My exercise bike broke after a faithful 18 year career just 3 days after I wrote about it last month. It was a retirement gift from my fellow employees who didn’t want me sitting around getting out of shape. I went Amazon shopping and found quite a few replacements that I liked, trouble was all were back ordered. I made a purchase and will have to wait about a month for delivery. Then comes the hard part, assembly and disposal of the old one. I-800 GOT JUNK might be required. I have taken up stair climbing for aerobic exercise but it is much harder on the knees than a bike. Putting on the rug every day will hopefully improve that part of my golf game. We will see in about 3 months.
January 6th – what a day. A very, very sad day for the United States. Most people were outraged and saddened by the attack on the Capital building. If anyone had any doubts about Trump’s sanity they should have been erased by his encouragement of the mob and silence, for hours, while the rioters forced their way into the house of representatives and senate. Luckily Mike Pence took charge, called out the national guard and helped restore order. He was lucky to escape the mod who were chanting “hang Mike Pence”. Apparently he was he was just seconds away from being discovered when Capital Police got him to a safe location.
I’d like to see a breakdown of Trump’s loyal base between; Republicans no matter what, QAnon delusionists, racist white supremacists, religious zealots who have been told he is the second coming of Christ and was chosen by God to be President, rigged election conspiracy believers and all other nut cases. Probably a lot of overlap in the groups. These days I am not so proud to be an American and am worried something close to civil war could develop even after Biden is installed or that he or Harris will be assassinated. Healing the rift is going to take lots of work and time.
I was able to purchase and start a new batch of beer which I bottled on the January 23. I was a bit surprised the store that I frequent was still open and when I asked the owner about it she explained that if they only sold supplies for beer and wine making they would have been shut. However, they also sell coffee and spring water (in bulk) so for Pandemic restrictions they are classified as essential, similar to grocery stores and liquor stores. She also related that they were running low on both beer and wine kits as people seem to be buying more during the pandemic and the supply change is having a few problems. I didn’t get my preferred choice of Pilsner and had to settle for a Blond which is supposed to mild and with a distinct taste. It will be labeled Pandemic Batch 4 but I won’t be able to sample until about mid- February.
High schools in Quebec reopened on January 18 so it will take a few weeks to know if this was a big mistake. Some signs of a slow down in transmissions here but much to early to tell as new, more transmissable Covid variants have arrived (the British, South African and Brazilian). The prospect of a more deadly strain or one that can beat the current vaccines has many people worried. Perhaps we should go to full online teaching.
Apologies to Inez Jabalpurwala we erroneously used her sister’s picture in the article when the newsletter was first released. This has since been corrected.
A word about the Lucy rant on Covid transmission in the joke section. Several people sent me this and I was hesitant to use it. But then Jane Fisher, Class of 1954 sent it to me and I figured if it was good enough for Jane I’d go ahead with it as it expresses my feelings accurately. To be fair to Jane she did question whether it was suitable for our readers – guess I’ll find out.
And once again, please send me material that I can use for the Newsletter. Photos or stories about what you have been doing this past year. Anything unusual happen, like wildlife sightings in your back yard, perhaps a coyote, deer, moose, cougar or wild turkey. Have you taken up a new hobby like sewing, knitting, cooking or some other deviant behaviour - I’ll use them all. Also, if you are aware of a classmate or other alumnus who has passed away and we have not acknowledged their passing please let me know.
Until next month try to stay safe.
Please renew now.
Peter Ines on
NAMES IN THE NEWS
Class of 1977
On December 31, 2020 Peter Bethlenfalvy was sworn in as Ontario’s Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. A member of the Progressive Conservative Party, he has been the MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge since June 2018.
An ill-advised trip to St. Barts by former Finance Minister Rod Phillips, during the raging pandemic, when stay at home restrictions were in place for the whole province, led to his resignation and Peter’s new roles. Are we looking at Ontario’s next Premier? Wouldn’t that be something?
Ontario Minister of Finance,
President of the Treasury Board
Class of '63
Ian Cobb walks the neighborhood in Belleville on New Year’s Eve conveying good wishes. I think his Canadians scarf did double duty as a mask or maybe he stayed far, far away from people he met up with. A neighbor took the photo. Great hat Ian stay safe...
Brita Housez (Stolz)
Class of '63
Sweet Potato Mania
Brita poses with her new book Sweet Potato Mania. It is now available and she has donated 50 copies to the Alumni Association to use in a fundraising campaign. We are offering the book to all members at $20 a copy. Get a great book with beautiful photo art and at the same time help out your Association - you can’t lose. Still several copies left’
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Class of 1961
Another excerpt from Robert’s book
I wanted to give everyone one another glimpse at Bob Wrigley’s book, Chasing Nature, with over three hundred interesting, informative and sometimes amusing stories. I highly recommend it.
Bob gave me permission to use his “Possum Pick-Up” tale this month. I selected it because during this lockdown we all need a little humor and who knew that a biologist’s work involved the collection of road kill.
On a more serious note, I also used his short essay expressing his feelings about what we value in life which, in some cases, seems very misplaced. Many of us, myself included, share his views although we probably don’t express it so well.
Cover of Chasing Nature: An Ecologist’s Lifetime of Adventures and Observations. (Artwork by Autumn Lough)
Copies may be obtained by contacting:
Dr. Robert Wrigley
505 Boreham Blvd, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 0K2
Cost of Chasing Nature -- $55; shipping $17; total $72
Excerpt from Appendix 2 “Nature Quotes Through The Ages” by Dr. Robert Wrigley
“There is something so revealing and tragic in the fact that our society affords a famous piece of art, which may have taken but days or months to conceive and execute, greater admiration and monetary value than saving a species from extinction, which has been moulded to absolute perfection by evolutionary processes acting over millions of years.”
“We, who called ourselves Homo sapiens, are but one life form among hundreds of millions of other species on our home planet that have twinkled briefly during unfathomable time and then vanished, leaving a genetic heritage and open niches for others to come. One day, in an indeterminate future, when the sole survivor of our species staggers helplessly to the ground, a last breath gasps from their lungs, a final pulse of blood drains from their failing heart, and messages fire through their terminal brain, what, during these momentous final seconds, will be our species’ ultimate thought?”
“What better way to spend one’s life than to study the nature of Nature. I do not recall a single day in the field or lab that I would describe as lacking in enjoyment and discovery. To learn about the formation and workings of the cosmos, to explore the genesis, evolution and ecology of life, to be amazed at each new advance in genomics, and to delve into the micro-world of atomic theory, is to truly grasp the wonder of our existence.”
On another weekend outing with the university ecology class, four red vans of students and I cruised along the highway in southern Illinois, heading for home after a busy day in the field. I was driving one of the vans when I spotted a large dead Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) lying at the side of the road. Since it looked in good condition, I thought it might make into a nice specimen for the Natural History Museum, so I signaled and pulled off onto the gravel shoulder. Backing up and parking, I strolled back to the carcass to ensure the skin and skull could be salvaged, and noticed there was no evidence of blood, as is usually apparent when an animal is struck by a speeding car. I grabbed the specimen by its long rope-like tail and laid it onto a piece of cardboard in the back of the van, hoping that any fleas had long since departed from the cooling body. Then our trip down the highway continued, with most of the students dozing off or talking quietly.
just playing possum (Rob Gillespie)
Fifteen minutes later I was startled by the ladies in the rear seat screaming and waving their arms frantically. Having no clue what was causing the commotion, I glanced up to the rear-view mirror and was astonished to see the very-much-alive Opossum sitting on the top of the back seat, glaring back at me. There was a mad scramble as the students attempted to climb into forward seats, which were already occupied. I turned around to see several sets of legs and behinds tumbling towards me. Pulling off the highway as quickly as I could safely manage, I leapt from the van and ran around to the back and opened the doors. Two male students used their jackets to try and encourage the animal to leave, but it only hissed and revealed its impressive dentition of 50 teeth. It then fell off the seat and passed out, lying like a drooling rag doll on the floor of the van. Was it just ‘playing possum’?
I grabbed the tail again (the safest-looking end of the animal) and set the limp creature in the grass some distance from the road. Walking back to the van, I kept looking over my shoulder to see if it was stirring. But no, it was still ‘out cold.’ All the rest of the way home the students were abuzz and laughing at our unexpected mammalian episode. I kept wondering if the animal had actually been injured by a vehicle, or had it responded in its distinctive fainting spell when confronted with a dangerous situation, such as a near-miss by a vehicle. There was no way of knowing for sure, but I had the feeling that I had been outsmarted by a relatively primitive creature.
The Virginia Opossum is known from fossils 600,000 years old and it apparently has changed little since then. Marsupials are believed to have originated in the landmass of what is now China around 140 million years ago (in the Cretaceous), with the first fossil species (Sinodelphys szalayi) dated at 125 mya. The group then spread to the attached continents of North and South America, Antarctica and Australia, before dying out in North America. The Opossum family originated in tropical South America around 66 mya, and the Virginia Opossum is one of the few members that managed to invade North America about 3 mya, spreading as far north as southern Ontario. It is an intriguing species in so many ways, such as a remarkably short life span of only two years; it matures well within its first year and then ages rapidly. The female can give birth in as little as six months to a litter of up to three-dozen tiny young, but can nurse only the first 13 to arrive in the pouch and attach to the 13 available nipples. The surviving young emerge from the pouch in about three months and are transported for over a month on their mother’s back. While most observers might think an Opossum is a big, scary-looking rat, I see a truly amazing living fossil unmatched in the marsupial world for its dispersal abilities and adaptability. Who knows how much farther north it will travel with the warming climate.
Frederic Hore Photography
Frederic Hore’s body of work speaks for itself. You may remember Fred from the 2010 Reunion and all the fine photos that he produced. This month we have included two very striking images along with a fascinating write-up about his career. In the coming months we plan to bring you much, much more.
Frederic Hore - Class of 1970 / Antarctica Expedition Jan 2016
Bridge of Hope
Photo ©2020 Frederic Hore. All Rights Reserved.
(Click image to view larger)
Montreal's iconic Jacques Cartier bridge became a beacon of solidarity, hope, love and support for Quebec's medical workers, illuminated nightly in the colours of a rainbow.
Created by the city's world renowned lighting designer, Moment Factory, the ethereal display ran for several months in 2020. Fully programmable, the bridge is lit by 2,224 outward-facing LED tubes which light up the skin, 336 LED fixtures illuminate the steel superstructure, and another 199 LED lamps shine on the pylons and turrets. The $40 million lighting system was installed in 2017 in celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary since its founding. Best places to observe the nightly display are in Longueuil along the bike path next to the river (east of the Metro station), on Isle St Helene, at Parc Dieppe just past the Habitat 67 complex, from Ilse St Helene, and from Old Montreal.
Mystery hunt! Look closely and see if you can find the photographer with his tripod!
The Snow Moon
Photo ©2020 Frederic Hore. All Rights Reserved.
(Click image to view larger)
The last full moon of 2020 rises in the mauve-coloured skies of dusk, above the geodesic dome of The Biosphere on St. Helen’s Island, in Montreal, Quebec on December 29, 2020.
The former US pavilion at the 1967 World Exposition known as Expo 67, the iconic half sphere was designed by American architect Buckminster Fuller. Purchased in 1990 by Environment Canada, this remarkable pavilion was converted into a stunning ecological museum.
The last full moon of the year was called the Cold Moon by the Mohawk people, and the Snow Moon by the Haida and Cherokee First Nations. With blustery winds slowly turning the river into solid ice, it is an appropriate title. Photographed with a Nikon 500mm lens from the boardwalk next to the St Lawrence River, in the Vieux Port of Old Montreal.
About Frederic Hore
Montrealer Frederic Hore is a passionate, award-winning, freelance photojournalist, videographer, writer, technologist, lecturer, teacher and DIY jack-of-all trades.
A NPPA (National Professional Photographers Association) member since 2014, he worked as a freelance photojournalist with the Montreal Gazette and Postmedia Inc from 2008 to 2015, and as a staff photographer and guide on expeditions to Antarctica from 2013 to 2016. Pursuing assignments worldwide, he enjoys volunteering with the Earthwatch Institute on scientific projects to remote corners of the planet, including Siberia, Mongolia, Iceland and Peru.
Widely published, his images and/or stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, National Post, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun, Canadian Geographic, CNN, CTV News, CITY-TV, PhotoLife, Canada's premier photo magazine, Hooked on the Outdoors, plus numerous other periodicals and websites. He appeared twice on CITY-TV's program Breakfast Television, discussing the fauna and environment of Antarctica. His roster of clients have included the City of Montreal, Groupe Copley Inc, Bishop's University, Pentor Finance, Montage d'Acier International, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, plus numerous others.
A Communication Arts graduate from Dawson College, Montreal, Frederic has lived or worked in nearly every major city in Canada from coast-to-coast. His international excursions, including extensive travel in the continental United States, has taken him to more than 50 countries on all seven continents, including seven expeditions to Antarctica.
Frederic's odysseys form the foundation for dynamic digital multimedia productions, presented with engaging music and lively travel lore, illustrating the people, culture, life, history and fauna of the lands he visits. In the last 20 years, he has presented more than 200 shows to public and private organizations in the Montreal region, and on-board expedition ships, to popular acclaim. More recently with the onset of the coronavirus, he has been giving live presentations using the Zoom app!
A volunteer and past member of the Lakeshore Camera Club of Pointe Claire, Quebec, he led popular outings as their photo Field Trip "Leadah." He previously served the club in executive positions as Architecture Chair (2013-2015) and Nature Chair (2003-2005).
An outdoor enthusiast, Frederic is an avid hiker, canoeist, cyclist, cross-country skier and certified scuba diver. A positive, forward-looking, self-propelled individual, his motto for life is: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained! His imagery may be viewed at Remarkable-Images.ca
Some highlights from his recent travels
Through dangerous lightning storms, undulating highways, and lively cities, for 26 days in December 2013, Frederic drove on a crazy and frenetic, 10,360 km road trip throughout Argentina. Starting at Buenos Aires, he headed north to the mighty waterfalls at Iguazu, then south through Cordoba and the high arid pampas, to stunning Patagonia - revealing the history, culture, and wildlife and beauty of the land of his forefathers.
Then in January 2014, he travelled to Ushuaia at the Southern tip of Argentina, hopping onto the Russian research ship MV Akademik Ioffe, for a 13 day voyage of discovery, to the coldest, driest, and windiest continent in the world – Antarctica! Up close views of penguins nuzzling their cute and fuzzy chicks, drowsy sea lions, enormous breaching whales, diverse bird life, and of course the stunningly beautiful, icy landscapes - made for an exciting odyssey. He would return again in 2015 and 2016 working as a staff photographer for an expedition company.
An extended 2012 excursion to France, saw Frederic and his girlfriend Josée, touring its alluring Renaissance treasures, from the Château de Versailles near Paris, to castles dotting the Loire River valley, where the Kings and Queens of France came to romp! The incredible medieval festival in Dinan, and the austere abbey of Mount St Michel in Brittany, were the pièce de résistance!
The summer of 2011 saw Frederic exploring the HOT glacial paradise of Iceland, photographing cute puffins and majestic birds in the West Fjords, scaling huge glaciers on the Vantnajokul ice cap, then studying steaming, desolate, puffing volcanoes, as a volunteer with scientists and volcanologists from the Earthwatch Institute.
A second pilgrimage to the Czech Republic in 2009, saw him photographing romantic and historic Prague, trekking in the Sumava Mountains along the old and divisive Iron Curtain, then peering into majestic castles, châteaus, and underground caverns in the surrounding countryside, of this distinctive and enchanting country.
Siberia, the Russian Far East and Mongolia enticed Frederic back to Asia, where he traveled by train, bus, jeep and by foot for seven weeks during the summer of 2008. While in Mongolia, he worked once again with biologists and scientist from the Earthwatch Institute, tracking and photographing endangered wildlife and cinereous vultures at the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, in the Gobi desert.
And a three-week journey to Jordan in 2007 saw him exploring the 2,000 year-old Nabataean ruins of Petra, ancient biblical sites, massive Crusader castles, and a revealing three-day trek through the undulating desert of Wadi Rum, made famous by Lawrence of Arabia.
Frederic’s next planned odyssey is a month long trip through Norway in the fall of 2021, with hopefully a return to Antarctica on another expedition in 2022. Plans are afoot to launch a YouTube channel with his extensive trips and his amusing tales from the trails, sometime in 2021.
Beverley Anne (Woodward) Strange
Class of 1948
March 6, 1931 - December 25, 2020
Beverley, St. Lambert High School class of 1948 graduate, and Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing, class of 1952 graduate, passed away on Christmas Day in Cowansville, Quebec.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Robert Strange, class of 1948; her daughter Sharon (Don Pons) of Abbotsford, B.C.; her son Jeffrey (Lynn Waters) of Mission, B.C.; her daughter-in-law Gail (Samoluk) Strange; her son-in-law Anthony Ball; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her eldest son Michael and her youngest daughter Lynda-Sue.
She was also the beloved sister-in-law of Isabelle McGowan, class of 1950; Shirley Burnett, class of 1952; Jane Fisher, class of 1954 and Marilyn McGeorge, class of 1960.
Carolyn Kuhn (Ernst)
Class of 1951
It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of our mother, Carolyn Elizabeth (Ernst) Kuhn, in Mahone Bay, January 14, 2021. She was 87. She was the cherished daughter of Amy (Freeman) and Edward Ernst, both from founding families of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.
Carolyn was born in New York where her father was employed as an international banker. Her father’s work brought them next to London, and then to Montreal. Throughout her childhood and adult life, summers were always spent in Nova Scotia, visiting family and enjoying the beautiful beaches.
As a young adult, Carolyn’s artistic talents led her to the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York where she graduated with a Fine Arts Degree. She then married and had 2 children, Christine (Chris) and Catherine, raising her girls well. First in Montreal, then Toronto and finally back to her home province of Nova Scotia. Once settled in Nova Scotia, Carolyn became a devoted member of the Anglican Church, attending services regularly. She had various jobs throughout her life, from secretary/receptionist to graphic designer. She also volunteered at the Mahone Bay Nursing Home for many years.
Carolyn was fiercely loyal, had a quick wit and a delightful sense of humor. Taking after her own mother, she could brave the cold ocean water for a regular swim. She participated in Tai Chi and exercise classes. She also enjoyed socializing with friends and family, eating out or going to the theatre or movies through memberships at the Rebecca Cohen Arts Centre and the Bridgewater Film Society.
Carolyn eagerly participated in many conversations around the kitchen table on a variety of interesting topics, but mainly politics (which would make her dad proud) or world views. She passed on her love of animals and her talent for art to both her daughters. She had great faith in her daughters, encouraging them to accomplish whatever they set their minds to. More recently, Carolyn could easily be deemed the "Queen of Crossword Puzzles,” solving the most challenging with determination and pride. I t was rare for her to leave one incomplete.
She was a devoted mother to Chris and Catherine, a loving grandmother to Joel and Hannah, a supportive mother-in-law to Chris’ husband, Brian and a dedicated sister to John and his wife Judy.
Due to the Covid restrictions, the funeral will be a small, private gathering. Condolences are greatly appreciated and accepted at https://www.mahonefuneral.ca.
Memorial Donations can be made to the Victorian Order of Nurses, Lunenburg County; SHAID Tree Animal Shelter or Health Services Foundation of the South Shore.
Thank you so much to all the family and friends who supported our mother as a senior determined to live at home. Happily, she was able to do so because of you.
She will be greatly missed.
Beverley Ann Cavaghan (Elvidge) Class of 1953
Bev passed peacefully at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria on December 11, 2020, at the age of 84. She was born in Montreal on July 7th, 1936 and grew up in St. Jean, QC. After high school Bev attended Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, graduating with a BA, in 1957. She immediately did a tour of Europe.
In 1959 while working for the Department of External Affairs Bev was posted to Saigon, South Viet Nam, continuing what would become a lifelong passion for travel. While there she took a side trip to Cambodia and visited the jungle ruins of Angkor Wat which were just beginning to be unearthed.
In the fall of 1962, Bev married Lt. Col George G. Cavaghan in Ottawa, where they would reside. Bev changed careers at this time and became a high school teacher. In January 1967 George and Bev relocated to St. Lucia, West Indies, where they would live for eleven years. After that came quick stops in Florida, Spain, and Costa Rica, before they settled in Victoria, BC. Bev was widowed in 1988.
She carried on admirably, took up golf (got a hole in one), and continued travelling. She rode camels in Egypt and elephants in Thailand. She fed kangaroos in Australia. She trekked up to Machu Pichu in Peru. Somehow she missed getting to Antarctica.
Bev is survived by her stepsons, Peter Cavaghan in Toronto and Tim Cavaghan and wife Diane in Victoria, as well as Tim’s children and grandchildren.
Bev was interred at Royal Oak Burial Park, alongside George, on December 15, 2020.
Fondly missed by all who knew her.
Class of 1957
Grant Leonard, Class of 1957 wrote and advised that George passed away on July 8, 2017 in Dartmouth, NS. No obituary is available.
Remind you of anyone?
Some Animal Crackers you might enjoy
Could this be you?
Everyone PLEASE be careful because people are becoming stressed from being locked down at home!
I was just talking about this with the microwave and the toaster while drinking my coffee, and we all agreed that things are getting bad.
I didn't mention any of this to the washing machine, because she puts a different spin on EVERYTHING!!
Certainly, I couldn't share with the fridge, because he's been acting cold and distant!
In the end, the iron straightened me out! She said the situation isn't all that pressing and all the wrinkles will soon get ironed out!
The vacuum, however, was very unsympathetic - told me to just “Suck it up Buttercup!”
But the fan was VERY optimistic and gave me hope that it will eventually all blow over!
The toilet looked a bit flushed, but didn't say anything when I asked its opinion.
The front door said I was becoming unhinged and the doorknob told me to get a grip!!
You can just about guess what the curtains told me: they told me to, “Pull myself together!” We will survive!!
Stay safe and well dear friends.