Category Archives: History

REMEMBRANCE DAY – NEVER AGAIN!!!

“In a war, everyone suffers…

 never let it happen again.”

Music played an important role in the lives of Canadian soldiers. It also plays an integral part of The War Amps military heritage documentaries.

Accompanied by archival war footage and period photographs, several well-known Canadian musicians have used their talents to create beautiful and touching songs. The songs recall the sadness of families separated during wartime, as well as the courage and heroism of the Canadian troops who volunteered to go off to war.

“War is not heroics nor is it pride
It’s a shame to lose all those precious lives
Life is too short. We could love for so long
                                 Where’s the glory? NEVER AGAIN!”
Please see below for composer’s photo and short bio. 

YouTube video, “Never Again / The War Amps / Les Amputés de guerre”, uploaded by  on Nov 4, 2007, To Donate / Pour Faire un Don allez sur
http://www.waramps.ca

Sun Media photographer Pete Fisher presents a video tribute to our fallen Canadian soldiers ~ uploaded by on Jan 1, 2009.   It warms my heart to see that 351,228 viewers have watched this video. 

I, along with thousands of other Canadian families, suffered the loss of loved ones during WWI.  My father served in WW1 and was gassed in the Battle of Ypres, France.  He died as a direct result years later.  (See footnote with details of this battle).  It’s so very heart warming to witness the obvious heartfelt gratitude and thanks expressed for fallen members of our Canadian Military as people turn out by the thousands to honor our fallen as they make their journey home, along the Highway of Heroes, to their final resting place.

YouTube video, “Highway of Heroes Tribute” ~

Links ~

http://www.waramps.ca/military/resource_kit.html 

Robin Moir is the composer of the song in the video, “Never Again”.  Robin is a writer, producer, director who began her career as a singer/songwriter spending many years performing concerts across Canada and the USA. In 1967 she performed for Queen Elizabeth II on July 1st during Canada’s centennial celebrations on Parliament Hill. In the late 1970s, she was nominated for a Juno Award for Best New Female Vocalist.  We were very fortunate to have Robin sing her memorable song at our Remembrance Day Service at church a number of years ago with my choir.

This is a time of grateful remembering. We are grateful for the privilege of living in this great country of ours complete with its many freedoms. We remember with grateful hearts, those who fought so valiantly so that we might enjoy these freedoms and live at peace. Many paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. To them we say “Thank you. We will never forget you.” To the families of those who fought and lost, please know that we will forever keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

I leave you with a very moving video/music uploaded to YouTube by on Oct 26, 2010, “Remembrance Day Canada (‘Soldiers Cry’ by Roland Majeau)”.

Please read the story behind the video on YouTube.

Footnote ~ Information from Wikipaedia ~  (In the First Battle of Ypres (12 October to 11 November 1914), the Allies captured the town from the Germans. The Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time the on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915. They captured high ground east of the town. The first gas attack occurred against Canadian, British, and French soldiers; including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs (light infantry) from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas, also called Yperite from the name of this city, was also used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917.   Ruins of Ypres -1919.  Of the battles, the largest, best-known, and most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres (21 July to 6 November 1917, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele), in which the British, Canadians, ANZAC, and French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, and only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire.)

A MUST SEE! ~ STEPWELL IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA

CHAND BAORI STEPWELL ~ RAJASTHAN, INDIA

Stepwells, also called bawdi or baoli, are unique to India… and are often of architectural significance, just like Chand Baori.

Searching the web and YouTube I found numerous short videos of many different stepwells in India and chose this one as the photography seems to be the best:

Youtube video, “india, chand baori reservoir”, uploaded by  fluglehrer on Mar 25, 2008 ~ “gigantic sight ! a must!”


The following excerpts are taken from the article,  “Chand Baori Step Well in Rajasthan, India“, posted by MumbaiRock on October 16, 2012

Chand Baori in Abhaneri village in eastern Rajasthan, India, is one of the most overlooked landmarks in the country.  It is one of the oldest stepwells in Rajasthan… among the biggest in the  world… This incredible square structure is 13 stories deep, and lined along the walls on three sides are double flight of steps… Built during the 8th and 9th century by King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty, the well provided the surrounding areas with a  dependable water source for centuries before modern water delivery systems were introduced.  As the green water at the base attests, the well is no longer in use, but it makes for an interesting stop-over to an architecturally impressive structure that is over 1000 years old.  There’s also a temple adjoining the well for visitors to explore… The well’s sheer endlessly appearing geometric complexity made of stairs and steps ensured that Rajput people had access to water at any time of the year, and from all sides… The large mouth of the well functioned as a rain catching funnel that contributed to the water seeping in from the porous rock at the bottom… At the bottom the well the air is always about 5-6 degrees cooler than at the top.

The steps surround the well on three sides while the fourth side has a set of pavilions built one atop another.

The side that has the pavilions have niches with beautiful sculptures including religious carvings.  There is even a royal residence with rooms for the King and the Queen and a stage for the performing arts.

The well is now a treasure managed by the Archeological Survey of India.

http://www.mumbairock.com/profiles/blogs/chand-baori-step-well-in-rajasthan-india

AWESOME WATER CASTLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

I find it amazing to think that one can travel around the world and visit such wonderfully preserved water castles today.

Wikipedia definition ~ A water castle (German): Wasserburg or Wasserschloss) is a castle or stately home whose site is entirely surrounded by moats or natural water bodies. Topographically water castles are a type of lowland castle.

I created the following video for you
and posted it on YouTube ~ I hope you enjoy it.

Best watched in full screen mode to appreciate the incredible photography.

The remarkable choice of sites, the remarkable French and Italian renaissance architectural style of the buildings, the remarkable artistic landscaping of the adjacent Baroque style formal gardens, and the remarkable use of surrounding water all add up to a fabulous trip back in time when these castles were a vibrant and functioning force within the various countrysides.

The stories behind the origins of various water castles are in themselves a most interesting history lesson and the photos a treasure trove of unsurpassed beauty.

Some of my favorites are:

Chambord Castle, France ~This castle was originally commissioned by Francois I, so that he could be closer to his mistress. But when the affair was over, the castle was mostly forgotten. The Chateau – with its giant hallways and ornate decorations – was picked apart and left to crumble until the Post WWII-era, when it was finally restored.

Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark ~ Frederiksborg Castle is a water castle in Hillerød on the Danish island of Zealand . It is the largest and most important building of the Northern Renaissance and today houses the Danish National Museum.

Chenonceau Castle (France) ~ Chateau Chenonceau was under the direction of Diane de Poitiers who was the king’s mistress at the time. But when the king passed away, his widow, Catherine de Medici, forced out the mistress and made the Chateau her own place of residence. During World War II, the castle served as a barrier between the German-controlled puppet government in France and the actual free world.

Trakai Island Castle (Lithuania) ~ Trakai Island Castle is exactly what its name suggests: an entire island. The castle was made with thick, brick walls, firing galleries galore and is surrounded by a series of locking gates. The castle currently serves as a prominent tourist magnet.

Mont Saint-Michel (France) ~ Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country’s north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41, as of 2006. The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery, from which it draws the name.

Links ~

http://thumbpress.com/20-amazing-castles-from-around-the-world/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_castle

You all know that by now we love hearing from you ~ remember that your comments can make a difference in the content of future blogs that we think you’ll enjoy.

GREAT LEADERS’ QUOTES ~ INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO

Watching this video, “Great Quotes from Great Leaders“, by Peggy Anderson, from Simple Truths will certainly be an inspiration for you!

All of the quotes from these very famous leaders will certainly stand the ‘test of time’!

Video link ~ Great Quotes from Great Leaders

The following are my top seven favourites from the video ~ not in any special order.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

 “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Nelson Mandela (1918 – )

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

 “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

 Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945)

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Helen Keller (1880-1968)

“I believe the unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

Great Quotes from Great Leaders allows us to learn from some of the greatest leaders of all time—those who have inspired, comforted, persuaded and motivated those around them. With more than 400 quotations and 75 photographs, Great Quotes from Great Leaders is a collection of timeless wisdom that echoes the integrity, strength of character, and passion of these extraordinary men and women. So learn from Great Quotes from Great Leaders and apply their wisdom to your own life.

What a wonderful world it would be if all leaders today applied the “timeless wisdom that echoes the integrity, strength of character, and passion of these extraordinary men and women” everyday in their lives!

I hope you enjoyed this inspirational video and will share with others.

RAIN DANCE VIDEOS and ETHNIC MUSIC

Today I’d like to feature the true beauty of native dance, art, photography, music and videos.

INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL MUSIC SET IN NATURE’S PALETTE:

Spiritual and soulful music in harmony with nature – cascading waterfalls, flowing rivers and lush forests.

‘Listen to Native flute – feel the embrace of the heart and soul – feel the embrace of your life and feel the flow of the clean clear water that is so pure and is so free. It is the river of life for without this clean clear water we cannot survive in this world that we live in.’

Comment from YouTube poster, helen1436: ‘This video has real footage of the Sioux back when we first had film.actualy i had to pay 50 pounds for that tiny bit of footage but well worth it . i smile every time i see the 2 guys at left front dance i just feel like reaching out and giving them a hug, daft i know but just make me smile and feel happy when i watch them, and i love to watch the chiefs too i have to admit this is my fave real footage of the Sioux dancing, sad to think they are long gone since that video was taken i wonder who their now relations are, as they are all sioux’

Manantial – Rain Dance

A few interesting comments on the video from viewers:

‘How beautiful Native American people were, the clothes they made, how every part of animal & buffalo was used for teepee, robes, clothes, moccasins, sewing awl, even hoofs was used for glue, nothing was wasted. If 1 mourned the entire camp did too, their knowledge of plants/herbs. Most of all I admire how they respected all living things, took only what was needed to survive & gave thanks to Creator. In Memory of Chiefs Joseph, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Geronimo, Tecumseh, Quanah & many others.’

May the great waters cleanse and cascade through my spirit, And lead me to the Earth Mother’s Cauldron of Wisdom – May the grace of the Sea exhale Her breath on the shore – Where I shall reflect into the deep center of my being.

Thank you for visiting – we hope you enjoyed your time with us today.  Your comments are always welcome and we do our best to respond.

NEW YORK CITY’S WATER SYSTEM – HOW BIZARRE!

   PART 1 OF A 3 PART SERIES ~ NEW YORK CITY‘S WATER SYSTEM NECESSITATES USING ROOFTOP WATER TANKS – ALL 10,000 – 15,000 OF THEM!!!

New Yorkers love to brag about having the best-tasting drinking water in the country, although residents of high-rise buildings may not realize that their water makes an extra stop on its way from the reservoir. When high-rise residents turn on their taps to have a drink of water, take a shower or wash the dishes, the water comes from a tank located on the roof of the building. In addition to serving as a storage device, the tank creates water pressure through gravity which brings water to each apartment as needed… (By Eric Johnson)

 Watch this impressive YouTube video (fantastic photography) on New York City’s Rooftop Water Tanks ~

 

A VERY INTERESTING TOPIC

  Next blogs in series ~ Part 2: NEW YORK CITY’S WATER TANK CONSTRUCTION and Part 3: ‘WORD ABOVE THE STREET’ WATER PROJECT, 2013

To open this topic I’ve included a link to AARP Radio’s Prime Time Postscript on “NYC Water Tanks”: background information on this most unique water system.

Listen to a most interesting talk about New York City’s water system and the rooftop water tanks (all 10,000 – 15,000 of them!) that top all buildings that are higher than 6 stories!!!

“If you’re in New York City, take a look up at the iconic skyline. However, look past the skyscrapers and buildings of glass and at rather, the rooftop wooden water tanks.  Producer Britta Conroy-Randall found out why rooftop water tanks are an essential – and beloved – feature of the city skyline.”

 Listen to a funny incident related at the 3:54 time spot into the talk

http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/environment/info-12-2010/nyc-water-tanks.html

I wonder if there are other ‘mega’ cities around the globe using the same bizarre (to me, at least, after hearing this for the first time) system???

These tanks have been “fixtures of the urban landscape for 100 years.”

The city’s water pressure system can’t supply enough pressure to take the water any further than 5 or 6 stories.

The rooftop water tanks are 12 feet high, 13 feet in diameter and most are made of redwood.

 

Interesting facts  from ‘Longtime emblems of City Roofs, Still Going Strong’ by Jacoba Charles, June 3, 2007 ~

Younger cities often rely on electric pumps to supply water to skyscrapers, but New York’s aged infrastructure, built on shallow bedrock that results in extremely low water pressure, doesn’t allow that technology. Architects outside New York may not even think of using a rooftop tank to hold a building’s water supply, and if they did, who would build it?

To watch the tankmen practice their craft is to witness a construction technique that has transcended time, as was evident one day not long ago when a Rosenwach crew was building a water tank on the roof of a 24-story hotel rising near the Empire State Building. Three men moved nimbly around a narrow, railfree scaffolding almost 300 feet above the street, while two others handed up planks from the rooftop below. It took less than two hours to construct the body of the tank, setting vertical boards in place using only a hammer and a rope.

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/eesj/gradpubs/Newspaper/

Charles_NYT_LongtimeEmblemsofCityRoofs_060307.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTRkFgqxzl8

  See you back here tomorrow for

                        Part 2: New York City’s

                                      Rooftop Water Tank Construction.