you can really use more change. (You are already wearing your pants halfway down your butt, and the hair and three layers of skin are worn off the front of your thighs from carrying your pocket money around.) The new coin should have a picture of a musk-ox on it and be the size of a hamburger pattie and have fifteen different kinds of metal in it, including poutine.
30. You know Ashley MacIssac isn't Celtic enough.
31. Your backpack has only one Canadian flag sewn on.
32. You use a red pen in your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing u's from "labor", "honor", and "color".
33. You wonder idly if there is some government cover-up of a covert operation behind shifting the shooting location of "X-Files" from British Columbia to California.
34. You know that a "premier" isn't a baby born a few weeks early.
35. Your mom designs your Hallowe'en costume to fit over a snowsuit.
36. The local paper covers national news on two pages, but requires six pages for hockey.
37. You know four seasons: "almost winter", "winter", "still winter", and "under construction".
38. You actually understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
39. You perk up when you hear the theme from "Hockey Night in Canada".
40. And finally, you actually get these jokes and forward them to all your Canadian friends.
== DUMB QUOTE OF THE WEEK ==
"I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada." --Britney Spears, spoken from the United States.
== SOME MORE CANADIAN RECORDS ==
On May 18, 1999, a total of 34 083 white spruce seedling were planted at the Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area in Alberta. This is a record for the most trees planted in a day and was set by 293 members consisting of staff, students and parents of Fultonvale Elementary and Junior High Schools from this province. That's just over 116 year-old seedlings planted per person!
Another record Canada can be proud of is a kissing record. On February 13, 1999, at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre in Ontario, 1588 couples meet and kissed at the same time in the same location. I wonder why they did not wait a day until Valentine's Day.
The world's largest Scottish country dance did not happen in Scotland, but here in Canada -- in Toronto, Ontario, on August 17, 1991. This is where a "reel" (a fast dance of Scottish origin) of 512 was organized by the Toronto branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
We sure are an affectionate people, for on December 18, 1998, a total of 462 people associated with Brock Corydon School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, took part in the world's biggest hug. This event was masterminded as part of a citizenship program being run at the school, its intent being to teach children respect and tolerance for other people.
Finally, on May 11, 1996, members of the Aurora, Illinois, Karate Dojo set a world record by demolishing a ten-room house right here in Saskatchewan in 3:06:50 -- just over three hours to demolish a house with only their bare hands!
== PLACE NAMES ==
Savage Cove, Newfoundland
This is hardly an obscure name in Newfoundland -- I can find seven different references to places with this moniker. However, only one is considered populated and is classified as an unincorporated area -- Savage Cove in the Strait of Belle Isle. Five others are classified as bays and are also named Savage Cove, and the sixth is a mountain with the name Savage Cove Hills in the Eagle River electoral district.
Savage Cove, with a population just under 400, is a fishing community on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. It is also the most northerly sheltered harbour on the Newfoundland side of the Strait of Belle Isle. Since its entrance is protected by Cooper Island (locally known as Gaulton's Island), Savage Cove did not receive its name from rough seas but from having been frequented by aboriginal people at the time when the French were fishing in the area. The cove appears on early French maps as "Anse aux Savages". The first English settler was George Gaulton, who settled there after his marriage to Susan Gould of Anchor Point in the 1830s.
== UPDATE ==
Back in issue 2001-14Su I posed the question: What is the Donner Prize? I went on to say that the Donner Prize is a fairly new literary award for the best book on Canadian public policy. A $25 000 first prize was to be awarded the author on May 8, 2001. It has now been awarded and the winner was Tom Flanagan for his book "First Nations? Second Thoughts", published by McGill-Queen's University Press. Congratulations Mr. Flanagan.
== RECOGNITION AWARDS ==
Governor General Adrienne Clarkson is pleased to announce the 2001 recipients of the National Forest Stewardship Recognition Program Awards. The goal of the Forest Stewardship Recognition Program is to stimulate awareness of and appreciation for stewardship, sustainable practices, and bio-diversity conservation efforts in Canada's forests. The program aims to identify those who have shown leadership in these areas through on-the-ground, practical actions. In all, 25 awards will be handed out across Canada, bringing the total to over 100 since its inception in 1998.
Listed below are this year's Lifetime Achievement Winners:
- Mr. Jim Trebett of Estevan Engineering Limited in British Columbia.
- Mr. Jim Kinghorn of British Columbia.
- Mr. Fred Shawaga of Saskatchewan.
- Dr. Raymond Giberson of New Brunswick.
- Mr. Dave Deugo of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and
- Mr. Andre Boisvert of Quebec.
Kudos to all of you.
== ALSO BORN THIS WEEK ==
Donald William Cameron, premier of Nova Scotia (1991-1993), born in Egerton, Nova Scotia, May 20, 1946.
Raymond A. J. Chretien, public servant, diplomat, nephew of Prime Minister Jean Chretien, born in Shawinigan Lake, Quebec, May 20, 1942.
Sam Etcheverry, football player and member Canadian Football Hall of Fame, born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA, May 20, 1930.
Stan Mikita, hockey player, member National Hockey League Hall of Fame, born in Sokolce, Poland, May 20, 1940.
Francis Marion Beynon, journalist, feminist and social reformer, born in Steetsville, Ontario, May 21, 1884.
Linda Bouchard, composer and conductor, born in Val-d'or, Quebec, May 21, 1957.
James Gladstone, (né Akay-na-muka, which means "many guns"), Canada's first native senator, born in Mountain Hill, Northwest Territories (which no longer exists), May 21, 1887.
Edward Gawler Prior, mining engineer and premier of British Columbia (1902-1903), born in Dallaghgill, England, May 21, 1853.
Adele Wiseman, novelist, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 21, 1928.
Frank Cosentino, author, football player and instructor, born in Hamilton, Ontario, May 22, 1937.
Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, governor of New France (Canada), born in St-Germain, France, May 22, 1622.
Barbara Parkins, actress, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 22, 1942.
Michael Sarrazin (né Jacques Michel Andre Sarrazin), born in Quebec City, Quebec, May 22, 1940.
Pauline Julian, singer, actress and songwriter, born in Trios Rivieres, Quebec, May 23, 1928.
Robert McLellan Bateman, painter, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 24, 1930.
Thomas "Tommy" Chong, actor, director and screenwriter, member of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, born in Edmonton, Alberta May 24, 1938.
Lionel "The Big Train" Pretoria Conacher, athlete, hockey all-star, politician, member of the National Hockey League Hall of Fame, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 24, 1902.
Lorna Crozier, poet, born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, May 24, 1948.
Wilbert Ross Thatcher, premier of Saskatchewan (1964-1971), born in Neville, Saskatchewan, May 24, 1917.
Robert George Brian Dickson, chief justice of Canada (1984-1990), born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, May 25, 1916.
Phyllis Fay Gotlieb (née Bloom), poet, short-story writer and novelist, born in Toronto, Ontario, May 25, 1926.
William Patrick Kinsella, writer, born in Edmonton, Alberta, May 25, 1935.
Antonio J. Barrette, premier of Quebec (1960), born in Joliette, Quebec, May 26, 1899.
Louise Bedard, choreographer, dancer, director and teacher, born in Montreal, Quebec, May 26, 1955.
Jay Silverheels (né Harold J. Smith), actor, born on the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario on May 26, 1919. (Played Tonto in the "Lone Ranger" television series.)
== WORDS OF THE WEEK ==
Hopefully I will get back onto my usual schedule next week. We can only hope. In the meantime I found an interesting site while going through the resources for last week's newsletter. It is titled "The Nautical Origins of Some Common Expressions". Do you know the origin of the phrase; "It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"? I had no idea, but it evokes some pretty interesting images! According to the site: "Between a ship's guns were lip-edged brass trays called monkeys which held pyramid stacks of cannon balls. In cold weather the brass tray would contract faster than the iron cannon balls and the balls would go tumbling on the deck. In this case it was said to be 'cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey'." Fascinating! See today's resources for a link to this site.
== ANSWER TO THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ==
Above I posed the question: Which highway, opened in 1979, was the first Canadian highway to cross the Arctic Circle and be open year-round?
The answer is the Dempster Highway, which was begun in 1959 initially to service northern oil fields, and was completed over 20 years later.
The 741-kilometre Dempster Highway begins just east of Dawson, Yukon Territory, travels north to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and is the only Canadian highway that crosses the Arctic Circle that is open year-round. This highway offers an awe-inspiring excursion through a breathtaking array of landscapes, whether it be by foot, bicycle or car. This is an increasingly travelled route, which locals say means "about four cars an hour". It crosses the Ogilvie Mountains east and north of Dawson before dropping down to Eagle Plains, and has access to the sub-arctic tundra. Shortly before meeting the Northwest Territories border at around the 470-kilometre mark, it rises through the Richardson Mountains and then drops to the low hills and plains of the Peel Plateau and Mackenzie River.
For much of its course the road follows the path of the dog patrols that were operated by the Mounties in the first half of the 20th century. It takes its name from a Corporal W.J.D. Dempster who, in March 1922, was sent to look for a patrol lost between Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, and Dawson. He found their frozen bodies just 26 miles (42 kilometres) from where they had set off. They were buried on the banks of the Peel River and there is a monument to their memory at Fort McPherson.
This "highway" is primarily gravel, and one can continue (in the summer only) north from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk, which is generally only accessible by plane or helicopter.
== PREVIEW ==
Next week I profile Bruce Cockburn and Alanis Morissette, give you some brief information about three Saskatchewan towns (Choiceland, Estevan and Esterhazy), tell you a bit about the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets, return to "Idioms of the Week", and tell you about author Margaret Atwood being short-listed for a lucrative British prize.
Over so soon. Sometimes I feel I could go on and on. Actually there are many, many ideas I have for material but, because of the distribution size of the newsletter coupled with the fact that we are only two strong, we are forced to compromise the newsletter's full potential. Therefore I once again encourage all of you to forward this newsletter to friends, relatives, neighbours or whoever you think may enjoy it -- adding the note that they should subscribe if they enjoy the free read. From such increases in readership we may one day find it plausible to give up our day jobs and concentrate solely on entertaining our Canadian public. Please consider this message.
== LINKS AND RESOURCES ==
FactsCanada.ca -- http://www.factscanada.ca
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