Sunday, May 28, 2023

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Evelyn Horne, who clapped Churchill on his shoulder

 I did a "Heart of the City" story about Evelyn Horne for the Ottawa Sun published on November 18, 2000, page 6. She was 93 then and lived until 2005. She was still living on her own back then in an apartment and was still doing volunteer work for the Quota Club of Ottawa, a women's service organization. Among other things she was selling Balderson Cheese to raise funds. A transition house for young women is named after her.  She liked working with young women with drug or mental health problems. “It’s a tremendous satisfaction to have one of them give me a hug and have them say to me ‘you’ve been a role model to me,’"

She was born in Truro, Nova Scotia and heard the great Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917, when a French ship in the harbour that was carrying explosives for the First World War exploded. It is considered to be the greatest human made explosion before the atomic bomb. Truro was over 50 miles or 84km away from the explosion.

She worked for Prime Mackenzie King in Ottawa and later on assisted Yousuf Karsh, who did the famous photo of  Churchill in the Canadian parliament. She said she clapped Churchill on the shoulder when she saw him in the halls of parliament after he made the famous "Some Chicken! Some Neck!" speech. "Good old Winnie!" Horne said.

Karsh's photo. An original print used to hang in the lobby of the Chateau Laurier, where Karsh used to live, next to Parliament until it was stolen some time after Christmas, 2021, and remains missing to this day.

Horne confirmed the story that Karsh pulled the cigar from Churchill's mouth to get it out of the shot, and also giving Churchill that ferocious expression that became the iconic image of him.

We talked a little about King's interest in seances. She said he was a 'strange old man', but his belief in spiritualism wasn't that unusual for the time as many people of his generation had lost people suddenly in the First World War and hoped to contact them. King had even tried to contact his dogs via mediums. I was told by someone at King's home in Kitchener that they found the grave there of one of his dogs who a neighbour had poisoned.

She also worked for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and the National Film Board, and after retirement worked for a year as Acting Director for the Canadian Hearing Society.

Unfortunately the Ottawa Sun article is not available online, but is available on Microfiche at the main branch of the Ottawa Library. There is an obituary here for Horne from the Ottawa Citizen


Monday, May 22, 2023

Remembrances of things past, cont.

 In 1982, I hitchhiked through Shropshire, England from Anglesey, Wales. The highway was indeed happy and I got a lift from a lorry driver who was delivering a load of sacks of cement. He was waiting by the side of the road to meet up with another driver who was going to put the cement on his truck and I started talking to him. Had to help but I got to Birmingham.

M54 motorway passing over the Shropshire Union Canal - - 4600662

M54 motorway passing over the Shropshire Union Canal by David Martin, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Remembrances of Things Past

 I was travelling on an Amtrak pass in the USA in 1977. I started talking with someone and got off with him as he was travelling to a gathering in Newton, Kansas. I think it had to do with the Rainbow Gathering movement. It was at a big house in the country and it had a Freemason mark on some paving making me wonder if it hadn't been the county poorhouse built by charity. There was a small cemetery with only a few markers near it. I one saw one tombstone that was just marked "Negro Boy'. 

Newton Depot

AMTRAK station, Newton, Kansas (Erinmcd at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Willie and Blue

Willie is a white horse and Blue is a collie often seen at the Tim Horton's in Lancaster, Ontario.

Saturday, May 6, 2023


Serviceberry in bloom, I think!


First Cable TV system in North America set up to show coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, BBC, 1953

In Guelph, Ontario, 1953, Fred Metcalf set up the first cable TV system in North America to transmit Queen Elizabeth's coronation. TV had only been broadcasting from Toronto for a year, and few people in Guelph could receive it just by using an antenna. The CBC had won the race to be the first to get film of the event across the Atlantic, using RCAF and RAF jets, and ABC, a small network at the time, got the feed from them. NBC paid to use ABC's feed, and beat CBS to air by 13 minutes.

Souvenir Coronation Brochure, Wikimedia Commons 


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Monday, May 1, 2023

White Trillium


White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, Trille blanc, just starting to bloom.

Summerstown Trails, woods full of trilliums