Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
May 31, 2018

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One reason to take a trip up BC's Inside Passage (see below) is to witness scenes like this.

The vessel was dawdling up Blackfish Sound near the top of Vancouver Island when this adolescent humpback decided to put on a show. It was with us for about half an hour, breeching and fin slapping and generally showing off. Coincidentally (or was it?) we were just passing by Orca...

May 10, 2018

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While preparing to set sail (see below) I've been reading a fascinating account of daily life in the Depression-era government work camps established by the Department of Defence to get single, jobless men off the streets. The book, edited by Peter Neary, collects the correspondence of Alan Collier, a Toronto-born artist who travelled west in search of work in 1934 and ended...

May 4, 2018

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This space has been quiet of late while I packed up the house I lived in with my family for thirty years and moved to a new base of operations. Buying, selling, moving: stressful times. But they are behind us now.

To celebrate, we are going on a cruise. An outfit called Uncruise Adventures has invited me to be on-board...

March 11, 2018

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Nice to see the City of Vancouver honouring the memory of Helena Gutteridge last week to mark International Women's Day. Gutteridge was an early labour activist and suffragist who in 1937 became the first woman elected to city council.

Equally...

March 8, 2018

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The death of Roger Bannister last week got me thinking about Bill Parnell (that's him in the above photo).

Bannister, of course, was the legendary runner who broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, then won the famous “Miracle Mile” at the Empire/Commonwealth Games in Vancouver when he and John Landy both finished the race is less than four minutes.

It is an...

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