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Sunday Newsletter 2001-28Su.
July 15, 2001.
At the time of this writing it seems that summer has finally arrived on the southwest coast of British Columbia. The temperature in my computer room is pushing 30 degrees Celsius, and if I don't get this newsletter finished soon my wife will return home to find me in a melted mess along the same lines as the Wicked Witch of the West. So, on with the show. First, though, a quick welcome to all of our new subscribers who read about us in the "Calgary Sun" on Wednesday, July 11. Chris Gerritsen gave us a very nice write-up in the "Chris on Six" column, saying that we are "not a dry read". I guess that makes us a wet one. Thanks Chris! Thanks also to Muriel from Calgary who told us about it, and also to "Calgary Sun" reader Craig (not our Craig) who brought us to the attention of the newspaper.
\\ TABLE OF CONTENTS //
\ Question of the week
\ Biography -- Hume Cronyn
\ Quote of the week
\ Notes from the notable -- Margaret Laurence
\ Place names -- Bosanquet, Ontario
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Top ten list
\ Joke of the week
\ Geek report
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information
\\ QUESTION OF THE WEEK //
The first radio station in Canada to broadcast a program did not even have four letters in its call sign. What was the name of this station that was granted transmission rights with the issuing of a licence in 1919?
The answer can be found towards the bottom of the newsletter.
\\ BIOGRAPHY //
Mr. Cronyn, born in London, Ontario, on July 18, 1911, has been described as having many, many abilities tucked away in his acting repertoire. Seldom have I seen so many different adjectives bestowed on a single person -- words like elfin, zany, charming, farceur, delicate, mischievous, tormented, versatile, sinister, sadistic and loveable are all words I have found describing his amazing acting talents. He has contributed a lifetime of work behind the camera, as an actor, screenwriter and director, and also has hundreds of theatrical performances and credits.
Cronyn was born into prominence as the son of Hume Blake Cronyn, a distinguished banker and member of Parliament. In fact, his father was general manager for the Huron and Erie Savings and Loan Company which eventually evolved into Canada Trust. As a member of Parliament he helped establish the National Research Institute and he donated $40 000 in his will to London's University of Western Ontario, which in turn built the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory (the largest in the western hemisphere at the time) in 1940.
Back to Cronyn the younger. He began his post-secondary studies at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario, then moved on to Montreal's McGill University where he began studying pre-law. As well as appearing with the Montreal Repertory Theatre he was nominated to appear on Canada's Olympic boxing team. However, he opted for an acting career instead and left Montreal for New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. This school currently boasts an alumni that has been nominated for 70 Oscars, 54 Tonys and 181 Emmy Awards. Another stop found him in Salzburg, Austria, studying at the Mozarteum under their acting curriculum. Upon his return to North America he made his professional debut in Washington DC and was soon a regular performer on Broadway in various New York productions.
At the outbreak of World War Two he returned to Canada to enlist but was turned down for medical reasons. In 1942 he married Jessica Tandy, who had divorced her actor husband Jack Hawkins earlier that year. Their marriage would endure the test of "Hollywood time" by lasting 52 years until Tandy's death of cancer in 1994. Tandy's theatrical and film career followed a similar route to Cronyn's -- they appeared in many films and plays together, earning the nickname of "The First Couple of American Theatre". Tandy had one daughter with Hawkins and then two children with Cronyn, including a daughter aptly named Tandy Cronyn, who went on to appear in more than a dozen movies herself. (I could not find a reference to the other Cronyn child.) Over the remainder of the war years Cronyn made his film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" in 1943 and "Lifeboat" in 1944. They struck up a friendship with "Hitch", which he turned to after the war when he asked Cronyn to write the screenplay for two more of his movies; "The Rope" and "Under Capricorn".
Over much of the next 30 years the Cronyn team had simultaneous careers on both the stage and screen. In 1976 they appeared for five consecutive years at the Stratford Festival in Ontario (while Cronyn also served on the festival's board), appearing in such plays as "Foxfire" (written for the stage by Cronyn) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Film writer Susan Cooper later adapted the play "Foxfire" for film, and both Cronyn and Tandy appeared in it. Cronyn published his memoirs in 1991 and entitled it "A Terrible Liar".
In addition to being appointed to the Order of Canada, Cronyn has also amassed more than two dozen other awards for his performances including an Academy Award nomination, Tony Award victories, and was the first (in 1990) Canadian to be awarded the National Medal of Arts at the White House in Washington DC. In 1994, just prior to Tandy's death, they were honoured in New York City with a special "dual" lifetime achievement award from the Tony's (American theatre's highest honour). In July 1996, two years after Tandy's death, Cronyn married Susan Cooper. They had previously met in the late eighties when Cooper worked with he and Tandy as a couple is "Foxfire" and "The Dollmaker", which have writing credits attributed to both Cronyn and Cooper.
I thought I had heard recently that Mr. Cronyn had passed on, but could find no evidence of that while researching this biography. Therefore I hope that Mr. Cronyn is alive and well and will continue enjoying a long life.
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
The Tony Awards
\\ QUOTE OF THE WEEK //
"The whole business of marshaling one's energies becomes more and more important as one grows older." --Hume Cronyn.
\\ NOTES FROM THE NOTABLE //
Married Name: Margaret Laurence.
Maiden Name: Jean Margaret Wemyss.
Birth place: Neepawa, Manitoba.
Birth date: July 18, 1926.
Place of death: Lakefield, Ontario.
Date of death: January 5, 1987.
Marriage details: Married hydraulic engineer Jack Laurence in 1947. Together they had two children (Jocelyn and David) born in 1952 and 1954 respectively. They lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, England, Somaliland (now Somalia), Greece, India, Egypt, Spain and Ghana before divorcing in 1969. She moved to Lakefield in 1974 where she spent the remainder of her life.
Writing background: Wemyss wrote from the age of seven and throughout high school and college, but was not published until after her marriage when the British Protectorate of Somaliland published "A Tree for Poverty", her translations of Somali folklore and poetry.
Main devotion outside of writing: Promoting world peace and Project Ploughshares. Please see the links below.
Best known for: Her eight "A Bird in the House" novels released between 1962 and 1970, and her children's stories.
Awards and achievements: Order of Canada and honorary degrees from 14 Canadian universities. She was also chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
Final legacy: Her memoir "Dance on the Earth", which she finished prior to her death, was edited by her daughter, and was released in 1989.
Margaret Laurence Home
\\ PLACE NAMES //
This town of around 5500 people is located in the extreme northern portion of Lambton County and was a municipal township until January 1, 1995, when it became a town. It encompasses many smaller communities, including Ipperwash Beach in the tiny Ipperwash Provincial Park area on the southeastern coastline of Lake Huron. It is located about 70 kilometres northeast of the city of Sarnia, Ontario, which borders Michigan in the United States.
The township was originally named in 1833 after Charles Bosanquet, a chairman of the Canada Company. This firm was originally set up in Britain during the 1820s to colonize and develop the Huron Tract, which is a large area of what is now southwestern Ontario.
FactsCanada.ca map of Bosanquet, Ontario
Lambton County Maps
\\ ALSO BORN THIS WEEK //
Bertram Neville Brockhouse, physicist and Nobel-Prize winner, born in Lethbridge, Alberta, July 15, 1918.
Donald Grant Creighton, historian and Governor-General-Award-winning author, born in Toronto, Ontario, July 15, 1902.
George Stewart Henry, farmer and premier of Ontario (1930-1934), born in Kings Township, Ontario July 16, 1871.
Woodrow Stanley Lloyd, educator and premier of Saskatchewan (1961-1964), born near Webb, Saskatchewan, July 16, 1913.
Genevieve Cadieux, artist, born in Montreal, Quebec, July 17, 1955.
Donald Sutherland, actor, born in St. John, New Brunswick, July 17, 1935.
Hugh Graham, Baron Atholstan of Huntingdon, newspaper publisher, born in Atholstan, Canada East, July 18, 1848.
Joseph-Alfred Mousseau, lawyer, writer, judge and premier of Quebec (1882-1884), born in Berthier-en-Haut, Lower Canada, July 18, 1838.
Atom Egoyan, filmmaker, director, and Officer of the Order of Canada (1999), born in Cairo, Egypt, July 19, 1960.
Charles Woodward, farmer, merchant, politician and founder of the now-defunct department-store chain bearing his surname, born in Wentworth County, Canada West, July 19, 1842.
Tantoo Cardinal (sometimes credited as Tantoo Martin), actress and director of native descent, born in Anzac (near Fort McMurray), Alberta, July 20, 1950.
James Bruce Elgin, 8th Earl of Elgin, governor general of Canada (1847-1854), born in London, England, July 20, 1811.
Christine Sharon MacDonald, craft maker, public servant and wife to John MacDonald (co-founder of FactsCanada.ca), born in Duncan, British Columbia, July 20, 1952.
Paul Brandt, singer, songwriter, and Juno-Award winner, born in Calgary, Alberta, July 21, 1972.
Norman Frederick Jewison, film director and producer, and Companion of the Order of Canada (1992), born in Toronto, Ontario, July 21, 1926.
\\ IT HAPPENED THIS WEEK IN HISTORY //
July 15, 1870 -- The Dominion of Canada continues to grow, adding Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.
July 15, 1960 -- The CCFF (Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) a national, non-profit, voluntary health agency, is established.
July 15, 1966 -- The National Arts Centre Act was proclaimed on this date. The mandate for its Board of Directors is "to operate and maintain the Centre, to develop the performing arts in the National Capital region, and to assist the Canada Council in the development of the performing arts elsewhere in Canada."
July 18, 1945 -- The Bedford magazine explosion occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was initiated when an ammunition barge blew up at the naval magazine jetty on Bedford Basin in Halifax harbour. A chain reaction of fire and explosions continued through July 19, 1945.
July 18, 1853 -- After eight years of construction, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, the world's first international railway, was inaugurated and began service. The purpose of the railway was to provide Montreal with access to an ice-free Atlantic port. The original plan was to build the line to Boston, Massachusetts, but it was eventually decided that Portland, Maine, would be preferable.
July 19, 1996 -- Celine Dion performs before an estimated television audience of 3.5 billion during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, singing "The Power of the Dream".
July 20, 1996 -- Flash floods hit the Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean area of Quebec following unseasonably heavy rains. Some 12 000 people were evacuated, while seven more lost their lives. The deluge continued until July 21, 1996. (You can read more about the "Saguenay Deluge" in FactsCanada.ca issue 2000-20Su.)
July 20, 1871 -- British Columbia becomes Canada's newest province.
July 20, 1942 -- The Veterans' Land Act was passed, making allowances for the settlement of land for war veterans.
July 21, 1972 -- The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) granted Global Communications Limited a broadcast licence for operations in southern Ontario.
\\ TOP TEN LIST //
It has been a while since I gave you a top-ten list, so here you go. According to the "National Post", the top ten law firms based in Canada based on the number of lawyers are:
Firm Head Offices Lawyers McCarthy Tetrault Toronto and Montreal 718 Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Toronto 618 Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP Toronto 533 Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP Ottawa 533 Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP Toronto 510 Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP Toronto 412 Stikeman, Elliot Toronto and Montreal 370 Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP Toronto 332 Ogilivy Renault Montreal 313 Torys Toronto 300By the way, LLP stands for Limited Liability Partnership.
\\ JOKE OF THE WEEK //
A plane took off from Toronto's Pearson Airport. (If it was an Air Canada flight, it took off without any food for the passengers, according to FactsCanada.ca's inside sources.) After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard flight 147, non-stop from Toronto to Vancouver. The weather ahead is good and therefore we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Please sit back and relax as... OH MY GOD!"
After a few moments of silence, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier but, while I was talking, the flight attendant brought me a cup of hot coffee and spilled it in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"
A passenger riding in the back spoke up; "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"
\\ GEEK REPORT //
No, please, sit down. Don't fall out of your chair. It really is Sunday and you have not slept in and you are not late for work. What has happened here is that I have managed to send the newsletter on time this week. Awesome.
I just want to clear up some confusion I caused in our Friday Feature last week. The author of the article on the Calgary Stampede, Cathy Bates, was not born in Calgary as we claimed. She was actually born in Edmonton, although she did grow up in Calgary. I also forgot to include a link to her site, which is full of information useful to Canadians in or thinking of going to Korea, as well as accounts of her international travels. The link is below.
Speaking of links, I am experimenting with a different way of presenting the links that we normally (when I'm on top of things) present on the Resources page on the Web site. We will still collect all of the resources for the newsletters in a single place on the site, but by having them in the newsletter they are more easily accessible to you. If you have any comments (good or bad) about the new presentation, please let me know by sending an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks a lot.
Finally, since I have sent this out at least 24 hours in advance of when I have been sending it out for the last few weeks, I am going to spend some time updating the site today. I will definitely get the webfeeds up-to-date and I will do as much of the outdated Resources and Maps pages as I can. Thank-you for your patience.
Cathy Bates' Web site
\\ ANSWER TO THIS WEEK'S QUESTION //
This weeks question was: The first radio station in Canada to broadcast a program did not even have four letters in its call sign. What was the name of this station that was granted transmission rights with the issuing of a licence in 1919?
Answer: In what is referred to as the "pioneer stage" of radio, and working under the Radiotelegraph Act of 1913, the government minister in charge issued the first license in 1919 to the experimental station XWA in Montreal, Quebec. On May 20, 1920, XWA aired the first scheduled radio broadcast, a musical program of the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa. XWA later changed its call sign to CFCF, and today operates under the call sign CICQ AM radio. There is a local television station with the call sign CFCF on channel 12 in Montreal.
Radio in Canada: A Time Line
Montreal's CFCF Television
\\ PREVIEW //
Next Sunday I will profile Chief Dan George and Sara Jeannette Duncan, dig into my recipe box for the first time in a while, and touch on sports in answering the question, "Who was George Gibson?" I will also take a slightly different approach to our "Place Names" feature and explain "toponymy", which will lead into the history of an interesting Vancouver street name and the use of the word "saint" in Canadian place names.
For all of you who won prizes during our gala anniversary giveaway, you should have yours by the time this newsletter reaches you. If, for some reason, you do not have your prize by July 18, please send me an e-mail. I can always be reached at email@example.com. I get lots of e-mail these days, so mark it as a high priority or simply write "missing prize" in the subject field. I trust that none of you will need to do this, but it helps to be prepared. Until next week....
== LINKS AND RESOURCES ==
FactsCanada.ca -- http://www.factscanada.ca
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