April 30th 1945 Hitler is Dead

number14number2April 30th 1945, a day for the World to celebrate.

The Führerbunker was an air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex constructed in two phases which were completed in 1936 and 1944. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters (Führerhauptquartiere) used by Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.

Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945 and it became the centre of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II in Europe. Hitler married Eva Braun here during the last week of April 1945, shortly before they committed suicide.

After the war both the old and new Chancellery buildings were levelled by the Soviets. Despite some attempts at demolition, the underground complex remained largely undisturbed until 1988–89. During reconstruction of that area of Berlin, the sections of the old bunker complex that were excavated were for the most part destroyed. The site remained unmarked until 2006, when a small plaque with a schematic diagram was installed. Some corridors of the bunker still exist, but are sealed off from the public.

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in Belfast Blitz, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, politics, veterans | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Questioning Legion Hierarchy

 

legionww2medalsWhile the issue I have attempted to have amended is not on the same level as the issues arising from the Executive spending policies. It does however, very well demonstrates that the Legion Hierarchy see themselves as untouchable by grass root members. In my own case a handful of members at Provincial level have decided my views are not needed or should be presented at Dominion Command. This would appear to be the policy at both Provincial and Dominion Commands. Clearly local members should not interfere or indeed have ideas on how the RCL should be run.  Those in charge know best???

Membership is half of what is was a few years ago, approximately 300,000 down from 600.000 and of those numbers, less than a third are actually veterans. The Legion needs immediate and big changes if they are going to survive many more years.

OTTAWA — An attempt to make Canada’s largest veteransroyal_canadian_legion organization reveal details about its executives’ salaries and travel has been shot down by its senior leadership.

The decision by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion Command has prompted some of the organization’s long-time members to question the state of accountability in the upper levels of its leadership.

“I believe that the members across the country want to have assurances that the very large amounts of monies required to operate our organization are well spent,” Lorne Tyson, a Legion member from Winnipeg, wrote Jan. 21 to Jack Frost, chairman of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion Command.

“Rather than have an open discussion about the finances and expenses required to support our executive, we have been denied that opportunity in a very arbitrary manner,” Tyson said.

Sounds very familiar to me at the Provincial level too. and tells the whole story of the Legion executives at most levels.

God Bless and keep reading.

This is a recent comment from the UK.  The Royal British and Royal Scottish Legions also allow civilian members now. But wages for CEO are published publically each year, at
http://www.theguardian.com/society/salarysurvey/table/0,12406,1042677,00.html
I can appreciate how you as a Veteran and Legion Member cannot get a question answered by the Highest Command. Obviously they do not allow redress through any channels?

Posted in Belfast Blitz, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, politics, Prince Edward Island, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Newfoundland Government Slashing Funding to Public Libraries

NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) confesses he is baffled as to why government is slashing funding for libraries and other essential tools in the fight for literacy.

“Public libraries are vital to literacy and life-long learning in our communities, yet government has decided to slash funding for public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador by $1.2 million,” Kirby said in the House of Assembly today. “We understand from the Library Association that there are now only nine librarians left to manage close to 100 public libraries across the province.

“Will the Minister of Education please tell us who he consulted before he decided to cut funding for public libraries to the bone?”

Well it probably wasn’t an idea he got from something he read????

God Bless and keep reading

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Wee Geordie

Geordie_US_film_posterIts strange how some old films stay with a person for a lifetime. In my case (60 years) the film “Wee Geordie” has always held a place in my heart. I suppose it is mainly due to the fact I was at the Olympic Games held in Melbourne Australia in 1956 whilst aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Cockade . The movie was made about these games in 1955 and was showing in local cinemas at the time.  Wee Geordie was indeed wee at the beginning of the show, he finds an ad for body building by a Mr Sampson. He writes and receives the instruction booklets on body building. His childhood sweet heart Jeanie encourages him to keep at the training. As a young man, not so wee now, he enters a hammer toss event at the local games. His first two throws are not good and as he is about to take the third and last throw he sees Jeanie running across the heather shouting ”Come away ma Wee Geordie. Of course he wins the title and is later spotted by an Olympic coach. Fast forward, he arrives in Melbourne for the games and one day walking down Flinders Street he comes across a motorcar accident. A person is trapped under the vehicle and Geordie lifts the car so they can remove the person from danger. At this moment Olga, a Swedish Olympic star comes along, she likes Wee Geordie!! and when she sees what he has done rushes up and kisses him.Naturally the street is full of newspaper reporters and the photo of Geordie kissing Olga is in papers all over the world. Jeanie sees it and is heart broken. Geordie too is upset with Olga and worries that he might lose Jeanie. Then the time comes for the hammer toss competition that Geordie is favourite to win. Once again he throws two bad tosses and as he prepares for the third and final one, he closes his eyes for a moment. In that brief moment he sees Wee Jeanie running across the heather shouting “Come away ma wee Geordie”. The rest is history, he wins the gold and returns to Scotland to his childhood sweet heart. Jeanie is angry and throws the Bonnie Bonnet he bought for her in the stream. Nevertheless, this is a movie and as it comes to an end they embrace and kiss, and presumably live happy ever after —— The End

God Bless and keep reading

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The Iron Lung.

As a young boy I feared the thought of being confined in an Iron Lung. In the 1940’s-50’s Polio was a common and dreadful disease that mostly affected children. Sometimes we heard of a classmate being diagnosed with Polio, he or she would disappear from the school and we’d rarely ever see them again. I didn’t understand what the decease was but greatly feared the thought of  being inflicted with it. I could not imagine living the rest of my life in one of those awful Iron Lungs.

Today 26th April I give thanks to the memory of Doctor Salk.

iron lungiron lung nurse

On this day in 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere.

Polio, known officially as poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease that has existed since ancient times and is caused by a virus. It occurs most commonly in children and can result in paralysis. The disease reached epidemic proportions throughout the first half of the 20th century. During the 1940s and 1950s, polio was associated with the iron lung, a large metal tank designed to help polio victims suffering from respiratory paralysis breathe.

 

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Did You Ever Wonder Where Old English Saying Originated

Did you ever wonder where the old saying such as “Its raining cats and dogs” or One for the road” came from???? if not then read on.st george

There is an old hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged. The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ”ONE LAST DRINK”.
If he said YES it was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD”
If he declined, that prisoner was “ON THE WAGON”

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot they “Didn’t have a pot to Piss in” & were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt Poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: ”Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “Bring home the Bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ”Chew the fat”.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning & death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or ”The Upper Crust”.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ”Holding a Wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, ”Saved by the Bell ” or was considered a ”Dead Ringer”

There now you know and it didn’t take you a fortnight to read!!!
God Bless and keep reading

 

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Duffy not Guilty??????????

duffy-620x348Duffy has been found not guilty, so justice has been done and that is an end to it. The happy Senator will strut back into the Red Chamber with his head held high. It makes me ask the question do we have two sets of laws in Canada, one for politicians and one for everyone else? Why was Harper not charged, why was Wright not charged because according to the judge in the Duffy trial they both broke the law. Then lets look at the decision that decided Duffy is a resident of PEI?????? To the best of my knowledge he has and still lives in Ottawa, and has done so for the last forty years. Anyone remember him speaking on CBC Compass and telling us how he would never cheat on Islanders. He claimed he lived in Cavendish in the summer and wintered in Charlottetown at the George Street hotel! He need for medical reasons to be near the hospital. Do you recall how he attempted to speed up getting a PE Health card and driver license. What about the Donahue slush fund set up to pay for such items as Gym and make up costs. I don’t know about you, but from my perspective this whole affair has an unpleasant odor to it. One could wonder if any one of us would get off so lightly if we attempted to defraud the Canadian Tax Payers. So what is coming next? will he now sue the Government/Conservative party for treating him like a criminal!!! and if he does, will we the tax payers foot the bill again. It makes me sick to listen to the excuses offered not just by Duffy but most politicians in general. Now they are pledging to reform the Senate, not good enough it should be abolished. Indeed we need far tighter controls on the spending of our MP’s Senators and Provincial members. Why do you think the whole nation is in a massive deficit, its certainly not because we have so many cleaver and astute parliamentarians. Still the old Duffster is happy the judge put a big smile on his face!!!!!!

God Bless and keep reading

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Arsenal Move Up

footballarsenal pennentArsenal improved their league position on Thursday evening with a decisive 2-0 win over WBA. The three points lifted the Gunners into third place in the league and 4 points ahead of Manchester United. Manchester City drop back into fourth place, 2 points behind Arsenal.  Spurs are now only 5 points above the gunners in second place but unless we have another unexpected twist or turn it looks like Leicester City will win the title, spurs will end up in second and Arsenal third. Nevertheless, there are four games to play and as this season has had many surprises, perhaps there could be another to come. Time will tell, but its been a great Premiership season that might yet see Newcastle and Sunderland join Aston Villa in dropping down to the Championship league.

God Bless and keep reading

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Budget Bullsh-t or Fudget Budget

Caudillo gonethree amogosOne could say this latest Liberal budget came straight from the horse’s as- oops mouth. Just like the Ghiz government before him who made no mention of bringing in the HST. The Maclauchlan government promised during the last election campaign, which was just one year ago, not to raise taxes
“The Premier and his party were crystal clear during the last election that they would balance the budget and that they would not raise taxes, fees or levies. Both of those promises were broken yesterday.about-the-premier

The MacLauchlan Government also claimed recently that the economy is doing great. However, if that is true then why are they raising the HST?”

In the simple math that I learned many years ago it would seem there is something wrong with the way government apply math these days. Not so long ago the Liberal Government Loaned the Homberg Corp close to $40 million. Then just the other day they told us they need to increase the HST to balance the budget in 2017. The HST increase will raise an additional $33 million over the next eighteen months. Surely if they had not loaned the $40 million in the first place we would not need to raise this $33 million now.
I think the truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t believe anything MacLauchlan tells us. Next election folks that is something we need to remember, ——–Promises Promises eh!!!!

God Bless and keep reading

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British Waterways (Canals)

horse drawn barge_Lock-54bargesI was browsing the jumble sale at Victoria West Church this morning and came across this interesting book titled “Building Britain’ Canals”. It brought back my childhood memories of living near the Grand Union Canal. This canal ran from London to Birmingham a distance of  145 miles. The British Waterways canal system was begun in 1760 and amazingly was still operating in 1948 when I lived in Hemel Hempstead, near London. I was fascinated by the old barges that meandered those ancient waterways. I spent hours sitting by the tow path watching a barge slowly moving along the canal pulled be a horse. I watched as the lock keeper flooded the lock and raise or lower the barge. Lock keepers usually lived in a small cottage beside the lock.  Whole families lived on the barges including children and their pets. I often wondered how the children went to school, or if they did go at all. I was eight or nine years old and thought I’d like to live on a barge. The cargo was mostly coal and the barges were usually grubby and covered in coal dust. The living quarters were at the after end of the barge and a bit cleaner with colourful curtains in the cabin windows. I never realised back then, but I was witnessing the end of an era, the steam trains and road transportation were fast replacing the much slower barges. Today many canals have been restored and are maintained and the old barges are now luxury homes, businesses, restaurant etc. They are no longer dependent on a horse to pull them along the tow path, having been replaced with modern diesel engines. Some of the more adventurist owners travel the canals while others remain tied up along side as homes. The barges are brightly painted with a variety of very stylish interiors. One could wonder what those old bargemen would think if they could see their barges today. Nevertheless, a wonderful, if a somewhat sad memory of a way of life now lost forever.

God Bless and keep reading.

 

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