The BIC was founded by my 6th great uncle, the Reverend Martin Beam back in Pennsylvania in the 1770s. The Reverend Otterbein heard him speak and rushed forward to clasp him in greeting, saying “We are Brethern,……. Brethern in Christ!”. Their church continues to this day.
Their abhorrence towards oaths other than to God and their refusal to bear arms, led to a flood of BIC members to Upper Canada during the American revolution. The Reverend Martin Beam’s brother, Jacob, my 8th great grandfather, became a good friend of Governor Simcoe and the first alderman for the village of Chippawa, Ontario. The connection of the church with its antecedent in Pennsylvania continues to this day.
Like much in the Anabaptist tradition, the BIC believes in full body baptism. Adults only. Here members of the Wainfleet, Ontario BIC patiently await their turn for spiritual confirmation.
Despite their conviction to traditional values, the Canadian branch was not immune to the modern precepts of wokeism which came about the day before yesterday. It is now known as “Be in Christ”. Too much toxic masculinity or something.
Alas, the old Squilax General Store and Hostel is no more. It succumbed to the recent wildfires in the Shuswap area of British Columbia. Glad I shot it when I did just a few years ago.
19 August 2023 was the 81 st anniversary of the disasterous Canadian raid on the French harbour town of Dieppe.
The following legacy photos were shot with a 35mm film camera in a tour I did of the town back in the 80s and have been scanned into a more modern digital format.
While the debat lingers on as to the strategy and tactics of the raid, painful lessons learned undoubtedly led to the success of the Normandy invasion two years later.
Tank tracks spun uselessly in the shingles and few were able to mount as far as the sea wall, thereby dooming the mission.
Dieppe Church, two blocks in, pockmarked with Canadian rocket shells shot at German defenders inside.
Just got back from an Adriatic cruise. While in Venice, I snapped this shot of the super yacht “Lionheart” which was moored across from my hotel on Guidecca.
LIONHEART has a crew of 30 and is owned by British billionaire Philip Green. It was just one of the many toys of the rich and famous cruising through Mediterranean waters in the summer months. Based upon the lifestyles of our hectoring and lecturing elites, fossil fuels would seem to have a very bright future.
Today is the coronation of King Charles. It seems like yesterday that I watched his investiture as the Prince of Wales.
Long live the King!!
THE CLASS OF ’43
Women who broke so much more than mere glass ceilings.
WOMEN FERRY PILOTS
Women ferry pilots flew more than nine million miles in 72 different aircraft for the Ferrying Division, US Air Transport Command during WWII. Unorthodox women who billiantly helped sustain the vital flow of military aircraft around the country at the height of WWII.
The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was the brainchild of Winston Churchill to take the fight behind enemy lines in WWII. Violette Szabo was one such SOE agent. She was captured and executed in the infamous Ravensbruck women’s prison on 5 Feb. 1945. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre. Fittingly, her statue stands alongside Lambeth Palace in central London.
The inevitable rivalry and conflict between the SOE and MI6 is brilliantly depicted in one of my favourite television series, Foyle’s War.
SOE safe house where many agents spent their last night in London prior to being dropped into France via parachute or Lysander aircraft. To those in the know, the SOE was to become known as the “Baker Street Irregulars” since the agency occupied several pieces of real estate in the nearby Baker Street area. The large exhibition halls of the Natural History Museum were used for their basic parachute training.
I spent the first few months of a diplomatic posting living just a half block away in Dorset House and became quite familiar with the area.
Today, One Dorset Square is suitably the home of the Alliance Francaise in London.
In what is possibly a hat tip to the role played by Queen Elizabeth in WWII, the inestimable British actress, Honeysuckle Weeks, plays the uniformed driver/mechanic for detective Foyle in the eponymous TV series.
As the song says, “Bless ’em all, the long, the short and the tall”
What we do without them??
The Silicon Valley Bank was closed down today by Californian regulators. Brought back memories of bank failures which I witnessed over the years in London.
Most memorable was the forced shutdown of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) with headquarters in Karachi and London in the 1991. For those in the know, BCCI was frequently referred to as the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals International” for its penchant for catering to customers who dealt in arms, drugs, and hot money.
Certainly the most dramatic collapse was the sudden forced closure of four Kuwaiti banks around Marble Arch the morning after the surprise invasion of Saddam Hussein. I’ll never forget the sight of fevered throngs of expatriate Kuwaitis pounding desperately on closed doors while hastily erected hand written cardboard signs in the windows told them to “Go Home…No money!!”
Below is a pic I took at the start of the financial crisis of 2008 when the Northern Rock became the first failure of an English bank in 140 years. A clear market “sell” sign if ever there was one. What I thought at the time was a small failure of a minor regional bank would become swept up into a world wide financial contagion. Let’s hope for a better outcome this time!!
Got to give it to the English, they can politely queue…… even in a banking collapse!!
On this day in history, President Grant signed the bill to fund America’s first national park.
I was fortunate to experience the park under both summer and winter conditions in the space of one eventful and photographically sublime week. No Kevin Costner in sight!!
For a more complete view of the park, check out my photobook here: