Posts Tagged “Toronto”
The First World War began one hundred years ago tonight; a war that eventually killed 16 million people, including 10 million serving in various armed forces.
This is just one story of a young Canadian flyer in the Royal Navy Air Service who died not in combat, but from an aircraft accident in 1917. H. Laurence (or Lawrence) Crowe of Toronto, aged 20.
On August 5, 2005 I had paid a visit to my parents’ grave in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery and then walked around for a while on that pleasant summer afternoon.
I spotted a large memorial, a statue, with a broken hand, and both the statue itself and the fact that it was broken reminded me somewhat of the Parthenon Freize, (the infamous Elgin Marbles). Moving closer (and using the small digital point and shoot I was carrying everywhere in 2005) I saw that the statue was both “ancient” and modern, the figure was bare chested, heroic, like the figures from ancient Greece, but around his waist was supporting what may be a short kilt is a modern belt. I’m not sure about the headgear, it doesn’t really look like a flier’s helmet, a Greek helm or a naval officer’s cap.
Adding to the heroic nature of the memorial is the inscription: Quit Ye Like Men. Be Strong. Although we call many “heroes” today, 1917 was a time when a classical heroic metaphor was still part of the culture.
So watching the news items tonight on the beginning of the First World War, I wondered who was this young man?
You’ll find a profile of Harry Laurence Crowe on the Veteran’s Affairs Canada Virtual Memorial site.
He was born on April 12, 1897, in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, which means that when the war broke out a century ago he would have been 17 years old. He attended St. Andrew`s College in Toronto and the University of Toronto, before deciding to become a pilot. He went to a flying school in Newport News, Virginia then on to England and joined the Royal Navy in Plymouth. On June 22, 1917, after just three months service, he was searching for a German submarine off the coast of Devonshire and was returning to base flying at 1500 feet and 500 metres from shore at Prawle Point when the plane suddenly nose dived into the ocean, probably due to mechanical failure.
There was a memorial service in Plymouth which included a large model of an aircraft covered in flowers.
Unusual for the time, his remains were returned to Toronto, and according to a Toronto Star report on August 8, 1917, the funeral with full military honours was held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. There was a second plane as part of that memorial, the Star reported:
This floral aeroplane was made from the wrecked portions of an aeroplane Lieut. Crowe was fond of using, but not the one from which he was killed. The wings spread out about five feet covered in forget-me-nots. The aeroplane body was about six feet also covered in blue flowers with sprays of white ones. An accurate model it was in every way from the carriage wheels below to the curved propeller in front.
There was a firing party, a bugler performed The Last Post and two aircraft made a flypast over Mt. Pleasant.
In 1918, the University of Toronto student newspaper The Varsity published a memorial to Crowe and other war dead. As you can see from the photograph from The Varsity, the sculpture did capture a likeness of the young aviator.
The late New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton listens to the concerns of locked out CBC employees at the picket line at Simcoe Park, Toronto, August 26, 2005.
NDP leader Jack Layton lost his battle with cancer this morning August 22, 2011.
In this photo, taken August 26, 2005, Layton passes the CBC Broadcast Centre after walking the picket line in support of locked out CBC employees before speaking to the crowd gathered at Simcoe Park.
Globe and Mail: Jack Layton eschewed attacks in pursuit of greater good
Layton speaks to a large crowd of locked out CBC employees and supporters from other unions at Simcoe Park, August 26, 2005.
Jack Layton and his wife Olivia Chow were regular participants in the Toronto Pride Pride. This photo is from the 2008 parade.
Slideshow My personal favourite photographs 2010
There’s a huge controversy in my Toronto neighborhood at the moment over plans by the Toronto Transit Commission to build second exits at a number of the subway stations on the Danforth line. As the engineers explained at a stifling and noisy public meeting last night (July 12, 2010) in this security conscious era, second exits are necessary if subway stations and trains have to be evacuated. However, this was not taken into consideration when the subway was originally built and so now it appears as if the second exits may have to be built in residential areas at the expense of some people’s homes.
I shot last night’s meeting for Openfile.ca. You will find reporter Janet Money’s story at Residents fight back against TTC plan.
Some of the photographs are part of that story. Here is my gallery of the evening’s events.
It was a stifling hot night at the crowded and unairconditioned Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute as neighborhood residents demanded answers.
The early part of the evening was a highly technical and sometimes confusing engineering technical briefing. Pat McCarthy, who lives on Strathmore Blvd. listens to the presentation on the expansion of Greenwood subway station. Later at the information and protest
meeting, McCarthy asked for clarification.
Bruna Amabile, whose parent’s home on Strathmore Blvd was threatened
by expropriation, listens to answers from TTC officials.
Elaine McLellan of Strathmore Blvd raises an objection. (Robin Rowland)
Community activist Lisa Dymond, Strathmore Blvd, outlines objections to
the TTC plans
An angry Russ Stallberg, Strathmore Blvd, demands more transparency
from the TTC.
Erin Rizok. of Strathmore Blvd, asks a question.
When I shot Pride for CBC in 2007 and 2008 I was accredited and could move anywhere on the parade route. (I wasn’t in Toronto for Pride 2009). This year with no accreditation, I went back to my favourite spot to watch Pride Yonge and Alexander streets. Not the best choice this year, with a very hot sun overhead and the CP 24 camera position across the street. But by the time I got there, it was too late to move to a better position. Despite that I had fun any way.
“Half a world away in South Africa, the quarter-finals of the World Cup
have begun. Here in Toronto, photographer Robin Rowland spent a few
evenings in Riverdale Park watching local lovers of the beautiful game
get their kicks.”
See the photo gallery here
In the last blog, I mentioned that a friend and I went to have a relaxing day at Humber Bay West park in the west end of Toronto.
The most interesting moments were late in the afternoon. Sitting quietly at a picnic table, I noticed a groundhog stick a nose out of the long grass. Kept very quiet, except of course, of the click of the camera mirror. Turns out there was a family of three groundhogs nibbling away at the grass.
After about half an hour, one groundhog was just about a metre from the table, munching on a leaf.
A groundhog sticks a nose out from a grassy trail .
A groundhog munches on a juicy leaf.
A red-winged blackbird in a tree at Humber Bay Park
A red-winged black bird in the clover.
Another bird in the grass at Humber Bay Park.(Not sure which bird, let me know in the comments)
The setting sun shines through the wild flowers at Humber Bay West Park.