WALTER GLADEN QUARVE

Today is Memorial Day in the US. A day for remembering America’s war dead. After watching the restored version of the “Memphis Belle” I couldn’t help thinking of an old neigbour of my family in Lake City, Minnesota with whom I was priviliged to play many rounds of golf. Walt Quarve did not die in the war. He flew with the USAF’s Mighty Eighth out of Bassingbourn in the lush fields of East Anglia that I came to know so well. His plane was shot down exactly 80 years ago to this very day!! What an amazing coincidence!!! Fortunately his crippled Flying Fortress, “Liberty Run”, was able to reach the Swiss border where he spent the rest of the war in internment.

Long gone now but still remembered.

Straight drives and lush greens old buddy.

AVE ATQUE VALE!!

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VISIT TO CHAFFEY’S LOCKS

A day’s trip to Chaffey’s Locks and the Opinicon Road yesterday produced a good variety of species. One disappoint was the lack of a Golden-winged Warbler. However, I was able to improve my captures of the following. All in all a good day with good friends.

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO

INDIGO BUNTING

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TULIPS FROM AMSTERDAM

When it’s Spring again,

I’ll bring again,

Tulips from Amsterdam”

TULIP FESTIVAL, PARLIAMENT HILL, OTTAWA

Once again a flood of Dutch tulips graces the environs of Ottawa and brings forth a wave of personal memories on this the 79th anniversary of the Victory in Europe.

THE MAN WITH TWO HATS

In the aftermath of WWII, Canada benefitted from a massive cohort of Dutch immigrants. No greater benefit could have been bestowed upon me than that of the Kramers, a childless Dutch immigrant couple who poured their love and attention on us Cub and Boy Scouts teaching us duty, respect and honour in our remote rural community in their new country of adoption.

This mutual attraction between Canada and Holland started with the liberation of the Low country by Canadian troops. In the above photo you have a physical manifestation in the heart of our tulip festival of the famous photo showing a Dutch man celebrating the liberation with not one, but two hats!! The starvation and tyranny were finally over.

Later in life I would live in London’s Eastend, just a few hundred kilometres from the tulip fields of Holland. My cockney landlady, Ada, would become my third grandmother and recount the horrors of the Blitz. In the Spring, I would labour in her old “Victory” garden, not for desperately needed food but this time to tend her colourful roses and tulips which she thoroughly enjoyed.

ADA & ME, BACK IN THE DAY, EAST LONDON

Gimme me Max!

Gimme me Max!!

That’s what Ada would say everytime she saw the old “Cockney Crooner,” Max Bygraves, come on the tele. Here he is belting out a tune that wraps it all together. My personal tribute to both Ada and the Kramers that I’m sure Max now does in person in a much better place.

God bless them all!

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SNAPPING TURTLE

SNAPPING TURTLE

Gigantic and prehistoric snapping turtle crawls laboriously out of the water to lay eggs on a stony slope.

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SAINT GEORGE’S DAY 2024

In celebration of England’s patron saint, Saint George.

THE MALL, CENTRAL LONDON

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IRANIAN DRONE ATTACKS ON ISRAEL

Last night Iran launched a sustained drone missile attack on Israel. At this hour, reliable information is scarce but it would seem that most of the drones have been neutralised by the Israeli Air Force with the help of RAF jets based in Cyprus and those of the USN and USAF in the region. Apparently, the Iron Dome proved its worth once again. Below are a few photos I was fortunate to take a few years ago at the annual Israeli Air Force graduation ceremony in the Negev Desert near biblical Beer Sheva.

IRAELI F-35 FLIES OVER THE NEGEV DESERT

IRON DOME BATTERY

Jointly developed by Israel and the US, the Iron Dome is perhaps the world’s most sophisticated defensive missile system for the take down of incoming missiles and rockets. It has no offensive capability.

ISRAELI AIR FORCE GRADUATION CEREMONY, HATZERIM AIR BASE, NEGEV DESERT

Hats off (quite literally!) to the Israeli Air Force for a job well done!

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GRAND NATIONAL 2024

Today is the running of the Grand National Race at Aintree, England. The spectacle will be viewed by 600 million people round the world. The race was introduced to a North American audience by the film National Velvet, starring Mickey Rooney and a young Liz Taylor. One of the biggest betting days in the UK as nearly everyone takes a “flutter” on the outcome. Good luck to all! Especially the “runners and riders”.

YOUNG LADIES IN THEIR BEST FINERY ON THEIR WAY TO THE BIG DAY.

MANCUNIANS CROWD RAILWAY PLATFORM ON THEIR WAY TO AINTREE.

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FRANK STRONACH

I attended a briefing at the Macdonald Laurier Institute by legendary Canadian businessman Frank Stronach. Still going strong at 91, he gave a detailed and passionate plea for an Economic Charter for Canada.

Mr. Stronach regrets that the empire he built here as an immigrant in the 1950s could not be replicated in today’s Canada.

Details of his program which will be promoted by my old gym mate, Anthony Furey,  are shown below:

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KILT SKATE DAY

The Rideau Skateway is suffering another sorry season of poor weather. Skating has only been allowed for a few days and limited to just a short stretch of the old Rideau Canal. Nevertheless, today is the great Kilt Skate day when Scots Canadians gather on a local ice rink here in Ottawa to express pride in their heritage.

 

Great Canadian Kilt Skate

Young Lassie Proudly carries the Cross of St. Andrew

Scots Wha Ha Wi Wallace Bled

Recruitment Kiosk for the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa

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THE FEAST OF SAINT STEPHEN

Today on certain religious calendars is St. Stephen’s day, ie. the day Good King Wencelas and page marched through a snow storm to provide a surprise feast for a lowly peasant. 

ST. STEPHEN’S GATE, TEMPLE MOUNT, JERUSALEM

According to legend, Saint Stephen was the first Christian to have been martyred. He was stoned to death in front of this gate which had been previously known as the Lion’s gate due to the artistic embellishments on both sides of the upper facade around the central arch.

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