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Mr. Hockey

Trading Card of Gordie Howe

Trading card photo of Gordie Howe as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. These cards were printed on the backs of Chex cereal boxes in the US and Canada from 1963 to 1965. Those collecting the cards cut them from the back of the boxes.

Gordie Howe, a great Canadian hockey legend, known for, among other feats, for his Hat Trick.

Here are a few facts:

* Born on March 31, 1928 in Floral, Saskatchewan.

* Died on June 10, 2016 in Toledo, Ohio at the age of 88.

* He was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

* He was ambidextrous.

* Played from 1946-1971 and 1973-1980.

* He was nicknamed Mr. Hockey.

* A 23-time NHL All-Star, he held many of the sport’s scoring records until they were broken in the 1980s by Wayne Gretzky. He continues to hold NHL records for most games and seasons played.

* He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings four times, won six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player, and won six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer.

* Howe was most famous for his scoring prowess, physical stamina and career longevity. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL In five different decades (1940s through 1980s). Although he only accomplished the task twice in his own career, he became the namesake of the “Gordie Howe hat trick”: a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

* He was slightly dyslexic growing up, however, he was physically beyond his years at an early age. Already six feet tall in his mid-teens, doctors feared a calcium deficiency and encouraged him to strengthen his spine with chin-ups. He started playing organised hockey at eight years old. Howe quit school during the Depression to work In construction with his father, then left Saskatoon at sixteen to pursue his hockey career.

* Howe was an ambidextrous player, one of just a few skaters able to use the straight sticks of his era to shoot either left or right-handed.

* He experienced his first taste of professional hockey at age 15 in 1943 when he was invited by the New York Rangers to their training camp held at “The Amphitheatre” in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He played so well that the Rangers wanted Howe to sign a “C” form which would have given that club his NHL rights and to play that year at Notre Dame, a Catholic school in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, which had a reputation for discovering good hockey players. Howe wanted to go back home to play hockey with his friends, and declined the Rangers’ offer and returned to Saskatoon.








 

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The Regina Cyclone

The “Regina Cyclone” hit the town of Regina, Canada, on June the 30th of 1912 and has since been seen as one of the most destructive tornadoes ever to hit Canada. Hitting an estimated wind speed of 800 kilometres an hour the tornado had quite an impact on people’s lives.

Here are some statistics on the impact caused by the tornado:

  • Wind speed of 800 km/h
  • Caused $1,200,000 in damage costs (today that would be around $485 million dollars)
  • More than 2,500 people’s homes were destroyed and were homeless afterwards
  • 28 people died due to the tornado
  • The tornado traveled over 12 kilometres before dissipating
  • It took nearly 40 years to repay all the debt that had built up from rebuilding costs

All of these show just the devastating impact that the tornado had on not only the people, but the financial status of the country!

Pictures taken after the cyclone had dissipated show that the downtown area of Regina had the worst damage compared to the rest of the city.

 

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Brrrr X 10

Since Canada has been keeping record of temperatures, we’ve had proof of just how cold it was in previous years. So, a little trivia for you, here are 10 coldest records in Canada’s history:

ColdestTempDays
Stay warm, everyone!

 
18 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Trivia, Weather

 

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The Money Had to be Kept in Waste Paper Baskets!

Dingman #1 Derrick Replica

Dingman #1 Derrick Replica (Photo credit: Hschuyt)

Repost and updated from November 20, 2012.

If you would like to find an oil well (and who wouldn’t?), a vast part of Canada is still waiting to be explored. Here’s a tip to help you look for it. Petroleum is found in sedimentary rocks, underground, and Canada has about one million square miles do sedimentary basins, about one-quarter of the land area. Four-fifths of this is in western Canada, and includes the southwest corner of Manitoba, two-thirds of Saskatchewan, nearly all of Alberta, and a wide strip down the Mackenzie River to the Arctic. There is oil in British Columbia, Ontario and the Maritimes!

It might be said that Alberta’s oil boom began on November 20, 1946, when the famous Leduc well was spudded in. It began producing on February 13, 1892, however, the Edmonton Bulletin had reported indications of oil at St. Albert.

The story said: “Whether or not the tar is a sure indication of a profitable petroleum field, there is no doubt of the genuineness of the find, and as little doubt that it is not confined to that single locality.”

Alberta’s first producing oil field was the Turner Valley, and one of its pioneer was W. S. Herron. He noticed gas seepage near Sheep Creek and bought 700 acres of land in the area. His attempts to raise development money from Calgary businessmen were unsuccessful until he devised a spectacular sales plan. He persuaded William Elder and A. W. Dingman to visitation place where there was gas seepage, touched a match to a rock fissure, and the pulled out a pan in which he fried eggs over the flame! Elder and Dingman were so impressed that they bought more than a half-interest in Herron’s holdings and spudded in a well at Sheep Creek in January 1913.

Until this time, Calgary Stock Exchange had occupied a corner in a local butcher shop. Now so many people wanted to buy shares that the cash drawers were not large enough, and the money had to be kept in waste paper baskets!

The boom lasted only a few months, owing to the outbreak of World War I but fortunes were made and lost on the Calgary Stock Exchange.

 

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Their clocks could be heard

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chi...

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chicago) in 1892 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1905, when Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces, thousands of people were flocking to the Prairies. In the first ten years of the century, Winnipeg‘s population grew from 42,000 to 136,000. Regina‘s from 2,250 to 30,000. Edmonton grew from 2,600 to 25,000. Calgary‘s from 4,400 to 44,000. Saskatchewan from 113 to 12,000!

Because of this rapid growth, the provincial governments and municipalities were under pressure to offer public services. On November 1, 1908, the government of Saskatchewan established a Department of Municipal Affairs. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the first provinces to do so.

The majority of newcomers were taking up holdings on the land, and their huge wheat-growing areas meant that their homes were widely spread apart. Alexander Graham Bell‘s new-fangled telephone had been fully accepted after a long struggle, and was a blessing to the Western farmers. In fact it was so essential to their welfare that a Rural Telephone Act was passed, making it possible for groups of five people to build, maintain, and use a rural telephone system.

In his book Saskatchewan: The History of a Province, J.F.C. Wright has an amusing story of how the rural telephone systems provided entertainment before radio. One prolonged ring on the line was a signal for all subscribers to lift the receivers and listen. There might be an announcement of an auction sale, dance, or public meeting, or perhaps serious news about a fire or other tragedy. Telephone conversations were seldom private, and were made with the knowledge that probably most of the other subscribers were listening. Their clocks could be heard ticking, or perhaps the shout of a child at play, or a sudden snore from grandfather asleep in his chair However, no one ever “let on” that he or she was listening If someone heard that a neighbor was going to town, he or she would allow an interval to elapse, then phone the neighbor and say, “Do you happen to be going to town today? If so, I wonder if you would mind bringing back some groceries for us?”

I remember “listening in” on what was called a “party line” when visiting a relative who lived in the country.  I must have witnessed the more boring conversations.  However, I do remember the parties talking finally knew someone was listening, and I soon heard, “Get off the line!”  I did.

Telephone

Telephone (Photo credit: HowardLake)

Radio was a blessing in later years but it never provided the intimate entertainment of the country telephone system!

If you would like to read more about today’s post, I suggest going to Archives Canada, and there is a rather extensive article at the Canadian Journal of Communication. There’s an interesting article, also, at the Grey Roots Museum and Archives.

 
 

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Countless families forced to live almost at starvation level

English: (The Depression) The Single Men's Une...

English: (The Depression) The Single Men’s Unemployed Association parading to Bathurst Street United Church. Toronto, Canada Français : (La Dépression) Membres de la Single Men’s Unemployed Association se dirigeant vers l’Église unie de la rue Bathurst. Toronto, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On October 29, 1929, Canada experienced one of its most depressing days in history: the great market crash! Black Tuesday.

Prices suddenly crashed on the world’s stock markets, and Canada was plunged into ten years of poverty. One year after the crash, a whopping 400,000 were unemployed, and many people who did have jobs were earning less than subsistence pay. Thousands looking for work travelled through the country by hiding in freight cars. Countless families forced to live almost at starvation level for several years, were held together only by courage, character, and much self-sacrifice of parents and children.

Many families who could not find work went “on relief.” Across the country this varied from place to place. For instance, in Toronto, Ontario, a family of seven received food vouchers worth $7 a week; in Saskatchewan, a family of five was given $10 a month, along with a 98-pound sack of flour. Scarce money was usually spent on potatoes and dried beans instead of fruits.

On the morning of October 29, people who were rich in terms of stocks and shares, suddenly found that they were broke and worthless by evening.

Conditions were so bad that hotel clerks would (jokingly) ask a man registering for a room, “Sleeping or jumping, sir?”

The economic conditions did not really begin to improve until 1937. And that was mostly due to the war in 1939, when factories and farms went into full productions, providing employment at better wages.

If you want to read more about the market crash, I can certainly suggest a few sites, such as Canada History, the Investigating Answers website, and the Torontoist, and the Financial Post, and finally the Visa Journey Forum.

 

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AB & SK Joins Canada!

English: R. B. Bennett (1870–1947), Prim...

R. B. Bennett (1870–1947), Prime Minister of Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alberta and Saskatchewan were made provinces of Canada on September 1, 1905.   As the official ceremonies took place in Edmonton on September 1 and in Regina on September 3, it should be justifiable to tell the story on September 2.

When the area was bought from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869, Alberta and Saskatchewan were included in the Northwest Territories, and became “districts” within them later.  When they became provinces in 1905, they were greatly enlarged.  Alberta now covers more than 255,000 square miles (410,382 sq. km)  is 800 miles long (1,287 km) and averages 300 miles (482 km) in width.  Saskatchewan covers about 252,000 square miles, (410,382 square km) is 700 miles long (1,126 km) and averages 335 miles (539 sq. km) in width.

Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier made his first trip west to open the two new provinces, and attended the ceremonies at Edmonton and Regina with Governor-General Earl Grey.  Photographs of the ceremonies at Edmonton show the Governor-General and the Prime Minister on the speakers’ stand, against a background of scarlet-coated Mounties on horseback, and Indians from the Hebbema Reserve.  Thousands of  people from far and wide went to Edmonton and Regina for the great occasions.

When Alberta and Saskatchewan were made provinces they did not have the power they have today.  The Federal Government retained all public lands, mines, minerals, and resources.  The provinces did not even have complete control of education.  R. B. Bennett, who was Leader of the Opposition in Alberta, and who became Prime Minister of Canada in 1930, strongly attacked the arrangement whereby the provinces did not have control of their own resources.

One of the interesting things about the development of Alberta and Saskatchewan is that they, more than other provinces in Canada, broke away from the old political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives.  Alberta elected a United Farmers government in 1921.  A Social Credit government elected in 1935 remained in power until 1971.  Saskatchewan elected a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Socialist) government in 1944, and it won successive elections in 1952 and 1956.  Both provinces contributed heavily to the Progressive Party which played a big part in the Federal Parliament until 1930, when the Conservatives under R. B. Bennett swept the country.

There are a few sites to visit to learn more about these events. For example there is the Library and Archives Canada, and the Saskatchewan – The Birth of a Nation (I had difficulty loading this page properly, but if you scroll down, you should see the real content).

 

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