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.
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!
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.
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.
Probably the most well known town on the whole Amalfi Coast, picturesque Positano draws tourists from around the world.
POSITANO FROM THE BEACH
POSITANO FAREWELL FROM THE FERRY TO SORRENTO
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
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
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
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!
I participated in the recent University Challenge held at the British High Commission in Ottawa. University Challenge is a British TV quiz program that first aired in 1962 and has appeared on both ITV and the BBC. Our informal local Challenge followed the traditional format and was moderated by no one less than the High Commissioner herself, Mrs. Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque CMG.
Our Cambridge team had to compete against Oxford, the London School of Economics (LSE) and Durham University. Despite having hit it out of the park in the round robin preliminaries, we were pipped at the post by LSE in the final round. Congratulations to LSE.
A fun night all around and a hearty thank you to the High Comm staff for organizing such an enjoyable event. Well done!
My hiking tour of the Amalfi Coast starts in the charming village of Maiori.
MAIORI HARBOUR BY NIGHT
MAIORI HARBOUR IN THE MORNING
The first objective of our Italian adventure was an early morning assault on Mount Vesuvius.
VIEW OF NAPLES FROM MOUNT VESUVIUS
Pleasant start to the hike.
Onwards and upwards!
VIEW SOUTH TOWARDS THE AMALFI COAST AND THE ISLE OF CAPRI
Our hike over the next week will take us around the Amalfi Coast and end with a trip to the Isle of Capri which can be seen at the horizon on the right.