PANDEMIC

Easter Sunday 2020 and as they say, there’s nothing new under the sun.

And so it is with pandemics. Cholera broke out in Europe in the early 1830s. Irish immigrants coming to Canada brought the contagion with them. To manage the crisis, the Canadian government was forced to rapidly set up a quarantine station on Grosse Isle in the St. Lawrence river, Canada’s immigration choke point, about 40 kms upstream from Quebec City.  

All arriving passengers were forced to take showers, be physically examined and have their clothes and  possessions  steamed. Those suspected of having the disease were required to spend weeks on the island where they either recovered or died. Thousands who had chanced the rigors of a North Atlantic crossing in the dream of starting of a new life in the New World, sadly did not make it off the island. 

Today Grosse Isle has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and remains a destination of Irish pilgrimage.

SECOND CLASS WASH HOUSE, GROSSE ISLE

Second class passengers quarantined on Grosse Isle had to do their own washing in this multiple unit laundry that was way ahead of its time in both design and function. Of course passengers staying in the First Class hotel  had their clothes and linen  laundry washed for them! After all, wealth doth have its privilege!! 

It’s  sad to realize that  millions of present day Canadians have no knowledge of the above scene which would have been intimately familiar to their brave ancestors to whose tenacious resilience and everlasting legacy they owe so much.

MASS GRAVE CEMETERY, GROSSE ISLE

This memorial is to the brave Canadian doctors who died in the service of their country and the arriving immigrants. The grave markers that can be seen in the distance are not for individuals but for mass interments. 

CELTIC CROSS, GROSSE ISLE

A visit to Grosse Isle is a  flashback to a bygone era when we took foreign arrivals seriously. Let’s hope for a resurrection of normalcy in our near future. 

With sincere best wishes for all.

Happy Easter! Stay safe!! Stay healthy!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on PANDEMIC

WINTER BARN

A late winter outing provided the opportunity to capture an image of an old barn in Gatineau, Quebec that has entered a phase of rapid deterioration.  Sad to think that the Canadian landscape will soon be devoid of once so familiar icons of a bygone age. 

 

Posted in HISTORICAL | Comments Off on WINTER BARN

ULURU

Uluru Rock, formerly Ayers Rock, in the Red Centre of Australia, has now been closed to the public as of last Friday. The Rock had been one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations despite its remote location (the nearest town, Alice Springs, is over 450 km away!)

I feel sorry for those who will now have to scratch the climb up the Rock off their bucket list. They will just have to make do with some  legacy pictures I snapped with my old Nikon Nikorrmat film camera during a trip I made down under way back in 91.

ULURU ROCK IN THE EARLY MORNING

START OF THE CLIMB

The start of the climb at the base of the rock is strikingly similar to old photos of the Chilkoot Trail during the Yukon gold rush. Unlike the Chilkoot, the problem here is heat so the climb is performed after a 04:00 wake up call to get to the base in the early morning.

TOURISTS MIDWAY UP THE ASSAULT TO THE TOP

CRAGGY LANDSCAPE ATOP AYERS ROCK SUMMIT

VIEW OF THE OLGAS (now KATA TJUTA)  FROM THE SUMMIT OF AYERS ROCK

CAVES AT THE BASE OF ROCK

ABORIGINAL ART INSIDE ONE OF THE MANY CAVES

THE OLGAS

No trip to Australia’s Red Centre would be complete without a side trip to the nearby Olgas.

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE OLGAS

OLGAS ENTRANCE

 

AYERS ROCK FAREWELL

Posted in HISTORICAL, LANDSCAPE IMAGES, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off on ULURU

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. 

The event, headlined “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” was co-organized by  Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center and the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and was attended by political leaders from around the world. 

YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

During my visit a couple of years ago, I found the memorial of a cattle car poised on the edge of an abyss to be very emotional and moving.

 

 

Posted in HISTORICAL, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off on HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

CAMBRIDGE

My new Cambridge photobook is available for preview.  

The book is an intimate perusal of both the City and the University that I have photographed over the past decade.  A preview can be obtained by clicking here.          

The book has been produced in hard cover coffee table landscape format (13in x 10in) in a new layflat presentation for many of the two page spreads featured throughout the book. Each of the 106 pages is printed on sturdy photo quality paper with no bleed through. 

Check it out!

Posted in HISTORICAL, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off on CAMBRIDGE

REMEMBERING VIOLETTE

Remembrance Day, 2019.  Ever since my days living in Dorset House, I became aware of the Special Operations Executive (SOE ) which was headquartered in London’s Dorset Square during the War.  Television series such as Foyle’s War in Britain and Camp X here in Canada have belatedly brought the clandestine exploits of the SOE to a wider audience.

VIOLETTE SZABO STATUE, LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON

The Special Operations Executive (SOE), the brainchild of PM Churchill, was secretly formed for the purpose of recruiting agents, men and women of many nationalities who would volunteer to continue the fight for freedom by performing acts of sabotage in countries occupied by the enemy during the Second World War. 

470 SOE agents were sent on sabotage missions to occupied France where they fought with networks of French Resistance fighters who played an important part in the liberation of France in 1944.

Violette Szabo  ( 1921-45 ), who was posthumously award the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre,  was among the 117  SOE agents who did not survive their missions to France.

WESTLAND LYSANDER

The first Canadian built Lysanders rolled out of National Steel Car factory at Malton, Ontario in September 1939 and later were delivered to the RCAF at Rockcliffe, Ontario.  The most daring use of Westland Lysanders in WW II was with the  Special Operations Executive by flying in secret agents with supplies and picking up escapees. It was during these daring night operations, that the unarmed yet sturdy Lysander came into its own, using its remarkable Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities to fly into the small rough fields and pastures marked out by the Resistance.

Posted in AVIATION, HISTORICAL, PEOPLE, TOURING | Comments Off on REMEMBERING VIOLETTE

POSITANO

Probably the most well known town on the whole Amalfi Coast,  picturesque Positano draws tourists from around the world.

POSITANO FROM THE BEACH

BEACH SCENE

POSITANO WATERFRONT

POSITANO FAREWELL FROM THE FERRY TO SORRENTO

Posted in HIKING, TOURING, Uncategorized | Comments Off on POSITANO

AUTUMN SPLENDOUR

We were fortunate to have a spectacular display of fall colour in the Gatineau Hills this year. Below is a scene typical of the area.

MEECH CREEK COVERED BRIDGE, GATINEAU, QUEBEC

Posted in HIKING, LANDSCAPE IMAGES, NATURE, TOURING | Comments Off on AUTUMN SPLENDOUR

PATH OF THE GODS

The Path of the Gods is named after a legend, according to which it was the passage of the Greek Gods to save Ulysses from the sirens that were on the island of Li Galli. It is one of the most fascinating hiking routes in the Mediterranean, particularly the Amalfi Coast.

ABANDONED HOUSE ON THE TRAIL

PRECARIOUS HABITATIONS

NAVIGATING THE BASE OF THE PRECIPITOUS LIMESTONE CLIFFS

LOCAL HAULING TRANSPORTATION

KIOSK OF THE PATH OF THE GODS

Great place to stop for a lemon slushie!

FIRST GLIMPSE OF POSITANO WITH STORM APPROACHING

 

Posted in HIKING, TOURING | Comments Off on PATH OF THE GODS

THE CAMBRIDGE LEPER CHAPEL

My recent visit to Cambridge allowed a brief reunion with my old friend, the Leper Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalene.

The romanesque Leper Chapel in Cambridge, also known as the Leper Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, is a chapel on the east side of Cambridge on the Newmarket road. It dates from about 1125. The Chapel was part of the buildings of a leprosy hospital that stood a little beyond the outskirts of the city. In 1199 the Chapel was given royal dispensation by King John to hold a three day fair to raise money to support the lepers. Today the Chapel is in the care of the Cambridge Preservation Society.

MY SKETCH FROM DECADES AGO

Thank God for photography!

Posted in HISTORICAL, TOURING | Comments Off on THE CAMBRIDGE LEPER CHAPEL