Thursday, May 9, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1978-

January 3: It’s the birthday of Daryn Jones. The Victoria, BC boy will grow up to be a popular morning show host at Toronto’s KISS FM before become a writer and “on-air reporter” seen on the Rick Mercer Report.

For many years the Sunlife Building in Montreal was the tallest building in the Commonwealth.
January 8: Considering the Quebec political climate to be unstable and displeased with the new French-only language laws, Sun Life Insurance announces it will move its head office from Montreal to Toronto.

January 8: Ron Pederson is born in Edmonton. He will grow up to become an actor on stage and screen, best known for his sketch comedy on MAD TV.

January 24: A Soviet satellite, crashes near Great Slave Lake in the NWT. It spreads wreckage over 124,000 square kilometres and the on-board nuclear reactor wreaks havoc with the delicate environment. Searchers are only able to recover a dozen pieces of the radioactive debris. Ottawa will bill the Kremlin $15 million for the cleanup of Cosmos 954.

Never sold in the United States, the Plymouth Caravelle is built in Chrysler Corporation’s St. Louis, Missouri plant for the Canadian market. We took home 7,209 new Caravelles during the 1978 calendar year.

January 26: A winter “hurricane” with its enormous eye stretching from Windsor to London, Ontario covers half the North American continent with a giant rainstorm followed by a blizzard. In some places more than a metre of snow falls and temperatures drop to -60C with windchill factored into the equation. The immense and intense storm kills 70 people.

February 9: Eleven Soviet diplomats are kicked out of the country after plans were revealed that the USSR intended to infiltrate the RCMP.

March 9: Chris Phillips, better known as Number Four, is born in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He will get the skating bug early and be the first choice of the Ottawa Senators in the 1996 NHL draft. 

March 13: Milton Fowler Gregg VC is dead in Fredericton, New Brunswick at the age of 85. The politician, soldier and educator, was born on Snider Mountain New Brunswick. During World War One he was warded the CBE, the Military Cross and Bar and the Victoria Cross. He was President of the University of New Brunswick from 1944 to 1947. Elected to the Commons in 1947, he served as Minister of Fisheries, Veterans Affairs and Labour until 1957.

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides on the planet.

March 16: The federal government will undertake a three-year feasibility study to determine the possibility of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy.

March 28: Heritage Canada comes into being. It will promote the preservation of the nation’s historic and scenic treasures.

March 31: Dr.  Charles Herbert Best is dead at the age of at the age of 79. The good doctor worked with Dr. Banting to discover insulin in 1922 and shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine with his colleague in 1923. He will be interred in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

March 31: Stand-up comic David Steinberg hosts the Juno Awards for the second year in a row. The ceremony is held at the Harbour Castle Hilton Convention Centre. There is controversy when Stompin’ Tom Connors returns his Junos to protest what he calls “Juno Jumpers,” people who win Junos but don’t maintain residences in Canada. Patsy Gallant wins a Juno as female vocalist of the year and Dan Hill wins as male vocalist of the year.

Via Rail operates on more than 12,500 kilometres of track in eight provinces.
April 1: Take the train! ViaRail becomes a crown corporation responsible for passenger services previously offered by the CNR and Canadian Pacific. In 2005 it will carry 3.9 million passengers.

April 2: A mysterious explosion on Bell Island, Newfoundland leaves two holes nearly a metre deep and wide. The blast is felt 45 kilometres away and picked up by satellites.  One theory is that it is ball lightening but many believe that the Americans or Soviets are conducting top-secret experiments with electromagnetic pulse weapons in the abandoned iron mines far beneath the island's surface.

The 1904 Ford Model C was assembled in (Walkerville)  Windsor, Ontario.

April 5: Ford of Canada kicks off its Diamond Jubilee. The yearlong festivities will help the nation’s oldest automaker to sell 846,000 passenger cars.

May 5: The CBC signs on its newest station, CBCS-FM in Sudbury, Ontario.

May 15: It’s a daughter for Quebec actor Sebastian Dhavernas. Born in Montreal, Caroline will follow in daddy’s footsteps, begin by dubbing voices for the classic Babar cartoon series when she is eight, make her movie debut at 12 in Comme un Voleur and star in the wacky Fox TV series Wonderfalls.

May 25: The Canadiens skate home with the Stanley Cup when they beat the Boston Bruins four games to two.

June 3: It’s a party in Montreal for the 200th birthday of The Gazette. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the bilingual newspaper was published to fan the flames of separatism against Britain. Franklin was forced to flee town for his seditious views but the paper was a hit.

June 12: During his lifetime, Brother Andre performed miracles, healing thousands of sick, blind and handicapped people who came to him in Montreal. Now the Vatican confers a title on him, a first step to sainthood.

June 26: An Air Canada DC-9 blows a tire and overruns the tarmac at Toronto International Airport. Two of the 107 people on board are killed in the accident.

Tornadoes have been clocked at more than 400 kilometres per hour.

June 27: A tornado rips through the towns of Buckingham and Masson—now Gatineau, Quebec. There are 35 injured and 100 homes damaged. 

July 22: Andrea Joy Cook, a.k.a. A.J., is born in Oshawa, Ontario. She will study acting and make a name for herself in the 1999 movie, The Virgin Suicides and maker her mark as FBI agent J.J. Jareau on the TV series Criminal Minds.

July 26: Her Majesty and Prince Phillip’s royal jet touches down at Gander International Airport at 2.35 PM local time. It is Elizabeth’s 11th official visit to Canada since being crowned Queen in 1952.

Athletes from 21 Commonwealth nations and colonies participated in the Commonwealth Games.
July 31: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip arrive in Edmonton to open the 11th Commonwealth Games. It is just one of the ceremonies Her Majesty will partake in during the 11-day tour of the country that includes Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

August 4: It is a sad day in Eastman, Quebec when a bus leaves the road and crashes into a lake. The death toll is 41.

August 6: Pope Paul VI is dead at the age of 80. John Paul 1 will be elected to replace him but the new pontiff will die after only 34 days in office.

August 10: Formula One rookie Gilles Villeneuve wins the Canadian Grand Prix, crossing the finishing line in a Ferrari 312T3. The spectacular racer immediately becomes a legend and before being killed in a crash at the Belgian Grand Prix on May 8, 1982.

August 11: The Commonwealth Games come to a close in Edmonton. Our athletes have earned 109 medals. Nigeria boycotted the event to protest New Zealand’s sporting ties with the Republic of South Africa.

Luxury liner Queen Elizabeth II was launched in 1969. It will be retired from service in 2009.
September 5:  Hurricane Ella doesn’t reach shore but winds of more 220 kilometres per hour dump 45 mm of rain on St. John’s as it heads across the North Atlantic. A mighty 30-metre wave will strike the Queen Elizabeth II as the luxury liner rides out the Category 4 storm.

September 7: Devon Sawa is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to be a teen heartthrob actor, gracing the cover of countless teen magazines and star in such films as Casper, Final Destination, Slackers and Pool Hall Prophets.

September 8: L’Anse aux Meadows is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place contains significant archaeological evidence of Viking settlements in Newfoundland.

 Clockwise from the upper left, the four Warner brothers:  Harry, Jack, Sam, and Albert.
September 9: Jack Warner is dead at the age of 86. He is the last of the Warner Brothers of Hollywood movie production fame.  Born in London, Ontario, the youngest of 12 children, he and three of his brothers were celluloid pioneers, producing the industry’s first talkie, The Jazz Singer and the first colour newsreel for theatres.

September 20: Jason Bay is born in Trail, BC. He will become passionate about baseball and be drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2000, play with the San Diego Padres and be voted the National League’s Rookie of the Year. In 2005 he will play right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates and be chosen for the All-Star Game.

September 21: Paulo Costanzo is born in Brampton, Ontario. He will be a natural on stage and his acting career will lead him to Tinseltown where he will star in movies and television sitcoms like Joey, aired on NBC in the United States.

October 16: Pope John Paul II is the new shepherd of the Roman Catholic flock. Born in Poland, he is the first non-Italian pontiff in more than 450 years. He will die on April 2, 2005.

CUPW was founded in 1965.
October 18: The Posties walk off the job after 18 months of negotiations come to nothing. They will be walking the picket lines for a week until Parliament orders them back to work and back to the bargaining table.

November 26: In sweet revenge for last year’s humiliating defeat, the Edmonton Eskimos knock the proverbial socks off of the Montreal Alouettes to win back the Grey Cup. The final score is 20 to 13. 

December 2: Nellie Furtado is born in Victoria, BC. Musically inclined from an early age, she will form a band before she is 12, start writing songs as a teenager and win a Grammy in 2003 for her hit song, Like a Bird.

December 15: Anik B is launched into space as the nation’s fourth communications satellite. It enables the CBC to become the first broadcaster on Earth to simultaneously link “east to west to north.”

The Right Honourable Jules Leger is Canada's 21st Governor General.

December 28: It is announced that Edward Schreyer will be the country’s next Governor General as Jules Leger prepares to step down from the Vice-Regal position as head of state.

Peter Mansbridge (left) will replace  Knowlton Nash who will retire from reading the news on the CBC.

Date unconfirmed: Knowlton Nash begins a ten-year run as anchor of The National on the CBC. He will step down in 1988 to give the job to Peter Mansbridge who is about to leave the network to head up the news department for CBS In the United States.

Concord is a new offering from AMC for 1978. Workers in Brampton, Ontario built 35,679 of the posh compact cars during the model year run; Canadians think they are good value buying 12,027 of them during the calendar year.

December 31: The Top Ten selling automobiles for the calendar year are (in descending order) are: the full-sized Chevrolet, Honda, the Chevrolet Malibu, the full-sized Pontiac, Plymouth Volare, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Toyota, Ford Fairmont, Volkswagen and the Chevrolet Nova.

Visit my old car website at: The Oilspot Eh!

Copyright James C. Mays 2005 All rights reserved.

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