Saturday, April 26, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1924--

1924 Chrysler Model B-70
  There’s a new nameplate on the road as the first Chrysler is built by workers at the Maxwell-Chrysler Corporation of Canada Limited, in Windsor, Ontario. 

January 23:  The first ever session of the British Columbia Older Boys’ Parliament opens in Victoria.  It is designed to create interest in young people and government. In 2006 the annual event will be known as the British Columbia Youth Parliament.

January 10:  The new Canadian National Railways’ menu will now include buffalo tongue and buffalo tail. These delicacies will be savoured by diners who eat in the CNR’s transcontinental dining cars as they criss-cross the Dominion.

January 17: The United Farmers of Alberta are on record as being opposed to a resolution that calls for the succession of the western provinces from Confederation.

January 26:  The Red Ensign is unfurled today for the first time. By an Order-in-Council, Canada’s very own flag will fly next to the Union Jack on public buildings and private property throughout all nine provinces.

February 1:  Canadian law now is in effect in the Arctic as the government sentences Alikomiak and Tatimagana to hang until dead in the community of Herschel Island, NWT. The pair stood trial for the murder of four Inuit men as well as two RCMP officers. Not necessarily innocent until proven guilty, graves were already dug before the sentence was pronounced.

February 10: The Prime Minister of the Dominion of Newfoundland offers to sell Labrador to Quebec for $30 million. Premier Taschereau will decline the offer.

February 10: Max Ferguson is born in Durham, England. He will grow up in London, Ontario and join the CBC in 1942. “The man with a thousand voices” will be best remembered for his wild and witty Rawhide show that will delight listeners for 17 years and The Max Ferguson Show that will air from 1962 to 1998. He will die in 2013 at the age of 89.

Deputy Prime Minister Erik (left) and brother Leslie Neilsen at Erik's swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in 1979.
February 24: Erik Neilsen is born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He will grow up to be a Conservative Member of Parliament representing the Yukon and serve as deputy PM during the Joe Clark administration. His brother Leslie will grow up to be an actor.

March 1: The Privy Council in London rules that Labrador belongs to Newfoundland and not to Quebec.

March 11: The SS Regina docks in Halifax. Aboard are 60 young people from the UK, immigrants sponsored by the Salvation Army.  The British teens fan out across the country to learn about agriculture. It is hoped that many will choose to stay in Canada and become farmers.

This is the second Stanley Cup. It will be retired tonight and replaced with a third cup next season.
March 25: The Montreal Canadiens whip the Calgary Tigers to win the 31st annual playoff for the Stanley Cup.

Based on the Fiat truck, AMO F-25 cars and trucks will be built in Moscow until 1931.
March 27: Canada formally recognizes the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

April Fool’s Day: With headquarters in Ottawa, the  Canadian Air Force is granted Royal status by King George V. The RCAF is in charge of anti-smuggling patrols, forest fire watches, aerial forest spraying, air survey mapping and aerial photography.

Sir Richard Squires is Newfoundland's fifth Prime Minister.
April 22: The Right Honourable Prime Minister Sir Richard Squires of the Dominion of Newfoundland is arrested for larceny.

April 23: From Sydney to Victoria, Canadians warm up their radio sets and tune in to hear King George V open the Empire Exhibition at Wembley, England. Celebrating the 58 dominions and colonies that make up the British Empire, the exhibition will draw 27 million visitors before it closes in 1925.

April 29: Alan George “Al” Balding is born in Toronto. He will grow up to become a professional golfer—the first Canadian to win on the PGA tour. He will die of cancer in Mississauga, Ontario in 2006.

May 1: Residents of Prince Edward Island must now drive to the right side of the road and overtake on the left.

May 10:  The taps are turned on today in Alberta for the first time since 1915 as the province-wide Liquor Control Board opens its doors. The government stores will sell hard liquor, while beer will be sold in public houses. Stores near the American border are expected to do exceptionally well as dry neighbours from the United States load up on suds and spirits.

May 24: The first parachute jump from an aeroplane takes place today in Vancouver.

May 31:  The Saskatchewan Cooperative Wheat Producers Ltd. comes into existence by order of the provincial legislation. Farm operators believe a local marketing pool will do a better job of selling prairie wheat than the federal government.

June 2:  June Callwood is born in Chatham, Ontario. She will grow up to be a journalist, broadcaster and AIDS activist, founding Casey House, a hospice, in Toronto in 1988. The award-winning author will die of cancer in 2007, at the age of 82.

June 3: Colleen Dewhurst is born in Montreal. She will become a star of stage and silver screen with a career that spans nearly 50 years. She will die in 1991 but be best remembered for her roles as Marilla Cuthbert in the Anne of Green Gables movies and as Murphy Brown’s cantankerous mother on the American sitcom by the same name.

Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto will open in 1982.
June 14: Arthur Erickson is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to become an architect famous for many buildings around the world, including buildings at Simon Fraser University, Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

June 19: Postal employees in Montreal walk off the job in sympathy with their union brethren in Toronto.  The latest salary offered by the Civil Service Commission is dismissed as “totally inadequate.” His Majesty’s Royal Canadian Mail service is completely paralyzed because clerks who sort letters in railway cars throughout the nation have joined the picket lines.

June 29: Ottawa orders postal employees back to work while the federal cabinet sorts out their dispute. It will end badly for the union, workers will be hired back but at the rate offered to new hires, $85 a month.

July 1: Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig is in St. John’s to unveil the National War Memorial in honour of the thousands of Newfoundlanders who gave their lives for King and Empire in the Great War.

July 2: It’s almost hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalks of Edmonton as the mercury shoots up to 36.7C, the highest recorded temperature in more than 100 years.

July 3: The Rattenbury Wing of the CPR’s luxurious Chateau Lake Louise burns to the ground in Banff, Alberta. It will be replaced by the Barrot Wing next year.

 July 7: the Crow’s Nest Pass Agreement is restored today after being suspended for a year. The accord allows for lower-than-cost freight rates to stimulate growth in the western provinces. The agreement is now expanded to cover grain and flour moving to eastern markets as well as basic staples headed westward.

July11:  Eugene Francis Whelan is born in Essex County, Ontario. He will grow up to become a Liberal politician and federal Minister of Agriculture—famous for his green 10-gallon (okay, 40-litre) cowboy hats—during the Trudeau Era. He will die in 2013 and the Pelee Island Airport will be renamed to honour his years of public service.

July 16:  Eight years of prohibition comes to an end in Saskatchewan as a provincial liquor control board comes into existence. There will be no pubs and bars however, as voters have rejected sales of liquor by the glass. Beer parlours will be permitted in 1935.

This Vickers Viking Flying Boat belongs to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
July 20:  Basil Hobbes and a crew begin mapping out the waterways of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan using a new Vickers Viking Flying Boat.

July 25: The first 800 Mennonites arrive in Waterloo County, Ontario. The Russian refugees are the first of 5,000 to be sponsored by the non-resistant Relief Committee and the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is believed they will make good farmers.

An EKKO reception stamp is mailed to listeners as proof that they have heard the radio station's broadcast.
 August 15: CFCY takes to the airwaves in Charlottetown, PEI.  The station’s slogan is “the end of the Black Fox Trail.”

 August 22: It is revealed that a mysterious signal has been received at the Point Grey Wireless Station, in Vancouver, every day for a month.  Officials note the four groups of four dashes are so powerful it can’t be tuned out. Scientists do not think the signals come from Earth.

 September 19:  Don Harron is born in Toronto. He will grow up to be known as a comedian, actor and director best known for his country bumpkin Charlie Farquharson character.

October 2:  Raoul Dandurand, the Canadian delegate to the League of Nations brags to that august body of our splendid isolation when he says Canadians “live in a fireproof house, far from inflammable materials.” 

 October 24:  The Supreme Court of Ontario rules that former provincial treasurer, Peter Smith and businessman Aemilius Jarvis Sr. must pay fines of $600,000 and do prison time for fraud in a provincial bond scandal.

October 29: An explosion kills Doukhobor leader Peter Verigin and ten others on a CPR passenger run between Brilliant and Grand Forks, British Columbia. Though never proven, it is still widely believed in 2014 that Verigin was assassinated by a time bomb planted on board the train.

November 29: The Montreal Forum is open at a cost of $1.5 million. Built in only 159 days, the 9,300-seat facility is the new home of the Montreal Maroons—later the Canadiens. The arena will be enlarged twice and then turned into a movie theatre complex in 1996 when the Habs move to Molson (now Bell) Centre.

Frank “Pep” Leadlay (left) and Harry Batstone are two of the stars of the Queen’s team that have won a third consecutive Grey Cup.
November 29:  Queen’s University decimates the Toronto Balmy Beach 11 to 3 to take home the Grey Cup for the third year in a row. The Tri-colour team will never win another, despite making it to the playoffs four more times.

 November 29: The Montreal Forum opens it doors for the first time tonight on St. Catherine Street and 8,000 fans cheer as the Habs whip the Toronto St. Patricks 7 to 1.

December 1: The first NHL game ever played outside of Canada takes place in Bean Town.

December 20: Julia Verlyn LaMarsh is born in Chatham, Ontario. Better known as Judy, she will grow up speaking Japanese with other farm kids and become a spy for Canada during World War Two. Judy will become a politician, representing the people of Niagara and responsible for bringing us Medicare in 1968. She will be host of This Country in the Morning on CBC Radio from 1974 to 1976 and will die of cancer in 1980 at the age of 55.

 Christmas Eve:  The huge 41.4-metre (98-foot) steel cross atop Mt. Royal in Montreal is lit for the first time.  In 1992 the hundreds of incandescent light bulbs will be replaced by a fibre optics system.

Also new to the market is the 1924 Brooks Steamer. Model 2 is seen here. Built in built in Stratford, Ontario the luxurious vehicle lists for $3,885. A Brooks Steamer “cuts down the hills and the bills.”

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